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Winnipeg has love affair with horror





Winnipeg’s love affair with screen horror continues this spring with two genre projects preparing to film here.

The SyFy series Channel Zero will be shooting its fourth season in Manitoba beginning in late April. Each season has told a different story inspired by the phenomenon of “creepypasta” wherein a horror tale is spread and embellished online.

Season 4, titled Dream Door, is about a young married couple who move into the husband’s old childhood home, only to discover a terrifying portal.

Shooting will proceed from April into June.

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Winnipeg’s love affair with screen horror continues this spring with two genre projects preparing to film here.

The SyFy series Channel Zero will be shooting its fourth season in Manitoba beginning in late April. Each season has told a different story inspired by the phenomenon of "creepypasta" wherein a horror tale is spread and embellished online.

Season 4, titled Dream Door, is about a young married couple who move into the husband’s old childhood home, only to discover a terrifying portal.

Shooting will proceed from April into June.

The second project is a Sony Pictures re-reboot inspired by the Japanese horror franchise The Grudge (Ju-on). John Cho (Star Trek; Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle), Mexican actor Demian Bichir (The Hateful Eight, Alien Covenant) and English actress Andrea Riseborough (Battle of the Sexes, The Death of Stalin) are all attached to the project, according to Variety, as is director Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother).

The film will be produced by horror powerhouse duo Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Evil Dead) and Rob Tapert (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe).

The Grudge was last rebooted in 2004 with Sarah Michelle Gellar. The franchise has spawned a total of 12 different features, nine Japanese and three American. (The last Japanese Grudge film, Sadako vs Kayako was a mash-up of The Grudge and The Ring franchises.)

Channel Zero has proved to be a boon for the Manitoba film industry. An economic impact statement released in March showed the production in its first two seasons alone spent close to $15 million in the province and created more than 300 jobs. The money broke down to $10 million spent on Manitoba production crew and labour and $5 million spent on goods and services, according to the Winnipeg accounting firm MNP.

It also proved a boon to local talent. Mark Binke, executive vice-president of production for Universal Cable Production estimated 80 per cent of the cast came from the province, "including over 165 Manitoba-based actors and stunt personnel employed."

The third season, Butcher’s Block, was shot in Winnipeg during the summer of 2017, starring Rutger Hauer. During all three seasons, "there were 58 crew upgrades and 100 training opportunities provided," says Carole Vivier, CEO and film commissioner at Manitoba Film & Music.

"Manitoba’s film and television industry is at a tipping point for exponential growth and this series was a significant stepping stone in that regard.

"Channel Zero... will have spent $40 million by the end of the fourth instalment — which results in a major boon for the provincial economy and workforce development."

randall.king@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @FreepKing

Read more by Randall King.


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