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By now, everyone is just a little burned out from 2010 Top 10 lists. Fangoria.com had no shortage of them over the last six weeks; Fango mag editor Chris Alexander weighed in on 2010‘s best frights here, while managing editor Michael Gingold took no prisoners here. Contributing editor Sam Zimmerman looked at the bright side here, and his pal, THE SIGNAL’s AJ Bowen, offered his two cents here, while LAID TO REST baddie Nick (“ChromeSkull”) Principe offered his thoughts here. So what could I possibly add to those spirited ramblings? Instead, with this first edition of Elegies for 2011, I’d like to share my list of Top 10 Movies I Am Most Looking Forward to in 2011, in rough order of scheduled release.
1. DRIVE ANGRY (February 25, Summit): I found Nicolas Cage’s silly SEASON OF THE WITCH an almost guilty pleasure, but his next help-pay-off-the-tax-debt vehicle has guilty pleasure written all over it. It’s also pure ’70s-style grindhouse/drive-in exploitation all the way, with Cage (pictured above) as a man who escapes from hell to take down the satanic cult who murdered his daughter. There are fast cars, bloody violence and it’s in 3-D, of course. Plus, the cast boasts hottie Amber Heard of ZOMBIELAND and character pros William Fichtner (so memorable in the short-lived INVASION) and ’80s horror great Tom Atkins (THE FOG, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS). DRIVE ANGRY reunites ace MY BLOODY VALENTINE remake collaborators Patrick Lussier (also director of the better-than-average DVD originals WHITE NOISE 2 and the two DRACULA 2000 sequels) and co-screenwriter Todd Farmer. Gas up with some exclusive interviews and photos in Fango #301, on sale next month.
2. THE INNKEEPERS (TBA, Dark Sky): This movie, about the shuttering of a haunted hotel, has indie cred written all over it. First, it’s the latest production from the Glass Eye Pix and Dark Sky Films team-up. The companies delivered three winners in the last two years—THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, STAKE LAND and BITTER FEAST—while Glass Eye has also shepherded such unique fare as the macabre and whimsical I SELL THE DEAD and the edgy (and underrated) SATAN HATES YOU. HOUSE OF THE DEVIL writer/director Ti West, who also helmed THE ROOST and TRIGGER MAN for Glass Eye, has emerged as a no-nonsense filmmaker with a talent for recreating the ’80s horrors he grew up with. LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT’s Sara Paxton (pictured) and STAKE LAND’s Kelly McGillis topline. The movie premieres at Austin’s South by Southwest in March, while Glass Eye/Dark Sky also have the promising James Felix McKenney creature feature HYPOTHERMIA waiting in the wings.
3. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) (TBA, IFC): Fans and Fango staff were split on the merits of writer/director Tom Six’s first CENTIPEDE. It’s one you either loved (sickies like me) or hated. I appreciated the film’s sheer outrageousness, and I can’t wait to see how Six tops himself. The plot has been kept tightly under wraps, the only tidbit emerging that this sequel will find a dozen victims surgically attached in a procedure deemed, unlike the FIRST SEQUENCE, “100 percent medically inaccurate.” Hope Six finds a way to bring back the delightfully demented and over-the-top Dieter Laser.
4. INSIDIOUS (April 1, FilmDistrict): Nothing beats a good old-fashioned haunted-house movie, and advance word says that SAW creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell take this subgenre to a whole new level with INSIDIOUS. The film garnered raves out of September’s Toronto Film Festival, and Fango chief Chris Alexander has been gushing ever since (see here). HARD CANDY’s Patrick Wilson and 28 WEEKS LATER’s Rose Byrne play parents of a comatose boy whose condition somehow precipitates a supernatural assault. BLACK SWAN’s Barbara Hershey co-stars, and the always fun Lin Shaye (pictured with Whannell) has a small role too. Also opening April 1 is SOURCE CODE, the new film from Duncan Jones, the Brit who brought intelligence back to sci-fi moviemaking with his wonderful sleeper MOON.
5. SUPER 8 (June 10, Paramount): Very little has leaked regarding this production mashup between Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, beyond the early tagline “Next Summer, It Arrives.” Under the cover of night, something’s being moved from the mythical Area 51 via train…said train crashes, spectacularly…and something begins busting out of the wreckage, Hulk-style. Is it a friendly extraterrestrial à la Spielberg’s E.T., or a building-flattening monster like the one in the Abrams-produced CLOVERFIELD? I’m leaning toward the former, as noted that the whatever-it-is arrives and not escapes. I’ve liked everything Abrams has done thus far (LOST, new STAR TREK, FRINGE, etc.), and I’d love to see him do a balls-to-the-wall horror film someday, but my gut instinct tells me SUPER 8 probably isn’t it (looking at the cast list, I see a lot of child actors…), but I’m still very curious about this one.
TO BE CONTINUED
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