It's that time of year again! The leaves change color, daylight savings time comes around, and horror movies are all the rage. Halloween is a glorious holiday, when we can seek out thrills and chills for weeks on end, all throughout September and October.
The only problem with the next two months is: Not all horror movies are created equal! When they work, we get Halloween and House Of 1000 Corpses. When they don't...We get Amityville - The Legacy 3D. Why any movie works is certainly open to debate and conjecture. What can't be debated is that when a horror movie works, when it creeps us out and makes us remember the film long after we've left the box office, that is why we keep coming back for more. It's almost like a drug, and not just any "scary" movie can give it to us!
So, with Fall starting anew we thought we would provide a good, hard look at the "8 New Horror Movies You Must See Before Halloween!"
1Insidious Chapter 2 (September 13)
The first film took viewers into a crazy world created inside the mind of a wounded child. This second film appears to be expanding on this world, as we now enter the demented mind of the dad. Giving it an added boost of legitimacy is the fact that the main cast (including Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) have all returned to reprise their roles (even the dead ones). If you know anything about horror movies, you know that almost never happens. In fact, a lot of horror movies today, unless they are wildly successful, don't even get a sequel that sees the light of day inside a movie theater. If the trailer for Insidious Chapter 2 is any indication, the creep factor has been upped 1000%, leaving viewers to wonder just where this contemporary, gothic horror tale will take us next. In theaters only.
2We Are What We Are (September 27)
In this interesting film, a seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers have always kept to themselves. However, behind closed doors, patriarch Frank (Bill Sage) rules his family with a rigorous fervor, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact. As a torrential rainstorm moves into the area, tragedy strikes and his daughters Iris and Rose (Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner) are forced to take on responsibilities that extend beyond those of a typical household. As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, the local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have kept for so many years. If this description and the sick poster of the father and his two daughters at the dinner table doesn't creep you out, you may want to re-examine just what it is you want from your horror movies. This film has numerous things going for it. First of all, the two main stairs (Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner) are basically unknowns. Secondly, the marketing of this film has coyly not revealed anything about the horrors behind those ancestral customes. Keeping things creepy and odd goes a long toward creating interest. Lastly, Kelly McGillis is in this movie!! Why is it scary when a sex symbol from the 1980s shows up in a restrained horror film? That's anybody's guess. However, when a movie like this comes out of nowhere, and it delivers, that is worth its fear in gold!! Available on VOD and in select theaters.
3Curse of Chucky (October 8)
You know you've been able to outlast a lot of the horror competition when you have five sequels behind you, and your sixth one is on an "anticipated" list. What's going to happen in this movie? Oh, I don't know. I am sure the foul mouthed Chucky will find interesting ways to get rid of his victims. The fact that this fifth installment is set around a family funeral might make the whole affair go that much easier for our blue overall-wearing best friend (until the end). Lets face it, Curse of Chucky isn't going to break new ground like the original did in the late 80s. At the same time, I am not sure that it needs to. Just the fact that it is still going strong, and there's enough interest for a sixth installment to exist 25 years later, should be anticipation enough for what we can expect from director (and originator) Don Mancini and the gang. Available on Blu-ray and DVD
4All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (October 11)
Two words... Amber Heard...Now, before we heap a lot of praise and excitement on this movie, IMDB appears to list its production date as 2006. In fact, I recall working for this wonderful site when the film's information was entered in our database. Thinking that the listing of 2006 might've been a mistake, I also discovered that this movie has played a bunch of festivals, been released, and has even come to DVD in a couple of overseas territories. So...Either this movie is a turkey, or it is so good that it finally deserves to be released in the US. Back to the particulars...A group of high schoolers invite Mandy Lane (Amber Heard), a good girl who became quite hot over the summer, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop quite mysteriously. Sure, this story sounds a bit well worn (heck, it sounds kinda like Carrie)... but with Amber Heard in the lead, a storied history behind its release and director Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies) at the helm, this is one horror flick that certainly has us highly curious. In theaters and available on VOD.
5Ghost Team One (October 11)
Hollywood has tried to start Halloween traditions over the course of the last decade. First it was Saw from Lionsgate, which gave us seven films in the franchise. When steam ran out, Paramount picked up the baton with Paranormal Activity, giving us four films and counting. Only this year, they realized that they could make way more money in January than they could in October, so they shifted release strategies. That left a huge hole in the Halloween movie calendar. Thinking fast, Paramount swooped in and bought distribution rights to Ghost Team One, which is essentially Paranormal Activity meets Project X. A Haunted House stomped on this same ground way back at the beginning of the year, but it was sold as a 'spoof' (it kind of wasn't). Ghost Team One takes the conceit of rapist ghosts seriously, letting the humor flow naturally out of the narrative, while still being a scary ghost movie. Its a great combination, and raunchy as they come. What if the haunted house was an old whore house? In order to impress a girl, two roommates set out to make a documentary about a murder that took place in their renatl decades ago. The girl thinks that the victim's ghost still resides there, and the two guys think that making a movie with her will get them laid. But after setting cameras up around the house, the legitimately supernatural occurrences that follow make it apparent that the ghost is not only real, but that she's a vengeful Vietnamese madame from the 1930's that's become smitten with our guys. Its a formula that just can't miss, and its been a long time coming since we've seen a "horror comedy" that brings both the laughs and the scares. Look for it to be huge. I'd bet money that we see Ghost Team Two this same time next year. Will it have the same cast? Probably not.
6Carrie (October 18)
On the face of it, the world doesn't need another Carrie movie. The 1976 version basically said it all, the sequel in 1999 shouldn't have really said much ever, and then there's the TV movie from 2002, which put the final nail in the coffin (if it wasn't there already). So why are we anticipating this new version? Well, there's the cast. Chloe Grace Moretz and the indomitable Julianne Moore are highly accomplished actresses. That alone is enough to get butts in seats. Throw in a trailer with an incredible visual style and voice-over leading up to a Moretz (who plays Carrie) covered in blood, and suddenly the stakes on this reboot have been upped considerably. Look for Carrie to score big at the box office. And then, look for Moretz and Moore to be nowhere near the sequel (Ha!). In theaters only.
7Big Ass Spider (October 18)
Who doesn't want to fall in love with a brand new creature feature around this special holiday? Aren't creatures why we have this whole 'asking for candy' night to begin with? In this film, a 50 foot tall alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages across the city of Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, it is up to a team of scientists, soldiers, and one clever exterminator to kill the creature before the city is wiped off the map forever. Considering how great special effects are today, and all that can be done with those kinds of tools, it stands to reason that this film will be on at the top of everybody's Halloween must see list. Harkening back to the Roger Corman creature features of the 1950s, it is about time we let loose a potentially iconic new monster inside the cinema. In select theaters and available on VOD.
DV, a little tale, which was actually lensed in a matter of hours on digital video at the end of 2012, can best be described as an anti-horror film. Using the motif of found footage, DV chronicles a serial killer who is suddenly stalked by a paranormal entity. However, one is never sure if the entity exists, is a figment of the tortured protagonist's imagination, or is it actually the very thing he is using to shoot his descent into utter oblivion? Short and to the point, (DV runs the length of a MiniDV tape. It is truly a film for the 21st Century. And if this wasn't enough to rouse your curiosity...This little film found distribution shortly after it was shot through Cinema Epoch. Before it's release, it spawned a sequel, DV 2, and now the plan is for both of these found footage films to come out together. The director says that DV 2 is "completely different in tone" from the first film. On top of that, he says the sequel was inspired by The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence). Count us in! Available on 3D Horror-Depth DVD and Blu-ray.
What'd you think? Did we miss anything? Is this list creeping you out? Let us know!