Whatever you may have thought of January Jones’s portrayal of The White Queen/Emma Frost in superhero blockbuster X-Men: First Class, there’s no denying the actress’s versatility. She’s been nominated for a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Satellite Award for her performance as Betty Draper in AMC’s period drama Mad Men, had supporting roles in action blockbusters like Unknown and the upcoming Good Kill, appeared in raunchy comedy American Wedding and even toplined her own Western (Sweetwater). Now, Jones is set to add another genre to her already strong resume: horror. The actress just signed on to topline a supernatural thriller called The Shuddering.
Jones stars as a woman who returns to the town where she first began to experience strange, horrific visions. When she digs into the town’s history and records of the visions, she begins to uncover a mystery far more complex and dangerous than she could have imagined.
Scary visions have been having a moment lately in horror flicks, with Isla Fisher starring in one actually called Visions, alongside Gillian Jacobs and Anson Mount, set to film this year. However, Jones is a talented actress, so I’m willing to give The Shuddering the benefit of the doubt, at least for now.
Unfortunately, the film’s script comes from The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia writer David Coggeshall, and its director, George Ratliff, is mostly unproven in the horror genre. His last two films, indies Salvation Boulevard and Joshua, received mixed reviews, though many critics opined that the latter built suspense well despite its formulaic story.
So, the verdict is still very much out on whether this indie horror film will be worth shelling out a few bucks for at the box office (or to watch on VOD, which honestly seems more likely). Jones is a strong actress, Coggeshall has a very weak screenplay to his name and Ratliff hasn’t dabbled enough in horror to justify judging him one way or the other.
We’ll find out where The Shuddering lands soon enough; the film is set to begin production this summer, after Jones wrapped Mad Men‘s final season.
Tell us, do you think that Jones will make a good scream queen? Does The Shuddering sound intriguing to you, or is its plot too familiar?