Overall I thought 2019 was a great year for film all around and horror did not disappoint. There was great horror everywhere you looked in 2019. Mainstream horror hit the theaters and the indie horror scene continued to grow and improve. The streaming world made amazing contributions to horror with Netflix producing several great movies and Shudder continuing to dominate the genre with their Shudder Exclusives and foreign imports. And I need to shout out Hulu and Blumhouse for their spectacular Into the Dark series, in which the streaming service puts out a new seasonal horror film every month. So let’s jump in and see which horror films made the cut…
Horror has always been Sam Raimi‘s bread and butter, but the Evil Dead filmmaker has stayed away from the director’s chair in recent years to produce a handful of titles. Now it looks like he will be getting back behind the camera for a new horror project that has been described as “Misery meets Cast Away.” More on the story below.
In one of the best displays of the power of horror movie fandom, a project that started with a crowdfunding campaign lives to see the light a year later in the most special month of the year for horror fans. Last year, a Kickstarter campaign was started for ’80s horror documentary In Search of Darkness, written and directed by David Weiner. After meeting their goal in just two days, the campaign moved to Indiegogo in early 2019 and now right in time for Halloween, the epic horror documentary about the genre’s craziest decade will make its grand premiere this weekend at Beyond Fest in LA.
Harpoon Written by Rob Grant and Mike Kovac
Directed by Rob Grant
Cast: Christopher Gray, Emily Tyra, Munro Chambers, Brett Gelman
Release date: October 3-11 U.S. theater tour
October 8, 2019 (Blu-ray & VOD, Amazon Prime Video)
At last year’s NYC Horror Film Festival I saw a really good modern take on the Frankenstein story with Rob Grant‘s Alive. So it’s no surprise to me that a year later I am again intrigued by one of the Canadian filmmaker’s projects, in this case it’s minimalist thriller Harpoon. Shot almost entirely on a small yacht during a fishing trip and featuring a cast of literally three on-screen actors with a voiceover narration from Brett Gelman (Murray Bauman on Stranger Things), Harpoon somehow evokes tension, terror, and laughs. With the small setting and smaller cast, Grant’s film plays out like a stage play: imagine Open Water, only you’re on the boat with the sharks.
Released by Quirk Books, one of the best publishers of fun and original genre literature, Seth Grahame-Smith‘s How To Survive A Horror Movie is a love note to the “poor bastards” who inevitably get killed by the psychos, slashers, and madmen of cinema. Grahame-Smith originally wrote this in 2007 when he was struggling to pay rent, and has since gone on to become a New York Times Best Selling author with books like horror-parodies Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2010). He wrote screenplays for the latter as well as The LEGO Batman Movie before producing the amazingly successful IT: Chapter I (2017). With over a decade of success in and around the horror industry, Grahame-Smith updated the book with new sections, artwork, and over a decade’s worth of horror films to glean from as he advises us faithful horror fans in the art of surviving our favorite genre.