Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Top 10 Coming Soon Horror Movies of 2011

Jean-Luc Goddard said “all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun”. I say all you need to make a horror film is a girl and a ghost.

Horror is sold on premise not star power. Before cinema, before the novel, before plays, people told each other scary stories. So after 100 years of horror cinema why hasn’t Hollywood got it right? There is premise out there – in novels and comics, in news bulletins, in every single culture on the planet and in every fertile imagination.

The quality in 2010 was appalling. That in and of itself is no indicator of this years offerings. However if 2011 is just as bad at some point the box office will coalesce with the product. The net result will be no more bad horror and no more chances for any good ones. 

A lot is riding on Scream 4.

The following films are on my watch list due to concept or marquee value. History teaches us that the best horror films arrive unheralded.

I can’t wait for those.

Vanishing on 7th Street 7th January VOD
A universal concept executed exceptionally creates legend (A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984). 
A wildlife photographer recanted a night in the Serengeti under a new moon. He was sitting on the plain with no tree to lean against – to cover his back. He was effectively blind. It was disorientating.

Everyone’s afraid of the dark– at some point.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark 21st January General Release (4th March UK)
Guillermo del Toro has achieved master of Horror status. He wrote and produced this title based on the eponymous TV movie of 1973. Katie Holmes has form in horror; Disturbing Behaviour 1998. Guy Pierce is always solid. So this opens the new year with anticipation.

The Ward 21st January UK General Release
This is on the radar of every horror fanboy. Despite Carpenter’s last 20 year résumé there is faith in the work of a master of horror.

So why did he cast Amber Heard?

The Rite 28th January General Release (25th Feb UK)
It’s based on a well received book by Matt Baglio1. The book is a journalistic investigation of exorcism and demonic possession. Baglio interviews exorcists and their ‘patients’. He also investigates the history and the contemporary of the phenomena. There is no excuse for an incoherent script.

The Roommate 4th February
The city is anathema to human beings. Tokyo has 33 million, New York 18 million, Mexico City 17 million2. Humans were not meant to gather in such numbers. Some people are going to fall through the cracks. The resulting loneliness can lead to obsession.

Single White Female 1992 did not optimise its plot. The Roommate may be a psychological exploration that morphs into a horror-thriller or it can fall through the cracks.

Apollo 18 4th March (US & UK)
Yet another film to use the Blair Witch technique: first person/POV/camera held found footage.
The intrigue is blaring.

The Resident 29th March DVD & 11th March UK General release
Hillary Swank can win Oscars but can she play a woman in peril? Christopher Lee co-stars in what looks like an American take on a Spanish style ghost story.

Or perhaps it’s an urban thriller.

Scream 4 15th April (US & UK)
In the run up to its release this film will garner a similar internet frenzy the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake did. It should serve as a cautionary tale to the horror folk. Scream1996 was revolutionary and brilliant. The sequel was the sweepings off the floor. Part 3 was the garbage in the can.

After last year’s My Soul to Take Wes Craven needs to pacify his audience. He’d have a better chance with a more daring writer than Kevin Williamson. Be it good or bad Scream 4 is the tent pole horror film of the year.

Fright Night 19th August
This is a remake of a film that epitomised the 80s even though there’s nary a brat packer in sight. Michael De Luca produces so Toni Collette might be in shoulder pads.

The Thing 14th October (US & UK)
The pick of the bunch. John Carpenter’s version is legend. Although I didactically insist it is sci-fi the horror folk consensus is it is horror. Hence the inclusion of this prequel on the list.

We all know it won’t end well.
Wait. Is that a girl?

Look what they've done to my business.

Release dates are subject to change so hate mail should be directed elsewhere if Leprechaun 7 is delayed.

Gentlemen. Ladies. Enjoy the next 12 months.

Read more Thrill Fiction: The 10 Worst Horror Films of 2010
1 The Rite by Matt Baglio Random House
2 The largest Cities in the world
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