John Ridley has won an Academy Award for writing 12 Years A Slave, created the anthology series American Crime, and directed the documentary Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992.
He’s clearly adept at different genres within the medium of film, and now he’s extending his talents to another one: horror. Ridley will be writing and directing an untitled paranormal horror movie for Blumhouse.
It’s technically based on a true story, and although most horror fans will rightly be wary of horror movies “based on a true story”, but this one might have some credence. It’s based on Saleah Blancaflor‘s article “Project Poltergeist”, which detailed the strange occurrences that took place in a 1960s New Jersey public housing project, and how they affected the family of young Ernie Rivers.
Ridley will reportedly use the genre to examine the systemic, real-world issues embedded within the paranormal activities. He explained in a statement:
“This is an incredible true-life narrative of a young man dealing with horrors – both paranormal and racially systemic – in a community that is scarred by hate, yet ultimately brought together by hope. I really appreciate Blumhouse’s commitment to telling stories that seek to entertain audiences even as it challenges them”.
Jason Blum will naturally produce, as will Matthew Pearl and Greg Nicholas, the founders of Truly*Adventurous, the nonfiction magazine that originally published Blancaflor’s artivle.
It’s great to see talented creatives dive into different genres, and this story sounds like a fascinating and timely one for Ridley to adapt into a horror film. It sounds a little like a mix between Candyman and The Amityville Horror.
We’ll wait for more news on the film, including a title. Meanwhile, Ridley is currently in post-production on another film in another genre, this one a sci-fi film titled Needle In A Timestack, which stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo.