With the recent release of Texas Chainsaw 3D, what better time than now to prepare yourself for better frights to come. Last year was pretty pathetic in the horror department, but 2013 looks to be the year Hollywood takes back the genre. Sadly, TC3D doesn’t live up to its predecessors, but luckily there are many horror movies to look forward to in 2013. After the jump see a full list of 15 highly anticipated horrors you should set your sights on.
Pro-tip: to win my heart, favor horror. Call me sick in the head, but nothing’s better than watching characters struggling to survive, using any means necessary to pull themselves out of the terrifying situation they got themselves into. Other genres hit a limited range, but in horror, every level of emotion can be found.
There are many promising horror movies coming out this year, but here are a few I believe you should avoid like the plague: Mama, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Beautiful Creatures, Scary Movie 5, A Haunted House, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Paranormal Activity 5, and Riddick.
Grab someone close, turn on the lights, and let’s begin shall we (it put the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again):
World War Z [Releases 21, 2013] – (Directed by Marc Forster) Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, and David Morse
Synopsis: A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.
I’m not looking at World War Z as a movie I will enjoy as much as I am anxious to see if it ends up being as terrible as it looks. The trailer sets the tone correctly, but something about the CGI masses of
lemmings zombies pouring through the cities looks offensive to the undead genre. World War Z has had some bad luck in the production department, originally slate for a 2012 release, but hopefully it held on to some form of integrity to pull itself together.
Black Rock [Releases May 17, 2013] – (Directed by Katie Aselton) Starring Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, and Kate Bosworth
Synopsis: Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.
Here’s a horror movie that has a passable synopsis, and I’m sure it won’t be fantastic, but there is something about Black Rock that captures my interest. Maybe it’s the survival aspect, but I know the actresses/actors aren’t something I am rushing to see in theaters. It has to be better than The Hunger Games right?
Dark Skies [Releases February 22, 2013] – (Directed by Scott Charles Stewart) Starring Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, and J.K. Simmons
Synopsis: As the Barret family’s peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.
When I first saw this trailer in theaters it put off a good eerie vibe. I know I’m playing right into the hands of the marketing department, but I want to believe Dark Skies will be a decent film. It might look by the book, but it’s the creepy tone that has my attention. Director Scott Charles Stewart has a laughable filmography (Legion; Priest), but let’s cross our fingers and say third times the charm?
S-VHS [Release TBD] – (Directors TBD) Starring Adam Wingard, Lawrence Michael Levine, and Kelsy Abbott
When I walked out of V/H/S I was unimpressed. But as the days went by, the more I realized how long the film had stuck with me. VHS is not a perfect horror, nor is it a good anthology, but damn is it disturbing and that’s what I love about it. There are some great moments that hit hard and I can’t wait to see how the producers and storytellers are going to one-up the original.
Aftershock [Release TBD] – (Directed by Nicolás López) Starring Eli Roth, Andrea Osvárt, and Ariel Levy
Synopsis: In Chile, a group of travelers who are in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare.
It’s been a while since we saw Eli Roth behind a horror film. His palette has always differed than what’s on the market. His previous work, Hostel and Cabin Fever are big players in the genre and it would be hard to argue that Aftershock won’t disappoint. Surprisingly I’ve heard not great things, but Eli Roth’s work is something any true horror fan will turn out for.
The Conjuring [Releases July 19, 2013] – (Directed by James Wan) Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and Ron Livingston
Synopsis: A family encounters spirits living among them in their New England farmhouse.
Another big horror aficionado that has been up and coming is James Wan. Although Dead Silence was a misfire, the co-creator of Saw terrified audiences with Insidious in 2011. If he can build that same tension again in The Conjuring then I am all for it. I dig the cast and a spooky ghost story is always welcomed.
The Last Exorcism Part II [Releases March 1, 2013] – (Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly) Starring Ashley Bell, Spencer Treat Clark, and Andrew Sensenig
Synopsis: As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.
Exorcism movies are never too frightening or believable, but because The Last Exorcism plays with expectations so well (it’s a favorite of 2010), Part II is definitely something to look forward to. Ashley Bell also does such an amazing job in the original, her performance as a possessed soul is hard to beat, and I can’t wait to see her again. The fact that it is a sequel worries me, but what really makes me sweat is the decision to ditch the found footage element. The trailer looks enticing, so I’ll keep an open mind.
I, Frankenstein [Releases September 13, 2013] – (Directed by Stuart Beattie) Starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, and Aden Young
Synopsis: Frankenstein’s creature finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans.
Based on the original graphic novel from Kevin Grevioux, who brought us Underworld, I can’t see why this movie makes my list, but it does. There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding I, Frankenstein, and the cast appeals to my senses. Keeping that in mind, my interest is high. Seeing Aaron Eckhart as Frankenstein also intrigues me.
Stoker [Releases February 28, 2013] – (Directed by Chan-wook Park) Starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode
Synopsis: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
I spoke highly of Chan-wook Park’s work on Oldboy before as the American remake is high on my priorities this year. Stoker will be the director’s English language debut, and I’m crossing my fingers his style won’t get lost in translation. The trailer feels far different than traditional American movies so I hope that’s a positive sign that Stoker will reach the same heights as Oldboy.
R.I.P.D. [Releases July 19, 2013] – (Directed by Robert Schwentke) Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker, and Kevin Bacon
Synopsis: A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds teaming up together is good enough for me. Based on the premise and the fact that it’s a comedy, R.I.P.D. should bring great chemistry between the actors. Another horror based on a comic this year, R.I.P.D. sounds like it will be a fun time at the movies.
Warm Bodies [Releases February 1, 2013] – (Directed by Jonathan Levin) Starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, and John Malkovich
Synopsis: After a zombie becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
Having already seen this movie at an advanced screening, I can tell you that Warm Bodies is a delightful little flick. Sure the romance aspect may turn you off now (it was written to mirror Romeo and Juliet), but you’ll be sorry you missed the chance to see this in theaters. It’s witty, the narration by Hoult is perfectly executed, and overall it’s a good ride. Jonathan Levine also directed my favorite movie of 2011, 50/50. He shows here a great eye for character and knows how to put together a solid story. Watch the trailer and see for yourself.
Carrie [Release October 18, 2013] – (Directed by Kimberly Price) Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, and Portia Doubleday
Synopsis: A sheltered high school girl unleashes her newly developed telekinetic powers after she is pushed too far by her peers.
Chloë Grace Moretz has proven time and time again that she is one of the best up and coming actresses of our time. We can definitely crown her a Scream Queen for her work in The Amityville Horror and Let Me In, but it is her range seen in Hugo and Kick-Ass that makes her top of the class. Casting her as the lead in Carrie only makes sense. With Julianne Moore supporting as her mother, this remake should blow others out of the water and raise the bar.
You’re Next [Releases August 23, 2013] – (Directed by Adam Wingard) Starring Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, and Aj Bowen
Synopsis: When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
I feel like I’ve been waiting for You’re Next for quite some time. Home invasion movies are so frightening because they are ultimately the most believable. The Strangers proved very well that you don’t need ghosts or demons to feel uncomfortable in the “safety” of your own home. Adam Wingard did a swell job directing a bunch of hooligans looking for a bounty in V/H/S, so You’re Next should have been a walk in the park for this young talent. The screenwriter, Simon Barrett, is also a companion of Wingard’s who has also helped with V/H/S, so this should be equally disturbing.
Evil Dead [Releases April 12, 2013] – (Directed by Fede Alvarez) Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Elizabeth Blackmore
Synopsis: Mia, a young woman struggling with sobriety, heads to a remote cabin with her brother and a group of friends, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to danger and horror.
I have to admit, The Evil Dead is not high on my list of favorite horror movies – perhaps I watched it at a wrong time in my life. For as much as it is praised, I just haven’t found that level of enjoyment others have reached. But, based on what I’ve seen in the trailers and promos, this remake looks batsh*t insane and puts everything out on the table for a ridiculously good and terrifying time. And I like that. Endorsed by the original filmmaker, Sam Raimi, I cannot wait to see what happens when the Necronomicon is unleashed once more.
Insidious Chapter 2 [Releases August 30, 2013] – (Directed by James Wan) Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, and Barbara Herhsey
Synopsis: A continuation of the 2010 horror hit about the fate of the Lambert family and their haunted house.
Insidious is absolutely, without a doubt scary as hell (see top films of 2011). Another film by James Wan, I can’t see how he can top the original and put out two good horror movies in one year. If he can pull off Chapter 2 along with The Conjuring, Wan will truly be etched in stone as a leading master of horror. There is so much damn tension built in Insidious leading up to a huge, horrifying climax that it’s hard to imagine how he can rival it. Look out for Insidious Chapter 2 to be potentially the scariest of the year.
All plot synopses thanks to IMDb