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From entering another Stephen King saga to the return of Pennywise the Dancing (utterly demented) Clown, it seems 2017 will be a year filled with fear, tears and relentless terror. So gather your courage, go for your psychological check-up and prepare yourself for this year’s fright fest.
Here’s a list of some of 2017’s most notable horror movie releases…
The Dark Tower
Release date: 28 July
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Based on a series of Stephen King novels of the same name, The Dark Tower follows the story of Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), a boy who discovers an alternate dimension called “Mid-World”. Here he meets the lone knight (Idris Elba) who is on a quest to find the Dark Tower so that he can save Mid-World from extinction.
This quest will be anything but easy though, as a plethora of monsters and a dark sorcerer known as Walter Padick (Matthew McConaughey) will do whatever they can to stop him.
The film will continue where the novels ended but it is also said that it will be more of a new take on the series rather than a straightforward adaptation.
Whatever the case may be, the combo of a film based on a Stephen King Novel and a high-profile cast definitely makes The Dark Tower one to look out for.
Release Date: 11 August
Director: David Sandberg
The original Annabelle received mixed reviews from critics, many feeling that it did not live up to the quality of its forerunner, The Conjuring. That being said, the film did end up grossing a total of US$256.9-million worldwide, which was more than enough reason to go for round two.
Although not officially confirmed, it is speculated that Annabelle 2 will be a prequel to its 2014 predecessor, focussing on the origin of the evil doll. The film follows the story of a doll maker and his wife who lost their young daughter twenty years ago. The couple decide to shelter a group of girls and a nun who have been left homeless after the closing of a nearby orphanage, “soon becoming the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle”.
According to Trace Thurman, writer at Bloody Disgusting, who was shown a few minutes of exclusive footage, Annabelle 2 has a much “bigger emphasis on mood and atmosphere”.
IT: Part 1 – The Loser’s Club
Release date: 8 September
Director: Andres Muschietti
This year we will see the return of IT and the notorious Pennywise, the sadistic clown that ensured coulrophobia became a perfectly justifiable fear.
Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, the story of IT follows the cruel exploits of an evil interdimensional creature that is able to shape shift into its prey’s worst nightmares. As its favourite prey tends to be young kids, this creature often takes on the form of “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”, using it to lure them into its traps.
The heroes of our story are the members of “The Losers Club”, a group of outcast kids who are hunted by Pennywise and vow to destroy him.
IT will take on the same duology format as the 1990 mini-series, with Part 1 following the Losers Club as kids and Part 2 seeing them return to their hometown as adults to investigate the rumours of Pennywise’s return. Director, Andres Muschietti, claims that his version of Pennywise will be much darker than the original and will make you “shit a brick”.
At this point there’s not much more known about this year’s IT but we have recently received a terror-inducing trailer that provides us with our first glimpse at the Losers Club kids, featuring Stranger Thing’s Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier, and Pennywise portrayed by Bill Skarsgård.
Insidious: Chapter 4
Release date: 20 October
Director: Adam Robitel
The Insidious franchise started with a low-budget indie horror in 2010 that quickly become a cult hit thanks to the suspenseful direction of James Wan. Since then it has become one of the most memorable horror franchises in modern history, spawning three more terrifying entries. This year we are treated to Insidious: Chapter 4.
Chapter 4 will be directed by The Taking of Deborah Logan’s Adam Robitel, which is by far one of the most disturbing and terrifying horror films I’ve witnessed.
It takes off where Chapter 3 ended, with the medium Elise and the two paranormal hunters, Specs and Trucker, starting their paranormal hunting company, Spectral Sightings (as seen in the original Insidious).
According to Lin Shaye, who has played the medium Elise since the franchise’s first instalment, the film goes back to Elise’s beginnings.
“It’s a fantastic story and it took me back into what made Elise who she is. You meet my family, my mother, my father—we go back to my hometown, which is in New Mexico. And so that’s where this takes place and her quest to find the bad guy that’s been haunting her.”
Release Date: 27 October
Directors: Michael and Peter Spierig
It’s been a while (seven years to be exact) since we witnessed the brutal and gore-filled antics of Jigsaw in the Saw films. Well, the wait is finally over. This year we see the release of the franchise’s eighth instalment, Saw: Legacy.
Currently, details on the new entry are rather scarce with not even as much as an official photo still to provide some clarity. We do however know that the movie will begin with multiple dead bodies being discovered throughout the city and all evidence points to John Kramer a.k.a. “Jigsaw”, the main antagonist of the Saw films.
As Kramer was proclaimed dead in the previous film, it is speculated that either an apprentice has taken over his work or Jigsaw had another trick up his sleeve and was never really dead in the first place.
Tobin Bell, who has played Kramer since the original, will be returning to the role but we have no idea in what capacity. Other cast members include Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted), Brittany Allen (All My Children) and Josiah Black (American Bad Boy).