This Week in Horror: January 4, 2011

Posted: January 4, 2011 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

I know I missed a week of “This Week in Horror” during the holiday travels and laziness. I’m sorry! You didn’t miss very much, but you may want to look into last week’s DVD releases on your own. Here are some IMDB links at least: And Soon the Darkness, Cyborg Conquest, Dying God,(Lance Henriksen, what have you done?) The Haunting of Amelia and Resident Evil Afterlife. (Stupid fun. Solid 3D)

Last week was uneventful. But this week? I’m happy to say this week is a very busy week for horror! The first horror releases of 2011! Exciting! Let’s get to it.

Theater Releases, January 7th
Season of the Witch

Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (National Treasure, Ghost Rider) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Hellboy II, Sons of Anarchy) star in this supernatural action adventure about a heroic Crusader and his closest friend who return home after decades of fierce fighting, only to find their world destroyed by the Plague. The church elders, convinced that a girl accused of being a witch is responsible for the devastation, command the two to transport the strange girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. They embark on a harrowing, action-filled journey that will test their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.

Along with Cage and Perlman, the cast includes Ulrich Thomsen (Centurion, Fear Me Not) and an appearance by an oozey plague-stricken Sir Christopher Lee. Originally slated for MARCH of last year, this film by Dominic Sena (Whiteout, Gone in Sixty Seconds) finally stumbles into theaters this Friday. With a delay like that, this film is probably terrible. You might be better off holding out for Christopher Smith’s Black Death. We are going to take a hit for the team and go see this anyway. :)

On Demand Releases, January 7th
Vanishing on 7th Street

From director Brad Anderson (Session 9, Transsiberian, The Machinist) comes VANISHING ON 7TH STREET, a terrifying, apocalyptic thriller that taps into one of humankind’s most primal anxieties: fear of the dark. An unexplained blackout plunges the city of Detroit into total darkness, and by the time the sun rises, only a few people remain—surrounded by heaps of empty clothing, abandoned cars and lengthening shadows. A small handful of strangers that have survived the night (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo and newcomer Jacob Latimore) each find their way to a rundown bar, whose gasoline-powered generator and stockpile of food and drink make it the last refuge in a deserted city. With daylight beginning to disappear completely and whispering shadows surrounding the survivors, they soon discover that the enemy is the darkness itself, and only the few remaining light sources can keep them safe. As time begins to run out for them, darkness closes in and they must face the ultimate terror.

Available On Demand this Friday. Comes to theaters in February. As a fan of both the director and creepy Apocalypse films, I am very interested. Reviews promise beautiful visuals, heavy atmosphere and an excellent soundscape, but warn of  over-used CGI and flawed story-telling.

DVD Releases, January 4th
Bitter Feast

I posted about this film already when it was supposed to be released to DVD on October 26th? Not sure why the release fell through and the title is popping up again. Check out the info in that other post if you want to know more about angry chef revenge.

Case 39

Academy Award® winner Renee Zellweger stars in this terrifying, supernatural thriller about a social worker who has been assigned the unusual and disturbing case of Lillith Sullivan…a girl with a strange and mysterious past. When Emily (Renee Zellweger) opens her home in an attempt to help Lillith, it turns into a deadly nightmare she may not survive. Co–starring Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Case 39 is a heart-stopping chiller with startling surprises that lead to a shocking and sinister ending.

Pulled from release dates at least three times and eventually dumped into theaters in October. Universally panned by critics and audiences everywhere. Stay away. Stay far far away.

The Last Exorcism

When he arrives on the rural Louisiana farm of Louis Sweetzer, the Reverend Cotton Marcus expects to perform just another routine “exorcism” on a disturbed religious fanatic. An earnest fundamentalist, Sweetzer has contacted the charismatic preacher as a last resort, certain his teenage daughter Nell is possessed by a demon who must be exorcized before their terrifying ordeal ends in unimaginable tragedy. Buckling under the weight of his conscience after years of parting desperate believers from their money, Cotton and his crew plan to film a confessionary documentary of this, his last exorcism. But upon his arrival at the already blood-drenched family farm, it is soon clear that nothing could have prepared him for the true evil he encounters there. Now, too late to turn back, Reverend Marcus’ own beliefs are shaken to the core as he and his crew must find a way to save Nell – and themselves – before it is too late.

We’ve discussed this film plenty already including some brief comments in our recent Best of 2010 post. For more detailed thoughts, check out our two reviews here and here.

Let Me Die Quietly

In this neo-noir thriller Mario is a broken-down psychic whose terrible gift is to relive a murder victim’s last moments on earth. An encounter, a location, or even a touch can bring him the last sensations of a murder victim. Or, through a series of quick visions, he can sense the last moments of un upcoming murder. As he senses his own impending death, he decides to make it his mission to use his final days to save the last victim of his final premonitions. He has a chance encounter with a beautiful woman named Gabrielle–also a psychic—who recognizes that she and Mario are sharing aspects of the same premonitions. They decide to join forces, using their gifts to try and stop a serial killer. But there is much more to what meets their eyes.

This B-movie thriller, written by and starring Charles Casillo, is the first feature as Director for established Assistant Director, Mitchell Reichler. Reviews are sparse.

Machete

From director Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Sin City) comes an action- packed, cutting-edge serving of carnage asada…with killer deleted scenes that deliver more guns, more girls and more Machete action!

Set up, double-crossed and left for dead, Machete (Danny Trejo) is an ass-kicking ex-Federale who lays waste to anything that gets in his path. As he takes on hitmen, vigilantes and a ruthless drug cartel, bullets fly, blades clash and the body count rises. Any way you slice it, vengeance has a new name–Machete.

Danny Trejo stars in an over-the-top Grindhouse-inspired action movie from Robert Rodriguez. Did I mention the cast list includes Robert Dinero, Michelle Rodriguez with an eye-patch, Steven Seagal and Cheech Marin as a shot-gun wielding priest? Nothing more needs to be said. I’m all over this.

Sci-Fi High

Not just another HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL! Sci-Fi High is a Sci-Fi Movie Musical set in the 1950’s. The film tells the tale of Billy Dever, an enthusiastic dreamer who is looking beyond his mundane high school existence to the wonders of science and life beyond our planet. But perhaps he’ll face his greatest challenge yet, when he is caught in the eye of school beauty and dance committee member, Cara-Ann. Billy is lead closer to the truth behind the strange things occurring at school. This leads to a thrilling climax, in which the students must fend for their lives against an alien invasion of the school.

This speaks for itself. I’ve got nothing.

The Shadows

After a near fatal collision with an unknown vessel, five friends seek refuge on an island with an abandoned lighthouse. As they settle into the dilapidated old home at night, they are perplexed by peculiar noises, strange artifacts and mysterious shadows that seem to watch them. Conflicts and secrets between the friends come to the surface, straining their relationships. A frantic young Latin woman storms in warning them that pirates are coming. There is soon question as to what is real and what is surreal on this island. Before long they prepare to defend themselves when it becomes clear that these “shadows” mean to take them away.

An indie supernatural thriller by Sabrina Mansfield. Again with the evil shadows. This time, they are ghost pirates.

Wolvesbayne

Russell Bane (Jeremy London, ”Party of Five”) finds himself in the middle of a paranormal war between vampires, werewolves and human hunters after being viciously attacked by a werewolf. Overwhelmed by his own werewolf transformation, he seeks the help of the beautiful and mysterious Alex. Together they must stop the war before the exiled vampire goddess Lilith (Yancy Butler, ”Kick-Ass”) regains her strength and destroys all mankind.

A Sy-Fy original about werewolves. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear reviews are fairly negative. On a positive note, the cast also includes Mark Dacascos of Brotherhood of the Wolf and Iron Chef America.

Our Picks this Week?

StayFrosty: From the trailer, “Vanishing on 7th Street” looks the most interesting and seems to have the most scare potential.  However, “Machete” is clearly awesome.  Motorcycle with machine guns, coat full o’ knives…what’s not to love?  See both if you can.

Jenny Dreadful: StayFrosty is right that Machete is guaranteed to be the most consistently good time in this selection. If you’re looking for something creepier, see Vanishing on 7th Street if you’ve got On Demand. If you don’t, Last Exorcism would be my second choice.

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