Focus Features International Lands Director Mike Flanagan for ‘Somnia’

There’s no theater experience in the world as fun as the Midnight Movie premieres at film festivals across the continent.  Drawing a younger, and usually more inebriated crowd, Midnight Movies host the best horror has to offer.

While TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) is underway, that hasn’t stopped Oculus director Mike Flanagan from signing on for Focus Features International’s latest project Somnia.  Although there haven’t been any reviews of Oculus online yet, the film has already been picked up by FilmDistrict for release early next year.  Check out the TIFF official synopsis for Oculus below:

Years after the mysterious deaths of their parents, a traumatized brother and sister find the cause of their family tragedy: a cursed mirror whose 300-year history has left a bloody trail of destruction in its wake. Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) has spent years in a psychiatric hospital, trying to get over the traumatic impact on his fragile psyche of the deaths of his parents. After being released and reuniting with his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan), Tim begins to understand that the roots of their misfortune are far more sinister than he could have realized.

Convinced that an old mirror was responsible for their family tragedy, Kaylie has spent the intervening years tracing the mirror’s 300 years of mysterious history and the bloody trail of destruction left in its wake. Now, with Tim by her side, she is ready to confront the evil. The duo must unravel the terrifying truth of their past in the face of increasingly dangerous and unexplainable phenomena. There can only be one outcome when it comes to the evil they confront — an outcome born of deception, violence and murder.

Director Mike Flanagan masterfully juggles multiple layers and storylines, ratcheting up a palpable sense of foreboding and intensity in a confined space. He showed tremendous promise with his previous feature, Absentia, and is one of the most exciting new voices in the horror genre. The concept for his new film is based on a short that Flanagan made in 2006, on which he artfully expands here, touching on the age-old trend of paranormal investigation in the vein of horror classics The Haunting and The Legend of Hell House.

Now that Oculus is making its run at TIFF Flanagan is on to Somnia, a terrifying tale chronicling the experiences of a young, orphaned boy whose dreams and horrific nightmares manifest themselves in our world as he sleeps.  The film is expected to be shot this Fall and co-produced by Intrepid Pictures, Demarest Films, and MICA Entertainment.

Somnia is written by newcomer Jeff Howard who co-wrote Oculus with Flanagan.  The premise sounds interesting enough, however, I’m a little wary how Mr. Howard will differentiate his script from classic nightmare movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about Somnia.

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