Hypochondriac: Zach Villa horror film lands distribution ahead of SXSW premiere


A couple months ago, we heard that Zach Villa (American Horror Story), Madeline Zima (Californication), and Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) would be starring in the horror thriller Hypochondriac for first-time feature film director Addison Heimann, who Deadline described as “a queer filmmaker whose goal is to elevate and empower queer characters in the genre space.” Now Deadline has announced that Hypochondriac has landed a North American distribution deal with XYZ Films ahead of its March 14 premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. Specific release plans haven’t been revealed yet, but XYZ Films plans to give the movie a digital and nationwide theatrical release “later this year”.

Along with this announcement comes further information on the LGBTQ-themed film, which was said to be about what happens when

a young potter’s life devolves into chaos as he loses function of his body while being haunted by the physical manifestation of his childhood trauma.

Now we know that Villa is playing

Will, a young, gay Hispanic artist, who is one gregarious guy. His boss is terrible, but he’s got a great boyfriend and a great job. Unfortunately, behind that veneer is a dark past of violence and mental illness. When his bipolar mother comes out of the woodwork after 10 years of silence, he spirals into a nightmarish mental breakdown where his past will not stay hidden any longer.

Devon Graye (I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore), Chris Doubek (Boyhood), Marlene Forte (Fear the Walking Dead), Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Michael Cassidy (Army of the Dead), Debra Wilson (Dead 7), and Peter Mensah (Jason X) are also in the cast.

Bay Dariz produced Hypochondriac through his Minutehand Pictures banner, alongside John Humber.

Calling Heimann “one of the most exciting genre filmmakers out there” and describing Hyphochondriac as “an incredible feature debut”, XYZ’s James Shapiro said:

It’s a fact that Horror has always been queer and Addison’s goal in life is to elevate and empower LGBTQ characters in the genre space and I’m beyond excited to help him do that.”

Heimann provided the following statement:

Hypochondriac is the story of my mental breakdown. Not an exact retelling, but an emotional one — taking my broken heart at the time and turning into something that feels exactly how it felt to lose control. I’m thrilled to be partnering with XYZ to elevate such a personal story about my life in hopes that maybe people will see it and feel less alone in their struggle.”

When XYZ Films reveals a specific release date for Hypochondriac, we’ll share the news here.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, 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.