Horror seems to be making a comeback with a new wave of films now receiving both critical acclaim, as well as financial success at the box office. Just by attaching the names of writer/director James Wan or Production Company Blumhouse, seems to have enough momentum to make it a box office hit. So with the public now paying to get scared again, here are the top five horror films worth looking out for in 2017.
Death House (Release Date: TBC)
With jump scare film franchises like The Conjuring (2013-2016) and Insidious (2010 -2018) dominating at the box office, it will take something special to change the trend, but that is something Death House is looking to initiate.
Based on an original concept by Gunnar Hansen to bring the icons of horror together the cast reflects his vision perfectly; and for any icons not featured in the original, 5 sequels are already planned for the franchise. After giving his approval for a script written by Harrison Smith (who also directs the film), Gunnar Hansen unfortunately passed away before filming started. However, thanks to modern technology Gunnar Hansen will be appearing in the film alongside the icons he helped bring together.
Described as a mixture of sci-Fi, action and horror, it’s reminiscent of the 80s films which many of its cast made famous. There has been some confusion regarding the characters that will feature, but it has been confirmed that they will not be portraying the roles they are recognised for, as this is a brand new story. There will however be plenty of Easter eggs and nods to the genre, after all this is a movie which has been made for the horror fans.
IT (Release Date: September 2017)
Remakes have been met with a negative response due to the notoriety of most efforts in recent years, so when they announced that a new version of the miniseries IT (1990) was in production, the initial criticism from fans was expected. Nostalgia is probably the films biggest enemy, because anyone who grew up watching the original will find it difficult to see how anyone could portray Pennywise better than Tim Curry. The recent remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (2016) is a great example of how difficult he is to surpass, as audiences were left underwhelmed.
So what changed? YouTube trailers seem to be a great way to spread the word at the moment and as soon as a new IT trailer started to break records for the number of views, peoples perceptions started to change. The footage portrayed a much darker performance of Pennywise by Bill Skarsgård, a complete contrast to the original and more reflective of Stephen King’s book.
We will have to wait and see how this remake compares to the original following its release, but if the film is as haunting as the trailer suggests, it could put coulrophobia back to the top of the list in 2017.
Saw: Legacy (Release Date: October 2017)
Its been 7 years since the last instalment in the Saw Series entitled Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010), but as horror fans know too well, they can always come back for one more scare. The newest instalment is being directed by the Spierig Brothers who are best known for the visually stunning Daybreakers (2009) and penned by a veteran of the genre Josh Stolberg who wrote Sorority Row (2009) and Crawlspace (2013).
Saw Legacy picks up a decade after the death of the original Jigsaw Killer, where a new series of murders are identical to the modus operandi of the original Jigsaw Murders. Fans of the series will be glad to see the original Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) making an appearance, although it has not been confirmed how he will be connected to the killings in the latest instalment.
The series has continued to evolve with each film where they try to escalate the violence, by creating new ways to torture, mutilate and for the most part kill its victims. It is always difficult to imagine what they can do to surpass what has come before, but with the film currently placed in suitable bloody hands, we are guaranteed to have one hell of a ride.
Cult of Chucky (Release Date: October 2017)
29 years after the release of the original film, Don Mancini will take the helm again to write and direct the latest instalment in the killer doll franchise The Cult of Chucky. This will be the sixth sequel in the series and will undertake a much darker tone, which is more encompassing with the original. The latest film will incorporate the previous films of the series, which means a return of some familiar faces such as Chucky’s first nemesis Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) his wife Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) and the final girl from Curse of Chucky Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif). It has not yet been confirmed whether Chucky’s offspring Glen/Glenda (Billy Boyd) will be a returning character at this time.
Some may be surprised that a killer doll franchise has lasted for so long, but with a 13th Puppet Master currently in production, I guess there is still a demand for killer dolls, so there must be more to it than just child’s play.
The Mummy (Release Date: June 2017)
When they were planning to relaunch the brand of Universal monsters, there was always going to be a certain amount of interest, but when you add Tom Cruise to the equation, it turns a horror reboot into a summer blockbuster.
Universal have a lot riding on The Mummy as this sets up the franchise for other classic monsters to follow, with Dr Jekyll (Russell Crowe) making an appearance and rumours of a remake of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). It looks as though the classic monsters are far from dead.
One of the most interesting updates is the casting of a female Mummy with a new backstory. Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was in line to be the next pharaoh, before it was taken away. Angered by the past, once Ahmet is released she is hell bent on revenge and there is no vengeance like a woman scorned.
The trailer looks action packed and with a healthy budget, the special effects will be impressive. I hope they can maintain elements of the original story and a feeling that this is a horror film. Otherwise this could become too reliant on the CGI effects and we could be left with just another transformer in disguise.