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Curse of Downers Grove, The (2015)

Posted by Staci Layne Wilson on August 21, 2015

The Curse of Downers GroveStarring Bella Heathcote, Lucas Till, Kevin Zegers, Penelope Mitchell, Zane Holtz, Helen Slater

Directed by Derick Martini


The Curse of Downers Grove is a teen angst quasi-horror flick adapted from the Michael Hornburg novel Downers Grove, and it’s written by Bret Easton Ellis and the film’s director, Derick Martini.

Novelist Ellis is famous for his fiction and the movies made from them – Less Than Zero, American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction, and The Informers – but this is the first time he’s adapted someone else’s work for the screen. Up-and-coming indie filmmaker Derick Martini found fame with Lymelife, which was exec produced by Martin Scorsese. His follow-up, Hick, starred Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, and Eddie Redmayne. For two such magnetic creators, it’s hard to imagine the result of their collaboration is so pedestrian. Not that The Curse of Downers Grove is bad (I liked it), but I expected more considering the source.

Starring Bella Heathcote, Lucas Till, Kevin Zegers, Penelope Mitchell, Zane Holtz, Helen Slater, and Tom Arnold, the story takes place in the aptly named Downer’s Grove, a small town where not much goes right. Especially not for the student body: For the past eight years, ever since the high school was built on sacred land, one senior from the graduating class has died in a horrible freak accident just before graduation day.

The action follows Chrissie Swanson (Heathcote), who, despite having witnessed last year’s death up close and personal, does not believe there’s a curse at all. On the weekend before the cap and gown ceremony, Chrissie and her younger brother, Dave (Martin Spanjers), are left alone when their mom (Slater) goes to Las Vegas for a short getaway with her boyfriend.

Needless to say, the party soon gets started, and Chrissie and her BFF Tracy (Mitchell) are taking reckless chances with drink, drugs, and bad boys. One boy, Chuck (Zegers), is particularly bad, and Chrissie narrowly avoids being assaulted by fighting back and poking his eye out with her thumb. The disfigurement dashes Chuck’s fledgling football career, and he promises to get revenge… is it the curse at work, or is Chrissie just at the center of a harmonious convergence of bad luck?

The acting is excellent, and the dialogue is good (though not as sparkling as in Ellis’ novels… perhaps he dumbed it down a bit for the teen movie audience). The story moves right along, and the characters are fun. The visuals are standard issue (cinematography and editing: nothing special), and ultimately, The Curse of Downer’s Grove doesn’t deliver as a horror film. But it’s an entertaining enough thriller and a decent time waster if there’s nothing else on.

The post Curse of Downers Grove, The (2015) appeared first on Dread Central.

Exclusive Clip Exposes The Curse of Downers Grove

Posted by Steve Barton on August 20, 2015

Will you want to suffer The Curse of Downers Grove? Well, we have an exclusive clip here to help you make up your minds! Check it out!

Bella Heathcote, Lucas Till, Penelope Mitchell, Tom Arnold, and Kevin Zegers star. Directed by Derick Martini from a script co-written by Martini and Bret Easton Ellis, the film is produced by Oren Segal, Chiara Trento, and Jason Dubin.

The Curse of Downers Grove will hit theaters August 21, 2015, followed by a Blu-ray/DVD release on September 1st. It is based on the novel by Michael Hornburg and purports to be inspired by true events.

Synopsis:
The town of Downers Grove looks like your average suburban neighborhood — but Downers Grove has a disturbing secret… For the past eight years, one senior from every high school graduating class has met a bizarre death right before graduation day. And this year, Chrissie Swanson (Bella Heathcote) has a terrible feeling that she is going to be the one to die. Can Chrissie survive the curse of Downers Grove, or will she, like those seniors before her, fall prey to the town’s deadly secret?

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The Curse of Downers Grove

The post Exclusive Clip Exposes The Curse of Downers Grove appeared first on Dread Central.

Kevin Zegers Talks The Curse of Downers Grove

Posted by Staci Layne Wilson on August 19, 2015

The town of Downers Grove looks like your average suburban neighborhood – but it harbors a disturbing secret… For the past eight years, one senior from every high school graduating class has met a bizarre death right before graduation day. And this year, Chrissie Swanson (Bella Heathcote) has a terrible feeling that she is going to be the one to die – which isn’t helped when the hottest football player (Kevin Zegers) in school attacks her and she has to claw his eye out in order to save herself. Revenge is soon to follow. Can Chrissie survive the curse of Downers Grove, or will she, like those seniors before her, fall prey to the town’s deadly secret?

Dread Central had the opportunity to sit down with Kevin Zegers and pick his brain (but not claw his other eye out) about this intriguing upcoming thriller, which is written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Derrick Martini.

Dread Central: How did the project The Curse of Downer’s Grove come your way, and how much of a factor was the writer and the director in your decision?

Kevin Zegers: Derrick Martini sent me the script, and we started discussing the story and the character. I was a huge fan of Derrick’s work, and after we spoke, it felt like we had the same idea of what the film should be.

The Curse of Downers Grove

DC: Were you shooting “Gracepoint” at the same time? How easy or difficult is it to transition between series TV and indie film? When working back-to-back on projects, do you find characters blend or bleed into the next?

KZ: I actually shot this film in the middle of a press tour. Regardless of what is going on personally, work tends to bleed into your life in one way or another. This role was fairly involved in terms of preparation so it definitely took a while to climb into and also let go of. When working on back-to-back projects, it’s important to wipe the slate clean. I try hit the reset button or I find the characters start looking similar, which defeats the purpose of what I do. I always want to have a default position to fall back on before starting work on a new character.

DC: Is The Curse of Downer’s Grove a horror movie?

KZ: Not a horror movie, no. I think of it more like Cape Fear, which, I guess, would be called a psychological thriller. When I think of horror, I think of the supernatural or explicit gore. This film is much more of a head fuck.

DC: You play an angry jock in The Curse of Downer’s Grove; what was one of the most difficult, or interesting, scenes you had to play that’s totally contrary to who you really are?

KZ: Ummmmm. The rape scene, I’d say. Goes without saying that it was difficult.

DC: In your next movie, you play a doctor. Sleepwalker looks really intriguing. What can you tell us about that role and what attracted you to the project?

KZ: Pretty simple answer here: [Director] Elliott Lester is fantastic. We’ve been friends for a few years, and he called me a few days into filming and said he had something for me to do. I’m pretty comfortable now putting myself in the hands of filmmakers I love, and Elliott is one of them. Haven’t seen the film yet, but I’ve heard it’s great.

Bella Heathcote, Lucas Till, Penelope Mitchell, Tom Arnold, and Kevin Zegers star in The Curse of Downer’s Grove. Directed by Derick Martini from a script co-written by Martini and Bret Easton Ellis, the film is produced by Oren Segal, Chiara Trento, and Jason Dubin.

The Curse of Downers Grove will hit theaters August 21, 2015, followed by the Blu-ray/DVD release on September 1st. It is based on the novel by Michael Hornburg and purports to be inspired by true events.

Synopsis:
The town of Downers Grove looks like your average suburban neighborhood — but Downers Grove has a disturbing secret… For the past eight years, one senior from every high school graduating class has met a bizarre death right before graduation day. And this year, Chrissie Swanson (Bella Heathcote) has a terrible feeling that she is going to be the one to die. Can Chrissie survive the curse of Downers Grove, or will she, like those seniors before her, fall prey to the town’s deadly secret?

The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove

The Curse of Downers Grove

The post Kevin Zegers Talks The Curse of Downers Grove appeared first on Dread Central.

The Curse of Downers Grove – Headsy New Artwork

Posted by Steve Barton on July 28, 2015

A new bit of artwork is here for Anchor Bay’s teen angst thriller The Curse of Downers Grove, and it states that it’s “from the author of the novel American Psycho” because we live in a world so dumbed down, who would recognize the author’s name?

Bella Heathcote, Lucas Till, Penelope Mitchell, Tom Arnold, and Kevin Zegers star. Directed by Derick Martini from a script co-written by Martini and Bret Easton Ellis, the film is produced by Oren Segal, Chiara Trento, and Jason Dubin.

The Curse of Downers Grove will hit theaters August 21, 2015, followed by the Blu-ray/DVD release on September 1st. It is based on the novel by Michael Hornburg and purports to be inspired by true events.

Synopsis:
The town of Downers Grove looks like your average suburban neighborhood — but Downers Grove has a disturbing secret…. For the past eight years, one senior from every high school graduating class has met a bizarre death right before graduation day. And this year, Chrissie Swanson (Bella Heathcote) has a terrible feeling that she is going to be the one to die. Can Chrissie survive the curse of Downers Grove, or will she, like those seniors before her, fall prey to the town’s deadly secret?

The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove The Curse of Downers Grove

The Curse of Downers Grove

The post The Curse of Downers Grove – Headsy New Artwork appeared first on Dread Central.

Sitges 2014 Expands with Zombeavers, The Babadook, Home, Goal of the Dead, Doc of the Dead, and More!

Posted by Debi Moore on August 4, 2014

Sitges 2014 Lineup Expands with Zombeavers, The Babadook, Home, Goal of the Dead, Doc of the Dead, and Much More!The Sitges Film Festival is typically a feast for horror fans, and this year's event looks to be no different as a big batch of new genre movies has been added to the lineup that's sure to make you drool.

From the Press Release:
The 47th Sitges Film Festival, to be held from 3 to 12 October, will be loaded with films that are all eagerly awaited by fantastic and, especially, horror genre film lovers. Festival Director Àngel Sala has announced the names of a good handful of new films that will be included in Sitges 2014.

These new Festival incorporations have been added to the lineup of an edition that will be opening with Jaume Balagueró’s [REC] 4: Apocalypse, presenting its Grand Honorary Award to Roland Emmerich, and including presentations of the latest productions from important directors like Jean-Luc Godard, David Cronenberg, Kim-ki Duk, and Takashi Miike. See more details on those aspects of the Festival by clicking here.

Sitges 2014 Lineup Expands with Zombeavers, The Babadook, Home, Goal of the Dead, Doc of the Dead, and Much More!Supernatural horror will carry an important weight this year with excellent examples of haunted house movies and others with sinister presences arriving from the other side of the planet, like Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound from New Zealand or Australia's The Babadook by Jennifer Kent (photo left).

Another genre example, Nicholas McCarthy’s Home, can also be seen at the Festival. Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal closes this quartet of films that will have moviegoers jumping out of their seats with their demonic apparitions.

Added to the numerous Asian productions the Festival has already confirmed for this year is Live from the director of Dead Sushi, Noboru Iguchi, a survival thriller based on a novel by Yusuke Yamada. Arriving from Germany is Der Samurai, a dark, ambiguous film that has been described as a queer thriller, directed by Till Kleinert and financed through crowdfunding.

At Sitges 2014 there will also be room for films treating genre from a more comical, madcap viewpoint, as in the case of Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow 2, where the only survivor from part one will have to fight an even larger army of zombies.

Sitges 2014 Lineup Expands with Zombeavers, The Babadook, Home, Goal of the Dead, Doc of the Dead, and Much More!Two other good doses of zombies are also guaranteed with Goal of the Dead (photo right) and Zombeavers, films offering unfeasible blends of zombies with soccer and beavers, respectively.

The first is a dual movie (two 70-minute parts) directed by Benjamin Rocher and Thierry Poiraud; the second is based on the well-known premise of “group of young men and women, vacation, fun, alcohol, and sex” that becomes a blood fest.

And still in a comical tone, the Festival will be presenting Dan Beers’ Premature, the story of a high school student who has to re-live losing his virginity over and over again like a zany twist on Groundhog Day.

The last of the newly confirmed features is The Curse of Downers Grove, a movie about the murders of a series of teens attributed to a bizarre curse, directed by Derick Martini and co-written by novelist Brett Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, the film version of which opened Sitges 2000.

Sala also revealed two documentaries that will be at this year’s Festival. The first is Doc of the Dead, a film that has been defined as “the definitive zombie culture documentary.” Directed by Alexander O. Philippe (The People Versus George Lucas and The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus) and including the participation of Alex Cox, Simon Pegg, George A. Romero, and Steven Scholzman, this piece analyzes how the zombie phenomenon has been popularized in recent years in all kinds of different fields, like literature, series or even fashion.

The second confirmed documentary is Elijah Drenner’s That Guy Dick Miller, dedicated to an aspiring writer turned accidental actor whose face everyone knows but whose name is known by few. Sharing the screen with leading figures like Nicholson, De Niro, Schwarzenegger, and The Ramones, he has worked with great directors like Scorsese, Corman, Fuller, Dante, Cameron, Demme, and many more.

At Sitges 2014 there will be no shortage of classics either. The Festival has confirmed a screening of William Friedkin’s 1977 movie Sorcerer, a remake of H.G. Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear (1953), starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, and Francisco Rabal.

Ticket sales for the 47th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Spain, will be handled exclusively through the Festival’s website. For additional information visit SitgesFilmFestival.com.

Sitges 2014 Lineup Expands with Zombeavers, The Babadook, Home, Goal of the Dead, Doc of the Dead, and Much More!

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Tom Arnold to Suffer the Curse of Downers Grove

Posted by Uncle Creepy on March 18, 2013

Tom Arnold to Suffer the Curse of Downers GroveYou would think that being married to Roseanne for several years would have been enough torment for him, but Tom Arnold is pretty tenacious! Up next for the funny man is a spot in Derek Martini's adaptation of Downers Grove, entitled The Curse of Downers Grover.

Arnold has joined the cast of the indie flick opposite Zane Holtz, Lucas Till, Bella Heathcote, Penelope Mitchell, and Kevin Zegers. Martini, who directed Hick, is helming from a script he co-wrote with Bret Easton Ellis, adapted from 2001's Michael Hornburg novel.

Synopsis
Director Derick Martini takes us on a wild ride through a small Midwestern town gripped by a curse that claims the life of one high school senior every year. Chrissie Swanson, played by Heathcote, fears she is the next victim of The Curse of Downers Grove.

Tom Arnold to Suffer the Curse of Downers Grove

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Get cursed in the comments section below!

Tom Arnold to Suffer the Curse of Downers Grove

Posted by Uncle Creepy on March 18, 2013

Tom Arnold to Suffer the Curse of Downers GroveYou would think that being married to Roseanne for several years would have been enough torment for him, but Tom Arnold is pretty tenacious! Up next for the funny man is a spot in Derek Martini's adaptation of Downers Grove, entitled The Curse of Downers Grover.

Arnold has joined the cast of the indie flick opposite Zane Holtz, Lucas Till, Bella Heathcote, Penelope Mitchell, and Kevin Zegers. Martini, who directed Hick, is helming from a script he co-wrote with Bret Easton Ellis, adapted from 2001's Michael Hornburg novel.

Synopsis
Director Derick Martini takes us on a wild ride through a small Midwestern town gripped by a curse that claims the life of one high school senior every year. Chrissie Swanson, played by Heathcote, fears she is the next victim of The Curse of Downers Grove.

Tom Arnold to Suffer the Curse of Downers Grove

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Get cursed in the comments section below!

Zane Holtz Challanges The Curse of Downers Grove

Posted by Uncle Creepy on February 26, 2013

More casting news has come in regarding Derek Martini's adaptation of Downers Grove entitled The Curse of Downers Grover and we've got the skinny for you hot off the presses. Consider most of the nation is freezing right now, that's a good thing!

Variety reports that Zane Holtz has joined the cast of the indie flick opposite Lucas Till, Bella Heathcote, Penelope Mitchell and Kevin Zegers. Martini, who directed Hick, is helming from a script he co-wrote with Bret Easton Ellis, adapted from 2001's Michael Hornburg novel.

Synopsis
Director Derick Martini takes us on a wild ride through a small Midwestern town gripped by a curse that claims the life of one high school senior every year. Chrissie Swanson, played by Heathcote, fears she is the next victim of The Curse of Downers Grove.

Zane Holtz Challanges The Curse of Downers Grove

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
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Get cursed in the comments section below!