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Hammer Films has risen from the grave

First horror production in 30 years

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Classic film fans lock up your daughters, take up your wooden stakes and prepare to battle the forces of darkness: Hammer Films has announced it's called action on its first horror production for over 30 years.

Principal photography began today in County Donegal on The Wake Wood, featuring Eva Birthistle, Aidan Gillen and Timothy Spall. David Keating is at the helm, directing a screenplay he co-wrote with Brendan McCarthy.

The suitably Hammeresque blurb explains: "Still grieving the death of nine-year-old Alice - their only child - at the jaws of a crazed dog, vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where they learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with Alice. The couple find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree terms with Arthur, the village’s leader, a far bigger question looms - what will they do when it’s time for Alice to go back?"

Crikey. Hammer's first production was The Public Life Of Henry The Ninth, way back in 1935. Its final cinematic curtain call came in 1979 with a rehash of Alfred Hitchcock classic The Lady Vanishes.

The studio's last celluloid horror outing was 1976's To The Devil A Daughter, by which time it had offered audiences some chilling classics such as The Quatermass Experiment* (1955), Dracula (1958), and this hack's personal fave, Quatermass and the Pit (1967).

Hammer Films now forms a part of HS Media, backed by Dutch company Cyrte Investments, whose funds are helping the brand get "aggressively reinvigorated through new investment in the development, production, financing and distribution of film, television and multi-platform content". The Wake Wood is supported by the Irish Film Board. ®

Bootnote

* Why isn't this available on DVD, eh? Come on, pull your socks up.

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