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New horror studio Welcome Villain Films launches with “LAST SHIFT” reimagining & more

Thursday, March 10, 2022 | News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

The new production and distribution company has been put together by genre enthusiasts, for genre enthusiasts.

Welcome Villain Films is led by Head of Operations Bonner Bellew, Head of Production Dan Clifton, Head of Development Luke LaBeau and Head of Creative Eric Kleifeld. All four have copious experience in the creation and selling of feature films and television, and according to the PR, “The company’s mission is to empower creators of all levels, bridging the gap between studio and artist to consistently deliver edgy and exciting films in the horror and genre space. Too often great original films are made and acquired without a strategy to find their audience. As a fully integrated studio, WVF aims to ensure that a marketing and distribution plan is put in motion during the development and production process, so films are not lost to algorithms and the glut of ‘content.’ Filmmakers will be heavily ingrained in this process in a manner not common for the industry, with transparent communication and consistent collaboration.”

“We live, breathe, and dream horror,” LaBeau says, “and our goal is to partner with artists who share that same passion, and to support their creative visions in a truly collaborative fashion, ultimately bringing high quality films to the widest audience possible, in hopes of breathing new life into the genre. We couldn’t be more thrilled to kick off WVF with two exciting horror projects from visionary filmmakers Anthony DiBlasi and Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews. These films bring all the mayhem and bravado that genre fans love, and then some.”

That pair of projects are a reboot of LAST SHIFT, with writer/director DiBlasi and writer/producer Scott Poiley expanding on the vision of their popular 2015 supernatural film, and an untitled slasher movie from THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT creators Roe and Andrews. “Reimagining the world of LAST SHIFT and pushing the storytelling to its fullest potential has long been a goal of ours,” DiBlasi says. “We were constrained by our budget on the first film, and the team at Welcome Villain is giving us the ability to revisit this world, delivering more of what fans loved about the original but also expanding on the mythology to terrify a whole new audience.”

Roe and Andrews add, “We’re excited to bring creative kills and new twists to the genre, and happy to be spilling blood with Welcome Villain on this longtime passion project of ours. Welcome Villain is a team that respects every facet of the genre from production to its incredible innovative marketing capabilities, and we’re thrilled about this partnership.” Stay tuned for updates on Welcome Villain and its projects.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.