Thursday, April 9, 2009


By Edwin Pagán, for LATIN HORROR

Last September Hammer and Overture Films announced they had tapped CLOVERFIELD director Matt Reeves to helm a remake of the critically-acclaimed Swedish vampire film, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. The news sent chills up the spine of fans of the film (and genre) and even elicited a few choice words from the director of the original, Thomas Alfredson:

"Why can’t they just read the subtitles?" []

Any takers to that solid question?

John Ajvide Lindqvist, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, and wrote the script for the Swedish production, also opined:

"Tomas’ film is the definitive film, it is, I can’t imagine how anything would be better." [AICN]

I'm personally in complete agreement with Alfredson and Lindqvist on the matter of remakes of foreign films, especially when the original is of such high grade that it almost negates a re-imaging by its very nature. BUT, in all fairness, and to begin another point of discussion that is seldom pointed out, like the 800-pound gorilla in the room: Why complain after you have sold off the rights and deposited the check(s)? There obviously was another choice in direct line with their convictions:

"Thanks for the generous offer, sirs, but NO thank you."

If the undercurrent for this article is not entirely apparent, it is this - The trend of remaking hit foreign horror films began with the success of the Japanese brand [JU-ON begat THE GRUDGE, RNGU begat THE RING, JIAN GUI begat THE EYE, etc.]. The plague has now moved east and touched this Swedish gem. Soon, I dread, it may carry over to Latin/Spanish horror as the genre continues to gain traction and directors with a steady hand turn out true works of suspenseful horrific wonder. And I think to myself: What would a remake of Guillermo Del Toro PAN'S LABYRINTH be like? Or Juan Antonio Bayona's THE ORPHANAGE? I come short of hurling at the mere prospect. In 2007, New Line toyed with the idea of redoing Bayona's tone-perfect Spanish ghost story, but that seems to have evaporated into the ether (yes, there is a Goddess). Or maybe the mini-major is simply taking a prudent 'let's-wait-and-see' stance.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, some say, may go into production as soon as May from a script by Reeves himself. But Overture more recently contradicted those claims as ungrounded and pointed to the fact that a May start date would not be logistically savvy since the bulk of the story takes place in winter. J.J. Abrams scored a huge victory with his savvy word-of-mouth viral campaign for CLOVERFIELD, and is known to keep details about pending projects close to the chest. So it stands to reason that they would attempt to cast as much confusion onto the fan stage as possible since its worked in their favor in the past. SO to him, I only have two phrases: Sound stage / CGI (to whom he is no stranger and which will play a big role if he navigates the production -- did I mention the queazy feeling of needing to blow chunks?).

So the next time they come knocking, the answer can be as simple as ONLY letting the right one in. OR, not opening the door at all. After all, the door DOES swing both ways.

The remake -- LET ME IN (the name of Lindqvist's original novel) -- is scheduled for a January 15th release.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Submissions for the Dark Carnival Film Festival 2009 are now open!

Dark Carnival Film Fest - - is currently accepting shorts, features, and trailers. We're looking for unique horror, dark fantasy, and sci-fi and every sub-genre in between. DARK CARNIVAL also has the ONLY screenplay competition where the winning script gets produced into a film!

Dark Carnival receives films from nearly two dozen countries from all over the planet, and from almost every state in the US. In a relatively short time, we have gained a reputation as a festival that values indie filmmakers, and that loves the horror genre as something much more than some business niche or a way to sell merchandise.

Screenplay info--

Submission form --



"Scaring up a Revolución"

Monday, April 6, 2009


By Edwin Pagán, for LATIN HORROR

Frequent collaborators Johnny Depp [ED WOOD, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN] and Tim Burton [BEETLEJUICE, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET] are at it again - keeping the net abuzz with talk of their next pending project: DARK SHADOWS.

Depp, who purchased the rights to the gothic-style soap opera back in 2007 and plans to develop the project via his production company, Infinitum Nihil, is set to star in the lead role of Barnabas Collins, a 175-year-old vampire (played by Jonathan Frid in the original series). Tim Burton, who is knee-deep on postproduction on ALICE IN WONDERLAND is anticipated to helm. The script is penned by John August [CORPSE BRIDE, BIG FISH, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, FRANKENWEENIE].

The project was first reported on the boards as going into production this coming summer (a rumor that gained steam when veteran producer Richard D. Zanuck dropped the tid-bit to entertainment portal But due to schedule overruns on WONDERLAND, and Depp's next big blockbuster, PUBLIC ENEMIES, gaining media attention, DARK SHADOWS is now more practically seen as kicking into gear proper in the fall. Both Depp and Burton, both big fans of the original series, have continued to assert that the project will go forward in 2009.

But while most are anticipating the magical Burton spin, some movie fans sites and blogs are also showing a growing discontent with the increasing trend of remaking time-tested classics in their "re-creator's" image. At hand is whether Burton can manage to keep the integrity of the original series that ran from 1966 - 1971 and ended its run with an amazing 1,225 episodes to its credit, as well as an enormous cult following (me included among them)! The original serial featured a heavy gothic horror feel and ran the gamut of monsters from vampires and werewolves to ghosts and zombies, and everything in between.

The question is: can 90-minutes or a 2-hour portal replicate the feel of the original? Hard to say. But Burton has successfully tackled other rooted material in the past and come out on top. I'm personally of the opinion that the original can never be destroyed. Even if Burton and Depp come up short -- hard to imagine -- the classic can always be purchased on DVD ( But when you begin to consider the investment it would take to purchase an anthology comprising 1,225 episodes, you can bet that the fanboys/fangirls will keep their words on the net and money away from their mouths. Suddenly $12 for Burton seems much more within reach. Now harm, no foul.



"Scaring up a Revolución"

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Dear LATIN HORRORphiles:

I wanted to take a moment and THANK everyone who came out last night and helped make "The HORRORphiles #2 - Scaring up a Revolución" such a BLOODY enormous success!! We had a packed house and once again we had an incredible vibe going that's hard to describe. The closest would be: SOLIDARITY. And I'm hoping there's more to read into the kinship than just extremely spiked BLOODY MARY mix :)

I also want to thank you all for coming out and putting $6 on the barrelhead during this wacked out economy to support the Anthology Film Archives and the filmmakers whose films we showcased. Please know that those hard-earned $ go a long way in keeping the Anthology up-and-running. It is the ONLY venue of its kind left in New York and is entirely administered by filmmakers, for filmmakers. I'm honored to have been associated with the screening space for the last 7-years, showcasing Latino/a films and now helping to put Latin horror on the map with their unconditional support.

Last but NOT least, I want to thank the very talented artists who allowed us to present their work -- I hope we managed to showcase their talents in a dignified and respectful manner. I want to ensure that you also continue to support their work. If you enjoyed their work, become their fans and friends (if you already aren't). Send them a note of appreciation, and keep abreast of their next projects as they continue to create more horrific work. Fortunately for us, all the filmmakers from last night's showcase can be found on Facebook:



* SHAWNA BACA ["3:52"]




[also on Facebook but non frequently on - may take a while for response]

Tell 'em LATIN HORROR sent you.

And thanks for helping us as we journey on "Scaring up a Revolución!"


"Scaring up a Revolución"