Heather Graham is becoming unhinged playing a slew of characters, including an undead demon, in H.P. Lovecraft adaptation “Suitable Flesh.”
Graham stars as psychiatrist Elizabeth Derby who becomes obsessed with a seductive younger patient (Judah Lewis) suffering extreme personality disorder. Yet Elizabeth soon realizes there is a dark occult danger to being in his presence.
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Bruce Davison, Johnathon Schaech, and Barbara Crampton also star in the film directed by Joe Lynch, with Crampton producing. Dennis Paoli penned the script, based on Lovecraft’s 1933 short story “The Thing on the Doorstep.”
“Re-Animator” scribe Paoli first developed the original script for “Suitable Flesh,” then titled “Envy,” with late filmmaker Stuart Gordon, who died in 2020. After later signing on, director Lynch swapped the gender of the lead psychiatrist character, now played by Graham.
“Joe Lynch is such a cinephile,” Graham told IndieWire in an interview conducted during the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike. “He’s pretty much watched every movie and I had watched some of his stuff. I like how he shoots things. I think he has a cool visual storytelling and he just was super passionate about the movie.”
Graham continued, “They were saying that the original story was sort of about this older man that falls for this younger woman and, and they were saying, ‘Well, this is a story we’ve seen a million times. But what about the story that’s about the woman’s sexuality and her kind of going on this horror, erotic journey.’ And [Lynch] kept referencing really amazing erotic thrillers, like ‘Basic Instinct’ and ‘Body Heat’ and I feel like they haven’t made those movies as much recently, but I remember just loving them so much when I was younger and just I like that genre.”
Graham described “Suitable Flesh” as a “mixture of a cult-y horror thriller erotic. There’s an aspect of an erotic thriller but there’s definitely also a lot of horror. There’s a fun cult movie aspect to it. I think it’s unusual and fun and that it has aspects of things that you can relate to, but it’s also its own thing.”
“Suitable Flesh” premieres October 27 in theaters and on-demand via RLJE Films and Shudder. Check out the trailer below.
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