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Exclusive photos/comments, plus trailer: Obsessed with dead “DIANE”

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A murdered woman haunts an emotionally damaged man in DIANE, a new psychological chiller from independent writer/director Michael Mongillo. We’ve got comments from the filmmaker and exclusive pics, along with the trailer.

Mongillo, whose previous films range from the youth-horror film THE WIND to the sci-fi drama WELCOME TO EARTH to the mock-doc satire BEING MICHAEL MADSEN, scripted DIANE from a story by Matt Giannini. The cast is headed by Jason Alan Smith, Carlee Avers, Margaret Rose Champagne and Dick Boland, and the synopsis is as follows: “Steve’s lingering injuries and regret from the war in Afghanistan plunge him into a soulless routine until the dead body of a beautiful singer, Diane, is dumped in his back yard. Steve takes a digital photo of her before reporting the murder to the police and soon he becomes obsessed with the dead girl’s image. Now the prime suspect, Steve is scrutinized by the police, hassled by Diane’s widower, and attacked by self-righteous neighbors. Before long, the malevolent ghost of Diane begins to work a dark spell that leads Steve to strange and startling revelations.”

It has been 15 years since Mongillo last explored scary territory with THE WIND, and while the ghost-story landscape is a heavily populated one, he aimed to forge his own path through it. “DIANE is informed by probably all of my favorite thrillers and horror movies in one way or another,” he tells Fango, “but when writing and directing it, I never found myself pulling from cinematic influences. The photographic essays of Roland Barthes and the more frightening illustrations of Edward Gorey were bigger inspirations than any specific film or cinematic reference point. I find myself describing it in literary terms: To me, it’s Stephen King meets Elmore Leonard.

“For me, the goal, in addition to producing something entertaining, is to create honest work about the human condition,” Mongillo continues. “Horror, mockumentary, sci-fi—whatever I’ve written or directed, the genre has always served as a backdrop to telling character-driven stories. DIANE is a supernatural thriller, yes, but it’s not really. I read somewhere recently that ghost stories are all actually tales of atonement, and that’s DIANE in a nutshell.”

Stay tuned for updates on when DIANE will become visible.

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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