Everything from harrowing horrors to heart-pumping thrillers and all the dark delights that thrive in the no mans land in between, these exciting films from all around the globe are destined to shine the brightest in 2017.
Bone powdering pandemonium, scathing satire, Sci-fi shockers and grisly gross-outs, here is an early look at the movies most likely to electrify genre fans this year.
What ? Disaster Aftermath Drama
“Events unfold after a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles.”
Because debut director Steven Ellison has crafted the most confrontational piece of progressive cinema since the eyeball slicing Un Chien Andalou. He also solicited the help of a specialist in “mutant bukkake” through social media.
Kuso is Japanese for excrement and features funk royalty George Clinton sheltering a ‘toddler-sized’ cockroach inside his anal canal.
At its premiere, the Sundance crowds were sent scrambling for the exits thanks to graphic depictions of furuncle fornication (do yourselves a big favour and do not look that up), the attempted cultivation of a disembodied head through the application of human fertiliser and concrete induced dental demolition.
Mr Ellison has another persona – the gifted musician Flying Lotus, and as you would expect the soundtrack is beyond exemplary, featuring Aphex Twin, Kamasi Washington and Thundercat.
UK and US – Expected sometime in 2017 (dependent on distributional bravery)
I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE
What ? Revenge Comedy
“When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbour. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.”
Because debut director Macon Blair is a close collaborator of rising star Jeremy Saulnier(Blue Ruin, Green Room) and the magic seems to have rubbed off.
It came from nowhere to bag a surprise victory at the influential Sundance Festival taking the grand jury prize for US dramatic feature. Previous winners include Whiplash, Primer and Blood Simple.
Look out for a convulsive turn from genre darling Elijah wood(Maniac, Cooties) as a nunchuck nutjob neighbour.
US Netflix – Feb 24th, 2017
What ? Horror Sci-fi Thriller
“The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.”
Because director Ridley Scott is finally going back to the franchise’s roots by resurrecting the versions of the xenophobic Xenomorphs that re-defined sci-fi horror.
The film has incredible script credentials with two of the most talented writers working today; The story comes from the pen of Micheal Green who has authored Logan, Blade Runner 2049 and Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express. The screenplay is by John Logan, the man entrusted with the last two James Bond films and most likely the next one.
This is the first of three instalments intended to bridge the gap between the Prometheus and Alien timelines.
UK and US May 19th, 2017 France May 10th, 1017
What ? Satirical Horror
Because husband and wife team Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell have a deep love and enthusiasm for genre cinema that primps every inch of their low budget learning curve.
They also know how to tap into the rich seams of UK talent – previous outings include zombie shocker Before Dawn and the brutalist drama Bait.
It is penned by Paul Shrimpton who was involved in the underrated cult horror Inbred and features effects from the ultra-talented Shaune Harrison (Ex Machina, Avengers: Age of Ultron).
UK Release – Last quarter of 2017 World Premiere – Berlin Film Festival
What ? Extreme Social- Drama
“Samantha, Guille, Ana and Cristian all have something in common – and yet they couldn’t be more diverse. Their bodies are different to those of other people; be it the mouth, the left side of the face, the texture of the skin or the feeling that your legs don’t belong to your body. They all live and love hidden away in strangely artificial interiors. As ‘freaks’, they rarely go out onto the street. A confrontation with the rest of the world could have fatal consequences.”
Because fearless young director Edu Casanova is notorious for making edgy shorts like Eat My Shit and Pieles is just as creatively spunky.
The film is less bohemian European arthouse and more aligned with modern American underground cinema. A country where it will repercuss all the more acutely against the current backdrop of marginalisation and populism.
The classy Free your mind (Witching & Bitching, Black Snow) provide the visual effects including the depiction of a woman born with a topsy-turvy gastrointestinal system.
Spain – 2017 World Premiere – Berlin Film Festival, 11th Feb,2017
JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE
What ? Horror Action Adventure
“In a world where people can wield psychic avatars, a family must unite to track down a serial killer.”
Because director Takashi Miike is a genre legend that has given us Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins and Audition.
Arguably his prolific form has been patchy of late, however, even a below par Miike is still better than most filmmakers firing on all cylinders.
The flick is an adaptation of one of the best-selling manga series of all time that has inspired everything from a Caesar salad-flavored thin Pretzel snack to a line of jewellery.
Originating from the Japan-centric 4th incarnation of the series- Diamond Is Unbreakable – those who saw Miike’s latest manga offerings Terra Formas, As the Gods Will and The Mole Song, know just how utterly insane this creative cocktail can get.
Japan – Aug the 4th, 2017
What ? Extreme Action Thriller
” A young man washes ashore, an amnesiac with a serious head injury whose past comes back to haunt him shortly after being nursed back to health by a young doctor. Violence ensues. Sweet, sweet violence.”
Because directors Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto give a serious lack of fucks when it comes to screen violence and star Iko Uwais(Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is the most the most naturally gifted movie martial artist since Bruce Lee.
If you liked the Raid movies then you will lap up this latest Indonesian action firestorm.
In UK and US Cinemas and VOD from March 3rd
Hounds of Love
What ? Serial Killer Thriller
” Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.”
Because this unbearably tense thrill-ride is bolstered by incredibly committed performances. Not least a knockout Fedeora Award-winning turn from Ashleigh Cummings as Viki.
Set in 1987, Hounds of Love features a killer score peppered with period tracks that include Joy Division but not Kate Bush.
Comparisons with the thoroughly disturbing Snowtown have been drawn – and that is no bad thing.
UK premiere – Glasgow Frightfest, Feb 25th, 2017
What ? Sci-fi Thriller
“Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades.The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer…..we join the twelfth expedition.”
Because director/writer Alex Garland(Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) is far and away the best dark Sci-fi screenplay scribe in the business and the source novel by Jeff VanderMeer is deliciously challenging.
Oscar winner Natalie Portman(Black Swan), nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh(The Hateful Eight) and, fresh from her vicious turn as Charlotte Hale in Westworld, Tessa Thompson are among the superb female-centric cast at the hub of the movie.
Annihilation will be one of the biggest genre films of the year and should thrust Alex Garland into the directorial troposphere.
UK and US – 2017
What ? Survival Horror Thriller
“Ian and Samantha head to a national park, hoping the bush will give them space for some quiet time together. They arrive at an isolated campsite to find an SUV and a tent – no sign of the occupants. As night falls and the campers fail to return, Ian and Sam grow increasingly uneasy. The discovery of a distressed child wandering in the woods unleashes a terrifying chain of events that test the young couple to their breaking point…. and beyond.”
Because this harrowing salvo of Ozploitation knows exactly when to be uncompromising and when to leave unsavoury details to unfold in the imagination of the viewer.
The Clever use of a non-linear timeline magnifies the voraciously escalating tension and lifts this impressive debut above its survival horror peers.
UK and US – Mid 2017