Wait – 2013 is coming to a close already?! I feel like just yesterday I was finding out about Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake, debating with my horror loving brethren whether or not such a sacred property should be touched. Now, here I am starting to format my “Best Of/Worst Of” lists for 2013′s slew of horror films, reflecting on a year that saw tremendous highs and rock-bottom lows. While Remdog and I already reflected on our predictions from 2013, and how right/wrong we both were, it’s now time to put the past behind us, and look forward to an entirely fresh batch of horror movies – 2014 horror time!
Unfortunately, looking at what’s been announced already, I’m not expecting another year like 2013. As you’ll see from my upcoming “Best Of” list, I found PLENTY of horror movies worth my time and effort, from polished big-budget winners to hidden independent gems. I personally don’t see that same hype with 2014′s announced crop, as there are some fantastic concepts ready to be unleashed – but a lot of question marks. As the year goes on, I’m hoping my early doubts are proven completely wrong, but in a year that’s going to see two, yes TWO, Paranormal Activity movies, my expectations are already skewed.
Don’t be silly though – there’s still plenty to get excited about. This is the horror genre! There’s no telling what surprises we’ll find, and what terrors await! Going based off of trailers and built-up industry talk, a few films have caught the eye of both my partner and myself, leaving us a little bit more excited and curious than other more generic sounding films. Bitchy witches, satanic babies, adorable animal murderers, cannibals, religious wingnuts, and a freakin’ walrus man?! Alright, maybe I was a little too hard on 2014, because that sounds like a perfect roster of insanity.
Go ahead horror fans, read on to find out which horror movies Remy and Nato think are going to be some of the biggest highlights amongst 2014′s horror releases!Next
Remy – Here Comes The Devil
I know some people may have received screeners of Here Comes The Devil this year, but I was not one of them. So, as it is, this stands as the horror film I am most looking forward to next year – albeit with bitter jealousy.
Here Comes The Devil is a Mexican-American horror flick about a couple who lose their son and daughter overnight in some Tijuanan caves. When they re-appear the next day, the parents sense that something may be very wrong with them. The more they see and experience, the more they realize their children may have “brought” something home with them – something not so nice.
I can say, plainly, that this movie looks creepy as fuck (technical literary jargon). Seeped in an odd sense of the ominous, the feeling I get from watching just the trailer reminds me of the way I felt when I watched trippy horror films from the late seventies like Let’s Scare Jessica To Death. From me, that is a huge compliment. Here Comes the Devil looks incredibly stylish, and incredibly creepy, and for those reasons alone, this evil haunter is the horror film I’m most looking forward to seeing next year.
Nato – Witching And Bitching
Why am I excited for a horror comedy so cheekily titled Witching And Bitching? If you’re asking that question, you probably don’t know who writer/director Álex de la Iglesia is, and you probably haven’t seen his foreign dark comedies like The Last Circus. Álex de la Iglesia is a crazy, unique, very vibrant filmmaker who has achieved a foreign cult status much like B-Movie auteurs here in the States achieve with campy B-movies – but his quality is much higher. Go ahead, watch a trailer for Witching And Bitching, just see if you’re not instantly hooked by whatever the hell is going on (silver Jesus with a shotgun?!). Trust me, Iglesia’s last film saw a sad clown go on a gun-toting rampage – that’s the kind of insanity you can expect.
The plot is simple: “A group of Spanish thieves run amok of a coven of cannibalistic witches in the Navarrese town of Zugarramurdi.” It’s this kind of simplicity that Iglesia favors though, because his mind runs rampant with the nitty-gritty details that bulk up such a short plot summation. From the trailer alone we see iron chompers, tortured men, action sequences – and that’s only a short glimpse. Mix the enticing trailer with some favorable reviews out of early festival screenings, and you’ve got a horror comedy I’m jonesing hard for. Thankfully, IFC Midnight has already acquired the satirical witch tale for US distribution, so be on the lookout for a simultaneous Limited/VOD release in 2014!Previous Next
Remy – Theatre Bizarre 2: Grand Guignol
The Theatre Bizarre is a strange little French horror anthology that I feel like no one saw, yet I really enjoyed. For that reason alone, I got pretty excited when I saw that there’s a sequel planned for 2014. I got even more excited when I saw some of the names attached. Then I saw the subtitle, and pretty much got wood.
Do you know what the Grand Guignol was? If you don’t, I think it a joke that you call yourself a horror fan. Honestly.
The Grand Guignol was a theater in Paris in the the early nineteen hundreds that pretty much invented the horror performance genre. Yes, in the earliest parts of the century, audiences were flooding to a theater in Paris to watch people get fake murdered on stage. The modern equivalent doesn’t exist – that is how twisted and ahead of its time the Grand Guignol was.
To see there is a Theatre Bizarre sequel, and to see its subtitle honor such a momentous horror movement, gets me super excited. I also LOVE me a good horror anthology, which is exactly what this series is. Oh, and the directors I am most excited about being on board? Xavier Gens and Pascal Laugier. French horror directors at their finest. I say this easily trumps the lackluster V/H/S/2. Mark my words.Previous Next
Nato – Devil’s Due
I’m almost certainly shooting myself in the foot here by picking a January horror release, a doomed release month for the genre, but I have faith in directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Coming from Radio Silence, the foursome responsible for V/H/S segment “10/31/98,” these guys created my favorite short in the “found footage” horror anthology. Having already successfully adapted first-person camera shooting, and after seeing the trailer for Devil’s Due, color me excited for this hellish birthing experience.
The story does sound a bit cheesy, as it follows a family giving birth to some type of demon (maybe Satan himself?), almost like a serious take on Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant’s slapstick comedy Hell Baby. The trailer does have a certain kick to it though, and displays some pretty cool visual effects along the lines of what Radio Silence was already able to pull off in”10/31/98.” Call me a dreamer, but part of me thinks we’ve got a decent winter horror movie on our hands. Don’t worry, we’ll find out soon enough whether I’ll be considered a genius or moron, as the film opens January 17th – only about a month away. Damn, it’s December already?Previous Next
Remy – Tusk
I still think most of the world misjudged Kevin Smith when it came to Red State. A comedy-drama-horror-thriller from the one man writer/director machine? I loved it. It felt incredibly realistic to me. The church scenes were creepy as hell, the cast was amazing, the shootout was insane, and how the whole scenario mirrored real life (Branch Davidians meets Westboro Baptist) was incredible to me, but, as is often the case with good horror that also makes people think, audiences and critics shit all over it. I was pissed. I even thought it may have turned Kevin Smith into a horror-hater – but Tusk proved me wrong.
So what is Tusk? Simple - a movie based on an idea that came to him and one of his friends during a podcast. For me to tell you any more would ruin it. Just kidding. I don’t know any more, except that the little kid from The Sixth Sense is in it, all grown up, which is weirdly nostalgic.
All that aside, I have a lot of faith in Tusk, based on name and the caliber of talent involved. Oh, and it involves a walrus, and those things are scary as fuck.
Or it might just be a guy dressed like a walrus. No, seriously.
Either way, I am in.Previous Next
Nato – The Green Inferno
This is one I’m kicking myself over, because there was a chance to catch Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno during a poorly publicized horror film festival at the Lincoln Center (NYC) – and I missed it. I’m not as mad that I couldn’t make it all the way to Toronto for its true premiere, but here was a screening right in New York City I would have hopped on a subway for immediately. Oh well, at least I got to see Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek at the festival, so SOMETHING good came out of it – but boy am I dying to see The Green Inferno.
Paying tribute to Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, Roth went deep into a dense jungle to film his own tale of primitive cannibalism, as a group of student activists crash land in the Amazon and are met by some, well, “misunderstood” locals. Yes, this just screams Eli Roth’s name, because the scenario begs for gross, squishy, bloody, gutsy, stomach-churning gore. I mean, cannibals eat people, so expect ample amounts of flesh-munching, skin-tearing, and organ-eating – damn, all this talk is making me hungry. Is it lunch time yet?
No, seriously, The Green Inferno seems like the perfect film to bring Eli Roth back into the horror director spotlight. I cannot wait. I wish there was some voodoo magic to make a screening happen this very second, but as of now, no release date has been announced. Keep your eyes peeled!Previous Next
Remy – The Sacrament
I still have faith in Ti West. HAHAHAA, get it, because it’s called The Sacrament? Oh man, I kill me.
Again, this is a movie some people have already managed to see this year, but those motherf*ckers at the horror studios never hook me up, so I end up having to wait around like the rest of you assholes to see this stuff.
Just kidding, horror studios who will make my future film. I love you guys! Lulz and stuff!
Anyway, The Sacrament looks to blend some religious taboos with the “found footage” genre. I like the people who are involved, and from what I have seen it all looks pretty effective, so in that sense, I am ready to go back to church for the first time in years. From early buzz, people are claiming this film is essentially The Jonestown Massacre: The Movie. Oddly enough, it all sounds slightly similar to Red State, which I mentioned before.
Organized religion is not a joke, but some purists tend to be really scary (proven by real events), so we will see how far Ti West can take that idea.Previous Next
Nato – Cooties
Ok, I’m doing a last minute edit here because I CAN’T BELIVE I forgot to mention Cooties. I’ve been a huge Leigh Whannell fan since he broke onto the scene, showing off some serious scripting chops as well as an illuminated on-screen presence, so when I heard he’d be tackling a script involving teachers fighting back against infected children – my heart skipped a beat. Leigh Whannell scripting a horror comedy (my other guilty pleasure) about adult teachers against little zombie like kiddies? How could it get better?! Easy – by adding the names Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, and Rainn Wilson as Whannell’s fellow teaching staff. Yes, please!
I absolutely loved Elijah Wood in 2013′s Maniac remake, so to put him back in a horror film is a huge deal to me – plus now that he’s older, he can play a teacher character after already playing a horror student in The Faculty. In addition, Wilson and McBrayer are both equally funny comedians, and judging by their character costumes, McBrayer will play a neat and clean personality like he usually does, but I’m going to take a guess and say Wilson will go out-of-character and become a masculine gym teacher? With those three talents alone, there’s so much potential for some seriously dark comedy and gleeful horror fun. Plus, let’s not forget that Whannell’s good buddy is long-time collaborator James Wan, and it’s hard to think Whannell hasn’t learned a thing or two from watching Wan work.
We’ll see what directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion can do with Whannell’s script, but in a scenario where the students are usually fighting the undead (infected, or whatever the “sickness” is), I can’t wait to see the teachers fight back.Previous Next
Nato – Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead
While Dead Snow wasn’t critically acclaimed by any means, even finding disapproval from horror junkies I’ve befriended over the years, something about Tommy Wirkola’s Nazi zombie thriller had me addicted. Whether it was the towering Herzog, that undead German monster, or the numerous references to American cinema, or Wirkola’s wildly brutal sense of gore – Dead Snow was a winter wonderland with a liberal coating of red mist. You’ve heard of yellow snow? How about red snow…
In true sequel fashion, Wirkola is picking up directly where he left off. Martin (Vegar Hoel) is armless, all his friends are dead, he’s just avoided certain death, and he wakes up in a hospital. Now, if you remember Dead Snow, you’ll remember that Martin has to amputate his own arm to avoid succumbing to the zombie infection. You’ll also remember that while driving away, Herzog’s detached arm ends up in the passenger’s seat of his car. Well, if you watch the trailer for Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead, you’ll be happy to find out that doctors assumed Herzog’s arm was actually Martin’s, and attached the undead limb to Martin’s healthy body. What does this mean? I have no idea, but in the trailer, Martin punches a zombie’s head and it explodes Scanners style. Add to that the casting of Martin Starr and Derek Mears, and you’ve got one seriously excited zombie fan.
In all honesty, I could probably just list each genre film premiering at Sundance and have a full list of anticipated horror movies for 2014, but considering the ones I’m MOST excited for, Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead is on top of that list.Previous Next
Nato – Squirrels
Alright, here’s my gamble pick, because outside of a ridiculous teaser trailer (seen below), nothing else has been announced surrounding a director, casting, or any other signs that show movement on the project. Red Sea Media previously announced that they’d be partnering with Wanted/Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov (as a producer) on their creature feature Squirrels, but since then, the promo trailer is all we have – which still inspires a generous heaping of hope. I don’t think there’s any question about the comedic elements such an idea presents, and with Bekmambetov’s watchful eye, this could be one hell of a woodland adventure, maybe along the lines of something like Grabbers?
The only other information we have is a plot summary released via Bleeding Cool, which sounds zany enough to work:
When a young man’s estranged father is killed under suspicious circumstances, he returns home for the first time in years to get to the bottom of the mystery. Hoping to uncover some logical explanation, he instead finds his mom’s sleazy new boyfriend, a natural gas company buying up the town, an angry female sheriff who happens to be his ex-girlfriend, and an army of flesh-eating squirrels hellbent on destroying everything in their path due to an erosion of their food chain as a result of environmental destruction by the gas company.
Nobody has created killer squirrels before, so I mean, why not? The story also doesn’t make them radioactive or mutated in anyway, like Zombie Roadkill did, which actually adds more comedy to the situation. Imagine if you were minding your own business, and all those cute little squirrels playing about in the trees started gnawing off your limbs? Hells yeah, I’m in!
Like I said, there are no plans for release yet, or even information on the cast and crew, but I’ll hold out hope that Squirrels is filming in secret as we speak, ready to pounce on viewers come 2014!
Alright horror fans, which 2014 horror films are on your must-see radar? Let us know in the comments section below.
*A special thanks to Remy for stepping in to guest write! Feel free to follow either of us on Twitter for even more insanity and updates:
Matt Donato Follow @DoNatoBomb
Remy Carreiro Follow @RemyCarreiro
Like what you read? Check out last week’s article where we reveal which moments from this year’s horror genre we were truly thankful for!Previous