Many fans of horror movies rejoiced over these past few years, as a barrage of ghostly and slasher flicks grabbed everyone by their throats. Many prominent Horror titles enjoyed massive hype and solid feedback, with names such as Us, Get Out, and The Witch showing on your screen, they raised the bar pretty high up for this year’s scary movies to kick it up a notch, and so far, so good. In 2019 we have solid contenders that will scare your friends and family out of their chairs.
These last few years, a lot of those high-quality market releases and production houses relied on hellish drug trips, cult stories, malevolent spirits, witches, and collective hive minds as standard horror niches to frighten us out of our minds. But, it goes without saying, it’s just for the sake of the Halloween spirit and the suspense that goes hand-in-hand. We’ll turn a blind eye on boring cliches just to see friends scared out of their seats.
You can’t just ignore the traditionally carved pumpkins, horror stories, pumpkin cuisine, and heat-defying costumes, because it’s so much fun to experience and appreciate the general atmosphere of watching horror flicks on Halloween. It’s more than just plain fun. I’ve personally seen people over the age of 30 that subsequently sleep with lights on after a couple of high-quality Horror DVDs, accompanied by a nasty sugar rush. Grab your popcorn and enjoy this year’s great films, chock full of delightful frights and spookiness. We filtered out some of the jumpscares and present to you the cream of the crop.
We’re starting out with The Endless. This flick is actually a second film in a row out of two worlds made by collaborating directors. You see, the horror genre is slowly breathing out a fresh air of greatness with names like Hereditary, and The Witch, which shed light on lesser-known essences and notions of a sensational experience in horror movies. They showcase brilliance and sensibility not heard, seen, or felt in a long time.
Besides receiving praise from critics, Benson and Moorhead have kept their head down bellow from the radar of hype, and their movie showcases absolute rawness of the human condition, the predictability of its nature, and the mishmash of non-reality and a very human mind. Its predecessor, Resolution, isn’t exactly a stepping stone for the movie, but it bears a simple resemblance. The movie doesn’t really channel everything at once, but it tends to focus on the portrayal of fiction and reality. One can’t help but think of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, once the craziness kicks in.
The team behind Conjuring has this one in the pocket. Please pay no attention to the jump scares (there are two or three), and focus on the sheer terror of the shadowy figures of horror dolls past. Annabelle returns, and we cannot be more pleased. This third Annabelle movie doesn’t offer any new and fresh takes, and doesn’t pave the way for new tricks and masteries. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t pack any punches, or jumps. The Warrens, as heroes, bring the whole thing together and they portray very human emotions and warmth, among the debris of sheer terror and threatening paranormal activities.
The actors, Vera Farmiga, and Patrick Wilson brilliantly portray the paranormal-investigator combo duo, and they build such a friction that you can’t help but feel that this is just the exact amount of teen horror that you remember as a child. It’s the exact same feel from 10-20 years ago, and one can see why they regard this remake as the franchise’s well-behaved offspring.
Boar is relatively new. Somebody had a brilliant idea. What if, say, there’s a giant, rampaging, hellboar from the beyond and it’s completely off its hinges, and we release it on the grounds of Australia? Writer and director Chris Sun is that guy. The comedy of it greatly compliments the sheer terror it induces. The movie is comparable to the brilliance and spectacle of Kong, and it’s absolutely bloody and disgusting.
It offers a heavy glimpse of the beast, fantastic landscapes of the Outback, and of course, Nathan Jones, of Mad Max: Fury Road fame. He portrays a very concerned uncle who protects a whole flock of lambs and sings “Ice Ice Baby”. A truly magnificent watch, not restricted only to horror fans, but literally everyone.
Mitzi Peirone is proud to present his debut feature film that takes the shape of a horror movie. A simple drug trip that hits a lot of walls, ceilings, and bedrocks, the movie narrates a duo of The debut feature of writer and director Mitzi Peirone is narrative in the form of a quick hallucinogenic trip. A pair of vagabond 20-something girls, chased by authorities, decide to hide in a massive country estate that belongs to their childhood friend.
The thing is, their friend is absolutely out of her mind and conscripts them into mind-boggling games, brutality, sexual deviance, and role-playing shenanigans. The movie doesn’t do justice to the writing’s fluency and narrative. Instead, Braid makes up for it with absolute weirdness and insanity loud enough to excite and even frighten you. Peirone is certainly proud of this debut.
A prominent artist, in a verbal attempt to oppose and deny Hitler’s nazism, once said: “If you are Superman, let me be forever animal.” There’s so much parallels with the motive of the sentence and the methodology of the director of Climax. It seems that everything he does, he unintentionally ends up maddening, antagonizing, and repulsing every common plebeian in the theatre, save for a few weirdos. Knowing Gaspar Noé, he never wanted to create a horror movie. His portfolio of animalistic and nightmarish descents into the damp corners of human nature does everything it can to undress the human condition and the inseparable connection it has with lust and violence.
The Argentine-born director has a penchant for sexual violence, to be sure. One can’t help but think that he just wants to piss off every uptight, high-class, pompous art critic in Cannes. And he does this effortlessly. In comparison to his other movies, Climax is a single piece of a minty-fresh, strawberry gumball. Young and lustful dancers celebrate their rehearsal with Sangria and gossip, and unbeknownst to them, the Sangria is laced with LSD. The descent into insanity and debauchery is slow and horrible enough to make everyone think that this is a horror movie, instead of a musical one. It’s full of hell, bodily fluids, mascara, dead ends, and grief.
Amusingly enough, Noé himself said that he worked very little on the movie, only giving the actors a 5-page script, and enabling them so much liberty to unfold the story themselves. The brilliant choreography (except for Sophia Boutella, all of the dancers are non-actors), the simplicity of the plot, and the voyeuristic one-shot angles are so amazing and death-defying, it totally injects its LSD-laced sangria through the screen and into your retinas.
La Llorona is a classic mythology in horror and the premise is too scary. It draws origins from Mexican folklore, and it’s about a troubled mother who drowned her own kids in a river. Now, the story unfolds in 1970s in Los Angeles, as the legendary ghost of La Llorona is terrorizing everything, an old priest, and a seemingly common social worker and her family is pulled into the narrative.
It’s a brilliant take on an old story, and it definitely doesn’t hesitate to pull in anybody else who watches the movie. The atmosphere is claustrophobic and relentless. James Wan personally hired Chaves to direct a horror flick called The Conjuring 3, no big deal, really. Chaves’ feature debut has Linda Cardellini to star in it and Wan has all the confidence that Chaves will do a wonderful job as a director, and what a job he did. The movie is not for the easily frightened. It doesn’t have much jumpscares, but it does great justice to the folklore story.
Yet another remake dawns on our little Halloween fiesta, as Stephen King's Pet Sematary is an all-time horror classic. The 1989 movie was an absolute cult classic, despite moderate financial success and pompous critics. The remake just got released in April, and the team brings good news - the narrative of the 2019 movie will stick much closer to the book. Hooray for authenticity.
The story is about Louis Creed (played by Jason Clarke), a troubled family man who buries his pet cat on “cursed grounds”, and, of course, the cat is reanimated as undead. The simplicity of the story captures the hearts and ears of many, and it’s directed by Kevin Kolsh, and Dennis Widmyer. Watch the movie with your pet cat.
This one’s a doozy. The young and newcoming director, Ari Aster, caused massive ripples and waves with Hereditary (2018), a fantastic horror movie. It garnered much attention and landed him a spot among the greatest newcomers. The box office returns were booming, and his follow-up looks like it will cause an even bigger crater than the former movie. It dabbles in cults and wacko mentalities that collide with a random group of youngsters and common folk. The Swedish folklore that’s used conveys brilliant and frightening images that make you question literally everything.
A lot about the movie is being kept under wraps, but we do know the story is about a young woman (Florence Pugh) going on a trip with her boyfriend, only to encounter something frightening in a small Swedish town. A24 will release Midsommar, just as it did with Hereditary. It's not officially on the schedule yet, but since the film is in post-production, a 2019 opening is a real possibility.
Child's Play is a 1988 horror movie about a little boy whose new "Good Guy" doll is inhabited with the soul of a violent psychopath. It turned that doll, Chucky, into an all-time horror icon and spawned six sequels.
In 2019, Child's Play will receive the reboot treatment. The Chucky doll is rumored to be a little more high-tech in this new version, to reflect toy-making advances since the late '80s. Aubrey Plaza and Atlanta's Bryan Tyree Henry will star in the movie, which is scheduled for a June release.