2012 wasn’t the greatest year for theatrical horror. At least that is how Dougray and I feel. Sure, we were given a new classic (The Cabin In The Woods) and Hammer released the wonderfully creepy The Woman In Black. We also saw a few lesser entries come and go, like The Possession and Sinister. That’s only four films and I refuse to call that a “win”. The rest of the year was populated with dreck like Chernobyl Diaries, The Apparition, The Devil Inside, etc. Granted I still have a few more big films to see, but I don’t expect that number to rise much. Even the franchise films underwhelmed. Underworld fans were upset about the pointless nature of Awakening. Resident Evil fans looked pretty disappointed with Retribution. Everyone seems to agree that Paranormal Activity 4 was a waste of everyone’s time. Silent Hill: Revelation was a personal bit of disappointment for me, after how much I enjoyed the first one.
How is this any different from previous years? Sadly, it isn’t. Not one bit. Our beloved franchise has been in a state of decline for the past five years or so. Good films come along on occasion, but more often than not we are being fed crap by the studios. The early 00s boom taught them that they need not spend ridiculous sums of money on the genre. What it didn’t teach them is that cheapness doesn’t automatically equate quality. That is a lesson the studios will never learn. Just because a film walks and talks like an indie favorite from a few years earlier doesn’t mean it is worth a damn based on its own merits. A $20 million piece of shit is still a piece of shit.
I could sit here and tell you things will be better this year. Or that VOD is the place to go for good horror. Neither statement would be entirely true or entirely false. VOD is a wonderful outlet for more offbeat films that likely wouldn’t do well in wide release. That’s the bright side to blindly ordering them. The downside is that it is also a format that worthless movies or at least lackluster efforts get dumped on from time to time. Much was said about the likes of V/H/S in a very positive light; however I was personally disappointed in the film when I finally got my hands on it. It has its moments, but was underwhelming overall. On the flipside, Paco Plaza’s [Rec] Genesis was a breath of fresh air for me, but seemingly the opposite for many fans. That is the wonderful thing about horror. One person’s classic is another’s bane. This is true of any genre, but it seems to ring truer for horror. The polar opposite reactions feel more extreme, whether they actually are or not.
So where am I going with this? I’m not entirely sure. Then again, we never really know where horror itself is going to go. Every time you think the genre couldn’t any staler, a new batch of films and filmmakers come along to renew your faith. Will we get some of those this year? Of course we will. The problem is not whether or not they will arrive, but knowing where to look. Theaters? VOD? DTV? There’s no surefire route for these potential classics to take, therefore we much band together to discover them as a collective. The hardcore horror fans among our Chewers are a wonderful lot. They are never afraid to toss themselves onto a grenade of incompetent genre filmmaking to save others the suffering. They are also quick to champion any entry worthy of attention. And they could always use an extra pair of eyes.
Think of this as a train barreling down the tracks. This is the Horror Express and I am your de facto conductor. I’ll do my best to avoid calamity on the line ahead, but I need help. My eyes cannot see in all directions. Help me seek out the wonders ahead that none of us should miss and warn me of the dangers that we all should avoid. We cannot control the material that is dished out, but we can help steer the majority in the right direction as a community. Let’s bury the rancid corpses in unmarked graves and fashion mausoleums for those worthy of a monument.
If you see a winner, get ahold of me. Let me know why it deserves attention. PM me, e-mail me, or hit me up on Facebook. Your cries (be they joyous or not) will not go unheard. I’m making it my mission to beef up horror content around here and I want your input. Now is the time to act as one give this genre the swift kick in the ass of discussion that it needs. For too long the Creature Corner area of the forums has been whispers in the dark. It’s time that changes. Will you answer the call to arms? You’d better, especially since I will be braving virtually every film that I can manage to on the list below.
And here lies said list. These are the current dates for horror and thriller-related projects scheduled for theatrical release this year…
In Release – Texas Chainsaw (3D)
In Release – A Haunted House
In Release – Mama < – - – - see this one!
January 25th – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (3D)
February 1st – Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies
February 1st – Girls Against Boys (limited)
February 1st – The Haunting In Connecticut II: Ghosts of Georgia (limited)
February 8th – Spiders (3D) (limited)
February 14th – Murder 3 (limited)
February 22nd – Dark Skies
March 1st – The Last Exorcism Part II
March 1st – Park Chan-wooks’s Stoker
March 1st – Phantom (limited)
March 8th – The ABCs of Death (limited)
March 15th – Brad Anderson’s The Call
April 5th – Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (3D)
April 12th – Evil Dead
April 12th – Scary Movie 5
April 26th – Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem (limited)
May 17th – Black Rock
May 31st – The Purge
June 14th – This Is The End
June 21st – World War Z
July 12th – Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim (3D)
July 19th – James Wan’s The Conjuring
July 19th – R.I.P.D.
August 13th – Last Passenger (limited)
August 23rd – Adam Wingard’s You’re Next
August 30th – James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2
August 30th – Satanic
August 30th – Getaway
September 6th – David Twohy’s Riddick
September 13th – I, Frankenstein
September 20th – Prisoners
October 4th – Paranoia
October 11th – The Devil’s Rapture (limited)
October 11th – Haunts
October 11th – Spike Lee’s Oldboy
October 18th – Carrie
October 18th – Seventh Son
October 25th – Paranormal Activity 5
October 25th – Edgar Wright’s The World’s End
Nothing is currently on deck for November or December this year.
Some of these will likely change dates, names, or drop off the list if it becomes clear they do not qualify. I will be starting each month from here on out with a more in-depth look each film for that month, be it a theatrical release or a notable VOD/DTV one. If I ever overlook something, don’t hesitate to call me out on it. Tidbits of Terror will resume next week and I also have something else on the horizon that you will enjoy*. See you soon!
* – That’s right. I didn’t say you “might” enjoy it or you “hopefully will” enjoy it. I just straight up said you will. Deal with it.