In the interests of continuity, welcome to the second part of our top 10 upcoming horror movies, complete with stunning posters, gory details, tantalising trailers, and the odd awful joke (or two…or eight…it’s all just jokes…don’t judge me). In Part I we introduced you to sci-fi horror Infini, romcom horror (it’s totally a thing now) Nina Forever, psychological thriller Estranged, haunted house/farm film The Suffering, and creature-feature Dark was the Night. Part II promises even more obscure sub-genres, dark twists, big names, small names and, most importantly, new IPs. Because seriously, if they bring out another Paranormal Activity I’m going to eat my shoes. So I ask you, please support these new movies. Please don’t make me eat my shoes. I’m on a diet.
Note: As I haven’t seen any of these films yet, there are no spoilers here other than what I’ve gleaned from their respective trailers.
What happens when Friday the 13th meets Lord of the Flies? It seems you get a visceral slasher resplendent with gore, terror, and kids in Boy Scout costumes. Wait a second, kids in Boy Scout costumes?! Yes, you heard me right. Deadly, deadly boy scouts. Cub is a Belgian film about a group of Cub Scouts who venture into the wilderness for their summer camp. Our main protagonist, a 12-year-old boy named Sam, is constantly at odds with his scout leader and appears to be almost completely ostracised by the group. So, when he begins seeing strange things in the woods and becomes convinced that something is stalking them, no one believes him.
Yet our cuddly cubs will soon discover that what Sam has seen is not only real; it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Something feral is lurking in these woods and no amount of badges will protect them from it (especially not that ridiculous Bug Catching Badge. Seriously, when will that ever come in handy? What are you gonna do, throw ants at the psycho-killer?). Films like Martyrs and The Orphanage have long since proven that our foreign cousins are not only capable of “doing” horror, but are often willing to push the boundaries of “acceptable” horror. In a trailer that actively refutes the trope “children in horror films are un-killable”, it seems our Belgian slasher may just be following in their footsteps. If you fancy scouting out Cub, watch the trailer here.
- The Nightmare
It’s rare that you hear the terms “horror” and “documentary” in the same sentence, unless we’re talking about Animal Planet’s visual abomination Monsters Inside Me. But this year, from the director of celebrated documentscary (it took me five minutes to think of that) Room 237, it seems we’ll be treated to The Nightmare; a film focused on the devastating psychological illness known as sleep paralysis. For all of those who don’t know, sleep paralysis is a condition where people find themselves paralysed on awakening or falling asleep. They are unable to move, speak, or react in any physical way but, more terrifying still, some sufferers report experiencing vivid hallucinations similar to nightmares.
The aim of The Nightmare is to present a sequence of interviews from victims along with visual representations of their experiences. From looming shadowy figures in room corners to feral creatures perched at the foot of the bed, we follow as the documentary takes us step-by-step through the horrific living nightmares these people endure on a regular basis. Though the film has been recently criticised for its lack of scientific information, the graphic recreations of this perturbing phenomenon sound promising and, though it may not be as informative as Room 237, it appears that director Rodney Ascher has amped up the fear factor. If you want to get trapped in The Nightmare, watch the trailer here.
While many horror films these days are resplendent with ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and supernatural mischief makers of all kinds, it appears as though filmmakers may have lost sight of how terrifying real life can be, particularly when you’re being chased by a giant bear. Backcountry goes back to the roots of good ol’ natural horror, reminding us that we as human beings are weak, pathetic, squishy creatures compared to our wild counterparts. In an incredibly direct way, the arrogance of man is what inevitably leads urban couple Alex and Jenn down the thorny path of horror. The couple decide to take a camping trip in Provincial Park, trekking the secluded Blackfoot Trail that holds a special place in Alex’s childhood memory, and Alex, fancying himself as a seasoned outdoorsman, opts to forego the convention of reading maps.
It is his stubborn insistence that eventually, and rather predictably, ends with the couple getting hopelessly lost. The shot of the couple nervously peering out over the vast expanse of forest as the true ramifications of their mistake sets in still chills my bones. Yet being lost is the least of their worries, as it soon becomes apparent that the hapless duo has attracted more than just bad luck. Something is tailing them, and is about to show them just how formidable the natural world can be. Of all the trailers in this top 10, I have to say that this one filled me with the most intense fear. Unlike the supernatural based horrors, it felt like it could really happen to me, and did in fact happen to Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend; the couple upon which the film is based. If you’re ready to venture into the Backcountry, watch the trailer here.
Spring seems like an oddly jovial title for a horror movie but trust me, with a trailer as deliciously dark as this, the film promises to be anything but. I immediately took to the film as it reminded me so much of Afflicted and, though I don’t condone plagiarism, when an idea is promising then I’m all for people adapting it to their own ends. The film is classed, rather bizarrely, as a romantic horror since it follows the love-story of an American man named Evan and an Italian woman named Louise. After his life takes an unfortunate turn, Evan makes the decision to leave the US and opts for the nearest flight outta Dodge, which just happens to be going to Italy.
There he meets the ethereally beautiful Louise, a withdrawn individual who appears to be harbouring a dark secret. As time goes on and their love affair deepens, Evan finds that, far from being simply a “crazy chick”, Louise is suffering from a debilitating illness that manifests itself in the most horrifying of ways. The stunning cinematography and elements of body-shock horror employed in the trailer had me utterly convinced and I simply can’t wait to partake in a little slice of romantic horror. If that doesn’t put a Spring in your step, watch the trailer here.
- Crimson Peak
Okay, so I know that Crimson Peak is hardly an indie horror movie but hear me out here; I really like Del Toro. Like, really. I would eat his shoes, happily. That being said, the aim of the Top 10 wasn’t necessarily to discuss indie horror films but simply to present you with a few new IPs. So here we are. Though I’m as yet unconvinced by leading lady Mia Wasikowska, whose unbearable blandness has been the downfall of many promising films, the deliciously dark duo of Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain promises to, at the very least, redeem Mia’s yawn-factor. The film sets out to be a Gothic romance come haunted house horror, with the Sharpe family mansion performing the role of the “why-the-hell-do-people-live-here?” house most effectively.
Aspiring author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is taken in by mysterious stranger Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who whisks her away to his family’s creaky manor and introduces her to his rather antagonistic sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain). However, it soon becomes apparent to Edith that the house is plagued by something otherworldly and, though she expresses no true fear of ghosts, the secrets that lie beneath the Sharpe family’s handsome exterior may prove too much for her fragile psyche. After all, this is a house that bleeds, breathes, and remembers. If all this has piqued your interest, watch the trailer for Crimson Peak here.
So what did you think of our Top 10? Are there any promising horror titles you feel we’ve missed? Please let us know in the comments.