Let's not dwell on what could be though and instead focus on what is. This year we have a fairly thin selection of horror films to examine. Included among them are a sequel and a parody film. Journey past the break to see whats in store for us this year.
First up is the sequel that has left some anxiously excited and others feeling a bit apathetic.
The Premise: Inside a darkened house looms a column of TVs littered with VHS tapes, a pagan shrine to forgotten analog gods. The screens crackle and pop endlessly with monochrome vistas of static—white noise permeating the brain and fogging concentration. But you must fight the urge to relax: this is no mere movie night. Those obsolete spools contain more than just magnetic tape. They are imprinted with the very soul of evil.
Should You Be Excited: Lets face it, the first film was pretty divisive. You either loved it or you hated it and very few people fell somewhere in the middle. So a sequel to such a project would probably leave many feeling a little apprehensive. However, with a brand new stable of directors this project should at least feel completely different. However, would a change in tone alienate those who loved the first one and entice those who hated it? Regardless of your feelings towards the first installment, I think it's safe to say that this one will be on everyone's watch-list.
Directors: Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener
Starring: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L. C. Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes
The Premise: Expectant couple Jack and Vanessa move into the most haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans—a house with a deadly demonic curse. When things soon spiral out of control, it’ll take the help of Vanessa’s Wiccan sister, a nosey “neighbor” who lives in their crawl space, two local detectives, and a pair of elite Vatican exorcists to save them—or is it already too late?
Should You Be Excited: This one is tough, because based on the talent and premise I really want to say yes, you should be hyped about this. However, the directors haven't really had a sterling career outside of Reno 911 (which was a hilarious series). One of them made Balls of Fury. I saw Balls of Fury in theaters and to this day I haven't forgiven myself. They also wrote the Vin Diesel movie: The Pacifier. I mean, holy shit, that's pretty bad. However, they did the Night at the Museum movies which I really enjoyed. Like I said, it's tough to give this one a shining endorsement, but maybe being unrestrained in a crazy comedy with a bunch of other comedians is the kind of project they need.
The Directors: Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Starring: Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel
The Premise: In Jeremy Lovering’s chilling debut, a young couple fights to survive one night-turned-nightmare. Driving to a music festival, Tom and Lucy have plans to stay at a countryside hotel. But with hotel signs leading them in circles and darkness falling, they soon become lost in a maze of country roads…and the target of an unknown tormentor.
Should You Be Excited: Feature debut of a director and a cast of unknowns? The raw potential alone is pretty exciting. Imagine getting in at the ground floor and seeing the first movie of some rising star? That's the dream, but the reality is is that there's a lot of unknown variables here that could just as easily break this movie as it could make it. Going off the plot alone, it all sounds a bit familiar. The kind of movie you feel like you've seen half-a-dozen times. However, that shouldn't completely persuade you not to be excited. Who knows, maybe this is the movie that takes that premise and does it the best.
The Director: Jeremy Lovering
Starring: Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, Allen Leech
We Are What We Are
The Premise: A seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers have always kept to themselves, and for good reason. Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank rules the roost with a rigorous fervor, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact at any cost. As a torrential rainstorm moves into the area, tragedy strikes and his daughters Iris and Rose are forced to assume responsibilities that extend beyond those of a typical family. The most important task the girls face is putting meat on the table— but not the kind that can be found at the local supermarket. As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have held closely for so many years.
Should You Be Excited: This film is a remake (or re-imagining as they're calling it) of a 2010 Mexican film. That film went on to have a bit of cult status, but was criticized by some for being "too dark." Still though, the film has a fanbase and whenever you remake a film that has a fanbase, you better believe there's going to be hell to pay. However, there doesn't seem to be any need for concern here. Director Jim Mickle has already shown that he has a solid set of skills when it comes to directing horror movies. His previous movie, Stake Land, was pretty well received when it came out in 2010. If anything, this very well might one of the more promising movies to come out of this years Sundance.
The Director: Jim Mickle
Starring: Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell, Kelly McGillis