As we continue our look to the year ahead of films I’ve decided as the resident horror fan to note some of the horror films you should keep an eye out for this year. In all honesty at the moment it is slim pickings, but as the horror community works I’m sure we’ll have all sorts of nasty stuff come out of the woodwork as the year goes by. But for now, indulge yourself in some of the blood soaked, haunted features hitting our screens in the first half of this year….
The Boy – Release Date: 19th February 2016
Lauren Cohan of The Walking Dead fame stars in what looks to be a rather eerie tale that follows American nanny Greta as she takes on a job at the grand house of an English family. Unbeknownst to Greta the boy she is hired to look after is a life sized doll, and she must obey a strict set of instructions to look after him properly. The longer she stays, the more she comes to believe that the doll is actually alive.
I love creepy doll films, ever since I read R.L. Stines Night of the Living Dummy from his Goosebumps series, and this looks like it ticks all the right boxes. The trailer is a bit long and borders on letting you figure out the way the film is going to go but it looks creepy none the less. The only reservation I have about this is, the director (William Brent Bell) is the same man behind Stay Alive and The Devil Inside, and neither set the world on fire.
Green Room – Release Date: 13th May 2016
Jeremy Saulnier has directed two fresh films that stray from the well beaten paths of the genres they are part of, Murder Party is a rough, independent horror/comedy and Blue Ruin is a dark revenge film tinged with tar black comedy, and happened to be one of my favourite films of 2014. Green Room, though it doesn’t look like a straight up horror has all the makings of a great horror/thriller. After coming across an act of violence, a young punk rock band find themselves trapped in an isolated venue. Not a revealing synopsis, but if I told you it starred Patrick Stewart… as well as Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat and Imogen Poots then hopefully it has your attention. This is likely to be a limited release so keep an eye out at your independent cinemas! No trailer yet but check out the clip below…
The Green Inferno – Release Date: 25th March 2016
Eli Roth delivers us his latest blood and guts horror on a muddy platter as a enthusiastic bunch of young activists go to the Amazon to do their bit in saving the rainforest only to suffer an aeroplane crash and fall into the hands of indigenous tribes who seem a bit peckish. The film has already came out elsewhere in the world but arrives in March for us UK folk. Maybe I’m getting a bit too old for horror fare such as this, but if you want something where you know people are going to die horrible, horrible deaths then look no further than here!
Goodnight Mommy – Release Date: 4th March 2016
After their mother goes under knife for some cosmetic facial surgery twin boys eagerly await her return. After she does come back they notice there is something strange about mom, covered in bandages the boys don’t appear to recognise her, especially as she begins to exhibit other unusual traits.
This Austrian horror has made waves since it was released back in 2014 (Such a shame we aren’t getting it till now), it was even selected as Austria’s entry for consideration in the 88th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. You can always rely on unique films coming from other countries that don’t conform to the Hollywood money making machine that bogs down so many films. A remake is probably guaranteed but for now watch the trailer below and get ready for what appears to be a special little mysterious horror.
The Ones Below – Release Date: 11th March 2016
My goodness March is a little busy month for horror films! For this film we have Justin and Kate as a young couple with their first child who discover their neighbours below them Teresa and Jon are also expecting a baby. As the neighbours begin to socialise more their relationship begins to break down as differences between them begin to emerge and Kate becomes suspicious of the presence.
Likely to be another limited release, this British film could quite well be a nice little horror/thriller, and you can’t go wrong having the awesome David Morrissey on board either.
The Other Side of the Door – Release Date: 18th March 2016
After a tragic accident where Maria saves one of her children, but looses the other, she becomes inconsolable from the loss. There is however hope, in the form of an ancient ritual where she will be able to say goodbye to her son one last time, Maria must go to an ancient temple that acts as a portal between the world of the living and the dead. All that she can not do is open the door her son is behind.
When will parents learn that bringing their kids back from the dead never ever ends well? Judging from the trailer, we don’t get a physical child back from the dead, Maria has brought more than your friendly ghost back from the temple. Interesting fact here, Sarah Wayne Callies plays Maria in the film and she makes the third Walking Dead alumni to star in a horror film this year, with David Morrissey in The Ones Below and Lauren Cohan in The Boy. Though the film sounds generic, the abroad setting could mix things up a bit and give the film a fresher feel. Check out the trailer below…
31 – Release Date: 2016 TBC
Here is the synopsis from IMDB…31 tells the story of five carnies in 1976 kidnapped on the morning of Halloween and held hostage in a remote industrial Hell. While trapped, they are forced to play a violent game called 31. The mission is to survive 12 hours against an endless gang of grease-painted maniacs. Now I’m a huge fan of what Rob Zombie has done so far in film, he is a unique voice in the horror community and does not conform to generic rubbish, so I’m reasonably excited for this. Throw in the fact that the film was crowd funded without studio influence and things get a bit more tantalising.
There isn’t a trailer yet for the film, but it’s been in the news recently that Rob Zombie has submitted two cuts of the film to the MPAA to try and achieve an R rating, unfortunately for him it came back both times with an NC-17 rating. Here is the description the MPAA gave for the rating which Zombie was happy enough to share ‘Sadistic Graphic Violence, Bizarre Sexuality/Nudity, Pervasive Disturbing Images and Some Strong Language’. This description certainly begs the question, as Zombie’s stuff is very dark, and disturbing, what on earth is going on here? Hopefully we won’t have too long to find out. The poster is on your left for your enjoyment!
The Witch – Release Date: 11th March 2016
Set in New England in the 1630s, a family leaves a small community to build a new home in the country. Though after settling in the family is slowly ripped apart by the mysterious forces surrounding their home and the forest that surrounds them.
If you want a horror film that surpasses the conventions of generic hack and slash, or jump scares then it looks like this could be the film for you. This is my second most anticipated horror film of 2016, the director picked up the Best Director award at the Sundance Film Festival for his efforts on his directorial debut, and it looks to be a dark and devilish treat.
The Forest – Release Date: 26th February 2016
Twin sisters can sense things about one another, and when Sara (Natalie Dormer) senses that her twin sister Jess is in trouble she makes an effort to get in touch with her. Much to her shock she is informed that Jess has travelled into Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, otherwise known as the suicide forest. In an effort to save her Sara travels to Japan and heads into the forest to find her, only to be surrounded by paranormal forces.
Natalie Dormer is one of the highlights of Game of Thrones and having a lead in a film here will certainly put her abilities to the test. Surprisingly there aren’t a lot of films that use this actual forest as a base for a story, so to see it being used, albeit for a horror, is good. The trailer itself looks pretty decent, check it out below.
Amityville: The Awakening – Release Date: TBC 2016
Another entry into the saga of unconnected Amityville Horror films comes from French director Franck Khalfoun, the man behind the rubbish P2 and the raw remake of Maniac. This time round a single mother and her three children move into the famous house due to the healthcare requirements of one of the children. James is in a coma with a condition where he may never recover, but strange things begin to occur in the house and James surprisingly starts to show signs of recovery.
The trailer is below, but it looks a bit naff and right now the Amityville series just needs to end. The idea of the film shows shades of Insidious with a comatose kid experiencing the paranormal and likely being a vessel for activity. There is no real direction for this series to go, and it’s just straight to DVD fare at the moment but have a look at the trailer below nonetheless.
Patient Zero – Release Date: 2nd September 2016
No trailer for this one yet, but the film follows the work of a CDC scientist (Natalie Dormer) and a survivor of an pandemic outbreak of a mutated form of rabies called Morgan (Matt Smith) as they search for the patient zero to solve the outbreak and find a cure.
The film is directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky who brought us the Oscar winning film The Counterfeiters so it could be a good one, however he also directed All the Queen’s Men which was not so good. It’s certainly a film to keep an eye on with a promising young cast, and a decent idea.
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist – Release Date: 17th June 2016
Following on from the first film, Ed and Lorraine Warren head to the UK to investigate the disturbances at a house in Enfield, where a single mother is attempting to raise a group of children amidst some paranormal events.
I saved my most anticipated film for last, unfortunately we do not have a trailer yet and there are some horrific bogus ones floating around on youtube. The reason I’m so excited for this film is twofold, first James Wan is returning to direct, and that man is true master of horror. Second, the ‘true story’ that this is based on has pretty much been debunked as a hoax, so I’m intrigued as to how they will approach it. Will they go down the simple path of making a straight and narrow horror film like The Conjuring or will they explore the elements of that the story was potentially a hoax. James Wan is a creative genius when it comes to horror, so whichever avenue he decides to take I’m sure we will be in for one heck of a ride.
There we have it for now, 12 horror films that will be out at the cinema, or on demand in the first half of 2016. There will be more for sure in the second half, but until we hear more that is it from us, so read, enjoy and get ready to get scared in 2016.