Romero’s The Amusement Park leads Shudder summer slate
James R | On 08, May 2021
Shudder is bringing George A Romero’s legendary “lost” film The Amusement Park to screens this June, as part of its summer slate.
AMC’s subscription platform for horror, thriller and the supernatural will debut 13 new original and exclusive films in the UK and Ireland, including Caveat, an eerie cat-and-mouse thriller, sci-fi thriller Possessor starring Andrea Riseborough, Jakob’s Wife, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and Cody Calahan’s comedy horror Vicious Fun. But perhaps the most exciting prospect is the debut of the film made by Romero between Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, a bleak, haunting allegory where the attractions and distractions of an amusement park stand in for the many abuses that the elderly face in society.
The result is a “Summer of Chills” that will premiere a film every week. Here’s the trailer for The Amusement Park – read on below for the full rundown:
Caveat (Shudder original) – 3rd June
Lone drifter Isaac accepts a job to look after his landlord’s niece, Olga, for a few days in an isolated house on a remote island. It seems like easy money, but there’s a catch: he must wear a leather harness and chain that restricts his movements to certain rooms. Once Olga’s uncle, Barrett leaves the two of them alone, a game of cat and mouse ensues as Olga displays increasingly erratic behaviour as a trapped Isaac makes a series of horrific discoveries in the house. Directed by Damien Mc Carthy. Starring Jonathan French, Leila Sykes and Ben Caplan.
The Amusement Park (Shudder exclusive) – 8th June
Recently discovered and restored 46 years after its completion by the George A Romero Foundation and produced by Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, The Amusement Park stars Martin’s Lincoln Maazel as an elderly man who finds himself disoriented and increasingly isolated as the pains, tragedies and humiliations of ageing in America are manifested through roller coasters and chaotic crowds. Commissioned by the Lutheran Society, the film is perhaps Romero’s wildest and most imaginative movie, an allegory about the nightmarish realities of growing older, and is an alluring snapshot of the filmmaker’s early artistic capacity and style and would go on to inform his ensuing filmography. The “lost” film was restored in 4k by IndieCollect in New York City.
Possessor (Shudder exclusive) – 10th June
From the visionary mind of Brandon Cronenberg (Antiviral), Possessor is a game-changing sci-fi thriller about elite, corporate assassin Tasya Vos. Using brain-implant technology, Vos takes control of other people’s bodies to execute high profile targets. As she sinks deeper into her latest assignment, Vos becomes trapped inside a mind that threatens to obliterate her. Written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg. Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Rossif Sutherland, Tuppence Middleton, Sean Bean and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Superdeep (Shudder original) – 17th June
The Kola Superdeep borehole is the largest Russian secret facility. In 1984, at the depth of more than 7 miles below the surface, unexplained sounds were recorded, resembling the screams and moans of numerous people. Since these events, the object has been closed. A small research team of scientists and military personnel go down below the surface to find the secret hidden these many decades. What they discover will pose the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. Directed by Arseniy Sukhin. Starring Milena Radulovic, Sergey Ivanyuk, Nikolay Kovbas, Kirill Kovbas and Nikita Dyuvbanov.
An Unquiet Grave (Shudder original) – 24th June
A year after losing his wife in a car crash, Jamie convinces her sister, Ava, to return with him to the site of the accident and help him perform a strange ritual. But as the night wears on, it becomes clear that he has darker intentions. An Unquiet Grave is an exploration of grief, and the harm we cause when we don’t take responsibility for our own healing. Directed by Terrence Krey. Starring Jacon A. Ware and Christine Nyland who also co-wrote the film.
Vicious Fun (Shudder original) – 29th June
Joel, a caustic 1980’s film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers. With no other choice, Joel attempts to blend in with his homicidal surroundings or risk becoming the next victim. Directed by Cody Calahan. Starring Evan Marsh, Amber Goldfarb, Ari Millen, Julian Richings, Robert Maillet, Sean Baek, David Koechner, Alexa Rose Steele, Mark Gibson, Kristopher Brown and John Fray.
Son (Shudder original) – 8th July
After a mysterious group breaks into Laura’s home and attempts to abduct her eight-year-old son, David, the two of them flee town in search of safety. But soon after the failed kidnapping, David becomes extremely ill, suffering from increasing psychosis and convulsions. Following her maternal instincts, Laura commits unspeakable acts to keep him alive, but soon she must decide how far she is willing to go to save her son. Directed by Ivan Kavanagh. Starring Andi Matichak, Emile Hirsch and Luke David Blumm.
The Toll (Shudder exclusive) – 15th July
When a young woman and her rideshare driver break down on a dark forest road, each sees the other as a threat. When strange phenomena begin occurring around them, they gradually realize they’ve become trapped in the world of a terrifying supernatural being: The Toll Man. Directed by Michael Nader. Starring Jordan Hayes, Max Topplin, James McGowan and Rosemary Dunsmore.
Kandisha (Shudder original) – 22nd July
It is summer break and best friends Amélie, Bintou and Morjana hang together with other neighborhood teens. Nightly, they have fun sharing scary stories and urban legends. But when Amélie is assaulted by her ex, she remembers the story of Kandisha, a powerful and vengeful demon. Afraid and upset, Amélie summons her. The next day, her ex is found dead. The legend is true and now Kandisha is on a killing spree and it’s up to the three girls to break the curse. Directed by Inside and Livid duo Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. Starring Mathilde Lamusse, Samarcande Saadi and Suzy Bemba.
The Boy Behind the Door (Shudder original) – 29th July
A night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old Bobby and his best friend, Kevin, when they are abducted on their way home from school. Managing to escape his confines, Bobby navigates the dark halls, praying his presence goes unnoticed as he avoids his captor at every turn. Even worse is the arrival of another stranger, whose mysterious arrangement with the kidnapper may spell certain doom for Kevin. With no means of calling for help and miles of dark country in every direction, Bobby embarks on a rescue mission, determined to get himself and Kevin out alive… or die trying. Directed by Justin Powell and David Charbonier, who also directed this year’s The Djinn. Starring Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us), Ezra Dewey (The Djinn), Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood), Scott Michael Foster (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Micah Hauptman (Rust Creek).
Teddy (Shudder original) – 5th August
Twentysomething Teddy lives in a foster home and works as a temp in a massage parlor. Rebecca, his girlfriend, will soon graduate. A scorching hot summer begins. But Teddy is scratched by a beast in the woods: the wolf that local angry farmers have been hunting for months. As weeks go by, animal impulses soon start to overcome the young man. Directed by Ludovic Boukherma and Zoran Boukherma. Starring Anthony Bajon (The Prayer), Ludovic Torrent, Christine Gautier, Noémie Lvovsky, Guillaume Mattera, Jean-Paul Fabre, Alexis Orlandini, Gérard Pau and Jean-Michel Ricart.
Bleed with Me (Shudder original) – 10th August
Rowan, a vulnerable outsider, is thrilled when the seemingly perfect Emily invites her on a winter getaway to an isolated cabin in the woods. Trust soon turns to paranoia when Rowan wakes up with mysterious incisions on her arm. Haunted by dream-like visions, Rowan starts to suspect that her friend is drugging her and stealing her blood. She’s paralyzed by the fear of losing Emily, but she must fight back before she loses her mind. Bleed With Me is a psychological horror that juxtaposes tenderness and violence in an investigation of female intimacy and dangerous codependency. Directed by Amelia Moses. Starring Lee Marshall, Lauren Beatty and Aris Tyros.
Jakob’s Wife (Shudder exclusive) – 19th August
Anne is in her late 50s and feels like her life and marriage have been shrinking over the past thirty years. Through a chance encounter with a stranger, she discovers a new sense of power and an appetite to live bigger and bolder than before. However, these changes come with a toll on her marriage and a heavy body count. Directed by Travis Stevens (Girl on the Third Floor). Starring horror icons Barbara Crampton (You’re Next), Larry Fessenden (The Dead Don’t Die), Nyisha Bell, Mark Kelly, Sarah Lind, Robert Rusler, Bonnie Aarons and Phil Brooks (aka CM Punk).