The Last Horror Blog: New Universal Monsters, 'The Grudge,' 'Doctor Sleep'

The Last Horror Blog: New Universal Monsters, 'The Grudge,' 'Doctor Sleep'

Jan 31, 2019

The Mummy

Blumhouse and Leigh Whannell tackle Universal Monsters – Reports that Universal’s 'Dark Universe' franchise is dead appear to be premature.

While Tom Cruise's The Mummy (above) didn’t exactly set the world on fire, it did apparently convince the studio that they need to hand over their classic horror properties to people who actually understand them, people like Jason Blum at Blumhouse and filmmaker Leigh Whannell. The team has been tapped with developing an updated version of The Invisible Man.

Here are the details from Variety:

"Upgrade director Leigh Whannell has signed on to direct an Invisible Man movie. The movie reunites him with Jason Blum, who is set to produce the Universal Pictures movie through his Blumhouse Productions banner. The move is part of a fresh strategy for the Universal monsters properties, bringing creative directors with distinctive visions to the classic characters."

I’m not entirely convinced an Invisible Man movie is the best starting point to get modern audiences interested in Universal’s slate of classic horror icons, but if anyone can do it, it’s probably Blum and Whannell. We’ll keep you posted on this one as it works its way through development.


The Grudge reboot delayed – If you were looking forward to catching Nicolas Pesce’s reboot of The Grudge franchise this June, I’ve got bad news for you: it's been delayed.

Exhibitor Relations broke the news on Twitter, revealing that the film will now shift to a January 3, 2020 opening date. Honestly, that’s probably for the best.

January has proven to be a good month for genre films over the past few years, probably because everyone’s tired of feel-good holiday treacle after Christmas. A film like The Grudge is likely to get lost in June – nearing the heart of the summer blockbuster season – and more likely to find an appreciative audience in the dead of winter.




Doctor Sleep gets a release date – If you’ve been looking forward to Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, today is a good day. Warner Bros. has given the film an official release date.

The film is now slated to hit theaters on November 8, moving up from its original January 2020 date.

The new film finds Danny Torrance as an adult battling with the ghosts of his past and a nomadic group of vampiric creatures traveling the highways of America. Flanagan is no stranger to King adaptations, having helmed Gerald’s Game, based on the author’s book, for Netflix.

No trailer yet, but we’ll have it for you when it debuts.


Don’t go in the woods after watching this Between the Trees trailer – Woodland horror is alive and well in this new trailer for the upcoming indie Between the Trees. I’m guessing you’ll think twice about your next camping trip after watching this clip.

Director Brad Douglas' film hits VOD on March 5. Until then, check out the trailer and synopsis and see what you think.

"Steve, suffering from a collapsing marriage, invites his three closest friends on a weekend retreat to the mountains only to discover his real troubles are in the trees that surround them. They encounter a deranged killer and their fun weekend becomes a deadly fight for survival."


Horror on the Horizon

Hard to believe it’s February already (wasn’t it just Halloween?), but as the calendar flips to a new month, it comes bearing gifts in the form of horror movies.

The remake of Jacob’s Ladder was originally slated for release on February 1. Adrian Lyne’s original 1990 film is a cult classic, filled with haunting imagery and great performances. I’m not sure why anyone would feel the need to remake it, but here we are. The updated version features David Rosenthal in the director’s chair, and has been in development for quite some time. Reportedly, the release date has been moved, though no new date has been set yet.

February 8 brings us The Prodigy, which finds a mother worried that a supernatural evil has possessed her young son.

Also opening in limited release is The Amityville Murders, which examines the real-life crime that took place in the Amityville house before the Lutzes moved in years later.


Horror on Home Video

Not a ton of big titles coming on Blu-ray over the next two weeks, but here are a few things to anticipate.

February 5 brings us the latest Cloverfield title, The Cloverfield Paradox, which debuted last year on Netflix.

"Producer J.J. Abrams takes you deeper into the Cloverfield universe than ever before with this mysterious sci-fi thriller. Orbiting Earth on the brink of a devastating energy war, scientists prepare to test a device that could provide unlimited power or trap them in a terrifying alternate reality. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl and Chris O’Dowd, The Cloverfield Paradox is the ultimate journey into the unknown."

There are more options for great titles to add to your collection on February 12.

Get in the holiday spirit with Valentine, which is available from our friends at Scream Factory today. There really aren’t enough Valentine’s Day themed horror flicks.

You can also grab Synapse’s two-disc collector’s edition of cult classic Popcorn today. If you’ve never seen that one, I highly recommend it.

Still the big release today is Arrow’s new special edition of Takashi Miike’s unforgettable film Audition. Just look at this list of extras:

?  Brand new 2K restoration of original vault elements

?  Original 5.1 Dolby Surround Audio

?  Optional English subtitles

?  Audio commentary with director Takashi Miike and screenwriter Daisuke Tengan

?  Brand new commentary by Miike biographer Tom Mes examining the film and its source novel

?  Introduction by Miike

?  Ties that Bind: A brand new interview with Takashi Miike

?  Interviews with stars Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Renji Ishibashi and Ren Osugi

?  Damaged Romance: An appreciation by Japanese cinema historian Tony Rayns

?  Trailers

?  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

?  FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel

If you’ve never seen Audition, you’re in for a treat.

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