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Clive Barker’s 'Books of Blood' stares fear in the face in first trailer for Hulu original film

By Benjamin Bullard
A scene from Hulu horror movie Books of Blood

Just in time for Halloween, Hulu is ready to take some of Clive Barker’s creepiest short stories off the page and into your living room, and the first trailer for Books of Blood — based on Barker’s 1980s-vintage collection of tales — pulls no punches in getting up close and personal with the terrifying unknown.

Taking three vignettes from Barker’s original six-volume series, Books of Blood creates havoc by merging the supernatural with what we think we know about the laws of space and time, in the process building the psychological horror through a slow-boil tension that, judging by the trailer, pays off with some big jump scares.

Check it out (mild NSFW alert for language and a bare backside):

Hard not to look away from that eye-opening final scene, right? (Unless you're the captive, of course.) The three stories each hinge on a different protagonist, with Anna Friel playing Mary, a psychologist and famed supernatural debunker mourning the death of her 7-year-old son. After meeting Simon (Rafi Gavron), a ghost-whispering young man who claims to speak for her late child, her hard-edged skepticism gets seriously put to the test.

In another story, Britt Robertson plays Jenna, a girl who’s clinically sensitive to sound (a condition known as misphonia). Threatened by her mother with a life-changing sentence to “The Farm,” she casts her vulnerabilities aside by stealing her mom’s money and making for Los Angeles.

Finally, there Bennett (Yul Vazquez), a hired killer who may be on to a big score that can help him get out of the hitman game and into a comfortable retirement with his wife. But one last score never goes right in the movies — and especially not here, where Bennett’s eagerness to leave the life drives hims straight into supernaturally terrifying territory.

The new film adaptation is directed by Star Trek, 24, and Terra Nova writer Brannon Braga, with Barker executive-producing alongside Braga (also a co-writer here) and Seth MacFarlane, Erica Huggins, Alana Kleiman, Brian Witten, Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry, and Adam Simon. Freda Foh Shen (Ad Astra) is also set to star. The film is co-executive produced by Mark Miller, and produced by Jason Clark and Joe Micucci, and comes from Fox 21 and Fuzzy Door, headed by MacFarlane and Huggins.

Hulu teases that the creep-fest "takes audiences on a journey into uncharted and forbidden territory through three uncanny tales tangled in space and time," which sounds like just the kind of Clive Barker adaptation we can get behind. Steel yourself to look fear in the face when Books of Blood premieres at Hulu beginning Oct. 7.