Wow, it sure has been a while since I spent my time geeking out here on ye olde horror blog. I spent most of 2012 working on a very large-scale art project, so my movie watching and writing took a back seat for months. The big silly thing is off to the printers now and I’m super proud of what I’ve accomplished, but it’s time to reconnect.
I missed my chance to chat with you about a number of interesting titles while they were new. The ABCs of Death for instance. Or Warm Bodies. Instead of trying and failing to catch up, let’s start fresh. What are you looking forward to most in 2013? I’ll go first.
JENNY’S MOST WANTED
5. The Conjuring
The Conjuring, the newest spooky picture from James Wan of Saw and Insidious fame, stars Vera Farmiga (Norman Bates’ mum in the Bates Motel series) and Insidious star Patrick Wilson. Looks like he’s working with a screenplay from brothers Chad and Carey Hayes (Whiteout, The Reaping) this time rather than long-time partner Leigh Whannell. They always made a killer team, managing to scare the pants off audiences with little to no budget, and I’m a little sad to see the lineup changed. Can The Conjuring deliver the same level of fear and creativity that we’ve come to expect from Wan? I’m feeling optimistic. The trailer is simple but effective, and I love the classic 70s horror vibe I’m getting from the poster and promotional stills. (Bonus: more music by the terrifying Joseph Bishara!) I love a good haunted house flick. I’m in.
Update: Oh, snap a new trailer comes out right before I post this. Sheesh! I like the more subtle video above, but I’m intrigued by the newer, flashier ad too. There are some cheap shots, but I’ve come to expect that from all horror trailers these days. So, for the sake of completion…
Although I’m not a big fan of William Lustig’s gritty 1980 classic Maniac, I’m surprisingly excited about this slick-looking remake from Franck Khalfoun (P2) and French horror master Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Piranha, the upcoming adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns). Elijah Wood, known for pretty blue eyes and an epic adventure in Middle Earth, may seem like an odd choice to replace original maniac Joe Spinell. Anyone who has seen his startling appearance as Kevin in Sin City, however, knows he’s got what it takes to pull this off. It looks beautiful and the buzz is good. Looking forward to checking this out very much.
3. American Mary
American Mary, directed and written by the Soska sisters of Dead Hooker in a Trunk, stars Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) as a demoralized medical student who turns to a dark new world of easy money and power; an underground practice of illegal surgeries and bizarre body modifications. Between my appreciation of Jen and Sylvia Soska–the kind of hardcore female presence this genre sorely needs–and the sexy and disturbing experience promised by this trailer, American Mary is a Final Girl Support Group must-see.
2. You’re Next
After about 6 months of buzz and frantic anticipation, the trailer for Adam Wingward’s You’re Next hit the web last Thursday. The excitement of the horror community leading up to the release of the trailer and the response afterward is the kind of energy usually reserved for big-budget geekery (e.g., Pacific Rim, The Hobbit, The Avengers). It’s been wild to see fans all a-flutter over a genre ad.
One reason for all this enthusiasm is the cast and crew, featuring classic scream queen Barbara Crampton (Reanimator, From Beyond) and a collection of new-school filmmakers including Ti West (The Innkeepers, House of the Devil), Joe Swanberg (V/H/S), A.J. Bowen (A Horrible Way to Die, House of the Devil), and–of course–writer/director team Adam Wingward and Simon Barrett, most known for The ABCs of Death, V/H/S, and A Horrible Way to Die. You’re seeing a lot of repetition with the titles here and that’s because this is a close-knit group of actors, writers and directors who love the genre and collaborate often.
And I’ve said nearly nothing about the film itself. Home invasion isn’t my favorite sub-genre, but I can appreciate any truly great horror movie. Based on this beautifully shot trailer and festival reviews, I think You’re Next could have the atmosphere, performances and tension we’re looking for.
1. Evil Dead
Ok. This one is… kind of cheating. Because we maaaaaaaayyyy have already seen it on Tuesday. But I assure you, my excitement as I waited months to see the new Evil Dead remake was almost unhealthy. I’m surprised no one planned an intervention. The obsession was a pretty intense. I mean, look at this redband trailer. It ranks among the bloodiest, nastiest mainstream film ads ever. Maybe THE nastiest. COME. ON.
Did it live up to my ridiculously high expectations? I’m not telling. But I AM saying folks with the stomach for buckets of gore and an appreciation for practical effects should go see it this weekend. A review with more details coming soon.
Your turn. What are you looking forward to most?