We’re living in a golden age of horror right now, which can certainly be both a blessing and a curse. With so much great horror out there, it’s easy for fantastic smaller-name talents to go unnoticed, brushed under the rug by bigger names, which is why it’s thrilling to hear that Issa López, the visionary horror filmmaker behind last year’s Tigers Are Not Afraid, is getting the recognition she deserves with a new project from Blumhouse Productions.
The project itself is exciting enough on its own and the attached talent makes the announcement even more thrilling. Blumhouse acquired the rights to the recent Epic Magazine story The Haunting of Girlstown, written by Daniel Hernandez and published on Vox. The film is titled Our Lady of Tears and is set to be written and directed by Issa López. The article follows the story of a mass hysteria epidemic with supernatural roots that spread through an all-girls Catholic boarding school called Villa de las Niñas on the outskirts of Mexico in 2007. The school recruited and isolated socially neglected girls coming from families living in extreme poverty and in remote areas of Mexico. The subject material couldn’t be more up López’s alley after Tigers Are Not Afraid, a tale of a group of young children fighting for survival from both supernatural and real-life forces. The film was a critical hit (currently standing at a Certified Fresh 97% on Rotten Tomatoes) and has garnered the praise of horror legends like Guillermo Del Toro himself.
“The moment I read the Epic article, I knew I wanted to tell this story. I myself attended a Catholic school in Mexico City. I grew up on a steady diet of supernatural visitations and miracles, and of the real-life horrors that young girls who grow up in poverty face every day in Mexico, and around the world. Having the chance to tell that story with Jason and his team, producers of such socially incisive genre classics like Get Out, and of so many true horror gems, is a huge privilege. I couldn’t be more excited about this movie,” says López.
Jason Blum, co-founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions is quoted as saying “The Blumhouse team was enthralled by the original article and Daniel’s deep reporting around such a terrifying and heartbreaking story. Ever since I first watched Tigers Are Not Afraid, I have wanted to find a project to collaborate on with Issa and I knew this was a perfect fit. I can’t wait for audiences to see her take on this material.”
“Epic spent years tracking down former students, government officials and teachers to try to understand what happened at Girlstown. We learned that isolation can protect us from physical threats but our internal demons follow us wherever we go,” Joshua Davis, the co-founder of Epic, said.
Our Lady of Tears will be collaboratively produced by Blumhouse Productions and Epic Media. Jason Blum will be producing the movie with Epic’s Joshua Davis and Arthur Spector. Epic’s other co-founder, Joshua Bearman, will act as Executive Producer. This will be a huge film to add to the roster for both Epic and Blumhouse, who already have quite the year with Blumhouse’s recent releases, The Hunt, and The Invisible Man. Epic’s recent Little America on AppleTV+ has already been renewed for a second season. Blumhouse’s television slate is also jam-packed with titles like the upcoming Netflix series, Betaal, and an upcoming miniseries starring Ethan Hawke named The Good Lord Bird.
I, for one, cannot wait to see Our Lady of Tears. The source material grabs you from the first sentence and in the hands of Issa López, I know the film is going to be something special. She’s a filmmaker to absolutely keep an eye on. If you haven’t seen Tigers Are Not Afraid, it is currently available as a Shudder Original on their streaming service and I can’t recommend it enough, especially if you’re a fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth.