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Lionsgate in New Horror Deal

11 Apr, 2008 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Ghost House Underground teams Grindstone with Ghost House Pictures, which was behind the The Grudge.

The horror genre on DVD is getting a big boost with the launch of Ghost House Underground, a new film acquisitions company that will extend the Ghost House brand to home entertainment.

The new venture will release 12 to 20 films a year, mostly through Lionsgate, the feisty mini-major that has established itself as a force in the horror field through its “Saw” franchise and “After Dark” DVD series.

Ghost House Underground teams Ghost House Pictures, a horror genre company led by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Mandate Pictures president Nathan Kahane, with Grindstone, a major distributor of direct-to-video films.

The brand officially launches in October, with a focus on films by cutting-edge young talent. Among the initial slate of eight films will be Dark Floors, from Eurovision Award-winning rock group Lordi. Helmed by Pete Riski, the film — about a father and daughter trapped inside a hospital and fighting evil forces from a dark world — had its international premiere at the European Film Market in Berlin last February.

“We believe the next great horror film is going to come from fresh, bold voices working outside the system,” Tapert said. “We aim to find these films and share them with genre fans everywhere.”

Also in the pipeline for the fall are Room 205, The Substitute, Trackman, Last House in the Woods and The Brotherhood of Blood.

Ghost House Pictures is behind the The Grudge, which grossed more than $110 million in 2004, as well as more moderate theatrical successes 30 Days of Night, The Grudge 2, The Messengers and The Boogeyman.

Through the home entertainment medium, Ghost House Underground “will give life to terrifying films that the fans would otherwise never have an opportunity to see,” according to Raimi.

Ron Schwartz, EVP of Lionsgate and GM of the company's home entertainment division, praised Ghost House for its “phenomenal track record of success at the box office,” and said he looks forward to working with the company to “extend their brand into the home entertainment market.”

He notes that Grindstone “has been an important partner of Lionsgate for a number of years.”

Ghost House Underground will support its releases online at www.ghosthousepictures.com, providing fans with exclusive interaction with the filmmakers and cast, video blogs and webisodes.

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