John Carpenter's THE WARD Anchors The Next Wave Of Sitges Programming

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
The 2010 edition of the Sitges International Film Festival has just announced their next wave of programming, a wave anchored by a number of big names - none of them bigger than John Carpenter. Here's the full announcement.

SITGES 2010 - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia confirms new films in the Festival´s Official Selection.

John Carpenter's latest film, The Ward, joins the SITGES 2010 Official Selection in its European premiere. Carpenter is back with a supernatural horror thriller set in a psychiatric hospital and starring Amber Heard, the new muse of fantastic cinema.

Two of the new incorporations are Spanish productions; Secuestrados (Kidnapped), European premiere, and Carne de Neón (Neon Flesh), world premiere. The first explains, in real time, the terrifying nightmare of a family held hostage in their home by a group of psychopaths. Miguel Ángel Vivas, renowned short film director, makes his second feature-length movie produced by the same team as Cell 211, which premiered last year at the Sitges Festival. Whereas Carne de Neón brings the spirit of Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino's thrillers to Spanish cinema. Its outstanding cast includes actors Mario Casas and Darío Grandinetti, plus the return of Àngela Molina in a very surprising role. Violence, humor and a little terror in Paco Cabezas' second feature film based on his short by the same name.

Rare Exports: A Christmas tale (Jalmari Helander) is one of the movies most awaited by fantastic film lovers. It tells the story of a theory about the origin of Santa Claus, taken from a Finnish children´s story and turning it into a horror movie aimed mainly at young audiences. In its European premiere SITGES 2010 will also be presenting Vanishing on 7th Street, the latest film from Brad Anderson, winner of the award for best director at Sitges 2001 for Session 9 and selected with The Machinist at Sitges 2004, where actor Christian Bale picked up the award for best actor. This year, Anderson premieres a movie that´s halfway between science fiction and horror.

The Festival's Official Selection will also be presenting Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (Wai-Keung Lau), a China-Hong Kong blockbuster that's a combination of action movie, historical drama, martial arts and fantasy genre. The film stars Donnie Yen, an actor appearing in several movies selected this year, and the spectacular actress Shu Qi. With Thirteen Assassins, Takashi Miike shows his maturity as a cult film director. A samurai movie shot using the pure style of classics like Akira Kurosawa or Hideo Gosha. Red Nights (Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud) is one of the year's most original and radical fantastic film productions. The movie is a mixture of Italian giallo and oriental mystery, set in Hong Kong and visually stunning.

Moreover, director Darren Lynn Bousman dares to take on a remake of Mother's Day (1980), by Charles Kaufman, one of Troma´s great films. The new movie, also entitled Mother's Day, is more psychotronic and stars a splendid Rebecca de Mornay. Finally, we'll be presenting the European premiere of Insidious, a film that transports the spectator to a house where a family is being terrorized by the paranormal phenomena affecting their young son. Director James Wan, creator of the first Saw, isn't afraid to take on a film made in the purest Poltergeist style with a strong dose of terror. A film for haunted movie lovers.

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