In my opinion, 2013 was a great year for horror movies, with Evil Dead, Sinister, Insidious: Chapter 2, You're Next, Curse of Chucky, Mama, The Lords of Salem, The Conjuring, and Texas Chainsaw all being released. Naturally, after last year, there's a lot of pressure on 2014 to also deliver in the horror department because, face it, horror had been at a low point until 2013, which arguably was a much-needed shot in the arm. So, I am going to look at some upcoming 2014 horror movies, give my opinions on them, and try to determine whether or not I think they will be hits or misses. To make this easier, I will break the films up by their scheduled release month starting with March.
Grand Piano - This movie, billed as feeling like a DePalma film, stars Maniac's Elijah Wood and John Cusack. Wood plays Tom Selznick, a pianist target by a psycho (played by Cusack) who threatens to shoot him during his big live comeback if he plays a single wrong note. Will it be good? I think it will be and might garner positive reviews, but I don't see it being a big hit. Would I see it? I would, simply out of curiosity because it seems like Phonebooth and The Phantom of the Opera's bastard love child. Grand Piano will be released March 7th.
Cheap Thrills - Cheap Thrill's premise sounds like Saw's Jigsaw hosting an episode of Fear Factor...how far would you go to win money? To what deadly limits would you push yourself? It's interesting and the film was creating buzz as it was making rounds on the festival circuit. Will it be good? Well, word of mouth indicates it will. I don't think it will be a huge financial success, but maybe a cult hit. Would I see it? Yes, I would see it. Not only is the story interesting, but it stars Sara Paxton, Ethan Embry, and David Koechner. Cheap Thrills will be released on March 21st.
Godzilla - This new stab at an American Godzilla remake/reboot has garnered a lot of attention and rightly so. The last Godzilla film (the horrible one from 1998 with Matthew Broderick) was so bad that I, an 11 year-old who was obsessed with dinosaurs at the time, couldn't even sit through it. The best thing about that movie was the Taco Bell toys, which fooled me into thinking the movie would be good. It wasn't and I entertained myself with my action figures while my mother finished watching it and I kept wishing it could be over so I could hurry up and put in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer...anyway, back to the actual article. I have seen the trailers and despite feeling a bit like Cloverfield here and there (which before it was released, everyone was sure would be a new Godzilla film), the film looks like it's finally a good American Godzilla film. About time. Will it be good? From what I have seen, it will be. It has to at least be better than the 1998 film, so that's a plus. Expect it to be a HUGE blockbuster. Will I see it? Definitely. Godzilla will be released in theaters on May 16th.
The Sacrament - This film, loosely based on the Jonestown Massacre and produced by horror aficionado, Eli Roth, has been called ambitious and emotional. Will it be good? Not sure as I haven't heard a lot about it. It seems interesting, but what I have seen of it hasn't really impressed me a lot. I don't think it will do well and will be a modest hit at most, but I predict a flop. Would I see it? I might give it a try because I try to watch anything written, directed, or produced by Eli Roth, but to honest, if his name wasn't attached I would probably not even give it a second thought. The Sacrament comes out on VOD May 5th and will be released in theaters on June 6th.
Deliver Us From Evil - In this movie starring Eric Bana, NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie teams up with an unconventional priest who helps him combat the possessions that are sweeping the city. It's like The Exorcist meets Lethal Weapon. Will it be good? It looks pretty good and it seems interesting. It can either be a big hit or a big miss. I think it will do pretty well for a horror movie. Will I see it? I don't know yet. It reminds me a bit of Hellraiser: Inferno, but I liked that movie so it might motivate me to see Deliver Us From Evil. Deliver Us From Evil, formerly known as Beware the Night, will be released July 2nd.
The Green Inferno - An Eli Roth film reminiscent of those 1970 cannibal exploitation films (such as the highly controversial Cannibal Holocaust). If anyone can do a movie like this justice in this time and age, it's Eli Roth. Will it be good? Well, it's an Eli Roth film so that means you will either love it or hate it. Eli Roth means gore, splatter, blood and guts, dark humor, and unsettling visuals so if that's the kind of horror movie (and kind of cannibal movie) you wanna see, then yes. I think it will be moderate hit, but I don't see a movie this gory being a massive hit. Will I see it? Yes, because it's Eli Roth and I wanna see how it stacks up against Cannibal Holocaust. The Green Inferno will be released on September 5th.
[REC] 4: Apocalypse - I have to admit, I have never seen any of the [REC] films, so I can't really judge this movie, but I have to admit that the trailer looks pretty interesting and it deserves a spot on this list. Will it be good? Can't say, but the trailer looks interesting. I will leave it up to you to tell me if you think it will be good. I think it will do pretty well. Will I see it? Yes, but only after seeing the first three. It looks pretty scary, so I am at least interested. [REC] 4: Apocalypse will be released in theaters October 18th.
Paranormal Activity 5 - Yet another in the watered down, past its prime, and for some inexplicable reason, massively popular series. It's Halloween time and while that used to mean a new Saw film, it now means a new Paranormal Activity film. Will it be good? Despite the "aimed at Latinos" spin-off The Marked Ones being what I feel is the best movie in the series by far, I don't think we can expect the same with this. I feel PA5 will be more of the same that we have seen before and that means, in my opinion anyway, it won't be that good. However, expect it to make lots of money and lead to PA6 being green-lit. Will I see it? No, I won't. I feel the movies are not that good, not that scary, and redundant. I feel they appeal to gullible, easy to scare people who don't care about quality with it comes to movies, especially horror films. That may be others, but it isn't me. Paranormal Activity 5 will be released in theaters October 25th.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown - A sequel to the original, which is set 65 years in the future focuses on what seems to be a copycat of the original killer. The movie is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who has directed for Glee and American Horror Story and was a second unit director on Babel, so I expect it will be well directed. It was also written by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, who has written the remake of Carrie, episodes of Glee, and episodes of Big Love. The original is a cult horror classic and I expect this movie will be in the same vein. Will it be good? I think it will be. I expect it will be a moderate hit in theaters and become a sort-of cult hit in its own right on DVD. Will I see it? Most likely. I haven't seen all of the original film, but I do know I confused it for Friday the 13th due to how much the killer and Jason looked alike. So, I will probably see the original in preparation for this movie, which I do plan to see.
Wolf Creek 2 - Wolf Creek is one of my favorite foreign horror films and one of my favorite "torture" horror films. It is so dark, so scary, so primal, and so visceral that it really affects you. It assaults your senses and it's pretty damn scary, too. So, naturally, I am looking forward to sequel, which we all know was coming after the way the first movie ended. Will it be good? The first Wolf Creek was a success, making $27 million on a $1 million budget and was named one of the best films of the decade, so I expect it to be pretty good. Wolf Creek 2 was released in Australia in February and they seem to think it's decent (scored a 6.3 out of 10 on IMDB). Will I see it? Yes, if for nothing more than the fact it's a long awaited sequel to the original. US release date is still TBD.
So will 2014 live up to 2013? It's hard to tell, but although there appears to be some good horror films on the horizon, I don't think 2014 will surpass 2013 in terms of quality horror films. I think it's a pretty bleak year for horror, but if you look carefully, there are a few gems to discover. I can't wait to hear what movies you guys are looking forward to and which films being released in 2014 you think will rake in the dough and which ones will flop. Hit the comments section and let me know.