Like the final chapter of any worthwhile trilogy, this entry is filled with something old, something new and something that hints at ... maybe a Part 4? (Catch me in March!) If you're a regular reader (Hi Mom!) then these titles will no doubt look a little familiar -- but the flicks haven't been released yet, so that makes 'em eligible for inclusion. (Well, that and the fact that I think they're good enough to track down.) And just so you're all caught up, here's a link for Part 1 and another for Part 2.
The Orphanage -- Produced by genre lord Guillermo Del Toro -- and the flick has the guy's wonderful fingerprints all over it. First-timer Juan Bayona delivers a quietly creepy and surprisingly engaging little ghost story, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's for the lightweights. This is a deliciously effective movie about a woman who returns to renovate an old orphanage with her devoted husband and adopted son ... but quickly comes to regret it. (Full review here.) Arrival: Picturehouse has it scheduled for a December 28 limited release.
Borderland -- By the time I saw Zev Berman's Borderland at the SXSW Film Festival, I'd grown a little weary of what I call "tourist horror," but this scrappy indie offers just enough color and energy to warrant a look. It's about a trio of young guys who travel to a Mexican border town and run afoul of, yep you guessed it, murderous devil worshippers. Hey, how often do you get to see Sean Astin playing a psychopath? (Full review here.) Arrival: November 9, as part of After Dark's Horrorfest event; Lionsgate DVD after that.
Diary of the Dead -- I've spoken to lots of serious horror fans about this movie: Half seem to love it and the other half ... not even a little. I definitely side towards the former group, impressed as I was with George Romero's obvious-yet-effective visual gimmick. I'm not sure if the "fake documentary" approach will work with all the fans, but I found it a hell of a lot more creative than anything on display in Land of the Dead. (Full review here.) Arrival: The Brothers Weinstein recently purchased it for DVD release. Lord knows when that will be.
The Signal -- The Sundance programming team can be pretty inconsistent when it comes to the horror genre, but they picked a winner when they booked this Atlanta-born apocalypse thriller. Composed of three decidedly different "transmissions," The Signal tells the story of a city turned upside-down when an electronic beacon turns normal human beings into raving lunatics. Well-acted, consistently interesting, enjoyably nasty. (Full review here.) Arrival: Magnolia recently moved the film from a head-to-head with Jigsaw; the new date looks to be February 22. (Smart move.)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane -- In my review I called it a slasher movie mixed with The Last Picture Show. Boy, I can't tell you how much ridicule I've earned from my colleagues for that description. But here's a movie that proves you can do a 'throwback' flick without using a lot of humor. It's a basic-yet-clever enough hack 'em up about a girl that everyone adores -- including a raving maniac. (Full review here.) Arrival: Ugh. The Weinsteins snatched it up over a year ago, but now it looks like a company called Senator will be releasing it some time next year. Way to hold a good movie up for everyone else, Weinsteins!
The Devil's Chair -- The setting of a haunted house flick, the soul of a demon massacre, and the face of a slasher film. That's pretty much Adam Mason's flick in a nutshell. It's about a guy who gets locked up for murder after his girlfriend is shredded, but when a pesky professor bring him back to the scene of the crime ... things get icky. Extra points for Mason being such an obvious horror freak. (Full review here.) Arrival: No idea yet. Mason's last film hit DVD courtesy of the Weinsteins' Dimension Extreme, so maybe that's how it'll show up.
Hell's Ground -- It's got a psycho family AND a bunch of flesh-chomping zombies, so already this genre concoction has something going for it. Plus it's probably the very first splatter flick to hail from Pakistan, so there's some additional curiosity value right there. Plus the flick really picks up a head of steam the longer it rolls on, which is always fun. (Full review here.) Arrival: Unsure. I know the folks at Mondo Macabro are handling some overseas distribution, so perhaps they'll get the R1 release as well.
So there you have it: We close October with 21 as-yet-unreleased horror movies that are definitely worthy of (at least) a rental or a movie ticket. (In case you missed 'em: Part 1 and Part 2) Activate your copy-paste skills for the full list. (And have a great Halloween!)
- All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
- The Devil's Chair
- Diary of the Dead
- End of the Line
- Exte: Hair Extensions
- Five Across the Eyes
- The Girl Next Door
- Hell's Ground
- The Living and the Dead
- The Mother of Tears
- Mulberry Street
- The Oprhanage
- The Signal
- Wrong Turn 2