Universal Scares Up Rights To Joe Hill’s Novella Snapshot 1988


Universal is about to start sending even more horror films our way, this time courtesy of author Joe Hill. According to THR, Universal has grabbed the rights to Hill’s novella Snapshot 1988, a recently released horror story about a boy who takes care of his apparently demented elderly housekeeper. What’s more, director Mike Flanagan, of Ouija 2: Origin of Evil, and his writing partner Jeff Howard are in talks to write the script.

Snapshot 1988 tells the story of a 13 year old boy who begins taking care of an elderly housekeeper, whom he thinks is in the stages of dementia. But her memories are actually being stolen by a man called The Phoenician, who collects people’s memories using a camera. The novella has already sparked comparisons with the Netflix TV series Stranger Things, so we can bet that a film version will take us even deeper into the world of 1980s nostalgia.

I suppose that what goes around comes around. Stranger Things owes a heavy debt to the work of Stephen King, Hill’s father, and now Hill’s own works are being adapted into films because of the popularity of Stranger Things. The danger, of course, is that we will all get so burnt out on fond memories of the 1980s that we’ll be into fond memories of the 90s or early 00s by the time Snapshot 1988 hits theaters.

As for Flanagan and Howard, there’s no doubt that they both know horror. While I do not have strong hopes for the new Ouija film, Before I Wake (also written by Flanagan and Howard) has been receiving some positive critical buzz – though there’s still no clear consensus on that one yet. I’m certain that they’ll do their best for Snapshot 1988 – but I’m afraid that there’s just no telling how good their best will really be.

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