Time waits for no man – or so they say – but in the film industry this has certainly become the case as every studio desperately tries to push their promotional garbage down the throats of the consumer as quickly and painlessly as possible. On the one hand it all feels very overwhelming but it also gives us a lot to talk about so with that in mind let’s go through some of the most interesting horror films to meet wide release in 2017.
Friday the 13th
I’m generally not a fan of reboots of cult classics. However, the idea of another Friday the 13th is something that attracts my most morbid curiosities. Everyone is familiar with the hockey mask adorned machete wielding uberman Jason and it’s never a bad thing to see him on the screen. I’m not saying it’ll be a masterpiece, but I think an injection of hard-core slasher movies is currently needed in the current climate of horror cinema.
The Dark Tower
A Dark Tower adaptation is well overdue at this point but good things do come to those who wait and with the titanic talent of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey taking major roles I can’t really see how this could fail. The Dark Tower series of books provides an ample supply of amazing tales and all it takes is the right filmmaker to turn this beloved series into yet another stunning Stephen King adaptation.
Speaking of Stephen King adaptations, it appears that someone decided it was about time to remakeIT. I say remake, but the Tim Curry original was actually a TV movie and despite earning a cult status, it has aged horribly. The TV movie was uncomfortably long, terribly paced and the final confrontation is laughable. Though it’ has already caused a lot of controversy in the community, I greatly anticipate this fresh take on the source material.
I went into this list hoping to avoid too many remakes but that’s just about as likely as sticking your head in a hornet’s nest and hoping not to be stung. The Italian witchcraft classic (and personal favourite of mine) Suspiria is getting a new lick of paint and a fresh lease of life in 2017. In a similar vein to the Friday the 13th conundrum, I couldn’t bring myself to say whether or not this will actually be good but I am just incredibly curious to see what they do in trying to translate such a stylised and bizarre piece of cinema to a modern day American audience.
Sadly, in 2015, the biggest chin in Hollywood, Robert Z’Dar, passed away and left behind him a legacy of obscure cult films. At the top of the pile was Maniac Cop, a 1988 crime horror about an undead, deranged killer who poses as a police officer whilst pursuing a bloodlust rampage through the streets of New York City. Z’Dar might be gone, but Maniac Cop lives on as 2017 will see the release of a remake to Maniac Cop. There have been rumours that Nicolas Winding Refn is in talk to direct, however even if he doesn’t take the helm it will be refreshing to see a neon tinted, 21st century take on a cult classic.
A Cure for Wellness
Gore Verbinski, the mind behind The Ring remake and half of The Pirates of the Caribbean series, is returning in 2017 with the supernatural fantasy horror A Cure for Wellness. It is still in production and not a lot of details have been discussed, but the basic story goes that an employee travels into the Swiss Alps to find his boss only instead to end up trapped in a mental institution. Though Verbinski is remaining illusive in regard to his newest project, this may be a good sign as he now seems eager to step away from the mess he made with Disney and is looking to reclaim his name.
There are some things in horror that seem to just work: isolated cabins, sadistic clowns, possessed children – these are a few of my favourite things. Sharks are up there with the icons of horror and so the greatly anticipated Meg, a Steve Alten adaptation that has been twenty years in the pipeline, is finally reaching the surface by 2017. After the recent underwater catastrophes of Piranha or Sharknado, fingers should be crossed for a return to great deep sea dread.
When you see a film called Death House on the bill you can’t help but get interested. It promises to be “The Expendables of horror” and will not shy away from terror, thrills and gore galore as the protagonists are forced to survive an army of criminal maniacs whilst trapped in a prison. The most promising aspect so far is the cast because is an incredibly eclectic mass of names from so many huge horror classics. Kane Hodder (Friday The 13th), Tony Todd (Candyman), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) among many others make up the sadistic army of criminals in Death House. If nothing else, it will be very intense.
I’m a sucker for when things get weird and I think The Chair might be that fix of strangeness that I desire. It is an adaptation of the Alterna Comics graphic novel of the same name and it follows the tale of an innocent prisoner on death row who watches the madly sadistic warden commit a series of brutal acts upon fellow prisoners. From what is promised so far, the film will be brutal, insane and absolutely terrifying.
2017 sees the release of another tired and boring Saw film so, for the sake of balance, it’s a good thing that Abruptio is also being released. In this, Les Hackel wakes one day to find an explosive implanted deep in his neck and he is forced to complete a series of strange and horrific trials in order to avoid being blown into a thousand little meaty chunks. Abruptio seems to be taking the torture joy of the original Saw and refreshing it with a pleasant twist. Additionally, the film stars Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, so even if the script is weak, we have Englund’s enigmatic performance to look forward to.
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