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Top 10 Most Anticipated Genre Flicks of Winter 2019!

Holy hell, another winter abounds already? Each year seems to go by faster and faster doesn’t it? I tell ya, that’s the scariest shite of all right there…

But here’s to putting that heavy Turkey-day hangover behind and looking ahead to the future. And by future, you already know we mean promising horror flicks and upcoming sci-fi joints. Now, granted, it seems there is an inverse correlation between prestigious Award-winning contenders and awful throwaway horror/sci-fi flicks offloaded in the dumping months of January and February, but so f*cking be it. There’s still plenty of promising pictures set to come out between now and March 1st. Seriously we’ve got anthologies from old horror vets, artsy Euro-auteurs, fine female filmmakers, killer-kids outings, high-profile sequels and even higher concept mash-ups. Shoot, you already know what’s up…get low and peep our Top 10 Most Anticipated Genre Flicks of Winter 2019!

#10. ELI (JANUARY 4TH) 

After bulging eyeballs and turning heads with his 2012 feature debut CITADEL, British director Ciaran Foy fell back to Earth a bit when helming the underwhelming SINISTER 2. Now looking to get back on track with a well cast, R-rated new horror flick called ELI, let’s hope Foy returns to form this coming January. The story of ELI finds a young boy being treated for a mysterious auto-immune disorder, only to realize the "clean house" he’s being treated in his wracked by a malefic supernatural presence. The flick stars Kelly Reilly, Max Martini, Lili Taylor and Charlie Shotwell as Eli, with Fear the Walking Dead scribes Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing teaming with CHEAP THRILLS and BAD MATCH writer David Chirchirillo. The script made the 2015 Blacklist!

#9. ESCAPE ROOM (JANUARY 4TH)

So what do you get when take a SAW to a CUBE? ESCRAPE ROOM, that’s what! Guilty pleasure or not, the high-concept camp and kitsch of Adam Robitel’s (INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY) new horror endeavor is too damn delectable to spit out come the New Year. Robitel, who also stars in the film alongside Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Logan Miller, Taylor Russell, Jay Ellis and Nik Dodani, left HAPPY DEATH 2U to work on ESCAPE ROOM instead. Good choice! The story finds six strangers in a battle of wits for their lives when suddenly contending with an assorted skein of dangerously duplicitous deathtraps. Here’s hoping the yet to be rated flick earns a hard-R rather than soft PG-13!

#8. THE TURNING (FEBRUARY 22) 

Adapted from the classic Henry James spook-story The Turning of the Screw, brothers Chad and Carey Hayes (HOUSE OF WAX, THE CONJURING 1 & 2) have passed the driver to the hands of longtime music video director cum TV journeywoman Floria Sigismondi (Hemlock Grove, The Handmaid’s Tale). Starring Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, IT), THE TURNING finds a young governess in charge of looking after two young siblings after their uncle and primary caretaker is accused of murdering their parents. Mackenzie Davies plays the caretaker in question, Niall Greig Fulton the uncle, with Brooklyn Prince the niece opposite Wolfhard’s nephew. Amblin Entertainment is producing, surely meaning the movie will skew younger with a PG-13 codification.

#7. THE PRODIGY (FEBRUARY 8) 

Creepy killer kiddy flicks are always a welcome subset of sinister horror fare at AITH, so when considering a rare R-rated stint of such is coming this February from director Nicholas McCarthy (THE PACT, HOLIDAYS) and red-hot writer Jeff Buhler (PET SEMATARY, GRUDGE, NIGHTFLYERS), there’s little doubt THE PRODIGY is a must-see come this wintertime. Taylor Schilling stars as a harried mother who suspects her son is becoming subsumed by a strange supernatural disorder. Her son Miles is played by Jackson Robert Scott, who acquitted himself well as Georgie in the IT remake last year. I know the setup seems overly familiar, but given the impressive pedigree and harsh rating, we should all actively adopt THE PRODIGY!

#6. CLARA’S GHOST (DECEMBER 6TH) 

From an M. Night joint to the star of his first breakout hit, how’s that for a transition! Indeed, Haley Joel Osment stars in a well-regarded new horror comedy headed down the pike called CLARA’S GHOST, which is written and directed by Bridey Elliot. If you’re unfamiliar, Bridey is the daughter of Chris and Paula Niedert Elliot and sister of Abby Elliot, all of whom star in this acerbic self-referentially deprecating family affair. Peep the premise. Clara (Bridey) becomes so fed up with the ball-busting nature of her conceited showbiz family, turns to the ghastly apparition haunting her house for spiritual support. Get that, Clara would rather kick it with a ghost than her own family!

#5. GLASS (JANUARY 18) 

Truth be told, the theatrical trailer for M. Night Shayamalan’s GLASS was one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve ever had. Seriously, WTF was that?! And yet, the maddening curiosity of seeing how M. Night is going to pull the disparate strands from UNBREAKABLE and SPLIT to synthesize a clear new “pain” of GLASS is still too strong to omit come this January. Say what you will, but M. Night swings for the fences every time out, even if the results often flirt with Razzie-level dreck when all is said and done (THE HAPPENING yo). And to me, GLASS has the same potential for greatness as it does for being in the running for worst film of the year. Only M. Night can keep us in the dark with such uncertainty, making GLASS a must-see this January!

#4. NIGHTMARE CINEMA (FEBRUARY 14)

Horror anthologies are always a great favorite around these parts, so when one comes along that features names like Joe Dante, Mickey Rourke, Mick Garris, David Slade, Ryuhei Kitamura and Alejandro Brugues – you know we’re down to slink six feet deep to see this sumbitch! And to make things more amorous, the flick is set to drop on Valentine’s Day 2019. The setup? A handful of strangers frequent a haunted movie-house, where a sinister projectionist (Rourke) presents five different screenings to the audience members in a way that speaks directly to their deepest and darkest fears. It’s such a cool idea we’re almost shocked it’s never been done before. Hopefully we’re just as pleasantly shocked afterwards!

#3. SERENITY (JANUARY 25) – (UPDATED FROM FALL PREVIEW)

Anyone else become utterly enraptured by the mysteriously maddening theatrical trailer for SERENITY, the newest movie from LOCKE and REDEMPTION director Steven Knight? Shite's got that twisty neo-noir tableau - love triangles, double-crosses, violent spouses, and a murder plot squared away by dumping a man's body deep in the ocean so a school of unrelenting sharks can devour his body. I'm so there! McConaughey, Hathaway, Hounsou, Diane Lane (love her) and Jason Clarke round out the splendid cast of SERENITY. This Knight cat is one of the hottest writers in town right now, and with SERENITY, his third feature as director could prove to be the charmer!

#2. THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (DECEMBER 14TH)

Ever the divisive raconteur, when the iconoclastic Lars Von Trier drops a horror two-and-a-half hour horror flick, you know we’re all over that sucker like your drunk uncle over a the last turkey-leg and morsel of cranberry sauce. Sure, THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT has been severing critics, but at least our man Bumbray gave the flicks a mild recommendation a few months back. The story, told from a secret serial killer’s POV (always good to see Matt Dillon), who for 12 years has systematically turned his moonlight murders into an artistic expression of therapy; Jack must reconcile the increasing riskiness for the decreasing rewards. Uma Thurman, Bruno Ganz, Jeremy Davies and Riley Keough round out the killer cast!

#1. BIRD BOX (DECEMBER 21)

Emmy winning director Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) teams up with schlocky-sequel-cum-credible-scribe Eric Heisserer (ARRIVAL) and two tremendous actresses – Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson – to give us an intriguing riff on one of the best horror flicks of 2018 in A QUIET PLACE. The difference is, in BIRD BOX, the lack of sound is traded for the lack of sight, as a blindfolded woman and her two children are forced to traverse their way down an unforgiving river in the midst of a dystopic global pandemic. It’s a terrific premise, one adapted from the Josh Malerman novel of the same name. Aside from a phony rapper in the mix, the stellar supporting cast also includes John Malkovich, Jacki Weaver, BD Wong, Trevante Rhodes and Lil Rel Howery.

Tags: Hollywood

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