Exorcist Author William Peter Blatty Dead at 89

Horror News Network is sad to announce the death of The Exorcist writer William Peter Blatty.  The news was announced today by collaborator and friend William Friedkin on twitter.  Friedkin directed the adaptation of Blatty’s novel which was scripted by Blatty himself.

The Exorcist is considered by many experts as the greatest horror film of all time.  The supernatural shocker captivated audiences in 1973 and currently sits at number nine on the all-time box office list (when adjusted for inflation).  The film not only terrified movie goers, but also inadvertently increased attendance at local churches around the country and the world, putting “the fear of God (or more likely Pazuzu)” into lapsed Catholics everywhere.

Blatty also wrote a sequel to the Exorcist in 1983 called Legion. He would go on to adapt and direct the story in the form of the film The Exorcist III.  Although the film was not initially well received by critics or fans in 1990, it has since been given new life by those who have warmed to the differences between the classic original and Blatty’s direct sequel.

The Fox Network recently adapted the Exorcist into a television series, using Blatty’s work as the source material.   The show’s creator Jeremy Slater spoke about the tough task of adapting a classic and said that Blatty was “…incredibly excited. We can’t wait for him to come visit on set because this really is his baby. This is the world he created and right now we’re just trying to do it justice.”

William Peter Blatty was 89 years old.  He will certainly be missed by every horror fan who ever read one of his novels or watched his ground breaking film.

 

 

 

Goodman Signs On To Alien Film Captive State

Fresh off of his remarkable performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane, John Goodman now has his sights set on extraterrestrials.  According to the folks over at Collider, director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, TV’s The Exorcist) will helm a new sci-fi thriller called Captive State, starring Hollywood vet Goodman and set in inner-city Chicago.  But if you’re expecting a big-budget alien invasion flick, you won’t find it here…..in Captive State, the visitors are already here and have occupied the city for a decade.

In the studio’s official synopsis, Captive State “uses a grounded sci-fi setting to shine light on the modern surveillance state and the threats to civil liberties and the role of dissent within an authoritarian society.”  This is quite a different spin on the alien genre, more District 9 than Independence Day.  Still, it’s a gamble that will hopefully pay off with the movie-going public who are hungry for fresh ideas.  The inclusion of John Goodman can only strengthen the buzz ahead of pre-production.

Wyatt’s Captive State (which has also signed on Moonlight‘s Ashton Sanders to co-star) does not yet have an official release date, but is expected to premiere sometime in 2018.  Lionsgate will distribute the film, which will be financed through a partnership in Amblin Partners.

We at HNN look forward to this film, and will provide any further details as they are made available.

 

FX CEO Announces American Horror Story Will Continue For At Least Three More Seasons

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on FX again…American Horror Story returns for another three seasons!  Earlier in the fall, HNN announced that the long running series would return for a 7th season, but the Hollywood Reporter revealed that FX has added an additional two seasons, essentially extending the series for three more installments.

FX made the announcment at the annual Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.  FX CEO John Landgraf engaged in some typical hyperbole stating that, “American Horror Story launched the modern limited series revolution and — as evidenced by the most recent installment, Roanoke — it remains as vital today as when Murder House stunned audiences six years ago. Each new chapter is a cultural event, beloved for every new twist in imagery, style, cast and plot. We are thrilled that Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and the entire creative team will continue to deliver the groundbreaking, celebrated American Horror Story for years to come.”

Last seasons “Roanoke Nightmare”, opened to huge ratings (5.14 million viewers) but steadily declined, averaging 2.93 million viewers per episode. This was a slight increase over Season Five’s numbers with 2.89 viewers occupying a spot in Lady GaGa’s twisted “Hotel”.

Clues have already been dropping on the AHS twitter page about the plot of Season Seven, but it is anyone’s guess.  Regardless of what the focus is for the upcoming season, fans will certainly be cringing, screaming, or scratching their heads once it starts.

All-Female Directed Horror Anthology “XX” Releases Trailer

In a genre that was once helmed almost entirely by men, it is awesomely refreshing to see the amount of women making huge strides in horror. Jovanka Vuckovic is no stranger to the horror genre; she made her bones as Editor-In-Chief of Rue Morgue magazine and thrilled audiences and film festivals alike with her 2013 short film, The Captured Bird, which was executive produced by the legendary Guillermo del Toro.

Now the horror world awaits her latest effort in the anthology film XX. The film is made up of four different stories from four female directors. The stories are: Jovanka Vuckovic’s The Box, Roxanne Benjamin’s Don’t Fall, Karyn Kusama’s Only Living Son and musician St. Vincent (Annie Clark) rounds out the foursome with her directorial debut Birthday Party.

XX is set to make its grand premier at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before making its way to theaters and VOD on February 17th.

Check out the trailer below and keep it locked to Horror News Network for more news as it happens.

Stay gory my friends.

The Walking Dead Prepare for War in New Teaser Photos

The mid-season synopsis as well as some teaser pics were released today for “The Walking Dead.” Fans of both the original comic as well as fans of only the show will be happy to hear that the “second half of the season will focus on preparing for war and gathering the supplies and numbers to take Negan down once and for all.”

This sounds a lot like the “All Out War” storyline from the comics that has Rick (Andrew Lincoln) leading troops to attack Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan) on his own turf. Expect to see Rick and the others doing their best (and worst) to convince others to join them in this fight to take back control of their lives. “The Walking Dead” returns Sunday, February 12.

Katelyn Nacon as Enid, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Tom Payne as Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa; group – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Ross Marquand as Aaron, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler; group – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Season 7.
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Bates Motel Season 5 Trailer Arrives

“Bates Motel” returns to A&E Network on February 20th for its fifth and final season and a new trailer is available to let all the fans know what Norman has been doing in the meantime. If you are expecting a quick-cut montage, think again. The trailer is filmed more closely to single-shot format even though there are a few cuts throughout. This format shows us a great walk-through of the house and what has been going on since last season. Don’t expect much dialog either. In fact, there are only six words total. Regardless, the trailer can be best described as “chilling.” Check out the synopsis and the trailer below.

Synopsis: The haunting fifth and final season of the critically acclaimed drama, “Bates Motel,” from writers and executive producers Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) and Carlton Cuse (“Lost, “The Strain”) will premiere on Monday, February 20 at 10PM ET/PT on A&E. Fan favorite and Emmy-nominated actress Vera Farmiga returns for double duty as executive producer while also reprising her role as ‘Mother’ who is very much alive and well but only in the twisted, complicated mind of ‘Norman Bates’ played by Freddie Highmore. In addition, eight-time Grammy Award winner and series super fan Rihanna checks in to play the role of ‘Marion Crane,’ putting a newly reimagined and contemporary spin on the iconic character.

Showtime’s Twin Peaks Premiere Date Announced

Since being announced back in 2014, Showtime’s revival of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks has been an unusual- and sometimes rocky- ride. Lynch left the project in 2015, and returned after further negotiations with the network. Fortunately, fans of the series will be able to watch new content soon!

Showtime announced today that the two-hour premiere episode will air at 9:00 p.m. E.T. on May 21st, 2017. The series will contain a total of 18 episodes.

Known for its unusual characters and atmospheric storytelling, Twin Peaks originally took the television world by storm in 1990. It will be interesting to see how the series will continue to captivate viewers in the new age of premium television.

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for news on Twin Peaks as it breaks.

The CW Renews Supernatural and Announces Constantine Animated Series

The CW Network announced today at The Television Critics Association’s Winter 2017 Press Tour in Pasadena, CA that Supernatural would return for a thirteenth season and that Constantine would get new life as an animated short.  

IGN discovered further details about the Constantine animated series at the event.  The animated series will be exclusive to The CW’s digital service (CW Seed) and will consist of five to six 10-minute episodes.  John Constantine will be voiced by original star Matt Ryan (who also appeared in season Four of Arrow on the CW).

Constantine is also set to appear in animated form in Justice League Dark. The direct-to-video feature will be released on February 7th, 2017.

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more information about these shows and all things horror.

 

Underworld 5: Blood Wars Finishes Fourth at Weekend Box Office

Kicking off a very busy January and February for horror fans, Underworld 5: Blood Wars finished 4th at the weekend box office with just over $13 million dollars.

The total is the lowest opening in the history of the franchise, but not an unexpected one with stiff competition from “Space Race” drama Hidden Figures which narrowly beat Star Wars: Rogue One to finish in first place with $22,800, 057 at theaters this weekend.  In comparison, the fourth installment in the Underworld franchise (2012’s Underworld Awakening) opened with a $25 million dollar take at the box office (and slightly better reviews-if you care about a 26% positive Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score vs a 20% score for the latest entry).

Next week doesn’t get any easier for the Kate Beckinsale feature, as five new releases will be competing for consumer dollars and screens over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, including the horror film The Bye-Bye Man.   If you haven’t seen it yet, you may went to get to the theater within the next two weeks.

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for continued coverage of the plethora of horror films being released this winter season.

Capcom Offers 4D Virtual Reality Candle Accessory for Resident Evil 7

The folks at Capcom sure have gone out of their way to make us say “Okay, that’s weird!” throughout the production of Resident Evil 7. From the dramatic tonal shift present in its playable teaser demo (similar to the Silent Hills P.T. experience), to the USB stick resembling the demo’s mysterious severed finger that comes packaged with the game’s limited edition collector’s edition release, Capcom wants to keep us in the dark and scratching our heads until the game’s January 24th release date. Less is known about this game than any other Resident Evil game this close to release.

To make things even weirder, Merchoid has begun offering pre-orders for an official blood red Resident Evil 7 “4D virtual reality candle.” You’re supposed to light it and sniff it as you play the game. What’s the scent, you ask?

“WOOD, SWEAT AND FEARS: NOTES OF OLD TIMBER, LEATHER”

Not exactly Yankee Candle material, am I right? 

The merchant helpfully suggests, “You might want to open the window after a session with this if you have a date coming round.”

While this candle certainly isn’t for everyone, at the time of this writing the website currently has fewer than five candles left for pre-order. Who knew gamers were so eager to add the sense of smell to their gaming experiences!? With 4K HDR gaming and the proliferation of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, gaming is only going to get more and more realistic. I guess it’s up to the market to decide how real is too real. Who knows… maybe Resident Evil 8 will take a page out of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and it’ll be playable on the empathy box and Penfield Mood Organ!

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for all coverage of Resident Evil 7.