French sales and co-production house Charades has picked up Magnus Martens’ Norwegian holiday horror romp There’s Something in the Barn.
Produced by Norway’s 74 Entertainment, with US-based XYZ Films executive producing and co-financing, the film began shooting on October 24 and will make its market debut at AFM.
Charades describes the offbeat title as “Gremlins meets Home Alone meets National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It follows a typical American family who inherit a farm in the Norwegian mountains and cross paths with a tricky creature from Nordic folklore, the Barn Elf. The family must avoid incurring the wrath of this gnome-like Santa by eschewing all bright lights and loud noises and making sure to leave a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve.
There’s Something In The Barn features Martin Starr (Spider-Man films, Intruders) and Amrita Acharia (Game Of Thrones, The Serpent Queen), who starred together in Dead Snow 2 also from 74 Entertainment.
Martens’ directorial credits include SAS: Red Notice, as well as TV series including Furia, The Walking Dead: World Beyond and Good Behaviour.
There’s Something In The Barn was part of the 13th edition of the Frontières co-production market in 2020; 74 Entertainment signed with XYZ Films during Nordic Oscar Week in March in Los Angeles.
Scandinavian Film Distribution will release the title in the film’s home territories.
Norway’s 74 Entertainment produces both local features and international films and series rooted in Nordic culture. With more than 32 films produced to date, the company is behind Viaplay’s first original Norwegian feature The Gold Run and is developing animated adventure Spermageddon, co-produced with Scandinavian animation studio Qvisten.
Independent studio XYZ Films is behind current projects The Black Kaiser with Mads Mikkelsen and Sundance 2022 title Something in the Dirt alongside a slate that includes Nic Cassavetes’ God Is a Bullet and Lorcan Finnegan’s Nocebo. It is in post-production on Netflix Original Havoc by Gareth Evans, starring Tom Hardy and Forrest Whitaker.
Charades’ co-founder Yohann Comte called the film “one of those fun rides you rarely come across.” He added: “It’s a privilege to work with XYZ Films for the first time and it’s so Impressive that 74 Entertainment managed to build this ambitious artistic bridge between American classics and Norwegian mythology. We all love a mean elf.”
XYZ Films’ co-founder Aram Tertzakian added: “We’re thrilled to reunite with 74 Entertainment following successful collaborations on The Trip and the Dead Snow franchise. There’s Something In The Barn is a special script with a great creative team, and it promises to be another breakthrough title out of Norway.”
74 Entertainment’s Kjetil Omberg, who produces alongside partner Jørgen Storm Rosenberg, said Martens was their first choice to take on the title, adding: “He has the sentiment we were looking for and the direct knowledge to the mythology – but also the know-how to make a film that will kick absolute ass all over the world.”
Charades is heading to AFM with a slate including TIFF 2022 Platform title How to Blow Up A Pipeline that Neon picked up for North America and has already pre-sold to 15 territories worldwide.
Also on Charades’ slate is Usman Riaz’ debut hand-drawn animated feature The Glassworker, Baya Kasmi’s French comedy The (In)Famous Youssef Salem and George Kane’s Irish ensemble comedy Apocalypse Clown.