Bertino was born in Crowley, Texas. He studied cinematography at the University of Texas in Austin. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a gaffer, and wrote screenplays in his spare time. Bertino submitted The Strangers for a Nicholl Fellowship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which reached the quarter-finals. However, he was able to get a meeting with Vertigo Entertainment. Bertino quit his job days before the script was sold to Universal Studios.
Mark Romanek wanted to direct The Strangers but apparently demanded a $40 million budget. After speaking with Andrew Rona at Rogue Pictures, Bertino was asked to direct The Strangers despite a lack of directorial experience.
The Strangers was made on a budget of $9 million and after two postponements, was released theatrically on May 30, 2008 in North America, and grossed $82.3 million at the box office worldwide. Although it was ambiguously marketed as being “inspired by true events”, writer and director Bryan Bertino stated that the film was inspired by a series of break-ins that occurred in his neighborhood as a child, as well as some incidents that occurred during the Manson killings. Critical reaction to the film was mixed.
Bertino then commended working on the thriller film This Man, to be produced by Sam Raimi and his company Ghost House Pictures, however there is currently no information available from the studio, busy as they are promoting The Possession and their Evil Dead remake. The This Man film concept is built upon the internet meme that appeared in October of 2009, with the launching of the website ThisMan.org. The site claimed that the first recorded sighting of the individual was in 2006 to an anonymous mental patient and that others throughout the world have seen This Man in their dreams. Shortly after the website launch, it was revealed that the website and meme were created by sociologist Andrea Natella, an advertising agency employee who specialized in hoax and viral marketing, and that the face used on the website appeared to have been produced through the software program Flash Face. The site was briefly acquired by Ghost House Pictures. You can check out the original ThisMan website HERE
A series of eerie events slowly unfolds when a wine cabinet sells at an estate sale in Oregon. It is soon sold and resold on eBay’s Internet auction, and each new owner becomes desperate to get rid of the box along with the health problems, accidents, or death they claim came with it. Jason Haxton, the curator of a medical museum in a small Missouri town, learns of the mysterious cabinet and is intrigued by it as an artifact to be studied and researched. He places a bid on eBay and soon finds himself the proud owner of the Dibbuk Box. But as he carefully investigates and records everything he can about this unusual item said to be possessed by a Jewish spirit, Haxton discovers far more than he bargained for. In this true account, a dark story comes to light–a story that began at the time of the Holocaust and seems to have come full circle.
At our first ”Dibbuk Box” production meeting, Sam Raimi said it would be best to have the actual box in our possession while we worked on the movie. The question was raised about who would be the caretaker for the box while it was here. In a room of ten, nobody would volunteer, each using a different excuse to avoid exposure to the box’s curse. –Stan Wertlieb, Executive Producer of Dibbuk Box” aka The Possession
So reads the blurb on Amazon.com for Jason Haxton’s book The Dibbuk Box. Check it out HERE
Check out this episode of 30 Odd minutes, a Paranormal Television Talk Show, devoted to the story of the Dibbuk Box, featuring an interview with Jason Haxton.
Here are the two official posters for the forthcoming Ghost House Pictures production, The Possession. The new(er) poster on the right has just been issued as the original on the left is not approved for cinema display.
That creepy story, The Dibbuk Box has been turned into a movie called The Possession.
Here’s the press release from the Sam Raimi backed Ghost House Pictures. Plot: Based on a true story, “The Possession” is the terrifying story of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil.
Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.
To me it looks like all the real creepiness of the actual story has been replaced by Hollywood CGI, PG-13 horror…