Sunday, 30 November 2014

Lee Daniels enters Demon House

Having previously dipped his toe into southern Gothic with Paperboy (2012), director Lee Daniels' next project looks set to be even more horrifying. He's signed up for Demon House, a possession thriller based on the 'true story' of Latoya Ammons and her family.

The Ammons family became the focus of a media frenzy at the start of this year when mother of three Latoya and her own mother Rosa began reporting The Amityville Horror (1979) type happenings in Latoya's rented Indiana home. It all began with an infestation of flies and escalated, they said, to Latoya's children levitating, being thrown around by unseen forces, talking to ghosts and being possessed, which made their eyes bulge and their voices get deeper. Police captain Charles Austin said he was initially sceptical but quickly became "a believer".

Others, however, were less convinced, especially when a photograph purportedly showing supernatural evidence turned out to have been doctored with an iPhone app. Zak Bagans, exec producer and host of the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, swooped in and bought the house, deciding that its basement was a portal to hell. Cynics might suggest he came to that conclusion because it's good TV.

What Daniels intends to do with the property remains to be seen, but with plenty of other haunted/possessed house movies on the way – for example a new Amityville, Hammer's Winchester House project – he'll have to work to make this one stand out.

Relativity will finance and distribute the film, with Turn Left's (2006) Jackson Nguyen and Crites producing. There's no word on a screenwriter or cast as yet.

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