TOP 5 new horror releases to watch in 2019
Ah, 2019, how you flew by like the majestic eagle carrying a fish to it’s nest - or maybe more like the Creeper, dragging a victim along the ground behind him as he soars of into the darkness spewing blood everywhere from a chunk missing from his head… Whatever you feel about 2019, it’s been a year where horror films seem to be coming out of the woodwork. You can’t escape them, just ask the kids at that Detective Pikachu screening… I mean they’re probably still awake from the sheer terror - although Mr Mime’s face may have done that to them anyway… We’ve already seen some big releases in the genre Us, for example, and we haven’t even reached halloween yet! With that in mind, i’ve put together a little list of 5 films that I think may be worth a watch later in the year when they hit the big screen.
Reboot, reboot, reboot. This certainly isn’t the only reboot this year, but I think I’m right in saying that it’s the only one trying to bring some life back to an ailing franchise. This will be equally be happening to Saw next year, a series which has been dying on it’s legs since they decided to kill of the main antagonist halfway through the series. Child’s Play (2019) will be the 8th installment in the series, and is -as I understand it- a remake of the first film. It’s fair to say that this had lead to some discontentment amongst fans of the series, particularly when we got a glimpse of what the new Chucky would look like. He looks a little bit like a ginger Willem Defoe doll - thankfully not from Antichrist, I did not want to see that much of W.D…
Whilst I have my doubts about this film being able to bring the film series back to relevance, I have a feeling that, if you go into the cinema, forget about the original, avoid eye contact with the Defoe-doll, then it might be quite a fun film. Undoubtedly it will perform badly with the critics, but hey, horror films mostly do anyway!
Kids one day will look at us and ask, “Was there ever a time you could go to the cinema and there wouldn’t be a Stephen King adaptation showing?” and we’ll wince back from behind our scotch on the rocks, walk over towards the window, staring into the dark. “There was son. There was…”
I’m anticipating a King fatigue to hit at some point, something which hits every type of film every so often, except Superhero films, which seem to be an unburstable bubble, although perhaps a post Endgame world may change that… Certainly the work of Stephen King of screen is going through a renaissance, but big screen hits have been dropping slowly over a long time. This year, we’ve seen Pet Sematary release already, although that was a reboot. And another of my films on this list is King based. . As the sequel to the Shining, Doctor Sleep follows a grown up Danny Torrance who still has his groovy shining power. I must admit that I didn’t read the book when it released, and I know very little about it, whether that is for better or worse time will tell. The reason that Doctor Sleep has me rather excited though is to see how much The Shining is referenced and, critically, I want to see if there are any nods to the Kubrick version of the film, which Stephen King hated so very much. I don’t expect there to be anything to obvious, maybe just a subtly reminiscent camera angle, or familiar elements in the soundtrack. Hey, perhaps they’ll even bring the infamous helicopter in for a referential cameo.
I’m not going to lie, I sort of want Midsommar to be a bit like a Swedish The Ritual - a film which I absolutely love. With that in mind, you’re aware of my prejudices going into this. Now, Midsommar is one of the films that I sense has a little bit of hype to it. From the outset, it may seem difficult to see why. It has a plot that is interesting, but not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination. But then you see the director and it all makes sense. Ari Aster. Ari Aster of Hereditary fame. A film that was a critical and commercial success. Hereditary has quite the following, and with that Midsommar is built up to something much larger than the cover would suggest. I hope it lives up to the height, particularly because I’ll be paying out to go and see it when it comes out, and we all know how expensive the cinema is these days.
It Chapter Two
I told you there was more Stephen King coming, didn’t I? It looks like the clownpocalypse may once again descend upon us - yes it’s IT Chapter 2. It’s 27 years after IT, and the Losers Club are coming back, all grown up. There’s not really much more to say about this film, except if you liked IT, it’s probably worth a watch, right?
Zombieland: Double Tap
Zombieland is back! The quirky Zom-com that was not-quite-as-good-as Shaun of the Dead, but better than the rest is finally getting the sequel that people have been talking about for years. There are some pitfalls that I would like to address right off the bat. They say this film features ‘evolved zombies’. What’s that sound? Is that alarm bells? Let me throw a cloth on them for just a little while. If this were a horrory, horror then I would be going on a much longer rant here about the essence of zombie-horror. About how the ineptitude of the undead is the very thing that makes zombie films work. As this is a comedy though, i’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt - as long as there is a genuinely comedic purpose to the evolved zombies.
I’m also a little concerned about the first film, and that there may be a tendency to look to that and attempt to remake it, but subtly. Look at Jurassic World as an example of what can happen. It’s a film where they essentially took the boiled down broth-of-an-essence from Jurassic Park, which iitself took the boiled down essence from horror film Frankenstein (making it a horror film, btw). It was always about science going too far, they just read what others had done and, you know, took the next step. If Zombieland falls into this trap, in making the film one big callback to the first one, then we’re in trouble.
Are there any films you think I missed that we should be getting excited about? Let me know!