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‘My Wife and I Bought a Ranch’ Will Not Be Like Other Ghost Stories

Netflix buying “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch” proves that it’s worth putting your work into the world. Someone big might take notice of it.
Spooky Ranch Sunset
By  · Published on July 29th, 2020

Welcome to Horror Horizon, your one-stop-shop for the most interesting developments in the world of horror. Before getting to our latest roundup of news, let’s take a look at Netflix’s upcoming Reddit adaptation My Wife and I Bought a Ranch.

A short story called “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch,” which originated on Reddit’s r/NoSleep forum, is set to become a Netflix movie. According to Deadline, the streamer has made a seven-figure deal for the rights to Matt Query’s spooky tale, which his brother, Harrison Query, will adapt.

The story centers around a couple who find their dream home in an Arizona mountain town. Unfortunately, they must deal with an unwelcome house guest in the form of a malevolent valley spirit. The supernatural menace manifests itself by appearing in different forms at the start of each season of the year. To keep the rascal at bay, the couple must adhere to a series of strict protocols, or else nasty things will happen to them.

This isn’t a traditional ghost story. For a start, the entity in question is unexplainable. The locals say it’s some kind of Native American curse that the Shoshone and Bannock people had a name for. Over time, however, it just became known as “the spirit.” It also isn’t interested in creaking floorboards or moving furniture around. This entity wants to get into the house, and its methods are quite imaginative.

The spirit’s manifestations are habitual but nonetheless freaky and varied. One of the rituals to ward it off simply involves lighting some firewood, but others are bloodier and more surreal. Expect to see some ghosts, scarecrows, bears, and men running around with their dangling members on display. That last part is much scarier in the context of the story, which you should absolutely read.

The variety of creeps associated with each season also allows the story to explore different subgenres. From supernatural terror to creature discomforts, each segment has a distinct flavor. Yet, the story is still very cohesive due to its interesting characters and well-established mythology. The rules of this universe are firmly explained from the get-go, and then it’s all about enjoying the ride.

The spirit’s appearances are also very random and uncomfortable, even though the characters know they’re coming. Part of the reason why these moments are so nerve-wracking is that the husband has a hard time believing that the curse isn’t a prank. Human stupidity is scarier than any ghoul, and “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch” explores this idea to great effect. However, when this couple arrives in town, the spirit showcases some new tricks that even shock those who are used to dealing with it. So there are some surprises in store.

Another fascinating element of “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch” is the way in which each manifestation is intrinsically linked to each season. Horror stories that evoke a specific time of year are catnip for fright fans, and this one just so happens to cater to every seasonal taste. If it honors the source material, the movie will hit a sweet spot no matter what time of year you watch.

More than anything, though, “My Wife and I Bought a Ranch” is further proof that creative pursuits can be successful without going the conventional route to Tinsel Town. There are a couple of r/NoSleep adaptations currently in production, and all of them were originally written by people who posted them online for fun. Hollywood is monitoring the forums, though, and they’re willing to pay millions to turn creepypastas into movies.

In Other News…

Edgar Wright will direct Stage 13, a ghost story about a dead silent film star who haunts a Hollywood backlot. This one should arrive after Last Night in Soho and The Chain, both of which will also see the director explore the dark side.

Stranger Things and What We Do in the Shadows are among the horror shows that have been nominated for Emmy Awards.

Here’s a trailer for Netflix’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.

Saddle up and watch this trailer for The Pale Door, a horror-western that will appeal to fans of movies like From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter.

HBO released a trailer for the Jordan Peele-produced Lovecraft Country. About time, too.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.