Saturday, January 3, 2009

What I'm Looking Forward To In 2009

The Midnight Meat Train

Those of you who haunt the various internet horror communities have probably read bloody-disgusting's reporting on the nonsense surrounding Clive Barker's The Midnight Meat Train. Apparently some studio drama suppressed the movie's release so that a larger advertising budget could be pushed to The Strangers, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed.

I tend to be wary of things the internet community tries to turn into a rallying cause. The original story is one of my favorite Clive Barker pieces and the trailer looked really good, but suddenly the blogs and the podcasts and the lumbering beast that is the internet hype machine rallied behind the tragic cause of MMT, wailing and beating their breasts like Italian widows at the injustice of it all. Internet hype is just the community doing the advertiser's job, and I've been sold that bill of goods before (think Snakes on a Plane.)

Having said that, I am really looking forward to MMT.

I like my horror relentless and pure and The Midnight Meat Train doesn't look like it holds back. I like director Ryuhei Kitamura's previous work and his sense of style. And, as previously stated, the original story is one of my favorites. It captures something ancient and twisted about the heart of New York City, and about how the needs of societies can sometimes require the most grim sacrifices. I'm trusting my gut and I'm really looking forward to this one.

Friday The 13th

I know you're not surprised by this one.

As much I I love them, I have to admit that the series cannot continue without a reboot. The storytelling "style" of the original films was too simplistic, too amateurish, too much of a happy accident to bring in any kind of modern audience. I half expected future sequels to wind up in the direct-to-DVD market. Still, the basic tropes of the series hold a powerful campfire ghost story appeal for me: A revenant in a bone-white mask haunts the ruins of a decrepit summer camp.

Plus, it's got Jared Paladecki. I am a big fan of Supernatural and the brothers Winchester. When I went to the Friday the 13th panel at San Diego Comic Con wearing my "What would Jason do" tee-shirt, he dug it. Right friggin' on.

My Bloody Valentine

There is a lot to be said for the original MBV. It was genuinely well-shot and creepy, and stood out among the early eighties slasher movies. It's not the kind of thing you'd expect to be remade, but I like the nutty way they're marketing it. I'll go see a 3D slasher flick any day.

Besides, it's got Jensen Ackles. He's become shorthand in my social circle for describing quality: "It's good. It's real good. But is it Jensen Ackles good?"

The Unborn

I admit that I was initially gonna give this a pass because it was marketed as another timid little ghost story, albeit one with an uncomfortable allusion to the pro-life movement, but it's David S. Goyer's baby, who has done some pretty fantastic work in the horror/fanboy mode. I'm curious to see what he does with a traditional ghost tale.

Guillermo del Toro Doing
At The Mountains Of Madness

It's Guillermo del Toro.

Doing Lovecraft.

'nuff said.

13: Fear Is Real

I really should know better.

Horror is an artificial construct and it doesn't necessarily mesh well with the forced drama of reality TV. Still, curiosity is gonna get the better of me on this one.

Besides, I can imagine how wonderfully wrong it could go:

Resident Evil 5

The game that resurrected the zombie genre gets another iteration, this time with our hapless heroes doing their thing in the heart of war-torn Africa.

I'm terribly excited about this game. I admit that I didn't give RE4 the fair shake it deserved, mostly because I had a tough time getting into the gameplay mechanics, but I'm ready to check out what they have planned next.

The Death of Torture Porn

I'm hesitant to completely condemn the much maligned "torture porn" sub genre of horror movies, mostly because you never know where something genuinely clever is going to come from. However, I come from a generation slightly older than the torture porn audience and while I appreciate how viscerally effective it can be, torture porn takes the genre into a place I'm not always willing to go.

It's like pepper: it works well as a seasoning, but I can't eat a whole meal of it. At this point it seems to be petering out on it's own and I am eager for the next new idea.

Finally Getting to See
Trick 'r Treat

Yet another much-hyped horror flick that can't seem to find its way into theaters, I've been following it for awhile now and I would really like to see it in the big screen.

My tastes in horror fluctuate. Sometimes I like stories that have a strong supernatural element, but I often find that too much time is spent explaining the rules of the world. Sometimes I like "realistic" horror, but I've seen this descend into the grotesque explorations of torture chambers and serial killer hovels. I get the sense that they're going for a blend of the fantastic and the mundane, told with the weird creepy nostalgia of a Bradbury yarn.

Plus, y'know, Anna Paquin.

Watching More
True Blood.

This one actually kinda bugs me. I've got a real problem with the neutering of the vampire archetype and True Blood definitely falls into the vampire-as-romantic-lead category. Still, it's got strong performances, strong characterization, sexy storylines, and a great Deep South style.

Plus, y'know, Anna Paquin.

Catching Up With

I'm actually kind of dreading this.

Supernatural is one of my favorite shows on TV. I love the show's blue-collar ethic to monster hunting and its commitment to actually scaring the viewer. Sam and Dean Winchester are fantastic characters and I've always found the stories engaging.

Lately, the show is getting away from it's core appeal. I really hate Ruby, I really hate the parade of interchangeable smirking demons, and I hate the fact that the show is getting too deep into the war between heaven and hell. It's not unlike Lost, where the mystery is infinitely more fun than the explanation. Still, I'll take a mediocre Supernatural over a good Buffy any day.

Whatever Max Brooks Is Up To Next

Nobody does zombies better.

He's been pretty mum about his latest projects but since George Romero is quickly becoming the George Lucas of the horror set, Max Brooks has the Midas touch with his work. World War Z was one of the most thoughtful, most terrifying, and most humane books I've ever read. I gather that he's not going to stay in Romero's playground forever but I hope he stays in the genre. Christ, I'd read the man's grocery list.

Running More Call Of Cthulhu Games

It's been a fairly crazy year and I haven't had as much time to indulge my passion for horror gaming, but I've got a new circle of friends, more free time, and a compulsion to turn off lights, roll dice by candlelight, and speak in a spooky voice.

Getting Off My Lazy Ass and Doing The Podcast

I started this blog as a companion piece to my podcast. Maybe I should get off my ass and produce the stupid thing already. Staaaaaaay tuned!


I am optimistic about the genre in 2009. There are some heavy hitters coming up, some exciting projects, and some interesting things to look forward to. Keep sticking around and checking back at the CreatureCast blog. We'll have plenty of good stuff for you.

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