The brilliant Frightfest festival is always full of surprises, forever jumping out from behind the proverbial curtain to accost its audience members with surprise classics that they just couldn’t see coming. My personal favourite Frightfest ambush was easily Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound, a fantastically clever, funny and well-made horror comedy. It’s now one of my very favourite films of all.
Now comes the first trailer for Johnstone’s second feature film, M3gan. This is a Blumhouse and Universal joint, with James Wan onboard as producer, and Wan also came up with the story, or some sort of story material for the film, which was scripted by Malignant’s Akela Cooper.
Lots of names in that creator salad but I’d say Cooper and Johnstone are genuine standouts. The chances of those two bringing us something really special seem very high, and this trailer does nothing at all to make me doubt they’ll absolutely deliver.
The head turns! The pupil dilation! The dance moves!
M3gan will be in UK cinemas on 13 January 2023 and I’m sure we’ll be talking about it lots more in the meantime.
You might want to spend the next couple of months getting up to speed on the best of Johnstone’s earlier work. It was tricky to get a hold of his sitcom The Jaquie Brown Diaries (I had to recruit a kindly volunteer to scour second-hand DVD shops in New Zealand) but Housebound can be had on Blu-ray or from all the usual download places. Unfortunately, streaming Terry Teo is far too difficult in most of the world – if TVNZ’s website realises you’re in a different country it won’t play along. A shame because it’s something like you might imagine ‘Edgar Wright’s Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew do some robbing’ could be but better than that.