Admit it, you knew The Devil Inside was going to suck. Let’s look at the facts – First and foremost, January is the dumping grounds for all of the crappy films that Hollywood could never otherwise unload on the public.
Secondly, we’re at the point where any new entries into the “Found Footage” genre are going to be about as fresh and original as a Rick Astley cover act. And finally, as a consequence of more and more people embrace secular humanism over traditional Catholic morays, the idea of demonic possession isn’t really as frightening as it used to be.
So take a deep breath. Yeah, the red band trailer looked cool. And maybe we all got rooked, but whining about it isn’t going to change anything. Time to move on, because I believe that this is going to be a really good year.
Why the unbridled optimism, you ask? Because we’re due. Because hard times are the fertile soil from which spring our most potent nightmares. The turmoil of the late 60’s and early 70’s provided us with Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist.
The economic crises of the 70’s led us to the release of Dawn of the Dead, Alien, Phantasm, the Fog, the Amityville Horror, Prophecy and several others all being released in the space of about a year (1978-79, for those keeping score). And let’s face it, America’s been going through some pretty fucking hard times.
So I’m going to go out on a ledge and make a prediction here: that 2012 is going to be one of those landmark years. Here’s my pick, not only for the top 5, but the order as well.
#5 – Cabin In The Woods
I love the fact that I’ve watched this trailer at least 50 times and still, I’m not a hundred percent sure what’s going on. It seems to revolve around a cabin somewhere in the woods. Kids venture there, and get their whole world upended by sinister forces. Sounds familiar, right? Only it’s not. Director Joss Whedon seems to have dispensed with the traditional slasher or inbred cannibal clan, instead opting to slaughter his cast with an array of high tech weapons, paramilitary storm-troopers, mind control gas, and killer holograms.
#4 – [REC]3 Genesis
If a large group of people who didn’t know any better were ushered into a room and presented with a screening of [REC], without being told they were watching a movie, it’s probable that a percentage of them would literally shit themselves out of utter terror and despair. [REC] is arguably the most effective FF film ever made, and while [REC]2 isn’t quite as scary (it’s hard to make the same trick work twice), it makes up for it with more bloody violence and sheer bugfuck lunacy. This time around, director Paco Plaza is going to change things up, offering a different time line, and a chance to see the dismayingly fast hell-spawned cannibals by light of day.
#3 – Lords of Salem
Rob Zombie’s movies are a lot like your favorite roadside taco stand. They’re dirty and cheap looking and drab and somehow in spite of all of this, they are inherently wonderful. For his 5th directorial effort, RZ has managed once again to haul out the who’s-who of horror movie staples. Expect loads of brutal violence, “so bad it’s good” dialogue, and some kick-ass music.
#2 World War Z
Here’s the thing about zombies: they work just fine on their own, provided the story is well written, and the actors aren’t totally fucking terrible. Zombies don’t need any additional gimmicks, nor does the idea of some adaptive “super-zombie” strike any additional fear into the viewer. As long as the folks behind the most expensive and elaborate zombie movie manage to remember that, WWZ should turn out just fine, and perhaps every straight male on earth can finally forgive Brad Pitt for all those times we had to sit through Legends of the Fall with some chick.
#1 John Dies at the End
You probably didn’t know this, but Don Coscarelli was born with an extra gland located at the base of his skull. The sole purpose of this gland is to secret awesome ideas, which are then absorbed directly into his brain. This is probably not even a little bit true, but the guy is still responsible for the creation of the Phantasm series, and bringing Joe Lansdale’s Bubba Ho-Tep to the screen. I predict this one to be number one with a bullet for 2012
So there you have my predictions. Perhaps we may revisit this in a year and see how things pan out. That is if those evil space Mayans don’t manage to crash the Planet Niburu into Earth like some people believe (seriously). Cheers.