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Release Date: December 27th
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The story: It's all about the Soy Sauce, a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. 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 (Rob Mayes)and David (Chase Williamson), 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: Do we really have to wait ten years for a Don Coscarelli-directed film? The last time the man behind Phantasm was at the helm of a feature film was Bubba Ho-Tep. And, word on the street is that this is a good film - which is terrific news. Terrific because that means, after all of this time, Coscarelli is one of the "masters of horror" that is still holding up; this, in spite of his short body of directing work outside of the Phantasm series. What I love about Coscarelli is that there is nothing to define him. He's unpredictable, but what we do know is that whatever he's got on the way is going to be "weird."
Release Date: January 4, 2013
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The story: Decades later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young woman named Heather learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. After embarking on a road trip with friends to uncover her roots, she finds she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. But her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles upon a horror that awaits her in the mansion’s dank cellars.
Thoughts: Seen it. Can't say a word about it. At least, not until later this month. What I will say is this: I was interested in this experiment for the sole reason of seeing how they intended to ignore every sequel, remake or prequel that has come in the wake of Tobe Hooper's original film. That's not to say I disliked the movies, in fact, I'll use this space to rank my favorites first to last: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. There you have it. Look for my review of the 3D film soon-ish (I think).
Release Date: January 18, 2013
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The story: Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night
The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel, have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.
As Annabel tries to introduce the children to a normal life, she grows convinced of an evil presence in their house. Are the sisters experiencing traumatic stress, or is a ghost coming to visit them? How did the broken girls survive those years all by themselves? As she answers these disturbing questions, the new mother will find that the whispers she hears at bedtime are coming from the lips of a deadly presence.
Thoughts: When Guillermo del Toro does anything, I pay attention. Even if the results are varied (I'm lookin' at you, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark). Fingers crossed this isn't a generic ghostly yarn. What I saw concept-wise of "Mama" herself was eerie and I'm eager to see it translated on the screen.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Release Date: January 25, 2013
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The story: The story takes place 15 years after the siblings' incident at the gingerbread house. The two are now specialized bounty hunters looking to put down the cackling black-hat set.
Thoughts: Dead Snow director Tommy Wirkola makes his American debut with this adventurous tale brimming with what looks like Van Helsing/Brothers Grimm-like antics. I'm not thrilled, but willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
But only because I'm hot for Gemma Arterton. (Just being honest.)
Release Date: January 31, 2013 (VOD); March 8, 2013 (limited theatrical)
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The story: Twenty-six directors… 26 ways to die! The ABCs Of Death is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived, featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. With each director assigned a letter of the alphabet, they were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving a tale of mortality. It’s an alphabetical arsenal of destruction orchestrated by some of the most exciting names in global horror.
Thoughts (my 6 out of 10 review from Fantastic Fest): I'll start with what I loved. The letters D, E and L. Marcel (Deadgirl) Sarmiento's "D is for Dog" is stylish and emotionally complex in the way that your feelings genuinely take a drastic turn within the few minutes it plays out, which is an achievement. "E is for Exhumed" is by Ben Wheatley and presents a unique perspective on something we've all see before. It doesn't overstay its welcome and it keeps its energy high. I dug it a lot. I thought it was one thing and it turned out to be something else entirely - I don't want to give it away. And, finally, Timo Tjahjanto's "L is for Libido" is a particularly f**ked up piece of work. I mean, really f**ked up. Only those with a sick sense of humor need apply.
The rest of ABCs is a mixed bag of puke, penises, poop, tits, animation and bloodshed. As much as I admire Ti West's recent efforts, his entry is swift and lazy. Adam Wingard's letter "Q" is damn amusing and Xavier Gens' letter "X" will challenge your gag reflex. ABCs clocks at two hours or so, however, I never felt it ran too long because it's a sensory overload. Overall, worth a look, but I don't suspect this is something I'll revisit.