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Hereford to Unleash Supernatural Horror Film ‘Tormented’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 12/2/2016 Leo Barraclough
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U.K. production company Hereford Films has added supernatural horror film “Tormented” to its slate, the first in a series of America-set genre movies from the company.

Written and directed by Adam Stephen Kelly (“Done In,” “Kill Kane”), “Tormented” centers “on teenager Ashley Loren, who — in the aftermath of a tragic car accident — is haunted by nightmares of her dead sister, and must uncover her town’s dark past in the hope of vanquishing the malevolent spirit that terrorizes her from beyond the grave,” according to a statement.

Hereford Films CEO Jonathan Sothcott commented: “The glut of horror films released weekly to home entertainment platforms makes standing out from the crowd a particular challenge, and over-saturation of inferior product is going to be an increasing problem but our model for these genre films at Hereford mixes the best elements of Hammer and Blumhouse: unashamedly populist, high-concept and modestly budgeted horror films that will not only stand out in the market, but haunt audiences’ imaginations long after the end credits. With one of the best genre scripts I’ve ever read, I want ‘Tormented’ to be the first in a slate of horror pictures that can go toe-to-toe with modern genre classics such as ‘The Purge’ and ‘The Babadook.’”

Hereford is currently closing finance and is near to signing off a multi-territory distribution deal with an international distributor. No sales agent has been appointed as of yet.

Kelly said: “With a supernatural twist and a thrilling edge, ‘Tormented’ deals with the very real, very scary phenomenon known as sleep paralysis while also taking inspiration from an incredibly dark chapter in American history. The response to the script has been fantastic and I’m so excited to have the interest of so many talented actors.”

Casting is underway with rising star Louisa Connolly-Burnham (“Wolfblood”) in the lead role.

Connolly-Burnham said: “Despite many sleepless nights, horror has always been one of my favorite genres and I’m so excited to finally be on the other side of the scares. I’ve personally experienced sleep paralysis and it’s absolutely terrifying — the script definitely brings that aspect out.”

Hereford Films’ 2017 slate also includes genre films “Aura,” “Pentagram,” “Dracula: New Blood” and “We Still Die the Old Way,” plus family films “Pride and Prejudice” and “Ollie.”

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