Friday, 3 January 2014

Jack the Ripper Reborn in 'Razors'

British director Ian Powell is to revive the legend of Jack the Ripper in Razors, a new horror film which will begin filming in London's oldest asylum in February 2014. Intended as the first in a new horror franchise centring on the discovery of the knives used by Jack the Ripper, Razors tells of Ruth Walker, a young screenwriter who is invited to stay at London’s oldest asylum and compete with five others to write the ultimate horror film. The recently discovered knives believed to be used by The Ripper have come into Ruth’s possession and she brings them with her, hoping they’ll provide morbid inspiration. When the knives go missing, the Ripper returns to haunt the corridors of the ancient asylum and the young screenwriters must unlock the asylum’s bloody secrets and unravel mysteries from their own dark pasts if they are to survive.

The film will be the second feature from production company Magic Mask Pictures, who specialise in visually striking high concept fantasy-horror films, such as Powell's debut feature Seeing Heaven, the atmospheric tale of a young male escort who is haunted by a mysterious masked stranger while searching for his twin brother.

Razors director and co-writer Ian Powell said of the project: “We are thrilled to be bringing to life a story so full of possibilities in such an exciting and significant location. The film springs from an outline I wrote back in 2008, and we have been developing a mythology that will carry on into the other films in the series, as the knives that have been used to trap the Ripper within the walls of the asylum are stolen by successive characters, thus allowing his spirit to wreak havoc in various locals… including being transported to America, which is where many believe the Ripper ended up.”

Co-writer Karl Ward added: “We are hugely aware of the possibilities of such an evocative location, dating as it does from 1831, and intend to work Blair Witch style with a small cast and crew, literally living the film, and making the most of the building’s very real atmosphere.”


Magic Mask pictures are currently casting the film, but have already secured some notable creatives including David and Donatella nominee Alessio Valori A.I.C. Cinematographer Alessio, who also shot Powell’s Seeing Heaven, has come up with a creative lighting scheme for the film utilising mostly torches, lanterns and candles, as well as the daylight that filters through the asylum’s boarded up windows. Powell observed “The terror here springs from the effect of having characters isolated in such a vast locale, lit by bubbles of light, whilst all around them are shadows and darkness, out of which a face from Victorian times could loom at any moment. Part of the concept of the film is that the characters are transported back to the atmosphere of the Ripper’s time and find the Whitechapel of the 1880’s literally coming alive around them in terms of light and sound.”

Razors will also utilise the skills of many students from London’s SAE institute, who will be getting their first feature film credit, including young producer Amma Djan. Magic Mask has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate top-up funding for the film. They will be taking a product reel to Cannes 2014 and intend the film for a UK cinema release on Halloween 2014.

Keep up to date with the production of Razors on Twitter and Facebook, and check out the official website for more information.

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