Set in 1971, The Conjuring dramatises the real life tale of married paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. While planning for retirement they are approached by a family who claim there is something evil in their new home and after some deliberation the ghost hunting duo decide to embark on this unique case unaware that it would be the most terrifying of their entire careers.
Tiptoe through the tulips
During a sorry era where even dull, clichéd mainstream creations such as Paranormal Activity were being lauded, James Wan’s exceptional Insidious emerged as a timely reminder of the quality audiences should expect from a horror film. Wan’s bold horror was fully deserving of its critical and financial triumphs, but no amount of success could quell audiences’ fears when a sequel was announced. Unlike his Saw franchise, that grew weaker with every subsequent release, Wan returns to direct a terrifying follow up that lives up to the expectations of its predecessor.
“Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s no stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.”
Having begun his career in blistering fashion, but unfortunately stumbling in recent years, Marc Forster seeks to reignite his cinematic form with an intriguing, yet worryingly loose adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed zombie horror novel. His World War Z reimagining bears little resemblance to its sublime forebear, but that’s part of the reason why he’s able to create such an exhilarating disaster movie brimming with fascinating stories, compelling drama and memorable action set pieces.
The nightmare lives again
With the aid of producers Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, the director and star of the eighties classic, Fede Alvarez achieves a level of horror that was absent from the original film. While his remake is as chaotic, error-filled and clichéd as its predecessor, its flaws are the very same attributes fans adored about Raimi’s cult hit.
Night of the Living Clay
Laika, the animation studio behind Henry Selick’s flawed, yet creepily entertaining Coraline, return with a new stop motion horror comedy and though ParaNorman showcases their technical ability it never presents as much originality or charm as its predecessor.
Argentinian filmmaker Andrés Muschietti makes his directorial debut with a feature length reworking of his original short film. Unfortunately, his efforts result in a flawed experience that is a long way short of a classic piece of horror filmmaking, but as a thriller it is absolutely watchable.
Proof that you shouldn’t judge a film by its title
An influx of unimaginative titles have plagued modern cinema and the resulting releases carry a sense of negativity long before the house lights are even dimmed. These marketing misconceptions are frequently present within mainstream horror and unfortunately House at the End of the Street falls under this same shadow of audience’s preconceived aversion. However, much like The Cabin in the Woods, there’s a lot more to this film than the title suggests.
Though it is initially cast from the same found footage mould as the earlier films, [REC]³ is a dramatic departure from the popular Spanish horror franchises’ previously established formula. The filmmakers bravely test the audience with stylistic changes and a misleading title. Génesis isn’t a precursor to the original film, but a very different story which runs parallel to the original.
The rules have changed. Didn’t you get the memo?
Early 2012 saw the release of The Cabin in the Woods, an exemplary analysis of modern horror films where its creators, Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, exposed the popular genre’s contemporary conventions. This genre-changing film has had a lasting effect on mainstream audiences’ reception of horrors; they now expect innovation and a higher standard – and this is the undoing of Scott Derrickson’s Sinister.
Alice kept secrets. She kept the fact that she kept secrets a secret.
When their sixteen year old daughter, Alice, drowns in the local dam, her grieving family begin to experience a series of strange and inexplicable events within their once peaceful home. With the aid of a psychic, the Palmers set out to discover the truth behind Alice’s secret past.