Amicus Productions Returns from the Grave with Portmanteau Horror Film ‘In the Grip of Terror’

Lawrie Brewster sitting at a disk in In the Grip of Terror

Amicus Productions has returned from the grave. In the Grip of Terror marks our first film in decades, but we need your help to complete the resurrection and usher in a new era for a beloved British filmmaking institution. With that in mind, we hope you consider supporting our Kickstarter campaign.

The first incarnation of Amicus created films across a variety of genres, but horror has always been our studio’s bread and butter. As such, the reboot will focus on producing the type of scare fare that made horror lovers fall in love with Amicus in the first place. Viewers can expect atmospheric tales of terror that embrace practical effects and boast strong writing. And yes, there will be cemeteries and more gothic locations than you can shake a skull at.

Of course, Amicus is arguably most famous for portmanteau films such as Tales from the Crypt, Asylum, and From Beyond the Grave. In the Grip of Terror will embrace this legacy by delving into four terrifying tales that are rooted in macabre medical horror and based on stories from some of genre fiction’s best writers. So, without further ado, let’s discuss why you should consider supporting our horror film.

In the Grip of Terror’s literary inspirations

Directed by Lawrie Brewster, who co-wrote the film with fellow Amicus Productions figurehead Sarah Daly, In the Grip of Terror will also adapt stories by some of the finest authors in horror and fantastical fiction. This will be a major focus of the studio moving forward, according to In the Grip of Terror star Megan Tremethick.

In the Grip of Terror marks the first Amicus Horror Film in over 40 years. Just as with the classic Amicus productions, our foremost priority is exceptional writing. Our film will uphold this tradition, showcasing adaptations inspired by four classic literary works: Cool Air by H.P. Lovecraft, And the Dead Spake by E.F. Benson, and both A Diagnosis of Death and A Watcher by the Dead by Ambrose Bierce.”

In Cool Air, a reclusive scholar conducts chilling, mysterious experiments within an icy hospital wing. The narrative unveils a horrifying secret linked to the extreme cold, inadvertently discovered by a curious nurse. This leads to a shocking climax, revealing the terrifying truth behind the… cool air.

A Watcher by the Dead is a suspenseful tale centered around a wager that tests the limits of terror. A skeptic volunteers to spend a night in a room with a cadaver, intending to disprove fear as a mere illusion. However, spectral apparitions and uncanny events climax in an eerie fusion of reality and the ghostly realm.

And the Dead Spake is a thrilling story about a scientist who creates a device to play a person’s final thoughts at death. As he delves into these macabre recordings, the boundary between life and death blurs, culminating in a horrifying revelation from a violently departed subject that challenges our understanding of mortality.

Diagnosis of Death tells the gripping story of Hampden, a man burdened with a troubling medical prediction. As his health deteriorates at an alarming rate, strange occurrences blur the line between the natural and the supernatural, leading to a disturbing revelation that is sure to haunt your dreams.

Who’s in the cast of In the Grip of Terror?

The legacy of Amicus Productions is synonymous with great character actors, many of whom came from the stage. Names such as Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Donald Sutherland, Joan Collins, and Tom Baker graced some of the studio’s finest films. To honor that legacy, we have recruited a group of fantastic character actors made up of rising stars and veterans alike.

Megan Tremethick is an up-and-coming horror sensation and our Miss Amicus. Fans of indie genre cinema will know her from Ghost Crew and The Vance Institute, and they can also look forward to seeing her in Hex Studio’s forthcoming efforts, including The Slave and the Sorcerer. Brewster has compared Tremethck to a modern-day Hazel Court, and that comparison will become more evident after fans see her portray a curious nurse who’s exposed to mysterious terrors in our upcoming film.

Next up we have Laurence R. Harvey, a genre heavyweight whom Brewster has called “the Peter Lorre of horror and a fantastic character actor.” In the Grip of Terror will see him play a man with an unhealthy obsession with brains, so don’t expect a cosy outing from the veteran. Harvey is a genre icon whose performances in movies like The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) have attracted praise and controversy in equal measure, and In the Grip of Terror will allow him to sink into his most terrifying qualities.

We are also delighted to announce that Michael Daviot is part of the cast. An esteemed actor and performer of the British stage, he is known for his caustic wit and his bass voice that could shake the pillars of Hell. This is just as well, for Michael is a huge horror aficionado and performer of the works of Ambrose Bierce.

In the Grip of Terror also sees Brewster and Daly reteam with the Jonathan Hansler, who magnificently portrayed a deliciously corrupt 18th-century aristocrat in Hex Studios’ The Devil’s Machine. In this movie, he plays a doctor with a chilling secret.

Old Amicus fans needn’t fear the worst

We live in an age where IPs are obtained by entities who are only interested in exploiting them for profit. However, the resurrected Amicus Productions is a labour of love from a group of artists, journalists, and creators who long for a return to the glory days of British horror — and who aim to protect the legacy of this beloved studio. Some long-term fans might have doubts about our goals, but they can rest assured knowing that we’ve received the blessing from Amicus’ most protective guardians.

“Amicus Productions isn’t just a piece of property; we’ve not revived it for exploitation,” Brewster explained. “We’re bringing it back because we love Amicus Productions. We’ve worked closely with the Subotsky family to ensure this is done in the most sympathetic manner possible. Our commitment runs deep, reflecting the passion we have for Amicus Productions. We view this as a responsibility we’ve been entrusted with. As I invite the world to aid in the resurrection of Amicus Productions, I want them to know I’m doing this with the very best of intentions. Always respect the fans.”

What’s more, In the Grip of Terror is named after a title that Amicus Productions’ original co-founder Milton Subotsky considered using for one of his own films, which was generously shared with us by his son, Sergei Subotsky. Furthermore, his widow, Dr. Fiona Subotsky, has been a magnificent help throughout this process and her creative input has been tantamount to the creation of this project, as she suggested three of the stories we are adapting. Together, we will ensure that the future of Amicus Productions honors the legendary studio’s rich heritage while re-establishing it as a force to be reckoned with in the world of independent filmmaking.