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Horror Movies 2019 – Guide

19th  We Summon the Darkness
Starring: Logan Miller, Alexandra Daddario, Amy Forsyth, Johnny Knoxville
Director: Marc Meyers
Released: TBC 2019
best horror movies 2019

It’s 1988 and people are terrorised by a nationwide rash of apparently Satanic murders, which appear to be connected to kids who go to heavy metal concerts. Three girls in their early 20s (inc Alexandra Daddario, ‘Baywatch’ and Amy Forsyth, ‘Hell Fest’) meet three guys (inc Logan Miller, ‘Scouts Guide Apocalypse’) at such a concert and go back to a vacant country house, where the boys learn to their horror that the girls are not the enthusiastic heavy metal fans they seem to be, but something much more terrifying… This comes from the director of ‘My Friend Dahmer’ which was well acted, mature and skillfully characterised. ‘Summon The Darkness’ doesn’t have the same brilliant graphic novel source material, but instead originates from the screenwriter of the ho-hum ‘Burying My Ex’. It’s also far more lighthearted than ‘Dahmer’, at least I’m assuming so since Johnny Knoxville is cast as a pastor. The last horror-comedy made about heavy metal, ‘Deathgasm’, was an overlooked gem.

18th  Annabelle 3
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
Director: Gary Dauberman
Released: July 3, 2019
Top Horror Films 2019

Set after the first ‘Annabelle’ movie and the Warrens’ acquisition of the doll during ‘The Conjuring’, this focuses on the demon soon after it’s placed in the sacred glass box of the Warrens’ locked artefacts room. Annabelle awakens the room’s evil, which sets its sights on a new target: the Warrens’ 10-year-old daughter. As her parents are away for the night, the only protection will be her friends, cousin and teen babysitter… The screenwriter of ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Annabelle: Creation’ makes his directorial debut. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as the Warrens’, playing their first significant role in a Conjuring spinoff. They’re solid actors, and the concept is a decent one: broadening the threat with the entire museum (they have a demonic ‘Night At The Museum’ in mind), and putting the Warren’s own kid in danger. But the outcome will depend on the quality of the script (the previous two have been decent but forgettable), the untested director and how much screentime the Warrens’ actually get. If they’re just bookending it, the film won’t benefit much.

17nd  The Dead Don’t Die
Starring: Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Released: TBC 2019
good horror movies 2019

Director Jim Jarmusch returns to the genre after the success of vampire comedy ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, for his take on the zombie-com. Little is known except Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny play cops (see pic above), Steve Buscemi is a farmer, and Tom Waits a hermit. The main cast have all starred in Jarmusch films before, including Murray (‘Broken Flowers’ +3), Driver (‘Paterson’), Sevigny (‘Broken Flowers’), Buscemi (‘Mystery Train’) and Tilda Swinton (‘Only Lovers Left Alive’). All except Selena Gomez. Jarmusch’s films are eccentric, minimalist and unhurried, favouring mood, character and music over clear plot progression or narrative structure. I find the tranquillised comedy doesn’t rise to more than wry smile territory but he’s amassed a loyal following as one of the faces of award-winning independent cinema for 35 years. ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ feels like a good fit, it has a stellar cast, and Bill Murray hunting zombies will be one of life’s pleasures.

16th  Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Starring: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush
Director: André Øvredal
Released: August 9, 2019
Best Horror 2019 Movies

To solve the mystery surrounding a wave of spectacularly horrific deaths in their small town, a group of teens must face their fears… Based on the infamous 1980’s horror-for-kids anthologies that became the most banned children’s books for over a decade. They were made up of folklore-style gruesome tales (including, for example, eating a human toe, and a farmer getting skinned alive), it was the graphically-creepy illustrations (see above) that made them most shocking. Does the movie version belong in this genre guide or is it another ‘Goosebumps’? Well, the notorious boundary-pushing reputation suggests a harder tone. The director made the definitely-horrific ‘Autopsy of Jane Doe’ and Guillermo del Toro is writer-producer. On the other hand, it’s co-scripted by the duo behind ‘The Lego Movie’. Wherever it lands, this is an intriguing project with calibre behind the camera.

15th  Crawl
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson
Director: Alexandre Aja
Released: TBC 2019

While attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, a young woman (Scolelario, ‘Pirates: Salazar’s Revenge’) finds herself trapped in a flooding house and fighting for her life against alligators… Produced by Sam Raimi, this is directed by Frenchman Alexandre Aja. From ‘Haute Tension’ to ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ remake to ‘Horns’, Aja is one of the most capable, and most overlooked, horror directors around. He’s nuanced but not pretentious either, unashamed to have fun with something like ‘Piranha 3D’. ‘Crawl’ definitely has the potential to be cheesy, I hope it’s treated seriously, but with him behind the camera it’ll be entertaining either way. Struggling studio Paramount gave the green-light after the massive success of similarly low-budget horror ‘A Quiet Place’. It’s the first part of their new deal with Raimi’s Ghost House, who made similar cat-and-mouse horror hit ‘Don’t Breathe’. ‘Crawl’ doesn’t have the concept to match those successes, but as the number of options for this list shows, the resurgence of the genre at the box office makes it a good time to be a horror fan.

14th  Grudge
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Lin Shaye, Jacki Weaver
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Released: June 21, 2019
best horror film 2018

A single mother and young detective (Riseborough) runs to save herself and her son from demonic spirits from a cursed house in her neighbourhood… Reboot of 2002 vengeful ghost Japanese horror ‘Ju-on’, which was remade by its director in 2004 starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. For me the 2004 US version is the most under-rated horror of the last 20 years. It’s the last time I recall getting consistent chills of fear in the cinema, while employing a clever narrative, deeply creepy atmosphere and brilliant scares. The production here says the new mission is to “explore the horrors of American suburbia. Not approaching this as a remake of the Gellar film, or of ‘Ju-on’. This is pushing the mythology forward, while keeping the concepts and spirit of those movies, finding a new way to tell a story within that world.” The cast is good, but seem to have been chosen because they were already in other horrors: Andrea Riseborough (‘Mandy’), Demian Bichir (‘The Nun’), Lin Shaye (‘Insidious’), John Cho (TV’s ‘The Exorcist’), William Sadler (‘The Mist’) and Jacki Weaver (‘Stoker’). The ‘Rings’ re-launch didn’t exactly go well and the moment for J-horror seems to have passed. But it was partly the Japanese setting for the Gellar film that gave it a unique feeling for western audiences. It was also it’s masterful playing with timelines and out of sequence storytelling. ‘Grudge’ 2019 sounds linear and, from the logline, much by the numbers. However this does have Sam Raimi producing again, as the 2004 remake did, and has the writer-director of the critically-lauded ‘The Eyes of My Mother’ and ‘Piercing’. For now I’ll trust they know what they’re doing.

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6 Comments »

  • gd smith said

    I love the Brightburn trailer. I suspect the Bundy film will be more of drama than a horror movie

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      So far so great on Brightburn. Yeah Bundy could easily go the way of ‘My Friend Dahmer’, which didn’t have a drop of blood. It was still sinister and fascinating though.

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  • ReneCat said

    First of all I must disagree with what you said about Jarmusch as I LOVED Paterson and normally I hate those kinds of movies. But you are right about The Dead Don’ t Die having a stellar cast. Now I must REALLY disagree with what you said about Child’s Play! I believed there was NOTHING wrong with the back story and Chucky WON’T be Chucky without Brad Dourif. Just sayin’.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Fair enough. I haven’t seen ‘Paterson’ and am open to my mind being changed. Each to their own on Chucky, Dourif gave him a ton of character but there’s been enough comic Chucky movies for my liking, I’m hoping for something frightening this time out. I know I’m in the minority there.

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    • gd smith said

      Ghost Dog. A hip Hop samurai inspired gangster movie about being loyal to your master with an awesome Wu Tang soundtrack, cool plot, good shoot outs and some funny scenes.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Updated with: ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ trailer

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