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Lanvin SS21Photography Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Paris Hilton and Sky Ferreira set to star in a pandemic-inspired thriller

Pamela Anderson, Winnie Harlow, and Ashley Benson also join the cast of 18 & Over – the latter of whom is also on board as a producer

As if the world wasn’t frightened enough this time last year, Netflix decided to add virus thriller Contagion to its streaming service, which – at the time – felt far removed from our reality. But, as we pass the one year coronaversary mark, the movie moguls have started capitalising on the 12-months-and-counting that the world has stayed at home.

Following this year’s comedy heist Locked Down, starring Anne Hathaway, and 2020’s Songbird, which preempts a COVID-23 virus (we live in eternal fear), is 18 & Over: a pandemic-inspired thriller starring Paris Hilton and Sky Ferreira.

For the upcoming film – co-created, produced, and starring Pretty Little Liars’ Ashley Benson – the pandemic merely serves as a backdrop for the plotline, rather than dominating the entire story. Though further details of the plot are currently under wraps, the star-studded line-up has been confirmed, including Pamela Anderson, Winnie Harlow, A$AP Nast, and G Eazy, who composed the score.

Dubbed as a “pandemic-inspired slasher film”, 18 & Over was directed by Jimmy Giannopolous and co-created by screenwriter Diomedes Paul Bermudez. The indie horror sees Giannopolous and Benson reunite, after working together on the director’s thriller debut, The Birthday Cake, which is set for release later this year.

Speaking about the 18 & Over’s uncanny picture of our pandemic society, Giannopoulos said in a statement: “After deciding to shoot this film in the middle of the pandemic, we wanted to make something that would be fun but still a terrifying slasher for audiences during these tough times. A film relevant to today's issues of a global pandemic, reality shows, isolation, OnlyFans, and obsession.” 

Staged in quarantine as a night of terror ensues, the screenplay confirms that while we may continue to strive for a COVID-free future, the dystopian reality from this past year will no doubt continue to be dramatised on our television screens for years to come. Here’s hoping the third wave doesn’t get in the way of us having the full cinematic experience.