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It's the Booze Talkin; Fresh and unique voices in horror make it better!

04.04.2018by: JimmyO

When it comes to shocks and scares, there were several filmmakers that played a huge part of my formative years. I loved the wild and weird of David Lynch and Ken Russell. And for this fan, you couldn’t beat guys like Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE, FRANKENHOOKER, BRAIN DAMAGE) and Jeff Lieberman (JUST BEFORE DAWN, SQUIRM). This doesn’t even cover the classics. Probably my first real inspiration when it came to cinematic terror was John Carpenter. After witnessing his classic HALLOWEEN, I wanted to embrace everything I could find from the man. My love of Carpenter led me to all the greats, including Romero, Craven, Hooper and even other acclaimed filmmakers like Bob Clark and Robert Wise.

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Nowadays, we have a number of impressive directors crafting modern nightmares. Nobody takes on a ghost story like James Wan. You also have guys like Mike Flanagan who creeped us out with OCULUS and the recent Netflix feature GERALD'S GAME. Fede Alvarez scored with his recent DON’T BREATHE and managed to make an impressive reboot/remake of EVIL DEAD. And don’t forget David F. Sandberg who gave us LIGHTS OUT, and the impressive sequel to the dreary original film ANNABELLE. Yes, ANNABELLE: CREATION improved on pretty much every level thanks to a strong script, great performances and Mr. Sandberg’s moviemaking talents. Yet, there is currently more out there in the horror talent pool, and we are now seeing a few surprising folks taking on a bit of terror.

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If you look back at the past decade or two, we’ve had a few surprising names taking the helm when it comes to scary movies. Nearly every woman - and quite a few men - have a fantasy about the charming Ryan Gosling, but do you all remember his directorial debut with the odd little 2014 flick LOST RIVER with Christina Hendricks? DEEP BLUE SEA star Thomas Jane gave us the moody thriller DARK COUNTRY in 2009. And then there is the late Bill Paxton who took scary to a whole new level with his powerful 2001 thriller FRAILTY, which starred Paxton, Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe. You can even find a couple of solid indies called CREEP and CREEP 2 courtesy of pals Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice who got together to get a little spooky. 

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Aside from FRAILTY, the films mentioned all had a relatively small release. However, things may be changing when it comes to thinking outside the box with horror filmmakers. Perhaps the film that really showed us that movie fans want to see something fresh may have been last year's GET OUT. Part sci-fi with a touch of suspense, the film managed to make a ton of money as well as get critics on board. So much so that the popular feature earned a handful of Academy Award nominations, and it won Best Original Screenplay for Key and Peele funnyman, Jordan Peele. When this movie was announced, I almost had to question whether or not he was making a straight-up serious thriller, or maybe something along the lines of SCARY MOVIE, considering Jordan's comedic talents. And now we know. While GET OUT of course had humor, it was damn intense on nearly every level. It’s also one I’ve watched a few times and I appreciate it more with each viewing.

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This weekend, we are seeing yet another scary movie directed by a familiar face. The Office star John Krasinski is a terrific actor, and from the looks of it, he can handle genre as well. A QUIET PLACE not only gives Krasinski the opportunity to take on a different kind of story, but he also stars in the film opposite his lovely and talented wife Emily Blunt. This story of a family forced to live in silence is getting a massive amount of buzz, including AITH own Eric Walkuski who dug the hell out of it. While Mr. Krasinski is a talented guy, who knew he had the talent to make what appears to be a terrifying feature film? As a director no less? It appears to be an exceptional piece of work.

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Perhaps the biggest surprise is that we have a new HALLOWEEN and it is going to be written and directed by the guys behind PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. Would you have ever thought for one second that the next sequel to this popular franchise would be written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green with Green directing? Add to that John Carpenter and Jason Blum's involvement and I’m feeling very hopeful that the return of Laurie Strode will be worthwhile. With Nick Castle returning as Michael Myers, and of course Jamie Lee Curtis coming back as Strode, I feel a whole bunch of nostalgia fueled joy for the promise of what a new HALLOWEEN could be. Hopefully this won’t destroy my ever beating heart and make me never want to carve a pumpkin again, but frankly I’m far too excited to dwell in negativity. Dammit! HALLOWEEN must kick ass and it will! I hope my blind love will witness a great sequel.

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but unique voices in genre makes horror better. Has there ever been a time when you thought that Jim dude from The Office would sure make a great horror flick? If you saw Danny McBride in Vice Principals or watched David Gordon Green’s earlier work, I guarantee you wouldn’t even consider these two for a HALLOWEEN sequel. Yet here we are. And with the massive success of GET OUT, and the universal praise for A QUIET PLACE - it currently sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes - it seems as though fresh faces are taking over the genre. If we continue to see actors and other familiar names take on something new and frightening, our beloved genre will surely continue to thrive. And frankly, I’m always happy to see movies like these earn both critical and fan praise.

Extra Tidbit: Which "outsider" would you like to see make a horror movie?
Source: AITH

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