Supernatural horror Tormented will creep under your skin next year after prolific UK independent Hereford Films announced it would be the indie studio’s first project in 2017. It will form part of a number of genre projects set in the US.
Writer-director Adam Stephen Kelly will look to add to the praise bestowed by critics on 2016’s Kill Kane (despite audiences failing to get behind it) with Tormented, the first of US-set slate of genre movies from UK independent Hereford Films. Kelly, who shot revenge thriller Kill Kane in a matter of days with Vinny Jones in the lead role, is yet to fully stamp his authority as a writer-director of feature films having announced his talent through short Done In in 2014 (a Cannes favourite that year).
His latest effort, shooting in the new year, is a supernatural horror film which, in the aftermath of a tragic car accident, sees teenage girl Ashley Loren haunted by nightmares of her dead sister. She must uncover her hometown’s murky past to vanquish the malevolent spirit that now terrorises her.
Casting is still underway but Louisa Connolly-Burnham, who will appear in Tonnie Dinjens’ Time Will Tell in 2017, has landed the plump role of Ashley. She said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of Tormented. Despite many sleepless nights, horror has always been one of my favourite genres and I’m so excited to finally be on the other side of the scares! I’ve personally experienced sleep paralysis and it’s absolutely terrifying – the script definitely brings that aspect out.”
Writer-director Kelly says there will be enough twists and turns to ensure Tormented brings something new to a well-worn premise. It deals with something that is very “real”, he remarks as he discusses the protagonist’s sleep paralysis. It’s a “very real, very scary phenomenon” he says. “The response to the script has been fantastic and I’m so excited to have the interest of so many talented actors, not to mention Louisa Connolly-Burnham in the lead role who is a fantastic talent.”
Hereford Films CEO Jonathan Sothcott commented: “The glut of horror films released weekly to home entertainment platforms makes standing out from the crowd a particular challenge, and over-saturation of inferior product is going to be an increasing problem but our model for these genre films at Hereford mixes the best elements of Hammer and Blumhouse. Unashamedly populist, high-concept and modestly budgeted horror films that will not only stand out in the market, but haunt audiences’ imaginations long after the end credits. With one of the best genre scripts I’ve ever read, I want Tormented to be the first in a slate of horror pictures that can go toe-to-toe with modern genre classics such as The Purge and The Babadook.”
Hereford Films’ 2017 slate also includes genre films Aura, Pentagram, Dracula: New Blood and We Still Die the Old Way, plus family films Pride and Prejudice and Ollie.