It may not seem like it, but 2012 was actually a pretty good year for horror films. (Check this piece I did for Twitch.) It just wasn't a very good year for Hollywood horror flicks. If you chose to focus on imports and indies, however, there was no shortage of quality scary flicks worth watching. But like all the best nerds, horror nerds want to know what's coming up NEXT! So I ran through the calendar and put together a horror cinema preview for 2013. I've actually seen a few of these (thank you, film festivals) and will include a link to my review when they come up.
Texas Chainsaw 3D (Lionsgate) -- Billed as a direct sequel to the original film, which means it wants us to ignore some pretty crappy sequels, this 3D experiment offers the lovely Alexandra Daddario as Leatherface's latest quarry. Expect lots of gore and buzzing saws RIGHT UP IN YO GRILL. (FEARnet's Texas Chainsaw 3D Review)
Crawlspace (IFC) -- A military platoon storms a secret science facility -- and that's never a good idea. (FEARnet's Crawlspace Review)
A Haunted House (Open Road) -- Is it too late for a feature-length slapstick parody of Paranormal Activity (Part 1)?!? I think it probably is. Marlon Wayans says hell no.
Storage 24 (Magnolia) -- A monster is loose in a... storage rental facility.
Mama (Universal) -- The trailer looks pretty conventional, but anything with Guillermo del Toro's name on it earns a benefit of the doubt in my book. It's about a couple who must look over their mysterious nieces after they've been missing for five long years.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Paramount) -- If you've been to the movies in the past five months, you've seen this trailer. It looks broad, silly, and sort of amusing. Will it be kinda fun like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or will it be insufferably obnoxious like Van Helsing? (I'll let you know.)
Smiley (AMC) -- Urban legends, a smiley-faced slasher, and an appreciable body count. Sounds half watchable to me.
John Dies at the End (Magnolia) -- The almost indescribable cult novel by David Wong becomes a movie directed by the man who gave us Phantasm, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-tep. Expect a mind-bomb of some sort.
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: The Ghosts of Georgia (Lionsgate) -- OK, so it's a weird title. Doesn't mean there might not be some legitimate chills in another tale of creepy occult possession.
Warm Bodies (Summit) -- What looks like it could be a zombie version of Twilight (shudder) could actually be a very cool film. Or perhaps I'm just a big fan of director John Levine (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane). A strong cast, which include Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, and John Malkovich, certainly doesn't hurt.
Dark Skies (Dimension) -- The trailer starts out like a pretty standard haunted house idea... but it's not ghosts! It's something space-related! As a big fan of films that try to combine horror and science-fiction, I'm slightly intrigued.
The Factory (WB) -- John Cusack and Dallas Roberts chase a serial killer. Could be more of a police thriller than a horror flick but I just liked the cast.
Croczilla (IPA) -- A Chinese import that used to be called "Million Dollar Crocodile." Check out the DVD cover for additional chuckles.
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (SyFy) -- Sounds like a promise. This is the fourth chapter, for those keeping score.
Spiders (Millennium) -- It's actually called Spiders 3D and it's from the director of The Gate. Yes, that The Gate. Sign me up.
The Last Exorcism Part II (CBS) -- New directors, new writers, but the poor central gal (Ashley Bell) is still the same, and she's not nearly done exorcising yet.
The ABCs of Death (Magnet) -- 26 shorts from 26 genre directors in one outrageous gross package. Sound like fun?
Stoker (Fox Searchlight) -- Nope, not a biopic about Dracula author Bram Stoker. This one's a psychological thriller about a dead dad and a creepy uncle. Damn good cast, too.
Phantom (RCR) -- Ed Harris as an emotionally crippled Russian sub captain who plans to nuke... someone? Sign me up. Also "on board" (ha!) are David Duchovny, William Fichtner, Jason Beghe, and Lance Henriksen. Like that doesn't sound fun.
The Call (Sony) -- Halle Berry stars as an emergency operator who must confront... Anyway, Brad Anderson directed it. Yeah. Session 9 / The Mechanic Brad Anderson. Now I demand to see it.
Jurassic Park 3-D (Universal) -- One of the most entertaining adventure flicks of the past several decades definitely does have some horror DNA in its make-up. Don't you dare try and tell me it doesn't.
Evil Dead (Sony) -- It's not always a guarantee of quality when the original producer returns for the remake, but in the case of Evil Dead, well, let's just say that Sam Raimi and his team have earned a benefit of the doubt from yours truly. The most recent trailer indicates that this will be a gut-punch avalanche of graphic, visceral horror -- and that sure sounds like a good time to me.
Scary Movie 5 (Dimension) -- Another spoof in which horror scenes from two years ago are re-enacted by people acting like drunks at an insurance office party. But hey, it might be funny. The director and the writers have certainly proven their spoof skills elsewhere.
The Purge (Universal) -- A home invasion thriller with a futuristic twist: the U.S. government allows all illegal activity for a 12-hour period. Dark. It doesn't hurt that the heroes are played by Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.
The Lords of Salem (Anchor Bay) -- While I do not like any of Rob Zombie's previous films, hope always springs anew when another flick pops up. This one's a tale about ancient witches who visit harm upon modern folks. Sounds compelling enough.
Black Rock (LD) -- Three ladies withstand some horrific violence on an isolated island, and then have to decide between escape and revenge.
Monsters University (Disney) -- Fine, so it's not exactly horror but it's ABOUT monsters! And "scaring" is a key plot point. Meh, I'm including it anyway. I love the first Monsters Inc. so much.
World War Z (Paramount) -- One of the best zombie "novels" ever written has (slowly) become one of the most troubled film productions in three decades. Pages have been written on the deviation from the source material, the super-spiraling budget, and endless production problems -- but none of that really matters if the movie is any good. Right?
Pacific Rim (WB) -- Giant robots vs. giant monsters. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Enough said. I'd pay $50 to see this movie tonight.
The Conjuring (WB) -- Haunted farm flick from the director of Saw, Dead Silence, and Insidious. That's good enough for me. (Bonus: Vera Farmiga)
R.I.P.D. (Universal) -- Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, and Jeff Bridges in an action/horror/comedy mash-up based on a very well-regarded comic book. I see nothing wrong with that.
You're Next (Lionsgate) -- A family reunites... for mayhem! (FEARnet's You're Next Review)
Insidious Chapter 2 (Sony) -- Wan, Whannell, and the whole cast are back for another trip to... you know where.
I, Frankenstein (Lionsgate) -- Too early to tell, but it sounds a bit like Underworld only with Frankenstein's Monster instead of a stunning brunette in a leather jumpsuit.
The Tomb -- Sounds like a horror flick! It's not. It's a prison escape action flick starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know you'll see it.
Paranoia (Relativity) -- Sounds more like an "evil boss" thriller than a horror movie but Harrison Ford is in it so I threw it in.
Haunt (Fox) -- Two teenagers explore a haunted house. I think.
Carrie (Sony) -- It was only a matter of time before we got another version of Stephen King's novel and/or Brian de Palma's adaptation, and it looks like they hired some solid filmmakers for the job. Unfortunately it's rarely a good thing when a film gets an 8-month delay. As this one recently did.
Paranormal Activity 5 (Paramount) -- All we know for sure is that it will something paranormal and some activity. Also video cameras.
The Seventh Son (WB) -- Actually a family-style adventure film, but it seems to have "evil spirits" in it, so that might qualify it.
Specific Date TBA
Aftershock -- Terrible things happen to people after a horrific earthquake. (FEARnet's Aftershock Review)
American Mary -- An aspiring surgeon sees her career take a turn for the... morbid. (FEARnet's American Mary Review)
Antiviral -- A disturbing piece of speculation fiction about the future of celebrity, obsession, and designer diseases. (FEARnet's Anitiviral Review)
Cockneys vs. Zombies -- More comedy than horror, but it's funny so who cares? (FEARnet Cockneys vs. Zombies Review)
Come Out and Play -- Remake of the cult kinda-classic "Who Can Kill a Child?" (FEARnet's Come Out and Play Review)
Errors of the Human Body -- Would make for an interesting double feature with Antiviral. (FEARnet's Errors of the Human Body Review)
Grabbers -- Irish folks discover that only alcohol can stop some invading monsters. (FEARnet's Grabbers Review)
The Host 2 -- The giant Korean monster is back! Soon, we hope.
Maniac -- Remake of the infamous 1980 William Lusting grindhouser. (FEARnet's Maniac Review)
Remnants -- Not all apocalypses involve zombies. (FEARnet's Remnants Review)
Resolution -- A sly and cerebral little horror deconstruction. (FEARnet's Resolution Review)
S-V/H/S -- Yep, they made another V/H/S while nobody was looking!
Sawney: Flesh of Man -- Enjoyably splattery '80s-esque slasher thriller earns points for "urban legend" accuracy. (FEARnet's Sawney: Flesh of Man Review)
The Seasoning House -- A bleak and unforgiving house indeed. (FEARnet's The Seasoning House Review)
Toad Road -- Vague, dry, and sorta frustrating. I still liked it. (FEARnet's Toad Road Review)
Tower Block -- A mad sniper does his thing. More suspense than horror but it works. (FEARnet's Tower Block Review)
In closing, let us all remember that in the horror genre, some of the very best films come out of the indie/foreign/festival circuit, so please do not consider what you've just read a "complete" list. Hit us up at @FEARnet / @scottEweinberg if we left out some 2013 titles you're looking forward to.