Shudder snaps up FrightFest duo
James R | On 26, Aug 2021
Shudder has snapped up the rights to two films playing at this year’s FrightFest.
The annual August festival, which will also be going online in September, is one of the UK’s main showcases for new horror films from around the world, with more than 50 films playing over the five-day event. Before the festival kicks off tonight with Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic, however, Shudder has already been on a spooky shopping spree, picking up the rights to Slapface and The Advent Calendar.
AMC’s subscription service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural has acquired the exclusive rights for the movies in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Writer/director Patrick Ridremont’s French horror fantasy The Advent Calendar follows Eva (Eugénie Derouand, Paris Police 1900), an ex-dancer who is now living in a wheelchair, unable to walk. When her friend Sophie (Honorine Magnier, Tomorrow is Ours) gives her an old wooden antique advent calendar before Christmas, she realizes each window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life. Some of them are good, but most of them are bad, really bad. Now Eva will have to choose between getting rid of the calendar or walking again – even if it causes death and destruction to everyone she holds dear around her. The film was produced by Alain Benguigui, Virginie Ogouz, Jean-Yves Roubin and Cassandre Warnauts.
Is there a relationship more special than that of a boy and his monster? Slapface follows Lucas (August Maturo, The Nun) and Tom (Mike Manning, The Call) who lose their mother in an accident and think they only have each other to lean on. But Lucas has become fascinated by local myths of a monster (Lukas Hassel, The Black Room) in the woods, reciting the rhyme that kids have been repeating for generations whenever he walks by the abandoned hospital. When bullying girls from his school dare him to go inside, the rhyme comes to life and as Lucas’ visits become more frequent, the disappearances begin. But surely the Virago witch would never hurt him? Written and directed by Jeremiah Kipp, Slapface won the Audience Award at the Cinequest San Jose Film Festival this year. It also stars Dan Hedaya (The Usual Suspects), Libe Barer (Sneaky Pete), Mirabelle Lee (The Blacklist), Bianca D’Ambrosio (yA) and Chiara D’Ambrosio (yA). The film was produced by Joe Benedetto, Artisha Mann Cooper, Mike Manning.
The Advent Calendar will debut on Shudder in December 2021, while Slapface will be released by Shudder in 2022. Both films join two other Shudder acquisitions playing at this year’s FrightFest: Offseason from Mickey Keating and The Last Thing Mary Saw from Edoardo Vitaletti.
Craig Engler, general manager of Shudder, commented: “Shudder members will have exclusive access to some of the most exciting and compelling festival films in the months ahead. We are excited to debut Patrick Ridremont’s chilling French horror fantasy The Advent Calendar just in time for the holidays and Jeremiah Kipp’s mysterious and eerie Slapface next year. They will join American gothic horror Offseason and unique period feature The Last Thing Mary Saw along with many other exclusive series and films to haunt and delight our members.”
For more on the FrightFest online event and how to stream the festival’s highlights online, click here.