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WIRE Buzz: Prank Encounters gets spooky trailer; Rattlesnake demands a soul for a soul; more

By Jacob Oller
Rattlesnake key art

Things are about to get even Stranger in the world of streaming. That’s because Gaten Matarazzo, aka Dustin, is hosting a prank show for Netflix that’s basically Punk’d with a horror twist. Prank Encounters is doing the hidden-camera thing with an eye toward self-referential slasher and supernatural fare—and now it has a trailer.

Check it out:

Chestbursters, maniacs, and moving stuffed animals. Classic. These pranks all seem to take place on the job for some unfortunate new employees ... which has already raised criticism online for seemingly taking advantage of desperate people in a harsh economy. But that hasn’t slowed its host, as Matarazzo is already posting clips on his Instagram:

Netflix has since responded to the criticism with the following statement: “The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time. All participants came in with the expectation that this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.”

Prank Encounters hits Netflix on Oct. 25.

Next, writer/director Zak Hilditch (of the Stephen King adaptation 1922) is headed back to Netflix for his next spooky film—and this one’s got another tragic family relationship at its core.

Rattlesnake, a story about a mom (Carmen Ejogo) whose daughter is bitten by one of the venomous serpents out in the middle of nowhere, quickly becomes a horror tale about making deals with forces you don’t understand. Its first trailer is quick to make the rule clear: When one soul is saved past its time, another must go early.

Take a look:

Also starring Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, and Apollonia Pratt, Rattlesnake is a moral dilemma and a scary premise for a horror film. Kids and priests counting down the hours until untimely demise is always going to be a good time.

Rattlesnake also arrives on Netflix on Oct. 25.

Finally, in non-Netflix news, a Gothic Grimm tale has been acquired for adaptation. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark production company 1212 Entertainment has bought the screen rights to Erin A. Craig’s debut novel House of Salt and Sorrows, according to Deadline.

Joshua Long and Roberto Grande (executive producers of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) will develop the book, which turns fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses into a YA story of curses, stepmothers, and the realm of the gods into a potential series. First things first, though—they need to find a writer. After that, it will be time to find it a home, likely on a streaming service.

“With all the trappings of ghosts and gods, portals to other worlds, costume balls and budding romance, House of Salt and Sorrows delivers a constellation of narrative possibilities that we’re excited to bring to life,” Long said of the project.