Ghastly Grinning Writers Most Anticipated of 2019
Intro by Rachael Hauschild
2018 delivered the goods. We were gifted with the return of Laurie Strode, Rage Cage went berserk and introduced us to the now beloved Cheddar Goblin, clicking noises with your mouth were never so spine chilling, watching Nazi zombies get punched was pleasing to the eye, and you never wanted to venture into The Shimmer because you may never return. Regardless of what people may think, it was a great year for horror films.
Now that that is said and done, it’s time to look forward. 2019 looks STACKED in terms of films in general, but the horror genre seems like we’re going to have a plentiful year. Robert Eggers returns with The Lighthouse, Dan Gilroy is back with Velvet Buzzsaw, Jennifer Kent will grace our eyes with The Nightingale, the legendary Larry Fessenden betstows us with Depraved, and The Soska’s bless us with their twist on Cronenberg with a redo of Rabid. I for one cannot wait for this year in horror. Bring it on!
So what better way to kick off 2019 than to highlight what we’re excited for? We asked to GG staff to pick a horror movie that they are most excited for in 2019 and tell us why they’re excited for it. It’s clear of the passion the writers have for the genre and it only excites us for the year to come! Here are a few choices our staff picked:
RACHAEL’S PICK - WOUNDS
I for one am excited for Wounds. Director Babak Anvari returns with another horror film after his beautifully directorial debut Under the Shadow. Wounds doesn’t have too much information online but all we know right now according to IMDB is “the story follows a New Orleans bartender whose life begins to unravel after a series of disturbing and inexplicable events begins to happen when he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.” If this is anything like Anvari’s last film, I’m so there. Plus, who wouldn’t love seeing Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson on screen!? Wounds stars Dakota Johnson and Armie Hammer and premieres at Sundance in a couple of weeks and you bet I will be there ready to go! Wounds is adapted from the book The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud and is slated for wide release in March 2019. (Rachael Hauschild)
MEGAN’S PICK - EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE
I want to start by saying 2019 is looking like it’s going to be a damn good year for movies. There is a lot to be excited about and I can honestly say I am hyped about every item featured on this list. It’s hard to pick just one, but I went with the upcoming Joe Berlinger film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile for a multitude of reasons. Reason number one: Zac Efron will play the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. The film will chronicle the crimes of Bundy, told from the perspective of his long time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer. I have always been fascinated by serial killers and true crime and I am highly intrigued to see Efron’s portrayal of the master manipulator, Ted Bundy. Director Joe Berlinger has been noted as a pioneer of the true crime genre, so I have faith that the project is in good hands. As a bit of homework before I see the film, I am reading The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, who was a friend of Bundy’s and much like Elizabeth Kloepfer, had a very hard time being convinced that Bundy was capable of the heinous acts of evil he was being accused of. The book is utterly chilling and I imagine Berlinger’s film won’t be any different. For those curious about that mouthful of a title, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” was a descriptor, pulled from one of the Bundy verdicts and after having read Ann Rule’s book, I can confirm that it is a spot on description of Bundy and his heinous acts of evil. The film will see its world premiere on January 26th at the 2019 Sundance International Film Festival, which I am fortunate to attend this year. I’ll be sure to have a review up for all of you Grinners right away and as soon as we catch the wide release date for Extremely Wicked, you’ll all be the first to know. (Megan Casady)
MATTHEW’S PICK - GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS
I remember where I was when I saw the first teaser for Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I was sat, quite literally on the edge of my seat, in my living room, basking in the otherworldly chaos that was unfolding on screen. Ever since Gareth Edwards kicked off the MonsterVerse with 2014’s Godzilla I’ve been all in on a cinematic universe where legendary Kaiju duke it out for for their place on the planet while us mere humans struggle to avoid the storms that ride in their wake. While Edwards’ movie provided a great introduction to Godzilla with some fantastic visual flare, Dougherty has assembled something all together more grand and operatic. Top it off with the promise of a future showdown with Kong and you’ve all but guaranteed I’ll buy several tickets on its opening weekend. The horror genre was built by monsters and this year, their King is back. (Matthew Trask)
MICHELE’S PICK - HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U
Happy Death Day was one of my favorite horror films of 2017. It has already become a comfort movie of mine, one that I can put on at any time and enjoy. It’s also one of those movies that works totally well as a stand-alone, but at the same also absolutely begs for a sequel. I would love for there to be some more exploration of the story involving the time loop and what caused it in Happy Death Day 2 U, and I’m just ready for some of that good old slasher fun that the first one provided. Also, Jessica Rothe killed it with her performance as Tree, and I am so happy to see her return for the sequel. She really seems like a star on the rise for me. I don’t like to watch trailers, especially for movies that I’m already excited about, so I haven’t seen the one for Happy Death Day 2 U yet. Regardless, I cannot wait to sit in that theater and (hopefully) be just as thoroughly entertained with it like I was with the first one. (Michele Eggen)
JERRY’S PICK - 3 FROM HELL
One of the most unexpected sequels around, Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell is set to hit audiences this year and as a huge fan of The Devil’s Rejects, this writer could not possibly be anymore anxious to see what the return of the Firefly clan will bring. A return to what most consider his best film and characters, Zombie seems to have been inspired to disregard one of the most finite endings around, with Rejects ending in a hail of gun fire, one that left the sinister yet highly entertaining villains played by Bill Moseley, Sid Haig and Sheri Moon Zombie shot to hell to say the least.
When 3 From Hell was initially announced, it made me think, "Wait, what? WHY??" The story seemed to have been tied up in Rejects, but as time went on and the set photos were posted, it was impossible NOT to be excited to see the trio back in the roles that we love to see them in. Also adding to the excitement, is the ensemble group of co-stars that Zombie has put together for the film, with returning Zombie regulars like Richard Brake (tell me his performance as Doom Head in 31 was anything short of mesmerizing and I will fight you here and now), Clint Howard, Dee Wallace, David Ury and Jeff Daniel Phillips as well as people you wouldn't jump to think would be in a Rob Zombie, like Emilio Rivera and Dot-Marie Jones. Rob's always had a knack for casting and judging from the cast, 3 From Hell seems to be no exception. Plot details haven't been announced, aside from letting us know that the now detained Firefly crew is in prison, so the idea that we could very well be getting a full on Rejects prison flick is exciting and full of promise.
It's awesome to have a return of the characters from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects and from what various posts and statements made on social media by Moseley and Phillips, time hasn't softened the Firefly gang, so the possibility that we're about to witness some of the most depraved actions yet from the group is terrifyingly exciting. Sure, we're all wondering how Otis, Spaulding and Baby survived the barrage of bullets and sure we're all wondering what will happen when Danny Trejo's Rondo shows up in those baggy ass jeans again, but based on how utterly happy Zombie has looked in every single behind the scenes photo we've seen, I am so on board with this movie hitting us all in the collective faces this year, it's definitely a film that I think will help wash away the bad taste a lot of genre fans had with 31 (I'm not one of those haters, I loved it). (Jerry Smith)
AMANDA’S PICK - THE GRUDGE
Hitting the screens in June 2019 is a reboot of The Grudge, and I know what you’re all thinking: ANOTHER remake? But simply titled ‘Grudge’, this re-imagining stars scream queen favorite Lin Shaye (Insidious, Jack Goes Home) and is penned by Jeff Buhler, writer of Midnight Meat Train and the upcoming Pet Sematary reboot. The film will feature a new supernatural entity rather than a reprisal of the black-haired ghost Kayako Saeki, and is directed by Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) and produced under Sam Raimi’s Ghost House. Recent reboots like IT have proven that when it’s done well, it can be very effective, and while the original Japanese film had its place, the 2004 US remake did very little in the way of scares. Much of the apprehension around remakes comes from people viewing the original as a ‘sacred cow’ of sorts; people spiked the remakes of Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and others before they even hit the screens, and there is already a decent-sized horror contingent calling to boycott the upcoming Child’s Play (although a lot of that negative press has to do with ongoing IP issues and resentment from Don Mancini’s camp, and people’s well-deserved loyalty to Don). Despite already receiving backlash and eye-rolling when it was announced, Shaye has promised that Grudge is one of the most terrifying films she’s ever been a part of, and that’s saying a lot coming from her. The cast also features Andrea Riseborough (Mandy), John Cho (Searching, Sleepy Hollow, Star Trek), and Demián Bichir (The Nun), which means it has all the elements needed to make it a success; let’s just hope it lives up to the potential. (Amanda Rebholz)
TOMMY’S PICK - US
So why am I excited for Jordan Peele’s Us? Did you watch the trailer? The film looks just as bonkers as Peele’s Oscar-winning Get Out. Throw in Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It”, mixed to scare the ever-loving crap out of you, and you couldn’t find me more hyped. I’ll see you all March 22! (Tommy Tracy)
ERIC’S PICK - IT: CHAPTER 2
A new year always brings along a new slate of movies. Some we know about well in advance, others we discover purely by coincidence. It’s always exciting at the beginning of January, looking toward the next 12 months of what horror might bring to the masses. As I was purveying the list of horror movies expected to arrive in 2019, trying to nail down that one that has got me the most hyped, there were many juicy choices to pick from. However, after I came to September, my search ended. IT: Chapter Two is my most anticipated horror release for 2019, and outside of maybe one other film (Jordan Peele’s follow-up US), this is going to be the most commercially successful one of them all as well.
IT: Chapter Two will be a continuation of Andy Muschietti’s 2017 rollercoaster original. While IT dealt with our Loser’s Club as they were adolescents and their first introduction and battle with the clown known as Pennywise, Chapter Two will deal with them as adults, grown up with the experience of that traumatic final conflict. Twenty-seven years have passed, and the clown they once defeated has returned to the town of Derry, forcing the Loser’s Club to reunite and try to defeat this force of evil once and for all. IT, which experienced an early director change from Cary Fukanaga to current helmer Andy Muschietti, was an unexpected runaway success when it released in September 2017, grossing over $700M worldwide. I am even more hyped for the next chapter, solely because I believe this is a great chance at redemption. See, IT was first a made-for-TV movie in November 1990, starring Harry Anderson, John Ritter and the superb Tim Curry as Pennywise. I thought IT 1990 was an overall well done 3 hour plus mini-series, but it was severely lacking when it would focus on the adulthood of the Loser’s Club. I felt the scenes with them were actually quite dreary and somewhat boring, nowhere near as entertaining, scary or tense as the children-centered part of the movie. This new iteration is now stocked with established and respected actors such as James McAvoy, Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain. My hope is that this will be the excellent 2nd part of the IT story that the novel by Stephen King deserves….and honestly, we got James McAvoy to go all “Beast” on this motherfucker, so it HAS to be good. (Eric Mayo)
MIKE'S PICK - PET SEMATARY
One of Stephen King’s best, and most unsettling stories is making its way to theatres this April, with Pet Sematary. The story of Dr. Louis Creed moving his family to rural Maine to take a new position at a college seems more like a Hallmark movie than classic horror, until the legend of a nearby ancient burial ground and the neighboring pet cemetery enter the picture. Led by Jason Clarke (playing Louis Creed) and John Lithgow (filling the role of neighbor and local folklore master Jud Crandall) the film will teach us all why “Sometimes, Dead is Better”. Pet Sematary is a horrific, gut wrenching story about the darkness in love and the incredible devastation wreaked upon families and individuals by loss. As only Stephen King can, the story touches on incredible human elements woven perfectly into supernatural terror. Look forward to very strong performances from the leads, gruesome looks at the reality of human nature, and the terror that comes by facing the realities of death, and how far you would go to bring back something you love. And let's get one thing straight, this is not a remake of the beloved 1989 film. This is a different group of people using the same source material to share their interpretation of the story, and I for one cannot wait to see it. (Mike Vlastnik)
Ryan’s Pick - The New Mutants
Really hoping this actually hits this year. Ever since the trailer dropped, I’ve been beyond excited for The New Mutants. One, this cast is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING PHENOMENAL. Anya Taylor Joy is on her way to becoming horror royalty with her roles in The Witch, Split (and the subsequent Glass), Marrowbone and Thoroughbreds. Aided by Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things, Marrowbone), Henry Zaga (Teen Wolf), Blu Hunt (The Originals) and Alice Braga (Predators, The Rite), the entire cast has some sort of visit with the horror genre. Josh Boone is on board to direct and although you may look at his filmography and shrug, he is the man behind the camera of The Fault in Our Stars and Stuck in Love, Boone has shown that he has a deft hand with teenage relationships and OH MY GOODNESS if you haven’t read the original New Mutants run, that’s all it is. The Claremont original run of The New Mutants is pure adolescent melodrama and it’s absolutely glorious. Again, to look at your traditional spandex wearing superhero comic and ask “is this really a horror comic?,” I implore you to find the ‘Demon Bear’ arc of The New Mutants and think any differently. I can not wait for this movie and it’s slowly killing me that it keeps getting pushed and pushed. The trailer has obviously shown that he can handle the horror aspect. Guys, I have to. Welcome to The New Mutants, Josh Boone, hope you survive the experience.