February 23, 2024

EXCLUSIVE: Pet Sematary filmmakers Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer have found their next project in the shape of survival thriller The Swallow, in which a group of teens are abandoned in a deadly forest.

The duo are teaming with producers James Harris and Mark Lane of Tea Shop Productions (47 Meters Down, Fall) and John Finemore of Lost City (Watcher) on the project, which will star Grace Van Dien (Stranger Things).

The filmmakers also penned the screenplay for The Swallow, which previously landed on the Bloodlist, the best horror scripts of the year. Architect have launched for worldwide sales ahead of the EFM, and are co-representing U.S. rights with Verve Ventures. Filming is being lined up for the summer with additional casting underway.

Van Dien stars as Ziggy, who, along with her four friends, journeys out on a camping trip to a picturesque remote forest. But trespassing into an off-limits area, they awaken an uncanny terror in the woods… and a ravenous hunger from within the Earth. Soon, the ground itself is trying to swallow anything and anyone it comes into contact with and Ziggy and her friends have nowhere to run as every trembling step they take could be their last.

James Harris and Mark Lane for Tea Shop Productions, John Finemore for Lost City, Adam Goldworm for Aperture Entertainment (My Friend Dahmer) and Josh Goldbloom (V/H/S franchise) are producing alongside Kölsch and Widmyer. James Hoppe of Lost City is an executive producer.

The movie marks a return for directorial duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer following their remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, which grossed $113M worldwide for Paramount. Their debut Starry Eyes was an award winner at SXSW.

Kölsch and Widmyer said: “The Swallow is a lean, mean horror film that never lets its foot off the gas. Essentially, one extended set piece of tension and primal horror that just keeps ratcheting up. Daring audiences to endure it until the end.”

Grace Van Dien came to prominence through the NBC series The Village, Hulu’s The Binge and her breakout role as Chrissy in Stranger Things.

The Swallow sees Tea Shop and Architect re-team following production on survival thriller The Bayou, which Architect executive-produced with financing from its sister company Creativity Capital.

Architect’s Calum Gray said: “The Swallow is everything we want in an Architect movie: a gloriously entertaining, escapist rollercoaster with a strong high concept and super clear audience: this is a breathless and ingenious survival thriller with which to completely envelop contemporary global cinemagoers. We are furthermore blessed to have a cutting edge team of outstanding genre creatives shepherding this film into the light and just as per The Bayou, we can’t wait to partner up once again with Tea Shop.”

Grace Van Dien is repped by Link Entertainment and WME.

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