Mark Duplass got his start in very low-budget independent cinema with dramatic films like The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, and Jeff, Who Lives At Home, which he co-wrote and co-directed with his brother Jay Duplass. Recently, Mark teamed up with producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions—the studio behind the low-budget horror movement that has spawned Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Sinister franchises—for a different kind of low-budget feature: a psychological horror film called Creep. The film revolves around a man (Patrick Brice) who answers a cryptic online ad asking for a filming service. He arrives at a remote location and begins filming his subject, Josef (Duplass), but as the day goes on, he begins to suspect Josef isn’t really who he says he is.
The pic recently debuted at the SXSW Film Festival to a positive response, and not only has RADiUS-TWC now picked the film up for distribution, but it has also signed on to carry out a trilogy of Creep films. Hit the jump for more on the latest horror franchise.
Fresh off the box office success of Insidious: Chapter Two and the announcement of a third Insidious pic, producer Jason Blum’s horror shingle Blumhouse Productions has set its sights on a new franchise. Deadline reports that Aaron Eckhart will lead Incarnate with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton set to helm. Penned by Ronnie Christensen (Passengers), the film follows “an unconventional exorcist who can tap into the subconscious of the possessed.” Said exorcist meets his match when he confronts his next case, a 9-year-old boy possessed by a demon from his past. Filming is poised to begin next month.
Blumhouse has made a habit of churning out low budget, high profit horror pics over the past few years, starting off with the Paranormal Activity franchise and continuing with other hits like Sinister and The Purge. Peyton had been attached to helm an adaptation of the comics character Lobo for Warner Bros., but it’s unclear if he’s still involved with that project. No matter, Incarnate certainly sounds like a promising premise to tackle in the meantime.
Blumhouse Productions (Insidious, Sinister, Paranormal Activity, The Purge) has become known for micro-budget horror films that go gangbusters at the box office. With Dark Skies, Blumhouse combined their well-honed approach to horror with a sci-fi twist, namely a threat from extraterrestrial beings. While it’s certainly not the biggest money-maker for the production company, Dark Skies might be my favorite of their films so far. Not only does it feature an exceptional cast in Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Annie Thurman and J.K Simmons, but writer-director Scott Stewart combines the best of Steven Spielberg’s family-centric films with a hint of Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror. Now that Dark Skies is available on Blu-ray, you can check it out for yourself. Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.
From Blumhouse Productions, the horror thriller The Purge illustrates the government’s response to an America overrun by escalating crime and overcrowded prisons. For a 12-hour period, once a year, any and all criminal activity, including murder, becomes legal. And on this one particular night, James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary Sandin (Lena Headey), and their two children, will learn just how vicious the outside world can be.
During a press conference at the film’s press day, producer Jason Blum talked about why putting families in danger makes for good suspense and horror films, what made Ethan Hawke the right guy for this project, how different audience interpretation of the film will be, his reaction when he first read the script, deciding on the look of the masks, and the benefits of working on a limited budget. He also talked about why he wanted to get involved with the remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and how important it is to him to find a real reason why someone is actually shooting the footage, in one of his found footage films. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
A couple of interesting acquisitions have been announced. First up, Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions—known for its small budget, big profit model with the Paranormal Activity films and Insidious—has acquired a found footage movie called Peachfuzz, produced by the incredibly hard working brothers Mark and Jay Duplass. Plot details on the project are being kept under lock and key, but Mark stars in the film that centers on a young man who answers a Craigslist ad “and gets much more than he bargained for.” Production on the Patrick Brice film has already wrapped.
Hit the jump for news regarding writer/director Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson.
It’s easy to forget about it since it came out so early, but for my money director Joe Carnahan’s survival drama The Grey is still one of the best films of 2012. It was considerably more low-key than his last pic, The A-Team, but I felt that Carnahan and Liam Neeson crafted something really special. It looks as though the director may be sticking with “low-key” for his next project, as he’s now set to direct Patrick Wilson in the low-budget actioner Stretch for IM Global and Blumhouse Pictures, the studio behind the Paranormal Activity series, Sinister, and Insidious.
Hit the jump for more.
Almost two years ago, a bevy of board games were targeted for big-screen adaptations. Stretch Armstrong, Monopoly, Candy Land, Clue, etc. have all been in the development line towards big-screen adaptations, but recently (and on the heels of the release of Battleship) movement on the aforementioned projects has slowed. McG was set to direct an adaptation of the supernatural game Ouija, but Universal decided to pass on the project back in August. Hasbro continued to develop Ouija, and after numerous rewrites, the studio has now changed its mind and is now moving forward with a completely retooled version of Ouija for a targeted 2013 release.
Compared to McG’s previous $100 million Ouija, Deadline reports that this new version will be produced by Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum for a budget close to $5 million. Blum has made a name for himself with low budget/high profit films like the Paranormal Activity series and Insidious, and now it appears Universal plans to take that approach with Ouija. Hit the jump for more.