Stories For Ghosts

Horror for the Discerning Fan

February Horror Releases To Fall In (Or Out) Of Love With

February horror serves up the scary movie goods this month, what with several big-name, majorly-hyped horror flicks hitting screens. And this blogger is looking forward to it!

There’s something for everyone—a bloody and “f*ucked up fairy tale”, a remake of a classic body horror flick, a horror anthology that seems truly promising, and a foray into the Australian countryside where no one can hear you scream. And don’t forget the zombies and witches and cults! Oh my!

If you’re not into the regular sappy, cheesy romance movies, consider grabbing your sweetie and a large popcorn for two before settling down to watch anyone of these February horror releases.

After all, Science says that horror movies are a proven way to make your date feel more attracted to you.

I’m just saying. 😉

Without further delay, here are the new February horror releases and their trailers, arranged by date!

February 5, 2016

 

  1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“A zombie outbreak has fallen upon the land in Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England. Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) is a master of martial arts and weaponry and the handsome Mr. Darcy (Sam Reilly) is a fierce zombie killer, yet the epitome of upper class prejudice. As the zombie outbreak intensifies, they must swallow their pride and join forces on the blood-soaked battlefield.”

Can you say #squadgoals?!?!

After what seems like forever, we finally have the screen adaptation of the novel parody of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s most renowned work.

I’m not going to lie, I love 1) zombies, 2) well-choreographed fight scenes, and 3) ass-kicking ladies and gents, and 4) literary works that champion feminist causes and challenge social mores. From the trailer, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies looks to have checked off the first three items on that list, so this movie should be entertaining at the very least. It remains to be seen if the film will successfully utilize a zombie apocalypse to reexamine Austen’s valuable social insights.

If the film does accomplish this, I think this version could be a very worthwhile retelling of Austen’s themes.

If not, we’ve got a fun period-piece zombie film.

Win win!

(I just hope this is better than Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Not that I don’t love that movie for the gleeful, cheesy delight it was, but it wasn’t very good.)

 

  1. Regression – Limited

“Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.”

All right, a Satanic Panic film!

If you aren’t familiar with how fears of devil-worshiping cults swept over the United States in the late 1980s, you can read more here. Basically, the late 1980s and early 1990s saw a huge rise in the number of reported instances of ritualistic sexual abuse, said to be perpetuated upon young children at the hands of Satantic cultists. The hysteria reached a fever-pitch in many areas, with full investigations launched and multiple people arrested across the country. But time and time again, no evidence was found to corroborate the tales of such abuse or the presence of cults, much less ones that were murdering babies and children in dark masses.

Believe it or not, much of this hysteria was due to faulty questioning and community support for outlandish tales. The investigators questioning these very young children did so in leading ways. Parents became convinced their children had been abused and were so adamant about it that their children were afraid to tell the truth for fear that they would get their parents in trouble. These young children were very susceptible to suggestion and actually developed false memories as a result of the leading questions and stories told over and over.

And the really crazy part? This isn’t a new phenomena—false memories can happen to anyone.

Given all of that background, my interest is piqued. I’m also a fan Alejandro Amenábar, who directed this film and The Others. I like Ethan Hawke a whole lot (I had a huge crush on him when I was thirteen and first saw Gattaca).

However, much has been reported about the somewhat troubled production of the film. It was filmed in 2014 and originally slated for a release last August, but was pulled at the last minute for reshoots, which isn’t a good sign.

That and it has a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Maybe wait for RedBox on this one, guys.

 

  1. The Pack

“A farmer and his family must fight for survival after a ferocious pack of wild dogs infiltrates their isolated farmhouse. Through a series of frightening and bloody encounters they are forced into survival mode to make it through the night.”

On first viewing, this trailer left me feeling kind of…eeehhhhhh…about the film. It’s an interesting tactic to use animals instead of human beings for what looks like a straightforward home-invasion horror film, but honestly, I’m not super impressed.

Maybe because it looks like every other home-invasion horror film, but with wolves?

But then again, Australian horror has a history of pleasantly surprising me with films like You’re Next and The Babadook.

Maybe The Pack will accomplish something similar?

 

  1. Southbound – Limited

“On a desolate stretch of desert highway, weary travelers—two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation—are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in these interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road…”

This trailer looked really good?! Like, surprisingly good? I’m normally not a fan of the “horror anthology movie,” because it ends up being an excuse to do shoddy found-footage, but this has potential! What is with those weird masks that creepy family wears? What’s up with that girl in the diner? What is happening with the deserted hospital? Why are the two brothers covered in blood? And what are they running from? What’s going on?!?!?

I would love to see how they all interact together. Hopefully these separate storylines actually intersect one another, instead of it being something lazy, like a contrived frame-story where a bunch of thieves have to watch VHS films over and over.

 

February 12, 2016

 

  1. Nina Forever

“After his girlfriend Nina dies in a car crash, Rob unsuccessfully attempts suicide. As he begins to overcome his grief, he falls in love with a coworker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when Nina, unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.”

 Here is the perfect Valentine’s Day Movie for people who don’t like the conventional Valentine’s rom com! This is what February horror should be about.

I’m digging the premise, which I think is perfect for a heartfelt, black-humored, bloody story about loss, grief, and moving on. I love that it seems to be part love-triangle comedy, part ghost story, and part gross-out flick. It seems like a perfect example of the ways horror movies can bring depth and nuance to otherwise ordinary parts of life.

 

  1. Cabin Fever – Limited

“A group of five friends are terrorized at their getaway cabin. A remake of the 2002 film, ‘Cabin Fever’.”

Um…why?

Did you ask for this? I didn’t ask for this.

Not even twenty years after the original and iconic body horror movie Cabin Fever, the film is being remade with the same script and with Eli Roth planted in the Executive Producer’s seat. Last time I checked, shot-for-shot remakes of classic horror films don’t usually work out (I’m looking at you, Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho and Michael Haneke’s remake of his own original Funny Games).

Other than money, I’m not sure what is to be gained by this remake. It’s not like the original is lacking in some way or that technology has advanced to enable to Roth to make his vision as nasty as he wanted it. Nothing will ever top the pure nasty gross out moment of the infamous leg-shaving scene. I still haven’t recovered. What will this remake do other than remind us that Eli Roth used to make brutal and successful horror films?

Why even bother?

Be better, Eli Roth.

 

February 19, 2016

 

  1. The Witch

“New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.”

Oh, I am excited!

Let’s see what kind of terrors await us in The Witch: the psychological distress of intense isolation, crazy superstitious and zealous Puritans, unexplained illnesses and the corresponding horrific 17th century “cures”, a missing baby, some restrained but chilling body horror, and a literal witch hunt.

I’ve been waiting SO LONG to see this film! Ever since it made huge waves at the 2015 Sundance Festival, where director Robert Eggers won Best Director for this film. Just so you know, Studio 8 was so impressed by this film that it hired Eggers to direct the Nosferatu remake.

I don’t want to jinx it, but this looks awesome—atmospheric, tense, haunting, and scary. Everything I want in a horror film.

(Also, Stories For Ghosts was invited to a press screening of The Witch, so I’ll have a review up in about a week’s time! Check back in later!)

 

Which February horror movies will you be seeing this month? Leave me a comment!

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1 Comment

  1. I came here to say the same thing about the fear that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be like the Abraham Lincoln movie. Clever book, terrible movie. My fingers are crossed that lessons were learned. Let us know how it is!

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