Writer/director Mark Duplass (Baghead, Jeff Who Lives At Home) has successfully been branching out into acting with roles on Zero Dark Thirty and Safety Not Guaranteed. Now, (per Deadline) he’s going a step further with Mercy for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions.
Pic is based on a Stephen King story, “Gramma”, from his “Skeleton Crew” collection. In the story two boys visit their grandmother only to discover that she’s a witch. Frances O’Connor, Chandler Riggs, Joel Courtney, Dylan McDermott, Shirley Knight and Chris Browning are also set star.
The Haunting in Connecticut‘s Peter Cornwell is directing from a script by Matt Greenberg. Jason Blum will produce with McG and Mary Viola from Wonderland Sound and Vision.
*My headline has been misconstrued as being 100% serious. I’d like to clarify that it’s only 62.3% serious. Obviously there’s a little bit of sarcasm involved when I say something uber-portentous like “The Very Institution Of Horror.” Anyway, Black Rock, director Katie Aselton’s survival horror tale, “follows three childhood friends as they set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.”
The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year and I was surprised by the negative reaction. I mean, the pedigree is really good! Written by Mark Duplass (Baghead, Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Cyrus) and directed by Aselton (whose film The Freebie is actually supposed to be pretty good), you’d think that this would be the kind of thing where people with dramatic/comedy chops get a chance to do something fresh with horror. But everything I’ve heard – and the trailer backs this up – is that this is an unfortunate case of people who think they’re above the genre “slumming” in it for various reasons. Perhaps ineloquently, I summed up my feelings on it here almost a year ago.
Ryan Daley’s admittedly mixed-to-positive review says “There’s plenty of nail-biting tension in ‘Black Rock’, but that tension fades with every stupid decision the characters make, and audience frustration eventually builds to the bursting point. It‘s one of those movies that makes you want to yell at the screen.”
Again, I haven’t seen Black Rock – but I will and I have every intention of giving it a fair chance when I do. I hope I love it, but I haven’t felt this irked by a movie sight-unseen in some time.
Head inside to check out the trailer. READ MORE