Fans of the horror genre are thrilled at the lineup of films to be released in 2010, with original studio films, sequels to independent hits, and high-profile remakes on the way.
Daybreakers (January 5th)
This stylistic vampire film, starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, raked in a mediocre $15 million on its opening weekend. It takes place in the year 2019, when vampires have overrun the population and harvest humans for blood. While the film is slick and unique, it lacks the action that genre fans will desire.
Legion (January 22nd)
A biblical apocalypse in the making: God, who has lost faith in humankind, sends angels to exterminate the population. However, Archangel Michael has other plans. With a well-rounded cast that includes Dennis Quaid, Adrianne Palicki, Tyrese Gibson, and Charles Dutton, this R-rated religious-themed horror film may do well for itself. The premise alone has audiences intrigued.
Frozen (February 5th)
The third film from the director of Hatchet has fans buzzing. When a group of friends hit the ski slopes for one last run at the end of the day, they find themselves stranded on the chairlift. What promises to be a personal and intense film will feature the horrors of hypothermia, frostbite, starvation, and wild animals.
The Wolfman (February 12th)
Universal’s redux of George Waggner’s 1941 classic has fans simultaneously excited and concerned. After jumping through several release dates, the movie, which features Anthony Hopkins, Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Hugo Weaving, boasts a stylish take on gothic horror. Many wonder if the mega-budget film trying to recapture the enchantment of a different era has left Hollywood biting off more than it can chew.
Shutter Island (February 19th)
It must be a good year for the horror film when Martin Scorsese is on the list of directors. A period piece about a U.S. Marshal (Leonardo DiCaprio) investigating disappearances at an insane asylum located on a remote island. What ensues is sure to be a visceral test of sanity, but when looking at the film’s 138 minute runtime, one wonders if Scorsese forgot what genre he was working in.
The Crazies (February 26th)
After an unknown toxin contaminates a small town’s water supply, the residents begin to turn violent. In this remake of George Romero’s 1973 film, what is sure to be at center stage is the special makeup effects helmed by genre stars Almost Human EFX. Only time will tell if the film presents more than a gore show.
Season of the Witch (March 19th)
A 14th century crusader (Nicolas Cage) is charged with the task of bringing an accused witch to justice after the Black Plague devastates the population. Cage’s last foray into the horror genre with The Wicker Man was considered embarrassing. Will he redeem himself or fall back into the same trap with Season of the Witch?
A Nightmare on Elm Street (April 30th)
Another remake of a hit horror franchise, but will its reception be better than that of Rob Zombie’s reimagining of Halloween? Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley), who wears a glove with knives for fingers, stalks teenagers in their dreams. While the fate of this film will ultimately be in the hands of fans, it will most likely bring in the box office results that New Line Cinema is looking for.
Piranha 3-D (August 27th)
The release date was just recently pushed from April to August, which may not be a good sign. However, when the film is about a minor earthquake that unleashes prehistoric piranhas into a popular lake to feast on bikini-clad teenagers, audiences may not be expecting much anyway. With an impressive cast and up-and-coming genre director at the lead, perhaps Piranha 3-D will be the campy ride fans are looking for.
Paranormal Activity 2 (October 22nd)
Although the premise and official title of the film are withheld, there is already a great deal of excitement surrounding the sequel to the amazingly profitable Paranormal Activity, which was told through the video camera of a couple trying to document paranormal events in their home. Kevin Greutert, director of Saw VI, is at the helm and the original film’s director, Oren Peli, is producing. Can it recapture the thrills of the first film or will it simply be a money-maker for Paramount?
The Ward (October 28th)
The master of horror, John Carpenter, returns to the big screen with a ghost story that takes place in a mental institution. Details are not necessary to generate anticipation among the horror community. The fact that the director of Halloween, The Thing, The Fog, and Escape from New York (to name just a few), is back is enough to make fans happy.
Hatchet 2 (October)
Nearing the end of principal photography this month, the sequel to Adam Green’s hit independent slasher pledges to bring horror hounds more than what they want. With genre darling Danielle Harris hitting the screen as the star and with the returning cast of Kane Hodder and Tony Todd, the anticipation is growing. Hopefully, the theatrical release will fare better than its predecessor’s run.
Suck (Unknown release date)
Capitalizing on the popularity of vampires, this movie features a down-in-out rock band that receives a much-needed boost of charisma when their female bass player becomes one of the undead. The plot seems to get convoluted, as music producers and vampire hunters emerge as obstacles in their climb to fame. With music icons like Iggy pop, Alice Cooper, Moby, and Henry Rollins listed in the cast, it is bound to be interesting.
The Descent: Part 2 (Unknown U.S. release date)
Already released in the UK, horror fans are anxious to see the follow-up to The Descent, which was well-received among American audiences. The sole survivor from the original film, Sarah, must return to the mutant-infested Appalachian cave system with a rescue team. Although a different director is at the wheel, the early signs from across the seas have been promising.
Cotton (Unknown release date)
An evangelical minister performs his last exorcism, allowing a documentary film crew to capture the experience. What appears to be another found footage film, similar to The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, is sure to get fans in seats if the marketing is right. It also helps that Eli Roth, the prolific director of Hostel and Cabin Fever, is slated as a producer.