With our start of year list unearthing hits like Hounds of Love, Killing Ground, Headshot and I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore it’s time to look to the second part of the year for further inspiration. Below are 10 more genre gems that should be on your radar for the latter half of 2017.
What ? Mystery, Horror, Drama USA
“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.“
Because director Darren Aronofsky is aiming to use his abrasive brand of psycho-horror to batter another Oscar into submission, this time with Jennifer Lawrence, who in turn is desperate to fulfil her obvious potential outside the constraints of franchise projects.
Mother! is the first Aronofsky project to dispense with the iconic talent of composer Clint Mansell but his replacement is the ultra-talented Jóhann Jóhannsson(Arrival, Sicario, The Theory of Everything). So expect the score to be a stormer that is at least Oscar nominated.
The cast has ridiculous strength in depth with Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kristen Wiig n the mix.
Look out for – Esoteric thrills and chills.
US – Cinemas – Oct 13th, 2017 UK – Cinemas – Nov 10th, 2017
A GHOST STORY
What ? Existential Ghost Story, Drama, Fantasy 97mins USA
“Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award-nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away.“
Because Director David Lowery shot it in secret with close friends using his Pete’s Dragon paycheck from Disney and as such, it is extraordinarily intimate.
A Ghost Story has been lauded by fans and critics alike and influential outfit A24 snapped it up before it even had a chance to premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
The movie is basically Casey Affleck wandering about with a white hospital bedsheet with eye holes draped over his head. The fact that anything this worthwhile emerged from a premise this bizarre is, quite frankly, nothing short of astonishing.
Look out for – The much talked about sequence involving a chocolate pudding pie.
US – Cinemas – July 7th, 2017 UK – Cinemas Nationwide – Aug 11th, 2017
What ? Giallo, Horror, Thriller, Action 92mins Austria
“Özge is a young taxi driver of Turkish origin who witnesses an extremely brutal murder and the offender seems to be a crazed serial killer. He is convinced that Özge has seen him and a life-and-death struggle ensues.”
Because major Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky is a genre treasure that has a penchant for tangible intensity.
Cold Hell is fiercely current considering the killer is a fundamentalist who is inspired by his Islamic faith.
Look out for – The most brutal in car stabbing since I Saw The Devil.
UK and US – Expected in 2017 Import DVD – 28 July 2017
What ? Action, Drama, Revenge 129mins S Korea
“Sook-Hee has trained as an assassin ever since early childhood. She is recruited by the government and promised a new life after 10 years service. However, the full darkness of her past is yet to be revealed.”
Because this is the first film from director Byung-gil Jung since his deeply classy Confession of Murder.
The Villainess is overlong, overcomplicated and over-violent – just like a good South Korean potboiler should be.
In a year dominated by booing, this flick received a four-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.
Look out for – A jaw-dropping motorbike mounted sword fight and an exhilarating first person restaging of the legendary Oldboy corridor scene.
US – 16th July 2017 (New York Asian Film Festival) Australia – 29th June 2017 UK-Late 2017
What ? Action, History, Horror 91mins USA
“Set in 1814, a young Mohawk woman and her two lovers battle a squad of American soldiers hell-bent on revenge.”
Because this is filmmaker Ted Geoghegan’s follow-up to the much-loved 2015 retro horror movie We Are Still Here.
Mohawk is a film that gets progressively stranger and stranger and as such, feels like the natural successor to the incredible Bone Tomahawk.
It hints that the three main characters are in a polyamorous relationship something authentic to the Native American hunter-gatherer society of colonial times.
The film features a fascinating genre savvy cast including Kaniehtiio Horn(Hemlock Grove), who is herself a native of a Mohawk reserve, the 6″7 WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion Jon Huber as well as the awesome Wayne W Johnson from Night of Something Strange.
Look out for – Special effects from gorehound royalty Marcus Koch(Attack of the Killer Manatee).
US/UK- Expected last quarter of 2017
What ? Stunt Action, Fighting, Comedy 92mins Cambodia
“What started as a simple escort mission will soon turn to chaos as the prisoners of Koh Kla take over the prison grounds. A special task force gets trapped in the prison and will have to fight their way out for survival, to protect a key witness.”
Because Jailbreak sees Cambodia enter the growing arena of frenetic fuck-em-up flicks inspired by the mighty Raid movies.
Budget fissures, lack of CGI and crazy enthusiasm provides an authentically exploitative twang.
The film features a vibrant cast including super-tough atomweight MMA fighter Tharoth Sam and French charm icon Celine Tran(Asian Anal Assassins).
Look out for – The leather clad all girl Butterfly gang.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
What ? Mystery, Horror, Black Comedy 109mins Ireland/UK
“Steven (Colin Farrell), an eminent cardiothoracic surgeon is married to Anna (Nicole Kidman), a respected ophthalmologist. They are well off and live a happy and healthy family life with their two children, Kim, 14 and Bob, 12.
Steven has formed a friendship with Martin, a fatherless 16-year-old boy whom he has taken under his wing. Things take a sinister turn when Steven introduces Martin to his family, gradually throwing their world into turmoil and forcing Steven to make a shocking sacrifice or run the risk of losing everything.”
Because director Yorgos Lanthimo’s imagination is as fearless as it is fertile, with intellectually ravishing absurdist outings such as Dogtooth and The Lobster proving he is one of the most unyielding avant-garde filmmakers of his generation.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer co-won the best screenplay award at this year’s Cannes alongside Lynne Ramsay’s electric You Were Never Really Here, and is Lanthimo’s most accessible genre film to date.
The sound design is by Johnnie Burn who was responsible for the best horror film soundscape of the last decade in Under the Skin.
This Psychological horror by way of Greek tragedy will divide genre fans but Kidman is in career best territory and the way the score prods the cinematography is mesmeric.
Look out for – A very awkward viewing of Groundhog Day and some operatic open heart surgery.
France – Nov 1st, 2017 US – Cinemas – Nov 3rd, 2017 UK – Cinemas – Nov 17th, 2017
What ? Crime, Thriller 96mins USA
“When a simple organ harvesting caper goes awry, a twist of fate unites three of society’s forgotten and ignored: EL MONSTRUO, a disgraced Mexican wrestler working as hired muscle for a local crime boss. CRYSTAL, a recovering addict desperate enough to arrange a black market kidney transplant to save her husband’s life. And RANDY, a loveable two-strike convict fresh out of prison.”
Because Director Ryan Prows is a force of nature who’s vivid short Narcocorrido won a Student Academy Award in 2012.
Lowlife has recently sprung a bonkers trailer that marks it clearly as a violent cult sensation in waiting and a gorgeous poster and humbly warm Facebook page say no different.
The movie has been described by Fantasia Film Festival as – “one of the most gobsmacking crime film discoveries that we’ve come across in years.”
Look out for – A nine-month pregnant drug addict, a full-face swastika tattoo and a lot of blood.
July 2017 – Fantasia International Film Festival
What ? Action, Revenge, Thriller USA
“A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.“
Because director Eli Roth is due a big hit and here he aims to channel his inner Cronenberg to forge spectacular set pieces and kick start a major franchise.
Deathwish may have had a severely troubled gestation period, chewing its way through 4 directors, but the screenplay has shown definite signs of class. A draft written by the always excellent Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flynt, 1408, Ed Wood) was refined by the talented Dean Georgaris(The Manchurian Candidate) which suggests a project that has aspirations above sleaze fest.
In the original 1974 version, the iconic lead role of Paul Kersey was played by screen legend Charles Bronson. For the remake, Liam Neeson, Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Benicio Del Toro, Will Smith, and Brad Pitt were all considered before selecting Bruce Willis.
Look out for – Strong bloody violence.
US -Cinemas – Nov 22nd, 2017 UK – Late 2017
What ? Comedy, Slasher, Horror 90mins USA
“A clever twist on the slasher genre following two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.“
Because rising star director Tyler MacIntyre has been mentored by both Peter Bogdanovich and Roger Corman and already has the shrewd and skillful Patchwork under his belt.
Tragedy Girls was very well received indeed when it premiered in the Midnight section of this year’s SXSW Film Festival, and genre legend Joe Lynch(Everly, Mayhem) declares it to be “Totally wicked fucking awesome.” It has also been given the honour of being chosen as the closing film at this year’s Horror Channel Frightfest in London.
The film is cast to perfection and this perfect midnight flick has a strongly focused sense of pace and tone. Jam-packed with genre triggers it’s guaranteed to be a hit with horror fans.
Look out for – The outrageously gory demise of a weightlifter.