Fans of horror and sci-fi and anything mildly original, prick up your ears, because The Strangers writer-director Bryan Bertino has been officially acquired by MGM to pen the feature length adaption of Rob McLellan’s short film, Abe.
The multi-talented McLellan, who works as a director, writer and in visual effects, received a positive response to his nine-minute short, which centers on a misguided robot with an evil streak. Abe only adds to the ever-growing list as to why artificial intelligence should remain emotionless.
The beauty behind the truly terrifying project is the fact it doesn’t rely on gore to shock its audience – as is the case with many films nowadays. It seems the horror genre as of late is laden with torture porn and found-footage movies, so it’s somewhat refreshing that such conventions are steered well clear of in this instance.
If anything, Abe‘s tendency to avoid gore alone places Bryan Bertino as the ideal filmmaker to whom the story can be entrusted. His film The Strangers strayed away from blood and guts and instead relied on tension and drama to propel its characters down a narrative of genuine fear and discomfort. With an intriguing source material from which he can work, Bertino now has the opportunity to build on a unique concept and create something which stands an arms-length away from typical Hollywood ‘terror.’
The fact of the matter is, we’ve become tired with the horror genre. There just isn’t anything in recent times that has dared to be different, and studios have tended to stick to the tried and tested formula of extensively loud bangs and predictable jump scares.
While the original Abe did stray into the damsel-and-distress routine we’re so used to seeing, the building blocks are there for a unique blend of an original concept and a captivating antagonist. From the synthetic ‘emotions’ to the ever-chilling British accent, Abe is a character that has real potential to be a cold-hearted (Can we say that? Cold-wired seems a better fit) baddie in a similar vein to 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL… only this time the robot can move around and has the taste of blood running around his circuits.
If you haven’t already seen it, check out the short film below:
What do you think of a feature-length Abe film? What did you think of the original? And do you think Bryan Bertino is the right man to take it forward? Sound off in the comments section below!