The 50th anniversary of the Tate murders arrives on August 9, 2019, and Hollywood certainly prepared for the event in advance. Not only is Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood dropping images to prepare for its late-July release (with Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate), but Netflix and David Fincher’s Mindhunter will drop in on 1980s-era Charles Manson with
Dewey Crowe Damon Herriman embodying the cult leader in both of these projects. Then there’s Hilary Duff starring in The Haunting Of Sharon Tate, a horror movie that takes liberties by fictionalizing the story from Tate’s point of view.
The story will pick up a few weeks ahead of Tate’s demise (while she’s very pregnant with Roman Polanski’s child) and does so in a potentially dicey way. That is, by tapping into her mindset and spinning that into Tate being haunted by visions of Manson and his family, and this jump-scare filled trailer almost approaches Lifetime network levels of pulpiness. That’s likely different than the technique Tarantino might adopt while weaving a Pulp-Fiction-esque tapestry, but it’s easy to see why the Valley of the Stars actress’ sister, Debra, wasn’t thrilled to see this “tasteless” horror film being produced after Duff posted an Instagram photo in character from the set.
One unusual bit of casting happened here as well. Lydia Hearst, daughter of heiress Patty (who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974 in another bizarre crime-pop culture overlap), plays Abigail Folger, one of the five victims murdered by the Manson Family at 10050 Cielo Drive. Hearst is visible at 1:09 in the trailer. We only see a shadowy Manson here, but he’ll be played by relative newcomer Ben Mellish.
The Haunting Of Sharon Tate (directed by Daniel Farrands) arrives on April 5.