Blumhouse Reviving Universal Monsters Starting with Leigh Whannell’s ‘The Invisible Man’

After the disastrous reboot of The Mummy, Variety reports that Universal Pictures is recalibrating the Universal Monsters franchise by handing the keys to Blumhouse, known for budget-friendly hits such as The Purge, Happy Death Day, Split, Glass, Paranormal Activity and many others. The first of what could be many projects will be The Invisible Man, which will be helmed by horror veteran Leigh Whannell, co-creator of both the Saw and Insidious franchises, and director of last year’s excellent Upgrade as well as Blumhouse’s Insidious: Chapter 3.

The move is part of a fresh strategy for the Universal monsters properties, bringing creative directors with distinctive visions to the classic characters, adds the site.

Johnny Depp was previously attached to The Invisible Man, but he will not appear in this film. Sources tell the mag that he still may be featured in another one of the monster movie projects in development.

“Throughout cinematic history, Universal’s classic monsters have been reinvented through the prism of each new filmmaker who brought these characters to life,” said Peter Cramer, Universal’s president of production. “We are excited to take a more individualized approach for their return to screen, shepherded by creators who have stories they are passionate to tell with them.”

The site also notes that the hiring Whannell does not necessarily mean this will be the next monster movie to go into production, as other pitches are also coming together revolving around different characters. Before the plug was pulled on the “Dark Universe”, Universal had planned reboots of The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Bride of Frankenstein, among others. It’s unclear if they’ll re-reboot Dracula, The Wolfman or even The Mummy.

The talent previously attached to various monster roles like Depp, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe still have the option to appear in the movies after a filmmaker with a new vision is brought on.

Things Get Crazy at 3:15 AM in Exclusive Clip from THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS

The Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California may be
America’s “most haunted” house, but the domicile at 112 Ocean Avenue in the
Amityville suburb of Long Island, New York is the most infamous. Whether or not
supernatural happenings actually occurred is a matter of opinion; what can’t be
argued, however, is that the home was the scene of a violent killing spree that
decimated the majority of the DeFeo family.

Now, fact and mythology collide in The Amityville Murders, arriving
in select theaters and VOD platforms on February 8th! Today, Dread Central is
pleased to share the exclusive clip at the top of this article with our
readers. When the clock strikes 3:15 AM, terror ensues! Give it a spin,
followed by the synopsis and trailer for The Amityville Murders below.

Synopsis:
Based on a true event, the film relays the nightmarish story that
preceded the one detailed in the original 1979 classic film.  On the night
of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered
his entire family as they slept. At his trial, DeFeo claimed that “voices” in
the house commanded him to kill. This is their story.

The Amityville Murders is written and directed by Daniel
Farrands; the film stars John Robinson (Elephant), Chelsea Ricketts (Crooked Arrows), Diane Franklin (Better Off Dead), Paul Ben-Victor (Daredevil), Lainie Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Burt Young (Rocky).

Are you a fan of The Amityville Horror movies and/or the real-life crimes that inspired the films? Are you excited to check out The Amityville Murders on February 8th? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

The post Things Get Crazy at 3:15 AM in Exclusive Clip from THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS appeared first on Dread Central.

‘Metro Exodus’ Jumps Ship From Steam to Epic Games Store

In a proverbial sign of throwing down the gauntlet, Deep Silver and 4A Games have announced that their upcoming first-person shooter Metro Exodus will move from Steam to be an exclusive at the Epic Games Store. The game will launch on February 15th as intended, but Steam and GOG.com will no longer have distribution.

Metro Exodus is amazing and is deservedly one of the most anticipated PC titles of 2019,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic. “We are partnering with Deep Silver to launch Metro Exodus, underpinned by Epic’s marketing support and commitment to offering an 88 percent revenue split, enabling game creators to further reinvest in building great games and improving the economics of game stores for everybody.”

Don’t worry if you’ve already pre-ordered the game on those services. As with what happened with Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season Deep Silver has stated that “any customer with an outstanding pre-order for Metro Exodus on PC through any digital retailer will receive their game as expected.”

While you can technically still pre-order on Steam for today, the listing for the title has been removed from GOG.com. As an interesting note, the game’s price is listed at $49.99, which is $10 cheaper than the listing on Steam. This is most likely due to Epic’s 88/12 revenue split.

Both the regular and gold editions of Metro Exodus will be available for purchase on the Epic Games Store. As well, the previous Metro games will be added to the retailer later in 2019. No word on if the existing listings on GOG.com for those Metro games will remain on that service.

Metro Exodus will also be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Remake of ‘The Grudge’ Has Been Pushed Out of 2019 Entirely

This year’s Escape Room kicked off January on a strong note, and it looks like Sony is hoping to have the same success in 2020 as they’ve just bumped Nicolas Pesce‘s Grudge out of its mid 2019 slot and into that early January slot that Escape Room occupied this year.

The plan was for Grudge to be released into theaters on June 21, 2019, but we’ve learned this morning that Sony has pushed it all the way back to January 3, 2020.

Check out the first shot from the new film below.

Horror veteran Lin Shaye stars in the re-remake. Also starring are Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir (The Nun)and John Cho (“The Exorcist”), as well as Betty Gilpin (“Glow”), William Sadler (The Mist), Jacki Weaver and Frankie Faison.

Based on a script by Midnight Meat Train and Pet Sematary scribe Jeff Buhler, it’s a new take on the 2004 pic (itself based on the 2002 Japanese original Ju-on), which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as a nurse in Tokyo who is afflicted by a curse that created uncontrollable homicidal rage.

This will be the twelfth Ju-On/The Grudge film, which also has a video game, two short films, and several graphic novels included in the collection.

Grudge

[Sundance Review] ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’ Entertains But Feels Irresponsible

Thanks to a glut of true crime shows and podcasts, we’re in the midst of a renewed “aren’t serial killers fun?” phase, a pretty irresponsible national conversation that, it must be said, gets hits. Joe Berlinger‘s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (woof, that title) both cashes in and casts condemnation on that conversation in a film that is entertaining and confused in almost equal measure.

Zac Efron (who also EPs the film) plays Ted Bundy, the serial killer best known for being handsome and charming instead of, you know, butchering dozens of women. And it’s impossible to deny that Efron is handsome and charming here, giving off a sort of sinister ease that reads as hokey at the beginning of the film before he really starts to live in the role. Lily Collins is a high point as Liz Kloepfer, the single mother who fell in love with Bundy long before his crimes came to light. As Bundy’s arrested, escapes, arrested again, escapes again and so on, Liz’s faith in the man who’s been so good to her and her daughter understandably frays.

The film is based on Liz’s book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, and yet the film is weirdly lacking in her perspective. Here’s this woman who feels culpable in both the crimes and the arrest of a man that she can’t decide if she believes is innocent, and that’s a fascinating dilemma that is never examined with any real intimacy. A large chunk of Extremely Wicked only portrays Liz in something close to montage mode, clips of her languishing on the couch drinking vodka while Ted cuts up across the country. It’s that distance from the woman whose story inspired the film that keeps it from becoming something more substantial.

While Bundy’s an undeniably engaging subject, he’s one that we’ve seen many times before, and yet another glamorous portrait of the brutal murderer feels – here’s that word again – irresponsible, whereas a film that focused a more significant portion of its screentime on the woman left suffering in his wake would both be more enlightening and show a bit more integrity.

[Related] Read all of our Sundance reviews and coverage here!

Still, once we move past Ted’s seemingly jolly escapades across the United States and land in the Florida trial that ended his death spree and ultimately his life, Extremely Wicked offers a little more substance, thanks in large part to John Malkovich‘s outstanding performance as Judge Edward D. Cowart, a folksy, “bless your heart” sort of Southern gentleman who nevertheless sees right through the Ted Bundy circus. It’s Cowart who gives the final word on how we, as the audience, are supposed to feel about Bundy, in a long closing statement (that includes that mouthful of a title) ending with the summation of Bundy as a “waste of humanity.”

But it might be too late after an hour and a half of Bundy capering about town, flashing those Efron pearly whites and collecting a bevy of pretty groupies. Sure, in the last five minutes Extremely Wicked delivers a condemnation of a man who confessed to killing upwards of thirty women and who’s suspected of killing many, many more, but that’s after a whole film’s worth of Efron’s Bundy playing the charismatic but persecuted hero of the story.

Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile is a pretty good time, but should it be?

“Hannibal” Star Richard Armitage Will Lead the Cast of Netflix Thriller Series “The Stranger”

Richard Armitage, who played Francis Dolarhyde to chilling perfection in NBC’s “Hannibal,” will next be seen in Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s The Lodge, and Deadline reports today that he’ll also be leading the cast of Netflix’s “The Stranger, a new thriller series.

The eight-episode series is based on Harlan Coben’s novel.

Armitage stars as Adam Price in the thriller, which sees a secret destroy his perfect life and send him on a collision course with a deadly conspiracy.

Price has a good life, two wonderful sons, and a watertight marriage, until one night a stranger sits next to him in a bar and tells him a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

The Stranger was one of my most challenging novels — and definitely the most twisted.  When I wrote it, I never imagined that I’d be part of a dream team of extraordinary talent bringing it to life,” Coben said.

Exclusive HEX WIVES Issue #4 Preview Goes For a Flight

What if witches were real? What if they walked among us? And what if they had absolutely no idea that they were witches?

That’s the premise of DC Vertigo’s series Hex Witches, which brings to life a scenario in which a coven of witches is brainwashed to be Stepford-like suburban housewives. And this Wednesday will see that story continue when the fourth issue hits shelves. To give you a sample of what to expect, we’ve got an exclusive preview, which you can see below.

In issue #4, “After the catastrophic conclusion to last issue, Becky has a personal experience that proves not everything is as it seems in Desert Canyon. However, when she tries to explain what happened to Nadiya and Izzy, both are skeptical. After all, what kind of men keep secrets from their wives?

Written by Ben Blacker with art by Mirka Andolfo and a cover by Paulina Ganucheau, Hex Witches issue #4 comes out January 30 through DC Vertigo.

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Sundance 2019: THE LODGE Acquired by NEON

Following its well-received world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, The Lodge has been acquired by NEON.

According to Variety, NEON acquired the distribution rights to The Lodge, with a theatrical release being planned for sometime this year. An exact release date is not yet known, but we’ll keep Daily Dead readers updated as more details are announced.

The Lodge is the anticipated latest film from Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, the filmmakers behind 2014’s Goodnight Mommy. A movie from FilmNation and Hammer Films, The Lodge stars Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage, and Daniel Keough.

Synopsis (via Sundance): “Devoted to their devastated mother, siblings Aidan and Mia resent Grace, the younger woman their newly separated father plans to marry. They flatly reject Grace’s attempts to bond, and they dig up dirt on her tragic past—but soon they find themselves trapped with her, snowed in in a remote holiday village after their dad heads back to the city for work. Just as relations begin to thaw, strange and frightening events threaten to unearth psychological demons from Grace’s strictly religious childhood.”

Daily Dead Managing Editor Heather Wixson is covering Sundance live in Park City (check here to catch up on all of our coverage). Here are her initial thoughts on The Lodge:

The post Sundance 2019: THE LODGE Acquired by NEON appeared first on Daily Dead.

Martial Arts Zombie Horror Fantasy Epic RAMPANT Debuts on Digital, Blu-ray Combo & DVD February 26!

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  “Rampant finally gives us the Korean epic-scale zombie film we never knew we needed.” ~ DREAD CENTRAL “a well-packaged display of […]

The post Martial Arts Zombie Horror Fantasy Epic RAMPANT Debuts on Digital, Blu-ray Combo & DVD February 26! appeared first on Horrorphilia.

Kickass Art Series from BossLogic Fan Casts a New ‘Mortal Kombat’ Movie

Not only is Mortal Kombat 11 coming early this year but there’s also lots of talk about the iconic characters coming to the screen in other forms, including rumors of an animated series along with a long-gestating live action reboot that James Wan is attached to produce.

How would you fan cast that potential live action film? Well, our pal BossLogic just put together his own fantasy casting, and of course, his picks come along with kickass artwork.

BossLogic spent the weekend sharing his Mortal Kombat fantasy art, which includes Terry Crews as Jax, Doug Jones as Reptile, Gal Gadot as Kitana and Keanu Reeves as Kenshi!

Here’s hoping that new live action movie is as cool as this art…

Terry Crews as Jax

Gal Gadot as Kitana

Gal Gadot as Mileena

Keanu Reeves as Kenshi

Dwayne Johnson as Shao Kahn

Chris Pratt as Johnny Cage

Travis Fimmel as Kano

Michael Fassbender as Raiden

Zoe Saldana as Jade

Doug Jones as Reptile