They Hear It, and guess what? So do we. Every once in a while, a horror movie comes along that divides genre fans down the middle and sends them to extreme opposite ends of a spectrum. The 3 most infamous examples from recent years are The Babadook, The Witch, and It Follows. Horror connoisseurs either loved these films or hated them, with no one occupying a gray area or sitting on a fence; and everyone had an opinion.
While dialog was heated and included terms like "metaphorical storytelling" and "elevated horror" (both meaningless terms, in my opinion), It Follows seemed especially prone to dissection, as it's the most surreal and open-to-interpretation of the bunch. As a result, writer/director David Robert Mitchell was thrust into a position of prominence and, whether you loved It Follows or hated it, everyone is curious to see what he'll do next.
Mitchell wrote and directed Under the Silver Lake, a crime drama/thriller slated to receive a limited theatrical release in December. While it definitely seems more grounded in reality than It Follows, we're getting word that the filmmaker has just accepted his next gig, one that seems to venture deep into horror territories. Though he'll pass on director's duties, Mitchell is penning a feature film script for They Hear It for Legendary Entertainment and The Picture Company. They Hear It is based on the short of the same name written and directed by Julian Terry, who will helm the feature film. While this is the 28-year-old's first foray into the Big Leagues, you can sample his skills by checking out another one of his short films, Whisper, at the bottom of the article. (You'll be surprised how much punch he packs into 2 short minutes).
Terry's leap from short to feature filmmaker is becoming an increasingly common trend in Hollywood, where shorts are often regarded as proof-of-concepts for larger projects. Such was the case for David F. Sandberg, whose short Lights Out was viewed over 30 million times on YouTube before it was picked up for a feature film iteration by a major studio. Sandberg went on to helm Annabelle: Creation and the upcoming Shazam! proving that Terry may also have a successful career ahead of him, should They Hear It strike a chord with genre aficionados and/or mainstream audiences. While we don't have a synopsis for the film (and the original short has been removed from YouTube), we're told it revolves around a "sound" that serves as a harbinger for certain terror and that Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and adaptations of Stephen King's IT will serve as important inspirations.
CryptTV is on the bleeding tip of short horror filmmaking. The digital platform launched by Eli Roth and Jack Davis sees millions of visitors daily and has amassed a sizable library of original and terrifying content, including serialized villains and creatures. It's likely the next hot horror property or emerging trend will originate in a similar arena, as talented up-and-comers strive to give big studios a run for their money. The announcement regarding They Hear It came our way via The Hollywood Reporter who got the exclusive.