For those of you who love things that go bump in the night, here is a current list of horror films creeping their way into UK cinemas/on demand this year.
The Bye Bye Man – 13/1/17
From Stacy Title, who directed the horror anthology Hood of Horror starring Snoop Dogg, comes this supernatural tale of a sinister presence known as the Bye Bye Man. A group of young relative unknowns lead the cast, but are supported by Michael Trucco (Hush), Faye Dunaway (Bonnie & Clyde), and Doug Jones (Hellboy) as the titular Bye Bye Man. Check out the trailer below.
Underworld: Blood Wars – 13/1/17
The fifth instalment of the ever expanding Underworld franchise is landing this month, and Kate Beckinsale once again suits up as former death dealer Selene caught up in the eternal war between lycan and vampire. Anna Foerster, who directed a few episodes of Outlander and Criminal Minds takes the helm of her first feature film with this instalment, as Theo James also reprising his role as David from Underworld:Awakening. The Underworld franchise is a silly bit of fun, and this looks to top the cake with something about special blood, being the strongest ever, supervampires etc etc.
Split – 20/1/17
More of a horror thriller this latest film by M. Night Shyamalan, who reignited his career with the superbly creepy The Visit, stars James McAvoy putting his acting ability to the test as Kevin, a man with 24 different personalities. The problem is he has kind of kidnapped three girls and is holding them captive. In order for the girls to survive and escape they have to play to the kinder personalities of Kevin, whilst keeping away from his more frightening violent ones. James McAvoy looks fantastic in the trailer, and we think you should be keeping an eye out for this film at the end of January in the UK. Do yourself a favour, just watch one trailer an give in to any surprise the film has to offer on release.
Rings – 3/2/17
I wouldn’t bet against this film never actually making it to the cinema due to its frequent delays to be released. Despite boasting the credentials of Vincent D’Onofrio and Johnny Galecki in the cast the film is being directed by Spanish newcomer F. Javier Gutiérrez, who only has one feature film under his belt. Once again it looks like we are going to get pummelled by the idea that if you watch a dodgy video you’ll die in seven days, and receive yet another unsatisfactory sequel that uses the good will of the originals like toilet paper.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – 3/2/17
Because the previous entry wasn’t ridiculous enough we have the “last” instalment of the action horror franchise that started way back in 2002. The film adaptations of the beloved horror games have played fast and horribly loose with the stories on which they are based, and as a result we have been on the receiving end of mind numbing theatrics that you can’t help but enjoy. The trailers for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter are no different as plot appears to have made way for guns, bullets, zombies, and monsters. I’ll still be going to see it though.
Prevenge – 10/2/17
Alice Lowe, who co-wrote the bizarre black comedy British flick Sightseers has penned another little film called Prevenge, except this time she has jumped into the directors chair as well as taking the lead role. Following the death of her husband a heavily pregnant Ruth succumbs to the apparent murderous demands of her unborn baby which she can hear in her head. It’s a nutty idea and the trailer looks ace. If you like your humour black with no sugar, it looks like Prevenge could just be your cuppa.
The Love Witch – 10/3/17
By far one of the most curious prospects of 2017 is The Love Witch which looks to beautifully recreate the hazy technicolor horrors and melodramas of the 60s. Directed by Anna Biller the film stars Samantha Robinson as Elaine (In what could be a breakout role), a witch who uses spells, potions and witchcraft in order for men to fall in love with her. Unfortunately it appears it doesn’t always go to plan. No doubt The Love Witch will get a limited release, but it is one for fans of older horror to keep an eye on judging by the trailer. Take a look for yourself.
Get Out – 17/3/17
March seems to start off as a busy month for horror films being released before the inevitable reshuffle of release dates. However Get Out looks to have the quality to hold it’s own ground in what is a month chock full of big releases. You wouldn’t think judging by the trailer that this is the brain child of Jordan Peele, one half of the popular comedy duo of Key and Peele, who has both written and directed what looks like a really intriguing film. Daniel Kaluuya continues his ascent to acting prominence as Chris, a man who travels with his girlfriend to visit her families hometown to find that some seriously weird shit is going on. One trailer is good enough for me to have this pencilled down as one of my more anticipated releases of 2017.
Patient Zero – 17/3/17
What was I saying about March being a busy month for horror films? Patient Zero was originally on the slate for release in 2016, but has quietly found its way onto this years slate. No trailer has been released as of yet, but the film stars young British talent Matt Smith and Natalie Dormer as survivors of a global pandemic that has saw the population turn into frenzied infected people. However a man with the ability to speak to these infected people has been found, taking the survivors on a search for a cure and to find patient zero.
A Cure for Wellness – 24/3/17
March horror madness continues with Gore Verbinski’s return to the silver screen following after last directing The Lone Ranger, an his first horror since directing the remake of The Ring in 2002. The trailer looks slick and stylish, but with 50 shades of Shutter Island and Angel Heart running right through it. Promising acting talent Dane DeHaan takes the lead as a young executive sent to check out the status of his CEO at a mysterious facility, though he ends up finding more than he bargained for after arriving. The trailer may give a little too much away, but it still looks decent.
The Eyes of my Mother – 24/3/17
Directing newcomer Nicolas Pesce delivers us this independent horror that follows Francisca, a young woman who appears to harbour some gnarly desires and secrets whilst living a quiet life in the country. Again this looks like it’ll be a limited/on demand release, but if you like to watch horror films off the beaten path than this could be something refreshingly nasty.
Raw – 7/4/17
Nobody does horror films like the French. More than a few beautiful looking, yet brutal films have came from the country and Raw looks to join a fiendish pack joining the likes of Inside, Martyrs, Frontier(s), and Haute Tension (Switchblade Romance). Julia Ducournau both writes and directs this story of a young girl, and vegetarian, who undergoes a horrible hazing ritual that shes her eat meat after she joins veterinary school. After the ritual though she begins to develop an insatiable appetite for meat. Just check out the clip below involving raw chicken breast, it’s enough to make you queezy. Did I mention there were reports of fainting during a festival screening?
The Transfiguration – 21/4/17
This low key independent horror/drama comes from rookie director Michael O’Shea that is making the rounds on the film festival circuit. The film centres around a young boy who is bullied at school but when he goes home embroils himself in the lore of the vampire. It’s an interesting concept, fingers crossed indie horror brings it home again.
Annabelle 2 – 19/5/17
If you’d caught me after coming out the cinema following watching Annabelle and told me they were making a sequel I’d have shrugged my shoulders and moved on. Not a dramatic reaction granted, but horror sequels are a given these days even when the originals are as shite as Annabelle was. A combination of wasted potential, and crap acting made it an infuriating watch, despite glimpses of effective horror. However what has my eyes on this sequel is the presence of David F. Sandberg as director, who masterfully turned his brilliant horror short Lights Out into a creepy as sin feature film. James Wan returns in a producing role, and hopefully can continue to usher in another eye covering horror film like he has done so fantastically himself.
Alien: Covenant – 19/5/17
Despite an all too revealing trailer that apparently yearns to show you the fates of its characters, Alien: Covenant has launched itself into one of the most anticipated releases of 2017. Ridley Scott returns again to the franchise he created back in 1979, and this time it looks like it’ll get down and dirty. Prometheus for all it’s flaws was a cracking looking film with some great direction, and if you removed it from the fervour of the Alien franchise it’s a pretty solid feature. Obviously after it people wanted more xenomorphs, and it looks like we’ll get more this time round, as well as a few people getting horribly mutilated by these rampaging monsters.
It – 8/9/17
No film causes more internal conflict for me this year than It, a new take on Stephen King’s classic story of a young group of kids mercilessly tormented by an evil entity that takes the form of their greatest fears. Originally it started out with so much promise when Cary Fukunaga was on board to direct, and Will Poulter to play the nightmarish Pennywise the Clown. Then they both dropped out and were replaced by Mama director Andrés Muschietti, and Hemlock Grove star Bill Skarsgård respectively. Both the novel and original miniseries hold a special place in my heart, and Tim Curry’s show stealing performance is impossible to best, so they need to do something special or different to stand out. Aiding in that quest are a group of promising young actors led by Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) and Megan Charpentier (Mama). I’m excited, scared, worried, and hopeful the film will deliver.
Insidious: Chapter 4 – 3/11/17
James Wan and Leigh Whannell crafted the best modern horror franchise with Insidious. All three entries thus far demonstrate a unique ability to get you to jump out of your skin through subtle unexpected direction and frights, with a creepy story to boot. Chapter 4 will be released this year, however neither of it’s creators are in the directors chair. The seat for this journey into the further has been filled by Adam Robitel, the man behind the unsettling found footage horror The Taking of Deborah Logan. The film feels like it is in good hands, and with Whannell remaining on board to write we should have a delightfully scary horror to look forward to at the end of the year.
Keep Watching – 2017
There is no definitive date for this film, but it does star Bella Thorne (Blended), Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead) and Natalie Martinez (Kingdom) in a home invasion thriller where a family are subjected to a life or death game where rules unravel as the night goes on. Sounds like pleasant stuff doesn’t it?
Maybe they will, maybe they won’t…
As it is only the first week of January 2017 we don’t know all the horrors that will be definitively released this year. However hear are some pencilled in for release this year, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Friday the 13th – 13/10/17
Breck Eisner, who remade The Crazies, and directed Sahara, is lined up as the director on another instalment, remake, reboot, prequel, or whatever it is supposed to be of legendary slasher franchise Friday the 13th. Interestingly with a release date that falls on a Friday the 13th, maybe it will actually see the light of day this year instead of being rumoured about for years.
Saw: Legacy – 27/10/17
The Saw franchise will go down as a prime example of what happens when you bastardise an creative concept. Yet another devilishly entertaining film from James Wan and Leigh Whannell was pummelled into the ground for profit, and it looks like the cash cow is rearing its ugly head once again. Though I must say that the Spierig brothers are on board to direct the film is promising, especially following their efforts on Undead, Daybreakers, and Predestination.
Amityville: The Awakening – ???
Quite honestly we might actually see the Avatar sequels before we see this, and I’m sure Dimension Films are waiting for one of two things before deciding what to do with this film. Either they are waiting for star Bella Thorne to become a household name and release this oft delayed film (it has been 3 bloody years since it was shot) when she does. Similar to how The House at the End of the Street ended up with Jennifer Lawrence. Or they will just keep pushing it back in the vain hope we’ll completely forget the film ever existed. Either way the trailer is pap and I have zero expectations.
So there we have it, a provisional list of the horror films you can expect to see at some point this year. What are you looking forward to the most?