There are very few franchises in Hollywood that exhibit the same vitality as those within the horror genre. The only thing audiences love more than being scared is going back for more, and the coming year is filled with a collection of sequels, remakes, and reboots hoping to put a new twist on some old favorites.
One of the most anticipated upcoming horror movies is "Scream 4", which opens on April 15th, 2011. It's been more than a decade since the last installment in this successful series, but director Wes Craven's latest entry isn't all that interested in covering familiar territory. Although stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox return for another showdown with Ghostface, "Scream 4" will focus primarily on a new group of teenagers that includes up-and-comers like Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, and Rory Culkin. If the film can slash its way to the top of the box office, the studio is prepared to consider it the first chapter in a new trilogy.
Another follow-up taking a fresh approach is "Final Destination 5", which hopes to eradicate any ill will fans might have acquired after the disappointing fourth installment. The franchise is getting some new blood in the form of director Steven Quale and writers Eric Heisserer & Gary Dauberman. The "Final Destination" movies have become increasingly bogged down by their strict adherence to the same old formula, but "Final Destination 5" claims to be playing with a whole new bag of tricks. Audiences can judge for themselves when the film hits theaters on August 26th, 2011.
Although it's simply titled "The Thing", director Matthis van Heijningen Jr.'s film is not a remake of John Carpenter's 1982 horror classic (which itself was a remake of 1951's "The Thing From Another World"). Instead, it actually serves as a prequel and takes place in the Russian base that was glimpsed briefly during the early moments of Carpenter's film. While many horror movies have become increasingly reliant on CGI, "The Thing" takes a page from its predecessors and features extensive use of practical effects and make-up. Can the film really go tentacle-to-tentacle with its legendary lineage? We'll find out on October 14th, 2011.
One of the new year's upcoming horror movies that is a remake is director Craig Gillespie's version of "Fright Night". While many cried foul at the notion of updating the beloved 1985 cult-favorite, the film managed to attract an impressive cast that includes Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and the original's Chris Sarandon. Unlike a number of remakes, "Fright Night" doesn't seem to be retelling the same plot beat by beat. The setting has been switched from suburbia to Las Vegas and the Peter Vincent character is no longer a washed-up actor - instead, he's been re-imagined as a Criss Angel-esque magician. The script was written by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" vet Marti Noxon and early buzz indicates this is a successful reinterpretation that still manages to honor the spirit of the original.