‘People Explode' In New Stephen King Movie. Why The Director Thinks The Film Is Made For ‘Kids And Parents’ Anyway

 Stephen King in Mr. Mercedes.
Credit: Audience

When you think of the best Stephen King movie adaptations, the last thing that comes to mind is “family friendly.” There's a reason the author is known as the King of the Macabre and some of his best books have been turned into the scariest horror movies. The master of horror's latest adaptation, the upcoming The Monkey, promises an explosive blend of nostalgia, humor, and heartwarming moments, according to its director, Osgood Perkins. Yes, you heard that right – "people explode." But Perkins believes this wild ride is perfect for family viewing.

Osgood Perkins is no stranger to some of the most terrifying moments committed to cinema. The filmmaker is the mind behind the 2024 movie schedule release Longlegs, which pundits have not stopped raving about. In a recent episode of Bloody Disgusting’s Boo Crew podcast, Perkins shared his unique vision for the forthcoming film, and how different from his much talked about Nicolas Cage horror movie The Monkey will be:

For me, ideally it’s the movie that kids and their parents wanna go see together. People blow up, people explode; it’s very extreme but it’s very funny. It’s very father-son redemption, it’s very touching, it’s very nostalgic, it’s very Stephen King. The fact that I’ve had his seal of approval from the top, given the fact that I’ve really invented a new thing, is exciting. The success we’ve had with Longlegs has been astonishing and The Monkey being a COMPLETELY different movie, a COMPLETELY different movie in every possible way, is really exciting to me to see what’s gonna happen.

The Monkey is based on the author's iconic short story, shifts from the dark, brooding tones of Longlegs to a more playful and nostalgic vibe. According to the Blackcoat’s Daughter filmmaker, the flick will have much more in common with the likes of Gremlins and other campy films. He continued:

It’s gonna feel more like Misery or Creepshow or Gremlins or American Werewolf. It couldn’t be LESS like Longlegs. To me, if you’re gonna make a movie about a toy monkey, you can be serious about it. But so much of King is funny and nostalgic feeling. So we tried to make a movie that felt a little bit more like something from the late ’80s – ’90s. It’s sorta like, if Robert Zemeckis had just like a LITTLE bit of acid and made a Stephen King picture about a monkey toy.

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The concept of a family-friendly horror movie where people explode might seem contradictory, but it’s reminiscent of the boundary-pushing family films of the '80s. Think of the exploding pest from the aforementioned Gremlins, or the foul-mouthed yet lovable kids in The Goonies. Nothing evokes nostalgia like the tone of classic Amblin films—and I for one, cannot wait.

The Monkey follows twin brothers Hal and Bill, whose lives are turned upside down when they discover their father’s vintage toy monkey hidden in the attic. This seemingly innocent relic sparks a series of terrifying deaths that the brothers witness firsthand. Desperate to escape the horror, they discard the monkey and part ways. However, when the inexplicable deaths begin anew, Hal and Bill are forced to reunite and confront their darkest fears. I believe Osgood Perkins is the perfect director to pull off this plot that mixes dark humor, family-friendly vibes and all the exploding horror.

James Wan, alongside his Atomic Monster partner Michael Clear (M3GAN), and C2 Motion Picture Group’s Jason Cloth (Joker) and Dave Caplan (Babylon), is set to bring us another spine-tingling horror film slated for a 2025 movie release schedule. I'm curious to see the finished result -- and whether families do indeed show up to cinemas to check it out.

While you eagerly await this scary new flick, don't forget to check out our list of upcoming horror movies to see what other terrifying tales are coming soon to a theater near you.