2011 - A hodgepodge of horror
I'm going to miss out on some movies as we continue through my dark period. Not making the list is Final Destination 5 - you should get it by now, I saw the Devil - I just haven't seen it yet, Attack the Block - another one I haven't watched, and a ton of found footage horror films. 1 thing I love about this year is the diversity of film choices. There's something for every fan of horror. That said, if I only mentioned 1 movie from 2011, it would be the first one ...
I absolutely love You're Next. It's a fun and ultra-violent home invasion film. Stream it on Starz.
Blurb - When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
One of my favorite movies is the original The Thing by John Carpenter, and I think it was clever to make the 2011 sequel, The Thing, an actual prequel. In the original, the creature comes from the Norwegian station and ends up at the U.S. station. This movie shows us what happened in the Norwegian station and fills in some of the questions the original movie asks. It's not a perfect movie but I'm a big fan of Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Joel Edgerton and the overall idea of this movie. I like to watch this one and then the original for a good double feature. Check it out on tubi.
Blurb - At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson.
So I get that we're tired of Kevin Smith and his insufferable know-it-all attitude, but he did something interesting in 2011 - he made a horror movie named Red State. While it has some of his characteristic banter, if you weren't told, I don't think you'd ever guess Kevin Smith did this movie. Michael Parks steals the show with his take on the Preacher from a pretend church that was inspired by the Westboro Baptist Church. The movie is intense, fast-paced, and not for the closed-minded. You can't find it anywhere right now in the US but you can get an import for a semi-decent cost.
Blurb - Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda.
Rebecca Hall & Dominic West are terrific in The Awakening, an old-school atmospheric horror picture. If you liked The Others or The Woman in Black then you'll like this one. Check it out on tubi.
Blurb - In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
Wes Craven visited the Scream franchise one last time before he passed away with Scream 4. Kevin Williamson and many of the surviving cast members returned to the project, which at the time was an unusual thing. You don't get the director, writer, and many of the actors to return over and over again. Of course, the Weinsteins brought in another writer as they continued to clash with Williamson. Many feel this movie made up for the trainwreck that was Part 3 and put the franchise back on track. You have to rent/buy to watch but it should make its way to Peacock or Paramount + at some point.
Blurb - Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.
Coming off his stint as an angel in last year's Legion, we now find Paul Bettany playing the title role in The Priest. Karl Urban is also in the movie and does a good job as the hybrid vampire. The movie is based on the manga of the same name and does a good job of capturing the overall vibe of the book.
Now the main drawback is actor Cam Gigandet who at times seems unable to act his way out of a paper bag. It's not enough to remove the movie from the list, but you will have to fight through it a bit. It says you can stream with USA so I'm assuming that means you just have to have cable or Directv to access it.
Blurb - A priest disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.
Director Dominic Sena's(Gone in 60 Seconds, Swordfish, and the very underrated White Out) last film came in 2011. He reteamed with Nicholas Cage to give us a period piece horror story with Season of the Witch. Cage was excited to do the project because he saw it as a throwback to the Roger Corman films of the 60s with Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. He was over the moon when he discovered Lee was actually in this film as well.
The film was in development hell as it was first picked up in 2000. It went through 3 studios and a number of changes. Even in the end, there were still issues. Filming ended in 2009, but Brett Ratner was brought in some months later to do some additional green-scene footage. He brought his editor to not only work on his parts but to tighten up the film as a whole.
You can check it out with Starz, tubi, and freevee(an Amazon with ads streamer).
Blurb - Fourteenth century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague.
Cage had 5 films released in 2011. Oddly enough, the two films on this list are connected because of their rating. A favorite scene of Cage's was removed from Season of the Witch to keep the rating at PG-13. A similar scene is in Drive Angry, and Cage was happy the film was embracing the chaos and going for a hard R rating. The movie is completely wild-ass, but also so much fun. It embraced the 3-D fad of the time, and many of the shots still work in a 2-D viewing.
Don't hold Amber Heard's presence against the film, she wasn't thought of as a psycho at this time. You can stream it on Peacock Premium. I recently learned if you have Charter(Spectrum) cable, you might have access to Peacock for free.
Blurb - A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter.
Long before Ezra Miller acted like a psychopath in real life, he played one in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Tilda Swinton is fantastic (I can't remember a performance where she's not) and John C Reilly is always a treat to watch in dramatic roles. You can check it out on Prime, Crackle, and tubi.
Blurb - Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.
I'm going to be honest, I haven't seen this version of Fright Night. The original is darn near perfect, and I saw no reason to check it out. But looking at films from this year, I noticed a number of differences between the 2 and I'm going to go check it out. I have a feeling I'm going to be like Tom Holland(the writer-director of the original) and not like it, but I will at least give it a shot. I will be streaming it on Hulu.
Plus at the time I was not a big fan of Colin Farrell, but have come to appreciate him these last few years. I've watched some interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff that have cast him in a new light. If you love quirky movies, hunt down The Lobster. He shines in that film.
Blurb - When a nice new neighbor moves in next door, Charley discovers that he is an ancient vampire who preys on the community. Can he save his neighborhood from the creature with the help of the famous "vampire killer", Peter Vincent?