Exclusive: Jeff Buhler Talks Pet Sematary Reboot and Takes Us Into the Zombie Underworld - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Jeff Buhler Talks Pet Sematary Reboot and Takes Us Into the Zombie Underworld

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We caught up recently with Insanitarium filmmaker and Midnight Meat Train screenwriter Jeff Buhler, who offered us an exclusive update on director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s upcoming reboot of the 1989 horror feature Pet Sematary for Paramount, as well as the first news on Fox’s Into the Zombie Underworld, a feature which he’s developing with Fresnadillo.

A remake of the original 1989 horror classic, which was directed by Mary Lambert and based on the novel of the same name by horror legend Stephen King, Buhler said of the status of his scripted re-imagining of Pet Sematary, “Since last we spoke [see our previous coverage here], director Juan Carlos and I literally spent another three months going over the script and fine-tuning the horror to the place where it needed to be.”

Buhler expounded of the reboot, which is being produced for Paramount by Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Mark Varhadian, “The characters in this script make some tragic decisions, and the horror is about the ramifications of those decisions. There are still the supernatural aspects of the book, with the pet cemetery and the burial ground from which things come back from the dead, but the real horror is, ‘What do these things do to the family? What does it do to a person to see their child killed, but then to know that they can bring them back? How do you tussle with that idea? And if and when you make that choice, what does that do to you? Will that child be the same? How can life ever return to normal?’”

He continued of their take, “This is pretty far from the 1980’s film, which I adore for certain things that are very intrinsic to that time period in terms of the genre, like a truck driver smoking a joint to a Ramones song. But when a little kid comes back with a scalpel and is like, ‘I want to play with you,’ it kind of becomes Chucky. With this one, we really wanted to get into the emotional aspects of it. There’s still plenty of visceral horror that’s explored, but I’ve always felt that if you lean more into the characters and into their emotional lives, when the visceral shit hits the fan, it’s ten times more scary.”

As for an intended start date of principal photography, Buhler said, “Right now the film’s budget is up for approval at the studio. We have the new script [completed] and will be ready to go when Juan Carlos returns from New York in August. He’s currently there shooting a pilot called ‘Falling Water’ for Gale Anne Hurd’s company, so hopefully things will be up and running in terms of production by the end of the year.”

Not one to rest on his laurels (Buhler’s also got a reboot of The Grudge set up at Ghost House Pictures, a remake of Jacob’s Ladder at LD Entertainment, the original feature The Hell Within with guitarist/producer Slash, and the feature Descendant; you can read about the latter here), while polishing Pet Sematary with Fresnadillo, the pair also commenced work on yet another feature script/project, this one for Fox, entitled Into the Zombie Underworld.

“We are working on the script right now,” offered Buhler. “It’s based on this article about a guy who went to Haiti when his wife was part of the UN peacekeeping mission there, just before the earthquake. The article had some parallels to The Serpent and the Rainbow, in that he started digging into the secret voodoo world that exists there. He embarked on this mystery, learned how neurotoxins work, and of the hidden zombie world, which is a very real thing. The article was fascinating, and we’re adapting it now as a feature.”

Of their take, Buhler stated, “I love zombie movies, but I feel that the supernatural version of zombies that we’ve seen in television and cinema has really been explored in every different possible way recently. This was a chance to take a step back and to explore the roots of the mythology [because] the idea of people coming back ‘from the dead’ is a very real thing. They are poisoned and paralyzed and buried, and it’s real. It’s been documented by numerous sources. These people are not monsters. They’re victims. Essentially they’re being trafficked. There’s a whole underground market for people that have been turned into brain-dead slaves from neurotoxins and brainwashing, and it’s really crazy and incredibly scary.”

“Another element I find interesting is that from a Western perspective we always think, ‘As Americans, we are here to help. We are going to come to your country and fix it.’ And it’s like, ‘Hey, we don’t want you to. This is part of our culture. Haiti has zombies.’ I think somewhere I read a quote that said, ‘In Haiti ninety percent of the country is Catholic, and one hundred percent believes in voodoo.’ It is just part of their fabric of life, and you can’t reset a culture, especially one that has no interest in changing. In fact, chances are better that it changes you, and that’s interesting to me.”

Stick around for Buhler’s exclusive updates on The Grudge reboot, The Hell Within, and more in the coming days.

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Blade Runner 2049 Blu-ray Release Date and Special Features Announced

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Hoo-ray! I have been waiting for this day for the past two months (or, you know, 36 years) as this is the day that we have the release date, cover art, and special features for director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049.

As we told you guys a few weeks back, the film was considered a disappointment at the box office (considering its budget) so hopefully once the film hits Blu-ray it will become a cult hit – just like the original.

You can check out all of the details below. Do you plan on buying Blade Runner 2049 on Blu-ray? Let us know below!

Blade Runner 2049 was directed by Denis Villeneuve from a script by Hampton Fancher (who wrote the original) and Michael Green. The script was based off a story by Hampton Fancher, which in was turn based on the original film’s source material, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick.

The film stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Edward James Olmos, David Dastmalchian, Lennie James, Barkhad Abdi, Sylvia Hoeks, Hiam Abbass, Carla Juri, David Benson, Ellie Wright, and Kingston Taylor.

Blade Runner 2049 hits Digital on December 26th and 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on January 16th.

Special features:

  • Designing the World of Blade Runner 2049 featurette
  • To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049 featurette
  • Blade Runner 101:
    • The Replicant Evolution
    • Blade Runners
    • The Rise of Wallace Corp
    • Welcome to 2049
    • Jois
    • Within the Skies: Spinners, Pilotfish and Barracudas
  • 2022: Black Out prologue
  • 2036: Nexus Dawn prologue
  • 2048: Nowhere to Run prologue

BUY IT HERE.

Synopsis:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

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Exclusive: Director Jeremy Wechter and Exec Producer P.J. Starks Talk The Viral Demon

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I don’t know about you guys but I’ve never had an issue with found footage flicks. I know there are a ton of horror fans out there that all but detest the subgenre, but I’m always down for a first-person fright flick.

Speaking of which, today we wanted to bring you not only the trailer for writer-director Jeremy Wechter’s upcoming The Viral Demon (review), but we also had the chance to speak with producer PJ Starks and writer-director Jeremy Wechter about the film and you can check out their exclusive quotes below.

After looking through all of that, make sure to hit us up and let us know what do you think of writer-director Jeremy Wechter’s The Viral Demon thus far below!

“Jeremy contacted me back in September with questions regarding distribution following the release of VOB: Horror Stories,” Starks told us. “We got to chatting and I found out more about his film The Viral Demon, which I was then fortunate enough to see. I liked his approach and the narrative he devised is pretty inventive. I hadn’t yet dabbled in this area of the supernatural, meaning demons and witchcraft. I’m also a huge fan of found footage films but never had the opportunity to actually be part of one. Jeremy asked me to come on board the project and I gladly accepted. I’m excited to see what happens with the film. I think horror fans of this type of sub-genres will really like what he’s done.”

Writer-director Jeremy Wechter then talked a bit about some of the challenges he faced in the making of this film, saying “Each location in every window of the video-chat was shot totally separately. Therefore, we had to shoot the movie from beginning to end in every location, then move on to the next location and start all over again. This made post-production quite tricky since there are multiple windows onscreen at any given time. It’s kind of like editing five movies simultaneously while needing to keep them all matched up.”

That sounds like a lot of work and a ton of plates to keep spinning at all times. But I have faith the guys can pull it off and I cannot wait to find out first-hand once the film hits… Whenever that may be. We’ll keep you up to date!

The film is written and directed by Jeremy Wechter and executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the Volumes of Blood franchise and executive producer of 10/31, Butcher the Bakers, and Close Calls.

For more info, you can follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Or visit the official site HERE.

Synopsis:

Four college friends participate in an annual video chat that goes horribly wrong when an ancient evil, imprisoned by witchcraft, is inadvertently released. Witness the hellish first night of demonic possession as it unfolds in real-time. As the possessions multiply and the body count rises, their night of fun becomes a race to stop the evil before it can spread across the world through electronic means. Knowing who to trust is the key to survival.

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Check Out this Bright New Trailer from Netflix

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A new trailer for Netflix’s Bright has arrived under our Xmas tree; and being that we’ve been good boys and girls, we figured we ought to share it!

Directed by David Ayer, who reunites with his Suicide Squad cast of Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, the film imagines our world but with mystical beasts living side-by-side with humans. As a result, when crimes are committed by other species, it takes some delicacy to work out a solution.

Look for Bright, written by Max Landis, on December 22nd. Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz, Enrique Murciano, Jay Hernandez, Andrea Navedo, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Margaret Cho, Brad William Henke, Dawn Oliveri, and Kenneth Choi co-star with Smith and Edgerton.

Synopsis:
Set in an alternate present day where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been co-existing since the beginning of time, Bright is a genre-bending action movie that follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) embark on a routine patrol night and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it.

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