2014 is almost over, and it’s time to turn our eyes to next year. There’s a huge number of genre films set for release in 2015, so we thought we’d shine a light on some of the best and most promising horrors set to scare the life out of you in the coming months…
Talent: Maika Monroe, David Robert Mitchell (director)
Released: 27 February 2015
Why we’re excited: David Robert Mitchell’s superb chiller stars The Guest’s Maika Monroe as a young woman who finds herself suddenly burdened with a horrifying curse. Can she stay alive long enough to get rid of it? As is so often the case, it’s best not to read too much about this one, but we will tell you that you can believe the hype. Smart, witty, sensitive and genuinely frightening, It Follows thrilled us at this year’s LFF and it will be a tough one to beat for horror of the year.
Talent: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver, Marjane Satrapi (director)
Released: 20 March 2015
Why we’re excited: Ryan Reynolds rediscovers form in Marjane Sartrapi’s (Persepolis) gleefully ghoulish dark comedy about Jerry, a man who talks to his cat and dog,…and they talk back. When Jerry does something very, very bad, he needs his pals to help him work through it. However, their advice doesn’t exactly help matters. Sartrapi’s stylish, funny and pitch black movie has a superb cast and a twisted sense of humour that doesn’t lose sight of the people at the story’s centre. We love it.
WHEN ANIMALS DREAM
Talent: Sonia Suhl, Lars Mikkelsen, Sonya Richter, Jonas Alexander Arnby (director)
Released: 3 April
Why we’re excited: We caught this Danish coming of age horror at LFF and we were very taken with its moody atmosphere and emotional potency. Marie (Sonia Suhl) lives with her parents in a small community where her family secret seems to be common knowledge. But what is that secret exactly? Well-acted and nimbly skirting the line between kitchen-sink realism and creature feature, When Animals Dream recalls Ginger Snaps while finding an identity of its own.
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN
Talent: Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Gary Cole, Edward Herrmann, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (director)
Released: 10 April
Why we’re excited: The American Horror Story team presents this hugely stylish sequel (kind of) to the not-particularly-well-regarded 1976 original. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is considered largely responsible for the look of AHS and he brings those same visual fireworks to his feature debut. The supporting cast is excellent (Gary Cole is particularly good) and the nifty script finds a fun way to both reimagine and follow directly on from the original film, and we certainly enjoyed it at LFF.
Talent: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (directors)
Released: 17 April 2015
Why we’re excited: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead follow up on their excellent low-budget debut Resolution with this hugely ambitious monster love story. Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) stars as a grieving, aimless American chef who travels to an Italian seaside village and falls for a beautiful local (Nadia Hilker). Sweet, funny and genre-bending with some fantastic gory surprises, we’re big fans of this and we think you will be too.
Talent: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Gil Kenan (director)
Released: (31 July)
Why we’re excited: Yes, yes, it’s a remake of a classic horror but there are reasons to be cheerful. First of all, director Gil Kenan made the mysteriously underrated Monster House, which we’ve got a lot of love for. It’s also written by David Lindsay-Abaire, who’s responsible for the excellent drama Rabbit Hole. Finally, there’s the cast: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jane Adams, and veteran scene-stealer Jared Harris as a celebrity paranormal investigator. There’s been no pictures or trailers yet, but we’re cautiously optimistic.
Talent: Shannyn Sossamon, James Ransone, Ciaran Foy (director)
Released: 21 August
Why we’re excited: Scott Derrickson may have moved onto bigger things (ahem, Doctor Strange) but he co-wrote this follow-up to his surprisingly effective horror with original scribe C Robert Cargill. Stepping behind the camera is Ciaran Foy, who made a good impression with his affecting Brit horror Citadel. Cargill has promised a Chapter 2 rather than a standalone sequel, so we’re interested to see if the creepy hit can spawn a decent follow-up. We’re also immensely pleased that James Ransone’s Deputy So-And-So will return.
Talent: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Paul McGuigan (director)
Released: 2 October
Why we’re excited: There are a ton of Mary Shelley adaptations on the way, but we’re looking forward to this one the most. Chronicle writer Max Landis presents this new spin on the classic story, focusing on the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and his assistant Igor. With James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe taking the roles of genius and apprentice respectively, and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Andrew Scott (Sherlock) and Mark Gatiss in support, this could be the Frankenstein to stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Talent: Charlie Hunnam, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Guillermo del Toro (director)
Released: 16 October
Why we’re excited: We hardly need to explain why we’re looking forward to this one, but the prospect of a full-blooded Gothic horror from Guillermo del Toro is absolutely thrilling. The glimpses we’ve had of the cast so far look fantastic (Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain were clearly made for this) and Mia Wasikowska has yet to turn in a bad performance. With del Toro at the helm, this could be the best English language period horror film in years. He’s described it as shocking, scary and kinky. Yep. We’re a bit excited.
Talent: Allison Tolman, Emjay Anthony, Michael Dougherty (director)
Released: 27 November
Why we’re excited: While we wait impatiently for another Trick ‘R Treat movie, director/co-writer Michael Dougherty is bringing us another ghoulish seasonal tale. This horror comedy about the demon who punishes naughty children at Christmas looks to be a perfect fit for his sensibilities, and we’re thrilled by the casting of Fargo’s breakout star Allison Tolman, who held her own against Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman as Deputy Molly Solverson. Roll on Christmas. Again.
And the ones without a release date….
Talent: Sofia Carrillo, Mary Harron, Karyn Kusama, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, Jovanka Vuckovic (directors)
Why we’re excited: This all-female horror anthology brings together some terrific filmmakers. With Lynch (Chained, Surveillance), Kusama (the sorely underrated Jennifer’s Body), Harron (American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page), Vuckovic (the excellent short The Captured Bird) and Carrillo (La Casa Triste), there’s not just an impressive array of talent but an interesting mix of styles and apparent interests. We’re looking forward to seeing how this one comes out.
Talent: Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack MacBrayer, Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion (directors)
Why we’re excited: Saw and Insidious writer Leigh Whannell changes it up with this horror comedy which made a splash at Sundance. Wood, Pill, Wilson, McBrayer and more star as teachers who find themselves under attack from their suddenly monstrous elementary school students when a terrifying virus strikes. With a strong cast and the promise of plenty of tasteless comedic shocks, Cooties should be one to watch.
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
Talent: Sheila Vand, Arash Mandi, Ana Lily Amirpour (director)
Why we’re excited: Ana Lily Amirpour’s hugely stylish debut has the catchy pitch of being a black and white Iranian vampire movie, but there’s more to it than that. Conjuring the spirits of Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch and Hal Hartley, this deeply deadpan romance/comedy/horror is an absolute delight. It’s witty, subversive, clever and, perhaps most importantly of all, it’s really good fun. Be sure to seek it out.
Talent: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
Why we’re excited: We caught Creep at this year’s FrightFest and it was one of the best films of the festival. When cameraman Aaron (Patrick Brice) goes to film friendly Josef (Mark Duplass) for the day, something seems just a little off…and that’s all we’re saying. It’s funny, it’s deeply creepy and Duplass is superb. Just watch it.
TALES OF HALLOWEEN
Talent: Axelle Carolyn, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Darren Lynn Bousman (directors)
Why we’re excited: Because it’s a Halloween anthology horror! It’s been a long time since we enjoyed a good chiller that made the most of the season (probably not since Trick ‘R Treat) and there’s ten filmmakers here to sink their teeth into Samhain. With McKee (May), Marshall (The Descent), Bousman (Saw II), Carolyn (Soulmate, not to mention short The Halloween Kid), and more on board, this should be a wonderful reminder of why we love October 31.
THE LAZARUS EFFECT
Talent: Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters, David Gelb (director)
Why we’re excited: Mostly for the cast. It’s an eclectic mix, blending comedy veterans like Glover with genre regulars like Peters, with Wilde and Duplass in the leads. The plot sounds a lot like Flatliners (a group of medical students find a to bring life to the dead), which could be fun (or not) and director David Gelb’s last film was the excellent Jiro Dreams Of Sushi. The lack of buzz so far is a bit disquieting but here’s hoping.
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING
Talent: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan, Bella Thorne, Franck Khalfoun (director)
Why we’re excited: In principle we’re not hugely thrilled about another Amityville reboot, but there’s some intriguing talent behind this one. Director Franck Khalfoun gave us the excellent Maniac remake, Cameron Monaghan has put in strong work in Shameless and Jamie Marks Is Dead, and the brilliant Jennifer Jason Leigh brings the credibility. Fingers crossed.
Talent: Clem Tibber, Shaun Dingwall, Elarica Gallacher, Oliver Frampton (director)
Why we’re excited: One of the excellent British discoveries of the FrightFest discovery screen (we also recommend The Canal), Oliver Frampton’s The Forgotten is the affecting story of a teenage boy who goes to live with his dad on an estate that’s scheduled for demolition before realising that there’s an unquiet spirit nearby. Drawing on the spirit of Bernard Rose’s Candyman and drawing strong performances from the young cast, this subdued and atmospheric chiller is definitely worth keeping an eye out for.
6 MIRANDA DRIVE
Talent: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Greg McLean (director)
Why we’re excited: Yes, it’s another Blumhouse horror on this list, but we’re excited to see the first American movie from Wolf Creek director Greg McLean. The film’s about a family that brings a supernatural presence home from their holiday, and the casting of Kevin Bacon gives us a nice Stir Of Echoes vibe. We’ve yet to see anything by way of stills or a trailer, but we’re feeling good about this. Blumhouse also has Kevin Greutert’s Visions and Jessabelle and the new Paranormal Activity and The Purge movies on the way.
Talent: Rob Zombie (director)
Why we’re excited: Rob Zombie turned to crowdfunding for his latest, and has pledged that he’ll use the public’s money to make the kind of messed up movie that no studio would ever agree to finance. He’s not had a terrific run of form lately (Lords Of Salem, Halloween 2), but the idea of Zombie unchained does have a certain appeal about it. Oh, and there are killer clowns and something called Murder World. Probably safe to say that there will be blood.
ITS WALLS WERE BLOOD
Talent: Edward Hogg, Pollyanna McIntosh, Steve Oram. Paul Davis, Sean Hogan, Paul Hyett, Tom Shankland (directors)
Why we’re excited: This British horror anthology brings together an interesting cast and a strong selection of filmmakers, including Sean Hogan (The Devil’s Business) and Tom Shankland (The Children). There’s not been much information about the plot, but we’re hoping it lives up to its title.
Talent: Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, Anthony DiBlasi (director)
Why we’re excited: The new film from Anthony DiBlasi (the director of the underrated Clive Barker adaptation Dread) got some good buzz from the FrightFest all-nighter. A rookie cop gets more than she bargains for when a cult leader is brought into the station. DiBlasi’s shown a lot of promise and this looks like this could be a great late night treat.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES
Talent: Lily James, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Matt Smith, Burr Steers (director)
Why we’re excited: The long-gestating adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s mash-up has finally…gestated. After passing through several directors, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is being directed by Burr Steers and has a strong cast. Here’s hoping that the film can find an identity of its own beyond the book’s self-aware silliness and deliver something that’s worth the wait. At the very least, people in fancy dress will be dismembering the living dead.
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