Last week a brand new British horror anthology was announced, and what we have learnt so far is very exciting, although slightly incorrect. Titled It’s Walls Were Blood, the initial reports stated the four part horror anthology would be a haunted house feature, which has now been revealed to be false.
Instead, the film will indeed focus on a house, but one which brings out the worst in people, and conjures their nightmares. Twitch were given the new details on the project, which came from the directors themselves. Although no plot details were allowed to be shared, what we have below does give an insight into the style and design of what we can expect from this massive horror project, and it really does sound terrific.
Steve Oram (Sightseers), Edward Hogg (Anonymous) and Pollyanna McIntosh (above, The Woman, White Settlers) are among cast attached to UK portmanteau horror Its Walls Were Blood, which is aiming to shoot later this year.Additional cast includes Conner Chapman, Ruth Bradley, Rosie Day, Sam Gittins, Scott Chambers and Belinda Stewart-Wilson.
Segment writer-directors include Sean Hogan (The Devil’s Business), Paul Hyett (The Seasoning House), Tom Shankland (The Children) and Paul Davis (The Body).
Radioman producer Paul Fischer of Ten Cent Adventures produces with Paul Davis on board as an executive producer. Stef Hutchinson has co-written the latter’s segment of the portmanteau.
The first reports stated that the film follows four connected stories set throughout a haunted house’s history, from the 19th century to today. Now thanks to Twitch, we have some further details on the anthology, plus the first poster :
“The initial announcement extrapolated from our synopsis that the film is a haunted house story, when in fact it’s no such thing,” says producer Paul Fischer. “It’s all set in the one house, and the house is a character, certainly; but it’s not a haunted house. It’s more complex than that – more about the idea of bringing your own darkness to a place that draws it out of you, of stepping into darkness and darkness entering you in return.”
“The origin of the project was really born out of the idea to create a ‘contemporary-throwback‘,” says director and executive producer Paul Davis, “in the sense that we could use the classic portmanteau concept to tell four very different tales with modern ideas and sensibilities within the horror genre. That and the idea of doing something completely British as a tip of the hat to the likes of Dead of Night and the many great anthologies of the 60s and 70s is really where the idea and the passion came from and I’m so glad that we’re going to have the opportunity to bring this to life.” (“The portmanteau film is a part of the British horror tradition,” confirms Davis’s co-writer Stef Hutchinson, “a cinematic ‘Chamber of Horrors’, with each room revealing new and horrific secrets. In our tales we’ve honoured that tradition, bringing you four very different takes on the horror genre, from the comedic to the utterly brutal.”)
Davis also described his segment in the film as “definitely the heaviest thing I’ve done so far…something that combines awkward laughter with downright aggressive fantasy horror”. Shankland explained his inclusion will be “a chilling and visceral journey through the twisted innards of a Victorian house“, while Hyett said his will be “retro horror/thriller echoing the grittiness of Straw Dogs and Clockwork Orange” and dealing with “the products of 1970s broken Britain.”
“Britain has a great, proud tradition in cinematic horror, where originality, spectacle, atmosphere, and memorable characters played as much of a role in a film’s identity as jumps and gore,” says producer Fischer. “Hammer and Amicus films of the 1960s and 70s had all the scares, the psychological suspense, all the dread and a sort of primordial imagery that kept you up at night and stuck with you your whole life – but they were also a great cinematic experience, in the dark with other people. They were made for a wide audience, not a niche audience – and made well, made to scare and entertain. We’re hoping Its Walls Were Blood will claim that back for horror a little, and give people a change from found footage, torture porn and period ghost stories.”
Hogan echoed what Fischer says when describing his own segment: “I’m looking forward to working in the great UK portmanteau tradition again, and updating it for a new audience. The challenge for us is to take the classic Amicus style and give it the teeth of a modern horror film. I hope we’ve succeeded – certainly some of what we have planned bites down hard and doesn’t let go!”
The more I read about It’s Walls Were Blood, the more I want to see it. It has also been revealed that while the main cast have already been announced, there will be several more big British names to be revealed shortly, so we will bring you that news as soon as it becomes available.
For now though, here’s the first poster for the horror anthology: