Unsettling and already divisive among horror fans, When Evil Lurks is a film that is fully aware of what it’s doing. There’s hardly any buildup and it hops from one scenario to another in a plot that many will compare to other possession films. However, there are some fresher ideas hidden amongst the corpses splayed throughout the running time.
Catching up with 2022 releases might seem like a tedious task considering that this era has been one of the best for the genre in some time. With a multitude of successful franchise reboots, golden age horror auteurs back in action and original works taking the world by storm, there’s a little something out there for everyone. 2023 looks to be even more fulfilling for the fans, and while we prepare for what’s to come, here is a list of ten titles that you should check out before the end of this year.
Well horror fans, another year has come and gone, and what a surreal year it has been. A year where August felt too long and October was gone in a flash. A little off balance there, but man, have we seen some sights on our screens. Many icons returned, both in front of and behind the camera. Sam Raimi made the first scary movie in the MCU, and the horror elements of Batman comics were finally brought to the big screen. Horror has managed to be fun and serious on all spectrums, and the promise of what’s to come is a great note to end on. Before we embark into 2023's uncharted territory, let’s take a look back at some of the best features to shock and entertain from 2022.
A haunted, happy holiday from us at HorrOrigins. Another crazy year is coming to a close, and the season of giving is upon us. Last year, I ranked a list of the Top 10 Christmas Horror Films; this year, we’ll take a look at something just as common. There’s almost always a Christmas episode with every popular show, and you can probably imagine that one episode of a family sitcom, where everything comes together in the end. Yeah, that’s not always the case when it comes to horror stories. Just ask Dickens; the most famous Christmas tale is a scary story down to its core. Sometimes, it’s important to learn the lessons of the season the hard way. From anthologies old and new, it’s the most wonderful time for fear. If you’re looking for something new before you re-watch the “Christmas Party” episode of The Office, consider these entries.
We’re all familiar with exorcism movies. Whether it’s the head-turning anguish of The Exorcist or the fun of its many spiritual sequels, horror fans have been entertained by them for decades and the idea of possession has been woven into tales for centuries. The truth is, with so many stories in this vein, the subgenre often feels bloated but fear not; a new and clever film has proven there’s still life in tales of the demonic. Legions was the best surprise of Fantasia Fest because it embraced the ridiculousness with open arms and had an undeniable heart.
Casinos and gambling have long existed, but their popularity remains at an all-time high. In 2021, casinos and mobile gambling apps raked in $53 million in revenue, and those numbers may continue to rise in the coming years. Considering the glitz and glam associated with them now, it may seem unlikely for horror to stem from something like a poker game.
It’s been a while since we talked about Dario Argento, hasn’t it? Italy’s “Master of Horror” has had an undeniably influential career that cannot be matched. Aside from bringing Giallo to American audiences, he’s haunted us with zombies, witches, and demons (oh my!). His career was strong for decades, but when everyone’s favorite director hits a slump in their later years, Argento fell off a summit and seemed to try and fail to take off again like a bird with a broken wing. It’s common knowledge among horror fans that The Stendhal Syndrome is the last great Argento film (The Card Player is debatable), while the rest lack a percentage of the effort he put in up to that point. My theory is the loss of rival horror master, Lucio Fulci, left him without reason to push forward and he was just keen to coast. His last film could have been 2012’s Dracula 3D, which at least has the visual look of a 90’s FMV game to keep it interesting. There was that Iggy Pop, Sandman based film seemed to rob its Kickstarter backers, but we’ll turn a blind eye to that in order to segway into his first completed feature in almost a decade: Dark Glasses. Has the time away from the director's seat brought back that style and energy, or is this the final nail in the career coffin?
For all the modern anxieties that permeate the surface of Andy Mitton’s THE HARBINGER, it’s the image of one hand grasping another that sticks in my mind. THE HARBINGER has got a lot on its mind: the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation’s effect on mental health, and the horrifying implications of endangering those you love. It’s all heavy stuff, and could easily become overwhelming. It’s the humanism at the center of the film that keeps that from happening.
Wonderfully executed and engaging, Beast is an example of the creature feature flick done right. There were a few gasps from my sparse opening night showing back in August but I feel that it’s my duty as a critic to do my part in rectifying the lack of attention and say this is a film worth seeing in the theater. It’s more fun than it has any right to be and is a throwback to the golden age of movies about vicious animals without feeling too much like a carbon copy.
Happy Halloween from HorrOrigins, and have we got a real treat for you. Though it seemed like we lost him to Marvel for a while, Scott Derrickson is back in the horror game with The Black Phone. Currently, his highest rated film in the genre, The Black Phone marks a new evolution to Derrickson’s trademark storytelling style of combining the crime thriller with a supernatural edge, something that dates all the way back to the beginning with Hellraiser: Inferno (yeah, remember that one?). Back along for the ride as well is C. Robert Cargill, Derrickson’s prime writing partner for the last decade. He’s someone who got his start writing reviews and articles online, which proves there’s hope for me yet. This is a partnership that was solidified in 2012 with Blumhouse’s small scale hit, Sinister. Once a golden child for the studio, Sinister is not talked about much now. But I haven’t forgotten, and well, it’s officially its 10-year anniversary. Which means it’s a perfect time to re-visit and discuss the parallels with its welcome spiritual successor (pun always intended).