Monday, November 2, 2009

The 15 Best Horror Movies of 2009

#15: The Unborn
In what is probably no match for It's Alive or the vat of bile known as The Suckling, The Unborn is David S. Goyer's (Blade: Trinity, The Invisible) latest foray into the world of the macabre. When a young pregnant woman (Odette Yustman) starts to slowly become possessed by the entity inside of her, all kinds of eerie revelations and horrific truths are unearthed. Despite the flick being rated PG-13, Goyer is smart enough to cast screen greats like Gary Oldman and Jane Alexander alongside fresher talent like drop dead lookers Megan Goode and Carla Gugino. The Unborn is delivered January 9, 2009.

#14: My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Bludgeoning audiences on January 16, 2009 - a three dimensional remake of 1981 slasher classic My Bloody Valentine by editor-turned-director Patrick Lussier (The Prophecy 3:The Ascent) is one of the first to hit us all in the new year. When a man (Jansen Ackles) returns home two decades after a Valentine's Day massacre took place, he finds himself implicated in the madness as he tries to save a past flame (Jaime King) from being spiked by a maniacal miner. The movie also features Kerr Smith , Edi Gathegi, and Andrew Larson all trying to avoid a broken bloodied heart.

#13: The Uninvited
With a title used about a dozen prior times in Hollywood, those who might assume this a remake of the classic 1944 ghost story is sorely mistaken. A remake it is however, only of Kim Ji-Woon's 2003 film South Korean specter spin A Tale of Two Sisters, which actually boasted an international R-rating (or equivalent of). This PG-13 offering from the British brothers Guard (Thomas and Charles), their debut feature certainly boasts greater acting talent than most horror flicks, including David Strathairn and Elizabeth Banks. The Uninvited infiltrates theaters in January 30, 2009.

#12: Friday the 13th (Remake)
Michael Bay's remake machine Platinum Dunes is poised to bring back one of the largest icons of cinematic homicide - Jason Voorhees. With the predictable February 13th, 2009 (Friday) day of return, press and promo material has already revealed Voorhees to be rocking both the vintage hockey mask as well as the nascent The Town That Dreaded Sundown burlap sack over his dome (as seen in Part 2). Marcus Nispel directs (Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake), with Danielle Panabaker, Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti, Willa Ford and Derek Mears (as Jason) to star.

#11: Feast III: The Happy Finish
Look, you know you reek of ultra low-budget cool when you release a sequel just a smidge over 4 months after its predecessor - but that is exactly the case with John Gulager's Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds and the February 17, 2009 DVD release of Feast 3: The Happy Finish (dude must have been shooting both simultaneously, Pete Jackson style!). If you've seen the prior two Feast pictures, you know what kind of hyper-energetic, of the wall craziness the flick will employ. For those in the know not, watch the prior two and get yourself educated (get started with a trailer for Feast II below!)

#10: Drag Me to Hell
As a horror fan, if Sam Raimi's (The Evil Dead 1 & 2) return to the genre doesn't get you amped, nothing will! Set for a May 29, 2009 release, Drag Me to Hell focuses on a supernatural curse that is spelled on a young woman by a mysterious older Eastern European lady, setting stage for a bizarrely hellish world. Written by Raimi and his brother Ivan, the flick features the dude from those Mac commercials Justin Long, as well as Alison Lohman (a girl I'd probably drop to a knee and propose to if I ever saw in person) and Jessica Lucas, Sage Stallone, David Paymer and Flor de Maria Chahua.

#9: Piranha
After the poor, glass shattering effort in Mirrors earlier this year, French horror director Alaxendre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) looks to get back on track with a 3-D re-imagining of the 1978 B-movie Piranha. When a tremor cracks a Lake Havasu lake bottom, a school of uncouth prehistoric fish is unceremoniously let loose to wreak bloody havoc on the townies. A late July 2009 release is tentative, with the script written by Aja along with frequent collaborator Gregory Levasseur (P2), as well as Josh Stolberg (Sorority Row).

#8: Final Destination 4 (3-D)
No doubt a guilty pleasure for most, the Final Destination pictures somehow balance god awful acting with first rate fatalities - always doing so in deft, entertaining fashion. Slated for an August 21, 2009 release, the fourth installment will feature 3-D technology (a horror trend for 2009 and onward it seems). Directed by David R. Ellis (of Snakes on a Plane and Cellular infamy), Final Destination 4 will star the stunning Krista Allen, as well as Nick Zano, Richard T. Jones, Haley Webb, Billy Slaughter and Shantel VanSanten. Get those blue and red shades ready!

#7: Tyrannosaurus Rex
With the recent announcement that Rob Zombie has been tapped to follow up his 2007 version of Halloween with a sequel, details on his greatly anticipated prehistoric project, Tyrannosaurus Rex have somewhat petered. Still, an August 28, 2009 release date is in line for the film starring Zombie's long time flame Sherri Moon Zombie, based on a script penned by Rob himself. Looking at Zombie's concept art for the film, we can't help but hope those depicted are none other than Danny Trejo and Ken Foree in the primary roles. I mean, who else could slay a T-Rex?!?

#6: SAW VI
In as dependable an October calendar entry as Halloween itself, the 6th Saw episode is in line for what some studio execs deemed an "indefinite" string of Jigsaw releases to hit audiences in the near-to-distant future. Who knows what the hell the plot will resemble this time out, but let's hope the rote gimmickry of the last few will be replaced with some of the more simplistic methods of madness the best versions employ (if only to keep the thing at least halfway plausible). No script or casting details are clear at this point, but it'd be hard to see anyone other than Tobin Bell semi-titular role.

#5: The Wolf Man
The much anticipated lycanthropic homage to Lon Chaney and sleek horror of old, The Wolf Man will see all kinds of Oscar caliber talent in this terrifying period piece, including Sir Anthony Hopkins and Benicio Del Toro in the titular lead (as well as make-up master Rick Baker). Scripted by Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Sleepy Hollow), directed by Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III) - This version of The Wolf Man also features the lovely Emily Blunt, as well as Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin, Kiran Shah, and Sam Hazeldine. The flick howls into theaters on November 6, 2009.

#4: Giallo
Italian splatter king Dario Argento is putting the final touches on his newest blood-drenched expedition, Giallo. Looking to rebound from the atrociously substandard effort Mother of Tears, Argento's new script (by Jim Agnew and Sean Keller) sees an American stewardess (Elsa Pataky) in Milan team up with an Italian detective (Adrian Brody, who replaced Ray Liotta, who replaced Vincent Gallo) to find and rescue her kidnapped sister from an unforgiving serial killer known as Yellow (which translates in Italian as giallo). No release has been ascertained, but damn this has serious potential!

#3: Jennifer's Body
Let's just hope that the Oscar winning writer of Juno (Diablo Cody) can make something decent out of a title resembling one of those really awful 3 A.M. soft-core joints. Jennifer's Body, starring the hottest porn starlet who's yet to desert Hollywood for the valley, Megan Fox - the flick finds a possessed cheerleader going on a rampant homicidal binge, dispatching classmates and other faculty members. A roiled 2009 release is in place, with the always entertaining J.K Simmons and Amy Sedaris hopefully adding a few laughs.

#2: 25/8
All-world horror maestro Wes Craven looks to get back in the horror saddle by shooting a script he wrote himself, a task that has eluded him in the horror genre since 1994 (New Nightmare). 25/8 is about a deranged murder who returns to his hometown to torment a cadre of kids who all share the same birthday as the date he was supposedly left for dead. No definitive release date is set, but the flick certainly stars Max Thieriot, Shareeka Epps, Denzel Whitaker, Frank Grillo, and Dennis Boutsikaris. Let us pray Craven harks back to the raw brutality displayed 36 years prior in Last House on the Left.

#1: George A. Romero's Next Zombie Movie
George A. Romero's last film in his zombie-filled "Dead" film series, Diary of the Dead, didn't quite reach the critical or financial success of Dawn of the Dead or Day of the Dead (or hell, even Land of the Dead for that matter), but that isn't stopping the godfather of the modern zombie film from birthing another sequel in his longstanding Dead series. Tentatively titled ...of the Dead, Romero's next film contains a story about a group of survivors stuck on an island loaded with hordes of flesh-eating undead, a story not unlike Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2. As long as Romero ditches the shaky camera gimmick and ups the zombie related carnage from the last stinker, we're intrigued to see what he'll come up with. We're not giving up on him yet.


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