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Top 10 Genre Flicks To See In Winter 2018!

Quick question, do you already have a most anticipated genre movie of 2018? If so, what is it, and does it happen to come out between now and the end of March? Ah, no worries if not, mine doesn't either, but that does not change the fact that we actually have a pretty impressive slate of genre joints to come out this frigid wintertime. Hell, the very first week of the season gave us the slightly above average INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY, which, if serves as any indication of things to come this season, we should be in good shape at the movies over the next three months. We've got flicks coming from Steven Soderbergh, Eli Roth, Alex Garland, Steven Spielberg, as well as a host of up and coming international talent. A respectable mix indeed!

So, allow us to steer you in the right direction at the movies this new year as we highlight our Top 10 Genre Flicks to See in Winter 2018!

#1. ANNIHILATION (FEBRUARY 23RD)

Based almost solely on the level of thought-provoking splendor yielded in his 2015 breakout hit EX MACHINA, subsequently confirmed by the elementally-alien, trippy-candy-coated marvel of a trailer for his new sci-fi film, straight up, Alex Garland's ANNIHILATION has to be the #1 must-see movie of the season! Adapted from the Jeff VanderMeer novel of the same name, the movie stars Natalie Portman as a grieving biologist who, after her husband played by Oscar Isaac disappears, signs up to partake in a life-altering expedition into a harrowing ecological disaster zone. She enlists the aide an international crew consisting of a Psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), an Anthropologist (Gina Rodriguez), a Surveyor (Tessa Thompson) and a Linguist (Tuva Novotny), as they attempt to understand how and why all but one person (Isaac) in a preceding group of soldiers died when coming into direct contact with the "zone." I'm getting a ARRIVAL meets ENTER THE VOID vibe, which sounds absolutely too insane to miss!

#2. UNSANE (MARCH 23RD)

With UNSANE, cinematic jack of all trades Steven Soderbergh not only essays his very first outright horror joint, one of the psychologically vexing R-rated variety, the movie also marks the quasi-auteur's first foray into iPhone filmmaking. If that's not intriguingly challenging enough for you, consider how Soderbergh shot all of the footage in under two weeks! Pretty gnarly, no? As for the plot, the story revolves around a young woman who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is forced to confront her one deepest fear. Only thing is, she can't tell if her situation is real or delusional. Juno Temple (pictured) and Claire Foy headline in the film that was shot surreptitiously last year, with Jay Pharoah, Aimee Mullins, Joshua Leonard and Amy Irving costarring. Look, if LOGAN LUCKY was Soderbergh dichotomizing out to his slick Hollywood commerciality, expect UNSANE to oscillate back into the vein of the much smaller, more low-key BUBBLE or THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE. But you know, shot on a phone!

#3. DEATH WISH (MARCH 2ND)

In the decidedly dubious DEATH WISH redo, horror champion Eli Roth sidesteps his comfort zone to attempt his own personal stab at the hyper-violent brand of vigilante justice popularized by Charlie Bronson in the 70s. And we're all in! Now, while one could easily point to the fact that damn near every Liam Neeson movie since TAKEN in '08 could have been named DEATH WISH, as it's he, not Bruce Willis, who's assumed the mantle as resident vengeful-action-movie badass here in America, one cannot deny the sheer appeal of old Bruce mopping the streets of irredeemable human filth. I mean, look at him up there with a big-ass pipe-wrench in tow ready to brutally beat, bash and brain the motherf*cker who took his wife's life. Too damn good! Again, while this is over-tilled territory, we expect nothing less than Roth pulling out all the stops by the third act to treat us to a dizzying, dazzling display of eruptive volcanic-violence...the kind that Charlie Bronson and Michael Winner would be proud of!

#4. WINCHESTER (FEBRUARY 2ND)

Anyone who hails from California knows full well the evil infamy of The Winchester House, a twisty labyrinthine mansion in the San Jose area that was built on the bat-shite blueprint given by Sarah Winchester, eccentric firearm heiress of the Winchester Rifle family, who claimed the house was haunted by all the malefic souls that fell victim to the popular repeater gun. I've been there, the place is spooky as hell! Stairways that lead to nowhere, endless loops, mazes and dead ends that steer you into a vertiginous state of misdirection, shite's insane! And honestly, look at Helen Mirren's face right there. Who could honestly play this part with more believable gravitas than the Oscar winning dame? I'm shitting my pants over here just falling under her wicked spell! Seeing the theatrical trailer for the flick ahead of INSIDIOUS 4, I got the distinct impression that those crazy German brothers, Michael and Peter Spierig, have not only delivered a glorious technicolor ode to classic Hammer style Gothic horror, but in WINCHESTER, have also given us an insane PG-13 chiller on par with the likes of OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL and and ANNABELLE: CREATION. If so, bullseye!

#5. THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (MARCH 9TH)

A ten year absence sort of ensures THE STRANGERS to remain just that, an estranged gaggle of murderous-masked-antagonists, this time out to continue their reign of terror when they PREY AT NIGHT. And while it's a bit unfortunate that originator Bryan Bertino has virtually nothing to do with the flick after all this time, English director Johannes Roberts proved himself more than capable with last year's biggest indie hit 47 METERS DOWN (now on Netflix). Throw in Ben Ketai on script detail and a cast headlined by Christina Hendricks and Bailee Madison, and we should be in decent shape. As for the story itself, this one picks up in at a lakeside cabin of some sort, where a family takes a road trip to in order to enjoy a vacation. Not so lucky! The trio of masked-up psychopaths from the first flick show up, stalk, slash, taunt and toy with the family until very few members, if any, are left alive. Martin Henderson, Emma Bellomy, Lewis Pullman (Bill's son), Lea Enslin and Damian Maffei round out the cast.

#6. READY PLAYER ONE (MARCH 30TH)

In the next month or so, the great Steven Spielberg looks to transition from the mature real-world of political journalism in THE POST back into the juvenile realm of sci-fi adolescence in READY PLAYER ONE, adapted from the Ernest Cline novel of the same name. And if anyone can do so with peak-performance quality, it's the peerless Mr. Spielberg. READY PLAYER ONE, scripted by Zak Penn and Cline himself, takes place in a dystopian 2044, where young pariah Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) logs on to a VR videogame called The Oasis. His goal is to locate a hidden Easter Egg within the game itself and reap the monetary fortune offered by the game's dead billionaire founder. Of course, as in any good videogame, many obstacles will hinder Wade's path to prosperity. Not sure about you, but we're a bit more than interested to see how Spielberg handles sci-fi material for the first time since the forgettable WAR OF THE WORLDS in 2005. One undeniable cool connection? Yes, Wade's DeLorean, the same from Amblin's BACK TO THE FUTURE, will be featured in READY PLAYER ONE!

#7. THOROUGHBREDS (MARCH 9TH)

Ever since laying eyes on her breakout turn in THE WITCH two years ago, young ingenue Anya Taylor-Joy has been one to deliberately keep an eye on. So far, she's showed out quite well in middling movies like MORGAN and SPLIT, but now, in Cory Finley's jet-black comedy-thriller THOROUGHBREDS, I have an inkling we'll get a much higher dosage of Joy than ever before! Costarring Olivia Cooke and the late Anton Yelchin in one of his final roles, THOROUGHBREDS revolves around two snotty, rich suburban teen girls in Connecticut who, in attempt to bandage their frayed friendship, make a pact to solve both of their problems by whatever violent means necessary. Sounds like a loose adaptation of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN or CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with a markedly female bent. If so, we're all the f*ck in! And for those wary of indulging in a first-time feature, rest easy, the film has garnered very positive word of mouth since premiering at Sundance last year, and currently holds a 79/100 Metascore!

#8. MOM AND DAD (JANUARY 19TH)

Remember all those times we begged, pleaded and implored Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor - the sick, twisted, crazy-ass mofos behind the CRANK franchise - to elicit similar bat-shite qualities out of Nic Cage in GHOST RIDER 2? Remember how disappointed we were when they failed to do so? Well, in MOM AND DAD, all looks to be raucously rectified! True shite, Brian Taylor helms this solo indie affair that he wrote himself, a mordant black comedy that boasts an irresistibly evil high-concept. It goes like this: during a 24 hour period, a mysterious mass hysteria takes hold of all parents that turns them violently abusive toward their children. If that isn't good enough for you on its face, consider how Cage called this his favorite movie that he's made in the last 10 years. And why not? It seems the perfect vehicle to marry the manically histrionic sensibilities of star and director, and allow Cage the kind of free reign to go balls-out-hog-wild. Which is the way we prefer him!

#9. PACIFIC RIM UPRISING (MARCH 23RD)

Put bluntly, PACIFIC RIM is easily Guillermo del Toro's worst film, which in a way, gives us hope that its sequel, PACIFIC RIM UPRISING, will fair better under the new direction of Steven S. DeKnight. Granted, it's a bit of a lofty hope considering DeKnight has never made a film before, with most of his directorial credits coming by way of small-screen superhero fare like Angel, Smallville, Daredevil, Dollhouse, etc. It does help that he at least had a hand in writing the screenplay for PAC RIM 2, of course, it doesn't help that three other writers are credited as well. Still, the epic spectacle of a Kaiju-Jaeger Round 2 is too damn promising to pass up this late winter season, especially since it follows Jake Pentecost (John Boyega, above), son of Tracker (Idris Elba), as he reunites with Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and commandeers a new expedition into hostile Kaiju territory. New additions to the franchise include Tian Jing, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny and Adria Arjona. As for del Toro, we couldn't be happier he left PAC RIM 2 in order to make his finest film to date in THE SHAPE OF WATER. Best decision he's ever made!

#10. THE MIDNIGHT MAN (JANUARY 19TH)

Now what the F*CK is that thing? Looks like a bullfrog knocked-up a goddamn redwood! Oh never mind, it's apparently THE MIDNIGHT MAN, a movie that rekindles the ELM STREET connection between its two iconic horror stars, Lin Shaye and Robert Englund. Now, not to be mistaken for the Ken Foree flick of the same name and year, this particular breed of MIDNIGHT MAN is helmed by Travis Zariwny (CABIN FEVER, INTRUDER), and centers on a group of friends who find a mysterious game in an attic that inadvertently summons a creature known as The Midnight Man, which has the ability to feed on your worst fears and use them against you. The movie is a remake of 2013 Rob Kennedy film of the same name, marking the very first time an Irish feature film was ever remade in America. It's because of this, the Shaye/Englund reunion and that slimy-faced f*cker above that THE MIDNIGHT MAN kicks us off over other indie horror joints like THE LODGERS and PRIMAL RAGE, which come in just under the gun with honorable mention!
Tags: Hollywood

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