Your regular Mysterious Universe entertainment news round-up, covering the latest developments in the worlds of sci-fi, fantasy and horror…
Shapeshifting teens are headed for Netflix this August in The Innocents, a British supernatural sci-fi drama starring Guy Pearce.
According to Empire, the story follows teenagers Harry (Percelle Ascott) and June (Sorcha Groundsell) as they run away from their repressive families to be together, only to be derailed by an extraordinary discovery—June’s ability to shape-shift. As the lovers struggle to control this strange new power, a mysterious professor (Guy Pearce’s Halvorson) reveals that June is not alone: there are more shifters out there like her, and he promises to cure June and reunite her with the mother who deserted her three years ago.
The Innocents will begin on Netflix on 24 August this year and will run for 8 episodes.
Slender Man opens to slender returns
Last weekend saw the cinematic release of Slender Man, the much-anticipated movie based on the eponymous urban legend. The movie follows a group of friends who attempt to prove that the Slender Man doesn't exist. But when one of the friends mysteriously goes missing, their investigation takes a terrifying turn...
The movie opened to appalling reviews and pulled in just $11.5 million in its opening weekend. A new report from Bloody Disgusting claims that, shortly before its release, Slender Man was subjected to severe edits which removed some of its more gruesome sequences, ultimately giving audiences a radically different film from the one envisioned by director Sylvain White.
According to Bloody Disgusting:
“Many of the striking scenes that were teased in the first trailer, like one of the characters stabbing her eyes out, or another ripping her tongue out after encountering Slender Man in the woods, are completely missing from the film.”
The implication is not that the film would have performed better critically or commercially with the inclusion of the scenes, but rather that the film as released does not represent a complete or coherent directorial vision, merely a loose collection of sequences.
Slender Man is in theaters now.
Pegg and Frost get slaughtered
Genre nerds, rejoice! Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have reteamed for Slaughterhouse Rulez, a coming-of-age horror comedy that Pegg describes as a “subterranean monster movie.” The nature of the monster/s is unknown as yet, but the folks at Bloody Disgusting (again) reckon this looks like “Harry Potter gone horror.” The official synopsis reads as follows…
“Welcome to Slaughterhouse, an elite boarding school where boys and girls are groomed for power and greatness…and they’re about to meet their match. This ancient and ordered world is about to be shaken to its foundations—literally—when a controversial frack site on prized school woodland causes seismic tremors, a mysterious sinkhole, and an unspeakable horror to be unleashed. Soon a new pecking order will be established as the pupils and teachers alike become locked in a bloody battle for survival…”
Slaughterhouse Rulez will be creeping into cinemas on Halloween day this year. In addition to Pegg and Frost, the movie stars Asa Butterfield, Finn Cole, Hermione Corfield, and Michael Sheen.
ALF: the return
Fans of saxophone-scored alien-themed family sitcoms from the 1980s will know by now that Warner Bros TV has a reboot of ALF in development. The project is still in its infancy and is currently searching for a writer to lead the series.
The original ALF first aired on NBC from 1986 to 1990. It follows an extraterrestrial named Gordon Shumway (nicknamed ALF, short for Alien Life Form) from the planet Melmac who accidentally crash-lands in the garage of the Tanners, a suburban middle-class family from the San Fernando Valley in California.
As Sci-Fi Now points out, since the show first premiered in 1986 the character of ALF has become almost iconic in geek culture, earning references in numerous TV shows and movies, including The Simpsons, Mr Robot, The Big Bang Theory, Guardians of The Galaxy and Hot Tub Time Machine.
The ALF reboot does not yet have a release date. It seems likely, though, that the show will liberally tap the rich vein of UFO mythology that has developed during the almost-three-decades since the original series ended in 1990. More details here as they develop.