Eli Roth and Ti West

Ever since Cabin Fever became a hit in 2002, its director, Eli Roth, has seen himself rocketed to the top of the movie game. Not only did he go on to direct the wildly successful Hostel series, but he also found himself in a position to become an actor, a frequent collaborator of Quentin Tarantino’s, and a producer of a whole slate of genre pictures. Through it all though, West has kept his focus largely on horror, and with his upcoming project, The Green Inferno, he’s finally set to return to the genre as a director.

Ti West, comparatively, isn’t as big a name in the grand scheme of the industry. But if you talk to horror aficionados, this maker of low-key, indie horror is one of the most exciting names to come along in quite a while. By directing films like House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, West has proven that disgusting gore and shocking schlock aren’t the only ways to get attention in the scare game. Age old tactics like building tension, establishing mood, and paying things off with a big climax can be just as effective, if not more so.

The big news is that Roth and West seem to be teaming up.

Variety is reporting that Roth is going to produce West’s next project, a horror film called The Sacrament that West has both written and will direct, and which Roth has high hopes for. While talking about the new film, Roth told the trade, “We want to make this Ti’s first mainstream movie, without sacrificing the quality and unflinching horror of the subject matter.”

While the idea of West getting a chance to put his work in front of new eyeballs is exciting, one has to wonder how exactly a producer assures that a horror film becomes mainstream. Will West have to ditch his low-fi aesthetic, while still trying to maintain the fundamentals of storytelling and scare building that brought him to the dance? Will it involve giving him more widely appealing, name actors to put through horrific experiences? Or is it simply a matter of marketing? Could Roth’s name attached as producer and a marketing campaign with some monetary muscle be enough to get teenagers to go out to the multiplex and watch a Ti West movie?

Probably the most terrifying question surrounding this collaboration, however, is whether or not today’s mainstream audiences are even patient enough to sit through the sort of slow build that always leads to the best scares. The options Roth and West seem to be facing here are either to vote on yes, or to lose faith in humanity all together. So we should all wish them the best of luck in their future endeavor.


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