Welsh production company Pillay-Evans Productions announced today that it has teamed up with independent producer Adam Stephen Kelly to produce and develop a remake of 1960’s classic British horror film, The City of the Dead, known in the USA as Horror Hotel.
The film is to be written and directed by BAFTA member SJ Evans, who made his feature debut to critical acclaim with the documentary Tattoos: A Scarred History.
“A young coed (Nan Barlow) uses her winter vacation to research a paper on witchcraft in New England. Her professor (Christopher Lee) recommends that she spend her time in a small village called Whitewood. Things begin to happen in earnest when she finds herself marked for sacrifice by the undead coven of witches” Evans noted, “The remake of THE CITY OF THE DEAD will stay true to the original and concentrate on atmosphere and good old fashioned storytelling, instead of relying on gore or CGI to move the plot along. I grew up watching the classic Universal horrors and was inspired by how the likes of James Whale created this sense of dread and unease with just a look. I want to bring that style of filmmaking back to the big screen instead of another music video, quick-cut horror film. We are all very excited by the prospect of bringing one of the greatest witchcraft films ever made to a new audience and know that fans of the original will be satisfied with the effort we are making to honour this classic.”
Pillay-Evans Productions is fast becoming synonymous with British horror with the upcoming original features SHADOWS WITHIN, NEW YEAR’S EVIL, THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK PART II, directed by genre legend Ruggero Deodato, and the currently in-production DEAD OF THE NITE, starring horror icon Tony Todd.
Kelly, best known for his work with Ain’t It Cool News under the pseudonym Britgeek, added, “It’s our intention to take British horror back to its roots. With our film, we’re going back to what made the genre we love great. Over the last year or so, we’ve seen attitudes towards the genre changing and audiences are growing tired of being grossed out. They’re after the next big scare. With THE CITY OF THE DEAD, we aim to make a film that evokes emotion from the audience because of its characters, atmosphere and tension, rather than how much blood is spilled. We’re going to combine classic genre tropes with a classic story to create something that will take a 21st century audience for a ride.”