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TWC Acquires ‘This Must Be the Place’; Magnet Picks Up ‘The Innkeepers’; ‘You’re Next’ Goes To Lionsgate

Written by on September 21, 2011 

One of the titles from year’s Cannes Film Festival that I’ve been particularly curious about is This Must Be the Place. Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, this existential roadtrip movie follows Sean Penn‘s Robert Smith-like rock star on a journey across America, as he attempts to find the man who humiliated his father in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Sound strange? It certainly looks that way.

Our review was not terribly kind to Sorrentino‘s English-language debut, but the mixed word has only increased my interest, for one reason or another. Thankfully, Variety has news of The Weinstein Company acquiring the film, although no indication has been given as to when they might put it out; I’m thinking that an end-of-the-year release is both possible and sensible, but that’s just me. Also starring Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, and Harry Dean Stanton, it also features a special appearance by David Byrne, the man who wrote the song that gave the film its title.

Another festival circuit project has found a distributor, that being Ti West‘s The Innkeepers. Making appearances at SXSW and LAFF earlier this year — with a showing also happening at Fantastic Fest this week — it’ll be coming to general audiences soon, as THR has learned that Magnolia picked it up for distribution in theaters and on VOD. The latter release will be happening on December 30th, while the former will follow in early February.

Starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, and Kelly McGillis, it revolves around “employees of a New England inn, with a haunted house legacy, that is closing after a century of service”; two of them “attempt to uncover proof the hotel is indeed haunted and get more than they bargained for.” Reviews from SXSW were generally positive, which means that the fan of atmospheric horror in me will keep an eye out.

One more festival player just landed a home, with Deadline telling us about You’re Next getting purchased by Lionsgate. This seems like a reasonable pick for the studio, since much of their output is in the horror genre. If you don’t believe me, just listen to the company’s Acquisitions and Co-Productions president, Jason Constantine; he called it “everything that we look for in a horror film.”

Directed by Adam Wingard, the story is centered on a family that “comes under a terrifying and sadistic attack during a reunion getaway.” Trying to survive “a barrage of axes, crossbows and machetes from both inside and outside the house,” they have some hope in the form of one of their own, who has “a talent for fighting back.” We gave it a positive notice when it played at Toronto earlier this month, so I have some hope for how it turns out. With a cast that includes Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, and Barbara Crampton, a wide release is expected for fall 2012.

Are you looking forward to any of these films? How do you feel about their acquisitions by these companies?

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