Must See of 2019

While 2018 was a monster year for the horror and horror adjacent genre, this year doesn’t look to slow that trend down one bit. While I admit I am starting this list a bit later than I wanted, I am looking forward to a number of features hitting the screen. 2019 has a pretty fair balance of sequels, new ventures, and even a few remakes coming. I will try to cover the majority of what I am excited for, and hopefully, you are too.

S P R I N G

 

Velvet Buzzsaw – February 1

Velvet Buzzsaw is another Netflix release, in a long line of great acquisitions and rollouts. Last year saw Gerald’s Game, 1922, Apostle, The Ritual, Birdbox, Before I Wake, The Haunting of Hill House, Cam, and dozens more. Velvet Buzzsaw is sure to strengthen that list. Starring Jake Gyllenhall, the film centers around a collection of art from an unknown artist. The paintings are either inspired by or endowed with a supernatural force, that seems to punish those who have chosen greed over their creative passions. While Gyllenhall is the name being tossed around, we have an amazing cast surrounding him, with Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting), John Malcovich (Birdbox – as well as a million other awesome movies), Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) and last but certainly not least, Toni Collette (Hereditary). The film looks to be all sorts of horrifically crazy, with just a slight hint of Dorian Gray in there as well. This will be a great one to start off the year with.

Us- March 21

Jordan Peele is back to the director’s chair with another societal horror film. Off the success of last year’s Get Out, Peele has been the buzz of the genre, being offered numerous projects, as director or producer. Us looks to be another home run, solely based on the strength of the cast and the trailer alone. Following a husband and wife, Winston Duke (Black Panther) and Lupita Nyong’o (also Black Panther) and their children taking a vacation to their beach home, they soon encounter “strangers” that look just like them. Co-starring is Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric Awesome Show). The film seems to echo the tones and style utilized in Get Out, which makes me excited to watch how Us develops on screen. And for the love of god, please make the entire soundtrack just as dark as this remix.

Pet Sematary – April 5

It is no secret that I love Stephen King, and Pet Sematary is one of his best. This remake, reboot, whatever you want to call it, looks to be tonally darker than the original, taking already dark subject material and adding some creative license as well. Helmed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (both from Holidays and Starry Eyes), and written by Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train) and David Kajganich (The Terror), these are the credits I as a Constant Reader am excited to see attached to a project like this. The cast is rounded out with Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Amy Seimetz (Alien Covenant), and John Lithgow (Harry & The Henderson’s AND Shrek), this stellar group looks to fill iconic roles from the original 1989 film. The story looks to mostly the same with Clarke, a doctor, moving his family to the country. After his son is killed in an accident, he takes the boy to a pet cemetery located on an Indian burial ground, and has to suffer the consequences. Sometimes, dead is better, but in this case, I can’t wait to see what this film resurrects. Look for this to fill your Stephen King itch while waiting for the finale chapter of IT.

Hellboy – April 12

While we may never see Guillermo Del Toro’s full trilogy of Hellboy as he wanted it,  seeing a new iteration of Hellboy is never a bad thing. Directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers) and starring David Harbour(Stranger Things) as the titular hellspawn, we have been promised an R rated reboot, pulling directly from some of Mike MIgnola’s best comic runs. The plot seems to follow Hellboy’s mission to stop Nimue (the Queen of Blood), a medieval sorceress from destroying the Earth. It seems to be pulling from The Wild Hunt, Darkness Calls, and The Storm and The Fury, all centering around English and Norse mythology, Excalibur, witchcraft, and Ragnarok- the end of all things. From the trailers and photos we have seen, Harbour looks fantastic in the red makeup, while not as perfectly made for the role as Perlman was, seems to have put on some major muscle in preparation for this role. Personally, some of the head shots of him in the makeup are spot on for Mignola’s darkly shaded illustrations. Harbour, Marshall and Mignola have stated that the movie is gory, brutal, and drenched in blood, all which have my interests peaked. In addition to David Harbour, Ian McShane (Deadwood), plays Trevor Bruttenholm, Hellboy’s adopted father, and will not be the sympathetic iteration we have seen in the past. A new set of BPRD agents will back him up, and I have yet to see Elizabeth Sherman and Abe Sapien, his infamous companions, suggesting that the BPRD may take more of a backseat role in this film. Even if we commiserate over the “what ifs” of De Toro’s vision, this is looking to something fantastic.

The Curse Of La Llorona – April 19

Finishing out the spring flicks is this another supernatural demonic thriller in the likeness of Sinister, The Conuring, and Insidious. And sure enough, James Wan is producing while Michael Chaves takes the helm in his directorial debut. Following a social worker who stumbles upon a case of foul play, she soon realizes the culprit may also be haunting her own family. La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman, is a Latin American spirit that lost her own children, and takes other lost children as she encounters them. Starring Linda Cardenelli (Bloodline), Raymond Cruz (Breaking Bad) and Tony Amendola (Annabelle) – who I think may be reprising his role as Father Perez, taking this into the Conjuring Universe, this one seems just quiet enough to become a big hit this year. James Wan continues to have his hand on the pulse of the horror community and will continue his streak of creepy, atmospheric demonic romps with this one. End your spring right with this one.

S U M M E R

 

Brightburn – May 24

Kicking off the summer season, we have Brightburn, James Gunn’s horrific answer to Superman. Gunn returns to his horror roots that were cemented by his directorial debut Slither, and mashes it against his superhero roots developed through Super and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 & 2. The film follows Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) and David Denman (The Office) as a couple that finds an abandoned child that crash lands on Earth from elsewhere in the universe. Like his red underweared counterpart, he develops superhuman powers and is raised to do good, all while harboring something intensely evil inside of him, that is begging to be unleashed. Gunn has assured everyone that while this looks a lot like Superman’s origin story, it takes a massive turn and does not look back. The footage we have seen looks to be a creepy and welcome return to horror for James Gunn.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters -May 31

While Avengers: Endgame is sure to be the biggest movie of the year, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is sure to be the largest. Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘R Treat, Krampus) is helming the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, and the third film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, with Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla predating it. The plot again follows MONARCH’s effort to deal with the demigod creatures that have arisen around the Earth, this time dealing with Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and of course, King Ghidorah, the massive three headed nemesis of Godzilla. This star studded cast is filled by Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Bradlet Whitford (Get Out), Sally Hawkins (The Shape Of Water), Tomas Middleditch (The Final Girls), O’Shea Jackson Jr (Straight Outta Compton), and Ken Wantanabe (Godzilla). This looks to be the visual monster bashing feast to beat them all and I cannot wait for it.

 

47 Meters Down: Uncaged -June 2

As the weather gets warmer, and people flock to the beaches, it is imperative to get a movie to remind us why that is a horrible, horrible idea. Directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down, The Strangers: Prey at Night), this has been billed as an unconnected sequel to the first movie. Following a group of teenage girls diving among the ruins of an underwater city, they soon realize they are not alone. Trapped in subterranean caves by the deadliest sharks in the ocean, an adventure turns quickly to horror. Roberts described the movie to Bloody Disgusting earlier this year, pitching it as “the Descent underwater”. There are few things more terrifying than a good shark horror, and if 47 Meters Down is anyway to gauge this film, it will not disappoint. John Corbett(The Messengers), Nia Long (Keanu), Sophie Nélisse (The Book Thief), and Corinne Foxx all star in this claustrophobic sharp toothed horror.

The New Mutants -August 2

Okay, are you done yelling at your computer screen, now? Trust me, I am just as skeptical as you are with this one. Directed by Josh Boone (Stuck in Love –seriously, go watch this. This movie is fantastic), the film follows five mutants discovering their abilities, all while being held against their will in a secret facility. Designed to take the X Men brand from comic book fanfare to horror, Boone described it himself as “a haunted house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers.” Even scarier, the production of this film has been a mess. Originally slated to debut in March of 2018, it was pushed back to February 2019 in order to accommodate reshoots, meant to make the film scarier, as it didn’t test well for audiences initially. Then it was delayed again, moving it back to August 2019 in order to accommodate room for Dark Phoenix, another X Men movie this year. While long delays and reshoots are never what you want to hear as a fan, I still have hope for this. If done correctly, and true to Boone’s vision, this could be something very special and scary indeed. Starring Ana Taylor Joy (The Witch), Masie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), Henry Zaga (Thirteen Reasons Why), Blu Hunt (The Originals), and Alice Braga (Predators), the cast seems strong. Again, this could be a total stinker, but I am too excited to believe anything but the hype for this one.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark -August 9

Perhaps the worst thing ever shelved at public and school libraries around the country, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was a three volume anthology of blood curdling stories by Alvin Schwartz, accompanied by nightmare inducing illustrations by Stephen Gammell. These books messed me up so much that it took me 15 more years or so to buy copies for myself. While not much is known about the plot of this one, it does follow a group of young boys trying to solve a number of mysterious deaths in their small town. It is being produced and was cowriter by Guillermo Del Toro, who’s penchant for hauntingly beautiful imagery is so on brand for this movie that I am already counting the hours of sleepless nights this movie will cause. André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe) is directing the project. Zoe Colletti (Annie), Michael Garza (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) Austin Abrams (The Tragedy Girls), Gabriel Rush (Moonrise Kingdom), Austin Zajur (Fist Fight) are all set to star, with Javier Botet (IT:Chapter 1) set to provide some horrid creature to plague my mind. Look for this one to be one of the best this year.

IT Chapter 2 -September 6

Ah, yes. It is time to float again. It Chapter 2 will be wrapping up the summer season in spectacular fashion. We once again follow the Loser’s Club and they’re seemingly ended fight against the dark secrets their town harbors. We return 27 years into the future, with the now adult Losers coping with what they witnessed that day in the depths of the sewers, and wondering if it will ever resurface once more. Andy Muschetti (IT, Mama) is back in the directors chair, and while the young versions will reprise their roles once more, the adult cast is one of the most exciting things about this movie. James McAvoy (Split), Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year), Jay Ryan (Mary Kills People), Bill Hader (Barry), Isaiah Mustafa (Horrible Bosses), James Ransone (Sinister), and Andy Bean (Power) are the adult Losers, with Bill Skarsgard reprising his role as Pennywise. Again, I am a massive Stephen King fan and IT is a work that has stuck with me for years now. To see it revitalized and in such a perfectionist manner, has brought me a great deal of joy, and I cannot wait to see how Muschetti leads this story to a close.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a trailer for this.

 

T B D

These are the movies that I am immensely looking forward to, though we have no concrete date set for when they are supposed to release, so I will update these as they become available. None of these have trailers yet, so keep your eyes peeled.

Synchronic- TBD

Aarron Moorehead and Justin Benson are two names that if  you aren’t already familiar with, you need to be. This pair has directed Resolution(2011), Spring(2014) and The Endless(2017) and have so far gone a perfect 3 for 3 with weird horror/sci fi. They make beautiful films that are moving and disturbing and compelling and human. I don’t know a thing about the plot for Synchronic, other than it was filmed in New Orleans, but I do know I will be tuned in opening night.

The Lighthouse -TBD

The Lighthouse is Robert Eggars follow up feature to The Witch. I know it stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. I know it is shot in black and white on 35mm film. And I know that A24 is distributing the film. That is enough to tell me this movie will be unreasonably good.

Rabid -TBD

In a remake/reboot of the 1977 Cronenberg film of the same name, we follow a woman who has a horrific accident, leading her to try experimental treatment with equally horrific consequences. Directed and written by Jen and Sylvie Soska, affectionally known as simply The Soska Sisters, and starring Laura Vanderwoot (SuperGirl), Ben Hollingsworth (Code Black) CM Punk (WWE), this should be just as twisted as Cronenberg could have imagined.  Count me in for multiple viewings. in

 

In The Tall Grass  -TBD

Surprise! More Stephen King works. Following the cue of Gerald’s Game and 1922, this seems like it is set to find a home on Netflix as well. Following two close siblings as they become lost a Kansas field, and horror ensues. The short story was written by King, and his son Joe Hill, and is definitely worth a read before this drops unexpectedly sometime this year. Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) will direct and Patrick Wilson (Insidious), and Laysla De Oliveira (The Gifted) will star.

3 From Hell -TBD

Rob Zombie has resurrected The Firefly Clan for one more descent into depravity. Following the events , of House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, it appears that Captain Spaulding, Otis, and Baby were not killed at the end of the last film. Photos have show court rooms and prison settings, but nothing of the plot to speak of. Expect Zombie to pull something insane out of his bag of tricks. Sheri Moon Zombie, Sid Haig, and Bill Moseley all reprise their roles. This one will end with bang.

Midsommar -TBD

Following the directorial debut of Hereditary, Ari Aster is wasting no time in returning to the screen. The films premise follows a tourist couple visiting Sweden for a rural town mid-summer festival that rapidly descends into a violent game at the hands of a paganistic cult. It stars Jack Reynor(Transformers: Age of Extinction), Florence Pugh (Outlaw King), and Will Poulter (Detroit). Expect this to be another existentially horrifying entry for horror film of the year, whenever it decides to release.

 

So there we are goblins and ghouls. Quite a list to look forward to, and this doesn’t even put a dent into what is all coming out in 2019. Stay tuned and look out for more content coming soon on Features of Fright.

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