The best premise for a horror movie is unique, but once heard, it’s surpising nobody has ever tried it before. In my opinion, that’s what Brandon Bestenheider and Allen Bey did with their spec script Grim Night. The premise: “Grim Night takes place once a year, where Grim Reapers come to Earth to collect souls.” I didn’t fully comprehend until I saw the eerie promo trailer that producers Bryan Bertino, Adrienne Biddle, and Marc Platt put together to spark interest it from the studios. It worked on me, fully tapping into my fear of the personification of death. More importantly, it worked on the studios. After a bidding war, Universal landed Grim Night with a deal in the high-six figure range (against seven figures). Watch the million dollar trailer after the jump.
The way the Youtube description is phrased makes it sound like Bertino, the writer/director behind The Strangers, shot the trailer. The report from Deadline lists Bertino only as producer, though, so I am curious to see if he will assume the reins or pass the job along to another director.
The video was uploaded on August 20, and the trailer warns that Grim Night is August 20, 2012. I don’t know if it will stick, but the filmmakers clearly have a release date in mind. One catch: August 20, 2012 is a Saturday. I would expect the date of Grim Night to line up with a Friday for marketing purposes. That said, if I saw Grim Night on October 19, I would not sleep that night. As you know, fright-induced sleeplessness is the goal of the horror film.
I’ll leave you with a few screencaps: