Back to IndieWire

Lee Daniels Signs Up to Direct Horror Film Based on Real-Life Exorcisms of Latoya Ammons

Lee Daniels Signs Up to Direct Horror Film Based on Real-Life Exorcisms of Latoya Ammons

Call it “Paranormal Activity part 7″… except this one really is based on “real-life” events.

Earlier this year, Relativity announced that it was developing a film inspired by the story of Gary, Indiana-based Latoya Ammons who, in 2011, claimed that her children were being attacked and possessed by demons.

The mother of 3 told police that she witnessed her children walking up walls, levitating and speaking in different voices.

She further claimed that she once found her seven-year-old son inside a
closet talking to another boy only he could see.

When she asked what they were talking about, Ammons claimed that he told her
the unseen presence was describing what it felt like to be killed.

The young boy was also reportedly thrown by a “malevolent spirit” out of a
bathroom, and her 12-year-old daughter required stitches to her
head after an attack.

When two psychics later visited the terrified mother, they told her there were more than 200 demons haunting the house.

Even official reports from a 2012 document on paranormal activity within the house, supported Ammons’ claims, as psychologists stated on-the-record that they witnessed her 9 year-old speak in “different voices” and walk “up the wall backwards.”

After visiting the house and interviewing Ms Ammons, the local police chief himself admitted that he was a “believer,” according to the Indianapolis Star.

State documents filed by the Department of Children Services detailed further strange events at the house, which were said to have been witnessed by medical experts and people outside the family.

Naturally, as you’d expect in this kind of situation, there were skeptics.

The family would eventually move out of their house, about a year later, in 2012. New tenants now live on the property, and there have been no
complaints of hauntings nor possessions.

Apparently, the story was a hot property, with Relativity winning a bidding war to acquire Ammons’ life rights, in April of this year.

Today brings word that Lee Daniels has signed up to direct the horror film. No ETA yet. He’s busy working on his Richard Pryor biopic, which Mike Epps is attached to star in.

The “haunted house,” “child possession” movie sub genres are quite overdone, thanks in part to the recent rash of qualifying titles. From the “Paranormal Activity” franchise (which seems endless), to “The Conjuring” (which spawned its first sequel, as well as a spin-off), “Insidious 1” & “2,” to all the films that start with “The Exorcism of…,” and many more.

They’re so overdone that they have become fodder for movie spoofs (for example, see Marlon Wayans’ “Haunted House” – itself becoming a franchise).

Maybe the *freshness* to be found in Latoya Ammons’ story is that black people are the central characters – this is assuming Relativity doesn’t do anything funny, like, you know, make the characters in the film adaptation white.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox