Welcome to The Last Horror Blog, a biweekly column on all things horror.
As we bid a fond farewell to 2012, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2013. With a new calendar year upon us, we’ve got tons of great horror flicks looming on the horizon -- and while we aren’t sure of everything that’s coming out next year, there’s no better time than the present to highlight some of the features we do know are coming in the next 12 months. So, without further ado, here are Most-Anticipated Horror Films of 2013.
World War Z
We’ve heard about all the problems surrounding the big-screen adaptation of Max Brooks’ World War Z – Brad Pitt and Marc Forster aren’t speaking, the film required extensive reshoots, it’s been seriously delayed, the zombies in the trailers look more like a horde of swarming ants than the living dead…
They’re all valid, but we still can’t wait to see this film when it releases on June 20. It’s a big-budget zombie film based on an amazing book with an A-list cast. It might disappoint us if it doesn’t live up to expectations (and we’re kind of assuming it won’t), but we’ll still be in line on day one to find out just how close Pitt and company came to re-creating the book. We think most of you will be there too.
John Dies at the End
When we heard that Phantasm director Don Coscarelli was adapting David Wong’s trippy horror novel John Dies at the End, our reaction was not unlike the one we had when we heard David Cronenberg was making Naked Lunch: a mixture of awe, excitement and a healthy dose of “how is he ever going to get all of that on the screen?”
We can’t begin to imagine that Coscarelli will nail all the crazy plot elements of the book, but we already know he’s created his own version of the Meat Monster in the trailer... and that’s enough to get us excited. This is another film that will almost assuredly pale in comparison to its inspiration (and the book is hardly perfect – but it makes up for a lot of shortcomings with pure insanity, and you have to admire that), but we can’t wait to see it and compare notes anyway. John Dies at the End is scheduled for release this January.
We’re not the biggest fans of remakes, and the idea of reimagining a classic fright flick like Evil Dead is terrifying to us, but if Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell give Fede Alvarez’s updating their seal of approval, the least we can do as fans is approach it with an open mind.
Alvarez’s reinterpretation of the film looks to have more in common with the lesser-seen and appreciated Evil Dead than Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. The first trailer showcases a lot of intense violence that certainly appeals to our inner gore geek, but we’re still having a hard time wrapping our brains around an Evil Dead film with no Ash in the cast. We understand the logic – because no one but Campbell will ever be able to play that character – but we’re nervous that this might feel like too much of a departure from what makes Evil Dead work. That being said, it’s still one of the films were interested in checking out this April.
Speaking of remakes, we’re genuinely excited to finally see Franck Khalfoun’s reinterpretation of Bill Lustig’s sleazy 1980 slasher masterwork Maniac.
Joe Spinell was amazing in the original, playing a disturbed serial killer with a penchant for scalping his female victims. The remake finds Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood in the lead role, which is more than enough to pique our interest. This is the kind of interesting casting that could either lead to something magical or be a complete disaster.
We’ll have to wait to find out how it all works out, though – IFC has the distribution rights for Maniac, but has yet to set a U.S. release date. Sources indicate it will be sometime during the 2013 calendar year.
Okay, this is the last remake on the list – we promise.
Stephen King’s breakout novel was originally a Brian De Palma film, then was remade for television – but now it’s getting a big-screen redux that has caught our attention mostly because of the cast.
Director Kimberly Peirce will reenvision King’s tale of teenage torment and psychic powers for a new generation and will have Chloe Moretz in the title role. Moretz has made quite the name for herself over the past few years, appearing in the Let the Right One In remake as well as stealing the show in Kick-Ass, so it will be interesting to watch her play ugly duckling Carrie White as she struggles to cope with vindictive classmates, an overbearingly religious mother (Julianne Moore), and her telekinetic abilities.
Carrie is set to invade theaters just in time to ruin proms everywhere this March.
The Green Inferno
This Eli Roth title has been on our highly anticipated list since it was first announced earlier this year. Details are sketchy, but the gist of the film is that this is Roth’s take on the Italian cannibal films of the 1970s and ‘80s – most notably, Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust. Roth making a cannibal film – that’s pretty much one of our dreams made real, right there.
Roth’s got a ton of projects on his plate (and they’re always shifting around), so there’s a slight chance we might not actually see this in 2013. We’re gonna cross our fingers and hope that’s not the case, though, because seeing Roth’s take on a group of environmentalists running afoul of a tribe of cannibals in the Amazon jungle sounds too awesome to miss.
It doesn’t seem fair that we have to wait until August of 2013 to finally see Adam Wingard’s You’re Next, because I’ve been hearing folks who saw it on the festival circuit gush about it for what seems like eternity already. The only consolation here is that the wait will apparently be worth it.
This brutal chiller features performances from A.J. Bowen, Sharni Vinson and genre legend Barbara Crampton. Bowen brings his girlfriend to a family reunion in a remote location – and when masked thugs start taking over the place, it quickly becomes a fight for survival.
Wingard’s been an impressive low-budget filmmaker, so we expect good things from You’re Next.
Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell continue the story of their 2010 chiller in this sequel.
We don’t have a whole lot of details about the plot, but the first dealt with demons, possession, paranormal activity, astral projection and so on. It was a veritable smorgasbord of occult stuff and featured some genuinely creepy imagery.
With Wan, Whannell and all the major players from the first film returning, we’re interested to see where Insidious 2 takes us next. It projects itself into theaters on August 30.
James Wan has a second film on the list: another ghostly tale with his upcoming release The Conjuring.
The basic plot involves the real life “demonologists” Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who are sent to help a family dealing with spectral presences in their New England farmhouse.
The feature made a triumphant debut at New York Comic-Con and started generating buzz after posting some amazing test-audience scores. We’ll admit to being a little fatigued with the whole paranormal haunted house thing, but The Conjuring’s early buzz is too good to ignore. Expect The Conjuring to materialize in theaters this July. A horror film in July? Clearly there are high hopes for this one.
Paranormal Activity 5
Another October, another Paranormal Activity – the little film that dethroned the Saw franchise has now become a full-fledged franchise in its own right, although so far the sequels have (mostly) been better than anything the Saw guys cooked up.
While audiences are showing signs of fatigue with the annual releases (2012’s Paranormal Activity 4 is the lowest-grossing entry to date, yet still made tons of profit for Paramount), we’re still just interested enough to put it on the list. Plus, the series seems to be on a Nightmare on Elm Street trajectory – where the odd numbered entries are the good ones. That means PA 5 has a shot at being entertaining at least.