A monster flick directed by the writer of X-Men and Watchmen? The promise of a complex, fun, and fresh werewolf story? A focus on practical effects against the use of excessive CGI? What could go wrong? Apparently, plenty. David Hayter's latest directing project, Wolves, sets up all of the aforementioned aspects, but quickly reveals them to be false. The film does involve werewolves, as promised, but they are layered under digital effects within a plot full of obvious yet somehow confusing plot points.
There are a number of made for television and straight to DVD/digital horror films that are overlooked by even the most hardocore of genre fans. Typically the blame for that lies within knowing that most of them are most likely mediocre to terrible. Occasionally there can be a standout that could have been a limited theatrical release with the right amount of attention due to its promising scenes. Chiller networks 2014 film Animal could have fallen into that category, but seems to be settling right where it should be.
The promise of a sequel to a well received horror film can bring feelings of joy, but also concern. There have been many successful and well made sequels to strong films like Halloween II (1981), Aliens, and even Silence of the Lambs. Of course, there's a list of fairly forgettable or downright bad sequels to get through as well. Wolf Creek was a film that was very much on its own terms when it came to how it presented its story and characters.
It seems that so many films try to go for that "twist" ending in hopes to make the movie iconic. Arguably, Hitchock and his film Psycho started that craze for the horror genre. It is an understandable desire and approach to making a solid genre movie, as long as it hits well in the end. The main point to remember, however, is that films like Psycho and the original Friday the 13th did more than just incorporate a twist ending. They made the journey to that twist just as exciting and imperative to the viewer.
For anyone who has ever wondered about the origins of the Irish creature, Leprechaun, then Leprechaun: Origins seems to be the film to view. The exception though, this origin tale is more of a reboot than a prequel to the wonderfully classic comedy horror franchise starring Warwick Davis. He went to space and to the hood (twice!), but he seems to be dead and buried now that this WWE Studios reboot is on the scene.
Most horror fans remember the announcement and lead up to last years "The Purge". The majority of horror films that have received a theatrical release in the last few years fell into the torture, possession or remake sub genres. "The Purge" seemed to be a breath of fresh air harkening back to the home invasion genre with a twist of political satire. The film received mixed reviews from critics and even the big guys here at Bloody Good Horror. Overall it was entertaining and contained interesting choices mixed with cliches.
The slasher sub genre is one that will just not seem to die. It’s not surprising however, since the slasher could be argued to be the foundation to modern horror. “Halloween”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Peeping Tom”, “Psycho”, and “Black Christmas” to name a few of the beginning cuts. The genre has evolved and changed over the years, but just like the killers that lead the films, the genre keeps picking itself up. Series have had to be rebooted and remade to stay modern. Even the “Scream” franchise was created to save the genre from an early grave.
As sub genres reach the end of their ropes and the tropes become tired, new films have two choices to make to be successful. One, they can approach the concept with an indulgent tone and create an over the top massacre of the senses. Two, acknowledge the audiences exhaustion with the tropes and create a meta commentary concept. Last years “Evil Dead” remake opted for the first choice by making a balls out gore fest that gave a loving nudge to the cabin in the woods sub genre from where it was conceived.
10. Warm Bodies
2013 has been full of zombie movies, games, and books, so it was nice to have some comedy in the midst of all of the “serious” zombie business. Nick Holt managed to be an engaging and fun zombie just looking for some love.