There isn’t another way to put it, the horror community is delirious for its impending return to Derry, Maine. Since Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema released the IT teaser, records for trailer views have been shattered and even naysayers who had been hesitant about a new vision on a classic tale suddenly found themselves optimistic.
However, in a recent press release, Ginger Knight Entertainment offered a reminder that there’s “another clown horror film lurking in the shadows.” Crepitus is waiting to pounce this fall, but with IT scheduled to hit theatres a month before, GKE is referring to the match-up as “a true David and Goliath story” that begs the question, “Can Crepitus topple the King?”
With hundreds of millions of trailer-views under IT’s belt, topple might be a strong word, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, for reasons that that have nothing to do with Crepitus.
There’s a history that comes with IT that Crepitus simply doesn’t have. Stephen King’s novel terrified legions long before ABC turned the master of horror’s story into a two-night miniseries that starred Tim Curry, a project that has haunted the collective unconscious of a generation ever since.
Pennywise is not only a titan within the genre, but enjoys crossover appeal even among those who would not be considered die-hard horror fans. So let’s call it what it is – a brand. IT and Pennywise are brands with a track record, and that’s never an easy thing to compete against.
But that doesn’t mean horror fans don’t have room in their hearts for a new character to join the pantheon of terrifying clowns.
We’re not allowed to forget that we knew nothing of Captain Spaulding until 2003, a full 13 years after IT traumatized anyone who dared tune in. Fourteen years after House of 1000 Corpses and almost three decades since the original IT, we are on the verge of being introduced to Crepitus.
In the interest of suspense (and to the surprise of no one), details have been few and far between regarding the soon to be unveiled jester. While we know that this clown’s garb will be reminiscent of creepy clown outfits from the 1920s and ‘30s, Crepitus’ movement will conjure images of Rice Krispies because he snaps, crackles and pops as he maneuvers about, and happens to be an eater of children; but that’s not the most important point to keep in mind.
Part of what made Pennywise so menacingly memorable came from the fact that he was portrayed by Curry, a supremely talented actor who not only captured King’s vision for the character, but made it uniquely his own.
Crepitus is poised to follow a similar path.
GKE’s clown will not fight the uphill battle of being played by an unknown actor or young up-and-comer, but rather by genre legend Bill Moseley.
In an interview with Horror Geek Life, first time feature director Haynze Whitmore noted that an encounter with Moseley at Motor City Nightmares in 2015 led to the fulfillment of his wildest dreams. Whitmore and writers Eddie and Sarah Renner had been in contact with Moseley’s agent and shared that they had a script they wanted him to look at.
Of course, the filmmakers tempered their enthusiasm because it was Bill Moseley and his price tag had to be taken into consideration with a shoestring budget. But as Whitmore pointed out, a cameo appearance “as a cop or something” would be a victory because “just having him in it would be amazing.”
Not long after, Whitmore and the Renners received the email of a lifetime. Its message was simple – Moseley had read the script and loved it, and wanted to don the clown makeup.
Suddenly the Crepitus project had gone from a strong concept to boasting of a title character that would be played by a name that resonates with genre fanatics, to say nothing of the alcoholic and abusive mother portrayed by Dexter’s Eve Mauro. Add Lance Paul (Dark Roads 79) as Sheriff Jed along with promising newcomer Caitlin Williams and Chalet Brannan (Cyborg X) as Mauro’s daughters, and things were looking very promising indeed.
Whitmore jokingly referred to Crepitus as the “feel-good Disney” flick that Team Mouse would never release, but thankfully, Ginger Knight’s horror sensibilities give them no such pause.
The final shoot will begin on April 18 in the little town of Cheboygan, Michigan with projected release in October. With limited resources, Crepitus will be less polished than IT, but in a good way. That’s not to say it won’t be well written, acted or directed, but rather more indicative of mood and theme. Crepitus intends to be dark, disturbed and gritty.
Whitmore noted that while Crepitus talks in riddles, unlike Pennywise there’s no trickery with this clown – what you see is what you get. Whitmore also made a point to say that Moseley’s screen-time won’t be overdone because the director wants Crepitus to have what he called “the Jaws effect.” Whitmore desires for his cannibalistic clown to have an air of mystery so that audiences squirm at his crackling approach, “not knowing” what to expect. In other words, Whitmore delights in the fact that Crepitus with “toy with people’s minds.”
From Ginger Knight’s press release:
Seventeen-year old Elizabeth and her younger sister Sam are thrust into circumstances more terrifying than life with their abusive, drunken mother when they are forced to move into their deceased Grandfather’s house. Frightened beyond belief, they are forced to learn terrible things about their family history. Never mind the ghosts in the house, there is something far worse that takes an interest in them…a cannibalistic clown named Crepitus.
Which brings us back to Moseley.
Long before landing the horror veteran for the title role, a random viewing of The Devil’s Rejects left Whitmore thinking that Moseley would make “the most demented clown (Whitmore could) ever imagine.” A brilliant performer who also happens to be friends with another iconic clown, Sid Haig’s Captain.
Whitmore joked with Moseley on set, asking “You did your homework, right? You talked to Sid?” before Moseley improvised some spine-tingling dialogue that left the director calling cut and yelling to a PA “I need a new, fresh pair of pants!”
Crepitus is a clown who considers children’s fingers a delicacy, and moviegoers are likely to witness some snacking, but Whitmore offers assurance that, “Crepitus doesn’t turn into a spider at the end.”
IT is a brand with a long, lucrative history, but if Crepitus executes on the promise of Moseley and the script that he loved, there’s room at the inn for one more clown.
Crepitus has a reservation. Will it be fulfilled? We’ll find out this October.
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Netflix Doc ‘Devil on Trial’ Explores The Paranormal Claims of ‘Conjuring 3’ [Trailer]
What is it about Lorraine Warren and her constant row with the devil? We may find out in the new Netflix documentary called The Devil on Trial which will premiere on October 17, or at least we will see why she chose to take on this case.
Back in 2021, everyone was holed up in their homes, and anyone with an HBO Max subscription could stream “Conjuring 3” day and date. It got mixed reviews, maybe because this wasn’t an ordinary haunted house tale that the Conjuring universe is known for. It was more of a crime procedural than a paranormal investigative one.
As with all of the Warren-based Conjuring movies, The Devil Made Me Do It was based on “a true story,” and Netflix is taking that claim to task with The Devil on Trial. The Netflix e-zine Tudum explains the backstory:
“Often referred to as the ‘Devil Made Me Do It’ case, the trial of 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson quickly became the subject of lore and fascination after it made national news in 1981. Johnson claimed that he murdered his 40-year-old landlord, Alan Bono, while under the influence of demonic forces. The brutal killing in Connecticut drew the attention of self-professed demonologists and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, known for their probe into the infamous haunting in Amityville, Long Island, several years prior. The Devil on Trial recounts the troubling events leading up to Bono’s murder, the trial, and the aftermath, using firsthand accounts of the people closest to the case, including Johnson.”
Then there’s the logline: The Devil on Trial explores the first — and only — time “demonic possession” has officially been used as a defense in a US murder trial. Including firsthand accounts of alleged devil possession and shocking murder, this extraordinary story forces reflection on our fear of the unknown.
If anything, this companion to the original film might shed some light on just how accurate these “true story” Conjuring films are and how much is just a writer’s imagination.
[First Photos] ‘The Strangers’ Reboot is Already Made; It Consists of Three Movies
Director Renny Harlin (Deep Blue Sea, Exorcist: The Beginning, Cliffhanger) has been a busy man. He is rebooting The Strangers franchise with a trilogy that he has already completed according to Entertainment Weekly.
Harlin says he shot all of the films in Slovakia at the same time, and production was, “the challenge of a lifetime, but I also really embraced it. On a Monday morning, I could be shooting the second chapter, and Monday afternoon I could be shooting the first chapter, and Tuesday morning I could be shooting the third chapter. it was incredibly demanding for the actors, for the continuity in terms of the make-up and wardrobe, and for my director of photography, because we wanted to create a visual language that develops so that the movies get bigger, more epic, as we go [on]. It just kept all of our juices pumping all the time.”
He remembers the Bryan Bertino-directed 2008 original Strangers which he says impressed him so much that he never forgot it.
“I remember the experience of seeing it,” says Harlin, “I didn’t really know anything about it when I saw it and I just loved it. I thought it was fantastic and it’s stuck in my mind as one of my favorite horror films.”
He adds: “When this opportunity came to me, the idea of not doing a remake or a reboot but doing a trilogy based on the original film, I thought it was an incredible opportunity.”
As for what Harlin’s version is about he says the first movie The Strangers: Chapter 1 pretty much follows the set-up of the original: a couple is terrorized by sociopathic home invaders, and Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 will “explore what happens to the victims of this kind of violence and who the perpetrators are of this kind of violence. Where are they coming from and why?”
The targets in Chapter 1 are played by Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf, Cruel Summer).
The Strangers Trilogy is set for release in theaters next year. Harlin and producer Courtney Solomon will be participating in a panel about the three films at New York Comic Con on Oct. 12.
Original 2008 Trailer:
‘Terrifier 3’ Teaser To Play Ahead of ‘Terrifier 2’ Theatrical Re-Release
Terrifier 2 is returning to theaters nationwide beginning November 1.
Director Damien Leone will give a small on-screen introduction that will include the first public showing of the teaser from Terrifier 3. In addition, the first 100 audience members will receive a Terrifier 3 poster.
Terrifier 2 was the little indie(gogo) movie that could. It turned its shoestring budget of $250k into an $11 million windfall.
“This year has been unlike anything we could have imagined,” says Leone. “To see all the love Terrifier 2 has received and the excitement this release has inspired from fans new and old, is truly beyond words. As a thank you to our fans and the many people who worked tirelessly on this release, we want to bring it back to the big screen where it belongs. And more than that, while fans eagerly await the release of Terrifier 3 next year, we want the chance to share what we’ve been working on for the third installment because a year is just too long to wait.”
As for why the film is getting a re-release after Halloween, Brad Miska, Managing Director of Bloody Disgusting/Cineverse, says it’s a fitting adieu to the holiday.
“Terrifier 2’s return to theaters is the perfect farewell to the Halloween season, an event that will have audiences clinging onto their barf bags once again, “said Brad Miska, Managing Director of Bloody Disgusting/Cineverse. “This exemplifies the pinnacle of horror cinema, an experience that etches itself into memory. Between the exclusive Terrifier 3 scene that will only be shown in theaters to the exclusive poster, this is a night you won’t want to miss out on.”
For those who haven’t seen Terrifier 2, here is a brief description:
“Set one year after its predecessor, Terrifier 2 continued the gruesome story of Art the Clown and his insatiable thirst for murder. When a sinister force resurrects Art, he is once again upon the unsuspecting residents of Miles County. Back for another Halloween, Art sets his sights on a teenage girl and her little brother, portrayed by LaVera and Elliott Fullam, respectively, delivering a chilling and relentless tale of horror.”