Horror movie geeks are quite familiar with the name Simon Barrett, as the writer-actor-producer has made quite a mark for himself in the last 15 years, primarily through collaborations with friend and recent Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard. Barrett was long the secret weapon of Wingard’s well-regarded early movies, having written two of the best: 2011’s You’re Next and 2014’s The Guest. He also occasionally fills in as an actor, having portrayed one of the masked killers of You’re Next. That kind of double duty was standard for the early 2010s innovators of low-budget indie horror sometimes referred to as “mumblegore,” which included Wingard and other contemporaries such as Joe Swanberg and Ti West.
Now, though, it’s time for Barrett to move behind the camera for his feature length directorial debut, Seance. Wingard, fittingly, is a producer this time around. The film has been acquired by RLJE, and is set for a theatrical release in May, following an ultimate destination on horror streamer Shudder later in the year. The first spooky trailer can be seen below.
Seance is set at a posh finishing school, in a similar mold to something like Osgood Perkins’ The Blackcoat’s Daughter. The synopsis is as follows:
The film stars Suki Waterhouse as the new girl at the prestigious Edelvine Academy for Girls. Soon after her arrival, six girls invite her to join them in a late-night ritual, calling forth the spirit of a dead former student who reportedly haunts their halls. But before morning, one of the girls is dead, leaving the others wondering what they may have awakened.
If we’re being honest, that’s a pretty rote description for a standard supernatural thriller, but Barrett’s films have always featured some crisp writing in the past, so we would expect this to be no different. Seance additionally stars Stephanie Sy, Inanna Sarkis, Madisen Beaty, Djouliet Amara, and Ella-Rae Smith. Check out the first full trailer below.