Every look at the upcoming slate of horror films and feel something is missing. No, not just your name on the "directed by" title. Something a bit more insidious. I am talking about that book or comic or story or something that you love, you know other people love and yet never gets made into a proper motion picture.
Let me just specify the most important word in this articles title. Good!!! I want something that is made with effort and energy. Avoid the self-aware ironic stuff, those type of films are 10 years outta date anyway.
1. The Whistle from Strangely Enough
This book scared the crap outta me as a kid. This story in particular. Talking a really scary dark house that seems to offer very little sanctuary. A monster that makes no appearance except for the sound. A profound sense of isolation. It is serious heeby-jebies Now I admit this would need some fleshing out for a feature treatment and, I hate to say it, the main character will probably be switched by the suits from an old woman to a young princess type. Kicker is, there is no help coming and the cute doggy gets it. And the mystery of how he gets it is seriously freaky.
2. Man of the crowd- Edgar Allen Poe
Not the best known Poe story but one that could really work IMHO. If the pic alone doesn't grab ya we then there is this. The basic idea that some people exist only as extensions of an urban environment. This has been done by other authors in more recent times but something about Poe just makes it work so much better. Also, and this may kill the pitch at the executive office, the old man does nothing apparently but exist which is crime enough.
3. The Willows -Algernon Blackwood, Thought I was gonna pick Wendigo didn't ya! Well I didn't and this is the one I like. Main reason I don't think this one has been done is cause the technology was just not there to make the monster or the effects.
This film would be all atmosphere and lurking dread. Campers alone on an isolated river with something lurking in the dark woods. Found footage maybe? Even the wounds on the corps are just freaky. Need to get the best creature affect people we can find and brush up on our Val Lewton scary lighting technique. Anyway you cut it it would have a lurking dread that can get you curled up in your seat at the theater. And that is the ultimate goal of any horror movie isn't it.
4. The Monkey King - love that swamp thing. Would be a mostly kid caste and none of them would probably get to see it. Why? can't see how we won't get an NC17 rating for this one.
You got parents being ripped to sheds in front of their kids, the darkest fears of kids coming to life (and man do they have some dark fears!!!) this one will send a few viewers to the therapist. Top it off with the hero who would be the monster in most other films and through in a semi-good guy demon. Okay less than semi. Really he is only even remotely on the good list by helping swampy. But who will care when the rotting body of the little girls daddy shuffles in with his memorable line, "mommy needn't know". Eesh
5. Toth Amon- the real conan villan. Quick bit for you pulp fans. In the books, both conrad's originals and the later adaptations, Conan fights an evil wizard named Toth Amon. Nasty fellow with a penchant for summoning major demons. Who is that Tulsa Doom fellow from the movie? Fighting King Kull in another Conrad story. But i digress. What the world needs now is some more noble villains and Toth Amon fills the role. Plus you get sword, sorcery, demons and a lot of gruesome death. Sort of a throwback to the serial films of the 40s but, hey, it could work. Make it a web series or something.
6. Devil and tom Walker - been done but long gone. One of the tragic lost films in history. To get on my soapbox a bit. 80% of everything that has been filmed is gone. This satirical and extremely spooky take on the Faustian legend with a smidgen of social satire thrown in for good measure. Even the devil cannot stand the slave trade. There is some bloody death, Gothic atmosphere, a chance for an actor to strut their stuff. Mix in a bit of moral tail and, bingo, family film market. Well, maybe not. Anyway, this is one that I am really passionate about so someone get on the ball.
7. something for the next part of this list. Actually a bit of a new direction for me. Gonna be looking at some short films that have been brought to my attention and giving them some criticism. Time to get serious about some serious scares. More to come hopefully with less of a gap.