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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Horror Rundown 2013 So Far

Since we’re halfway through 2013, I thought it would be fun to give you a rundown on all the horror films released so far this year. I am not listing limited release films, films that are currently running on the horror convention circuit or straight-to-Blu-ray films. These are films that had been released on over 2,000 theater screens.
This year was started with Texas Chainsaw 3D, a film that picks up after Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ignoring the two remakes before it, this tells the tale of what happens to the mascot of the series, Leatherface when his long-lost cousin comes to visit. I was excited for this movie but I left disappointed due to the lack of story and huge plot holes.
Next up we have Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. This film, at face value, seems silly as the story picks up where the fairy tale left off. The brother and sister duo take up bounty hunting witches. The film is surprisingly fun and not to be taken seriously with high-paced action and a dark comedic tone, it was entertaining.
Mama, shot in Hamilton and the Kitchener-Waterloo area is a middle-of-the-road ghost tale. The plot starts off with two sisters being abandoned in the woods, they are found with the help of an uncle a couple years later but a mysterious ghost called Mama has followed the two sisters to their new home. It’s an OK movie but best suited for young teens that are just curious about the genre and don’t like their horror too extreme.
Dark Skies, basically the 2011 film Insidious with aliens minus the cool parts. If you saw this in the theater then ‘Hi,’ I was the other guy in the theater.
The Last Exorcism Part 2: where do we begin? The title itself was sort of contradictory and as a fan of the first Last Exorcism, this movie was just bad. Except for an unintentionally hilarious last 10 minutes that almost warrants a rent, or an instant stream or whatever the cool kids call it these days. I am old-fashioned and stick with my Blu-rays.
The next film I am going to talk about comes on Blu-ray this month and is currently available on iTunes. It’s the best horror film of the year so far and one of the best remakes to come along in quite some time.
Evil Dead I saw three times in theaters and walked out rendered speechless and full of energy every time, a feeling I have never experienced since I saw the original cut of the 2007 film Paranormal Activity.
The story consists of five friends going down to a cabin to help a friend with a drug addiction, then bad stuff happens of course. I don’t want to say anything more because you deserve to see it fresh. The film just reminded me of what it was like to discover cool horror movies as a kid and then go tell all my friends about it.
Too bad at that point my friends were like “Oh, The Exorcist? That’s not scary - it’s old and boring. The original Halloween is so slow and there was no CGI… lame. But this remake Prom Night or this one The Messengers - now that’s scary.”
It was at that point I realized I needed more friends.
The last film that just came out recently is The Purge. An interesting concept where one day a year, all crimes are legal for 12 hours, even murder. If you buy into the premise, then you will enjoy this interesting take on a home-invasion film.
It’s more of an action film than horror, which will polarize people. The film also gets really preachy with the social commentary but is an overall solid flick.
There you have it folks, some good, one bad, one great. But we still have the second half of the year to look forward to.

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