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!