Cool Movies to Look Forward to in 2017

With a brand new year approaching, we edge even closer to the inevitable end of our own mortality.  2017 Is just around the corner, which means we have 12 whole months’ worth of new releases to look forward to.  From blockbuster monster movies to reboots of beloved franchises, independent gems, and everything in between, I’m sure you’ll find there’s something for all genre aficionados’ taste buds on this list.

Of course, this doesn’t feature every single movie we’ll see next year – and no doubt some of the best ones will be the gems that appear seemingly out of nowhere, terrify our souls, and capture our hearts – but I do hope you find something new which sparks your interest amidst the obvious ones I have to mention because they’re unmissable.

Underworld: Blood Wars (Release Date: January 6th)

The year gets under way with some mindless popcorn action-horror, as Selene (Kate Beckinsale) goes to war with werewolves and vampires.  It is what it is, and at this stage (it is the fifth installment after all) you’ve probably made up your mind about the Underworld franchise.  If you’re a fan, you can see it in theaters this January.

The Bye Bye Man (Release Date: January 13th)

The Bye Bye Man is a bad dude.  He likes to make people commit unspeakable acts of evil, but if you say his name or even think it, then he’ll come for you.  He has no problem taking over your free will, but God forbid you invade his privacy.  Part Candyman, part A Nightmare On Elm Street, part It Follows, it looks like some generic, but serviceable fun.  Then again, given that it’s being released in January, chances are it won’t be very good at all.  But all movies should be approached with an open mind, and The Bye Bye Man might surpass Candyman, Freddy, and The Entity.  You never know…

Detour (Release Date: January 20th)

Christopher Smith makes his long-awaited return to genre cinema with Detour, a twisted neo-noir starring Tye Sheridan as a mourning son whose attempts to get revenge on his stepfather don’t go as planned.  So far what we know is that this is a film that keeps the audience on its toes until the very end, and if you’ve seen Smith’s overlooked masterpiece Triangle, then you’ll know he’s more than capable of doing just that.

Split (Release Date: January 20th)

I’ve never been a fan of M. Night Shyamalan, but every time he has a new movie coming out, I’m somewhat intrigued to see it.  For me personally, I’m hoping Split is the movie that converts me to his cause, as the concept of James McAvoy playing a character with multiple personalities is a concept I can get behind. But despite being a hit-or-miss director, he does have a multitude of fans, and with the positive reception following its festival run – with some critics even comparing it to Hitchcock – it’s definitely worth checking out.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (January 27th)

Well, it’s been an adventure.  But all adventures have to come an end – a bloody, gruesome one hopefully.  Milla Jovovich returns as our kick-ass, zombie-bothering heroine Alice, the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead hordes. But the battle isn’t over yet, and she must return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Rings (Release Date: February 2nd)

Set 13 years after the last installment, Samara returns to exact terror in seven days for those who watch the cursed videotape. However, there is more to the tape than meets the eye in this case, with a plot involving a movie within the movie. What secrets does it behold?

Patient Zero (Release Date: February 17th)

Starring Natalie Dormer, Patient Zero is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has become “infected” killers. Only a band of heroes can set out into the ravaged remnants of society to find the cure.  Starring alongside Dormer is former “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith.

XX (February 17th)

XX is a horror anthology with a gender twist – each segment is helmed by a female director and will star female leads. The directors are Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), St. Vincent, and others.  It also features a segment based on Jack Ketchum’s “The Box.”

Get Out (February 24th)

The trailer for Get Out became a viral sensation when it was released earlier this year, for both its oddness and social commentary pertaining to racial tensions.  Written and directed by Jordan Peele, it follows an African-American man who visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, where he isn’t made to feel very welcome.

Kong: Skull Island (Release Date: March 10th)

Following the success of 2014’s kaijutastic Godzilla reboot, Legendary Pictures continues its quest to bring our favorite giant monsters back to the big screen, this time with the King himself.  The film promises to provide a bold new take on the mythos of another iconic beast, and if the trailers are anything to go by, it looks like a crossover between Apocalypse Now and Jurassic Park. What’s not to look forward to with Kong: Skull Island?  We’re living in an age of monster mayhem, and with a collision with Big G set for 2020, it’s a good time to be alive if you like seeing gargantuan beasts tear it up.

Raw (Release Date: March 10th)

Ooh, baby I like it raw; yeah, baby, I like it raw…  Yep, I’m talking about consuming human flesh here, folks.  Julia Ducournau’s cannibal shocker garnered some notoriety at the Toronto International Film Festival when members of the audience were reported to have been physically sick, along with paramedics having to be brought in because audience members passed out. I can’t think of the last time a movie came with this much gruesome buzz.

The Belko Experiment (Release Date: March 17th)

Wolf Creek director Greg McLean directs a James Gunn script in a movie that looks like a mix between Battle Royale and Office Space.  The plot follows a group of American office lackeys working in Brazil who are forced to kill each other, or else they’ll be killed themselves. It has all the ingredients to be an unhinged, violent good time; and with the talent involved it’s bound to go down as a treat for bloodthirsty genre fans.

Ghost in the Shell (Release Date: March 29th)

Based on the wildly popular anime, Ghost in the Shell‘s inevitable Hollywood live action adaptation was met with initial skepticism, but the trailer turned out to be pretty damn awesome and now most people are really looking forward to it.  It stars Scarlett Johansson as The Major, a half-cyborg enforcer tasked with bringing down a dangerous hacker in a future that looks all Blade Runner-esque and stunning.

The Devil’s Candy (Release Date: March TBA)

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie at FrightFest in the UK, and it’s incredible.  Following his savagely funny debut, The Loved Ones, Sean Byrne’s sophomore effort is going to solidify his place as a rising genre stalwart once this hits VOD.  It’s a haunted house tale, but it’s not your conventional haunted house tale either; Byrne reminds us that there is life left in houses occupied by the spirits of the dead after all.

Blade of the Immortal (Release Date: April 29th)

Based on the manga of the same name, Blade of the Immortal follows an immortality cursed warrior who must kill 1,000 evil men in order to break the curse.  Directed by prolific Japanese maestro Takashi Miike, this should be the violent, action-packed opus we know he’s more than capable of.

Alien: Covenant (Release Date: May 19th)

Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe with the second chapter of the prequel quadruple that began with 2012’s Prometheus.  It also promises to be a return to the franchise’s roots in unbridled terror; and if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks awesome.  The story follows a crew bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, who, mistaking it for an uncharted paradise, find themselves entering a nightmare.  Scott has promised two more sequels after this before the storyline links up with the original Alien.  Maybe after those we’ll finally get that Neill Blomkamp movie we’ve all been waiting for as well, which is a sequel to Alien 3 that isn’t Alien Resurrection.  Got it? Good.

The Mummy (Release Date: June 9th)

Universal is bringing back its iconic monsters to share a brand new cinematic universe, a “Brand New World of Gods and Monsters.” Up first is the studio’s reboot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise as hero Nick Morton, who must go up against an apocalyptic threat when an ancient princess is awakened all pissed off at humanity.  It couldn’t be more different to the Boris Karloff original, but it looks like fun blockbuster action at least.  Some people think it’s a reboot of the Brendan Fraser movie so if one positive comes from it, then it might remind people that movies existed before 1999.

World War Z 2 (Release Date: June 9th)

The first World War Z film was beleaguered with production problems so the fact it turned out to be semi-entertaining was a miracle.  It also made a big pile of money so a sequel was always going to happen.  The comics are fantastic, and the series has a lot of potential to translate well on the screen.  David Fincher is helming this one, so it might kick-start the momentum the franchise needs.  In Fincher we trust… even if this does feel kind of beneath him.

The Dark Tower (Release Date: July 28th)

Stephen King’s fantasy western adventure finally gets its long-awaited cinematic adaptation after years of people trying to figure out how the hell they were going to adapt it.  Inspired by everything from Lord of the Rings to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, this has the potential to be the best next great grand scale adventure for the ages.

Annabelle 2 (Release Date: August 11th)

I know, I know… who cares about a sequel to a movie that didn’t exactly set the world on fire?  Well, if Ouija: Origin of Evil is anything to go by, it showed that sequels to bland supernatural movies can be pretty entertaining and reignite their respective franchises.  Much like Mike Flanagan when he took the reins for Origin of Evil, David F. Sandberg enters Annabelle 2 on a wave of momentum following the success and acclaim of his debut full-length feature, Lights Out.   This could be the surprise mainstream release of the year.

Sky Sharks (Release Date: September 1st)

Deep in the ice of the Antarctic, a team of geologists uncover an old Nazi laboratory where twisted experiments were carried out in the past. In their bid for world domination, they created flying sharks who were flown by the undead. Basically, it’s a movie about Nazi zombies and flying sharks, and it’s going to be bonkers.

IT (Release Date: September 8th)

Like the antagonist clown Pennywise, the IT reboot was devised with the sole purpose of killing childhoods.  Those of us who grew up with the dated mini-series are going to feel our nostalgic memories sucked into the eternal, black nothingness of death just because this movie exists.  Or it might turn out to be a welcome adaptation of one of the best horror stories ever written, and we’ll all enjoy it and realize that reboots of the movies we grew up with can be good after all and our childhoods will remain firmly intact, even though remakes don’t really affect their original counterparts in the slightest.

Flatliners (Release Date: September 29th)

A sequel of sorts to the underrated 1990 movie, which tells the story of students who experiment with “near death” experiences, is perhaps unnecessary and a prime example of how every property is being milked.  That said, it has a fairly original premise that’s open to new nightmarish interpretation, and the results could be interesting.

Friday the 13th (Release Date: October 13th)

Jason is back, and he’s going to kill people.

Insidious: Chapter 4 (Release Date: October 20th)

Plot details are still fairly unknown about the latest installment in the uber popular franchise, but what we do know is that the story takes place closer to the timeline of the first film and it’ll probably have lots of spooky shenanigans happening.  Adam Robitel, who directed the fantastic The Taking of Deborah Logan, will be helming the project, which sees Lin Shaye return to star and Leigh Whannell supplying the script.

Saw: Legacy (Release Date: October 27th)

Since the Saw series has been on hiatus, I’ve actually missed it.  I think the influx of supernatural horror in recent years has made me appreciate it more because it’s a guaranteed gory good time at the movies.  I’m happy to see Jigsaw return to our screens, and even though it’ll be business as usual, at least blood and guts will grace our multiplexes this Halloween.

Untitled Cloverfield 3 Film (fka God Particle) (Release Date: October 27th)

This new installment in the Cloverfield universe follows a team of astronauts aboard a space station who must fight for survival while their reality has been altered after making a shocking discovery. Exactly how it connects to Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane is a mystery at this time, but we can’t wait to find out.

Leatherface (Release Date: TBA)

This film is a prequel which follows a teenage Leatherface, who, after escaping from a mental institution with three other inmates, kidnaps a young woman and takes her on a road trip she doesn’t ask to be a part of. Along the way they are pursued by an deranged lawman out for revenge. This premise sounds absolutely incredible, and the fact it’s being helmed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury gives me hope.

Death Note (Release Date: TBA)

Adam Wingard’s American remake of the Japanese manga, anime series, and live action movie tells the story of a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone he writes down.  This leads to a a deadly game of cat and mouse when a detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.

Death Wish (Release Date: TBA)

Eli Roth and Bruce Willis team up to unleash vigilante justice in this remake of Michael Winner’s 1979 classic, which starred Charles Bronson as a NYC businessman who cleans up the streets of its criminal filth following the death of his family at the hands of ruthless gangland thugs.

The Void (Release Date: TBA)

The geniuses behind the Astron-6 collective make their first full-length foray into straight horror fare with The Void, which takes place in a hospital where the inmates are transforming into inhuman creatures.  However, judging by the trailer, there’s a deep-rooted mythology here that hearkens back to the glory days of 80s, nightmare-inducing gateway horror like Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and The Beyond.  The creators have described it as an homage to movies of that nature, and that sounds just perfect.

Hellraiser: Judgment (Release Date: TBA)

Pinhead told us our suffering would be legendary, and those of us who watched Hellraiser: Revelations knew exactly what he meant.  Hopefully Judgment will be a return to form for a franchise that deserves to be treated better; the potential for stories within this universe is too great not to explore, but with each passing entry it’s continued to move away from what made it special in the first place.  But this is a Hellraiser movie, and therefore, it’s somewhat intriguing.

Mayhem (Release Date: TBA)

Joe Lynch is one of the most underrated and exciting directors working in genre cinema at the moment.  His movies are genre-bending treats, which give us the violent, action-packed, intense thrills we need in our lives.  Mayhem tells the story of a virus which causes its infected to act out their wildest and most deranged fantasies.  Sounds insane.  Count us in.

Mohawk (Release Date: TBA)

Ted Geoghegan’s follow-up to the excellent We Are Still Here follows a young Mohawk woman who finds herself pursued by a battalion of military renegades hell-bent on revenge after one of her tribe sets their camp ablaze. Fleeing deep into the woods, a twisted tale of survival ensues.  Much like We Are Still Here was in 2014, this could be the coolest movie to hit our screens in 2017.

Patchwork (Release Date: TBA)

Patchwork is an outrageous throwback horror-comedy that follows three young women who go out partying one night and find themselves Frankensteined together in one body. Now they must put aside their differences so they can find who committed this atrocity and exact their revenge.  This movie is a blast, and if you like the classic schlock of auteurs like Frank Hennenlotter, you’ll love Patchwork.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (Release Date: TBA)

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich tells the story of a divorced young man who gets entangled in a nightmare at an auction he’s attending in a bid to sell an antique doll.  But when the various puppets come to life and go on a bloody killing spree, things don’t exactly go according to plan. What makes this film so exciting is that it’s penned by Bone Tomahawk writer/director and acclaimed author S. Craig Zahler, whose sophomore outing Brawl in Cell Block 99 – a brutal prison drama – is also expected to arrive in 2017.

Re-Animator: Evolution (Release Date: TBA)

We’ve covered Serge Levin’s upcoming Re-Animator remake extensively here at Dread Central, but we haven’t heard any information in quite some time.  That said, what we do know is that it stars Lin Shaye, it’s a more faithful adaptation of Lovecraft’s original short story, and we’ll get to see it at some point next year.

Neon Doom/Benny and Steve Almost Die/Her Name Was Torment II: Agony (Release Dates: TBA)

Dustin Mills is one of the hardest working directors on the planet and a filmmaker who epitomizes the creativity and originality bursting out of the underground horror scene.  In 2017 he’ll be releasing an unholy trifecta of movies that couldn’t be more different.  The first, Neon Doom, is a video game-inspired post-apocalyptic tale of futuristic bounty hunters.  Her Name Was Torment II: Agony, on the other hand, is the sequel to the 2014 film which saw Mills unleashing his darkest work to date.  Little is know about the plot for Benny and Steve Almost Die, but it’s a horror comedy – and that’s the genre where Mills is at his most outlandish, weird, and wonderful.

 

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Kieran Fisher

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which IS reality.

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