Thanks to books like The Nice House on the Lake and Something Is Killing the Children, James Tynion IV is widely regarded as one of the best horror comic book writers working today. Can Tynion work that same magic in the film medium? That's a question Tynion and his collaborators hope to answer with "Room Service."
"Room Service" is a short film Tynion is developing alongside fellow comic book superstars Elsa Charretier (November) and Pierrick Colinet (The Infinite Loop). The film introduces a fearsome, masked villain known only as The Caretaker, a ruthless facilitator who offers to help the struggling protagonist escape his financial woes and earn a little payback against those who use their wealth to live in consequence-free luxury. Not unlike Get Out, it's a disturbing horror film with a healthy dose of social commentary.
"Room Service" features a script by Tynion and storyboards by Charretier, while Tonči Zonjić (Skulldiggers) designed the distinctive Caretaker mask. Colinet will direct the film, which is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter. IGN can exclusively reveal that the film will also be accompanied by a prequel comic called Room Service: The Comic Book #1, which sheds more light on the mysterious Caretaker and the horrific services he offers to his obscenely wealthy clients.
Check out the slideshow gallery below for an exclusive first look at the comic and several of Charretier's storyboards for the film:
"My favorite part of any project is when the art starts rolling in," Tynion IV tells IGN. "That's when all the raw ideas stop feeling as abstract and I start to be able to feel what the finished project is going to look like. Seeing the way Elsa and PK picked up on the key thematics of my script and brought them to life in the storyboards was thrilling. The whole project elevated by every little piece they brought to the table."
"James' story is an absolutely killer of a concept. It has punch, rhythm, brutality, gore, strong characters, everything he's known for and that you expect from great human-driven horror. PK is a very different kind of artist with different, more introspective and poetic sensibilities," Charretier says. "It was a complete surprise and joy to witness two visions combining into something entirely unique that could only be born out of these two creators collaborating and already translates at the storyboard stage.”
"We've chosen to make a twist on the typical horror movie antagonist," adds Colinet. "The Caretaker is not a ghoulish creature or a massacring maniac wielding weapons of torture. He's a man in a red suit, who does a job. He's cold but not aggressive. He's faceless but polished and polite. But he will make sure people hold up their end of the grizzly transaction they made no matter if they cry, beg or scream."
"I'm not much of a horror person, but this movie's scares are subtler and closer to Korean cinema of ever-mounting suspense and dread, which I'm a big fan of, so it was both exciting and a challenge to come up with a simple design that still captured all these feelings," Zonjić says of The Caretaker. "A mask tailored on Savile Row, just like the suit would be. Once we had the shape, making it deep red was the perfect last touch towards that place of "elegant dread" which I'm really looking forward to seeing on screen."
The Kickstarter campaign for "Room Service" is live until November 17. The base-level $20 pledge will earn backers digital copies of both the film itself and the script. Higher tiers will add various bonuses, including Kickstarter-exclusive posters by Charretier and The Department of Truth artist Martin Simmonds, a hardcover artbook featuring Charretier's storyboards and other concept art, an illustrated prose story by Tynion and Charretier and even original artwork.
Tynion has certainly been keeping busy since signing a lucrative exclusivity agreement with Substack. Earlier this year Tynion launched a new horror anthology called True Weird, as well as a new Sandman Universe comic focused on the nightmarish villain The Corinthian.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
Source: IGN.com Room Service: Three Comic Book Superstars Make the Jump to Horror Films