SUNDAY 8:30 AM, 3RD UPDATE: As Summer 2013 whimpers to a …
Sunday night at SXSW Lionsgate finally began its long campaign to build You’re Next into a potential late summer hit. Adam Wingard’s slasher pic was the toast of the 2011 Toronto Midnight Madness line-up (see Mike Fleming’s report on its hot sale to Lionsgate here). But a few months later Lionsgate merged with Summit and the indie horror got bumped down the priority line. A year after inking the deal, the studio set the family home invasion pic for August 2013 — a two year delay that could have been (and still might be) the kiss of death to all the buzz shored up from its handful of film festival screenings.
SXSW 2013: Abigail Breslin In ‘Haunter’, ‘Lords Of Salem’, ‘You’re Next’, ‘Big Ass Spider’ Lead Midnighters
Sixteen-year-old Abigail Breslin leads her first horror pic in Haunter, from director Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice), which will world-premiere in the Midnight line-up at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The slate also reunites Innkeepers (SXSW ’11) duo Pat Healy and Sarah Paxton, who star with Ethan Embry and David Koechner in first-time director E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills, while the Greg Grunberg-starring creature feature Big Ass Spider (sold overseas as, ahem, Mega Spider) sends creepy-crawly shivers through the midnight crowd.
Also unveiling for the late-night genre crowd at the fest, held March 8-16 in Austin, are Rob Zombie’s Lords Of Salem, releasing April 19 via Anchor Bay, the festival slasher fave You’re Next, which Lionsgate will open August 23, the anthology sequel V/H/S/2 (re-titled from S-VHS) snapped up by Magnolia last month at Sundance, and Xan Cassavetes’ sexy vampire pic Kiss Of The Damned starring Milo Ventimiglia and Joséphine de La Baume.
Below, descriptions of the nine features in SXSW’s Midnight selection along with the fest’s extensive slate of short films including narrative shorts, doc shorts, and music videos:
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
Director: Vincenzo Natali, Screenwriter: Brian King
Lisa Johnson is one day shy of her 16th birthday and will be forever. She and her family are doomed to repeat the fateful day before they were all killed in 1985. Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, David Hewlett (World Premiere)
BREAKING: One of the hot titles of the Toronto Film Festival, the horror film You’re Next, has sold to Lionsgate. I reported in my festival analysis story that Lionsgate was making this deal, and had been hearing for the better part of a week it was hot and heavy with CAA in negotiating a low-seven-figure minimum guarantee and P&A commitment for the film some feel could have the box-office breakout potential of 2010 Toronto’s Insidious, based on the raucous response the film received at screenings. You’re Next was directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, the team behind the 2010 Toronto film A Horrible Way to Die. It was a competitive situation, with The Weinstein Company and Paramount and Indian Paintbrush also circling the deal. This negotiation has been going on since the film’s first screening September 10 in the Midnight Madness program. The deal took awhile because it anticipates the possibility that it might launch a franchise with future installments, which the filmmakers have strong control in. The theatrical release will be wide and most likely occur in fall 2012.
In You’re Next, a family comes under a terrifying and sadistic attack during a reunion getaway. Stranded in a secluded home, they are forced to fight off a barrage of axes, crossbows and machetes. The killers soon discover that one of the victims is surprisingly talented at fighting back. Keith Calder, Jessica Wu and Barrett produced the film that stars Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci and Barbara Crampton.