Horror films tend to go through trends of following what brings audiences to the seats. The rise and fall of slashers, home invasion, the "turture porn" craze with Saw, and more recently the possession/devil themed films have had their hay day in theaters. Combining these sub genres has been an effective strategy in the past as well with films like Scream combining horror and comedy. Adding too many different aesthetics can be a messy concoction, and 2015's The Lazarus Effect is the perfect example.
The study of dreams and nightmares continues to be a deep well of new discovery. What exactly conjures those scattered moments in the mind to play during sleep? How can the visions seen in these dreams and nightmares effect the sleeper? These questions lining the walls of sleep analysis have been approached scientifically as well as spiritually. The 2008 documentary The Nightmare by Andrew Gray seeks to answer some of these lingering questions.
B-horror films have always lived on the line between good and bad, giving viewers the opportunity for a new camp classic to be born. They're not offensive because they don't take themselves too seriously, which can be exactly what the doctor ordered. WolfCop from director Lowell Dean sets out to create a romping good time with the monster genre, and ultimately delivers on its promise. While not being anything ground breaking or new, the movie manages to take moments from the werewolf films of old and put fun twists on them.
Sometimes trying to reinvent a genre can be a daunting and seemingly pointless task. When it comes to slasher films, there have been countless attempts to reapproach the "Ten Little Indians" type set up with an unknown killer waiting in the wings to pick them off one by one. Despite most of the films being copycats and cash grabs, there have been a handful that don't attempt to reinvent but still leave a positive impact on viewers.
Body horror films are a dime a dozen nowadays. However, there was a time when they were highly sought after, mainly due to the love for David Cronenberg and his unrelenting ability to mix decay of the flesh with political and social commentary. His films captured iconic and terrible imagery, but the message hiding underneath the layers of skin made the experience feel worth the watch and multiple viewings. Stripping away that creative mind to leave a film solely focused around showing literal brains leaves an experience that can be hard to sit through.
To put it simply, The Boy Next Door is a bad movie with a heart of gold. When a film can straddle that line of "this is garbage" and "I need to tell all of my friends" then it's a winner. That line is where the campy classics are born for film lovers. Rob Cohen's latest film falls squarely into that wooded forest of special films with its goofy line deliveries, over the top thriller sequences, and underlying mythological parallels.
A monster flick directed by the writer of X-Men and Watchmen? The promise of a complex, fun, and fresh werewolf story? A focus on practical effects against the use of excessive CGI? What could go wrong? Apparently, plenty. David Hayter's latest directing project, Wolves, sets up all of the aforementioned aspects, but quickly reveals them to be false. The film does involve werewolves, as promised, but they are layered under digital effects within a plot full of obvious yet somehow confusing plot points.
There are a number of made for television and straight to DVD/digital horror films that are overlooked by even the most hardocore of genre fans. Typically the blame for that lies within knowing that most of them are most likely mediocre to terrible. Occasionally there can be a standout that could have been a limited theatrical release with the right amount of attention due to its promising scenes. Chiller networks 2014 film Animal could have fallen into that category, but seems to be settling right where it should be.
The promise of a sequel to a well received horror film can bring feelings of joy, but also concern. There have been many successful and well made sequels to strong films like Halloween II (1981), Aliens, and even Silence of the Lambs. Of course, there's a list of fairly forgettable or downright bad sequels to get through as well. Wolf Creek was a film that was very much on its own terms when it came to how it presented its story and characters.
It seems that so many films try to go for that "twist" ending in hopes to make the movie iconic. Arguably, Hitchock and his film Psycho started that craze for the horror genre. It is an understandable desire and approach to making a solid genre movie, as long as it hits well in the end. The main point to remember, however, is that films like Psycho and the original Friday the 13th did more than just incorporate a twist ending. They made the journey to that twist just as exciting and imperative to the viewer.