Neil Marshall Commits to Sacrilege

March 11, 2008
Source: Variety

Neil Marshall

After seeing The Descent in 2005, I immediately became an avid follower of director Neil Marshall. The subterranean scare was simply brilliant with its dark, homespun execution. Arguably, this film got Marshall a lot of attention, far beyond his earlier UK-released werewolf thriller Dog Soldiers. Seemingly enough attention, in fact, that Marshall is hitting a bit of a stride. On top of his post-apocalyptic tale, Doomsday, due out this weekend, Marshall has a signed a deal for another new film entitled Sacrilege.

Marshall will write and direct the horror flick that "is meant to be a pitch-black, gritty, period [piece]" set in the Old West. When talking about the intended placing of Sacrilege, Marshall conjures up dark tales of the Gold Rush times, such as the Donner Party. Not exactly celebratory as you would think, the Donner Party was a group of settlers in the 1840s that resorted to cannibalism when their party became trapped in mountains during winter.

Of course, this particular incident is simply evidence of certain dark times during that period and doesn't necessarily speak to the ultimate content of Sacrilege. We don't know the story's specifics as of yet, since Marshall hasn't begun writing it. He does add that the film is "Unforgiven by way of H.P. Lovecraft, with that grim, gritty setting and a horror element nobody has seen before."

Marshall might want to move quickly. We recently brought you news that J.T. Petty (Mimic 3) is set to produce a horror-monster tale of his own, set in the Dakota Territories of the 1870s. Is this a new genre? While Petty's The Burrowers sounds a bit like Tremors, I wonder what Old West evil-doer Marshall will come up with.

Personally, I'm glad to hear that Marshall is signed on to what seems like a more focused, small-scale scare than that which can be found in the upcoming Doomsday. The Resident Evil meets Mad Max thriller is much larger in scope than his earlier works. It'll be interesting to see how he does with big explosions, big sets and the big budget. Doomsday is estimated to cost $30 million, compared to the $6 million of The Descent and the $2 million Dog Soldiers. He certainly has his big-boy pants on now.

I suppose Doomsday is an exercise in Marshall feeling things out for himself and seeing what he's best at. If it works well, maybe he'll take on more big-budget projects. A quick poll: how many folks are intending to see Doomsday?

Regardless of the possible success, I'd rather see Marshall in a production that's a bit snugger, where his ability to weave intricate fear can shine through. That's why I'm anxious to see Sacrilege shape up. You lose this if the scope grows too big, which is why I think Doomsday might prove the outlier to Marshall's growing, successful career in horror.

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  • I loved The Descent and after reading about Sacrilege, I freaking can't wait. Sounds spectacular. Doomsday however, doesn't look that exciting. I probably won't see it only because it looks like so many other films, there is nothing fresh or original about it... that could all change of course, if the reviews are good. This is a classic case of critics doing their job. If I think a movie looks bad and I don't want to see it, I could easily change my mind if the reviews are good...the same thing happened for Breach. Anyways... this is what sold me on Sacrilege - "pitch-black, gritty, period [piece]" How long till this comes out!?
  • HEY!!!! THE INCREDIBLE HULK TRAILER IS ATTACHED Just got an email from Universal saying that it WILL be attached as a selling point to see Doomsday. I loved the Descent and will probably see Doomsday sometime in theaters (this week is FUNNY GAMES and HORTON, yeah, yeah, I know, I know). But I guess the tracking for DOOMSDAY aint doing so hot considering that that is going to be a selling point.
  • Oh, and Sacrilege sounds good too :)
  • Curtis
    Sounds like an awesome movie and cant wait. Loved Dog Soliders, didn't really like the Descent but i watched that a long time ago and if i watched it again my opinion of it might change. Looking forward to Doomsday.
  • Ripper
    Doomsday, i will go see it looks like an Entertaining flick. Hulk trailer in front of it completly sold me.
  • nha
    Why the hell has every country got a release date for Doomsday apart from the UK on imdb?? This guy is a brit director, and half the cast is British, yet Finland has a release date but not the UK. Anyone any ideas as to when it gets released here?
  • NCL
    Yes, I will see Doomsday but I don't have big expectations. I like the director's work so far and I want to give him a chance. Seeing the Hulk trailer is a plus I can't pass up. A western horror flick from Marshall should be incredible; the Descent was amazing (i'll never walk near a cave again much less drop in). Odd, I called the US Universal office, they didn't know the UK date and there is nothing anywhere? That doesn't make since to me, sorry NHA, but I tried.
  • EDA
    totally agree with #4 and 5 loved Dog Soldiers, the Descent not so much. The Incredible Hulk trailer sold me.
  • Subhradeep




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