This morning the annual works in progress session, now dubbed the Buyer’s Showcase, took place. The session features showing footage from feature films in post or recently completed. This year we got to see footage from Can Evrenol’s (Baskin) Housewife, Michael Peterson’s Knuckleball, Brian O’Malley’s (Let Us Prey) The Lodgers, Leo Shcerman’s Trench 11 and Bob Barrett’s television series Untold Horror.
Now, we the press are not allowed to go into any great detail about what we watched today so in that regard you may be disappointed. However, you will get my impressions from the footage we saw and some suggestions about what to look for when these films make their way around the festival circuit and into distribution in whatever territories they are sold into.
Housewife – So just a quick recap on what Evrenol’s horror flick is about. Holly, a woman who suffered a horrible trauma at an early age at the hands of her mother lives with her husband in another country. An old friend invites them to attend a seminar hosted by a psychic named ‘The Dream Surfer’.
So we got to see footage from the opening of the film. The time when Holly was subjected to that traumatic event. Very gothic with great sound elements like doors and floors. Not many of you will know that Turkey got blasted with a heavy snow storm the first few days of shooting yet somehow Evrenol managed to include that in this opening scene. The traumatic event is shocking and sad. The lighting is warm and soft, totally unassuming.
The second portion of footage we saw was well into the film and jeebuz fuck! It goes bad in Housewife folks. Very, very bad. For someone else at least. The gore factor is stunning and shocking. You want to know more but I cannot tell you anything else. It’s just… wow. Gory as fuck. Stomaches will turn!
The U.S. rights for Housewife are held by XYZ Films. The production is looking for ROW sales agents and setting up a good festival schedule for the film.
Knuckleball – So Michael Peterson’s flick is about a twelve year old boy who is shuttled off to his grandfathers’ farm. While his parents are away his grandfather dies, leaving this boy Henry on his own. When the neighbor Dixon realizes this it will set off a series of events that leave Henry fighting for his survival while his parents race back to the cabin. We were shown the trailer and a clip from the film.
The trailer definitively gives off a Home Alone goes horror vibe with what looks like Henry setting up traps for Dixon. But yeah, it certainly looks darker than that franchise for sure.
The surprising turn here is from Munro Chambers as the creepy neighbor. No longer the squeaky clean Kid from Turbo Kid there is something really unsettling about his appearance and he actions in the footage we were shown. DIxon is troubled to say the least. His performance is something to keep an eye out for.
Knuckleball is in post and they are looking for additional sales and securing a festival premiere to show off their film.
The Lodgers – Man. Do I wish I could go into more details about Brian O’Malley’s upcoming Gothic horror flick The Lodgers. We have already talked about it in these pages in the past. The film is looking for distribution partners right now.
Twins are kept hostage, more or less, in their ancestral home by a malevolent force that took away their parents. When a young man falls in love with the sister and tries to free her from the curse, things do not go well.
This movie looks bleak and gorgeous. The house, a real haunted house in Ireland, is decrepit and in a state of disrepair. The force comes out from the ground in a way I am not allowed to describe to you but I guarantee that there is a wow factor and it will definitely creep you out. Charlotte Vega looks angelic as the sister. Bill Milner looks to be carrying the weight of the curse with a lot more burden than his sister.
We were shown a handful of clips that show what happens when you break the house rules and the conflict that has been brewing between the siblings. And there are some impressive water related scenes in there too. It generated some excitement in the room.
Trench 11 – This WWI set horror flick is completed and is looking for distribution. It will be presented to buyers during TIFF this fall. The film was completed recently so the footage we were shown was hastily cut together, to more or less give us a sense of what is going on.
A small team of allied soldiers infiltrate a German bunker upon word that horrible biological weapons are being created there. They simply were not prepared for what they found.
Even an autopsy scene was plenty gross and horrific to watch. And the creature effects were all practical, done in camera. There is definitely a body horror element to it all. Also some of the scenes cut together gave a sense that the group dynamic was falling apart as well.
The icky creature makes an appearance. Some Germans showed up at the end of the footage and that normally did not go well above on the battlefield. Below it no one fares any better. We should be able to give you a more concise report and review into the Fall this year.
Untold Horror – Finally, the last presentation Untold Horror, is the most difficult one to report on because we are not allowed to share details and this is a show about details. So this is the damned if you do and damned if you don’t section of the article because I cannot share anything about the content of the three clips they shared with us. Maybe I can say that it is very interesting stuff and you cannot call yourself a horror fan and not share the same enthusiasm for this project.
Untold Horror is looking for international partners at the moment. All footage that we saw was funded by themselves.