2017 is shaping up to be a great year for horror fans. With a range of new movies and returning hit franchises, there’s plenty to look forward to. Carles Torrens’ Pet, one major highlight, raises the bar for original, fresh horror and builds nerve-racking tension through exceptional lead performances from Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings) and Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl, Black Swan). Pet is a dark and disturbing love story asking how much you could sacrifice in the name of love. The film was a huge hit at FrightFest and to celebrate the anticipated March 2017 we take a look at the film in more detail alongside the other most anticipated scary movies of 2017…
A long-awaited return for The Ring horror franchise, Rings continues the story on from the 2005 film The Ring Two. Set 13 years after the first two Ring films, the story follows Julia who becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores the urban legend of a cursed videotape. Julia sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so, makes a shocking discovery. Anticipation for Rings has been increased by numerous studio delays. Originally set for release in 2015, the film will finally come out three years after filming, on February 3rd.
Beyond the Gates (February)
Highly praised during its recent premiere at FrightFest, Beyond the Gates is a gore- filled tribute to 80’s horror and board games of the same era. The film follows two estranged brothers, Gordon and John, seven months after their father’s disappearance. They reunite to liquidate their father’s video store but soon after, they unearth an old VHS board game that acts as an inter-dimensional hub to a nightmare world. They quickly discover that their Father’s soul is trapped and can only be saved by playing the game. This retro throwback film features cult horror icon Barbara Crampton as the VHS tape’s sinister host.
This haunting, psychological thriller stars Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), Ksenia Solo (Black Swan) and Jennette McCurdy (Sam & Cat). Seth (Dominic Monaghan) is a lonely man working in an animal shelter. His monotonous routine is broken one day when he bumps into Holly, a girl from school who he soon becomes obsessed with. However, when she rejects his advances, Seth’s obsession reaches a terrifying new level, with Holly hiding secrets of her own. Pet was highly praised for its standpoint performances and, interestingly, was shot in the same studio as the first Saw.
Get Out (March)
The third Blumhouse production on this list (alongside Insidious: Chapter 4 and The Belko Experiment), Get Out has been described by writer and director Jordan Peele as “a horror movie, but with a satirical premise”. A young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, where he finds that many of its black residents have gone missing. He soon learns the truth when another African- American warns him to “get out”, but he finds it to be easier said than done. Peele cited the original Night of the Living Dead as an inspiration because the film dealt with serious racial issues within the framework of the genre.
The Void (April)
The Void emerges from the minds of Canadians Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, the VFX and design masters whose credits include Suicide Squad and Crimson Peak. Encountering a blood-soaked man on a dark deserted road, a police officer rushes the victim to the local hospital. Soon the staff and patients are trapped by a terrifying, otherworldly threat and forced on a hellish voyage into the depths of the building to escape the nightmare. The film’s fresh tone and fantastic practical special effects have been highly praised by fans of the genre. The Void was a rare horror to be selected for the London Film Festival in 2016.
The Belko Experiment (May)
This upcoming horror thriller is directed by Greg McLean and written by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. The film follows a twisted social experiment, where 80 Americans are locked in a high-rise corporate office in Colombia and ordered to participate in a game of kill or be killed. Actor John Gallagher Jr. had initially auditioned for a role in one of Gunn’s previous films. Although he wasn’t right for that part, Gunn thought it was the best audition he’d ever seen and vowed to work with him in the future. Subsequently, a role was written specifically for him in The Belko Experiment.
Annabelle 2 (August)
A sequel to the spin-off/prequel of The Conjuring is due to be released this year. This installment will focus on a doll maker and his wife, whose daughter died twenty years previously. They decide to open their home to a nun and several girls from an orphanage that has been shut down. The possessed doll, Annabelle, then sets its sights on the children. The film features a fresh cast, including: Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings, Homeland) and Stephanie Sigman (Spectre).
2017 also sees the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s horror classic It. The film has been in development since 2009, with Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) originally signing on to direct, later followed by Andres Muschietti (Mama). After the disappearance of several children in the town of Derry, a group of kids must face their biggest fears when faced with an evil clown named Pennywise, who has a notorious history of murder and violence over a period of centuries. The iconic role of Pennywise has seen multiple actors approached and considered, including: Will Poulter and Hugo Weaving.
Saw: Legacy (October)
The latest installment in the horror franchise behemoth, Saw, is definitely one to watch out for. Not much is known about the film at this point, but it is rumoured that Saw veteran Tobin Bell will be reprising his role as John Kramer/Jigsaw. The eighth film in the series will carry on where Saw 3D: The Final Chapter left off despite being released seven years later. It’s also believed that the sequel will reinvent the Saw concept and introduce a new story line and characters to move the series forward in the future.
Insidious: Chapter 4 (November)
In what appears to be a year of horror sequels, another hugely popular franchise is making its return. The fourth film in the Insidious series is due for release just after Halloween and will once again feature series regular Lin Shaye. While little has been announced about the film so far, it is thought that Insidious: Chapter 4 will depict Elise’s background and her origins.
Death House (TBC 2017)
Providing a breath of fresh air from horror sequels and remakes, Death House is what could be described as The Expendables of horror. The film features an ensemble cast of horror icons, including: Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond), Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes), Tony Todd (Night of the Living Dead, Final Destination) and Camille Keaton (I Spit On Your Grave). The film is set during a tour of a secret prison known as the Death House, while there is a power breakdown. Two agents fight through a labyrinth of horrors while being chased down by ruthless inmates. As they push towards the bowels of the prison, they learn that a supernatural group of beings may be their only chance for survival. Surprisingly, some scenes were originally written as possible storylines for the Saw franchise.
Signature Entertainment presents Pet on Digital 6th March and on DVD 13th March, 2017