So here it is, the horror films we are most looking forward to this year. Whilst not everyone is a fan of remakes a couple have made this list because they look genuinely intriguing… the absence of Paranormal Activity 5 is not an oversight.
This is the biggie of the year and yes, it’s a remake. Difference here is that a) it’s Sam Raimi approved and b) Bruce Campbell has been talking it up! After another glut of dreadful horror remakes (be honest – there hasn’t been a good one since The Hills Have Eyes) surely one has to be good… right? It’s a brave choice then to take on the seminal The Evil Dead, but early signs are good. The trailer looks decent enough and the claim on the poster is a bold one, ‘The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience’. No one in their right mind would make that claim if they weren’t confident about the end result!
Another remake due this year is also treading on fairly hallowed ground, how does one follow Brian De Palma’s shocking original. Well the casting of the fantastic Chloe Grace Moretz in the titular role isn’t a bad start. The difficulty here will be differentiating it enough from the original to make it worthwhile. The Stephen King book could provide material that the De Palma original didn’t touch on but audience’s patience with endless remakes is waning and there is a risk that this could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
An interesting looking horror from the ‘Guillermo Del Toro presents’ stable. This is based around a couple who raise two girls that have been left alone in the woods for five years after tragedy hits their family. But the girls didn’t come out of the woods alone. Seemingly a ghost story with some savage visuals (if the trailer is anything to go by) this could be the sleeper horror hit of 2013, the presence of the Oscar nominated Jessica Chastain can’t really do this much harm either.
Lords of Salem
Whilst critically mauled upon release, Rob Zombie’s previous horror films have earned him a cult following and Lords of Salem sees him return to original material following his Halloween remakes. With the story based around a coven of witches returning to the town of Salem, it would seem that witches are the 2013 bad guy of choice. He has taken a more art house approach to the visual style this time round which is a brave decision so let’s hope he gets it right. Whilst House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects weren’t exactly brilliant films they did show a passion for the genre. If Zombie has learnt from his mistakes on the Halloween remakes then we could have a thoroughly decent horror on our hands here.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Less straight up horror and more a mix of horror, action and comedy, nonetheless the tropes of the horror genre are certainly evident from the trailer. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the titular brother and sister duo. As you can probably gleam from the title they hunt witches and are packing some pretty elaborate weaponry that is more than a little reminiscent of Van Helsing. It looks like good, old-fashioned gory fun and, if they can avoid the pitfalls of awful CGI and little or no story, it may prove to be the film that Van Helsing wasn’t.
The ABC’s of Death
The ABC’s of Death is a bold project that encompasses 26 short films from different directors into its running time. The difficultly here will be keeping the quality high. If presented with a couple of weaker films back to back then you risk losing the audience for the rest of the work. However with directors such as Ben Wheatley (Kill List), Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun) and Ti West (The House of the Devil) involved you should be safe in the knowledge that a fair few of shorts will be very scary indeed!
Perhaps a more personal selection that the other films listed, with the original Hatchet, writer/director Adam Green made a loving homage to 80’s slasher films and came up with an iconic killer in his own right. After the entertaining (and better then it had any right to be) Hatchet II, the third film will look further into the back story of Victor Crowley and undoubtedly give the audience some creative kills and lots of OTT gore along the way. The only risk with this is that Adam Green isn’t taking the director’s chair this time, instead handing over the reins to one of his crew, BJ McDonnell. However BJ has been with the franchise since the beginning so fingers crossed his passion for the work will shine through.