|The Woman in Black|
It seems that American Horror films of late have been rather lame (with the exception of this spring's Insidious). And while I'm looking forward to the eventual release of Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods (whenever that is), with Shocktober quickly approaching, I'm really jonesing for a good Horror movie.
It looks to me like the most promisingly scary are all from outside the U.S. Have American filmmakers forgotten how to make a good horror movie? Hell, there isn't even a Saw movie coming out this October for the first time in 8 years (though that's not necessarily a bad thing).
There are one or two movies on my radar this October. First, in limited release on October 14th is The Woman from director Lucky McKee (May; The Woods). The Woman caused quite a stir at Sundance this year, inciting one audience member to outrage which required police intervention. McKee has never been to shy away from controversy and The Woman appears to be his most controversial to date:
The same day sees the wide release of the prequel to John Carpenter's masterpiece, The Thing. I'm not sure this movie will have anything new to say about a group of antarctic scientists who uncover a dangerous extraterrestrial life form. I just hope that the inevitable CGI FX are as affective as the physical FX in Carpenter's amazing and horrifying film:
The only other interesting Horror movie to see a wide release is Kevin Smith's Red State, a movie about religious fanaticism gone horribly wrong. Smith based his villains on the hate-filled members of Kansas' Westboro Baptist Church, headed by the vile homophobe Fred Phelps (NSFW):
But the most interesting Horror movies aren't until next year. And the majority of them seem to be from the U.K. and Spain. In The Awakening Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Stauntan star in a tale of Post WWI England's obsession with the paranormal and a boys' boarding school that may actually be haunted:'
And Harry Potter moves on from wizardry to ghosts in the upcoming adaptation of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a young Victorian lawyer who travels to a remote village to organize the papers of a recently deceased client, only to encounter a vengeful ghost. Creepy toys and dolls prevail:
Uncle P may not believe in ghosts, but there's nothing like a good old-fashioned ghost story to get my heart pumping.*
Finally, from Spain, comes the second sequel to the rabies/zombie thriller, Rec 3:
Nothing like a zombie outbreak to ruin your wedding, is there?
*I wish someone would make a faithfully adapted film of Peter Straub's truly frightening novel Ghost Story.