Continuing from part 1
#8. Big Bad Wolves (January)
Kalvet (Rabies) was my #2 horror movie for 2012, and gave us a solid episode of Dark Discussions. Big Bad Wolves is the sophomore film for writing-directing team Aharon Keshales and Narot Papushado, who at the very least showed a talent for creating effective scares and kills in their first outing. It hit several top 10 lists in 2013 (including a #1 ranking but Quentin Tarantino), and those of us who missed it on the festival circuit will soon be able to catch it at home.
#9. Sacrament (May)
Ti West and Eli Roth team up to bring us this tale of cannibal religious cultists. I get that some may see this pairing as unholy, but I've already gone on record supporting Roth, and I am no less a fan of Ti West. True, his films make the typical slow burn look like a raging inferno, so I can see them not working for everyone (indeed DDP co-host Phil loathes The Innkeepers), but this time West is working with Roth to make something more palatable for a broad audience. Will it work? Will it fail? Will I see it? Hell yes.
#10. Tusk (TBD)
Let's roll with the controversial filmmakers and drag in Kevin Smith. He's very hit and miss for me, at times witty and insightful, and others smug and insufferable, but I can't deny I enjoy Red State more than I expected to. This time he's jumping into body horror, which I've discovered creeps me out more than other. I don't know if he's going for laughs or scares, but the one piece of production art that's been released already gave me quivers.
#11. Horns (November)
Alexander Aja and Daniel Radcliff team up for this adaptation of Joe Hill's hit novel. Aja is one of my favorite horror directors right now, consistently surpassing my expectations with films like Piranha 3D and The Hills Have Eyes. Radcliffe is doing all he can to put Harry Potter behind him, and with this, Woman In Black and Frankenstein he seems to have embraced the horror genre. Wonder if they can bump this up a few weeks for Halloween?
#12. Interstellar (November)
There is probably no one bigger in Hollywood right now than Christopher Nolan, and that Dark Knight/Inception money will ensure that he'll get any project greenlit for the rest of the decade. So now that he can do whatever he wants, what has he done? No one knows for sure except that its about space travel. The enigmatic trailer didn't shed much light, but then mystery worked very well for Inception. But really they had me at Chris Nolan, so take my money already.
#13. Guardians of the Galaxy (August)
I'm still amazed at the wealth of comic book films coming out these days, but even with Spider-Man and Cap returning, my most anticipated was a toss up between Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: Days of Future Past, but the mutant franchise is an old friend at this point, and no matter how ambitious, can't tickle my curiousity like the latest entry from Marvel Films. The merits of the Marvel movies are debatable, but their success is undeniable. While many saw second-tier heroes like Thor and Iron Man as long shots, Guardians has to be their biggest gamble yet. The Marvel Universe casts a wide and weird net that I'm not sure mainstream audiences are ready for, but Marvel is (again) going against convention and going with the bizarre. Say what you will about the B-levelness of Iron Man and Thor, at least most people had heard of them. The Guardians are barely third rate heroes, and Green Lantern would have most studios running fast from cosmic comics. Yet here Marvel is, taking a film starring the chubby clown from Parks and Rec, teaming him up a green woman, a blue archer, a talking tree, and a gun-toting raccoon inspired by a Beatles tune, and handing the whole package over to the director of Slither and Super. It's like Kevin Feige did this on a dare. Regardless, this is going to be a key entry in Marvel's "second wave", and I would love to see them pull it off.
#14. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July)
I am an unabashed fan of the Apes franchise, which I think is too often overlooked for its kitsch factor (you can hear more on this topic in the rough, early episodes of Dark Discussions). Rise was an unexpected surprise three years ago, handling the franchise with respect and intelligence, and giving real heart to the new Caesar. Andy Serkis thankfully returns, and while I was at first sorry to see Rupert Wyatt go, I was even more excited to see Cloverfield and Let Me In director Matt Reeves step in. The new cast, headlined by Gary Oldman, looks to be an upgrade in every way, and with a probable war between apes and the surviving humans, this could be an even darker entry for the franchise. But then I would be first in line to see this if Uwe Boll was making it for Asylum.
So those are my most anticipated films for 2014. What are yours?