At the risk of sounding -- I don't know -- cynical, I have to say I'm a little surprised to read this article in The Hollywood Reporter. Apparently, horror master Clive Barker is partnering with Walden Media, who are primarily known for kid-friendly fare like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the upcoming Charlotte's Web, to develop an original thriller for kids centered around Edgar Allen Poe. Although, I guess I shouldn't really be surprised considering Barker has actually done some other projects for kids before, such as the books The Thief of Always and his recent fantasy series The Books of Abarat -- both of which are also currently being developed as films.

Still, most of my experiences with Barker come from watching his films, not from reading his books. Perhaps I'm in the minority but I don't exactly consider Candyman, Nightbreed or Hellraiser suitable for kids -- although I'm sure Pinhead would make an excellent babysitter. Well, I guess everyone deserves a chance to change and try different things, so I can't really fault Barker for wanting to stretch with this new project. That said, what's his reason for wanting to tell this kind of story? "I think we might have a chance with this project to bring the character of Poe alive for a new audience and weave his shadowy existence into the dark enchantments of his stories so that for our protagonist, and for our audience, it will be difficult to be sure where one finishes and the other takes flight," Barker said.

And what about my concerns regarding the blood, violence and other explicit scenes that are usually a large part of the Clive Barker "experience"? "This project is an opportunity for us to reimagine a genre that is generally associated with an older audience," Alex Schwartz, exec vp of production at Walden media said. "By focusing on mood and atmosphere rather than blood and guts, Clive Barker brings a smart, literate take on the horror genre that will expose young audiences to its great literary underpinnings." Ok, I'll buy that.

The as-yet untitled film will revolve around a group of teenagers who attempt to uncover what happened during the last weeks of Edgar Allen Poe's life. Unfortunately, their investigation inadvertently triggers a curse that unlocks Poe's nightmares from which the teenagers must escape. Barker will also produce the film through his Seraphim Films' with Anthony DiBlasi and Joseph Daley exec producing. No word yet on casting or a potential start date. What do you guys think? Can Barker make the transition from horror to kid's films, or should he stick to what he does best?
categories Movies, Cinematical