Having previously made a different kind of sci-fi movie with Attack The Block, and an unusual fantasy with The Kid Who Would Be King, it seems fitting that director Joe Cornish should now turn his attention to the horror genre. It’s safe to say blood-and-guts isn’t his usual vibe, but when he came across the Lockwood And Co. series of supernatural novels by YA author Jonathan Stroud, his eye was caught, and his imagination fired.
“[A ghost] can make you jump or it can scare,” Cornish muses to Empire in the new Review Of The Year issue. “But in terms of actual physical threat, movies sometimes struggle.” In Lockwood And Co, however, the mere touch of a ghost can kill you immediately, changing the game completely. “Suddenly, you’re in a new kind of ghost story,” he enthuses, “where you can arm yourself against a ghost and use skill and intelligence and tactics to outsmart it.”
Cornish’s eight-part Netflix adaptation of the books stars Ruby Stokes as Lucy, a teenager who joins the ghost-hunting agency of the title, and is set in a society overturned by a series of ethereal events. “The digital revolution never happened,” Cornish explains, about the Lockwood And Co. world. “There are no mobile phones. There are still newspapers and magazines. Everything’s stuck around the mid-’80s, and everything’s still physical.” Sounds like a utopia! Apart from the threat of instant death lurking around every corner, of course…
Read Empire’s full Lockwood And Co. story, talking to creator Joe Cornish, in the new Review Of The Year issue – on sale Thursday 27 October, or pre-order a copy here.
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