Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Top 10 Coming Soon Horror Films of 2013

Each New Year brings hope. This year ought to bring more.

Every year in every century ends with the numbers 0-99. The most important year to the world ends with ‘00’. The most important to the horror film fan ends with ‘13’. A 100 years ago cinema was nascent. Today the internet is mainstream. It is the fanbase and support structure for the genre. Today is 2013. It is the year of horror. We won’t live to see the next.


This is what the industry has in cinema for us.

[Only films with confirmed release dates are included. All dates are UK and North America only and are subject to change (see Carrie). Releases are wide unless otherwise stated. The criterion is big budget, buzz and expectation. My expectation.]

Texas Chainsaw 3D  (January 4th US & UK)
Before everyone goes back to work and the kids go back to school Hollywood decided to capitalise on the January Open. This week last year Paramount released The Devil Inside. By the end of the month it had grossed $53million1. . That film was risible.

Fool me once.

Mama  (Jan 18th US/Feb 22nd UK)
Foreign horror films are the flesh and bone to Hollywood’s new clothes. The best movies come from Spain. They are the most literate and they are the most lyrical – when filmed in Spanish.
Mama is an English language film. When the Spanish script English it can result in The Others 2001 or Darkness 2002. This film, however, has promising pedigree. It is based on a short and produced by the only Master of Horror at work today; Guillermo del Toro.

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (Feb 1st US VOD and Limited)
Virginia Madsen squeezed blood drops from the driest period in horror (since the modern era began) in Candyman 1992. Her last visit to the genre was The Haunting in Connecticut 2009. That film was mediocre. Perhaps lessons have been learnt for this subtitled sequel.

As noted by Grace in the video review below the American holocaust of African slaves features in the storyline of this film. What she didn’t mention is that it featured in Candyman too.
Stoker (Mar 1st  US & UK)
The Others 2001 is a great horror film. Nicole Kidman is in almost every scene thus a horror film starring Kidman cannot be ignored. 
The director of Stoker is Park Chan-wook. He directed Oldboy 2003. It won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film 2004. As his name suggests Park is Korean. Directing actors in English may turn out to be a faux pas for him. Especially since one of those actors is Dermott Mulroney..

The jury is out.

The Last Exorcism Part 2  (Mar 1st US & Mar 15th UK)
The original is one of the better found footage films (for those who can’t stand the genre that’s an accusation of being the smartest idiot). This sequel retains the lead actress from the former but not the writer-director team. The good news is the three year gap between films. The gestation suggests adequate time was spent on the script and the edit.

The Evil Dead  (Apr 12th US & Mar 15th UK)
After a year’s reprieve the remake is back.
The tagline is a whore’s pillow talk. It’s superfluous as the title alone will attract the middle aged Gen-Xers looking for their lost teenage years. Perhaps they (but not me) will Facebook the chicks they were seeing in high school when the original came out. Those hot chick are now grandmothers fighting hot flush menopause with medication.

Sam Raimi has moved on. He left the fanboys behind in their mother’s basements.

Carrie  (Apr 5th UK & Oct 18th US)
Ask anyone in Britain who Sir Bob Geldof is and they’ll tell you he’s the man behind Live Aid (We Are the World to you Americans). Ask again and they’ll say he’s the lead singer of the defunct Boomtown Rats.

Q: What is The ‘Rats biggest single?
A: I Don’t Like Mondays.
The title is a direct quote from then 16 year old Brenda Ann Spencer. She was answering a reporter’s question as to why she had perpetrated in the Cleveland Elementary School massacre. The day was 29 January 1979.

The original Carrie was released in 1976 – when the schoolyard massacre was an anomaly. Don’t expect Carrie 2013 to be released theatrically in America. Today the schoolyard massacre is a regularity. There will be a lot of school shootings before the projected release date.

World War Z  (June 21st US & UK)
I listened to the audio book – or rather I listened to as much as I could before I washed my ears out in repugnance. The story is nothing more than white supremacist wishful delusions; in the middle of the zombie apocalypse even Nelson Mandela wants to worship whitey.

This racist masturbation was written by Max Brooks – as in son of Mel. It proves that no matter how much money you throw at the problem, how much education you bestow upon a racist there is no cure for evil.

Of course Hollywood is going to screw it up by taking out all the trash and leaving the action set pieces.

Thank you Hollywood.

The Conjuring (July 19th US & UK)
Vera Farmiga has proved she can play support in action films (Source Code 2011 and Safe House 2012). In The Conjuring she plays the lead role in a horror film.
Vera Farmiga: Old Spice
Liv Tyler attempted the same and failed in The Strangers 2008. Jennifer Connolly tried this and stumbled in Dark Water 2005.It’s a tailor made role for a middle aged woman (see Virginia Madsen in The Haunting in Connecticut). Vera gets to play mother hen to a family haunted by ghosts.

Horror doesn’t have to be original – it just has to be good.

You’re Next  (Aug 23rd US & UK)
The fans of Ti West continue to congregate around their computers and wait for news of his next venture. You’re Next is a home invasion flick a la Secuestrados 2010. This is the first Ti West film to have a wide/international release – but it’s not a Ti West film. He neither wrote nor directed this picture. He’s the second billed actor.
written and directed by Ti West
That makes it a Ti West film.

There are better films on the horizon but Maniac and [REC]4 Apocalypse haven’t received release dates yet. The genre waits for a game changer à la Scream 1996, Halloween 1978 and Night of the Living Dead 1968. In the meantime remakes are fine in theory but horror is best practiced with originality.

Antiviral directed by Brandon Cronenberg: coming soon.

I’d like to wish a belated happy new year to all those who visited the blog in 2012. We read. We write. The culture is safe in our hands. Filip I want to hear your Exorcist 3 review; Steupz you still the man; Nisar keep watching those stats; Ricky Sprague – you are a writer. To all those who regularly read my blog and I didn’t mention you by name – let’s get acquainted this year.

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