2013 has the potential to be a money year for horror and filmmaker James Wan (Saw) deserves some of the credit for that. He's releasing two spooky movies this summer - The Conjuring and the sequel Insidious Chapter 2 - and is assisting development on another supernatural horror project (which may or may not end up titled House of Horror), both producing and drawing from his original story.
Wan's project tells the tale of a police officer and psychologist, who partner up and interrogate the lone survivor of a doomed ghost hunt in the hope of finding out just what really happened. Former post-production supervisor Max La Bella (Childrens Hospital) is turning Wan's story into a screenplay and Will Canon (Brotherhood) has lined up to direct.
Variety is reporting that Maria Bello and Frank Grillo are onboard to headline the project, which Dimension Films is planning to release with a 'James Wan Presents' endorsement. Lee Clay (Very Good Girls) is producing alongside Wan and tentative expectations are that production will begin this year. A release in the first quarter of 2014 might even be in the cards, since it's a lower-budgeted horror offering that shouldn't require either a long filming and/or post-production period.
Bello's a respected (and twice Golden Globe-nominated) actress - thanks to her performances in films like The Cooler, A History of Violence and World Trade Center - who balances out her artsier efforts with appearances in commercial fare like The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Grown-Ups. Meanwhile, Grillo's making a name for himself with memorable roles in recent titles such as Warrior, The Grey and End of Watch as well as Zero Dark Thirty and Gangster Squad. He appears as 'Crossbones' in Captain America: The Winter Soldier next year.
More and more cinephiles are flocking to Wan, as he's shown an interest in making original horror content that takes the genre back to its legitimately scary, but also thoughtful and morally-responsible, roots (after his breakout hit Saw inadvertently kicked off the 'torture porn' craze). That sets apart any film he becomes involved with, especially when matched up against found-footage sequels (Last Exorcism Part II, Paranormal Activity 5) and upcoming remakes (Carrie, Evil Dead).
We'll keep you posted on Wan's House of Horror project (if only for that reason).