2012 - The horror resurgence continues
2012 introduced us to some creative and fun horror movies. On top of some amazing new stories, it gave us a continuation of some popular female-led action/horror franchises and gave a comedic re-imagining of a cult-favorite TV show from the 60s & 70s.
Before Scott Derrickson directed Dr. Strange, he gave us my favorite horror movie of 2012, Sinister. I saw it a few years later as this was smack dab in the middle of my dark period. When I sat down to watch it, I found myself generally creeped out and a number of times I found myself laughing in glee. The movie is so well put together, and there are some very good jump scares, and WTF did I just see moment. Check it out on Peacock Premium.
Blurb - Washed-up true crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies in his new home that suggest the murder that he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose legacy dates back to the 1960s.
Before Drew Goddard became the force behind the Netflix Marvel series, i.e. Daredevil, he co-wrote and directed this very clever take on horror movie tropes, The Cabin in the Woods. It was a project that almost never got a release as MGM went into bankruptcy before it could be sent to theaters. Goddard never thought it would get free of the whole mess, but Lionsgate saw the finished product and got it out into the wild. It probably didn't hurt that one of the stars is Chris Helmsworth and Thor had just come out.
Any other year, it would be my #1. The movie is clever. funny, and filled with some fun horror movie gore. You'll have to rent/buy to stream it now.
Blurb - Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.
Produced by WWE, you will see a few wrestlers in roles, but nothing takes away from Luke Evans's captivating performance in No One Lives. This movie is filled with twists and turns, and a whole lot of violence & gore. I do have a gripe with the script in places, but overall this movie could easily be my favorite of the year. You can check it out on tubi, VUDUfree, and freevee(Amazon-owned w/ads).
Blurb - A gang of ruthless highway killers kidnap a wealthy couple traveling cross country only to shockingly discover that things are not what they seem.
Daniel Radcliff's first film after finishing the Harry Potter franchise was The Woman in Black. We are going to find him in a bunch of cool and interesting roles as he tries to shrug off the HP typecast. This is also the next movie from James Watkins since 2008's Eden Lake. It's got a great gothic vibe, and they do a good job giving you the willies. It pops up on the popular streams but right now is only free on PlutoTV.
Blurb - A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers that the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.
Don Coscarelli, the brain behind Phantasm, found the novel John Dies at the End because of an Amazon "you might like" suggestion. He liked it so much, that he made the movie using the same name. It's a classic example of bizarro horror and does a good job of leaving the viewer with many WTF moments. You can check it out on HBOMax.
Blurb - A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return no longer human. Can two college drop-outs save humanity from this silent, otherworldly invasion?
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter could have been done 2 ways. Russian super-director Timur Bekmambetov(Nightwatch, Wanted) tackles the idea of the President who led the fight to keep the Union hole, started as a vampire hunter. The movie is action-packed and played straight up. There are no tongue-in-cheek moments that could be used to let the audience in on the joke, instead, they take the idea of vampires very seriously. I think they did it the right way. You can check it out on occasion with Netflix, but right now it is on MaxGo.
Blurb - Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.
The Collection is the sequel to The Collector. Written and directed by the same guys, it has the same gritty feel of the Saw franchise. You don't have to watch the first one to get it, but I think you will enjoy them if you watch them together. Either way, you can see this one on HULU, and Amazon Prime.
Blurb - A man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as "The Collector" is then forced to help rescue an innocent girl from the killer's booby-trapped lair.
Kate Beckinsale returns to the franchise with Underworld Awakening. The war is no longer just vampires vs werewolves now that humans know they all exist. This was during the height of the 3D craze, so lots of scenes that were cool in the theater but maybe not so much on tv. Check it out on HBOMax.
Blurb - When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.
Paul W.S. Anderson returns to the Resident Evil franchise to give us Resident Evil: Retribution. Milla Jovovich with long hair is enough to get me on board. It's also one to embrace the novelty of 3D, so beware. There is only 1 more chapter to go before the Alice saga is complete, so you might as well keep going. Stream it on HULU.
Blurb -Alice fights alongside a resistance movement to regain her freedom from an Umbrella Corporation testing facility.
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up to give their take on the cult classic "soap opera" Dark Shadows. It has witches, vampires, werewolves, and 70's culture, but is pretty much all camp and the suggestion of horror. You can stream it on Netflix.
Blurb - An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.