Release Date: 7 January 2011
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Graham, Christopher Lee
Director: Dominic Sena
Not the long awaited remake of Halloween III, this period horror sees Nicolas Cage as a medieval knight who agrees to transport a devious witch to an abbey where her powers can be destroyed. Even though he’s playing a Crusader, Cage is sporting an American accent. Expect more of such silliness from director-of-the-ridiculous Dominic Sena (Swordfish, Gone In 60 Seconds). The movie does however have a nice old-school Hammer Horror vibe and feels kinda fresh thanks to its unusual concept.
Release Date: 28 January 2011
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Toby Jones, Alice Braga, Rutger Hauer
Director: Mikael Håfström
A young American priest enrols at the Vatican’s exorcist school but has his doubts so is put in the care of Anthony Hopkins. The two go on a series of exorcism adventures, that will no doubt involve scenes copied from other exorcist movies. Hopkins has been on low-effort cruise control for years. The director helmed the excellent 1408, but advance word on The Rite is poor.
Release Date: 4 February 2011
Starring: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet
Director: Christian E. Christiansen
Sara (Kelly) is a college student randomly assigned to a freshman dorm with a stranger named Rebecca (Meester). They start off as friends but things turn deadly as Rebecca becomes obsessed with Sara and begins to target people in her life. So this is basically a remake of Single White Female, with less edge. The director has no real experience in the thriller/horror genre. Has bland written all over it.
Release Date: 4 March 2011
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
What if the Apollo missions to the moon hadn’t stopped at 17? The real Apollo 18 was cancelled by NASA in the 70s, but this supposes it secretly went ahead and found alien life. The movie will made up of found footage purported to have been shot by the crew of the shuttle. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) produces, and it’s directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, a Spanish director new to Hollywood. Made quickly and for little money it’s proved controversial in Hollywood since it has an identical premise to a much bigger movie, Dark Moon, that is slowly being developed for release in 2013.
Red Riding Hood
Release Date: 11 March 2011
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Max Irons, Julie Christie, Virginia Madsen
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Gothic retelling of the Red Riding Hood fable, set in a village haunted by a werewolf, with a teenage love triangle at its centre. Valerie, the girl with the Red Riding Hood, seeks the assistance of a hunter to fight the creature. Anything with Gary Oldman and a werewolf is worthy of attention. The story of the wolf-disguised-as-grandmother was published by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century, but earlier versions from the Middle Ages were darker and sometimes featured a werewolf instead/Riding Hood being eaten. This all sounds intriguing, but is the director of the poorly-shot Twilight really up to the job? David Leslie Johnson (Orphan) wrote the script.
Release Date: 11 March 2011
Starring: Sean Bean, Kimberley Nixon, Carice van Houten, Eddie Redmayne, John Lynch
Director: Christopher Smith
Journey to an apocalyptic medieval world during the first outbreak of the bubonic plague. A band of brothers are on a quest to hunt down a necromancer, rumoured to have made a pact with the forces of darkness and raised the dead in a small village. From the British director of Creep and Severance. Black Death has already been released in the UK where critics gave it an impressive 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, calling it a well-acted, twisty Gothic horror, with grisliness that’s a tad too over the top.
Vanishing On 7th Street
Release Date: TBC March 2011
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo
Director: Brad Anderson
A massive power outage plunges Detroit into darkness, and almost the entire population vanishes into thin air. A small group of survivors gather in an abandoned tavern, where they realise the darkness itself is out to get them and only the diminishing light sources can keep them safe. Director Brad Anderson (Session 9, The Machinist, Transsiberian) makes thoughtful, suspenseful horror/thrillers. He’s the reason to be excited about this. Except advance buzz, again, isn’t very good.
Release Date: 1 April 2011
Starring: Jamie King, Rebecca De Mornay, Patrick Flueger, Briana Evigan, Shawn Ashmore
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Remake of the 1980 Troma ‘cult classic’, Mother’s Day sees a sadist family return to their childhood home to terrorize the new home owners and their guests. Jamie King and Rebecca De Mornay play the mothers of each family. Director Darren Lynn Bousman brought us Saw II – IV and Repo! The Genetic Opera. Early reviews for this psychological horror-thriller haven’t been great.
Release Date: 15 April 2011
Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts
Director: Wes Craven
Scream transformed the horror landscape when it came out in ’96, kicking off the second slasher cycle (the first was after Halloween) and bringing a truly unique tone to the genre. Brilliantly directed as it was, it was Kevin Williamson’s script that really was a cut above. Scream 2 was largely a success too. Then the studio stupidly booted Williamson for the third instalment and the result was something like a Scooby Doo episode. We’re excited about Scream 4 because Williamson is back, and there are 10 years of horror movies (from Asian ghost movies to torture porn) to riff off, in that clever but still frightening way. It’s going to be interesting to see how the clearly-too-old-to-be-doing-this cast (Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox) is melded with the new generation (Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere etc). Will they kill off Sidney Prescott?
Release Date: TBC Spring 2011
Starrring: Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee
Director: Antti Jokinen (his first movie)
Hammer’s first film for over 30 years stars Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Hammer veteran Christopher Lee. Swank plays a doctor who moves to a, er, swanky apartment in Brooklyn only to slowly realise that the landlord (Morgan) is developing a dangerous obsession with her. A terrifying game of cat and mouse ensues as she fights to free herself from his sinister intentions. The plot doesn’t read like a Hammer Horror movie at all. It’s clearly just a brand name that was bought by the highest bidder.
Release Date: 13 May 2011
Starring: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Karl Urban, Christopher Plummer
Director: Scott Charles Stewart
3D action-horror adaptation of the TokyoPop comic book, about a warrior priest in a world ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampire, who turns against the church to track down the murderous band of vampires who kidnapped his niece. Produced by Sam Raimi, it’s been described as a “vampire western”. Priest is not to be confused with Legion, which also starred Paul Bettany as an ass-kicking man of God, even though it’s directed by the same guy.
5nal Destination (Final Destination 5 3D)
Release Date: 26 August 2011
Starring: Emma Bell, David Koechner, Tony Todd, Courtney B. Vance, Miles Fisher
Director: Steven Quale
‘The Final Destination’ (4) was given a huge boost by the addition of 3D, resulting in a $186m worldwide theatrical gross from its $40m production budget. So the producers’ grand design is to run this idea into the ground, even though the story ran out in the first movie. In this 5th episode, one man’s premonition saves a group of co-workers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. But the group were never supposed to survive, and the Grim Reaper is working overtime, nudging over paint cans etc, to finish them off. Can they find a way to escape the pre-determined pattern of their demise? Don’t expect anything new here, the series has become more of a roller coaster ride than a movie. Some say the title looks like Anal Destination.
Release Date: 9 September 2011
Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Luke Pasqualino, Julianna Guill
Director: Todd Lincoln (his first movie)
Haunted house tale ‘based on true events’, about a grad student (with a secret) and his girlfriend being terrorised by a supernatural presence unleashed during a college experiment. It’s set in a cul-de-sac in the Valley, in an area where a lot of houses didn’t ever get finished, so the couple are alone in a yet-to-be-formed neighbourhood. Twilight’s Ashley Greene stars with Gossip Girl’s Sebastian Stan and Harry Potter’s Tom ‘Draco’ Felton. Producer Joel Silver (House Of Wax, Gothika) says the movie was influenced by Paranormal Activity. Influenced by its box office more like.
Piranha 3 DD
Release Date: 16 September 2011
Director: John Gulager
Alexandre Aja’s Piranha made $65m at the worldwide box office, from a $24m budget. It also earned a surprising 75% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. So the producers want to rush out the sequel, real fast, ala Paranormal Activity/Saw. It’s a whole new creative team this time which sees the director of the Feast trilogy joining forces with the writers of Saws IV – VII. The producers are also holding a public poll asking which celebrity we’d like to see eaten by fish. With that and the title (‘double D’), this is already turning into a classy production.
Release Date: 7 October 2011
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette
Director: Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl)
Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin is Charley Brewster, the young man trying to convince everyone that a murderous vampire (Colin Farrell) has moved in next door. He turns to gothic TV celebrity Peter Vincent (David Tennant) only to find he’s not the tough vampire hunter he portrays. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is Charley’s best friend ‘Evil’ Ed, and Toni Collette plays the mum. The 80s original was an enjoyable, well written comedy horror. This has upped the stakes with a near perfect cast of fun actors.
Release Date: 14 October 2011
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Eric Christian Olsen
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic. There’s still so much mileage in this concept (if they are smart filmmakers), the setting and idea haven’t really been revisited by other movies since, and seeing my favourite horror movie ‘prequelised’ decades later has a big curiosity appeal. But the prequel has already dropped the ball on two unconventional, but key, elements that helped make the original so unique – the all male cast has gone (the lead is now a hot female who’s helicoptered in), and the large cast of 12 mostly older character-actors has been replaced by the conventional 7 younger characters. It’s asking a lot, but if The Thing prequel turns out to be the smart, well written whodunit mystery it should be, and it stays away from cgi for its creature fx, this could be something special.
Paranormal Activity 3
Release Date: 21 October 2011
Starring: Katie Featherston
Director: Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2)
11 11 11
Release Date: 11 November 2011
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
This is one release date they can’t afford to miss, because the release date is the movie. 11 11 11 is a ‘sinister number’ movie, similar to The Number 23, with shades of Knowing. It’s a dark interpretation of the held-by-a-handful-of-people-belief that on 11:11 on the 11th day of the 11th month, the 11th gate of Heaven (there are 11) will open up and something from another world will enter the earthly realm for 49 minutes. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who did underrated work on Saws II – IV.
Release Date: TBC 2011
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer
Director: James Watkins (Eden Lake)
So my favourite play, and TV movie, is being turned into a theatrical movie. And from the pictures so far, they’ve nailed the look of it. Daniel ‘Potter’ Radcliffe plays a lawyer who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in the client’s isolated house, he begins to uncover tragic secrets, and glimpse a freaky mysterious woman dressed only in black. Radcliffe’s well suited to this role. Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Stardust) adapted the ’83 novel. Can’t wait.