by REBECCA, October 8, 2013
Like so many fans of horror fiction, October is always a treat because it’s a constant rollout of horror movies. Usually this consists of 90% garbage, but there are always a few I get excited about. Horror movies have long been the province of young adults, whether it’s the teens being picked off one by one in Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, the terrifying children of The Exorcist, The Omen, and Let the Right One In, the gangs of scary teenagers in Near Dark and The Lost Boys, or the teens just trying to survive evil in the form of authority figures in Suspiria and The Faculty. Because of their scare-factor, however, these horror movies would rarely be considered Young Adult movies. This October, though, there are five horror movies that seem much more in YA territory!
1. Carrie, starring Chloë Moretz and Julianne Moore; directed by Kimberly Peirce
A remake of Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Carrie is the story of a shy girl raised by a hyper-religious mother who is tormented by her peers at school and gets revenge on them by using her telekinetic abilities to kill them at the prom. I liked Moretz in the American remake of Let the Right One In and can really see her as Carrie. Carrie‘s theme of bullying will, I think, resonate even more strongly with audiences of today than it did in the seventies. Bonus: October is national anti-bullying month, which I’m sure is the distributors’ reason for releasing it then. EDIT: Also, check out this amazing publicity stunt in which a special effects-rigged coffee shop freaks customers out by making them think a girl goes all Carrie on someone after he spills her coffee!
Carrie opens October 18th.
2. I Will Follow You Into the Dark, starring Mischa Barton and Ryan Eggold; written and directed by Mark Edwin Robinson
Named after a Death Cab For Cutie song, I Will Follow You Into the Dark finds Sophie (Barton) suffering from depression after the deaths of her parents. Then she meets Adam (Eggold), the only one who gets through to her. But when Adam disappears, Sophie tries to find him, ending up at a mysterious apartment building and crossing the threshold into the realm of the dead. This mixture of horror and romance seems sure to resonate with a young adult audience.
I Will Follow You Into the Dark opens October 11th.
3. Haunt, starring Harrison Gilbertson and Liana Liberato; written by Andrew Barrer and directed by Mac Carter
Introverted teen Ethan (Gilbertson) moves into a new house and becomes friends with the girl next door (Liberato), then romantically involved. As they explore their new relationship they also explore Ethan’s family’s house, which is haunted, and discover an alternate (and terrifying!) dimension. I haven’t heard anything about this movie, nor have I heard of these two lead actors, but I’m excited for a non-remake horror movie—also the tag line is terrifying: “The Feeding Never Ends.” What?! Haunt actually sounds a bit like I Will Follow You Into the Dark in its mix of romance and horror and it’s portal-to-another-realmness.
Haunt opens October 11th.
4. Toad Road, written and directed by Jason Banker
Writer/director Jason Banker describes Toad Road as “something like Kids meets The Blair Witch Project.” Banker cast Toad Road by finding a teen who friended VICE magazine on MySpace and looking at his top friends (weird) and filmed it in his home town of York, Pennsylvania. He used their real lives, kind of, and built the story around them—about 70% of the film is documentary, in that it’s these people actually interacting. Banker had them use real drugs before shooting (also weird) and, in a grisly twist, Sara Anne Jones, the lead, died of a drug overdose just after Toad Road‘s premiere. I’m very curious about this movie and I could see it having real cult appeal. Here’s hoping it’s more Kids and less The Blair Witch Project.
Toad Road opens October 25th.
5. Grand Piano, starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack; written by Damien Chazelle and directed by Eugenia Mira
Ok, so this one is a cheat because it’s opening in Spain, but I had to include it because it looks so freaking awesome. Tom Selznick (Wood) is a pianist who hasn’t played in five years after he choked during a performance of his mentor’s work. This is his comeback performance and he finds a note on his piano that tells him if he plays even one wrong note then he and his wife will be killed. Dude, it’s like Speed on classical music. Tom puts in an earpiece so he can hear orders from the man who is threatening him (Cusack) and has to play for his life. I’m sorry to tease you with this since I’m not sure when it’s releasing in the U.S., but this is exactly the movie I want to see on Halloween. I’ll report back when I hear it’s opening here.
People, when I paused in writing this post on HORROR to check that my formatting looked right, guess what the word count was at? Guess. Come on, guess! Yep, that’s right: