For some of us, including many of The Playlist’s own writing staff, “The Descent” director Neil Marshall is a purely hype-fueled helmer that never quite delivers on the promise of the former film or his chilling debut werewolf picture “Dog Soldiers.” For others, he’s a talent who has made two great genre pictures in the previously mentioned titles, then decided to step outside his comfort zone with the unofficial “Mad Max” homage “Doomsday,” along with the Michael Fassbender-starring Roman war flick “Centurion,” with both achieving varying degrees of success. Regardless of which camp you fall into, Marshall’s name has been floating around a handful of projects, from the Sam Raimi-produced 3D body horror film “Burst” to an ambitious foodie genre flick.
Now Deadline is reporting that Marshall can add another title to his slate of potential/may move on without him list of projects with “Hellfest.” A CBS Films horror project, “Hellfest” will follow a costumed killer on Halloween night that preys upon visitors at a theme park. Apparently the plan is to have this be Marshall’s next project following his work on the much talked about season two episode of “Game of Thrones” entitled “Blackwater,” and production is hoping to start Summer 2012 with plans for this to be a franchise (oh God).
The film is being produced by James Cameron’s right hand woman (and former wife) on “The Terminator” and “Aliens,” Gale Ann Hurd, along with her production banner Valhalla Entertainment. They currently have their fingers firmly on the pulse of genre fans with the increasingly obnoxious but hugely successful AMC series “The Walking Dead.”
It’s interesting to see Marshall in-talks to helm such a seemingly low-concept film as this, but perhaps they’re looking for a director who can pump out an above average horror film for a micro-budget. While he hasn’t quite attained the title of a great modern director of screams that has been so readily bestowed upon him by the horror community, perhaps scaling his ambitions back from grandiose Roman war epics is a good thing. As long as Marshall isn’t simply riffing on a film like Tobe Hooper’s “Funhouse,” perhaps this could me a fun little chiller in time for Halloween.