2013: Horror Preview

by Little T on Friday, December 14, 2012

2013 is showing some serious promise right out of the gate with the Guillermo Del Toro produced, Mama.  The trailer still holds up even after several viewings.  Not sure about the PG-13 rating, however, but it will surely help with box office return. Texas Chainsaw 3D is also due in January.  January may seem like an odd choice for a horror release; however, it worked well for The Last Exorcism which brought in $41M in 2010. Not too shabby for a horror film in general, but also for any January release.  I expect Texas Chainsaw to squeak out ahead of Mama on the recognisability factor alone – NOT quality.  But both should fare in the $30M range.

Speaking of Last Exorcism, this one’s getting a sequel in 2013.  The film will revisit Nell Sweetzer post exorcism.  My guess is that that first round baddie isn’t as banished as we think.  It should be able to pull in almost as much as the first one, I’d think.  Another decent first round hit getting a follow up is the gloriously frightful Insidious.  I am particularly interested in seeing how particularly interested in seeing how this one plays out.  Part 1 was excellently scary and left just enough threads hanging to make an Insidious Part 2 viable. And with James Wan back to direct, I have high hopes.  But, I don’t see it surpassing the box office haul of the first one ($54M). 

Wan is also at the helm of The Conjuring, another haunting film due in 2013.  Not much to go on at this time, but Wan did scary, creepy so well with Insidious, I’m remaining optimistic.  Don’t forget he had a large hand in the first Saw film, a film that pushed the boundaries of popular horror, bringing torture-horror into the mainstream.  More bumps in the night are expected in Dark Skies.  After viewing the trailer, this looks promising even if it gives a little too much away.  The only risk I see with these films is that viewers may be getting tired of hauntings.  Let’s face it, it’s been done and done and done some more in recent years.  That being said, the folks behind the Paranormal Activity films aren’t letting up, instalment FIVE is coming in 2013.  I guess we can’t blame them too much, the films are still pulling in $50M+ at the box office and should make similar numbers this time around.   Dark Skies and The Conjuring don’t have the benefit of the franchise to support them.  Both should fall in the $20-25M range.

You’re Next is finally getting a full North American release.  The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and involves the seemingly inexplicable terrorization of one group of people by another group of people.  Similarly senseless bullying is expected in Satanic, due to hit theatres in August.  Come to think of it, I’ll stick with the ghost stories.  And I predict the audiences will too.  I don’t anticipate either of these to break the $20M mark.

In the way of remakes, 2013 is offering up two major ones.  Let’s start with The Evil Dead film due this spring. Now, major horror buffs can take a chill pill.  It’s not really a remake – seriously, is there anyone who can do Bruce Campbell better than Bruce Campbell?   I think not and neither do you.  This one’s more of a reimagining of the original film – and it’s produced by the original film’s director, Sam Raimi so it should be in safe hands.   Watching the trailer, I’m guessing this one is going to be a straight up gore fest and definitely not for the squeamish.  You gotta love horror films that can manage to up the ante on the heebie-jeebies factor.  Last year, this award would easily go to The Cabin In The Woods for its, and I’ve said this before, awe-inspiring climax of blood and guts and gore , something I’ve promised myself to revisit, but haven’t  yet had the stomach to do so.  You know if I’m still talking about it 8 months out, it must be worth seeing.   The R rating and graphic content will no doubt hurt Evil Dead at the box office.  I’m guessing it’ll take $35-40M at the box office.

Also getting a do-over is Stephen King’s Carrie.   The first outing of this film, in 1976, came with a renowned director, Brian De Palma and an impressive cast with Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, both of whom would earn Oscar nominations for their roles.   The film was spot on in its depiction of the cruelty that being ‘different’ can spawn.  Adolescence is difficult enough for the sheltered Carrie, without facing the daily mockings of her high school classmates and the God-fearing rantings of a religious zealot mother.  Do I expect similar results from the remake?  Although director Kimberley Pierce’s resume includes an Oscar winner – 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry – there are some tough shoes to fill here.   Much depth is woven into the De Palma story that in the end, it could be argued that despite the horrors her rage brings, Carrie’s innocence remains intact.  I’m guessing it will be challenging for Pierce to completely fill out this story and still leave her own mark on it.  That being said, I’m rooting for her.  This is a great story.   I’m betting it will fare better than Evil Dead at the box office with $45-50M.

Zombie fans unite, World War Z will finally see the light of day this spring.  A great book, however, I’m not convinced it will play well on the big screen.   Also, I’m not sure what it offers that’s any different than all of the million other zombie films out there.  This could be 2013’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Like ALVH, there’s a hefty price tag on this ($125M+), and it’s going to take A LOT of bums in seats to pay it back. Undoubtedly, having Brad Pitt in the starring role will help but I don’t think it will break even in North America alone.  Worldwide, yes.   

Star power may help some of these otherwise fledgling horror stories. Stoker reminds us that blood runs thicker than water with the innocent girl meets creepy, sinister uncle angle.  Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman star.  Still, only betting $20M on this one.  Beautiful Creatures looks more fantasy than horror, but it brings us witches and I was beginning to wonder where all the witches had gone.  Having Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson on board can’t hurt.  It could bring in $40M.

And I’m still wondering if Halloween 3D and The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes will really emerge in 2013.  There seems to be plenty of talk but not a lot of action on these titles. 

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