There’s a lot of horror coming our way very shortly. Most of the major franchises are on their way back. Friday the 13th, for example, is returning in two separate formats. Sure, there are some things that almost everyone seems excited for, but these are things that fans have demanded for years, like Ash vs. Evil Dead, or things that have already been proven to work, like upcoming seasons of Bates Motel and Hannibal. Still, for the most part, people remain unimpressed when they discover that one of their favorite horror titles is being revisited. It immediately gets into their head that, somehow, this new incarnation will tarnish the original. Or that it will somehow prevent them from being able to enjoy whatever the property is that they love.
In reality, all that happens when something is rebooted is that a movie is made. For better or worse, it’s just a film. It only means new content, and that content will either be good or it will be bad. That depends on the people making it and whether or not they understand both the material they’re taking on and the audience they’re producing it for. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. With all of that in mind, here are some upcoming horror projects we’ve all no doubt heard of that deserve the benefit of the doubt.
The Next Halloween
The new entry in the Halloween series might be a ways away, but it has a writing team and is gaining a lot of momentum. That’s the closest it’s come to happening since Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier were on board. This is a very successful duo. From they Feast series to The Collector movies, they’ve definitely proven themselves. I think that Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan could really make this entry a special one, so I don’t understand the hate. They’re not remaking Halloween again, they’re simply making another movie about Michael Myers doing his thing. Before that was officially announced, it was what the fans wanted. Now most comments seem to suggest that people wanted the next Halloween to continue from the Rob Zombie films, which was certainly not the case when those entries were coming out.
Sure, the fact that the new incarnation of Tales from the Darkside will air on the CW doesn’t inspire hope, but the talent behind it does. Joe Hill, who serves as executive producer on the reboot, is a major rising talent in the genre. There’s also the fact that he’s horror royalty, being the son of Stephen King. Who, in addition to his obvious legacy, wrote some of the best episodes of the original series. But Hill has made it on his own and has a very different style than his father, which is a good thing. He should be better recognized as the force behind books like Horns and NOS4A2. With someone like Hill at the helm, there’s every reason to expect good things.
This one, like the previous, is on a network that most horror fans look down on. The trailer didn’t do a lot to win people over. Right now, we don’t know which way it’s going to go. I do know that watching that trailer I definitely got vibes of Scream as a franchise. It’s more than the mask that makes these movies what they are. In fact, given the current state of horror, the only logical way for Scream to evolve would be as a TV series. Scream is always about what is happening right now, and right now horror is on TV. If the franchise wants to continue to be relevant, it’s going to be pointing out things like Bates Motel instead of harkening back to Psycho. As long as it gets the most out of the concept, we should have nothing to worry about.
Poltergeist, I’ll admit, mostly needs support to stop the inevitable flow of uninformed people who are going to say it ripped off Insidious. As long as it crafts an interesting story, what harm can it do? If there was ever a time to remake Poltergeist, it’s now. This is an age of paranormal thrillers, of which Poltergeist is a cornerstone. It will be interesting to see if it will hold up against the likes of Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring. On top of that, it has a great cast including Sam Rockwell and Jared Harris.
The next Texas Chainsaw Massacre feature, instead of carrying on from the end of Texas Chainsaw 3D, will be a prequel to the original. Like the previous entry, this may be an impressive attempt at continuity, despite the overall success of the film as a whole. Which will almost no doubt be better, given the talent behind the camera. Sure, many people have vocalized their distaste at a movie about Leatherface’s teenage years. But Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury directed Inside, one of the most intense French horror films ever. Their take on horror’s most visceral franchise will at least be something to behold, no matter how old the titular character is.
The upcoming remake of Stephen King’s It seems to have people more vocal than anything else right now. Which is in some ways understandable. Everyone’s afraid it’s going to ruin one of their childhood favorites. But I think people might be holding It to too high of a standard. The TV miniseries definitely had its moments, and Tim Curry’s performance was perfect, but it still had a ton of flaws. As much as I love it, I’ve found that more often than not I can only find myself being able to sit through the first part of the miniseries, which is focused primarily on the children. The adult-centric material is just too much. For something that is inherently about nostalgia, the scenes focused on the adults are crucial. It is one of King’s darkest, most frightening books in a way that simply could not be accomplished on TV. So it’s worth wondering what they’re going to come up with and how they’re going to approach it.