HE’S WATCHING: “Jacob Aaron Estes, who wowed audiences with MEAN CREEK and his Sundance 2019 darling DON’T LET GO, offers up one of his most personal and thrilling tales yet with HE’S WATCHING, which lands on U.S. VOD next Thursday, July 21st, from XYZ Films.
Creating the project with his wife, musician Gretchen Lieberum, and children, Iris Serena Estes and Lucas Steel Estes, during the height of Covid-19 lockdown, the filmmaker originally conceived HE’S WATCHING as a way to stave off his family’s boredom while trapped in their home.
What it became was much more than that.
When happy-go-lucky siblings Iris and Lucas (playing fictionalized versions of themselves) are left alone while their parents recover from an illness, a series of playful pranks they play on each other escalate when they start receiving unsettling images and videos on their phones. With the incoming messages becoming increasingly nightmarish, Iris and Lucas realize something sinister has taken root in their home.
Featuring startlingly clever filmmaking and stunning debut performances from Iris Serena and Lucas Steel Estes, HE’S WATCHING builds into a visual nightmare that transcends not only the found footage genre, but all expected horror tropes.
Jacob Aaron Estes serves as the film’s director, writer, editor, cinematographer, producer, and co-star. The cast includes Iris Serena Estes, Lucas Steel Estes, and Gretchen Lieberum, all of whom additionally act as the picture’s producers.”
Watch the Trailer for PREY FOR THE DEVIL: “In response to a global rise in demonic possessions, the Catholic Church reopens exorcism schools to train priests in the Rite of Exorcism. On this spiritual battlefield, an unlikely warrior rises: a young nun, Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers). Although nuns are forbidden to perform exorcisms, a professor (Colin Salmon) recognizes Sister Ann’s gifts and agrees to train her. Thrust onto the spiritual frontline with fellow student Father Dante (Christian Navarro), Sister Ann finds herself in a battle for the soul of a young girl (who Sister Ann believes is possessed by the same demon that tormented her own mother years ago), and soon realizes the Devil has her right where he wants her….and it wants in.”
FINN WOLFHARD AND BILLY BRYK TO WRITE, DIRECT, STAR IN HELL OF A SUMMER FOR 30WEST: “30WEST announced today that Finn Wolfhard (It, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) and Billy Bryk (When You Finish Saving the World) will direct Hell of a Summer, which is based on their original script. Wolfhard, Bryk, and Fred Hechinger (“The White Lotus,” The Woman in the Window) will star in the contemporary horror-comedy, with plot details being kept under wraps. Hechinger, Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman, Michael Costigan, and Parts and Labor’s Jay Van Hoy will produce the film, with principal photography beginning this month in Ontario, Canada. 30WEST is fully financing, executive producing the film and co-representing the worldwide rights alongside CAA Media Finance.
Wolfhard said: “I am so excited to be co-directing my first feature film. I get the chance to work with an incredible cast and crew, and to work with a company like 30WEST and Aggregate is a real dream.”
Wolfhard is best known for his starring roles as Mike Wheeler in the critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series Stranger Things and Richie Tozier in New Line Cinema’s It and It: Chapter Two, which together have grossed over $1.2 billion at the box office. He recently starred in Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife for Columbia Pictures. Releasing later this year, Wolfhard will co-star alongside Oscar winner Julianne Moore in the A24 comedy-drama feature When You Finish Saving the World, written and directed by Jesse Eisenberg and produced by Emma Stone. He lends his voice to the all-star cast in Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated musical film Pinocchio, which will premiere on Netflix. Lastly, he completed production on the A24 fantasy epic film The Legend of Ochi, opposite Willem Dafoe, which is in post-production.
In 2020, Wolfhard made his directorial debut with his first short film Night Shifts. The short was accepted into the Fantasia Film Festival, where it received the Silver Audience Award for ‘Best Canadian Short.” It was also accepted to both the Calgary International Film Festival and The Barcelona International Short Film Festival and screened at the prestigious TIFF Next Wave Film Festival.
Bryk is an actor and producer who appeared alongside Wolfhard in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and currently in Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World for A24 which opened this year’s Critics’ Week section at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hechinger can next be seen in Scott Cooper’s The Pale Blue Eye starring Christian Bale for Netflix, Butcher’s Crossing with Nicolas Cage, and J.C. Chandor’s Kraven the Hunter alongside Russell Crowe and Ariana DeBose. His film credits include Joe Wright’s The Woman in the Window for Netflix, Paul Greengrass’ News of the World for Universal Pictures and Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade for A24. Television credits include the hit HBO series “The White Lotus” and “Pam & Tommy” for Hulu.
Hell of a Summer joins 30WEST’s fast-growing slate of projects which includes: Cooper Raiff’s The Trashers starring David Harbour; Marc Webb’s genre-bending thriller Day Drinker; and the forthcoming reimagining of The Crow, which the company helped package with Rupert Sanders directing and Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs attached to star. Most recently in Cannes, 30WEST premiered Imperative Entertainment’s Triangle of Sadness in competition which NEON acquired, as well as The Silent Twins with Focus Features which premiered in Un Certain Regard. 30WEST is currently in post-production on the documentary Wildcat, slated for release by Amazon Studios this fall.
Wolfhard is represented by CAA, Velocity Entertainment Partners (VEP), Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein, and Jill Fritzo PR. Hechinger is repped by A3 Artists Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and attorney Ryan LeVine. Bryk is repped by Innovative Artists, Oscars Abrams Zimel & Associates (OAZ), and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman, Entertainment Law.”
MANEATER: “What better place to drown your sorrows than an idyllic island paradise? That was the idea when Jesse’s friends convinced her to not let a broken engagement stand in the way of enjoying her prepaid honeymoon. Their sorrows weren’t the only thing going to drown on their trip especially with a man-eating shark swimming just below the surface.”
Starring: Nicky Whelan, Trace Adkins with Jeff Fahey and Shane West
Written and Directed By: Justin Lee
In Theaters, On Demand and Digital August 26, 2022