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The Dark And The Wicked

From the director of the renowned, hit horror The Strangers Bryan Bertino, comes his latest critically acclaimed feature The Dark and The Wicked, which makes its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder, following its success on the streaming service. This the first of many exciting Shudder titles Acorn will be releasing on physical formats this year.

Bertino has been garnering huge international praise and has been lauded by Esquire as 'There's no filmmaker working today more adept at generating scares via the sudden appearance of shadowy background figures'. His latest film is an extremely disturbing, tense, atmospheric chiller.

The Dark and The Wicked features a stellar cast that sees The Umbrella Academy's breakout star Marin Ireland (The Irishman) and Fear the Walking Dead's Michael Abbott Jr. as siblings who must return to the family home to say their goodbyes to their dying father, but are met with a situation beyond their wildest nightmares. The film will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and on digital to download and keep on 5 July 2021.

On a secluded farm, a father (Michael Zagst - Divine Access) is bedridden and fighting through his final breaths while his wife slowly succumbs to overwhelming grief. Siblings Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael (Michael Abbott Jr.) return home to help, but it doesn't take long for them to see that something's terribly wrong with their mother (Julie Oliver-Touchstone - Preacher) -something more than her heavy sorrow. Gradually, they begin to suffer a darkness similar to their mother's, marked by waking nightmares and a growing sense that an evil entity is taking over their family.

The Dark and the Wicked will jangle your nerves and either keep you on the edge of your sofa... or running for safety behind it.




Acorn TV July 2021 Highlights

5 July: EPISODES SERIES 1

This critically acclaimed, award-winning comedy follows successful British writing couple, Sean (Stephen Mangan, Green Wing) and Beverley (Tamsin Greig, Friday Night Dinner), who are commissioned to transform their successful British sitcom for a US audience with Matt Le Blanc (Friends) up for the lead role, in a hilarious heightened version of himself. The couple have a fabulous new life in LA with all the trimmings, but things don't turn out as expected when studio bigwigs begin to interfere with the creative process.

5 July: DOCTOR THORNE

Award-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) adapts Anthony Trollope's best-selling novel for this critically acclaimed period drama that stars a line-up of acting greats including Tom Hollander as the titular lead alongside Rebecca Front and Ian McShane.

Doctor Thomas Thorne is hiding a dark family secret that led to him to adopting his niece Mary. Now a young woman, she has fallen in love with Frank, but her dreams of marrying him are shattered when she discovers the truth about her biological parents. Frank stands to inherit Greshambury Estate, but also his father's debts, so is under pressure to marry into wealth, which is something Mary doesn't have. Will she get her happy ever after and will Dr Thorne's past catch up with him?

5 July: MY LIFE IS MURDER SERIES 1 Award-winning actress Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Parks and Recreation) plays retired cop Alexa Crowe, who has turned intrepid private investigator in this entertaining Australian mystery series. With her ex-boss (Bernard Curry, Once Upon a Time) constantly asking for help with cold cases alongside rookie police data-analyst (Ebony Vagulans) wanting to be mentored by her, her crime-solving days may never be over.

Tenacious and unapologetic, Alexa brings her dry wit and brash style as she contends with a suspicious death at a competitive culinary school, a murder in an exclusive cycling club, a woman who fell from the balcony of a male escort's apartment, a locked-room mystery, and more.

19 July: MS FISHER'S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES SERIES 2

The stylish and intrepid investigator Peregrine Fisher (Geraldine Hakewill, Wanted) returns to our screens for a second thrilling series of intriguing mysteries. As murders continue to plague the streets of 1960s Melbourne, our daring detective must tackle her trickiest assignment yet; juggling her career, the busy life of an Adventuress, and her romance with Detective James Steed (Joel Jackson, Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door, Deadline Gallipolli). Playful but never mocking, exuberant but never naive, Peregrine Fisher continues her mission to do the legacy of her famous aunt justice, to find her way in changing times and to make a difference in the world.

19 July: WISTING

Set in the unique and stunning landscape of Norway, this Norwegian/English language series, based on the crime novels by Jorn Lier Horst, follows homicide detective William Wisting (Sven Nordin) as he wrestles with the most challenging and shocking case of his career: a wanted American serial killer living among them. Meanwhile, Line - Wisting's intrepid journalist daughter - is chasing headlines, leading her straight into the path of the serial killer. Suddenly, an old case comes back to haunt Wisting, and a dreadful accusation is hurled at him. How will Wisting save other lives when he finds himself suspended and fighting for his own reputation, career, and life? Starring Carrie-Anne Moss (Memento, Jessica Jones, The Matrix) and Thea Green Lundberg.

26 July: THE HELEN WEST CASE BOOK

As a crown prosecutor, Helen West (Amanda Burton, Silent Witness, The Level) must deal with domestic abuse, sex crimes, and murder. Driven by a strong sense of justice, she pursues cases even when her boss insists she drop them. Although she's determined to right the wrongs in others' lives, her personal life could use some work, particularly her relationship with handsome policeman Geoffrey Bailey. Starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock, Black Panther), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) Conor Mullen (Reckless) and Nicholas Woodeson (Death of Stalin).




Senior Moment

Take some time out for a Senior Moment, a hilarious film starring Hollywood heavyweights William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd and Jean Smart as a group of feisty old-timers, who are anything but grown-up. This comedy caper will sweep you away to sunny California for a raucous romp and arrives on UK shores on 28 June for its digital release from 101 Films.

Retired NASA test pilot Victor (Shatner - Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and best friend Sal (Lloyd - Back To The Future, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), love nothing more than causing chaos by joyriding Victor's vintage convertible around their home town of Palm Springs. When Victor is caught speeding, he loses his precious driving licence and is forced to use public transport... his worst nightmare... but could it be fate? When he has a chance encounter with the friendly and charitable Caroline (Jean Smart - Frasier, Mare Of Easttown), he enlists Sal's help with his attempts to win over her affection, but Victor has been alone for a long time and his prickliness is enough to put any woman off...

With his sights set on Caroline, Victor must curb his reckless impulses and learn to enjoy a quieter life - will he manage to woo the woman of his dreams and win back his other love, his licence to drive again?

Get ready for a wild ride with Senior Moment - these joyriding geriatrics aren't ready to take things lying down.




Innocent Series 2 and 1-2 Box Set

Following the huge success of ITV drama Innocent, that saw viewing figures of more than eight million, the series returns to our screens for a brand-new dark and thrilling four-parter with TV star Katherine Kelly (Liar, Criminal: UK) taking the lead. Following its transmission over four-consecutive nights, Innocent Series Two arrives on DVD and digital this June courtesy of Acorn Media International.

When 16-year-old school-boy, Matty Taylor is found dead, brutally stabbed with a broken cider bottle, suspicion falls on his teacher Sally Wright (Kelly), who had allegedly been having an affair with him.

Following a murder conviction and a lengthy sentence, new evidence comes to light and Sally is released from prison and free once more... or is she? The case has all but destroyed the life she once had, a stable marriage, a nice home and a good job teaching English at a local comprehensive, now her reputation is in tatters and her life will never be the same again.

Filled with suspicion, secrets and lies, this enthralling drama will have you desperate to know who is guilty.

Penned once again by dynamic duo writing team Chris Lang (Unforgotten) and Matthew Arlidge (Silent Witness) and starring a stellar cast including Coronation Street favourite Katherine Kelly, Marcella star Jamie Bamber (Law & Order: UK), Priyanga Burford (Press), Shaun Dooley (It's A Sin, The Stranger), Amy-Leigh Hickman (Our Girl), Lucy Black (Gentleman Jack) and Andrew Tiernan (Prime Suspect), this gripping series arrives on DVD and digital alongside the Innocent Series One and Two Box Set on 28 June 2021.




Dr Bird's Advice for Sad Poets

Enter the whimsical world of James Whitman (Lucas Jade Zumann), a 16-year-old boy obsessed with poet Walt Whitman, who's reeling from the disappearance of his beloved sister Jorie (Lily Donoghue - Dirty John, Black Christmas) and struggling with anxiety and depression. But his dysfunctional parents: abusive father (Jason Isaacs) and careworn mother (Lisa Edelstein) refuse to confront the issues so there's no one else to turn to except Dr Bird (voiced by Tom Wilkinson - The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Full Monty) a talking pigeon-cum-therapist.

Based on Evan Roskos's best-selling novel, Dr. Bird's Advice For Sad Poets is a dream-like, fantasy drama that follows the trials and tribulations of James as he embarks on a mission to find his sister, win the affections of Sophie (Taylor Russell), a girl at school who joins him on his quest... but her ex-boyfriend Martin (Chase Stokes), could be a problem, as could the strange cult-like guru Xavier (David Arquette), who seems to know more than he's letting on.

The sometimes wild, sometimes hilarious, emotional and visually stunning quest takes the lovestruck teens into a magical realism-inspired world, and - via a strange cult - into the seedy underbelly of New York City's nightlife, where they encounter weird and wonderful parties and surreal situations. Their journey is interspersed with dream-like sequences, theatrical interludes, stunning dance scenes, talking paintings and more, that see James start to question everything he knows and makes him more determined than ever to get the help he needs for his mental health.

With stunning score from Jim Dooley (A Series of Unfortunate Events) and directed by Yaniv Raz in his feature debut, Dr. Bird's Advice For Sad Poets is fantastically fun and just what the doctor ordered; a little bird told us.




Too Close

Bafta-winning actor Emily Watson gives another powerhouse performance in brand new nail-biting psychological drama Too Close, which is set to have viewers enthralled when it airs over three consecutive nights on ITV and arrives on DVD on 21 June 2021, from Acorn Media International.

Based on Natalie Daniels' best-selling novel, we enter the world of dedicated forensic psychiatrist, Dr Emma Robinson (Watson - Chernobyl, Apple Tree Yard), who has worked with her fair share of high security patients and isn't easily shocked... Then she meets Connie Mortenson (Denise Gough - Guerilla, Paula)...




Diana At Sixty

Diana, Princess of Wales, would have turned 60 on 1st July 2021. But how would her life have turned out had it not been so cruelly cut short in 1997? To mark what would have been her landmark birthday, her friends, allies, people who worked with her, Royal correspondents, media experts and those touched by her charity work line up to celebrate her life, remembering the real Diana and her achievements in a brand-new documentary.

Hillary Clinton leads a fascinating line-up of friends and associates, including Diana's astrologer Debbie Frank and Derek Deane from the English National Ballet to discuss Diana, the Princess of Hearts, the People's Princess, in DIANA AT SIXTY, a stunning new documentary from director Robin Bextor (Crown and Country, Hearts of Gold) that pays tribute to her life and work and speculates on what might have been, released to celebrate what would have been her sixtieth. The film will be released on DVD and digital on 21st June 2021 courtesy of Reel to Reel Films.

The film chronicles the life of Lady Diana Spencer, the young woman who married a Prince, but who went on to become an internationally loved Princess in her own right. It delves into her life and important work during her 16 years in the public eye and explores her popularity with both the British public and with people all over the world. It follows the moving story of how the People's Princess touched hearts, made a huge impact and became one of the most adored royals ever.

DIANA AT SIXTY celebrates the fascinating life of one of Britain's most beloved figures in recent history.




Hero Mode

Get into character and activate Hero Mode, the entertaining gaming comedy from director A. J. Tesler (Campaign Trail, Magnolia's Hope). The film draws inspiration from classic and retro video games to create a nostalgic yet fresh story released on digital 14 June from 101 Films.

Teenage genius Troy Mayfield (Chris Carpenter - As Far As The Eye Can See, Amanda And Jack Go Glamping) has been coding since he could talk, and all he wants to do is design his own smash hit video game. When he's suspended from school for doing a good deed, his mother - and CEO of Playfield Video Games (Mira Sorvino - Mighty Aphrodite, Modern Family) - allows him to join the game design team. But being a prodigy who knows it all has its downsides, and Troy must learn that teamwork and listening to those around him are keys to success he had never considered before.

With Playfield Games facing financial difficulty and their lead designer Jimmy (Sean Astin - Lord Of The Rings, Stranger Things), refusing to cooperate, it's down to Troy to create the world's greatest video game to premiere at PixelCon, and he has just 30 days to do it before the company goes under...

Will Troy and the team be able to move past their differences and work together to save Playfield Games?

Get in on the action with Hero Mode, a fun family feature.



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