Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Top 10 Coming Soon Horror Movies of 2011 (September - December)

My home town of Manchester is a university town. Fifty thousand people from across the country – and a few hundred from the more gullible parts of the world – come here to study. Most of the newcomers are 18 years old. The universities call them ‘freshers’. I like to call them fresh meat. They arrive every September.

September begins the academic cycle. It is also the start of the final third of the year. It is the beginning of the cold months. These are the dark months. They are the horror months.

There are some good looking films yet to be seen before 2012. Some have been pointed out in earlier posts but not the following 10. They are of franchise, foreign, dramatic, comedy-horror and the sequel. They are the best of the releases in America and the UK from September – December.

There’s more to look forward to than just the horrors of the Conservative-Libdem coalition.

Numbering refers to order of release date. All releases are wide unless otherwise stated.

10 The Dead 2nd September UK Limited
A television special detailing the shoot in Burkina Faso raised my awareness.
As ubiquitous as the undead are nowadays The Dead has the potential to be something special. The trailer invokes the tone of Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters 1979 aka Zombi 2. A sprinkling of Romero type socio-political comment would push this flick into the realm of zombie great. Time Out1 seem to think so.
The bad news is the release is limited to a scant number of towns2. Word of mouth could change that. It could even garner an American distribution deal.

Attack the Block 2011 anyone?

9 A Lonely Place to Die 7th September UK & 11th November US
courtesy of Bloody Disgusting
The survival movie is a subgenre unto itself. It is not to be confused with the rednecks-in-the-boonies-run-amok films such as Deliverance 1972. The survival movie can boast El rey de la Montana 2007 as its epitome. These movies are invariably thrillers with horror overtones.
A Lonely Place to Die arrives with high praise – Melissa George notwithstanding.

8 Burke & Hare 9th September US
This film was released last year in the UK and is available on DVD. It is directed by John Landis but unlike the previous movie on this list Burke & Hare arrives with bad tidings. A horror-comedy has to make the punter laugh within the presence of fear. The critics at Rotten Tomatoes3 aren’t laughing.
Whatever happened to the Masters of Horror?

7 La Meute aka The Pack 27th September US VOD
The French are building their reputation4 for modern horror on the back of films such as Haute Tension 2003 and Martyrs 2008. Like any subgenre there is the good and there is the bad.
This looks good but it may be an acquired taste – like French cuisine.

6 The Woman 30th September UK & 4th October US Limited
Jack Ketchum5 is a great American writer. The adaptations of his novels have varied from good (The Offspring 2009) to very good (The Girl Next Door 2007). His name does not disappoint. The Woman is a sequel to The Offspring.
It provoked a scandal at Sundance6.

5 Paranormal Activity 3 21st October US & 23rd November UK
This franchise is one of the main reasons found footage films get a wide release. It’s the only trilogy I know of that counted backwards. Ie this is the second prequel.
Here at Thrill Fiction the belief is this subgenre has run its course artistically. Over in Hollywood it hasn’t run its course financially. Don’t be surprised at a trilogy of sequels.

4 Demons Never Die 28th October UK
On the surface it has a number of minuses: it’s a shot on digital video (DV), it’s British and it has no names.

Directly below the surface are the facts: a DV camera can make a beautiful looking film eg Zodiac 20077. A British horror film can go one of two ways; it can be an American rip off (The Hole 2001) or told with British authenticity (Eden Lake 2008). Horror films don’t need names (Paranormal Activity 2009).
Now someone go tell The Guardian8.

3 The Awakening 11th November UK
Dominic West is yet to become a star but perhaps this British horror film could change that. It’s set in the 1920s when everything was so posh and twee – at least according to the movies. This is clearly aimed at the Yankee market that has been taught to think the English speak with a plum in their mouths.
They clearly haven’t met our women. They like two plums thank you.

2 Piranha 3DD 23rd November US & UK
For those who liked Piranha 3D 2010 this sequel began shooting at the end of April.
They won’t even have time to computer generate the actors.

1 The Darkest Hour 25th December US & 12th January 2012 UK
This is an alien invasion movie that could be more scifi than horror. The protagonists are teenagers which evokes Twilight 2008 and not Red Dawn 1984. It’ll serve as a distraction for the Yanks keen to escape their relatives on Christmas Day. Us Brits will have to wait until we’re skint to see it.
Hidden from the headlines of course are the independents, straight-to-video, foreign imports, VOD and porn. Look and you will find something to suit your taste – but will it be any good? I’m going to post my rewrite screenplay online before years end – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Return. That will be good.

It looks like we’re going to have to wait for 2012 before we get to see The Innkeepers directed by Ti West, The Cabin in the Woods written by Josh Whedon and the Dibbuk Box. Trick r Treat 2009 was worth waiting for.

Now where’s that damned sequel?

1 Time Out review
2 The Dead Theatrical dates
3 Burke & Hare Rotten Tomatoes
4 New French Extremity Wikipedia
5 Jack Ketchum Wikipedia
6 Sundance 2011 Dread Central
7 Zodiac IMDb technical specifications
8 Demons Never Die The Guardian review
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