Horror Movies 2017
The Top 10 Horror Movies List in 2017 – (So Far)
Horror took a unique turn in 2016 with successes both critical (The Witch) and commercial (The Conjuring 2). Small scale fare like Lights Out and Don’t Breathe also exceeded expectations, adding fuel to the potential fire that horror will sustain heading into the new year. Standbys like Amityville and The Ring are scheduled for belated sequels, but the real buzz builders for 2017 consist of fresh fare like The Bye Bye Man and The Belko Experiment. They provide a gritty, decidedly sinister look at the genre that’s always a success for aficionados and hardcore viewers. The genre’s biggest news, of course, is the adaptation of The Dark Tower, which has spent a decade in production hell before landing the one-two punch of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Helmed by director Nikolaj Arcel and produced closely by author and series creator Stephen King, Tower is already being touted as a landmark 2017 release. Horror blockbusters don’t get much bigger than that.
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING
The production of Amityville: The Awakening has been a tumultuous one at best. Initially pitched as a “found footage” project titled The Lost Tapes, the seventeenth installment in the Amityville series has scrapped and started anew under director Franck Khalfoun. Now dubbed The Awakening, the film centers around Belle (Bella Thorne), who moves into an old house with her family– fully unaware that said house is the infamous Amityville Estate. Thomas Mann and Jennifer Jason Leigh also star in this haunted house trek, which was initially slated for release at various points in 2015 and 2016. The current date is set for January, so here’s hoping horror fans get to see this sooner than later.
THE BYE BYE MAN
Adapted from a chapter in Robert Damon Schneck’s book The President’s Vampire, The Bye Bye Man hinges on a thoroughly creepy premise. College students Elliot (Douglas Smith), John (Lucien Laviscount), and Sasha (Cressida Bonas) move into yet another creepy house; this time cursed by a spirit called The Bye Bye Man. As the occurrences become more frequent and strange, violent actions come into play, the trio realize that the spirit may be causing people to go on uncontrollable killing sprees. Director Stacy Title is no stranger to bleak subject matter, having previously helmed The Last Supper (1995) and Hood of Horror (2006), and an impressive array of veterans like Carrie Ann-Moss, Faye Dunaway, and Doug Jones ensure that Bye Bye Man will be worth it’s weight in fright.
M. Night Shyamalan has been driving movie fans crazy for over a decade. The one promising visionary behind The Sixth Sense (1999) and Signs (2002) has spent the bulk of his career is mediocre mode– evidenced by films like After Earth (2013) and The Visit (2015). With Split, the writer-director is taking another crack at his horror genre origins with an added psychological twist. At the center of this madness is Kevin (James McAvoy), a man with 23 different personalities who abducts three teenage girls. As the hostages (Anya Taylor-Joy, Jessica Sula, and Haley Lu Richardson) struggle to survive, however, a 24th personality– “the beast”– begins to emerge. The premise sounds promising, as does early footage of McAvoy, so here’s hoping M. Night can deliver.
Akin to Amityville: The Awakening, Rings is another case of a long-delayed sequel. Word of the third installment in The Ring franchise dates back to 2014, when F. Javier Gutiérrez signed on to direct Akiva Goldsman’s (co-written) screenplay. Delays and bypassed release dates have pushed the project to the backburner, but a new release date of February 3rd looks to be concrete. Gutiérrez has stated that Rings will not be, as some initially thought, a prequel, while instead focusing on the events of a troubled teenage couple after the boy (Alex Roe) lands a copy of the cursed video tape. With time running out, his girlfriend (Matilda Lutz) makes a shocking discovery that there’s “a movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen.
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT
The premise for The Belko Experiment is sure to ensnare it’s fair share of horror fans. Employees at Belko Corporation are suddenly trapped in their office one day without any warning. To make matters worse, they are all informed that if they don’t kill three of their co-workers in the next 30 minutes, than six of them will die instead. Director Greg McLean has spent the bulk of his career spinning horrific stories like Wolf Creek (2005) and Crawlspace (2012), so there’s a precedent of violence and mayhem that will likely drive the mood. Guardians of the Galaxy mastermind James Gunn is set to produce while actors Peter Gallagher, John C. McGinley, Tony Goldwyn, and Michael Rooker inhabit the terror that comes with this ticking clock.
More sequels arrive via Annabelle 2, the follow-up 2014’s surprise hit Annabelle. Both serve as extensions of James Wan’s Conjuring universe, and fittingly, the filmmaker will return as co-producer. As for the plot, Annabelle 2 trails the exploits of a dollmaker and his wife who invite a nun and several girls from a decommissioned orphanage. The kicker, of course, is that the evil Annabelle comes back to life, and sets her sights on the sudden smorgasboard of children in her wake. Director David F. Sandberg, fresh off the acclaim of Lights Out (another Wan production), takes the helm here, and all signs point to this possession yarn being a surefire success.
THE DARK TOWER
Attempts to adapt The Dark Tower for the big screen have been in talks since 2007. A plethora of industry names have taken their crack at the Stephen King saga, including Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams, and, finally, appointed director Nikolaj Arcel. The Denmark native must now contend with the source material’s massive fan base– each of whom have come to adore the journey of gunslinger Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) and ageless sorcerer Walter Padick (Matthew McConaughey). King himself has served as producer, and so far, the hype train has mostly been sidetracked for a quiet, secretive set. Arcel has even gone on record to explain that the film won’t be a traditional adaptation so much as a new take on the series. Either way, come February, fans will be frothing at the mouth to see Mid-World come to life.
Leatherface – Release Date: TBA
Every few years or so, filmmakers feel the need to give brutal backstories to horror’s most iconic characters. They did it with Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers – hell, Norman Bates even got an entire TV show to himself. Consequently, it’s no surprise to see the runaway star of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) getting his own eerie origin tale, backed with sadistic violence, graphic content, and whatever else comes complete in exploitation horror. The film follows a young Jackson Sawyer through his days in school to the twisted upbringing that ultimately derail his still growing mind. It’s easy to spot the seed of Leatherface is this disturbed flick.
Patient Zero – Release Date: TBA
In this downtrodden vision of the future, humans have diminished through a strain that turns them into rabid freaks. Dubbed “The Infected” by human survivors, this unanimous fate crumbles in the face of Morgan (Matt Smith), who is not only unharmed but able to talk to the infected coherently. Just in time too, as Patient Zero himself teams up with a military advisor (Clive Standen) and a doctor (Natalie Dormer) to scale the city limits in search of a virus antidote. Part Children of Men (2006), part I Am Legend (2007), Patient Zero is the kind of zombie-that-technically-aren’t-zombies fare that World War Z (2013) fans so adore. As a result, this project looks to do pretty good.