Filmmaker Simon Barrett has become a favorite in the horror world, thanks to having written projects like You're Next, The Guest, and Blair Witch, with Barrett making his directorial feature-film debut with the upcoming Seance, which just earned its first trailer. While some of his previous efforts have featured intense and gruesome sequences, the upcoming film unfolds at a boarding school for girls and serves as much as a murder-mystery as it does a straightforward horror effort. Check out the trailer for Seance above and see the film in theaters, On Demand, and on Digital HD on May 21st before it hits Shudder later this year.
Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse) is the new girl at the prestigious Edelvine Academy for Girls. Soon after her arrival, six girls invite her to join them in a late night ritual, calling forth the spirit of a dead former student who reportedly haunts their halls. But before morning, one of the girls is dead, leaving the others wondering what they may have awakened.
The film also stars Madisen Beaty, Ella-Rae Smith, Seamus Patterson, and Marina Stephenson-Kerr.
"The best horror movies are, at their core, mysteries. There’s always an element of the unknown, or the unknowable, at the center of the narrative, with the characters providing the audience with a tool to scrape away at its surface, ideally dreading what they may find beneath," Barrett shared in a statement about the new film. Many classic horror films embrace this directly. Slashers like the original Black Christmas, The House on Sorority Row, or Scream, or beloved giallos such as Deep Red, The Black Belly of the Tarantula, and Blood and Black Lace deliver variations on traditional murder mysteries while lacing them with scares. Additionally, these films were modern and relevant, providing audiences with catharsis for the cultural anxieties of their times."
He added, "I have long wanted to make my own variation of this horror-mystery narrative, but with the added goal of weaving in supernatural elements, as ghost stories tend to be murder mysteries as well. This thought process led me to write Seance, a film that I hope pays effective homage to the teen slasher mysteries of my youth, while at the same time being its own unique thing."
A key component of most of Barrett's work is that he fails to cater to trends, with Seance being no exception.
"As horror cinema is often susceptible to waves of faddish subgenres, to which I myself have unabashedly contributed, people sometimes ask me what I predict the next trend in horror will be," the filmmaker admitted. "I think trends are born when creators give horror viewers what they’ve always wanted: fun, original, relevant films that genuinely surprise and unsettle. My goal with Seance is to create a horror film that contains elements of comedy, romance, intrigue, and action, one that hopefully makes viewers want to watch it again, just like I did with the films that inspired it."
Seance hits theaters, On Demand, and on Digital HD on May 21st before it hits Shudder later this year.
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