A HORROR film shot in Basildon with an Essex cast has been snapped up by a major US film company.

Lionsgate Films, responsible for smash movie hits, including American Psycho, Saw and the Hunger Games, is planning to bring out Community on DVD in 2013, with the possibility of it appearing on the big screen in local cinemas.

Basildon director Jason Ford and producer Terry Bird, from New Town Film, were thrilled by the news and particularly proud as it was a micro-budget film shot in only three weeks.

New Town Film previously made another film, “This is Essex – New Town Original” about a local psychopath, but this is Mr Ford’s first horror film.

The new film is about the hidden problems in a community and how the residents have turned into drug-addicted psychotics. It focuses on local themes, including fears over the economy and the rise of poverty and lawlessness.

Mr Ford, who was raised in Lee Chapel North, Basildon, said the regional importance of the film was crucial. He added: “I am very proud of this film. It has a lot of different aspects that people in Essex can relate to. I wanted to shoot some of it here, as I have always felt a close bond with Basildon. “I was very pleased I managed to find such excellent actors. The film has a local feel due to the number of Essex folk in it.”

Although it is a horror film, Mr Ford hopes it will be given a 15 certificate, making it available to a wider audience. However, no decision has been made yet by the British Board of Film Classification.

The film sold out its’ Fright Fest slot at the Empire cinema , Leicester Square, London, on August 26 and was shown in a regional premiere last week at the Empire cinema, Festival Leisure Park , Basildon.