The best films of 2011 are coming soon.
A third of the year has passed and the input so far has included genuine effort (Insidious – a box office success1) and big budget (The Rite2 and Scream 43 – box office disasters). The latter films are also narrative gibberish. They are barometer for the mainstream low tolerance for horror nonsense.
The good news is that Hollywood may step away from the genre4 thus allowing independents and foreigners to shine and find an audience. By definition horror cannot sustain itself in the 4,000 screen mainstream. Horror is genre. It is subversive. The box office bonanza of The Exorcist 19735, Halloween 19786, Scream 19967 and The Blair Witch Project 19998 are the exception.
The horrorfolk are due an exceptional year.
Attack the Block 11th May UK (US dates to be announced)
The hardest subgenre to pull off is the horror-comedy. The best in film is Tremors 1990 – there were laughs galore but neither audience nor characters laughed at the monsters.
There are laughs in the Attack the Block9 trailer but where are the scares? Perhaps they’re in the feature because the critics are giving this film big buzz10.
Los ojo de Julia aka Julia’s Eyes 20th May UK
Where J-horror fizzled Latin-horror is soaring. The influence Spanish cinema has on American horror goes beyond remakes (Quarantine 2010). Insidious is Spanish horror in all but language.
Belén Rueda stars as Julia. She also played the lead in The Orphanage 2007.
It wouldn’t be Latin if it wasn’t produced by Guillermo del Toro but no US release is yet scheduled.
No US remake has been announced.
The Troll Hunter 6th June US Limited
It’s been available on VOD since 6th May but hits theatres next month. The Blair Witch legacy continues as a group of students seek out folklore with a single camera. The POV movie is not yet dead – in America or Scandinavia.
Final Destination 5 12th Aug US & 26th Aug UK
The last instalment was the best of the sequels but this entry is written by the writer of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010. That’s when the studio should have called Alan Smithee. However this franchise is all about set pieces.
It’s a director’s medium.
It’s a director’s medium.
Fright Night 3D 19th Aug US & 2nd Sep UK
Colin Farrell playing the monster in a horror film means Hollywood knows he can’t carry a movie. Shame they dumped him here; Jennifer Aniston is looking for a co star to share her next romcom bomb.
Fright Night 1985
Fright Night 2011
Fright Night 1985 is horror-comedy at its peak. Farrell and co have a high watermark to replicate.
Dream House 30th Sep US
A big budget entry with big names; Rachel Weisz is one of the best Hollywood actors of her generation; Naomi Watts has grown into a formidable actor; Daniel Craig has momentum (Cowboys & Aliens 2011); director Jim Sheridan is an auteur.
This cannot fail.
Intruders 7th Oct US & UK
Daniel Craig is James Bond but Clive Owen could have been James Bond. He’s also the better actor. This film is further example of the Spanish influence. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is one of few to ever make a horror sequel (28 Weeks Later 2007) that surpasses the original.
Dibbuk Box 28th October UK (6th Jan 2012 US)
After a 16 year lay off Sam Raimi returned to horror with Drag Me to Hell 2009. This year he returns as producer. As prolific as he is he’s no Guillermo del Toro. Raimi’s resume as producer is scattershot volume as opposed to recognisable content.
Director Ole Bornedal helmed Vikaren 2007 so he knows what he’s doing with a lens. The dibbuk box itself is intriguing folklore11. All the ducks are in a row.
11-11-11 11th Nov US wide
Darren Lynn Bousman directed Mother’s Day 2011 – an entertaining genre set piece albeit with too much clutter. He also writes a blog12.
The above films are listed because of their confirmed release dates. There are equally enticing titles eg The Innkeepers directed by Ti West whose dates are to be announced. On that subject all dates are subject to change.
Everyone who’s been following Apollo 18 201113 knows that.
Thrill Fiction would like to thank Hallowshape for his insight and keen eye. You’ve pointed out things while I’ve been looking at others my friend.
Read more Thrill Fiction: Top 10 Coming Soon Horror Films 2011
1 Insidious Box Office Mojo
2 The Rite
3 Scream 4
4 Anchor Bay ceases horror film production Youtube
5 The Exorcist the-numbers.com
11 Dibbuk box
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