April 14, 2023

Former Shudder Chief Craig Engler Teams With ‘Creepshow’ Producer The Cartel to Launch Horror Shingle Shiver Studios


Former Shudder chief Craig Engler and The Cartel, the production and finance company behind “Creepshow” have teamed up to launch Shiver Studios, a new genre company with plans to make and finance up to 10 horror films a year.

Based in Los Angeles, Shiver Studios will focus on a theatrical-first approach, looking to ride the recent trend of indie horror hits such as Shudder’s release of micro-budget hit horror feature “Skinamarink,” directed by Kyle Edward Ball. Prior to his departure from Shudder Engler oversaw production of “Skinamarink” which has grossed $2 million in theaters on a budget of $15,000. 

The overall plan is for Shiver to follow its theatrical releases with a TVOD, SVOD, AVOD, linear and physical windowing strategy, working with partners that include both streamers and traditional distributors, the nascent studio specified in a statement.

The first announced projects in the Shiver Studios pipeline are: 

– “Incident at Joshua Tree” which hails from “NCIS: Hawai’i” and “Colony” writer/producer Noah Evslin.  The chiller involves a trail of cryptic social media posts used as clues by a 30-year-old guidance counselor who travels to Joshua Tree to locate her fiancé who vanished while on an overnight camping trip with his three best friends. Dave Brown and Zadoc Angell of Echo Lake (“The Great,” “Girl From Plainview”) will also produce.

– “Bloody Mary” from writer/producer Cameron Larson (“The Legend of La Llorona”). This one sees six soon-to-be college students trapped in a creepy, plantation home in Louisiana during a hurricane. They decide to play the film’s titular scary game involving standing in front of a mirror in the dark holding a candle, and spinning three times saying “Bloody Mary” with each spin. Soon, one by one, the teens are mysteriously murdered. Larson will also serve as a producer. 

“When Craig Engler approached the Cartel about partnering on a new horror studio, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Stan Spry, Co-CEO of Cartel Pictures, in the statement.

“Craig’s knowledge and relationships in the horror space and horror community are unparalleled,” it added, further noting that “His expertise combined with Cartel’s production, financing and distribution infrastructure makes Shiver Studios a very exciting opportunity.” Other titles besides “Creepshow” produced by Cartel in the horror space comprise Syfy’s “Day of the Dead” and Tom DeLonge’s “Monsters of California.”

“The theatrical experience has always been key to the success of great horror franchises, and with theaters back in full swing we’re seeing a huge demand from people who want to see scary movies in person again,” said Engler (pictured above). “At Shudder we focused on curating movies for the streaming audience, but Shiver Studios is going to curate films for a theater-first approach, with an emphasis on smart concepts that can create future horror franchises,” he went on to point out.

The Cartel’s Spry and Eric Woods, along with Engler, will serve as Co-CEOs of the new studio. 


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