What’s happening in the world of horror movies this month…
The kids aren’t alright this month, from the shy, secretive fishworker in excellent Scando chiller When Animals Dream, to the bullied kid with a serial killer for a brother in low budget curio Found. Then there’s two little zombie girls, Maggie and Melanie, making their way to big screens soon. Plus David Lynch gets an alarming offer...
One of my favourite books of the last year, MR Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts is getting a movie adap. Hooray! It’s the story of a gorgeous, loving, super- smart little girl called Melanie, who also happens to be a zombie. I must admit I’ve been having serious zombie- fatigue of late, but somehow The Girl With All The Gifts feels new – from the careful world- building, the phenomenally chilling ending, to the highly likeable characters ( Gemma Arterton is set to star as Melanie’s kind- hearted teacher, Glenn Close as the scientist searching for a cure, with Paddy Considine as the soldier trying to protect them). The director is Colm McCarthy, who made decent gritty monster movie Outcast – so far, so promising, except one thing. They’ve changed the title to She Who Brings Gifts. Horrendous. For a start, The Girl With All The Gifts is alliterative and trips off the tongue, second it means something ( it’s related to the Pandora myth) and finally She Who Brings Gifts sounds like a sort of sinister Santa and not a perfect child blessed with grace, intelligence, kindness and beauty as well as something a bit more sinister besides. Still, if that’s the biggest change I’ll love this anyway – Carey himself developed the script concurrent with the novel so this has every chance of being a masterpiece.
Dad of the dead
More little girl zombies in the new trailer for Maggie, a family drama/ undead horror starring Abigail Breslin as the titular teen infected by the virus with Arnold Schwarzenegger himself as the loving father who wants to stay by her side during the change. This was developed from a blacklist screenplay ( the annual list of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood) by feature first- timer Henry Hobson and despite the heavyweight cast and the intriguing trailer I’m nervous. Originally this was going to star Paddy Considine and Chloë Grace Moretz, which sounded perfect. Then the film was going to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, which often debuts the best new horror around, but it got pulled at the last minute by Lionsgate who’d just acquired it. And now it’s getting an early May US release, right in the middle of blockbuster season, after a first screening at Tribeca. Who is this for? Horror fans? Arnie- philes? Eighties action aficionados? Call me cynical but this could be DOA.
Cheap and nast y
It’s a truth universally acknowledged among committed horror fans that we’ll put up with a certain level of, let’s say, “rough edges” if a film is clever/ compelling/ gory/ funny/ frightening enough. We’ll swallow vaguely hammy acting. We’ll call graininess “authentic grit”. We’ll take excessive use of ketchup on the chin. But there is a tipping point, and Found, an interesting, compelling but grimy chiller out now on DVD, is only just on the right side. Directed by no one you’ve heard
Looks like he’s Found an excuse to get out of the decorating…