The Blackcoat’s Daughter, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, and Gretel & Hansel director Osgood Perkins’ next movie may be an adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s mind-bending tale of psychological horror A Head Full of Ghosts.
And today, Perkins talked a bit about his take on the material with our buddies over at Bloody Disgusting, saying: “It’s certainly a script that I’m happy about. Whether or not that becomes a movie, you know how it goes. What I liked about it is that what I saw in it, which was a change I made both from the novel and from the drafts that existed before I came aboard, was the quality of, I wanted to make sure it was really a movie about the young woman who had suffered a trauma that she was never going to be okay about.”
He continues: “She was never going to recover from [the trauma], she was never going to be alright. And I felt like to create a portraiture of someone who had experienced an unimaginable loss, and it connects to my own personal life experience… it was almost like an opportunity to take care of a character who I could understand had been really permanently heartbroken.”
He adds: “I would say that the script at this point is sort of looser than not. The good news is that the writer is really pleased with what I’ve done and has been kind and generous enough to say so. He calls it a sister. He calls the script and the novel sisters, which I think is great.”
For those that might not know, A Head Full of Ghost was the winner of the 2015 Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. It’s a chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist.
More specifically, it centers on the lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, who are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show, and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long-ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.