Hammer Films, hot off the heels of its successful with THE WOMAN IN BLACK, has acquired the rights to an original screenplay written by Ian Fried entitled GASLIGHT.
The period, atmospheric thriller concerns Jack the Ripper, secretly incarcerated in an insane asylum, who helps Scotland Yard detectives solve a series of baffling murders which appear to be the work of a vampire on the loose in London.
Additionally, Hammer are set to bring their latest novel THE GREATCOAT (recently released in the UK) to the big-screen...
Taking place in 1953, newlyweds Philip Carey - a family doctor - and his wife Isabel move to a small, Yorkshire town taking up residence in run-down flat hoping to get some piece and quiet only to be harassed by the doting busybody, land lady upstairs who makes their life miserable whenever she can.
As Dr. Carey tends to his new practice, he's away for long periods of time. Isabel shops at the local markets, trying to meet new friends, only to find a somewhat cold reception from the townspeople treating her as an outsider. Her only consolation is taking long walks near an abandoned airfield to relieve her aggravation.
With coal rations still in effect long after the war and the stingy landlady keeping a tight lid on the amount burned under lock and key, the nights are bitterly cold.
Rummaging around a cupboard in the house, she finds a RAF greatcoat to keep her warm during the chilly evenings. Isabel senses something odd about the coat, as it gives off an acrid smell of burning then channeling her own memories laying back on sweet hay grass staring into the East Anglian deep blue sky.
One freezing evening, as she sleeps with the greatcoat over her to keep her warm, she hears a wrapping at the window. Thinking its Philip, arriving home late, Isabel goes to the window opening the curtains, only to discover a RAF officer smiling, giving her the thumbs-up sign as if he knows her... only to disappear into thin air.
As the story progresses, Isabel begins to uncover the truth behind what the airman wants and who he is.
The Greatcoat has a Shirley Jackson feel to it, who was most famous for writing THE HAUNTING. Dunmore provides an entertaining page turner of a ghost story with unpredictable scares throughout - a perfect choice for a Hammer feature film adaptation.
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