New Zealand production company Light in the Dark Productions Ltd has optioned film rights to the cult horror novel The Strangers by Mort Castle, featured in Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell.
Set against the backdrop of clean, green, suburban New Zealand, a seemingly respectable man’s life slowly unravels to reveal a network of organised and poised psychopaths hiding in plain sight.
A precursor to Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, the long shadow of the novel is even more apparent in recent cinema outings The Purge series, The Invitation and the Dexter television series. 35 years after the novel’s debut the time of The Strangers has arrived.
The Strangers will be adapted by Light in the Dark Productions director/producer James Ashcroft and screen writer Gavin McGibbon. The novel by Chicago based author Mort Castle was described by one critic as “one of the most unsettling and true representations of evil that you’re likely to experience”.
Ashcroft says “I’ve always been attracted to intimate, character driven stories investigating ordinary people who do terrible things. Prophetic in its depiction of violence seething just beneath the surface of civilized society, and adapted to New Zealand suburbia, The Strangers is a nightmare that could reach out and touch any one of us. Gavin and I think it a huge privilege to adapt this modern classic for the screen.”
Director Ashcroft is currently in post-production with his feature directorial debut Coming Home in the Dark financed by the New Zealand Film Commission and distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Monster Pictures with International sales handled by MPI.