Horror and wrestling have long gone hand in hand, but when WWE formed WWE Studios-their own film studio - in 2002, they officially cemented their relationship with the movie industry. WWE views their studio as a natural extension of the entertainment they already release during their weekly Raw and Smackdown episodes and regular pay-per-view specials, and have been using WWE Studios to take full advantage of their talent, developing and releasing movies since 2005.
The first three movie projects WWE Studios announced were the action movie The Condemned, starring Steve Austin, an action-comedy, The Marine, starring John Cena, and a horror movie starring Kane that was originally titled "Goodnight", but would later come to be known as See No Evil.
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See No Evil would become the beginning of WWEs foray into horror movies, though theyd been involved in horror for years. From The Undertakers movie-worthy backstory to Finn Blors Irish demon persona to Bray Wyatts spooky family and subsequent transformation into The Fiend, WWE and horror are a perfect match. Since 2005, WWE Studios has released a total of 11 horror movies across various sub-genres. Heres how they all stack up when compared to each other.
Armed Response is an action-horror movie that stars Wesley Snipes and WWEs Colby Lopez (aka Seth Rollins). The story follows a group of military operatives sent in to recover a team working out of an old prison facility. When they get inside, they find security footage of the team being killed by unseen assailants. Soon they begin experiencing strange occurrences as they try to figure out the truth of what happened to the previous team.
Armed Response is ranked as one of the worst horror movies of the 2010s, and its not hard to see why with its 13% rating on Metacritic and 3.8/10 on IMDB. The plot is generic, following a team of operatives who are being punished for slaughtering a group of innocent civilians in Afghanistan by their AI program thats gone rogue. Armed Responsecould have easily been a very average, competent action horror, but poor writing in the dialogue, characters, and plot make the movie an overall disaster.
The seventh movie in the Leprechaunfranchise and a reboot, Leprechaun: Origins follows four college friends - two couples - vacationing in an Irish village. When they encounter a man in a pub who tells them about a unique historical monument, they cant resist. However, they find themselves locked inside a remote cabin and realize theyve been trapped there as sacrifices and hunted by a strange creature.
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Ultimately a poor reboot of the hit-or-miss '90s horror franchise, Origins really misses the mark and lands squarely as the worst Leprechaun movie, cutting out the unique strangeness that made the series interesting to begin with. This reboot plays out like a mediocre creature feature without any real depth or interest, and drags on for twice as long as it needs to. Leprechaun: Originsarguably gets through what could have been the plot of the entire movie within the first 45 minutes.
The first film entirely produced by WWE Studios to not feature a wrestler in any way, Barricade follows Terrence Shade and his two children, who escape to a remote cabin in the mountains for their first Christmas after the death of his wife. However, once they arrive, strange shadows and noises start terrorizing the family as they all also come down with a mysterious illness. Its clear this movie is trying to do something interesting with skipping timelines, weird behavior from both the father and children, and an unreliable narrator, but ultimately it ends up being a jumbled mess with an unsatisfying twist and uninteresting ending.
In this supernatural horror movie, Incarnate follows scientist Dr. Seth Ember as he frees people of demonic possession by going directly into the victims mind and freeing them from the hold of the parasitic entity keeping them hostage within their own bodies. Ember takes what he believes will be his last job when he enters the mind of an 11-year-old boy whos been inhabited by a demon from Embers own tragic past.
While this movie is clearly trying to make a modern twist on the classic religious possession movie, and wants to surprise the audience with numerous twists and turns, the plot is utterly predictable. Incarnate'spremise is interesting, but its just too obvious where the ending is going for the overall story to be compelling or tense in any way, leaving the movie at a mostly middling ranking.
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One of WWE Studios most famous horror movie franchises, See No Evil follows a group of inmates who embark on a work release program to an old abandoned hotel. Theyre offered three months off their respective sentences for three days spent cleaning up the old hotel in preparation for it to be reopened as a homeless shelter. Unfortunately, the old hotel is also inhabited by a crazed serial killer who removes the eyes of his victims.
Starring WWEs Kane, See No Evilreally embodies early 2000s horror movies in every way possible, and while thats not necessarily a bad thing, it doesnt really work here. The whole film seems like a flimsy, contrived premise to create cool kills, and it doesnt really deliver on that front either. That being said, this original movie is completely made up for by its sequel, which really delivers on everything See No Evilwas trying to be.
A Canadian post-apocalyptic horror movie directed by Douglas Aarniokoski, The Day follows a group of five survivors who are traveling the countryside looking for supplies and somewhere safe where they can hole up and try to rebuild. However, tribes of cannibals roam the same land, attacking, killing, and eating any remaining survivors. Of course, the survivors run into a gang of cannibals and things go awry from there.
While the premise of a post-apocalyptic story following a group of survivors is certainly not unique, The Day offers an interesting variation with roaming tribes of cannibals rather than zombies or Mad Max-style psychos. The movie offers some other interesting twists and turns, but overall ends up being just middling in terms of quality and interest.
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This period action-horror movie follows a young Mohawk warrior as her people are thrust into the War of 1812 against their will, and shes pursued by a group of new American military renegades set on revenge. Fleeing into the woods, she has to use every resource available to her in order to survive and kill the soldiers set on taking her life.
Mohawk stars an actual Mohawk actress, Kaniehtiio Horn, and other indigenous actors in the roles of her family and tribesmen, which is definitely a plus for this film. It was co-written by director Ted Geoghegan and renowned novelist Grady Hendrix (Satanic Panic). A thrilling political commentary and depiction of the way indigenous peoples were treated during the settlement of America, this movie doesnt hold back on brutality.
Starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, The Call focuses on Jordan, a 911 operator who - still recovering from a botched call that led to the death of a young girl - receives a call from another young girl, Casey, whos been kidnapped by the same man. Putting the wits and survival skills of both women to the test, the story follows as Jordan does everything she can to ensure they find Casey alive.
Offering the basics of a traditional thriller, this movie is definitely compelling, holding the audiences attention through every twist and turn. While its certainly not something thats never been seen before, The Calliswell-crafted and the performances are good overall. All in all, its a solid thriller.
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See No Evil 2 takes place in the morgue that takes in all the bodies of the first film, including killer Jacob Goodnight. When morgue worker Amy is getting ready to leave for the night, her friends decide to surprise her at work with a birthday party. Soon after, Jacob Goodnight reveals himself to not actually be dead, and starts stalking and killing each person left in the morgue, one by one.
Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary, Rabid), See No Evil 2brings in horror greats Danielle Harris (Halloween, Hatchet) and Katharine Isabelle (GingerSnaps,Hannibal). Due in part to this new direction and ample talent,See No Evil 2is everything the original movie wanted to be, and delivers on deploying interesting and brutal kills, high tension scares, and a truly terrifying killer. This is the movie that makes the See No Evil franchise an underrated gem.
When a couple traveling across country stop at a rural motel for a few nights, they encounter trouble by way of a local gang member who decides to kidnap them in order to make up for the burglary he botched earlier. However, when they find a kidnapped girl locked up in a concealed box in the couples car trunk, the tables turn. The gang figures out they are actually up against a highly efficient, psychopathic serial killer determined to ensure No One Lives.
For what is basically just a more simplistic version of Adam Wingard and Simon Barretts movieThe Guest, this movie is surprisingly enjoyable, mixing campy, laugh-out-loud moments with brutal kills. Luke Evans (The Alienist, Beauty & The Beast) does an amazing job in the lead role of the killer, and the movie does a great job of building tension along with interesting and visceral killing scenarios. Overall, a great movie for some mindless gore.
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Oculus is a psychological horror film that stars Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy)as a woman convinced that an antique mirror is responsible for the death of her parents. But, when her brother is finally released from the psychiatric hospital after years of therapy, she sets up an experiment to prove to everyone that the mirror and not Tim, her father, or any of the mirrors previous owners, is the real killer.
Directed by Mike Flanagan (Geralds Game, Doctor Sleep) and based on his short film Oculus: Chapter 3 The Man with the Plan, Oculus is a really effective supernatural horror story that builds tension and plays with an unreliable narrator angle to craft a compelling and extremely tense 103 minutes. A co-production between Blumhouse and WWE Studios, this movie offers the best of both worlds with great gore effects and kills as well as tense psychological horror, planting it firmly in the top spot of WWEs existing horror movies.
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Certified horror addict and linguistics nerd, Maisy has been watching, reading, and reviewing horror since she was old enough to get a library card. She is most often found hiding in the woods with her nose in a book, usually horror or weird fiction, or in her bedroom snuggling with her husband and many pets while watching horror movies or playing Skyrim - usually both.Elusive and rarely out in public, Maisy can usually be baited with cheese, punk rock, or the promise of a rousing discussion on sociolinguistics and dialectology, though she has sometimes been known to come out to explore local parks, zoos, and distilleries on occasion.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero