The Strange Case of Doctor Rx is a curious oddity indeed as Universal once again struggles to fire a hit outside of the ‘classic’ monster films that they had become synonymous with. Described as a B Movie murder mystery horror, this film crunches and clunks its way through numerous genre changes in gear that it never really hits its stride. Some elements lay sway to the screwball comedies of the era, but freezes more than sizzles with its dialogue.
With Patric Knowles handed a top billing role (following his support performance in The Wolf Man) as Private Investigator Jerry Church, hired to investigate a series of murders by someone who labels himself as Rx. What is bizarre about the narrative is that it picks up after five murders have already occured which feels like a missed opportunity to build up the suspense.
Church is indeed a hot shot investigator who is at odds with his desire to do what he does best and settle down with his new wife Kit (one of the original scream queens Anne Gwynne). He is ultimately drawn into the mystery however as we too are struggling to comprehend what is actually going on.
The comedy moments aren’t enough either to lift the audience out of the confusion and fall flat, coming across as befuddling rather than bemusing.
By the film’s conclusion the script somehow manages to side step a suitable conclusion with Church placed in a dire situation without showing how he is able to escape his plight. It then wrangles a conclusion that is just as perplexing as its premise, leaving me to wonder what I had just watched.
It’s one silver screen lining is the red herring element with the great Lionel Atwill lurking mysteriously in the shadows (Man-Made Monster, The Mad Doctor of Market Street). If only his presence was felt more strongly throughout the movie. It’s absence of mystery is heavily felt and with more work on the screenplay, Universal could have had a very different film on the hands. Missed opportunity.
There’s a warm familiarity about Universal’s fourth Frankenstein instalment. Where other classic monster films have struggled to continue their respective story arcs, the Mary Shelley inspired creature horror manages to breathe new life into the story this far.
Serving as a companion piece to its predecessor, Son of Frankenstein, the story follows the devious Ygor (Bela Lugosi reprising his role) who managed to survive alongside the creature and tries to exert his power once again.
Despite Karloff’s absence as the walking husk, Lon Chaney Jr steps into the big shoes and dons the bolts effectively. In particular the running theme with the creatures’ connection with a young village girl, Cloestine, a symbol of innocence and purity. In James Whale’s original Frankenstein, this is snuffed out, so the threat hangs in the air despite it coming from a genuine place of curiosity and the need to be like her.
Joining the main players is another strong ensemble with Cedric Hardwicke as Frankenstein’s descendant, Lionel Atwill as the misguided assistant Dr. Bohmer, Ralph Bellamy as the steadfast representative of the law Erik Ernst, and Evelyn Ankers as Elsa Frankenstein (whose name is a delightful nod to The Bride of Frankenstein’s Elsa Lancaster).
The drive in this film is a mixture of writing the wrongs and striving to better oneself. The creature longs to be accepted, Frankenstein sees the opportunity to clear his family name through a brain transplant using a suitable host: not a criminal mind, and Dr. Bohmer driven by the need to be recognised in his profession.
This is Lugosi’s show though and he relishes expanding on the character of Ygor wanting initially to strive away from his deformity but throughout the film transforming this gaze to one of power.
The screenplay written by W. Scott Darling weaves in some weaves in some typical tropes that is instantly recognisable from the franchise such as the lynch mob wielding torches that bookends the film and even places the shocking theme of gassing into the mix, a subject that would have had strong reactions at the time. This combined with the direction of Erie C. Kenton delivers another strong entry into the franchise and Universal Horror.
By 1942 Lionel Atwill had firmly established himself as a veteran of the silver screen and rightfully deserves top-billing in this horror / thriller from Universal Pictures. He hits every note of the titular character in his stride with relative ease, both dialling up the mania and subtly downplaying the more reserved moments whilst still coming across as sinister in his mannerisms. The narrative quickly shifts from science experiment gone awry when Atwill’s Dr. Benson inadvertently kills his subject when trying to resurrect the dead. Think Flatliners but on a minimum scale.
Now a fugitive on the run, he goes in hiding on a ship to New Zealand. Unfortunately a police detective had also boarded the ship on a hunch that Benson is among its passengers. This results in Benson resorting to drastic measures and pushing said detective overboard. The drama doesn’t end there however, as somehow a fire erupts on the ship causing the passengers to abandon ship and our key players (including Benson) washing up on a remote island. Once on the island the film starts to show its age, depicting the islanders as savages and easily manipulated by Benson’s medical knowledge when he resurrects one of the villagers from a supposed death (in reality, a stroke) with a potion (adrenaline). It’s a she because this depiction does jar when viewed with a modern lens and shifts the gaze away from the terror that is trying to be depicted.
It is then down to the survivors (all of whom are pretty formulaic) to try and outwit and expose Benson his true malicious interests without putting their own lives on jeopardy.
The script does suffer from falling into predictable terrain and it could have amped up Benson’s maniacal moments to make his presence more terrifying, but hats off to director Joseph H Lewis for crafting together a fairly decent effort from a very low budget. With a running time that’s just over the hour mark, The Mad Doctor of Market Street still amazed to entertain.
The introduction of The Wolf Man would mark the last of the iconic stable monsters to come out of Universal studios during its golden age of horror. Along with it comes arguably one of the production houses’ most tragic characters in Larry Talbot. Talbot’s heartfelt sorrow is all the more pained due to his magnificent portrayal by Lon Chaney Jr, who after impressing in Man-Made Monster finally got to take on a lead-role as the doomed hero.
In many ways the feature would serve as a signature to the passing of the torch from the old to the new with Chaney Jr ably supported by Claude Rains (The Invisible Man) as Larry’s father Sir John, and Bela Lugosi (Dracula) as Bela the Gypsy. The latter is all the more on the snout as Bela harbours the secret of being a lycanthrope and literally bites Talbot, transforming him and turning him into the monster.
The strength of the cast doesn’t end there though, and this is part of the beauty of this film and why quite honestly, it still resonates today. With Ralph Bellamy (Rosemary’s Baby), Patric Knowles (Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man), Evelyn Ankers (The Ghost of Frankenstein), but none more striking than Maria Ouspenskaya as Maleva, The Gypsy Fortune Teller. Her role would lend significant weight and drama to Talbot’s plight and add a dash of the mysticism behind the mythology. She would reprise her role once more in Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man.
Curt Siodmak would return once more as the screenwriter, in arguably his finest work, which is partly to do with him drawing from his own tragic history of segregation and oppressed Jew under the Nazi regime, a topic that doesn’t get lost in the narrative as Bela and Larry are both marked by the pentagram as part of their curse.
In this story, Talbot returns to his ancestral home to reunite with his estranged father. Whilst there, he becomes infatuated with a local girl, Gwen, only to succumb to a wolf attack. At first, Talbot believes that his plight is all too real, but when he heals so swiftly, he starts to question his own sanity, before the physical changes begin to occur. From here, he withdraws from the world, not knowing who to turn to, afraid of what he might do.
Now that mythology is the stuff of legend, and many have transpired to go above and beyond where it all began with numerous tales of the shapeshifting beast. The effects have come in leaps and bounds since this film, but a huge nod must go out to make up guru Jack Pierce who would produce the now infamous look from his own personal kit, including yak hair that was glued to Chaney Jr’s face in a laborious procedure. The Wolf Man would go on to feature in a further four sequels, all featuring Chaney Jr (the only actor to play the role), which is part of its appeal, and one of the key characteristics of Talbot is his ‘nice guy’ personality that is conflicted with this plague.
The film is iconic and despite being nearly 80 years old, is still solid. A testament to the talent involved in its creation and Siodmak’s screenplay. As my journey through the Universal horror archive, this was a welcome shift in the positive direction.
The film derives its title from a classic Edgar Allan Poe short story, but its usage should be held lightly as it’s a far cry from its inspiration, only vaguely connected via said black cat who mysteriously arrives when a dead body is found.
Having traversed through the early Universal horror films and into the 1940s, it becomes apparent the strikingly familiar storyline that is at its helm, primarily based on The Old Dark House, which had been a winning formula for the giant film production house.
The trouble is, this feels all too stale and tired in comparison to its predecessors that I felt beyond caring for the characters plight and you just long for Tim Curry to prop up and “camp” his way through a whodunnit spiel, just to spice things up a bit.
Instead we’re faced with a couple of bungling sleuths in the guise of antique dealers, there to praise the value of some of the elderly Henrietta Winslow’s estate. Henrietta is aware that she is to bequeath her fortune to a greedy family, so she writes up a will against their knowledge with a caveat stating that they will not be able to lay their hands on her money, until her housekeeper Abigail and her many cats have died.
Cue the death of Henrietta, the reveal of her will, and then a pursuit of Abigail from a mysterious assailant, leaving the two antique dealers to try and solve the murder before the night is through and to prevent a higher body count.
The Black Cat boasts an incredible cast in Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert (who admittedly is slightly annoying with his comic relief), Broderick Crawford, Anne Gwynne, the brilliantly melodramatic Gale Sondegaard, a young Alan Ladd (“Shane!”) and a criminally underused Bela Lugosi as the ‘red herring’ character. So it’s a shame then that this is a massive misfire and never utilises the talent on display with essentially an incredibly poor script that tries to rest on intrigue and a narrative template.
It lacks substance and therefore the likes of Rathbone simply have nothing to play with on screen and the comedy moments just doesn’t connect, leaving the whole debacle feeling flat.
Released as a double feature alongside Man-Made Monster, Horror Island would be billed as a mystery horror film but after viewing this 1940s film, it bears similarity to The Dark House, a decade its senior.
The storyline loosely follows brash and down on his luck Bill (Dick Foran) who is always looking for his next scheme, in a role all too familiar to his portrayal of Steve Banning in The Mummy’s Hand. Like that film, Dick has an offsider to bounce off in the form of Fuzzy Knight playing the role of “Stuff”. Unfortunately Fuzzy doesn’t quite carry the same charisma as Wallace Ford. Instead, the banter comes more from Leo Carillo as the peg-legged sailor Tobias Clump. It’s a shame then that Clump becomes more secondary to the scene as the story develops into a whodunnit.
Clump serves as the instigator to Bill’s quest when he turns up with a treasure map leading to a small island, which Bill owns. When he is informed that the map isn’t genuine, Bill turns this into another plot to get money, by tauting a trip to his island to find the treasure, but claiming that it is haunted, so only the hardiest of people should go. From here a range of misfits are pitted together in search of a thrill or merely to be entertained, among them is love interest, Wendy (Peggy Moran – The Mummy’s Hand).
Once they arrive on the island however, things take a sinister turn as the guests start to be popped off one by one, ala Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None with the prime suspect being a mysterious figure known as The Phantom lurking around behind the scenes.
Considering its 60 minute time, Horror Island tries to cram a lot in, but in doing so continuously feels like it misses the mark by trying too much. So as such, the movie is neither scary, mysterious, nor comical. Instead it is mediocre, especially compared to some of the other films released around the same time.
Historically speaking, Man-Made Monster marks a significant point in horror film history as it marked the Prince of Pain, Lon Chaney Jr’s first lead role in the genre.
Here Chaney Jr plays the happy-go-lucky Dan McCormick, a man with a curious immunity to an overdose of electricity that propels him to life on the road with a travelling circus. The story picks up however when McCormick is the sole survivor of a tragic bus accident that collides into a power-line. Think David Dunn from the Unbreakable series, but less dramatic and moody.
His survival comes to the attention of Dr. John Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds – It’s A Wonderful Life), who just so happens to be studying the effects of electricity.
The horror element comes in when Lawrence’s assistant, Dr. Paul Rigas (Lionel Atwill – Doctor X) takes the experiment into his own hands to manipulate an unwitting McCormick to undergo a series of tests with massive side effects. McCormick soon shows signs of fatigue and irritability as a result of the tests and the transformation turns him into a super-charged monster (a walking atomic light bulb) with the ability to kill with a single touch. This is exactly what occurs when Dr Lawrence finds out and attempts to shed light on Rigas’ illegal scientific experiments. That won’t hold water and Rigas ensures that McCormick (who is now under the mad scientists’ rule) stops Lawrence at all costs.
Despite a fairly low box office return and that it bared all too similarity to the Lugosi/Karloff feature, The Invisible Ray (a reason that the film had been shelved for a few years), it is a fairly stable movie and boasts great performances from both Atwill and Chaney Jr. For Chaney Jr. it would propel him into stardom and into a career that he could never shake, especially with The Wolf Man just around the corner, but there’s good reason as he’s definitely a captivating presence on screen.
Not to be confused with the crazed shopping spree that occurs after Thanksgiving, but arguably just as dark. Universal would blend together two of their most successful genres from the era in horror and gangster thrillers to produce a solid movie which would once again combine the awesome pairing of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The latter possibly delivers one of his finest performances for the production company as Dr. Ernest Sovac, a highly skilled surgeon who is compelled to save the life of his best friend college professor George Kinglsey (Stanley Ridges) with a brain transplant. Being a Universal horror feature, things naturally don’t go according to plan when a curious side effect occurs post operation.
The chosen brain just so happens to be from Red Cannon (also played by Ridges who should be commended for his portrayal of both characters) a gangster who is not only highly sought after by the police, but has hidden $500,000 dollars somewhere in the city.
The curious concomitant occurs when somehow Kingsley starts to show personality traits of Cannon in an almost Jekyll and Hyde type situation. Cannon clearly the dominant personality starts to take firm control of Kinsley’s body in pursuit of his hidden fortune.
The drama from the movie comes from Lugosi’s Marnay, another gangster who was part of Cannon’s crew and knows of the loot and will stop at anything to stake his claim, but also from Dr. Kovac, who at first is driven by saving his friend, but when he too learns of the fortune, gets the green mist and becomes consumed with using Kingsley as a puppet to lead him to the money.
It’s a pathway for doom and death for all involved and sparks an inevitable conclusion from a tale of greed, and power.
It’s a curious movie that is only really saved by Karloff’s performance from a script doctored by Curt Siodmak again, but comes across as a bit of a mish-mash of events leaving Lugosi grossly underutilised. With some clever changes to the plotline and perhaps a shift in casting, this movie could have presented more fairly, but as it stands, gets a little lost in its own moralistic views.
Positioned as a wartime propaganda film in order to build up the morale of US Citizens, Hollywood took another look at HG Wells’ Invisible Man, this time instead of mobs hunting down Griffin’s invisible formula, it would be the S.S.
The story picks up with the formula back in family hands, that of grandson, Frank Griffin Jr. played by John Hall in what would be his first outing as the cloaked man. Hall had previously impressed Universal for his support role in Eagle Squadron and was more than fitting to take the lead role embedded in the world of espionage.
Interestingly, the formula doesn’t have the negative impact on the psychosis as per the previous films, which is more than likely to keep a more upbeat, positive outcome with ample heroics for Griffin Jr to outwit and outsmart the S.S.
Sworn to make allegiance with the US government following the attack on Pearl Harbour, Griffin Jr discloses his secret to invisibility and from here on he is sent on a mission to where he parachutes behind enemy lines. He is soon aided by Maria Sorenson played by Ilona Massey, who receives equal billing and rightfully so as the femme fatale figure seemingly playing with the hearts of both Griffen Jr and GS Karl Heiser.
Cue mishaps and mayhem as they weave their way in and out of situations to evade capture in the manner that the 1940s movies excelled at. None more so here thanks to script writer Curtis Siodmak. Equally the leads are ably supported by stable actors, Cedric Hardwicke and Peter Lorre as the villains of the piece. Lorre’s performance is by today’s standards highly controversial and an example of the whitewashing in Hollywood as he plays Baron Ikito, a Japanese officer. He delivers his usual sound Peter Lorre performance, but you can’t escape how uncomfortable it is that he is portraying a character who is not of his own race.
Despite this, Invisible Agent is a great addition to the Invisible Man series and although it is different in tone, it has great substance in its style and has powerful performances providing a great yarn to boot.
100 years ago the Roaring Twenties came into effect with a social and economic boom that pushed the boundaries of experimentation and exploration dubbing it the crazy years.
Cinema has evolved greatly during this time and spawned Robert Miene’s silent horror in German Expressionism, which is still considered a classic among some critics.
While the tides have shifted and the boundaries of what is classified as horror has twisted through the years, moving numerous debates and discussions along the way, we come to a time when originality can be hard to come by, or perhaps the audience has become too critical and our perceptions have changed.
Can the films of today cause a deeper development in the genre that we’ve come to love and like the films that were born a century ago stir the insanity again and break new ground in the process?
Let’s look at what 2020 has in store and see if indeed it will deliver.
This film has led some early reports to compare it to Alien but in the ocean deep instead of the far reaches of space. It does boast Kristen Stewart in the cast who may divide audiences and has been a bit hit and miss of late in her film choices but she is supported in this instance by Vincent Cassel, who is known for choosing experimental films. Does this then mean that this team of underwater researchers will uncover not only a few beasties but also break new ground in the process?
Prediction: Neither sink or swim. A drifter that will entertain some but not cast anything new into the cinematic landscape.
Jan 24 – The Turning
Based on Henry James novel, The Turn of the Screw and produced by Steven Spielberg, it stars Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate) and Finn “Can my hair grow any longer?” Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and bears close scrutiny as director Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep) is set to release an interpretation of the novel in Netflix series, The Haunting of Bly Manor, his follow up to the successful The Haunting of Hill House.
Prediction: Director Floria Sigismondi will no doubt bring some artistic visual flair that is evidence from her music videos, but could possibly fall foul of “popcorn syndrome” – Light, fluffy with a bit of crunch and serves the masses, but ultimately has no substance.
Initially I was really excited about this release, being a fan of the Ju On franchise, plus Nicolas Pesce’s work with The Eyes of My Mother, and Piercing. Both movies have pushed the boundaries of comfort and shot in stylistic fashion that I was keen to see where Pesce would take The Grudge. Early reports haven’t been favourable however, so it could be another disappointment in the first month of the new decade.
Prediction: Could be another franchise instalment too many. The name alone will pull in the numbers, yet may not hit the mark on the scare front.
Jan 31 – Gretel and Hansel
It’s been over 200 years since The Brothers Grimm fashioned the fairy tale about a cannibalistic witch that kidnaps two children roaming in the woods. The fact that it is still resonates today is a testament to the strength of the storytelling and it will be interesting to see the story told from the perspective of Gretel played by Sophia Lillis (IT) who has already proved compelling as the young Beverly Marsh.
Prediction: Better than your average fair without necessarily offering anything new or compelling with the horror genre.
Some may argue its place in this list, but it is billed as a psychological horror and director Robert Eggers has already made a name for himself in the artistic expressionism world within the genre with his debut feature, The VVitch, a film that also divided audiences. American audiences have already seen the movie too as it was released there last year, but as yet Australian audiences are still to see Eggers’ sophomore outing which pits Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson against one another in a battle of wills and sanity in a remote and confined island.
Prediction: Will wow audiences looking for the alternative and alienate those more into the mainstream. Either way, both audiences will applaud the performances and Eggers and cinematographer Jarin Blaschke will paint a stunningly beautiful canvas.
Feb 13 – Fantasy Island
Blumhouse Productions are about to shake things up again by breathing new life into a cult 70s tv series. With a star-studded cast – Michael Pena (Crash), Maggie Q (Nikita), Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), and Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). On an island where your fantasies come true, only to turn into nightmares and the guests must figure out its mystery in order to survive.
Prediction: Another success for Jason Blum and the team which will connect with the cinema-going public. If it’s played right, it could offer a fresh take using a blend of fantasy and horror that could also spark a franchise
Feb 21 – Brahms: The Boy ll
This one is a bit of an oddity. Whilst its predecessor was a middle of the road affair and proved to be better than expected. It did feel like a one-off movie that didn’t necessarily warrant any further journey into the world of Brahms. A sequel is here though and will pick up with the doll being discovered by another family.
Prediction: A flop that will fall by the wayside and may not even make a blip on the radar.
Feb 27 – The Invisible Man
Another Blumhouse movie, this time in collaboration with Universal to resurrect their monsters franchise after the abysmal Tom Cruise vehicle from a few years ago. In what is potentially a ripe and current topic being explored in domestic violence as its central theme The Invisible Man boasts a cracking cast with Elisabeth Moss taking lead duties. It’s also in great hands with director Leigh Whannel steering the ship following his successful movie Upgrade from last year, plus Whannel is a storyteller, so expect a decent script to boot.
Prediction: The first big success of the year bringing the Universal monsters franchise back on track and paving the way for future projects with The Bride, Renfeld, The Invisible Woman, and Frankenstein.
Mar 20 – A Quiet Place Part 2
The question is whether director John Krasiniski can repeat the winning formula from the first movie. This War of the Worlds style feature with an audio twist is more sci-fi than horror, but with the family in plight scenario held a strong connection with the audience. How will this translate now that there is an absent father?
Prediction: Cillian Murphy will provide some much needed gravitas to the narrative which will be strong enough to lift the audience through with some decent ups and downs to wrench up the tension.
Apr 3 – The New Mutants
Since Disney took over Marvel operations, The New Mutants has been stuck in production, deemed a little dark for the House of Mouse questioning how to distribute it. The feature comes across as The Dream Warriors crossed with the X-Men and centres on 5 young mutants held in a secret facility against their will. It also boasts a cracking cast with Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (The VVitch, Split), and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things).
Prediction: Despite several delays I feel that this film is gonna connect in a big way and pull in a lot of people. It just depends on how dark Disney are willing to go with it.
Apr 17 – Antlers
Little is known about this movie other than it is based on a short story by Nick Antosca the creative mind behind the Channel Zero anthology series. The screenplay must have some potential to have caught the eye of Guillermo Del Toro and put his name down as producer.
Prediction: With Keri Russell in the cast to provide the fantasy elements in reality, this could well be the surprise hit of the year.
May 15 – Saw reboot
Currently titled The Organ Donor starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella this reboot of the Saw franchise will see the return of the Jigsaw Killer, but without Tobin Bell… I think? With director Darren Lynn Bousman at the helm once more following his turn overseeing parts 2-4, he is no stranger to the world.
Prediction: Will put bums on seats for the shock gore factor alone, but will the buddy cop drama approach pay off? Time will tell.
Jun 11 – Candyman
This is gonna be a tough one to watch for me as I am such a huge fan of the original movie and like Freddy, Candyman would haunt my dreams for a long time after viewing. A lot of that has to do with the strength of Clive Barker’s short story coupled with Tony Todd’s personification of the titular character. Part of me is willing for this to be a success though as I can see room for the movie to be delivered to a modern audience using folklore and mythology at its core, and the storyline itself can transcend easily through the ages. It will be interesting to see a female perspective in director Nia DaCosta to follow Helen’s journalistic investigations.
Prediction: Jordan Peele has attached his name to this project and is clearly passionate about the story, but one can’t help but feel this is one step too far in rekindling the old flame that resides within the Candyman story.
Jul 2 – Ghostbuster: Afterlife
I know it’s technically not a horror film, but I’m including this in the mix for its nostalgic value in me the original movie paved the love of horror that I have and opened the door to many more glorious visions in the genre ever since. The original team will return in some shape or form, but primarily the film centres around a mother and her two children who set up on a farm only to discover something paranormal lurking in the town.
Prediction: Another film that will be resting on the merits of the first film, and while it’s great to see Jason Reitman take on the franchise following in his father’s footsteps, one can only hope that there will be enough comedy, horror and sci-fi to capture that old magic, but I think it will just be a glimmer rather than that sparkle.
Jul 10 – The Purge 5
Supposedly returning for the final instalment the 12 hour no holds-barred, crimefest ignited something in the movie-going audience. It has seen five feature length instalments and 2 seasons.
Prediction: More of the same, so if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love it. I for one think the films are fun and enjoyable and it will be interesting to see how James DiMonaco will conclude things.
Jul 30 – Morbius
Sony has promised to take the Marvel universe into dark territory before with Venom and here they intend to do so again with Morbius, the Living Vampire. Jared Leto will no doubt bring the goods for the titular role and is in good company with Matt Smith, Jared Leto, and Tyrese Gibson.
Prediction: Director Daniel Espinosa provides great entertaining and solid movies, such as Safe House and Life, and I see no change here to his formula, but still question if they can go dark enough to make it compelling for horror fans.
Sep 11 – The Conjuring 3 aka The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Conjuring universe has progressed in leaps and bounds since its initial release in 2013. There has been the odd blips, but essentially the films continue to entertain and scare audiences. This latest film will once again see the Warrens at the centre of proceedings, this time with one of their most publicised cases that bore witness to Arne Cheyenne Johnson claiming that he was possessed when he murdered.
Prediction: Solid acting, tight storyline, but may fall down with its delivery and exposition. Unfortunately Director Michael Chaves didn’t deliver with The Curse of La Llorona, so I fear that this may end up in a similar way, but am still willing to give it a chance.
Sep 17 – Last Night In Soho
Not much known about this one, but Edgar Wright has a knack for tapping the pulse of classic films and adapting their essence for a modern audience. This time around the psychological horror is inspired by Don’t Look Now and Polanski’s Repulsion both high in my all-time favourite lists
Prediction: A killer cast in Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg, and Terence Stamp, this could be the ‘big hit’ of the year.
Oct 15 – Halloween Kills
In 2018, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jason Blum attempted the impossible, the resurrection of Michael Myers that would connect both fans of the original and connect with a new audience. By delving into the subject of trauma and the impact that this has on its victims, Myers became both topical and harrowing. His sheer brutality and the force in which he attacks his victims made his carnage all the more disturbing.
Prediction: The name and sheer presence of Myers will bring the audience to the screens, but can they still make him relevant? They can’t rest on the nostalgic nods this time around. It’s a fine line to walk on, for if they get it wrong, they could find their final instalment, Halloween Ends a tricky sell.
TBC – Army of the Dead
For sheer shits and giggles, and action-pumped mayhem from visual storyteller Zack Snyder, about a group of mercenaries who decide to rob a casino during a zombie outbreak, this film concludes our list.
Prediction: Starring Dave Bautista, Army of the Dead will be entertaining if nothing else. A perfect answer for those just wanting to get their kicks and not have to think too deeply.