January is finally coming to an end, and after a slew of sub-par horror releases (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones; Devil’s Due; I, Frankenstein) it would almost seem as if all hope is lost on the genre. But fear
not is on its way, as 2014 has an abundance of 20 spooktacular and terrifying films to wake the dead. After the break check out our most anticipated horror movies of 2014 and learn why you’ll be cowering under your covers this year.
Haunt – February 7 [VOD] / March 7 [Limited] – (Directed by Mac Carter) Starring Jacki Weaver, Liana Liberato, and Harrison Gilbertson Synopsis: An introverted teen sparks with his new neighbor, and together the couple begins to explore the haunted house that is family has unknowingly just purchased.
Everyone knows that talking to the dead will get you no where fast. And although this subgenre of horror isn’t all that new, it still brings chills down your back if executed well. The trailer for Haunt is pretty spine tingling already, so I believe the movie is able to bring us a good payoff.
Nurse 3D – February 7 – (Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski) Starring Judd Nelson, Katrina Bowden, and Paz de la Huerta Synopsis: By day Abby Russell is a dedicated nurse, someone you wouldn’t hesitate to trust your life with. But by night, her real work begins…using her smoldering sexuality she lures cheating men to their brutal deaths and exposes them for who they really are. When a younger nurse starts to suspect Abby’s actions and compromises her master plan, Abby must find a way to outsmart her long enough to bring the cheater you’d least expect to justice.
Nurse 3D has been quietly raved about for the past year since its debut in 2012, and now it will finally make its big screen debut. The posters (NSFW) and marketing sure have made it quite the titillating little indie horror. It brings a semi-American Mary vibe with a bigger budget and more of a commercial feel. As much as I appreciated Mary, Nurse 3D sounds a more fun.
Vampire Academy – February 14 – (Directed by Mark Waters) Starring Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, and Danila Kozlovsky Synopsis: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.
Yeah, we’re sick of vampires too, but there is something about how silly and playful Vampire Academy comes across that says we should give it a chance. It’s also directed by the guy behind Mean Girls, Mark Waters, and written by his brother Daniel Waters (Heathers), so there’s that too. And you can’t discredit that little silver lining. However, I hope it doesn’t spawn a series of sequels if it does succeed. Have you seen Mean Girls 2 before? That’s what I thought.
Grand Piano – March 7 [Now Available on VOD] – (Directed by Eugenio Mira) Starring Elijah Wood, John Cusack, and Tamsin Egerton Synopsis: Moments before his comeback performance, a concert pianist who suffers from stage fright discovers a note written on his music sheet.
Elijah Wood returns to horror again after his amazing stint in the Maniac remake; which you can find on Netflix Instant right now. The trailer is really adrenaline rushing with the compliments directed toward the music. And although the concept isn’t completely original – it kinda has a Phone Booth vibe – I dig this different take on this kind of story.
Cheap Thrills – March 21 – (Directed by E.L. Katz) Starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, and Sara Paxton Synopsis: Craig, is an auto mechanic who loses his job. He is unable to pay his rent and after seeing the eviction sign, he goes to a bar, where he meets someone from his old high school, Vince. A rich couple, Colin and Violet, give them money for completing certain tasks. The tasks are simple at first, but they later become violent.
Cheap Thrills received a good amount of praise at SXSW last year and the trailer looks like a grand time – almost like a play on The Brass Teapot, but more twisted. The cast is pretty solid too. (Where has Ethan Embry been anyways?) It’s not so much of a horror as it is a disturbing thriller, but it promises chaos in the best way.
Oculus – April 18 – (Directed by Mike Flanagan) Starring Katee Sackhoff, Karen Gillan, and Brenton Thwaites Synopsis: A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
The teaser trailer just dropped this past week and I already have the willies. No good can come from a little girl telling you a creepy nursery rhyme song. The teaser poster is equally is frightening. I have enough time with my eyesight without my contacts that I don’t need the thought that some ghoul is going to take it away from me. Screw that. Oculus kind of reminds me of Mirrors meets The Grudge, a creepy, revenge ghost horror mystery. It’s also backed by Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity; Insidious), who always has a good eye for low-budget horrors.
The Quiet Ones – April 25 – (Director: John Pogue) Starring Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, and Olivia Cooke Synopsis: A University physics professor assembles a team to help create a poltergeist.
We’ve got another possession story on our hands. Inspired by “actual events,” The Quiet Ones looks to be a well put together paranormal investigation movie with decent performances. Stories like these always pique my interest, but I stay cautiously optimistic. And P.S., Jared Harris has probably sold himself as the professor/mentor role for the rest of his life.
The Sacrament – June 6 – (Directed by Ti West) Starring Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, and Kate Lyn Sheil Synopsis: Two journalists set out to document their friend’s search to find his missing sister.
You can never go wrong with a Ti West feature. Responsible for great chilling tales such as The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, and “Second Honeymoon” from V/H/S, Ti West has made a name for himself in the indie horror realm. The Sacrament has gotten mixed to mostly positive reviews. Although Ti West is branching out with found footage horror, I am counting on his meticulous, well executed use of the slow burn.
The Purge 2 – June 20 – (Directed by James DeMonaco) Starring Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams, and Frank Grillo Synopsis: The plot is unknown at this time.
As disappointing and face-palm inducing The Purge is (review), I am somewhat disgusted by my interest in the sequel. Concept alone is very original, and this series has all the potential in the world to be refreshing, but it lacks any sort of bigger picture in the first film. I desire this sequel to rise above the miscalculations of the first and bring something more substantial and fun. In my mind, I believe they need to make a prequel that explains the pros and cons of how the first Purge went down. That would be truly interesting to learn about.
Deliver Us From Evil – July 2 – (Directed by Scott Derrickson) Starring Olivia Munn, Eric Bana, and Joel McHale Synopsis: A New York City cop investigates a series of heinous crimes involving the occult and possible demonic possession.
Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean; Armageddon; National Treasure) has decided to dip his big blockbuster toes into the horror world apparently. With how badly The Lone Ranger flopped, horror isn’t a bad place to turn to if you want to make a profit these days. Director Scott Derrickson (Sinister; The Day the Earth Stood Still; The Exorcism of Emily Rose) is no stranger to the genre, and with his vision he should be able to trump any interference by Bruckheimer to bring a relatively enjoyable thriller. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Olivia Munn decapitated or something to that effect.
The Loft – August 29 – (Directed by Erik Van Looy) Starring Karl Urban, James Marsden, Rhona Mitra, Isabel Lucas, Wentworth Miller, and Rachael Taylor Synopsis: Five friends who share a loft for their extramarital affairs begin to question one another after the body of an unknown woman is found in the property.
This remake of Erik Van Looy’s original 2008 Belgium thriller brings a hefty cast looking to take a piece of the horror pie. Psychological thrillers that question the humanity and thought processes of friends is always a good premise to work off of. The story is intriguing and and we should be in for a whirlwind of a ride. I wonder if the filmmakers purposefully cast both blonde, Aussie Transformers hotties, Taylor and Lucas?
Jessabelle – August 29 – (Directed by Kevin Greutert) Starring Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, and Joelle Carter Synopsis: A young woman recuperating at her father’s run-down home after a tragic accident soon encounters a terrifying presence with a connection to her long-deceased mother.
Another Blumhouse Productions film, Jessabelle was expected to release earlier, but Lionsgate poo-pooed that idea and scheduled it for this late August date. Sure Greutert’s Saw VI and Saw 3D weren’t great, but the guy did edit every Saw film, assisted on Donnie Darko, and acted in George of the Jungle 2. Not much has been disclosed about the project, but the idea behind the madness is interesting. Excelsior!
The Green Inferno – September 5 – (Directed by Eli Roth) Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, and Daryl Sabara Synopsis: A group of student activists travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a dying tribe but crash in the jungle and are taken hostage by the very natives they protected.
Anything Eli Roth touches you can expect to be highly offensive, over the top, brutal, and down right disturbing. And although I hated Aftershock – which he wrote and starred in – I still have to give the guy a chance. He created Cabin Fever and Hostel, so Roth does have a good head on his shoulders. The idea of the story is just absolutely terrifying as well, and you know there will be tons of haunting mutilations.
Resident Evil 6 – September 12 – (Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson) Starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Ali Larter, Bingbing Li, Johann Urb, and Shawn Roberts Synopsis: Alice, Jill, Claire, Chris, Leon, Ada, and Wesker rush to The Hive, where The Red Queen plots total destruction over the human race.
We’ve come this far with the franchise, there’s no turning back now. What started off as a nice, semi-mediocre video game adaptation has now become one of the most hilarious series of films to make fun of. From the over production to the outrageously silly dialogue, Resident Evil 6 is bound to be the icing on the cake to finish off the franchise.
Paranormal Activity 5 – October 24 – (Directed by Gregory Plotkin) The cast is unknown at this time Synopsis: The plot is unknown at this time.
OK, now hear me out: as drained as we all are with the whole found footage, haunted house gimmick this franchise started, I feel Paranormal Activity is still capable of bringing some of the best scares and creative uses of camera work we have seen before. The first was exciting and new; the second wasn’t great, but it was a creative sequel; the third is simply fantastic and eerie; the fourth is plain awful, but gives us a reason to be scared of our Xbox Kinects; and The Marked Ones is a nice spin-off that escalates the mythology. The producers and writers say they have an end game in mind and if we just give them this one chance we can see whether or not we can stick it out one final time.
7500 – TBA – (Directed by Takashi Shimizu) Starring Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten, and Amy Smart Synopsis: Passengers aboard a flight across the Pacific Ocean encounter a supernatural force.
I swear I have been waiting for this film since forever. It’s scary enough to ride a metal casket of death in the sky for hours at a time, but to add a supernatural element raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Takashi Shimizu is best known for Ju-On and the American remake The Grudge, which gives me all the confidence I need for it to succeed. 7500 was originally was set for an August 2012 release, and now my patience is wearing thin. Let’s cross our fingers that it does actually release this year.
[REC] 4: Apocalypse – TBA – (Directed by Jaume Balagueró) Starring Manuela Velasco, Críspulo Cabezas, and Mariano Venancio Synopsis: The young reporter Ángela is rescued from the building and taken to an oil tanker to be examined. However, it is unbeknown to the soldiers that she carries the seed of the mysterious demonic virus.
One of the most highly praised, foreign horror franchises of our generation, the [REC] series continues, bringing back our heroine and the original director/writer Jaume Balagueró. [REC] 3 is a nightmare of a sequel/spin-off, and hopefully Balagueró can help the franchise get back on its feet.
Leprechaun: Origins – TBA – (Directed by Zach Lipovsky) Starring Dylan Postl, Stephanie Bennett, Teach Grant, and Andrew Dunbar Synopsis: The Leprechaun returns in the horror reboot starring WWE wrestler Hornswoggle
WWE. Hornswoggle. Leprechaun. That’s basically all you need to know. I can’t wait to see how goofy and hilariously ridiculous this remake will be. It’s funny that this franchise started Jennifer Aniston’s career.
Poltergeist – TBA – (Directed by Gil Kenan) Starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Jared Harris Synopsis: A new house and a fresh start is what they wanted. With their abusive father and all. The children wanted away from him and the mother did so, but when they move into a new house the children start seeing things, strange things. The mother first opposed it as a simple joke, until she was almost killed. Now it’s up to her to save her kids or die trying.
Not entirely enthused, but the original is a bit outdated. Anything Sam Rockwell does is also something to keep an eye out for as well. He’s sure to put in a few dance moves. This project has been in the works for quiet sometime, which is never a great sign for a movie production. If the filmmakers can modernize this classic tale and have fun with our expectations this remake will triumph.
Sleepwalkers – TBA – (Directed by Ryan Lightbourn) Starring J. LaRose, Dale DaBone, and Ansley Gordon Synopsis: Set in the deepest corners of Florida’s woods, five college students attempt to enjoy a festive spring break getaway when they encounter a deadly, nocturnal presence. As horrific events unfold, the group joins forces with a local convenience store owner & a prison escapee. With night time approaching, they must set aside their differences and use their wits to survive. (Trailer)
I really dig Splinter and that is the kind of aura I get from the concept. The cabin in the woods approach has been beaten to death and laid to rest by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, but the trailer for Sleepwalkers promises a very gory and distressing take on the tale as old as time.
How excited are you about 2014’s prospects? Which horror movies will you see this year?
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All plot details and credits courtesy of IMDb.com