Article — Guide to October Horror

Posted: September 26, 2010 in Eric Raymer, Film, News
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[Posted by: Eric Raymer]

October is probably my favorite month because it gives me an excuse to watch a lot of horror films to get in the mood for Halloween. (Not that I need that much of an excuse.) It also means there’s a slew of new horror films ready to be released in theaters. If you’re wondering which will be worth checking out this month and which will just be more of the same cheap scares, keep reading for a breakdown of all the horror coming your way in October.

OCTOBER 1

Let Me In – (trailer)
Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’ remake of the nicely-done Swedish vampire film looks like it deviates a little from the original, but this may not be enough to win over fans of the first film. At the very least, Reeves’ version looks like it captures the chilly atmosphere and creepiness that Let the Right One In did so well. If you haven’t seen the Swedish version, give this one a shot.

Case 39 – (trailer)
This take on the “evil foster kid” plot doesn’t look like it holds too much promise, but then again, neither did last year’s Orphan, which turned out to be surprisingly fun and disturbing. Then again, where Orphan chose to scare you with creepy mindgames, Case 39 looks like it’s chock full of half-hearted supernatural scares. This one is probably safe to skip.

Hatchet II – (trailer)
Hatchet was marketed as an “old-school slasher” and actually managed to capture the energy and humor that good classic slashers have. Also, it’s refusal to rely solely on CG gave it a charm rarely seen in horror these days. If Hatchet II has half the spirit that the first one does, it should be pretty fun. While it’ll only get a limited release, it’s guaranteed to be unrated, which means lots of no-holds-barred action.

OCTOBER 8

My Soul to Take – (trailer)
Come on, Wes Craven, you’ve made this movie about a million times already. Seven teenagers, none of whom we’re likely to care about in the slightest, are slayed one by one by a mysterious serial killer. Or, whoa, maybe one of them is possessed by the soul of the killer! The only thing that might distract you from the mindlessly derivative plot is the obnoxious 3D effects. Stay far away from this film unless you’re into boring cookie-cutter slashers.

I Spit On Your Grave – (trailer)
It’s not clear why a remake of this exploitation classic is necessary or if it’ll bring anything new to the table. The original (along with The Last House on the Left) opened the door for a lot of revenge-horror, but now that films like Inside have upped the ante, it’s going to be hard to replicate any shock value. It’s probably safe to stick with the original’s low-budget sleaziness as opposed to this apparently over-produced remake.

OCTOBER 22

Paranormal Activity 2 – (trailer)
The first Paranormal Activity film worked because of its slowly building creepiness and the fact that audiences didn’t know what to expect. It’s rare for horror films to show restraint these days, but that’s precisely what made the original suspenseful. Replicating this is going to be really hard, especially since the first film essentially played all of its cards by the end. It’s probably safe to skip this one.

Hereafter – (trailer)
Okay, so this film will probably swing more towards drama than it will horror, but there’s no denying that there’s a distinctly supernatural element thrown in. The notion of Matt Damon as an ex-psychic who may or may not have the ability to speak with the dead doesn’t immediately grab me, but I’m willing to give this a chance simply because Clint Eastwood directed it. Still, I’m wondering if the star power attached to it might have allowed it to become a little lax otherwise. If it doesn’t lapse into sentimentality, this one could be good.

Monsters – (trailer)
The buzz surrounding this sci-fi thriller has been mostly positive, and reviews from the festival circuit have described it as this year’s District 9. Hopefully it can live up to the hype, although its micro-scale budget may end up working against it in the end. All the same, it’s worth giving a shot.

OCTOBER 29

Saw 3D – (trailer)
The only thing likely to be good about this film is that it’s probably going to be the final entry in the Saw franchise. Any cleverness or suspense that the first couple of Saw films had has long been lost in favor of an endless series of death sequences and occasional ruminations on the doomed nature of humanity. Really though, it’s all about the death sequences, and you can probably guess that that’s where the majority of the 3D effects are going to be used. Just skip this and rent Se7en instead.

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