I've watched Eric Vespe grow up as a film fan, and my second home in Austin is with my friend Aaron Morgan and his lovely wife, so suffice it to say I'm a wee bit on the excited side to be able to confirm that "The Home," co-written by Vespe and Morgan and set to be directed by Morgan, has been acquired by Dimension Films.
Makes sense. After all, Elizabeth Avellan is one of their producers, and her relationship with Dimension Films has been a long and successful one as the producer of the films of her ex-husband, Robert Rodriguez. Elizabeth has been working with Eric and Aaron to develop the film recently, joining some other producers like Elijah Wood and Voltage Pictures who have been on the film for a while now, and it looks like this combination of people is the right one.
"The Home" is drawn from personal experience for Morgan. His family was in the nursing home business, and he grew up around them, so when he set out to craft a horror film set in a nursing home, he had more than enough material to use as inspiration. Vespe, who you probably know better as Quint over at Ain't It Cool, has been working with Morgan for a while now. The two of them made a short film together called "Blind," and they'd written another feature before this one. That was based on a novel, though, and was larger in scale and harder to set up, so they intentionally set out to make something more contained that they could use as a calling card.
It's been great watching them go through the process of getting the film up and running. It is in every way an indie horror film, something that only exists because these two guys had total faith that they would find a way to get it made. Much of the early conceptual work was done by Richard Taylor and the folks at WETA, and they produced a concept tape that was very impressive. Some of that artwork has leaked online, and what's apparent is that this is a very dark, very moody monster movie that doesn't use any creature that is already a well-defined archetype. It looks like KNB will contribute the actual creature work for the film, and that sounds great to me. I've worked with Greg and Howard over at KNB on "Masters Of Horror," and I love those guys.
Because the film deals with an older cast, for the most part, they're lining up a great cast for the Austin shoot right now that includes veterans like Cloris Leachman, Ed Asner, Louis Gossett Jr., Louise Fletcher, and Brian Cox. The age of that ensemble is one of the reasons it took a little time to make this come together, but that sounds like a great line-up to me.
Am I biased about this one? Of course. Absolutely. Why wouldn't I be? That bias comes from the confidence, though, that they've done all the work they're supposed to do to get ready for this, and that they'll make a finished film that will, hopefully, earn them a place in the horror community. They've got a lot more stories to tell, and it looks like their first one is finally on its way to the screen.
Look for "The Home" sometime in 2012.