Thursday, September 20, 2012

Horror in Store: Movies to Watch

It's almost October, so scary movies are on my mind now more than ever (if that's even possible). From upcoming releases to movies that are just now making their way to DVD/Blu-Ray to recent releases that I somehow managed to overlook when they were in theaters, here are a few films that I'm looking forward to catching in the coming weeks:

Okay, The Cabin in the Woods came out forever ago but it's just coming out on DVD this week. Have you seen it? You really should. It totally deconstructs your favorite predictable horror tropes in a really fun, clever way, and the last 20 minutes or so are completely crazy. Don't read too much about it, just watch.

Beyond the Black Rainbow is another movie that's new to DVD. My understanding is that it's some sort of pseudo-retro weirdo sci-fi movie about mind control, a sinister psychiatrist and the patient he's trying to hold captive. I dig 70s/80s homage movies (see also: The House of the Devil) and I'm thinking this is one, with some bizarre David Cronenberg/David Lynch elements thrown in. Good title too.
I haven't actually heard too much about The Loved Ones, but I saw a capsule review of it that mentioned it was new to DVD (even though Teh Google tells me it's an Australian film from ye olde 2009) and described it as some sort of prom night revenge flick. Specifically, a girl gets all murderously vengeful when the dude she asks to prom turns her down. Shades of Carrie and/or Prom Night? Could be interesting. Plus, the drill on the poster makes me think of Slumber Party Massacre.

I've been dying to see The Pact ever since it first came out earlier this year, but it was only in one theater for like one week, so I missed it. It's about a woman who returns to her childhood home for her mother's funeral and encounters "unsettling" forces. Creepy haunted house movies are my favorite, y'all! And look at that poster. LOVE. Looks like this one will be out on DVD in November.

Perhaps the only thing more delicious than a haunted house movie is a haunted house period piece. So classy, right?! This movie is set in 1920s England, and involves a woman who debunks paranormal phenomena investigating ghost sightings at a boarding school. Although it came out last month here, perhaps there's still a theater near you showing it? Otherwise, you'll probably have to wait until the DVD comes out in March. :(

Ah, found footage horror movies. While others are deriding you as a played-out trend, I'm watching from between my fingers. From Blair Witch to Paranormal Activity, I think found footage movies are invariably scary. And V/H/S, which I believe is still available via OnDemand, combines two of my greatest loves: Found footage and horror anthologies! Also, everything I've heard has been extremely positive. I believe this one will also be in theaters on October 5. 

Hotel Transylvania pros: It's an animated horror film. I love spooky animation, i.e. ParaNorman, Coraline, Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas, Also, the premise is kind of cute: Dracula's castle is a luxury resort for monsters, and Drac is an overprotective dad raising a sheltered teenage daughter who isn't allowed to experience the outside world. Could be good, right? Cons: Adam Sandler is the voice of Dracula. I'm scared. And not in a good way. Catch it in theaters (maybe?) on September 28.

...And speaking of spooky animated movies, here's one that I am whole-hoggedly recommending even though I haven't seen it yet: Tim Burton's Frankenweenie! This is a full-length film based on Tim Burton's live action short of the same name about a boy who resurrects his beloved dog. It's going to be adorable. I can't wait. Hits theaters on October 5.

I don't know a lot about Sinister - sometimes I prefer to avoid a lot of pre-movie hype when it comes to horror, because I think it makes the scares that much more unpredictable - but I do know that it, as the poster says, comes from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, and that seems like a pretty rad pedigree to me. Also, this is the production company behind L.A.'s Blumhouse of Horrors, my most anticipated haunt this year. I feel like Blumhouse has singlehandedly rescued us from torture porn, and for that I will gladly fork over my cash. Catch Sinister in theaters October 5.

Oh, and don't forget about Paranormal Activity 4, coming out on October 19! Plot details are hard to come by, but this one looks like it focuses on the family that lives next door to Katie's sister circa the action in PA2. I'm pretty sure you already know whether or not you're going to see this movie based on how you felt about the first three, so what else can I say? I'm excited. 

And, finally, a documentary that I'm very much looking forward to will be premiering on the Chiller channel on Sunday, October 28. Titled The American Scream and coming to you from the directing/producing team that gave the world the Troll 2 documentary Best Worst Movie (which I also recommend - it's on Netflix streaming), this one profiles a handful of people who build elaborate haunts in their homes every Halloween. A yard haunts documentary! Definitely setting my DVR for this one.

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