You could make the argument that the violent intensity of the polarising Only God Forgives was Nicolas Winding Refn’s first toe in the bloody waters of horror, and it seems he’s itching to dive headfirst into the genre, eyeing a straight-up terror pitch in The Bringing.
Brandon and Phillip Murphy wrote the spec script, which Sony has snapped up after a brief, competitive bidding tussle. Their idea was inspired by a true-life video of a young woman named Elisa Lam, who was spotted behaving strangely in the lift of Los Angeles’ infamous Cecil Hotel. It’s a place with a dark history of suicide and where killers such as Richard Ramirez have lived. Lam’s story also ended tragically when her body was discovered in one of the building’s water tanks.
Though the Murphy’s script has nothing to do with her case, it does find a man investigating a death at the Cecil, and shows us the nightmare he finds there. Refn, in a change from his usual MO of accepting projects from others or developing his own movies, actually went after this one. It’s his second potential horror following his potential collaboration on I Walk With The Dead alongside playwright Polly Stenham.