** R.I.P. Joseph Pilato: Captain Rhodes from George A. Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD has passed away. The late actor died in his sleep two days ago at 70 years old.
** Jordan Peel's US: Universal's release dominated the domestic box office, not only out-performing the opening weekends for several recent horror hits, but delivering the second largest opening ever for a live-action, original picture, topping the weekend box office with over $70 million. As a result, the 2019 box office continues to improve over the month of March after struggling to begin the year. Overall, this weekend was the third straight to outperform the same weekend last year.
At #1, with an estimated $70.25 million (~49.6% of all tickets sold among the top 12 films), US topped the weekend box office with the third largest opening of all-time for an R-rated horror film, blowing away 2018's THE NUN ($53.8m opening) and placing behind Universal's own HALLOWEEN, which opened with $76.2 million last October. The film also decimated the opening for Peele's previous film GET OUT, which was a massive hit back in 2017 following a $33.3 million debut. GET OUT would go on to gross over $176 million domestically, ranking as the third largest horror film of all-time domestically. (thanks to BoxOfficeMojo.com)
** MIDSOMMAR: After the massive critical success and strong commercial success of HEREDITARY, a lot of people are keeping an eye on filmmaker Ari Aster's next project MIDSOMMAR. In a new interview with the Vulture web site, Aster says those expected HEREDITARY 2 will be disappointed as this isn't as much an outright horror film even if it gets unsettling and macabre at points.
The project has previously been dubbed 'Scandinavian folk horror' focusing on a 'pagan cult' and, combined with the vague first trailer, has led to obvious THE WICKER MAN comparisons. Appearing at the Metrograph Anniversary Party this week, he was asked how it compares to HEREDITARY he replied:
"It's a breakup movie, in the same way that HEREDITARY is a family tragedy. It's less overtly a horror movie, but it's still working in that same space. It's very macabre. But people shouldn't go in expecting HEREDITARY."
Then asked "Is it your MAMMA MIA?" to which he laughingly replied: "Yeah, sure, I'd say so. It's a WIZARD OF OZ for perverts." Aster also agreed that Toni Collette should have won an Oscar for her HEREDITARY performance, but understands the snub: "Of course, she was snubbed. It's a horror film – and those are kind of traditionally maligned by the industry." (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
----- March 25, 2019 -----
** R.I.P. Larry Cohen: The maverick B-movie director of cult horror films such as IT's LIVE and GOD TOLD ME TO, has died. He was 77. Cohen's friend and spokesman, the actor Shade Rupe, said Cohen passed away Saturday in Los Angeles surrounded by loved ones.
** THE TOXIC AVENGER remake: Actor-turned-filmmaker Macon Blair has been set to write and direct the reboot of the cult classic for Legendary Entertainment. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz produced the original 1984 low-budget B-movie comedy. The film series told the story of a mild-mannered janitor at a health club who becomes a disfigured radioactive hulking mess after falling into a vat of toxic waste. He then uses his newfound form to fight bullies and corruption.
The original film generated three film sequels, a stage musical production, a video game and a children's TV cartoon. Legendary acquired the rights in December and have made the project a high priority. (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** TERROR 5: Playfully based on urban legends and featuring a group of young people all coming face-to-face with their inner demons, TERROR 5 is far from your typical indie horror. First-time directors Sebastian and Federico Rotstein use a local political crisis in Argentina as the backdrop to the five stories that unfold to horrific conclusions. Artsploitation Films will release the film this April 2nd on DVD and on several VOD platforms.
** SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK: Wild Eye Releasing has set the release date for director Cody Meirick's upcoming documentary film, which centers on the book series that frightened a generation. The film is scheduled to be released on July 16. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** ONE CUT OF THE DEAD remake: Following the surprise success of the 2017 zombie comedy, Variety reports that the Japanese film is officially being adapted in an English-language remake with Patrick Cunningham to serve as producer. In partnership with creators Enbu Seminar, Shinichiro Ueda and Ryoichi Wada, Cunningham has successfully acquired the rights to film. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** THE CREEPS: According to the Deadline web site, Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to the horror film The Creeps from a pitch by Game Night directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. Further details on the film's plot is being kept under wraps but is being described as a coming-of-age horror comedy. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** MA: Everybody's welcome at Ma's. But good luck getting home safe. Check out the new trailer.
----- March 19, 2019 -----
** R.I.P. John Carl Buechler: John Carl Buechler died after a battle with Stage IV prostate cancer on Sunday, March 17. He created the GHOULIES monsters, and made his directorial debut in 1986 with TROLL. He also directed one of my favourite Jason flick, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 7 THE NEW BLOOD.
** COUNTDOWN: Variety has brought word that Elizabeth Lail, the breakout star of the acclaimed Lifetime-turned-Netflix thriller YOU, has signed on to star in the lead role of the upcoming STX Films horror flick COUNTDOWN. The film, written and directed by Justin Dec, centers on a young nurse who after downloading an app that predicts exactly when a person is going to die and discovers she is supposed to die in three days must figure out why her time is running out and who or what is the mysterious figure following her. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** THE HEAD HUNTER: A medieval warrior's gruesome collection of heads is missing only one - the monster that killed his daughter years ago.
** PET SEMATARY remake: Here's a clip for the upcoming remake.
** US: Here's a featurette for the upcoming film.
----- March 18, 2019 -----
** ANNABELLE COMES HOME: New Line Cinema has announced the official title, teasing the titular figurine's return to the Warrens' museum. The third ANNABELLE film will once again center around the titular demon doll but this time she is already under the possession of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Mckenna Grace will play the role of Judy Warren, daughter of the paranormal investigating couple who is targeted alongside her two teen babysitters by the demonic doll after they bring it home into their artifact room. Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife are set to play Judy Warren's babysitters. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** GREEN DOOR: Following its debut last month on Taiwan's Public Television Service, the Deadline web site reports that Netflix has successfully acquired the global rights to the Taiwanese horror drama. The streaming service released the series last weekend, launching it in more than 190 countries. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** DEPRAVED: Here's the First Festival Teaser for Larry Fessenden's Frankenstein-themed feature DEPRAVED.
** THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE: Netflix has locked in CREEP helmer Patrick Brice to direct their film adaptation of Stephanie Perkins' novel. The project is dubbed a blend of 80 & 90s slasher and coming of age film classics. Henry Gayden will pen the adaptation while Shawn Levy's 21 Laps and James Wan's Atomic Monster produce. Filming aims to begin this Fall. (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA: New Line Cinema has released the Dolby Cinema poster for the upcoming film, featuring the titular Mexican horror legend as she weeps in pain. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on April 19.
It's been a topic of discussion amongst fans of the James Wan horror franchise whether it was a mere coincidence or an actual connection, but following THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA's premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival, it appears Tony Amendola's Father Perez has officially crossed over from THE CONJURING universe. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
----- March 14, 2019 -----
** THE TALISMAN: The Collider web site is reporting that Mike Barker (THE HANDMAID'S TALE) will be directing THE TALISMAN feature film adaptation based on Stephen King and Peter Straub's 1984 bestselling fantasy novel. The story follows Jack Sawyer, a young boy in possession of a powerful talisman that can save his mother's life, who is forced to go on the run from the inhabitants of a magical parallel universe who have discovered how to travel between worlds. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** HAGAZUSSA: Here's the trailer for the feature film debut for director Lukas Feigelfeld. The horror film will open in limited theaters on April 19 before arriving on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD on April 23.
----- March 8, 2019 -----
** BRIGHTBURN: Here's the new trailer for this comic book-style horror film.
** Blumhouse Productions update: While the Blumhouse Productions label was built on franchises and sequels like INSIDIOUS, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and THE PURGE, they and the company's head Jason Blum have been gradually steering away from that in favour of original productions and revivals like last year's HALLOWEEN. That might be why Blum, in recent tweets, said they have no plans to continue either their SINISTER and HAPPY DEATH DAY franchises beyond their already released second entries.
HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U opened last month and seemingly laid the groundwork for another entry, but when asked by a fan about the likelihood of a third film he said: "Not very, but not impossible." Though still quite profitable, the recent sequel cost $9 million to make and grossed $54 million – whereas the first cost $4.5 million and made $125 million.
In addition, Blum was asked about the possibility of a third movie in the SINISTER franchise to which he said: "Nope :(". He later suggested the film's monster Bughuul, if he were to be brought back, it "maybe" could be in the form of a series. The first SINISTER grossed $77.7 million from a $3 million budget, but the follow-up made only $52.8 million from a $10 million budget. If there was one silver lining to his Q&A, it was his response of "Yes" to the question: "Anything happening in the UPGRADE universe soon?." (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)
** THE CONJURING 3: The JoBlo web site is reporting that THE CONJURING 3 will begin filming in Atlanta this June. The outlet notes there are rumors the third installment in the trilogy will be taking on Bill Ramsey, also known as The Southend Werewolf, but that has not been confirmed. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** IN SEARCH OF DARKNESS: A Journey Into Iconic '80s Horror. This documentary is currently in post-production for release this coming summer!
----- March 6, 2019 -----
** MIDSOMMAR: From writer/director Ari Aster and starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, and Will Poulter. MIDSOMMAR — In Theaters Summer 2019.
** NOS4A2: Someone bad is coming. Don't miss the series premiere, coming this summer on AMC.
** BLOOD CRAFT: Vertical Entertainment has acquired Dominique Swain and Michael Welch-fronted feature BLOOD CRAFT and is set to release the witchcraft-centric horror film in the U.S. in April.
** THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA: Here's an international poster for the upcoming film.
----- March 4, 2019 -----
** CRITTERS reboot: Syfy is secretly making a CRITTERS movie based on director Stephen Herek's 1986 sci-fi horror comedy of the same name. The project has reportedly finished its production in South Africa with Bobby Miller as the film's director.
In addition, the original film's lead actress Dee Wallace (E.T.) might also star in the new film due to a recent interview with Bionic Buzz where she hinted about her involvement in the upcoming film. (thanks to ComingSoon.net)
** US: After sending shockwaves across contemporary culture and setting a new standard for provocative, socially-conscious horror films with his directorial debut, GET OUT, Academy Award-winning visionary Jordan Peele returns with another original nightmare that he has written, directed and produced.
** MASTER OF DARK SHADOWS: Narrated by Ian McShane, MASTER OF DARK SHADOWS reveals the fascinating impact of the ground-breaking Gothic drama DARK SHADOWS with a compelling blend of rare footage and behind-the-scenes stories exploring the diverse talents of creator-producer-director Dan Curtis. Known as the "King of TV Horror," the filmmaker created iconic genre favorites including TRILOGY OF TERROR and BURNT OFFERINGS.
----- March 1st, 2019 -----
** CRITTERS A NEW BINGE: Pursued by intergalactic bounty hunters, the Critters return to Earth on a secret mission and encounter Christopher, a lovelorn high-schooler, his best friend Charlie, his crush Dana, and his mom Veronica - whose past will come back to bite them. Who will survive? And who will be eaten? Coming to Shudder March 21.
** IT CHAPTER 2: Jessica Chastain, who plays the adult version of Beverly in the film, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and teased her role in the horror sequel. While she couldn't say much, she did offer this tease:
"Okay, I'm going to say something, and I think I'm going to be in trouble, but I'm going to do it. It might be a spoiler. But in the movie, there's a scene that someone said on set that it's the most blood that's ever been in a horror film in a scene. And I'll tell you, the next day I was like pulling blood out of my eyeballs."
Andy Muschietti returns to helm the new film which also stars Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Jay Ryan and Bill Skarsgard. Pennywise returns to soak everyone in blood when IT CHAPTER 2 hits September 6th. (thanks to DarkHorizons.com)