Sam Raimi-Produced Horror-Thriller 'Dibbuk Box' Gets A Director

Sam Raimi has had his name linked to dozens of projects within the past couple of years, but finding out if he's actually going to move forward with any of them has mostly been a waiting game. Here's at least one we can confirm: Dibbuk Box, a horror/thriller that's said to be in the vein of The Exorcist and The Shining. Raimi is producing the film, along with his Ghost House partner Rob Tapert. The plot centers around a haunted box, and the evil curse it unleashes upon the unsuspecting family who acquires it.

It's based on a true story.

Well, sort of.

The story of the film hails from the LA Times, from an article written by Leslie Gornstein titled A jinx in a box?. In it, she describes an urban legend that resulted from an eBay auction selling a small wooden cabinet consisting of "two locks of hair, one granite slab, one dried rosebud, one goblet, two wheat pennies, one candlestick and, allegedly, one 'dibbuk,' a kind of spirit popular in Yiddish folklore". According to the seller, the box had been the cause of "a tidal wave of 'bad luck'", such as his hair beginning to fall out. The legend started gaining prominence when subsequent purchasers of the box were met also met with rotten luck, as well a string of seemingly paranormal events. The box even has a website dedicated to the mystery surrounding it.

By horror movie standards this is all rather pedestrian, so the 'the curse' will no doubt be heightened in order to prevent the film featuring too many scenes of stubbed toes and mysteriously opened windows. Regardless, you can be sure that the marketing is going to proudly tout the film as being 'based on true events'.

In any case, Raimi has found a director for his latest ghost story, and The Hollywood Reporter learned who it is. Accepting directorial duties is Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch), a Danish filmmaker who's fairly new to the Hollywood scene. Last year, one of Bornedal's films—the noir thriller Just Another Love Story—was set to be remade by 500 Days of Summer's Marc Webb (who's now busy at work on the Spider-Man reboot). I haven't yet seen the film, but it's been sitting on my Netflix Queue (where's it currently available on Watch Instantly) ever since it was recommended on an early episode of the /Filmcast.

The screenplay for Dibbuk Box was written by Knowing scribes Juliet Snowden and Stiles White. Lionsgate is distributing the film, with production planned to begin in January 2011.