No sooner have you got the last fake blood stains out of your best shirt and put away the Peter Cushing DVDs until next Halloween than a whole raft of horror news appears, like a grasping undead hand from the frozen earth. And undead is right, because some of this news concerns resurrections and reanimations, or as they're more commonly known in Hollywood, “sequels”.
First up comes word of “The Purge 2," greenlit after “The Purge” made 10 times its entire budget in one weekend back in June (not actually all that hard, on a $3 million budget). At this stage we don't know much about the sequel, but we do know that the team behind the camera will be staying largely the same, with James DeMonaco (“Skinwalkers”, the “Assault on Precinct 13” remake) returning to write and direct, and Michael Bay's money backing him up. No further details yet, but they probably won't mess with the formula too much. [Variety] Updated: Universal Pictures will release the next chapter of THE PURGE on Friday, June 20, 2014.
This year's other major horror success, “The Conjuring," is also getting a sequel, and a rumored spin-off entitled “Annabell,” and New Line is aiming for the same sort of success with “Crawlspace,” to be directed by Phil Claydon (of the unutterably bad British 2009 flick “Lesbian Vampire Killers”). James Wan—who directed “The Conjuring”, as well as the original “Saw”, and is thus arguably (depressingly?) the most influential young horror director around today—is producing the Gary Dauberman penned story "about a family that moves into a new house and immediately falls prey to strange occurrences. But what seems like a traditional supernatural thriller gets twisty when the rug is pulled from under both the family and the audience." [THR]
Finally, something a little more unusual in the form of “XX”, a newly-announced horror anthology, with all its segments directed by women: namely, Jennifer Lynch (“Boxing Helena,” “Chained”), Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight,” “Jennifer's Body”), the Soska sisters (“Dead Hooker in a Trunk,” “American Mary”), Mary Harron (“American Psycho”), and Jovanka Vuckovic (“The Captured Bird,” “The Guest”). That's a pretty mixed bag of films, but the horror anthology is a noble artform, and horror with female themes tends to punch above its weight (“Boxing Helena” pun not intended). Sounds like a neat idea, says producer Todd Brown, because: "We know that women make up about half of the audience for horror films, and yet female creative voice has been nearly silent in the horror genre.” [THR]