Cuckoo: Hunter Schafer gets covered in blood while facing off with a bird-like monster

Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer gets covered in blood while battling a bird-like monster in the upcoming horror film Cuckoo

Nearly two years have gone by since we heard that production had wrapped on Cuckoo, a new horror film from writer/director Tilman Singer that stars Hunter Schafer (Euphoria), Dan Stevens (The Guest), Jessica Henwick (Love and Monsters), Marton Csókás (Freelance), Greta Fernández (Santo), and Jan Bluthardt (Tatort) – but we’re finally going to have the chance to see it very soon, as Neon will be giving Cuckoo a theatrical release on May 3rd. The film has been shrouded in secrecy this whole time, but during a new interview with Variety Schafer has revealed some new details… like the fact that Cuckoo sees her getting covered in blood and facing off with a bird-like monster!

First, here’s a refresher on the official synopsis: Reluctantly, 17-year-old Gretchen leaves her American home to live with her father, who has just moved into a resort in the German Alps with his new family. Arriving at their future residence, they are greeted by Mr. König, her father’s boss, who takes an inexplicable interest in Gretchen’s mute half-sister Alma. Something doesn’t seem right in this tranquil vacation paradise. Gretchen is plagued by strange noises and bloody visions until she discovers a shocking secret that also concerns her own family.

Now, here’s what Variety revealed: the film sees Schafer face off against a mysterious bird-like monster with a scream-like call who seeks to impregnate women with her evil spawn. The story, written by Singer, is based off the lore of the cuckoo bird, some of which are brood parasites, meaning they lay their eggs in the nests of other species. This information has greatly increased my Cuckoo anticipation level.

Schafer told them, “It’s really a freaky thing that that’s just in nature and birds are just out here being complete dicks to other birds and giving them their own babies to raise. Are you kidding? That’s psycho!” She added, “I loved being covered in blood for half the movie and the intensity of it. Another first for this was having to do more action sequences, like simulating violence and stuff, which I loved as far as the choreography goes. You know, there’s moments where I felt like a real badass.

Schafer is joined in the cast by Dan Stevens (The Guest), Jessica Henwick (Love and Monsters), Marton Csókás (Freelance), Greta Fernández (Santo), and Jan Bluthardt (Tatort). A press release notes that Dan Stevens turns in a “brilliant and terrifying” performance in the film.

At one point, it was announced that Gemma Chan (Eternals), Sofia Boutella (The Mummy 2017), Zita Hanrot (Love, Death & Robots), Proschat Madani (Walking on Sunshine), and John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich) would be in the movie as well, but it looks like most of them had to drop out of the project before filming began.

This is the second feature for Singer, following the 2018 supernatural horror film Luz, which Bluthardt had a role in. Luz told the story of “a young cab driver fleeing from the grasp of a possessed woman, whose confession could endanger the lives of everyone who crosses her path.” Several of Singer’s Luz collaborators joined him on Cuckoo. In addition to Bluthardt, also returning from Luz were cinematographer Paul Faltz, composer Simon Waskow, and production designer Dario Mendez Acosta.

Cuckoo was financed by Neon. The film is being produced by Markus Halberschmidt, Josh Rosenbaum, Maria Tsigka, Ken Kao, Thor Bradwell, Ben Rimmer, in a cooperation between Germany’s Fiction Park and the States’ Waypoint Entertainment. It’s executive produced by Tom Quinn, Jeff Deutchman, Emily Thomas, and Ryan Friscia for Neon. Additional funding came from the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, HessenFilm, and the German Federal Film Fund.

Are you interested in Cuckoo? What did you think of the newly revealed details? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Cuckoo Hunter Schafer

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.