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‘The Witch’ Won’t Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film

'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film

The best film I saw at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was Robert Eggers’ “The Witch,” a super-stylish, super-scary, witchy brew of madness that bears the mark of a seasoned auteur.

It made total sense that the Sundance Dramatic jury, including member Cary Fukunaga, wanted to anoint fledgling Eggers. Now the director has set up an untitled remake of “Nosferatu” under (ex-Warner Bros. chief) Jeff Robinov’s budding Studio 8, reports Deadline. “This will be a visceral adaptation of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film masterpiece that brings the horrific vampire of Eastern European folklore back to the screen.”

Jan Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen’s Parts and Labor, for whom Eggers is also directing “The Knight,” will produce. Here is a remake that could actually work, with Eggers once again burnishing classical horror elements with his modern touch.

READ MORE: 5 Films That Influence ‘The Witch,’ Sundance’s Scariest Horror Movie

Painterly images, ye-olde English, oozing ominous portent and pitch-perfect period detail drive chilling “The Witch,” tale of a family of 17th-century New England settlers pushed to hysteria and violence by the malevolent, titular force nesting in the woods. Anya-Taylor Joy gives a breakout performance as the teenaged daughter of puritan parents, played by the brutally committed Kate Dickie and Ralph Ineson.

A24 grabbed “The Witch” out of Sundance and have settled on a 2016 release, and I’m told by the distributor that they’re aiming for a first-quarter release, which is an appropriate slot for an indie horror movie with some crossover appeal. For my money, this is the most exciting and important (and not to mention genuinely horrifying) American horror film since “The Blair Witch Project” blew up Sundance in 1999.

READ MORE: Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror ‘The Witch’

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