Even though we’ve mainly been focusing on older horror movies, we check out newer stuff whenever we have the occasion or access to keep us somewhat updated on the modern, living world and an excuse to drag ourselves out from the crypt to smell some fresh air.
And 2023 seems to be an awesome year of horror with a murderous Winne the Pooh, a dancing doll, three Dracula-related films, and a bunch of kids kicking some alien ass. Here’s some of the titles to look forward to:
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey
Blood or honey with your bread? Why not both?
Here’s one of the rare occasions where just the title alone is enough to hit the interest meter up to eleven. But to be honest, I was also one of many who thought this was a fake trailer because Winnie the Pooh as a slasher villain sounds just too far out to be true. But no, it’s an actual film and Winnie the Pooh has some serious business to take care of after he got set free in the public domain where he can finally release his decades of boiled-up anger. And we’re already rooting for him, even before reading a synopsis.
Here we meet a young adult Christopher Robin who takes his girlfriend to 100 acre woods to say hello to his old childhood friends: Piglet, Eeyore and of course Winnie. But something is clearly wrong as they enter the woods and we soon learn that Old Winnie has been suffering some serious abandonment issues after Christopher left him, which made him become a serial killer.
Don’t know what to really expect other than the trailer showing clearly the three acts for the film: the first looks like a dark fantasy, the second as a mediocre teen slasher, the third as a gritty Grindhouse as if it was directed by Rob Zombie. I’m intrigued, at least.
Project Wolf Hunting
Train to Busan, and Peninsula, comes quick to mind here for some reason. But Project Wolf Hunting appears to be something quite else that seems to deal with a bunch of max prisoners being used as guinea pigs for some body-horror experiments. As they get put in cages in a cargo ship to get transported from the The Philippines to South Kora, something goes horribly wrong when they escape and causes a roller-coaster of a riot.
Looks like Con Air meets Under Siege and says hello to The Predator in Splatterhouse? Well, sign me up ’cause this seems like a wild all-inclusive boat ride with a lot of gory action and top-notch filmmaking in general. The original title is Neugdaesanyang.
It’s quite impressing that this little indie film trailer already looks ten times much better than most of the Hellraiser sequels.
And speaking of; Thorns seems to take a lot of inspirations from the aforementioned franchise, blended with some Lovecraftian intergalactic, Sci-Fi mayhem. The practical effects also looks pretty tasty with several monster creatures all from a cenobite-looking creature to a toilet monster, and the atmosphere seems to be in place. Doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously either which can be a good or bad thing.
And then we have the man and the legend himself Doug Bradley as … uncle Satan in human disguise, just to take a wild guess? And yes, his appearance looks like it was shot via a zoom call, which makes sense when you really think about it. Even Satan have to keep himself in touch with the technology, you know.
And let’s keep ourselves excited with director Douglas Schulze’s own note with: “Thorns is ripe with physical makeup effects and plenty of gore.” The sufferings will be legendary, in other words.
We all laughed, cringed and almost lost our minds by the first M3GAN trailer. It left us beyond bewildered, and we started to question life on such a high philosophical level that even Socrates would tell us to chill down a bit. It was just too much to take in, even for a trailer. It has already created a million memes on Twitter. It’s insaaane, riight?
And how could the second trailer top the first one? Well, this trailer looks more like a parody of the first trailer which is a great achievement in itself. It also indicates that the tone is going to be all over the place. Is this a comedy, a straight horror, or both, or just pure unintentionally funny dancing turkey of the year to be shred apart with no mercy? It’s hard to tell, but nevertheless, I can’t deny that it looks fun, but for all the wrong reasons. That uncanny dancing, though, still makes me lost for words. It’s like witnessing a TikTok video on the dark web as if the surface TikTok wasn’t disturbing enough.
M3GAN is also written and directed by Gerard Johnstone who made Housebound back in 2014, another silly yet entertaining film. So, we just have to eagerly wait and see.
Kids vs. Aliens
This one just came suddenly from nowhere as a lightening from the sky (pun intended). Kids vs. Aliens is Jason Eiseners very long-awaited follow-up feature since his Grindhouse flick Hobo With a Shotgun from 2011, which I’m a big fan of. He’s also known for his Christmas Horror short Treevenge.
Kids vs. Aliens looks like Stranger Things on acid and seems like an explosive B-movie insanity with a lot of energy and zero compromises, just what we would expect from Json Eisener. It has the same colourful and vibrant look from HWaS, although it (also by juding from the poster) seems more like a light-hearted Halloween party movie and overall silly fun for the whole family to enjoy.
The most requested sequel to Full Moon Features within the last 20-plus years that’s probably given Charles Band a chronic headache, ulcer, sore toenails and whatnot, but has finally a teaser: Subspecies: Bloodrise with our favourite vampire Radu.
This is a prequel of Radu from my understanding, spanning back to the old times before smartphones and shit. Ted Nicolaou, who wrote and directed the previous four films way back in the 90s is behind the steering wheel.
The visuals looks pretty promising. It has the gothic atmosphere, some sinister-looking vampires with fangs and swords, slices of cheese, and the classic soundtrack from The Aman Folk Orchestra. Full package it seems. And of course the star himself, Anders Hove as Radu with Denise Duff.
Some more anticipated movies for the upcoming year:
Nicolas Cage as Dracula? Of course! And even rated R? Hell yeah!
A remake of Nosferatu from 1922 by The VVitch and The Lighthouse director Robert Eggers. Cool. Also the second remake since Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht from 1979. And just for the occasion; Happy 100th birthday, Orlock, you sleazy old bastard.
Last Voyage of the Demeter
And here’s yet another Nosferatu/Dracula film, this one from our Norwegian Andre Øvredal. This one is based on the sailing ship Demeter that transferred Dracula from his homeland in Wallachia to the seaside town of Whitby in England, a boat trip that didn’t go pretty well for the captain and crew.
Evil Dead Rise
Have no clue what to expect in this sequel to Evil Dead (2013), but judging from the very few still images we’ve been teased with, it surely peaks my interest. This one is directed by Lee Cronin who also made the pretty stylish and atmospheric horror short Ghost Train.
Insidious: Don’t Fear the Dark
We’re not done with The Further yet in this prequel story of the Lambert family. This is the fifth installment in the Insidious franchise, this time directed by
Ed Warren Patrick Wilson, and this is his directorial debut. The image is a still from one of the previous films.
The debut of Chris Stuckmann, which is a found-footage film and the most-funded horror film project on Kickstarter so far. According to IMDb, the plot is about a woman’s desperate search for her long-lost sister and falls into obsession upon realizing that the imaginary demon from their childhood may have been real. The film is set to be released in July 2023 and no one can deny that the expectations is on a certain high level.
A sequel to the Spanish possession horror Verónica, which I don’t remember much of. But the images of the creepy nun and the Grindhouse-ish title is more than enough to check it out.