5. Cult Of Chucky
Everyone’s favourite killer doll returns in this seventh instalment of the Child’s Play franchise, which brings back Jennifer Tilly (Bride Of Chucky, Seed Of Chucky) as well as Alex Vincent (Child’s Play 1-3). Fiona Dourif (Curse Of Chucky) also returns, as does her father Brad, who has voiced Chucky in every movie since 1988.
At the Monsterpalooza convention in April, writer/director Don Mancini promised that Cult would be “definitely the goriest of all the movies”, which is no mean feat – Bride Of Chucky included such merry sights as a couple being slashed to ribbons by falling shards of glass and Tiffany giving birth in a cemetery.
The real question, however, is whether Mancini can get the franchise back on track after Curse Of Chucky’s lukewarm reception. We’ll find out this Halloween.
Hot on the heels on The Bourne Legacy and 24: Legacy comes Saw: Legacy…wait, what? You’re calling it Jigsaw now? Suit yourself.
Under any title, it’s an attempt to keep the Saw franchise alive with an infusion of fresh faces. There’s also a new creative team, although directors Michael & Peter Spierig (Daybreakers, Predestination) have a better track record than writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger (Sorority Row, Piranha 3D).
One of the few returning series regulars is composer Charlie Clouser (because what’s a Saw movie without him?) who when production commenced in October 2016 promised The Hollywood Reporter “a more stark, stripped down approach that will be more in line with the strong vision that the Spierig brothers are bringing to the table.”
Also returning for more flashbacks is Jigsaw himself, John Kramer (Tobin Bell), whose methods may have spawned a copycat killer. All will be revealed at Halloween, though don’t expect the movie to be screened for critics – none of the other sequels were.
Not to be confused with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which also told the origin story, Leatherface is a direct prequel to 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre rather than the 2003 reboot or whatever Texas Chainsaw 3D was supposed to be.
What saves it from being consigned to the dustbin of horror prequels is the casting: Lili Taylor (in a role originally earmarked for Angela Bettis) is the matriarch of the infamous Sawyer clan and Stephen Dorff is the unhinged lawman intent on tracking down teenaged Leatherface, who’s just absconded from the loony bin with three other inmates.
The directors are Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, who made Inside (2007) and Among The Living (2014). TCM movies aren’t known for skimping on the red stuff, so here’s hoping those crazy French filmmakers haven’t begun censoring themselves.
2. God Particle
Directed by Julius Onah, who made his debut in 2015 with the thriller The Girl Is In Trouble, the $10 million movie tells the story of a group of astronauts aboard a space station whose “shocking discovery” leaves them fighting for their lives. Could those creatures from 10 Cloverfield Lane be involved?
Just like the last instalment in the Cloverfield universe, God Particle began life as an unrelated script that was retooled as Cloverfield 3 during production. In the current climate, it’s difficult to get original sci-fi scripts greenlit so if J.J. Abrams has to sneak them out in camouflage then you can’t really complain.
Written by Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street) and Doug Jung (Star Trek Beyond) and produced by Abrams, God Particle stars Elizabeth Debicki (The Man From UNCLE), Ziyi Zhang (Rush Hour 2) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds). There are reportedly plans for a fourth Cloverfield movie, tentatively titled Overlord, so take note if you loved 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Stephen King’s 1986 novel is over a thousand pages, so the story was never going to fit comfortably into a ninety-minute movie. Mindful of this, the filmmakers have taken inspiration from the 1990 miniseries (which starred Tim Curry as Pennywise) and decided to release their movie in two parts.
Already given King’s blessing, this first part focuses on a group of friends reunite to stop the monster when kids start disappearing from their Maine hometown. Expect echoes of Stand By Me and Dreamcatcher when the movie reaches screens in September.
The director is Andres Muschietti, who also wrote and directed Mama with Jessica Chastain, so the expectation is for a more nuanced and sophisticated King adaptation than the recent Cell with John Cusack. That misfire apart, King’s had a pretty good run in recent years, so hopefully Muschietti continues the trend.