Great news for fans of Australian horror. Enzo Tedeschi, producer of Australian indie horror The Tunnel, has established Deadhouse Films as a new Australian production and distribution company for genre films with the aim to overcome Oz audiences’ reluctance to see genre movies in theatres.
Deadhouse says that it is “focused on boutique online global day and date distribution of genre movies and shows.” It will launch with Distracted Media’s science-fiction series, Airlock, at an unspecified date in the first half of the year. It expects to provide “unique and tailored guidance on production and release strategies to ensure the success of each project.”
“With an aim to provide independent film makers with a production and distribution avenue, Deadhouse Films’ scope will be to connect the many great Australian genre films out there with a dedicated and established audience,” said Tedeschi in a statement.
Australia has a long history of producing cult horror and genre films, including Mad Max, Saw, Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones and Razorback, but the country’s theatrical audiences have largely turned their back on the segment. Last year’s The Babadook, which got a launch at Sundance, was hailed by critics and genre fans, but grossed only US$200,000 (A$256,000) on local release. In contrast The Babadook earned $1.09 million in France and $2.03 million in the U.K.
High releasing costs, steep ticket prices and competition from English-language Hollywood are among the issues facing Australian genre films in their home market.
“The kind of film that we made, it’s kind of an art house film and a psychological thriller slash horror. These don’t traditionally do that well in Australia,” “Badadook” producer Kristina Ceyton told The Guardian recently