Ah, Fall… the time of year when the leaves aren’t the only thing turning, but also the age of the audiences at movie theaters. Historically, it’s the season for drama, while visions of Oscars dance in the heads of Hollywood’s elite. But let us be thankful for 2014’s crop of horror, thriller and other genre films. I’m not sure how original they sound, but at least they provide counter programming for those with less refined palates. Join us for a preview of movies to expect, when you will see them, and how much we are anticipating them.

 

Horror

 

Tusk (Sept. 19), dir. Kevin Smith. In this tale, written and directed by the always-interesting Smith, a man is captured by a maniac and tortured, physically and mentally, into becoming a walrus.

Sounds Like: Nothing I’ve ever seen.

Anticipation: 4 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 


Annabelle
(Oct. 3)
, dir. John R. Leonetti. In this spinoff from The Conjuring, a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress becomes a conduit to the damned when cultists invade the home of a young couple and violently attack them.

Sounds Like: Child’s Play.

Anticipation: 3 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

 

Dracula Untold (Oct. 17), dir. Gary Shore. Perhaps more biography than horror story, Luke Evans (The Raven, 2012) portrays Vlad Tepes in this origin story of the man who becomes Dracula.

Sounds Like: A potential snooze.

Anticipation: 2 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

 

Ouija (Oct. 24), dir. Stiles White. A group of friends, including new horror regular Olivia Cooke, must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.

Sounds Like: A long time coming.

Anticipation: 4 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

 

Horns (Oct. 31), dir. Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors, Piranha 3D). In this long-awaited adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel, a young man (Daniel Radcliffe) awakens in the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.

Sounds Like: A winner, if it’s anything like the book.

Anticipation: 5 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

 

V/H/S: Viral (Nov. 21), dir. Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Todd Lincoln, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo. The latest installment of the series follows fame-obsessed teens who unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation.

Sounds Like: If you like the first two, you’ll probably like this one.

Anticipation: 4 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

The Babadook (Nov. 28), dir. Jennifer Kent. A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Sounds Like: The Possession.

Anticipation: 3 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

The Pyramid (Dec. 5), dir. Gregory Levasseur (1st time director; writer of High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, P2, Mirrors and Maniac). A team of U.S. archaeologists unearths an ancient pyramid buried deep in the Egyptian desert. As they search its depths, they become hopelessly lost in its dark and endless catacombs.

Sounds Like: As Above, So Below.

Anticipation: 3 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

Demonic (Dec. 12), dir. Will Canon. In this story by James Wan, a police officer (Frank Grillo) and a psychologist (Maria Bello) investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.

Sounds Like: Deliver Us from Evil.

Anticipation: 3 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

Thriller

Before I Go to Sleep (Sept. 12), dir. Rowan Joffe. A woman (Nicole Kidman) wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. When new terrifying truths emerge, she is forced to question everyone around her.

Sounds Like: The audience might be who goes to sleep.

Anticipation: 2 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

No Good Deed (Sept. 12), dir. Sam Miller. A charming but dangerous escaped convict (Idris Elba) appears on Taraji P. Henson’s doorstep in suburban Atlanta. When she offers her phone to help him, she finds herself fighting for survival as he invades her home and terrorizes her family.

Sounds Like: The Guest (see below).

Anticipation: 3 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

 

The Guest (Sept. 17), dir. Adam Wingard, wr. Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next). After the Peterson family welcomes into their home a soldier claiming to be a friend of their dead son, a series of accidental deaths seems to be connected to his presence.

Sounds Like: No Good Deed (see above), but with better credentials.

Anticipation: 4 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

The Maze Runner (Sept. 19), dir. Wes Ball. In this thriller based on the YA novel by James Dashner, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, Teen Wolf) is deposited into a community of boys after his memory is erased and soon learns they’re all trapped in a maze where they must become “runners” for a shot at escape.

Sounds Like: The Hunger Games-lite.

Anticipation: 4 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

Left Behind (Oct. 3), dir. Vic Armstrong. Chad Michael Murray (House of Wax, 2005) replaces Kirk Cameron in this remake about a small group of survivors left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction.

Sounds Like: TV (Resurrection, The Leftovers, etc.) with special guest star Nicolas Cage.

Anticipation: 2 (out of 5 Creepy Kids)

 

Other

Animated films for the young and young at heart include Book of Life (Oct. 17), Big Hero 6 (Nov. 7) and The Penguins of Madagascar (Nov. 26).

Anticipation: Executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, Book of Life is most promising; however, don’t count out Disney (Big Hero 6).

 

Fantasy films include The Zero Theorum (Sept. 19), The Boxtrolls (Sept. 26), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Dec. 17), A Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (Dec. 19) and Into the Woods (Dec. 25).

Anticipation: Directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Matt Damon, The Zero Theorum should be interesting; however, it’s the team behind The Boxtrolls (Corpse Bride, Coraline, ParaNorman) that always seems to surprise.

Science fiction films include Christopher Nolan’s mystery, Interstellar (Nov. 7), the adventure sequel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Nov. 21) and the comedy sequel, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Dec. 25).

Anticipation: With Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, the buzz is astronomical for Interstellar; however, will an unexpected Christmas gift be delivered with Hot Tub Time Machine 2?

Fall Movie Preview 2014
6.5Overall Score
Horror Anticipation7
Thriller Anticipation6
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