You just read our TOP PICKS OF 2012 right HERE and HERE. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start getting excited for the new stuff arriving in 2013! And there’s quite a bevy of intriguing and diverse genre material on its way. Some of it original, some are sequels, and a good chunk are remakes, but surprisingly, this is the first year where we’re pretty stoked about the remakes on queue because they all look like they’re in the right hands this time. (And not Platinum Dunes hands. Whew!) There are a batch of these titles that we were fortunate to get an early look at, so I’ll make mention of that as we get to them and let you know if they get the official ICONS Seal Of Approval. So, without further ado, let’s go through our most anticipated picks for 2013, in order of their release dates!
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (January 4th)
SEEN! ICONS APPROVAL? 60 % Approve/40 % Disapprove.
It’s been almost 7 years since we’ve had a TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE movie and almost 2 decades since we’ve had one in the original franchises’ continuity, so the first reason to celebrate is that Platinum Dunes no longer has the rights to the CHAINSAW franchise, meaning… to hell with the “Hewitts”, this movie gives us the original family the Sawyers back! Also, this is a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 classic. It literally recaps the best bits in the opening 5 minutes (in 3D which is pretty cool) and then gives us a new scene that takes place directly after the final moments of the first film. So consider this an alternate timeline for a sequel, as it doesn’t follow what Hooper established with his 1986 sequel. Does it work? Pretty much all the bits that connect to the original and involve Leatherface do. What doesn’t? Man, do I despise the new group of kids introduced in this. Thankfully, they’re not in the picture very long so that’s why I give this a 60/40 percent approval. Either way, nice to have Leatherface back!
JOHN DIES AT THE END (January 25th)
Aw, man! Here’s one I’m dying to see. It’s already available via VOD but the limited theatrical release doesn’t hit until January 25th and that’s the way I’d personally prefer to see the latest from Don Coscarelli. Like most of you out there, I love the PHANTASM franchise, but hell, BUBBA HO-TEP is among one of my favorite horror/comedies of the last decade, and it’s also the last movie that Coscarelli directed! So I’m excited to see his follow-up which looks very much in the style and spirit of BUBBA HO-TEP. Check out the trailer for yourself!
WARM BODIES (February 1st)
SEEN! ICONS APPROVED! (Review HERE!)
I know nothing about the original novel by Isaac Marion that this movie is based on. And I’ve heard rumblings that this is the “TWILIGHT of zombies”. But I don’t see any of that in this trailer, which is solely what I’m basing my interest in this in. It just looks like a humorous zombie movie. And at this point, I’m pretty sick and tired of zombie flicks, so if anyone attempts to do something new with that sub-genre, I’m willing to give it a chance. Our own staffer Justin got to see it a bit early and did a WARM BODIES review and gives it an ICONS approval. What do you think from the trailer below?
DARK SKIES (February 22nd)
Whoa. Where’d this one come from? Apparently from the team behind INSIDIOUS and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, that’s where! While I personally can’t stand the PARANORMAL movies, I am always interested in what Blumhouse Productions is up to and this looks like a spooky good time. Who the hell is “the Sandman” this little kid is referencing? What’s up with the birds crashing into the house? (Which is awesome by the way.) Keri Russell! Where’s she been? Nice to see her again. Color me intrigued. This could be this year’s SINISTER.
THE ABC’S OF DEATH (March 8th)
This one will be available via VOD on January 31st, but it’ll get a limited theatrical release on March 8th, my preferred method of horror movie viewing. Not sure exactly what this entails other than 26 different filmmakers (including Ti West, Adam Wingard, Xavier Gens, Jason Eisner and many, many more) contributing shorts based on one letter of the alphabet. Since it’s an anthology, I’m sure some skits will be great, some will not, but regardless, the trailer makes this looks like bat-shit insanity. Looking forward to this overwhelming sensory overload.
CARRIE (March 15th)
Look, I love the Brian De Palma CARRIE, but that came out in 1976! And there was a sequel THE RAGE: CARRIE 2, as well as a made for TV movie CARRIE starring MAY actress Angela Bettis. So I think there’s been enough time since the original and sequels to open this up for a more modern interpretation. And then you’ve got Kimberly Pierce (BOYS DON’T CRY) directing and a cast led by Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. You’ve got my attention. Plus, this teaser is fantastic. It shows scope in the aftermath of Carrie’s meltdown and then we get a quick glimpse of the title gal herself. I’m in.
THE EVIL DEAD (April 12th)
I know this is another hot spot for debate, but ya know what? This teaser trailer is BAD-ASS. And with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell all on board supervising this remake, I think they know what they’re doing. Who are we to tell them what THE EVIL DEAD should be? Raimi wanted to see director Fede Alvarez’s version of his classic “cabin in the woods” story and he’s delivering it. Perhaps this’ll be the movie that disappointed horror fans wanted CABIN IN THE WOODS to be. Also, that poster… man that’s ballsy, but they are flat out advertising it as “the most terrifying film you will ever see”. Oh yeah? BRING IT!!!
MANIAC (Spring 2013)
SEEN! ICONS TOP SEAL OF APPROVAL! (Review HERE!)
Like most of you, I’m always skeptical at the initial announcement of any remake, at least until I hear who’s involved, and even then, something obscure like MANIAC (at least obscure to the general public, I know all you horror fans know it) is always somewhat questionable, but having seen it? I can tell you this was surprisingly the real deal. This does what any great remake is supposed to do – take the core elements of the original, build or expand upon them and then make it their own. This does all that and more. I might even like it a bit more than the original because on a technical level, it’s as impressive as a “slasher” movie could ever get. The fact that they maintain the POV of the killer for the entire flick is an achievement in itself but then it doesn’t shy away from the gore or horrific atrocities of Frank Zito, beautifully played by Elijah Wood. Plus the score by the mysterious composer simple credited as Rob is fantastic. This is a MUST SEE. Flawless victory.
THE LORDS OF SALEM (Spring 2013)
I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Rob Zombie fan in either medium. His music is OK (I love “Dragula” and “Living Dead Girl”, but who doesn’t?) and while I’m not a fan of HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, I did love THE DEVIL’S REJECTS and think he has a very distinct style when he’s doing his own thing. The HALLOWEEN movies have things I like and don’t like about them, but I’ve been eager to see him get back to completely original material. And THE LORDS OF SALEM looks like a Kubrick-ian version of Zombie’s vision. The visuals in this trailer are pretty beautiful and as always, he’s filled up the cast with a bevy of actors (Barbara Crampton, Meg Foster, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Maria Conchita Alonso) genre fans always welcome seeing. Early reviews from the Toronto Film Festival were split down the middle with some people calling it Zombie’s strongest film yet and others absolutely hating it. For that alone, I’m definitely curious and excited for this one.
THIS IS THE END (June 14th)
Yep, this ain’t horror. It’s definitely a comedy but I’m including it here for a number of reasons. 1- I’m a fan of all these actors in their respective comedies so seeing them all together in this meta story of the Apocalypse looks like a great time. 2- While it may not be horror, judging from bits of this trailer, we’re going to be treated to some pretty graphic over-the-top gory kills! (And possibly aliens?) And most definitely Emma Watson with an ax. SOLD! 3- Jay Baruchel is wearing a FRIGHT-RAGS “zombie vs shark” (from Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE) t-shirt. Automatic win. And respect. 4- ICONS is my own website. I can write about whatever the hell I want to here, so there!
WORLD WAR Z (June 21st)
I don’t know about this one. It’s a big budget “studio” zombie movie based upon Max Brooks best selling novel, yet from what I’ve heard, the only thing the novel and this movie share in common is the name. So fans of the book can scratch this off their “to-see” list. But then again, as it’s own entity, it might be a fun zombie flick of epic proportions. That is if they can decide what the zombies will look like in the final film. Notice we don’t get a single decent look at the undead here? That’s the studio not knowing what the hell they want. Well, they’ve got 6 months to figure it out and I hope the results are at least mildly entertaining. Oh yeah, Brad Pitt’s in this.
PACIFIC RIM (July 12th)
I’m not nearly as exciting about this as everyone else seems to be, but the prospect of seeing giant robots fight giant monsters definitely appeals to the monster kid in me! It’s just nice to have a new Guillermo Del Toro movie finally coming out. It bums me out hearing about a dozen projects he’s supposed to be doing and then realizing his last actual directorial effort was HELLBOY 2 in 2008! All the stuff he puts his name on as “Guillermo Del Toro presents” is terrible. (Sorry, WHILE SHE WAS OUT and DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK) But here’s hoping this one starts a trend of more Del Toro directed movies on a semi-annual basis.
THE CONJURING (July 19th)
Very little is known about THE CONJURING as of right now, other than it’s the big budget follow-up for INSIDIOUS director James Wan from New Line Cinema. And it stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga and Ron Livingston. Fascinating solid cast. Great director with spooky subject matter and that odd photo above put this on the “to see” list for sure. A trailer should be dropping shortly so keep your eyes on ICONS for that.
YOU’RE NEXT (August 23rd)
SEEN! ICONS APPROVED!
YOU’RE NEXT is the follow-up to director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett’s indie effort A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE and it also brings back the primary cast of that film, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg & Amy Seimetz along with genre fan favorite Barbara Crampton, as well as directors Ti West and Larry Fessenden in small roles. The real star of the show however is the super hot and bad-ass Australian Sharni Vinson as you’ll see when the movie opens late summer. It definitely takes the “home invasion” sub-genre in new territory and guides the audience along a really fun ride. Think THE STRANGERS meets HOME ALONE and you’re somewhere in the neighborhood of what this one is. Keep your eyes peeled for the trailer to this one. We’ll post it as soon as it drops!
AMERICAN MARY (Fall 2013)
SEEN! ICONS APPROVED! (Review HERE!)
AMERICAN MARY is a really impressive sophomore film from the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia) starring Katherine Isabelle (GINGER SNAPS, FREDDY VS JASON) as an aspiring surgeon who’s life takes a drastic turn after an incident with her professor skews her view of the medical world and leads her down a twisted path of body modification. This has got traces of David Cronenberg all over it’s DNA and is definitely not for the squeamish, but if you like your horror to be weird, unique and different, add this to your queue for 2013.
THE SACRAMENT (Fall 2013)
Very little is known about THE SACRAMENT which just wrapped production. But all you need know is it’s an Eli Roth presentation, a Ti West film and stars AJ Bowen. ‘Nuff said.
NURSE 3D (TBA 2013)
Last but not least is NURSE 3D, a film I know nothing about other than it’s helmed by Douglas Aarniokoski (THE DAY) and stars Paz de la Huerta, Katrina Bowden and Judd Nelson. Um and it has the above poster. And is in 3D. Yep, I’m in. Lionsgate was supposed to release this at some point in 2012, but it got delayed until sometime in 2013. We’ll keep you posted on a trailer as soon as it drops.
A&E’s BATES MOTEL (TV Series – Airs in March)
You ready for a radical modern re-imagining of the PSYCHO legend? Well, ready or not, BATES MOTEL kicks off its 10 episode first season on A&E starting in March. And with Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates, and a vibe that feels very AMERICAN HORROR STORY, this series could be something special. Check out this trailer/behind the scenes featurette below!
There ya have it, FRIGHT fiends.
Which titles are YOU most excited about in 2013???