Horror's future, Clive Barker, finally has some new films coming up

Clive Barker gives a talk Nov. 5, 2007, at the EMP/Sci Fi Museum in Seattle. (Steven Friederich)

For a while, it was beginning to look like "the future of horror," Clive Barker, was becoming a thing of the past. While that blurb quote from Stephen King blitz-started Barker's career—"I have seen the future of horror, and his name is Clive Barker" on the Books of Blood anthology back in the '80s—the writer took some time off in recent years for such disparate things as children's books and male nude photography aimed at much more mature fans.

There were a few horror movies for television, but his admirers and critics were disappointed until the Midnight Meat Train film adaptation came out in limited release last year (the movie, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, is now out on DVD). The groundswell of support seems to have started a new Barker boom. Directors started coming to him, and there will be a trilogy of Books of Blood films: the Book of Blood itself, and Dread.

"In both cases they were people who came to me with titles and said, 'I want to do this movie,'" Barker said in an interview. "John Harrison wanted The Book of Blood because he essentially saw it as a ghost story and a love story with horrific elements. But Dread's director, Anthony DiBlasi, came in essentially as an intern, a glorified intern, and then very quickly rose in the ranks. It became very apparent, very quickly, that this man had huge talent and huge motivation. So he was a natural, because, again, he came to me and said, 'I know how to make this movie.'"

Barker added: "All three of them—Mr. Kitamura, Mr. Harrison and Mr. DiBlasi—have completely different styles. You put these movies side by side, and .... they obviously have the same author writing the material, but other than that there's nothing in common. I like that. It's the way movies should be."

Fangoria has just announced that Dread and Book of Blood will be previewed at the next West Coast Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors convention, April 17-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Harrison and DiBlasi will be on hand, as will Barker and some of the actors from the films.

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