Production began earlier this month on HATE 2O, a new chiller from Italy’s Minerva Pictures and rising Italian director Alex Infascelli, who helmed the stylish shockers ALMOST BLUE and VANITY SERUM. The story, co-written by Infascelli and Canadian writer Vince Villani, concerns five women at an isolated cottage who die in a series of bizarre, water-based accidents.
“This film is a curious combination of Peter Weir’s PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, some SUSPIRIA and THE RING,” says former Fango scribe Loris Curci, who’s producing HATE 2O with Digital Desk’s Andrea Marotti and Minerva Pictures’ Gianluca Curti. “The story takes place in an old house in Finland, with no cell phones but lots of strange occurrences. Soon, the women begin getting killed by ingenious means, all involving water.”
HATE 2O’s strange events begin when Olivia and her four friends hold a purifying water fast at her secluded cottage. Docile and introverted, Olivia is easy prey for her deceitful guests, who ridicule her and her long-lost twin—an unborn child “absorbed” by Olivia during the childbirth that killed her mother. Tormented, Olivia ferociously removes the only palpable link she has with her dead twin—a tooth lodged beneath the skin of her shoulder. But discarding it down the drain only brings the horrific past to the surface. Just as water awakens this hidden life, it is water that will gruesomely take life away…
HATE 2O’s international cast includes Italian star Chiara (DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK?) Conti, German-born Mandala Tayde, Russian actress Olga Shuvalova, Mexico’s Anapola Muskadiz and Ireland’s Claire Falconer. Shooting is taking place in Northern Italy’s scenic Castel del Gulfo region, and veteran FX-meister Sergio (DEMONS) Stivaletti is handling the murderous mayhem. “Although this is far from being an effects-filled movie,” Curci adds, “a number of women do get killed. And despite the blood, I’d say HATE 2O is more atmosphere than guts.” HATE 2O will likely premiere at next February’s Berlin Film Festival, where Infascelli's previous films screened in competition.
Curci feels that, given Dario Argento’s recent hit-and-miss cinematic efforts, Infascelli may emerge as Italy’s only regular horror practitioner. “Alex is the most original genre storyteller in this country, and he’s the only one making these kinds of movies anymore,” he says.