11:34 AM PST 1/27/2015 by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Courtesy of Image Entertainment
‘Dark Was The Night’
Image Entertainment has picked up the North American rights to the horror thriller Dark Was The Night.
The film centers on an ancient evil that awakens in the trees outside a small town and sets its sights on the townspeople. Two local policemen (The Strain‘s Kevin Durand and Inception’sLukas Haas) are left to fend it off.
Jack Heller (Enter Nowhere) directed from a script by Tyler Hisel. Originally titled The Trees, the script landed on the Black List  in 2009, a relative rarity for monster films.
The film premiered at Los Angeles’s ScreamFest in October and subsequently screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Scary Movies festival in New York.
“Dark Was the Night received an overwhelming response at ScreamFest and the Film Society in New York,” said Mark Ward, svp in charge of Image acquisitions for its parent RLJ , in a statement. “We are excited to bring this film to the genre community on the big screen and digital platforms.”
Image plans to release the film theatrically in multiple cities later this year.
Ward negotiated the deal with Heller’s Caliber Media partner Dallas Sonnier. “Since we premiered at ScreamFest, Mark and his team at Image have been passionate supporters of the film and of our company,” Heller and Sonnier said in a statement.
They produced with Sundial’s Stefan Nowicki and Joey Carey and P Street’s Dylan Narang. Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina and Ross Dinerstein executive produced with Hisel and his manager, Insignia’s Alexander Robb.
Image is handling the upcoming horror releases Appetites and Zombieworld in addition to the Adam Sandler dramedy The Cobbler  and the Hugh Grant romantic comedy The Rewrite . Its recent releases include the West Memphis Three drama Devil’s Knot , with Reese Witherspoon, and the horror threequel Cabin Fever: Patient Zero .
Email: Austin.Siegemund-Broka@THR.com