2011 Horror Movie Releases Preview


So you’ve been all over the internets and you seen a whole lot of different websites doing a whole lot of end of the year lists and I’m sure you valiantly debated all of them furiously.  So now it’s time to look forward, ahead to the future of 2011 and the horror films that will grace our screens both big and small.  What you are about to read is one of, if not the largest horror movie preview for 2011 that you will see on any horror movie site.  Clocking in just over 5000 words, we are going to take a look at over 30 films that are coming out in 2011 (barring any unforeseen circumstances).  These are all projects that in one of the main stages of production providing us with a very good chance of seeing them in 2011.  As we know films get delayed all the time, and that’s an unfortunate situation but nevertheless, take a look into some of the movies you’ll be watching and talking about over the next 12 months.

*Most of the synopsis found are from IMDB.com*

Vanishing on 7th Street (Dir: Brad Anderson)  January 7, 2011 Synopsis: When a massive power outage plunges the city of Detroit into total darkness, a disparate group of individuals find themselves alone.  Soon the daylight begins to disappear completely, and as the survivors gather in an abandoned tavern they realize the rapidly diminishing light sources can keep them safe.

Thoughts: On first look, Vanishing on 7th Street sounds a bit like a Twilight Zone episode mixed in with the Anna Paquin starring film Darkness.  However, Brad Anderson has quite a knack to take a simple concept like he did with Session 9 and Transsiberian and turn them into tense thrillers that not only leave you terrified, but also thinking about the movie long after the running time has ended.  As far as I’m concerned, this one is a must see, mostly so that Brad Anderson gets more feature film work so that he can make more movies and I can thusly enjoy them.

Season of the Witch (Dir: Dominic Sena) January 7, 2011 Synopsis: 14th-century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague.

Thoughts:  Directed by the man who brought us Whiteout and Swordfish comes a movie about witches starring Nicholas Cage.  If you hear the key words “Sena”, “Cage”, and “witches” and your mind automatically goes to “OMFG THAT’S AWESOME!” then I’m not about to try and talk you out of it, you’re already lost. 

The Cabin in the Woods (Dir: Drew Godard) January 14, 2011 Synopsis: A twisted and unusual take on the familiar "cabin in the woods" formula.

Thoughts: Written by Josh Whedon and Drew Goddard, this film was delayed an entire year just so that the post filming 3D process could be completed.  From everything I’ve seen including Joss Whedon’s track record this is shaping up to be one of the best horror comedies to come out in recent years.  However, there is always an outside chance that it won’t be considering all the secrecy surrounding the project and the extra year it took to be released just to tack on an overly expensive, and mostly useless feature.  Guess we’ll all see on January 14th.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (Dir: Eli Craig) January ??, 2011 Synopsis: Tucker & Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids.

Thoughts:  Supposedly this film is going to be out in January in Canada, but as of right now it has no US release date and that Canadian date doesn’t look like its set in stone which is an honest to goodness shame.  This is the only film on this entire list that I can say that I have actually seen and it is a great slapstick horror comedy that if marketed correctly could make some studio a whole lot of money.  No idea why it doesn’t have a release date yet, but usually in cases like this MAGNET picks up the slack… I have no idea what they are waiting for.

The Rite (Dir: Mikael Håfström) January 28, 2011 Synopsis: An American priest travels to Italy to study at an exorcism school.

Thoughts: Bringing in Anthony Hopkins and Rutger Hauer definitely lends some credibility to the project from the man that brought us the underrated 1408.  Checking out the trailer, the movie is definitely a polished big studio horror release that involves both foreign countries and exorcisms.  Of course we all remember and love The Exorcist, and in all reality it will take a hell of a movie to overthrow the reigning champ, but could The Rite be that movie?  Probably not, but hell you can’t unseat the king if you don’t try right?  Anything with exorcisms automatically has me hooked so I’m going to go ahead and take a look into this one.
Hatchet II (Dir: Adam Green) February 1, 2011 (DVD) Synopsis:  Marybeth returns to the Louisiana swamps along with an army of hunters to recover the bodies of her family and exact the bloodiest revenge against the bayou butcher Victor Crowley. 

Thoughts:  Personal feelings aside, I want to give Adam Green and everyone else involved in Hatchet II the propers that they deserve considering that whole debacle with the MPAA and then attempting to release the film unrated.  Usually I just reserve this list for high profile releases, Hatchet II has garnered a lot of love from both fans and critics and come February 1st, you’ll be able to go to your local video store and see what the entire hubbub is about. 

The Roommate (Dir: Christian E. Christiansen) February 4, 2011 Synopsis: College student Sara finds her safety jeopardized after she's assigned to a dorm room with a new roommate, Rebecca.

Thoughts: Hey I didn’t know they remade Single White Female (Hi-Yo!). I kid, I kid, but seriously this movie looks like the exact same plot but instead of adults in New York, they are 18 year old college freshman in some random city.  I do like however, that there is no searching for the roommate, it’s just randomly assigned as per the college so they can really cut to the chase with the good and creepy stuff.  Although I really don’t like to judge a movie before I even see it, the fact that the plot is exactly the same as another film is somehow more discouraging that if it were just calling itself a remake.  So… this forecast isn’t exactly great, but I’ll still give it a shot. 

Dream House (Dir: Jim Sheridan) February 18, 2011 Synopsis:  Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling.

Thoughts: So I don’t see a trailer anywhere about this film, and all I know about it is that synopsis and the fact that Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weisz are in it.  Usually, these actors aren’t known to take on acting jobs that are awful so it definitely shows some promise as a solid horror flick THAT IS IN NO WAY like Amityville at all.  Also, here’s a fun fact, director Jim Sheridan also helmed the widely respected film My Left Foot (which got Daniel Day Lewis his first best acting Oscar), Brothers back in 09 (with Natalie Portman), and 50 Cent’s semi autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (I am completely serious).  This could be one of the best mad scientist constructed ridiculous pieces of insanity ever, or it could be a generic studio horror film.  We’ll all get to see for ourselves in a few short months.

Shelter (Dirs: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein) February 25, 2011 Synopsis:  A female forensic psychiatrist discovers that all of one of her patient's multiple personalities are murder victims. She will have to find out what's happening before her time is finished.

Thoughts: Well sometimes when all you have to go on is a trailer and the names and reputations of the people involved in the film, it is very difficult to pass judgment on a film considering that every conclusion I make could very easily be wrong.  My ignorance would be proven because I’ve opened my mouth before I’ve seen the movie and in the long run should anyone remember my quotes, I’ll look like a jackass.  That being said, I don’t know anything of the directors involved (Which isn’t a bad thing), Julianne Moore has been in some real stinkers lately despite being a great actress, and the movie involves multiple personality disorder whereas one of the personalities is a murderer.  This could be the synopsis for Fight Club, Room 666, or Identity.  Oh wait, it was written by the same guy who wrote Identity.  Fancy that.

Apollo 18 (Dir: Gonzalo López-Gallego) March 4, 2011 Synopsis: A film about the real mission to space in the 1970's that was canceled by NASA.

Thoughts: So the synopsis isn’t very detailed, but that’s all I have.  Well, that and the tagline that states “There’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon”.  So I’m going to assume that astronauts go to the moon and find some weird and freaky stuff that scares them.  I’ve kind of been negative with this preview so far, but honestly anything that is produced by the man who brought me the fantastic Russian films Daywatch and Nightwatch deserves my money.  Really looking forward to this one. 

Red Riding Hood (Dir: Catherine Hardwicke) March 11, 2011 Synopsis: Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure.

Thoughts: Starring Amanda Seyfried (From Allentown PA, which makes her infinitely awesome forever) as the classic fairy tale character Red Riding hood, this new vision of the classic Grimm’s fairy tale could be a dark and alluring piece of cinema that takes an interesting and fresh look at the century’s old tale.  Or it could be the exact opposite of that considering it’s directed by the same woman who directed Twilight, and that the trailers are advertising that fact pretty heavily.  Of course, this could be an amazing film wrapped in a marketing campaign designed to exploit teenagers which is really the best case scenario here.  Frankly if that is the case, I’m fine with that.

Battle Los Angeles (Dir: Jonathan Liebesman) March 11, 2011 Synopsis: A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles.

Thoughts:  Apparently if Hollywood keeps making movie like this, then we no longer have to see adaptations of videogames into movies with space marines killing aliens which in all honestly is perfectly fine by me.  The trailer makes this film look like a big budget Alien invasion film, which again, in all honestly aren’t being made often enough.  Everything about this one screams fun popcorn movie that doesn’t look like it will be very deep but then again, that is exactly what District 9 originally looked like and that film surprised everyone.  I can’t wait to give this one a shot.
Limitless (Dir: Neil Burger) March 18, 2011 Synopsis:  A copywriter discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities.

Thoughts:  Based on the novel Dark Fields, Bradley Cooper stars as a failing writer who runs into an old friend that gives him some new kind of drug that completely opens up his mind into brilliance.  These superhuman abilities cause him to finish his novel in 4 days, predict and make millions on the stock market, and become the “perfect version of himself”.  Sounds like a great message for kids, where as if you keep taking mysterious drugs, you will be the most awesomest version of yourself ever.  Oh and if you stop taking that drug, then you die.  I’m sure everything back fires on the guy and the movie totally isn’t predictable in any way.  If it’s any consolation, the book has been critically acclaimed and adored by fans.  Also, I can’t deny the fact that the movie itself looks pretty cool, which is enough to get me to see it, but then again I see a lot of movies based on the silliest of passing interests, so take that as you will…

Sucker Punch (Dir: Zach Snyder) March 25, 2011 Synopsis: A young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility.

Thoughts: Zack Snyder brings us another visual eye-f**kery about a group of young girls who fight Nazis.. no wait that’s not right.  Well they are breaking out of an orphanage to gain their freedom… well I don’t know if that’s the whole story.  Well ok, they are going on a quest to find 5 relics that will ensure… something… Look, I have no idea what in the hell this movie is about but it looks and feel different than anything I’ve ever seen before.  Zack Snyder handled the Watchmen fantastically (albeit, not perfect, but as perfect as we will ever see) and made us respect the idea of the remake with Dawn of the Dead.  I want to see this not because I’m a child and it panders to the hormone laden sixteen year old fan boy inside of me, but because I’m an adult and I can admit that a film clearly not directed to me may have some visually gorgeous elements to it as well as a strong narrative.  Guess that is part of growing up, not being dismissive of something based on its track record.

Mother's Day (Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman) April 1, 2011 Synopsis: The sadistic members of a villainous family return to their childhood home to terrorize the new home owners and their guests.

Thoughts: Darren Lynn Bousman is the insane and brilliant mind who brought us REPO: The Genetic Opera as well as a few of the better SAW films (II, III, IV).  Mother’s Day also happens to be one of those films that have been delayed again and again with no real determinable reason so there isn’t a whole lot of information on it.  But what I will say is that if DLB can make three SAW films in a row that are not only hold a narrative coherence against all odds, but actually turned out to be pretty solid sequels.  If he could do that with the SAW films, then he should have no problem with this remake.  I always look forward to DLB’s stuff and can’t wait till he breaks out of his shell.

Scream 4 (Dir: Wes Craven) April 15, 2011 Synopsis:  Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

Thoughts: Because of the films The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and to a slightly lesser extent, The People Under the Stairs, Wes Craven’s name will forever be synonymous with horror and he will always reign as one of the founding fathers of the genre.  But his last few efforts haven’t been great (My Soul to Take was just… awful).  I thought that back in 1996 when Wes Craven made Scream, it was a fresh and insightful look into a genre that had become way too cliché and systematic causing a shakedown of the whole horror world.  I hope Scream 4 can do the same, but it doesn’t look very likely.  Still, I’ll be there opening day.

Priest (Dir: Scott Charles Stewart) May 13, 2011 Synopsis:  A priest disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.

Thoughts:  This is another one of those films that get pushed back from 2010, and considering all the visual effects in the film, it’s not surprising to see why.  Set in an alternate world, Paul Bettany is a bad ass priest warrior who is apparently going against the church by being a bad ass and killing vampires.  I’m not too heavy into rogue priest graphic novels, but it gets my goat a little bit when this easily could have been a film adaptation of Battle Pope.  Seriously I don’t really read too many comics, but Battle Pope is awesome and needs to be made into a film.  Anyway, right, the movie.  It looks like an awesome alternative to watch when I’m at home sick on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Might be great, might be awful but it doesn’t matter if it is a lot of fun.

The Fields (Dir: Ami Canaan Mann) July 16th, 2011 Synopsis:  In the Texas bayous, a local homicide detective teams up with a cop from New York City to investigate a series of unsolved murders.

Thoughts:  So allegedly, this film is based on a string of real life murders that had taken place in the span of 30 years on a 50 mile stretch of Interstate-45 in Texas.  When making a film based on a real life tragedy, it’s always a difficult task to respect the victims of these horrible accidents while at the same time not straying too far from the story and after you’ve somehow managed all of that come up with a good and engaging movie.  This looks like it’s going to come into some controversy considering that there have been arrests in the case, but no definite resolution.  It’s possible that one man perpetrated all of these crimes, however no one knows for sure.  That person could in theory still be out there.  That right there is more terrifying to me than any scary movie.

Fright Night (Dir: Craig Gillespie) August 19, 2011 Synopsis:  A remake of the comedy-horror picture about a teenager who discovers his new next-door neighbor is a vampire.

Thoughts:  Starring Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots who are both amazing young actors, this remake looks as If it’s a project that is not only taking itself seriously, but also swinging for the proverbial fences.  Fright Night holds a very special place in the hearts of a lot of genre fans, but honestly I always thought that the film was pretty darnn hokey, especially after you see the lady killing vampire stereotype and the Peter Vincent character.  But hey, that’s just me.  Judging from the talent involved in this remake, it looks like it could be something special. 

Final Destination 5 (Dir: Steven Quale) August 26, 2011 Synopsis:  Survivors of a suspension-bridge collapse learn there's no way you can cheat Death.

Thoughts: It’s the same damn movie as the last three, and all you need to know is that this time, the big death cheating event is some kind of suspension bridge collapse.  Aside from the ridiculous Rube Goldbergesque ways that people die, what else would you really still be tuning in for?

Shark Night 3D (Dir: David R. Ellis) September 2, 2011 Synopsis:   weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to fresh-water shark attacks.

Thoughts:  There isn’t a whole lot of information out about this movie right now, so this is going to have to be another one of those movies where we go by the people involved and their previous bodies of work.  David R. Ellis has directed Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, and The Final Destination.  In addition to that, the list of actors involved looks like a who’s who of straight to DVD bottom of the barrel roles.  Then again David R. Ellis also directed the much underrated Final Destination 2 and the movie is about shark attacks in 3D.  This has the potential to be an awesomely bloody good time, so I’m just going to hope that it turns out that way.

Piranha 3DD (Dir: John Gulager) September 16, 2011 Synopsis:  none yet, will probably feature Piranha’s eating hot young people.

Thoughts: John Gulager brought us Feast, which was a great horror film that was a hell of a lot of fun.  In addition to that he brought us Feast 2 and Feast 3 which were both absolutely awful.  Maybe this is the chance to come back to glory with a known property that is already a parody of itself.   I really hope that is the case because for the train wrecks that the second and third Feast movies were, they had a few glimmer moments of hope in them and I truly believe that Gulager has some more great movies inside of him.

Straw Dogs (Dir: Rod Lurie) September 16, 2011 Synopsis:  L.A. screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.

Thoughts:  Dustin Hoffman’s performance in the original Sam Peckinpah film will forever go down in history as one of the most ground breaking performances ever in the genre.  The original was simply the epitome of catching Lightening in a bottle when a lot of really talented people get together and churn out an amazing piece of art. The chances of it happening again are slim, but not impossible.  Considering some of the talent involved here including Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard, I’m not ruling out the fact that it may very well be a great film.  

The Thing (Dir: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.) October 14, 2011 Synopsis:  At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson. While Dr. Halvorson keeps to his research, Kate partners with Sam Carter, a helicopter pilot, to pursue the alien life form.

Thoughts:  A remake in spirit, but prequel by definition exists to tell the story of the poor Norwegian camp that appears in the beginning of John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) with their guns a blazing.  The Thing is my second favorite movie ever, (and that’s every single genre) and out of all the remakes I’ve seen come and go this is one I really don’t want to see it screwed up.  Early word from screenings and on set visits all point to this film being a crazy mix of gore and violence from the alien life form so that is very promising.  This movie has been delayed a few times and was originally slated to come out in the summer of 10, however it looks like we will have to wait another 10 months to see it.  I look forward to it.

Paranormal Activity 3 (Dir: Tod Williams) October 21, 2011 Synopsis:  None as of yet

Thoughts: Just like Saw before it, Paranormal Activity is shaping up to be the annual horror installment franchise that pops up every single year.  I enjoyed the first two installments, but I felt as if they were more of a flavor of the month type film rather than something that will stay with us for a long time.  Almost like it’s disposable.  I feel like eventually they are going to have to break away from the formula from the first two films, but until then, just keep milking’ that cash cow.

The Apparition (Dir: Todd Lincoln) October 21, 2011 Synopsis:  A couple is haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment.

Thoughts:  Since this movie isn’t set to come out till the last quarter of next year, there isn’t a trailer out or much of anything rather than two publicity stills.  Movies like this, with two rising actors (One being Ashley Greene from Twilight) and a extremely generic sounding plot, this looks like a studio run PG-13 piece of garbage.  However that may be completely untrue and it could change the face of horror today.  That’s the best way to think of the future of horror, optimism.  

Dibbuk Box (Dir: Ole Bornedal) October 28, 2011 Synopsis:  A family is haunted by a box that contains an evil curse.

Thoughts:  Ok so that description is a bit vague and generic but I was able to drum out a few details from IMDB.  Apparently this movie is 100% based on a true story about a man named Clyde Breneck whom along with his 10 year old daughter Em purchase an antique box at a yard sale (I guess in real life, it was purchased on ebay).  When they get the box and open it, it delivered an evil spirit that only wants to devour Em.  I would think that this would be a pretty darn interesting and creepy story that I find kind of weird that I’ve never heard of it before.  Either way, it sounds entertaining enough, so I look forward to it.

TBA 2011 And now we stumble into the ‘to be announced” section which includes a group of films don’t have any kind of specified release date.  These films have either already finished their production or are deep into production showing me that they will most likely be released in 2010 considering some of the names attached to them.  Then again, you never really know.

Red State (Dir: Kevin Smith) 2011 Synopsis:  A horror film in which a group of misfits encounter fundamentalism gone to the extreme in Middle America.

Thoughts: Yes, it’s that Kevin Smith.  The man who brought us Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  Apparently this has been a passion project of his for a long time, but whenever he tried to get it made, it just didn’t work out.  I’m very interested to see what Kevin Smith does with a horror film considering someone like John Landis was very successful in switching genres from comedy to horror.  I just hope it doesn’t get too preachy and steeped in anti-Right Wing propaganda and instead focuses on giving us a great horror film. 

The Fields (Dir:) TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  Tells the story of a young boy and his family who are terrorized by an unseen presence.

Thoughts:  Starring Tara Reid and Cloris Leachman this film is adapted from the writer B. Harrison Smith’s experiences when he lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1970s as a young boy.  The movie happened to be filmed only a few miles from where I write this so I figured I would plug it.  The teaser trailer doesn’t have a whole lot to it, but it looks sufficiently creepy.  We’ll see when it comes out.

The Ward (Dir: John Carpenter)  TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  A thriller centered on an institutionalized young woman who becomes terrorized by a ghost in a 1966 setting.

Thoughts:  John Carpenter returns to horror with his first feature length theatrical films since Ghosts of Mars back in 2001.  Since then he has done two episodes of the Masters of Horror series called Pro-Life and Cigarette Burns, both of which I really enjoyed.  The film stars a few hot up and coming actresses with Amber Heard, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Danielle Panabaker and it originally premiered back at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.  Reviews from that and other screening have been pretty mixed, but when you have people on both sides of the argument, that’s usually when you are onto something interesting.  I’ll save my judgment on this one until I see it.

The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence (Dir: Tom Six) TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  none so far

Thoughts:  All I really know about the film is that it’s a sequel to the film that I named the best horror film of 2010.  Also there is a rumor that the human centipede won’t be three people because they are thinking more like 12 people.  The first initial teaser was tom Six walking through a parking garage and showing us the “sickest guy they could find”.  It could be legitimate insanity, or it could be a horrible sequel, either way I’m definitely going to see it.

John Dies at the End (Dir: Don Coscarelli) TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience where users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.

Thoughts: This film is based on a book written by David Wong who crafted his chops over at Cracked.com.  I haven’t read the book yet, since you know, I’m essentially illiterate.  If you don’t know who David Wong is (and shame on you) then at least realize that Paul Giamatti is starring in the film along with Doug Jones and Agnus Scrim.  Although this really has nothing at all to do with Phantasm at all, this may be the closest thing to a Phantasm sequel we will ever see.  So get out there and support Coscarelli!

Quarantine 2 (Dir: John Pogue) TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  A follow up to 2008's Quarantine, this entry is directed by John Pogue and "picks up later that night” at LAX

Thoughts: While Quarantine was an American envisioning of the Spanish film REC, Quarantine 2 is nothing like REC 2 at all.  Instead of staying in the same apartment building with some highly trained commandos, Quarantine 2 instead seems to focus on an outbreak in an Airport.  I wasn’t too much of a fan of Quarantine, but the thought of having an outbreak in an Airport seems absolutely awesome.  

Hobo With a Shotgun (Dir: Jason Eisener) TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  A homeless vigilante blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.

Thoughts:  What started out as a fake trailer submitted in a contest to run with the film Grindhouse, Hobo with a Shotgun is now coming to the screen starring Rutger Hauer.  This looks like a guilty pleasure movie that consists of one of the most awesome synopses that I have ever seen.  Even I it doesn’t go down in the annals of cinema history as an AFI top 100 film, it will still be quite a lot of fun.

Zombieland 2 (Dir: Ruben Fleischer?) TBA, 2011 Synopsis:  none so far

Thoughts:  As of right now no actors, director, or writers are tied down.  Hollywood, just make this happen, everyone wants to see it.
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