While everyone was raving about the Soska sisters’ body horror film American Mary back in 2012, I was strongly supporting Richard Bates Jr.’s Excision with more passion. My review for American Mary states all the problems I found with Katharine Isabelle’s body-modification obsession, and compared to AnnaLynne McCord’s surgical-nurse-in-training character there’s just no competition. Bates showed so much promise with his short-film-adapted first feature that I couldn’t wait to see what twisted project would come from his mind next – and it looks like I won’t have to wait much longer.
Starting to build its festival run is Suburban Gothic, a twisted little paranormal tale about Raymond – your typical hipster forced to move back home with his lame parents. With no ambition or drive, a bartender/old acquaintance named Becca suggests Raymond start a business using his only odd talent, which happens to be connecting with the dead. When an evil spirit threatens his home town, Raymond jumps at the chance to change his useless status, and so his adventure begins.
While Bates has been hush-hush about his project so far, today brings the very first red band trailer for Suburban Gothic. Once again the filmmaker brings his quirky sense of style, made obvious by Raymond’s flamboyant qualities, but where Excision is brutally gory, this ghost story appears to be more about entertaining thrills and chills. One ghastly boy even reminds me of The Grudge‘s bastard child, highlighting definite influences from similar genre material.
With a cast that includes Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Jeffrey Combs, John Waters, and Barbara Niven, it’s hard for genre fans not to be a little excited for Bates’ follow-up feature. Whether you are a fan of Excision or not, Bates brings a definite point of view that not many other filmmakers can replicate, marrying indie attitudes with aggressive horror visuals – which again should work wonders for Suburban Gothic.
Here you go angsty graduate students – here’s a horror movie made especially for you. Can’t find a job? Just become a paranormal investigator! Can’t do that either? Eh, just check out the trailer for Suburban Gothic to see the life you’re missing.
So what do you think? Will Richard Bates Jr. capture lightning in a bottle twice? Or is this a silly ghost story we’re just not cool enough to understand.