entertainment

Hilary Duff and Mean Girls' Jonathan Bennett star in controversial horror flick 'The Haunting of Sharon Tate'

The first trailer for the unlikely film inspired by the 1969 Tate murders is here.

2019-01-09

It remains one of the most infamous acts of violence of the 20th century, and now the Tate murders have inspired an unlikely horror flick starring two early noughties icons.

Hilary Duff and Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett lead low-budget slasher The Haunting of Sharon Tate, which is due for release later this year and has already been blasted by the late actress's family.

Former Lizzie Maguire star Duff, 31, stars as the late actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant when was brutally murdered at her home in the Hollwood Hills in August 1969.

The wife of film director Roman Polanski was killed by followers of Charles Manson along with three others - one of whom is played in the film by Bennett, 37.

The Haunting of Sharon Tate puts a fictionalised, supernatural spin on the real-life horror, as Duff's Tate has creepy premonitions of being killed as unknown strangers begin visiting her home.

It's just one of three films inspired by Tate murders set for release in 2019 - the 50th anniversary of the tragedy - along with Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in the Hollywood Hills, starring Margot Robbie as Tate, and Tate, which will see Kate Bosworth will portray the late star during the last days of her life.

Of the three films, Duff and Bennett's outing has proved to be the most controversial, being branded "tacky" and a "fabrication" by Tate's family.

Sharon's younger sister Debra told People last year: "It doesn’t matter who it is acting in it — it’s just tasteless. It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event."

Denouncing the movie's supernatural premise, she added: "I know for a fact she did not have a premonition — awake or in a dream — that she and Jay would have their throat cut.

"I checked with all of her living friends. None of her friends had any knowledge of this.

"Tacky, tacky, tacky."

The Haunting of Sharon Tate is set for release on 5 April 2019.