Welcome, Atom Insider readers to Donato’s Dungeon! Isn’t chasing news headlines a grueling and exhausting task? Ever wonder where you can get all the week’s biggest headlines in one easy-to-find place? That’s why I’m here, armed with a chainsaw and machete to slice through the week’s onslaught of horror news to find the most notable happenings in our genre community. Let’s see what sights I have to show you…

1. Candyman Reboot To Comment On Toxic Fandom, Can Be Compared To ‘Get Out’ And ‘Us’

As MonkeyPaw’s Candyman gears up for production, we have a few updates from creative director Ian Cooper on how to bring Candyman back from the dead in today’s extremely toxic fandom culture and also how it fits into Jordan Peele’s cinematic world:

We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that. I think my issue with fandom is that it’s really problematic. It’s probably the most problematic thing facing the genre.

It typically comes with a dogma that is abrasive and that is more resistant to change and permutation than you would think. I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film but also be very satisfying. It will be satisfying on its own and will dovetail to the original. The new Candyman will fit in with Us and Get Out in a way that’s circuitous.

It’s important to note that while many sites are reporting that Nia DaCosta’s Candyman will deal with toxic fandom directly, that’s not how I read it. Scott’s simply commenting on how crowds seem to lash out against remakes and reboots that challenge their beloved nostalgia. How Candyman addresses that is a question altogether considering how we’re still not 100% certain on whether or not Tony Todd will appear or how, but I’m not sure where the “will address toxic fandom” headlines are coming from.

As for the thematic comparisons to Us and Get Out – well, duh. Peele has created two of the angriest and most outspoken horror films of the 2000s. Bernard Rose’s original Candyman heavily comments on race and injustice. It’s not surprising that MonkeyPaw’s intention is to amplify those social commentaries so, yeah, Candyman is going to be as vocal as it is (hopefully) terrifying.

Source: Deadline / Dread Central

2. Sigourney Weaver Confirmed For Jason Reitman’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Film, Director Wants To “Scare Children”

We still don’t know much about Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters project, but we now know star Sigourney Weaver is confirmed to appear. She will reprise her original role of Dana Barrett, and spilled, “It’s going to be crazy working with the guys again!” Consider Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd confirmed, as well.

In other news, Jason Reitman told Geek Tyrant he wants to “scare children” with his film, possibly by using unused Ghostbusters (original) footage? I’m all for it. Scary fun is the best kind of fun.

I want to scare children. One of my favorite things about movies [in the 80’s] is that they can be funny and scary at the same time.

In making this movie, we found something kind of extraordinary. We went to Sony, and we said, ‘We’d really love to get back into the original dailies from 1984. Do you still have them?’ And we found them. They were in a mine in Kansas, and we shipped the boxes to Burbank. We’ve been going through the footage for reasons I cannot tell you, but along the way we found some really cool stuff.

Source: Parade / Geek Tyrant

3. Steven Spielberg Writing Horror Series For Mobile Streaming Service Quibi

Here’s some interesting news! Steven Spielberg, not one to write the movies he directs, will be penning a horror series for mobile streaming service Quibi (short for “quick bites”). As you can assume by the service’s title, shows will be divided into short chapters, around 7 to 10 minutes long meant to be watched on the go. Spielberg’s After Dark will have a unique twist compared to the Quibi projects from Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, and Jason Blum: Spielberg’s shorts will only be available to watch after midnight and in the dark.

Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman had to find a way to meet Spielberg’s unusual request, and they did. Consider me curious about the gimmick, but it’s certainly exciting to see Spielberg return to his Poltergeist horror days. The service is set to debut in April of 2020.

Given that phones can track where it is at the moment — and keep tabs on when the sun rises and sets in its area — Katzenberg and Whitman challenged their engineers to come up with an idea for how to view the show when it’s spooky out. The result: A clock will appear on phones, ticking down until sun sets in wherever that user is, until it’s completely gone. Then the clock starts ticking again to when the sun comes back up — and the show will disappear until the next night.

Source: Variety

4. Blumhouse Remaking ‘Black Christmas’ To Release THIS December

Surprise! Blumhouse announced this week via Twitter that their previously untitled December 2019 release is a remake of Bob Clark’s slasher classic Black Christmas. Imogen Poots (Green Room) leads a cast including Aleyse Shannon (Charmed), Brittany O’Grady (Star), Lily Donoghue (The GoldbergsJane the Virgin) and Caleb Eberhardt (Broadway’s Choir Boy). Tapped to direct is Sophia Takal (who directed the must-see Always Shine), who co-wrote the script with April Wolfe. Mark your calendars for December 13th, Xmas horror fans!

5. ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Plot Details Revealed

Keepin’ this write-up short and simple. Here’s the synopsis for Stranger Things Season Three:

“It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer’s heating up. School’s out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they’ll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart. Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new, Eleven and her friends are reminded that evil never ends; it evolves. Now they’ll have to band together to survive, and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear.”

6. ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark’ Casts The Midnight Society

Paramount’s planned Are You Afraid Of The Dark adaptation took a hit recently when Gary Dauberman walked away, but the revival is still planned to release this Halloween. The script was penned by BenDavid Grabinski (Skiptrace) and directed by Dean Israelite (Power Rangers), but until today, a new Midnight Society had yet to be revealed. Now we know Sam Ashe Arnold (Best.Worst.Weekend.Ever.), Miya Cech (Rim Of The World), Tamara Smart (Artemis Fowl), Lyliana Wray (Top Gun: Maverick, Black-ish), Rafael Casal (Blindspotting), and Jeremy Taylor (It, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween) have all boarded the three-episode hourlong limited series.

Casal will play The Carnival of Doom’s ringmaster, Mr. Tophat, who is brought to life as the children mentioned above tell their spooky campfire stories.

Source: Deadline

7. ‘Crawl’ Splashes Into 4DX Theaters

Crawl is a personal must-watch this summer due to my love of aquatic horror. A hurricane, gators, and two trapped family members trying to escape their flooding house. Alexandre Aja aims to deliver a fantastic companion to shark-in-a-supermarket Bait 3D or tiger-in-a-house Burning Bright, which as of this week’s announcement you can watch in 4DX! Feel Mother Nature’s fury as mist blows into your face while waves rock 4DX motion seats. Give it a try!

8. Amblin Giving Short Film ‘The Blue Door’ Feature Treatment

Paul Taylor‘s BAFTA nominated short film The Blue Door will be turned into a feature film under Amblin’s production banner. Megan Pugh and Ben Clark will pen a script described as having “a strong dramatic core combined with a high concept horror mythology,” with Taylor set to direct. Alter released the short publically, which you can watch above. Give it a watch and find out what’s on the other side.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

9. Child’s Play VR Experience Now Available

The good people at Kaslan Corporation want to give you an up-close and personal meeting with their new Buddi doll (aka Chucky). You can do this by downloading the new Child’s Play VR Experience on your mobile device, desktop, or VR headset. What could go wrong?

10. Brian Tyree Henry Breaks Silence On ‘A Quiet Place 2’

Child’s Play star Brian Tyree Henry was asked about John Krasinski’s sequel A Quiet Place 2, in terms of detail. We already know the director sees it more as an “expansion of universe” versus a straightforward sequel. Henry seems to confirm the same, hinting at more development into the initial invasion that started it all.

Chatting with Indiwire:

I think that we’re going to get a few answers to the origin of where and how this whole thing happened. I think that people want to know that. But I think you’re just going to see another side of it…more of humanity that survived this thing in this next story.

Source: Indiewire

11. Sony Animation Developing ‘Hungry Ghosts’ Series From Dark Horse Comic

In AWESOME news this week, Sony Animation (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse) has announced they’ll be developing an animated series based on Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose’s Hungry Ghosts graphic novel. As per Deadline, the project will be “an anthology of frightening, hilarious, twisted, and culinary-inspired ghost stories.” Each episode will vary in design and look completely different from the last to fit storytelling tonality. Bourdain previously noted the comics are based on the violence he had witnessed in kitchens throughout his career. I mean, culinary horror? Why isn’t this a bigger subgenre?!

Source: Deadline

12. Chucky Really Hates ‘Toy Story 4’

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the marketing for MGM’s Child’s Play remake, you’d know Chucky seriously has it out for his June 21st release competition. Debuting the same day as Toy Story 4, Chucky’s already been depicted killing Slinky Dog, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear. His latest victim? Mr. Potato Head. “In theaters next Fry-Day,” the tweet reads. Enough said.

13. Gunpowder & Sky To Release SXSW Favorite ‘Villains’ In Theaters This Fall

Rejoice, home invasion horror fans! One of my favorite premieres out of SXSW, Dan Berk & Robert Olsen’s Villains, will receive a theatrical release this fall. Starring Bill Skarsgård and Maika Monroe as young-in-love criminals who break into the wrong house (owned by Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick), Villains is an absolute blast featuring tremendous chemistry throughout. I had plenty to say about this one in my initial review and subsequent SXSW “Best Of” roundup for Atom Insider.

14. SYFY’s Horror Reboot Of ‘The Banana Splits’ Gets An ‘R’ Rating

I am bewildered by and so very excited for Warner Bros. and SYFY’s horror reboot The Banana Splits, which sounds like a Five Nights at Freddy’s inspiration, only because I have no idea what to expect. Even with this week’s news that the MPAA has issued a hard-R rating for horror, violence and gore, there are so many tangential ways The Banana Splits can play out. Sure The Happytime Murders bombed, but that’s because the filmmaking itself fails wit, humor, and quality. If Five Nights at Freddy’s teaches us anything, it’s that mechanical animal musicians coming to life after dark is freaking terrifying. Here’s hoping Level 16 director Danishka Esterhazy is here to prove the same.

15. Burger King Will Serve “Upside Down Whopper” In Honor Of ‘Stranger Things’

Brands are launching ’80s-themed products in partnership with Netflix’s upcoming third season of Stranger Things (Nike’s “lost shoes” from 1985, Baskin Robbins’ transformation into Scoops Ahoy), but Burger King’s is the most hilarious and least-effort of them all. Their “Upside Down Whopper” is just a Whopper flipped on its bun-head. It will only be available in 11 metropolitan areas because Eleven forbid corporate train every BK employee how to…*check notes*…turn a Whopper over before serving.

And Now…This Week’s Horror Trailers!


Mike Flanagan’s long-awaited Doctor Sleep drops its first teaser trailer, which features heavy remembrances of The Shining. Definitely getting The Haunting of Hill House vibes based on how the trailer sells emotionality and horror storytelling hand-in-hand. I’m looking forward to Flanagan’s take on this Stephen King sequel, and if our first look is any indication, we’re in for a good (creepy) time.


Rob Zombie premiered the first trailer from his upcoming sequel 3 From Hell on Instagram and Facebook. Judging by the footage and as with most Zombie flicks, I’m either going to loathe or love this one when it releases in September (as per Zombie, no exact date exists).


As mentioned above, SYFY has turned ’60s musical animals “The Banana Splits” into a horror movie that seems to borrow heavily from Five Nights at Freddy’s. This isn’t a joke. Watch the trailer and keep your eyes peeled for a home release.


Adam Brody and Amanda Crew star in this maternal grief possession thriller said to be in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby.


This year’s Fantasia Film Festival will see the premiere of Aquaslash, a slasher flick where waterpark attendees are murdered while riding water slides. Um, yes, please?


Any movie that sells itself by advertising YouTube stars as headliners is a hard sell (in my eyes), but Deadcon looks to have to legitimate chills? Stay tuned, as I’ll be covering this one out of Cinepocalypse.


There’s a lot going on here from bloodied space cadet children to eyebars revealed after tearing away chest cavity tissue, so yeah, Assassinaut has my attention.


Anthropology horror and ancient scripts! Missing persons! Spooky mysteries!


Yup – those howlin’ witches do look pretty wicked!

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