Showtime and Vitagraph Scare Up "The Roost" for North America
by Brian Brooks
Showtime and Vitagraph Films have acquired all North American rights to Ti West's debut feature, "The Roost," the two companies announced Tuesday. The film, which is currently screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival, is currently slated for initial theatrical release in early fall of this year, while Showtime will premiere the film on video and on television following the theatrical release. The joint deals were negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment and Roger E. Kass of RingTheJing Entertainment and by Larry Greenberg on behalf of Showtime and David Schultz on behalf of Vitagraph Films.
Directed and written by Ti West, and produced by Susan Leber and James McKenney under the ScareFlix banner, a label created by cult horror director Larry Fessenden as part of his production company Glass Eye Pix, the film is described as "a raw homage to genre films of the 1970s and '80s." According to the LAFF catalog, the film centers on a group of four friends who encounter car trouble in a remote area on Halloween night. "They find a house, but nobody's home, and the only inhabitants of the barn aren't horses," but instead, "bloodthirsty bats [and] the hungry undead."
"I'd have to go pretty far back in recent memory to think of a debut film that was more assured and exciting as 'The Roost,'" said Showtime acquisitions executive, Larry Greenberg in a statement. "We are proud to be bringing the film to audiences in North America." "Part of the mission of ScareFlix is to celebrate raw talent. Ti West is an intuitive stylist and I tried to give him total freedom within the budget. I think it really paid off," added executive producer Fessenden in a statement.
The final screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival takes place on tonight (Wednesday June 22nd) at 9:30 PM at the Laemmle Sunset 5. The film premiered earlier this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW).
Previous Vitagraph Films genre releases include the original Japanese version of cult horror title "The Grudge" and Takashi Miike's "Audition."