Friday 30 December 2011

21 British horror films coming your way in 2012 (and 25 more to watch out for)

Confirmed/tentative release dates, in chronological order

Don’t Let Him In 
dir. Kelly Smith
Interesting-looking indie about going on holiday with a psycho. Already released in France and the Netherlands, the American disc on 3rd January will be its first release in an English-language territory.
Kill List (US VOD and theatrical)
dir. Ben Wheatley
Some folks love it, some folks hate it*. This utterly marmite film, already out on UK DVD, gets a VOD release in the States on 4th January and a limited US theatrical release from 3 February. (*I hate it.) 
Stag Night of the Dead (UK DVD)
dir. Napoleon Jones
Broad zombie comedy about a bunch of lads and a stripper facing off against the undead. Released on VOD in November 2010, this finally comes to DVD on 9th January courtesy of Left Films.
Bordello Death Tales (UK DVD)
dir. Pat Higgins, Al Ronald and James Eaves
Premiering in September 2010, this massively entertaining anthology from three of the best directors around was originally announced for DVD release in August 2011 but was moved to 16th January.
The Wicker Tree (US theatrical)
dir. Robin Hardy
Hardy’s long-awaited follow-up to The Wicker Man played festivals last year and is set to open in US cinemas on 27th January. I haven’t seen it yet and I can’t say I’m that desperate.
Stalker (UK DVD)
dir. Martin Kemp
Loose remake of Exposé from Jonathan Sothcott’s reliable film factory Black and Blue Films had a limited theatrical release in October and comes to DVD on 30th January.
Eldorado (UK DVD)
dir. Richard Driscoll
Featuring an amazing cast-list and undeniably the first ever British comedy-horror-musical-western shot in 3D, this is listed for a 30th January release. But that assumes the film isn’t hit with a cease-and-desist order by certain interested parties. I’ve placed a pre-order just in case.
Passengers (UK theatrical?)
dir. John Hales
The debut feature by Hales, starring Narnia’s Anna Popplewell, concerns a group of lads who accidentally kill a nurse and then find themselves picked off one by one. Ratio Films announced an unspecified January 2012 release but the lack of anything more detailed suggests it could be later.

The Woman in Black (US/UK theatrical)
dir. James Watkins
You’ve all seen the terrific trailers for this one. A gothic Hammer horror starring Daniel Radcliffe. Hopes are high. It’s scheduled to open in US cinemas on 3rd February and in the UK one week later.
Stormhouse (US DVD)
dir. Dan Turner
Shot in 2010 and premiering last June, this indie horror has been generating a lot of interest from its festival screenings and it’s high on my list of films I want to see. It’s set for DVD/VOD release in the States on 7th February.

The Dead (US DVD)
dir. Howard and Jon Ford
The Ford Brothers’ stunning African-set zombie film is easily one of the most politically and socially relevant horror films of recent years. One of the best too. Already available on UK disc, it hits American DVD on 14th February.
Demons Never Die (UK DVD)
dir. Arjun Rose
This teen slasher (filmed as Suicide Kids) played cinemas in October and benefited from publicity surrounding the casting of Tulisa Wotsit off X-Factor. Comes to DVD on 20th February.

Grindhouse 2wo (UK DVD)
dir. Richard Driscoll
Cobbled together using left-over footage from Eldorado, this twofer (Man Hunt and Stripper with a Shotgun) boasts some of the same extraordinary cast but also has the same debatable legal/contractual status so the listed release date of 27th February should only be considered ‘pencilled in’.

The Reverend (UK theatrical?)
dir. Neil Jones
Last I heard, this star-packed feature from Stuart Brennan’s Burn Hand Films - Rutger Hauer! Doug Bradley! Emily Booth! - was being lined up for a limited release in February. Exact date TBC. I really want to see this.
Deviation (UK theatrical? and DVD)
dir. JK Amalou
A two-hander, shot mostly in-car, about not accepting a lift from a psychopath. Starring Anna Walton from Vampire Diary and Danny Dyer from everything else. The UK DVD is scheduled for 5th March and it’s likely that Revolver will do a limited theatrical release before that.
The Porcelain Man (US DVD)
dir. Sameer Kumar Madhar
Shot in November 2002, this ultra-cheapie had a single screening at Warwick University in July 2004 and then disappeared. But Chemical Burn Entertainment have rescued it from oblivion and are planning a Stateside release, nearly ten years on. Features some of the most half-hearted zombie (in)action you’ll ever see.
Devil’s Bridge (UK DVD)
dir. Chris Crow
The Welsh Straw Dogs is lined up to hit shelves on 19th March. I don’t know a great deal about this one but I hear good things.
Kill Keith (UK DVD)
dir. Andy Thompson
Listen, I thought this comedy about a serial killer stalking D-list celebs was great, no matter what anyone else thinks. It had a brief theatrical outing in November but most people will watch it at home after the disc is released on 26th March.
Vampires: Brighter in Darkness (UK DVD)
dir. Jason Davitt
Specialist label Peccadillo Pictures have delivered some great horror films recently. This latest, adapted from a cable TV series, is a sort of British gay Twilight (as if Twilight wasn’t gay enough!). It made its festival debut in October and hits DVD on 2nd April.

The Harsh Light of Day (UK theatrical)
dir. Oliver Milburn
An author with a knowledge of the occult receives a visit from a mysterious stranger who promises to help him find his wife’s killers. I’m looking forward to this one which is scheduled to play selected cinemas from 13th April. Not to be confused with the Bruce Willis actioner Cold Light of Day released the week before! 
Storage 24 (UK theatrical)
dir. Johannes Roberts
A top-secret military cargo escapes from a plane crash and traps a bunch of folk inside a dark storage facility. Roberts’ last feature was the excellent F so I’m very much looking forward to this one, especially as it is produced by, and stars, Noel Clarke. Lined up for a cinema release on 29th June. 

Other films to watch for in 2012
No release dates announced yet. Some of these have played festivals in recent months. And there’s plenty more where these came from...
  • Airborne (d.Dominic Burns) Terror on a pilotless plane. Stars Mark Hamill. 
  • Before Dawn (d. Dominic Brunt) Zombie feature directed by Paddy off Emmerdale
  • Cockneys vs Zombies (d.Matthias Hoene) Zombies! Cockneys too! Also Richard Briers! 
  • The Devil’s Business (d.Sean Hogan) Hit-men and Satanism. A bit like Kill List but with an ending. 
  • Elfie Hopkins (d.Ryan Andrews) Creepy fun with Ray and Jaime Winstone. 
  • Final Project (d.Jason Ford) “Blair Witch meets The Wicker Man on a council estate” aka Community 
  • The Forgotten (d.Oliver Frampton) Urban ghost story 
  • Gangsters, Guns and Zombies (d.Matt Mitchell) Zombies! Guns too! Also gangsters! 
  • The Glass Man (d.Cristian Solimeno) An innocent man driven to extremes. 
  • Grabbers (d.Jon Wright) Russell Tovey and Richard Coyle vs tentacled beasties. 
  • Guinea Pigs (d.Ian Clark) Drug trial goes horribly wrong. 
  • Harold’s Going Stiff (d.Keith Wright) Gentle, cross-generational romance. With zombies. 
  • The Haunting of Harry Payne (d.Martyn Pick) Psychic ex-gangster battles Norfolk ghosts. 
  • Heretic (d.Peter Handford) Catholic priest faces possibly supernatural revenge for abusing teenage girl. 
  • Inbred (d.Alex Chandon) Straw Dogs in Yorkshire, from the director of Cradle of Fear
  • In the Dark Half (d.Alastair Siddons) “Psychological ghost story.” 
  • Love Bite (d.Andy De Emmony) I was a British teenage werewolf. 
  • Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection (d.James Plumb) Zombies in Wales. 
  • Patient 17 (d.Tuyet Le) Supernatural medical chiller. 
  • Stalled (d.Christian James) Trapped in a toilet by a zombie apocalypse. From the makers of Freak Out
  • Strippers vs Werewolves (d.Jonathan Glendening) Werewolves! Strippers too! Also Robert Englund! 
  • Three’s a Shroud (d.various) Multi-director anthology, with teddy bears. 
  • Warhouse (d.Luke Massey) Soldier repeats same horrific day over and over again. 
  • Young, High and Dead (d.Luke Brady) Dead! High too! Also young! 
  • The Zombie King (d.Aidan Belizaire) Edward Furlong! Corey Feldman too! Also zombies!

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