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Horror Movies 2019 – Guide

6th  Zombieland Too
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Released: October 11, 2019

Nervy Columbus (Eisenberg), cocky Tallahassee (Harrelson), sarcastic Wichita (Stone) and her sneaky sister Little Rock (Breslin) go from the White House to the American heartland as they face off against evolved super-zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family… ‘Zombieland Too’ will open on October 11, the 10th anniversary of the original film’s release. Hard to imagine that crew of characters would still be together 10 years later, but somehow this feels like the right time. All four lead actors are now Academy Award nominees. Original ‘Zombieland’ director Ruben Fleischer returns, having last directed sleeper mega-hit ‘Venom’. He re-teams with original writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who wrote both ‘Deadpool’ movies. In other words, the behind-camera team are as white hot as can be imagined right now. They could pick any project in Hollywood, so the fact they’re on this means it must have something special. I wonder who the megastar cameo will be this time?…

5th  The New Mutants
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt
Director: Josh Boone
Released: August 2, 2019

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Five young mutants discover their abilities while being held in a secret facility against their will, fighting to escape their past sins and save themselves… Standalone spinoff expanding the X-Men universe. The mutants are Magik (Taylor-Joy, ‘Split’) a Russian with sorcery powers who uses teleportation discs to travel, Wolfsbane (Williams, ‘Game of Thrones’) a Scottish mutant struggling to reconcile her religious beliefs with her power to turn into a wolf, Cannonball (Heaton, ‘Stranger Things’) a Kentuckian mutant who can propel himself into the air and is invulnerable while doing so, Sunspot (Zaga, TV’s ‘Teen Wolf’) a Brazilian mutant with the ability to manipulate solar energy, and Mirage (Hunt, TV’s ‘The Originals’) a Native American mutant who has the power to create illusions drawn from the fears and desires of a person’s mind. They are overseen by stern mentor Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga, ‘Predators’) who has the ability to generate a protective bio-field around herself. The director says that while Demon Bear is not the villain (a creature which draws power from negative human emotion and is capable of transformation and the corruption of human souls) the story is “very much inspired” by the Demon Bear comic storyline. The film’s described as superhero-horror or “a haunted-house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers”, influenced by the likes of ‘The Shining’, ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and ‘The Breakfast Club’. “Fox’s Marvel’s: Elm Street Dream Warriors Part 3” is a shorthand. It’s certainly a change of tone for director Josh Boone who’s only films have been romantic-dramas ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and ‘Stuck in Love’. The trailer dropped back in Oct 2017, but delays have meant the film isn’t coming out until two years later. Reportedly Boone originally wanted to make a full-on horror, but was forced by the studio to tone it more like a Young Adult movie. Then after a strong response to its (slightly mis-sold) horror trailer and the box office bonanza of ‘It’, Fox decided to move it back to Boone’s original horror vision, asking him to reshoot half the movie, which included several all-new characters. Phew. It’s hard to imagine that much indecision is a good thing, but whether reshoots made this ‘Fantastic Four’ or ‘Rogue One’ quality is hard to call.

4nd  The Lighthouse
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson
Director: Robert Eggers
Released: TBC 2019

Set in the world of old sea-faring myths, this is the story of an ageing lighthouse keeper named Old (Dafoe) who lives in early 20th-century Maine… Director Robert Eggers’ first film since ‘The Witch’ remains secretive but is described as dark fantasy-horror. It’s being shot on 35mm black and white by the DP from ‘The Witch’, meaning it’ll look stunning but is headed in more arthouse direction. Being historically-set, like ‘The Witch’, is a huge asset. Eggers’ last used period language in a way that was extraordinarily literate for the genre (e.g. the boy’s soliloquy). Robert Pattinson recently admitted that filming ‘The Lighthouse’ was “the closest I’ve come to punching a director” due to repetitious takes and the physicality of Eggers’ watery conditions. Willem Dafoe is one hell of an actor to have as leading man (even if it’s always difficult to shake Goblin). Has there actually been a scary black and white film since 1960’s ‘Psycho’ and 63’s ‘The Haunting’? This is bristling with potential.

3rd  Midsommar
Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter
Director: Ari Aster
Released: TBC 2019

A young woman (Pugh, ‘Lady Macbeth’) reluctantly joins her boyfriend (Reynor, ‘Detroit’) on a trip to a fabled mid-summer festival at a friend’s village in Sweden (Poulter, ‘Detroit’). There they discover the residents’ peculiar traditions and rituals, and since one of them is carrying the pain of a recent death, these rituals begin to take on an unexpected menace. As things go awry the couple is pushed to an “apocalyptic breakup”… This comes from Ari Aster, writer-director of ‘Hereditary’, easily the most intelligent and chilling horror of last year (despite getting a D+ audience CinemaScore). ‘Midsommar’ is another straight up chillfest, this time described as “Scandinavian folk horror”. Again it features the recent death of a family member and a pagan cult, which sounds like a retread, but Aster says “it has no ties to the supernatural,” and focuses more on “a generous amount of psychedelia.” The meticulously designed house in ‘Hereditary’ showed the importance Aster puts on aesthetics and production design, and here he’s designed and constructed an intricate 15-building village. He says it’s his last project in the genre for a long while, as he wants to move onto other things.

2nd  Us
Starring: Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker
Director: Jordan Peele
Released: March 15, 2019

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Director Jordan Peele (of ‘Key & Peele’) is returning to “social-horror thriller” territory after ‘Get Out’. And who can blame him with the phenomena that was, taking $255 million theatrically worldwide from a $4.5m budget, entering the cultural psyche, provoking discussion, and earning an Oscar for Peele’s screenplay (not to mention nominations for Picture and Best Actor). As George Romero showed us long ago, mixing social allegory in with horror gives it a special potency and protects it against critical sneering. ‘Us’ is being called an unofficial sequel, or spiritual sequel, but the plot is under wraps. The only clues are the poster, its description as a “new nightmare”, a budget 5x larger, and reporting that it’s about a black couple (Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong, ‘Black Panther’) and a white couple (Elisabeth Moss, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and Tim Heidecker, ‘Tim & Eric’). Expect this to make waves all over again, even if it’ll struggle to top the extraordinary impact of ‘Get Out’.

1st  It: Chapter Two
Starring: James McAvoy, Bill Skarsgård, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader
Director: Andy Muschietti
Released: September 6, 2019

27 years after the horrific events of the summer of 1989, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away. But a devastating phone call brings them back to Derry, to fulfil their promise and put an end to “It”, the terrifying shape-shifting beast, once and for all… Adaptation of the second half of Stephen King’s 1986 novel. James McAvoy takes over as Bill, the stuttering yet resourcefully determined leader of the Losers’ Club, who’s now a mystery writer. Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, and Andy Bean portray the other adult versions of the Club, with the original cast returning for flashback scenes. The first film was simply a phenomena, becoming the most profitable horror film of all time ($700 million worldwide from a $35m budget), and establishing Pennywise as a household name. It was also a strong film, a perfect re-encapsulation of the world of King for a new generation. The young cast were smart, funny and had great chemistry – if you can take out the monster and still have a great film that’s saying something. Pennywise’s scare sequences were inventive and memorable. With the same excellent director and screenwriter on board, and the material long since established, expect this to feel more like a conclusion than a sequel.

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Also See: 25 Best Horror Movies 2018

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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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