Horror directors John and Drew Dowdle are no strangers to controversy. They first came to the attention of the genre crowd back in 2007 with “The Poughkeepsie Tapes,” a found-footage serial killer picture that went down so badly with a crowd of horror geeks at a now-legendary screening during Ain’t It Cool’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon Festival, that it’s barely seen the light of day since.
However, the film’s notoriety landed them the gig of remaking Spanish zombie hit “[Rec],” which was criticized by many fans for being a near shot-for-shot remake of the original, and they didn’t exactly win over their critics with a collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan on the chronically stupid “Devil” a few months back. Now there’s news of their next film, and it sounds like it could make earlier controversies seem insignificant in comparison.
The directors revealed at Comic-Con back in 2008 that they were hoping their next film would be a self-penned effort called “The Coup,” and Bloody Disgusting has revealed that the film’s finally moving forward with backing from Lionsgate and should go in front of cameras next year. The plot, the brothers revealed back in the day, revolves around an American couple and their two young children who move to Cambodia just as a coup overthrows the government. The family then have to try and escape an environment where any foreigners are being immediately executed.
And therein lies the rub: John Dowdle told the site when the film was originally announced that “it’s very realistic, like a real world zombie movie. Anybody who sees [the family]… they’re dead. It’s not a zombie movie, but it has that vibe. They have to hide in crowds, get out. It’s pretty horrific.” Maybe we’re being a little oversensitive here, but an American family, fleeing a mob of Asians (compared to zombies, no less) who mindlessly want to kill any foreigners? Unless you were someone who thought the Somalians in “Black Hawk Down” were overly three-dimensional, that seems a little bit racist.
If we had more faith in the helmers, than we’d be less quick to judge here, but they’ve shown a general lack of taste and judgment in their work so far, and we wouldn’t trust them to handle this premise with much delicacy (particularly as the project was announced, in a monumentally insensitive piece of timing, on the day on which 350 people died in a stampede at a water festival in Cambodia. Good one guys!).
Nevertheless, Lionsgate seem to be high on the project, so filming will likely get underway some time next year.