Sam Raimi Launches ‘Spooky Pictures,’ A Family-Friendly Horror Label

I maintain that the greatest news of the week is Danny Trejo starring in “Predators,” but I think I’ve just found a close personal second — Sam Raimi, director of this year’s phenomenal “Drag Me to Hell,” is sticking with horror.

Variety reports that Raimi, the puppetmaster behind the “Evil Dead” films and their “Army of Darkness” sequel, will spin a new horror banner out of his pre-existing Ghost House label: none other than Spooky Pictures, which aims to create new thriller franchises for family-friendly audiences. Their first feature will be “The Substitute,” a remake of a Danish thriller with Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) set to direct.

By now, you’re likely asking: “Did that idiot really just say that Sam Raimi’s family-friendly horror label is the second best movie news of the week?” Yes, I did say that, and in my opinion, it really is great news. Here’s why.

When I hear the words “family-friendly,” I immediately think of Pixar. Movies like “Up,” while certainly geared towards children, have plenty of merit for the adult crowd accompanying the tykes to the theaters. Frankly, “WALL-E” is one of my very favorite movies of the last several years, and I’m far from the target age group.

Those movies aren’t exclusively “kid-friendly.” Those made specifically for young ones generally means that accompanying adults would rather jab themselves in the eye with a spork than sit through the full two-hour running time.

Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” definitely wasn’t family-friendly, but it also wasn’t exactly the world’s most gruesome thriller, either. Nonetheless, I’m not sure that I’ve laughed harder at any other movie this year, and I mean that in the best of ways. Raimi has a real knack for squeezing funny out of the delightfully grotesque, something that I think he can get kids, young adults and parents on board with if done right.

Guillermo del Toro and Disney already have the right idea by pursuing family-friendly thrillers with the newly launched Double Dare You line, and I think Raimi following in those footsteps is a very smart decision. Here’s hoping it works as well as I think it will.

What do you think of Raimi’s newly announced Spooky Pictures? Let us know in the comments section!