Top Ten List – Doc Rotten’s The Top 10 Upcoming Horror Films of 2011

We have our friend, Doc Rotten ( back for another guest post. Let’s see what he has to say about his horror film list for 2011. I will follow up with some comments after the post.

With 2011 starting off very slow and quiet (with a few stinkers thus far as well), finding good genre films in your forecast may seem challenging. Considering most of the genre films are more geared toward action fantasy (Captain America, Thor, Green Lantern and Pirates of the Caribbean 4), there isn’t much room for heavier horror or science fiction films to prosper. Below are 10 films to look out for this year.

Scream 410 Scream 4
Wes Craven returns (as does much of the original cast) for a fourth installment of the Scream franchise. Yet another sequel to a dying franchise from a director having trouble producing quality entertainment did not light up anyone’s excitement meters. Well, at first. However, after a few trailers hit the ‘net, Scream 4 is now promising to be one of the highlights of the year. If Craven (and Williamson – the writer) can recapture the magic of the original, this could be the horror film of the year.

09 Fright Night
“You’re so cool, Brewster!” The original Fright Night remains a campy favorite after 20 plus years. The idea of a vampire moving in next door to a teenager is still an engaging idea. Swapping out Roddy McDowall’s horror host version of Peter Vincent with a street magician played by David (Dr. Who) Tennant should go over well with modern audiences, but may strike an odd cord with fans familiar with the original premise and those who gravitated toward the horror host as a hero concept. The cast is strong with Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge, Anton (Star Trek) Yelchin as Charley Brewster, Christopher (Kick-Ass) Mintz-Plasse as ‘Evil’ Ed and Imogen (28 Weeks Later) Poots as Amy Peterson. Here’s hoping director Craig Gillespie can pull off a modern classic.

08 Cowboys vs Aliens
So here’s the pitch, team up James Bond with Indiana Jones (or Han Solo, you decide), place them in the old west pitted against each other, then throw in an alien invasion. Director Jon (Iron Man) Favreau has also recently stated that the story has a stronger horror element than expected and that’s a very good thing. On top of that you have Olivia Wilde, fresh off her stunning turn in Tron: Legacy, on board to spice things up. Top lined by Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, Cowboys Vs Aliens looks to be the surprise hit of the summer.

Drive Angry 3D07 Drive Angry 3D
Patrick Lussier, the director of My Bloody Valentine 3D, returns the genre and 3D with Drive Angry 3D starring Nicolas Cage. Recent trailers (especially a rather explicit red band clip) have illustrated just how over the top and outrageous this film should be. B-movie fans may have another Piranha 3D hit on their hands, this time actually filmed in 3D! Amber Heard costars and looks fantastic in her role as Piper. William Fichtner appears as The Accountant chasing down Nicolas Cage’s character Milton. Car chases, gore, 3D and Satanist, could you ask for a more perfect B-movie?

06 Battle: Los Angeles
The director of Darkness Falls (2003)     and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) steps up to bat with an alien invasion film this March called Battle: Los Angeles. There have been many attempts at the concept of an alien race attempting to overtake the human race: Independence Day (1996) and Skyline (2010) immediately come to mind. This one appears to take the cameras down to the battle field along side the soldiers waging war and protecting American soil. Aaron (The Dark Knight) Eckhart leads the cast and the trailers seen so far are all looking incredible.

05 The Thing
After years of rumors and false starts, John Carpenter’s The Thing  (1982) finally gets a follow up with The Thing directed by Matthijis van Heijningen Jr. Serving more as a prelude to the classic film, this version stars Mary Elizabeth (Death Proof) Winstead, Eric Christian Olsen, Joel Edgerton and Adewale (LOST) Akinnuoye-Agbeja. Much of the plot and production has been kept secret with only the tiniest of teaser footage seen so far, but anticipation is high for the return to the claustrophobic, paranoid thriller scenario that is the back bone of the classic tale. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. (from the Alien franchise) handle the practical effects while the CGI effects are generated by Image Engine who have previously worked on District 9, The Losers and The Twilight Sage.

04 Super 8
Guarded in secrecy, the next film for director J.J. (Star Trek) Abrams and producer Stephen Spielberg is shaping up to be the blockbuster film of the summer. Something terrible would have to happen for this film to fail. What is known of the premise has a young group of friends in the 1970’s (or perhaps early 1980’s) capturing an escaped alien creature on their super 8 camera. Look out for this one.

03 Cinema Verite: Paranormal Activity 3, Unaware, Evidence, Grave Encounters, Troll Hunters
One of the more successful trends in the past few years has been the found footage, or Cinema Verite, style films: Cloverfield, Quarantine, Paranormal Activity. The technique which assimilates the characters are filming the events displayed and creating an air of authenticity gives these films a documentary feel and have proven to ramp up the terror, scares and screams for horror films. 2011 has a number of these films waiting in the wings to ravage audiences and make them wet their pants. Paranormal Activity 3 is the top of the list with its third outing in this highly successful franchise. Troll Hunters arrives from overseas and has already sprung rumors of a US remake. Small budget films have gravitated to this idea with Unaware (Aliens), Evidence and Grave Encounters.

02 Season 2: The Walking Dead
One of the highlights of 2010 was the successful debut of AMC’s zombie horror TV series, The Walking Dead. Feeling more like a film than a TV show, the series adapts the horror comic from writer Robert Kirkman. Frank (The Mist) Darabont directed the pilot episode and rocked the nation garnering nominations as Best New Series from the Writers Guild of America and Best Television Series from the 68th Golden Globes. The characters from the popular Image comic are brought to life by Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden and Jeffrey DeMunn. The series returns this summer and zombies have never, ever looked better.

01 Insidious
This April the director of the Saw franchise returns with Insidious, a frightening tale of a boy haunted by evil entities. The promise of James Wan and Leigh Whannell tackling a spooky ghost tale is a fantastic idea. Wan’s overlooked film Dead Silence only hinted at what this talented director is capable of delivering. A creepy trailer and a spur of strong reviews from early previews have Insidious at the top of the list. Of all the films hinted at this year, Insidious is the one that portends to be the scariest, most hair-raising, fright film of 2011. If this film is anywhere near as successful as the early reviews are suggesting, this could be an instant classic.

What’s up Doc? Sorry, I had to say it. Anyway, this is a great list that touches on a lot of really cool horror films and even one television show. In regards to the Drive Angry 3D pick, I would watch Amber Heard brush her teeth for 90 minutes, so I am there for that. Insidious is a brilliant choice for #1. How can you go against James Wan at this point. The man knows his horror. I will say that I have seen Troll Hunter and was not a fan though.

In regards to films outside of this list that I would add, I would have to saw Halloween 3 and Friday the 13th 2, if either do happen to get made. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is rather intriguing as well as I am sure that they will do what Rob Zombie did and go in their own direction. I would love to see more of Haley in the role of Freddy.

I am very exited for Cold Prey 3 after 2 solid films from this series already. I am also hyper-excited for the new [REC] films coming. Heck, even Quarantine 2 looks good. ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 looks like it has some promise. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark should be fun.

Some of my sleeper picks could be Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End, Pascal Laugier’s The Tall Man (who does not like The Tall Man) and two from Eli Roth – Thanksgiving and Endangered Species.

What movies are you looking forward the most in 2011?

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Doc Rotten

  • If 2011 is half as nice as 2010, we are in for a treat.

  • Yeah, I wanted to include some of those, but many aren’t even greenlit at the moment (Friday the 13th 2, Nightmare 2, Halloween 3, etc.). I was really looking forward to Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, but it is currently gone missing – locked in legal/financial battles. Some that almost made my list including Ti West’s The Innkeepers, The Apparition and Shark Night 3D – but I didn’t know enough about them to include them. Paranha 3DD is coming this summer sometime, but I’m a bit nervous about how it will turn out. Priest, Red Robin Hood and Apollo 18 look interesting but not enough to make the list. Honestly, I’m even more excited to see about what we haven’t even heard about yet!

    What I’m looking for in 2011: a great monster movie, a creepy supernatural scarefest and/or a b-movie spectacular of epic proportions. Let’s see if we get any of these…

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