As football season replaces special effect/CGI bursting “tentpole” season, Hollywood turns to its aisle packing, auditorium screaming horror/thriller genre to woo viewers until superheroes (and friends) return for Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays.
Author Stephen King is sure to reel in a crowd on Sept. 8. Bill Skarsgard (“Hemlock Grove”) takes the roll of the scariest clown in history, Pennywise, (played by Tim Curry in the TV mini-series) in the big screen adaptation of “It.”
King’s longest novel (over 1,100 pages) pits seven friends in Derry, Maine, against an epitome of evil – a shapeshifter. When children begin to disappear, townspeople must come together to defeat the being, whose history dates back to 1715 when he emerged from hibernation in a crashed space vessel. Pennywise returns to wreak havoc every 30 years thereafter.
Known, too, as Dancing Clown, Eater of Woods and Consumption, director Andy Muschietti envisions a two part production for King’s macabre creation.
Pennywise has allegedly been spotted in The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher (“Pennywise lives” written in graffiti), and is mentioned in Gray Matter, 11/22/63, and Insominia.
Curry’s mini-series character had only two forms: the clown and a giant pregnant spider. Those who have braved the novel know that he can be The Creature from the Black Lagoon, a giant crow, Rodan of Godzilla fame, a werewolf, a leper, a mummy, flying leeches, a swarm of piranhas, the shark from Jaws, Dracula, Paul Bunyan, Frankenstein’s Monster, an eight foot tall doberman pinscher, the witch from Hansel and Gretel, or a decomposed zombie.
“Mother” (Sept. 15) stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion, and sacrifice where uninvited guests turn tranquility into chaos. Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”) directs.
“Friend Request” (Sept. 22) Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is one of the most popular girls in her high school. She is then sent a Facebook friend request by lonely Marina (Liesl Ahlers). Having initially accepted, Laura finds herself being obsessively pursued by Marina and not long afterward hits the unfriend button. But something demonic appears when, after Marina commits suicide online, a supernatural presence pursues Laura.
“Till Death Do Us Part” (Sept. 29) opens with the seemingly perfect marriage of Michael (Stephen Bishop) and Madison Roland (Annie Ilonzeh) but controlling Michael begins to abuse Madison. With the help of her best friend Chelsea (Robinne Lee), Madison flees. After adopting a new identity, she meets and falls in love with Alex Stone (Taye Diggs). But her ex discovers her whereabouts and pursues her.
“Flatliners” (Sept. 29), this horror fantasy remake has a Frankenstein’s monster origin as a group of medical students experiment with near death experiences from past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their current lives. Instead of abandoning their lab work, they embark on a more daring and dangerous experiment.
The scary month of October brings fresh horror ops nearly each weekend.
“Happy Death Day” (Oct. 13) may revive thoughts of Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day,” but it’s a total 180 degree turn. Jessica Rothe starts as Tree Gelbman who must relive her birthday slashing again and again until, hopefully, she figures out how to stop it.
“Snowman” (Oct. 20) has a detective investigating the disappearance of a victim on the year’s first snowfall and fears the evidence points to cold cases which suggest another killing the next time snow falls.
“Jigsaw” (Oct. 27) returns to subject people to gruesome fatal puzzles which lead to uniquely gory deaths. Michael and Peter Spierig direct the seventh film in the “Saw” franchise with eyes on reinventing it.
Two science fiction films await, the “Blade Runner 2049” sequel which features Harrison Ford and “Geostorm” (Oct. 20), where a satellite designer tries to save the world from a storm of epic proportions caused by malfunctioning climate-controlling satellites.
Horror movie season in full swing in Sept. – Graffiti
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero