The ultimate meta-horror’s to watch after Scream (2022)

Meta-horror has an innate way of merging laughs and terror to create a tense story that questions itself and the viewer. Although the origins of meta cinema is hard to pinpoint, it can be agreed that Wes Craven’s Scream (1996) helped catapult this underrated movement.

To celebrate the release of the Scream Franchise’s fifth installment coming out, Dead Northern has compiled a list of top ten must-see meta-horrors.

1- One Cut of the Dead (Directed by Shin’ichirō Ueda, 2017)

One Cut of the Dead follows a team of actors and filmmakers who must shoot a zombie film for a live television slot within one take. 

This low budget Japanese flick began its journey into the horror hall of fame when it premiered in a small art house cinema. Although the reaction was positive, no one expected the film to have grossed over $31.2 million within only a year after its release, thanks to One Cut of the Dead winning the audience vote at the Udine Far East Film Festival in 2018. Considering that the film’s headlining act is zombies, the oozing blood and guts is not what gives it the winning charm that soared its reputation. Instead, it’s the unique structure that many films are not brave enough to explore. After the first act, the ravaging zombie attacks diffuse and a separate plot forms, almost like a prequel prior to the main narrative. From a glance, the smorgasbord of rotating filming methods and self-reflexive formulas seem chaotic, and that is very much true. It can be assured that One Cut of the Dead is not a restful watch, but that chaos and sporadic nature is what allows the film to be so full throttle the entire time. 

2- Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (Directed by Eli Craig, 2010) 

Best friends Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) take a trip to their cabin deep in the mountains. Their holiday soon takes a drastic turn for the worst when a group of vacationing college students believe them to be manic killers. 

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil truly meets the definition of ‘expect the unexpected’ as director Eli Craig runs circles around the viewer throughout the film’s entirety. When an individual goes into a horror movie, whether they are an avid watcher or not, you bring in previous movie knowledge and experiences to know what the warning signs of danger are, and what characters are up to no good. The minute we see a group of young randy college students head into an isolated cabin in the woods it’s a given that they will soon be dropping like flies at the hands of some chainsaw-wielding maniac. I Spit on Your Grave (1978), The Evil Dead (1981), Cabin Fever (2002), and Wrong Turn (2003) all instill this sense of Urbanoia -a term coined by film professor Carol Clover-, meaning a general sense of fear over the inhabitants of backwoods America. The film understands the genre’s cliches and overdone tropes, particularly those found within Urbanoia cinema, including ‘close’ familial ties, parodied southern drawls, lack of hygiene and presentation, and above all sexual deviances. Rather than rip off every woodsy horror there is, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil introduces a pair of harmless West Virginia natives who from the outskirts wear dungarees, and have thick accents, but they are entirely civilized (more so than the college characters). Along the way, the tables are turned and the stereotypes are ripped apart to create a standout tongue-in-cheek extravaganza that is not to be missed. 

3- Funny Games (Directed by Michael Haneke, 1997) 

A family is held hostage by Peter (Frank Giering) and Paul (Arno Frisch), a pair of troubling killers who force their victims to play sinister games.

Funny Games will crawl under your skin at such a slow pace that you won’t even recognise how disturbed you are until after the film reaches its chilling end. Michael Haneke is a celebrated auteur for a reason. His extensive filmography explores the darkest level of the human psyche by breaking cinematic barriers and using film to directly speak to the viewer. Funny Games grandly flaunts a story rife with digs over the depiction of violence within mainstream media as a means of entertainment, tainting enjoyment with austere threat. Don’t be fooled, Haneke is not an ally with moral crusaders such as Mary Whitehouse (video nasty campaigner), in fact, his other work such as Benny’s Video (1992) and Hidden (2005) uses violence as a tool. Alternatively, Funny Games was made as a commentary on how senseless violence with no real purpose has become all too familiar to audiences. Paul breaks the fourth wall more than a couple of times to ask the audience what they want to happen next, asking us to bet on which group will survive. Whilst Peter continuously makes nods to the rules of cinema and what steps they are on within the narrative. 

4- Demons (Directed by Lamberto Bava, 1985) 

A crowd of random people are mysteriously invited to a screening of an unknown movie, only to become imprisoned within the cinema with hungry demons. 

Demons appears on nearly every ‘must see’ classic horror list for a reason. The film satirises the main issue facing horror since its very beginning, particularly the troubles that were heightened in the 1980s. Decades ago horror was under threat from the media, not only were many films banned across the world but filmmakers and video store owners were being prosecuted for selling such ‘filth’ as the media would come to call it. The video nasty panic soared, concocting an intrigue amongst the curious thanks to its taboo nature. Demons capitalises on this allure, and it’s not very discreet in its manner either. The notion of a cursed theatre coming to life, corrupting random viewers for literally no reason is almost laughable in retrospect, but unfortunately very necessary. The fictional film presented within Demons is overtly graphic and violent, then all of a sudden the bystanders turn into monsters, killing anyone who they can latch their claws onto. Joining the copious reasons as to why Demons is considered a classic is the outrageously gruesome practical effects. Gory oozy pus, pulsating veins, extending fangs, green drool, and zombie red eyes are just some of the repulsive effects that are enough to make a horror veteran squirm. 

5- Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (Directed by Scott Glosserman, 2006) 

Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) is a future serial killer who enlists the help of a documentary crew to follow him as he prepares for a night of slashing. 

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon takes the form of a mockumentary aiming to deconstruct everyone’s favourite slashers through creating its own villain-based folklore. Wes Craven masterfully dissected the slasher subgenre in Scream (1996)  with endless references to Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Prom Night (1980), and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976). Since then many films have attempted to recreate the magic and nostalgic warmth that Craven managed to capture, but these tries have just come across as a carbon copy of recycled jokes, that is until Scott Glosserman created this epic descent into fictionalised monster-mayhem. Throughout the film we are treated to plenty of chucklesome moments, particularly Leslie’s exclaims over his fitness regime to keep up with his victims and his upkeep in theatre performance to create a suitable atmosphere. Amongst all the quips about the genre are the quick nods that certainly don’t go unnoticed, including the cameos from Robert Englund and Kane Hodder. 

6- Return to Horror High (Directed by Bill Froehlich, 1987) 

Director Josh Forbes (Scott Jacoby) is making a horror movie based on a series of murders at a high school where the killer was never found. Years have passed and there has been no signs of the murderer, that is until crew members begin to suddenly disappear. 

Within the current climate, the common gripe with the genre surrounds the stream of remakes flooding the market. Many audience members reminisce about the good old days of horror. In the past (the good old days that people rave about) the general complaints regarded the abundance of slasher films which had been done time and time again. There is always going to be something to rant about, and Bill Froehlich noticed this. Return to Horror High bravely ignored the concerns over creating another slasher though reinventing the subgenres realm of expectations. Froehlich focused on the ‘film-within-a-film’ plot and a whole new territory was stirred. No character is safe and not a single scene could be trusted as we can’t tell whether the events were part of the in-house movie or the actual plot. Furthering the self-deprecating humour is the back and forth between the characters of Josh and sleazy producer Harry Sleerek (Alex Rocco). Josh wishes to create a meaningful piece of art that explores allegorical terrain, whereas Harry wants Josh to up the nudity and gore to increase sales; taking aim at the harsh reality of filmmaking. 

7- Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (Directed by Adrian Țofei, 2015) 

Adrian (Țofei) is an aspiring filmmaker with a very strong obsession with actress Anne Hathaway. In hopes of getting her to star in his upcoming project, he goes to extreme lengths to create a deadly demo. 

Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is a Romanian found footage film that gets downright nasty in its harrowing portrayal of obsession, toxicity, and megalomania. Found footage films originate from movements such as Cinéma vérité and Mondo cinéma, assembling an end result that leans on the side of reality to conjure an intimate vibe. To say that this film blurs the lines between fiction and reality is one bold statement as Be My Cat goes above and beyond any found footage film’s attempt at transfusing the two. Țofei will genuinely have the viewer questioning whether this is a real snuff film coming from the dark depths of the web. The extremity is not the concern, in fact, it does not overindulge in explicit imagery, in lieu the terrifying pathos is owed to the acting and staging from Țofei. His character shows signs of humanness through explaining his favouring of women and cats and hatred of men and dogs thanks to his experiences of bullying growing up, notedly there are some signs of empathy between relations. Adrian has an almost childlike element to his persona where he constantly refers to his actions as not his own and just his characters. Forcing the viewer to determine whether he is just a very sick and confused man or a complete psychopath.

8- The Final Girls (Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, 2015) 

Max (Taissa Farmiga), a young woman reeling over the loss of her mother who was a famous scream queen is transported back to the 1980s into the world of her mother’s famous movie, Camp Bloodbath. 

Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods (2011) seemingly changed the game for meta horror with the parodic take on the genre radiating success. Joining this boom in modern horror exercising conscious narratives is The Final Girls which has seemingly slipped under the radar despite the film’s critical acclaim. The Final Girls realises the silliness at just redoing what great summer camp movies such as The Burning (1981) and Sleepaway Camp (1983) have already done. Rather than focus on replicating overdone chase scenes and machete battles with the camp’s resident killer, the film takes us in a new direction through commenting upon how ridiculous the writing was from genre classics. There was always the forceful jock, the stoner, the dumb (and over-sexualised) blonde, and most importantly the final girl. Strauss-Schulson knowingly avoids these gimmicks and refreshingly delivers something that genuinely hasn’t been done before. 

9- The Last Horror Movie (Directed by Julian Richards, 2003) 

Wedding photographer by day and serial killer by night, Max Parry (Julian Richards) takes us with him as he documents his grizzly murders. 

The Last Horror Movie’s chilling portrayal of a damaged and ruthless man is entirely owed to writer and director Julian Richards, and Kevin Howarth who plays the titular serial killer Max. The story at its roots is not completely original, that’s not to say that it’s not utterly captivating and unique, but films such as Man Bites Dog (1992) have gone there before. The true terror is found within the film’s execution, thriving within its storytelling methods.

Max gets his assistant to film the events, creating a level of flexibility. it’s almost as if we were a fly on the wall watching his dirty deeds go down. Max appears as a rather middle class man with his extensive monologues delving into why the viewer wants to watch a horror film in the first place, this one in particular. The Last Horror Movie’s tone is conversationalist, creating a natural note, which of course sounds pleasant. That is until we are directly questioned about why the viewer is technically a voyeur deep down, receiving gratification from incredibly brutal material. 

10- Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (Directed by Wes Craven, 1994) 

Ten years after A Nightmare on Elm Street made its debut the movie’s lead, Heather Langenkamp (played by herself) has her life turned upside down as Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has entered real life. 

A meta-film list would not be complete without an entry from the one and only Wes Craven. The primary purpose of meta-horror is to bring cinema to life, to block the barrier that makes movies fictional. New Nightmare transfixes on tributing what makes horror so fascinating. At the end of the day, no matter whose side you take, horror films aim to scare and shock, in reality, why would anyone possibly want to feel purposefully alarmed? Craven acknowledges arguments made against the genre and mocks those who feel that the horror is exploitative. New Nightmare focuses on Freddy Kreuger leaving the on-screen universe to breach the railings of the real world. 

In an expressive way, the film boxes up what Craven had advocated for years. It’s not horror that causes issues, alternatively, horror just releases what’s already there. Similarly, this exact same premise is explored in his next feature Scream. When Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) reveals himself as Ghostface he states that “movies don’t create psychos, movies make psychos more creative”. At this current moment in time scrutiny is at an all-time high, making Wes Craven’s New Nightmare more crucial than ever.

Looking for more top horror lists and reviews? Check out our blog here..



Scream (2022) – Review

Dead Northern reviews the greatly anticipated fifth instalment in the slasher film series below.

There are SPOILERS AHEAD, you have been warned!

One fateful night Tara Carpenter (Jenny Ortega) is all alone at home texting her friend Amber (Mikey Madison), convincing her to come over. But all of a sudden the landline starts ringing, at first the slightly off-kilter banterfull conversation is innocent, that is until we hear that iconic low, scratchy octave ask Tara “would you like to play a game?”. And just like that Scream is BACK! 

In 2019 when filmmaking duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett announced that they would be taking the bull by the horns and brazenly tackling the fifth instalment in the Scream franchise, many fans were beyond thrilled that Ghostface would be continuing their rampage. The man, the myth, the legend Wes Craven who created the franchise sadly passed away in 2015, leaving behind an unbeatable legacy. Could Scream even continue without the helm of Craven? Well, let’s find out… 

After twenty-five years since a string of savage murders erupted in the small town of Woodsboro, a new villain takes on the identity of Ghostface, leaving a bloody trail amongst the unlucky residents. Scream’s next generation serves a purpose. They are all connected to previous characters, including Woodsboro’s own movie expert Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), Sheriff Judie Hicks (Marley Shelton), and everyone’s favourite partners in crime, Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) and Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich). 

The original Scream jostled with the postmodern boom that 1990s films thrived in. It’s this combination of self-referential treatment mingling with meta-cinema that facilitated the quick ironic humour that the franchise is known for. Across the previous films, every joke about sequels, franchises, fandoms, actors, and the Hollywood cycle has been done. Nothing else could possibly be added. Here’s where writers Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt regenerated the already embellished one-liners. Many of the filler characters have extensive movie knowledge, allowing for hysterical tirades about how devoted horror fans don’t want increasingly popular “requels” (reboot-sequel) to be a stand alone story with no continuing context- à la Black Christmas (2019); alternatively, franchise-enthusiasts want a connection to an original legacy. Just as Amber states “you can’t have a bonafide Halloween without Jamie Lee”. 

The film exchanges with the audience directly, transfusing the fourth wall with reality. These rants about movie rules are precisely aimed at the viewer, making quips about how obsessive diehard fans are to please. Almost digging at those who’d immediately shun this new entry before even giving it a chance. Of course, many chuckles were had at the numerous easter eggs and mention of the fictional in-house ‘Stab’ movies, but the film’s strength doesn’t derive from the humour which will eventually fade after a couple of watches, instead the cardinal prizewinner is the unyielding brutality of the kills. Throughout all five films, this one takes the lead as the most shockingly savage and graphic film to date. Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) has one of the franchise’s gnarliest deaths. Whether or not she can continue to hold the top spot is now another issue. Ghostface slices and dices their way through bodies with ease, not holding a single ounce of remorse, nor does the camera shy away from the direct insertion of their gleaming hunting knife. 

As delightful as it was to see Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale (Courteney Cox) step back into their stomping grounds, the film’s main protagonist Sam who was fantastically portrayed by the very talented Melissa Barrera was indeed a breath of fresh air. Her natural ability to be both vulnerable and fiercely strong allows her to stand beside the genre’s greatest final girls with ease. Joining Barrera is her on-screen boyfriend Richie Kirsch, played by Jack Quaid, who is the receiver of the film’s best jokes by far. Lurking alongside the stellar performances is the factor of unexpectedness. Not a single soul is safe. Scream isn’t the first and last franchise that sheds characters as and when needed, however Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillet truly don’t have a whiff of compassion at all for who gets to survive and who gets to die. The ever looming threat of death loiters over every character’s head, legacy or not…

Much praise has seen the light of day in regards to the film. Yet, there does seem to be a general critique floating around about the lack of scares. Horror is subjective, there’s no denying that. What works for one person will almost never work for the next, but within the last couple of decades, horror has evolved and changed. As controversial as it is, horror cinema does not have to make your blood run cold or have you quaking in your boots to be considered ‘good’ anymore. Scream raises the threat level and creates admirable tension, despite the fact that it didn’t have me terrified to turn the lights off. Although the 1996 original did give me the ‘heebie jeebies’, it wasn’t intended to be blood-curdling terrifying.

This instalment playfully mocks pestering film bro’s who mention the term that makes my eyes roll- “elevated horror’. When asked what her favourite scary movie is, Casey replies with John Carpenter’s infamous Halloween (1978), whereas Tara answers with The Babadook (2014), a fantastic film in its own right. But what comes next is Tara’s betrayal of the genre. She disavows typical horror as pure schlock and guts. Almost directly commenting on how elevated horrors wouldn’t stoop to the level that slashers do, opting instead for emotionally developed, politically enamoured narratives. 

It is with this boldness and knowingly critical lens that Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett shine. They know how to rinse inside genre jokes and make fun of their own attempt of recycling an already perfect classic. The Scream franchise has always managed to tiptoe between not taking itself too seriously, whilst still not becoming a total parody. Scream (22) captures this essence with ease, making it a solid and welcomed entry into horror’s most unique franchise.


Unmissable horror films and television coming to 2022

Scream (Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gilett) 

Release date: 14th January 

Kicking off this exciting year for horror is Scream. If there was any film that ignited a wave of excitement amongst movie-goers last year then it was the news of Ready or Not (2019) directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gilett bringing back Ghostface once again. The upcoming fifth instalment in the beloved franchise, created by horror icons Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson brings the series back in a new light, with Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley, and Gale Weathers all returning to Woodsboro once again. Just like its predecessors, the plot details of the new Scream have been kept quietly under wraps, but the poster does give us a sordid tease at who the new villain is thanks to the witty tagline- “The Killer is on this Poster”… 

Don’t Worry Darling (Directed by Olivia Wilde)

Release date: 23rd September 

Olivia Wilde made quite the impression with her hilarious coming of age comedy Booksmart back in 2019, and now she is bound to ‘wow viewers yet again with her upcoming psychological film detailing the tale of a bored housewife in 1950s America as she unveils a dark secret, whilst her husband harbours a disturbing truth of his own. Starring in Don’t Worry Darling is Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Douglas Smith, and Gemma Chan. The teaser trailer has already got devoted Styles fans hysterical, especially when you take into consideration those rumours about the steamy scenes between him and Pugh (whose phenomenal performance in Midsommar [2019] will go down in history). 

You Won’t Be Alone (Directed by Goran Stolevski) 

Release date: 22nd January 

You Won’t Be Alone sets the scene of a young witch who lives abandoned and feral in the woods. The isolated mountain setting ensures her secrecy, but curiosity strikes when she accidentally kills a peasant in a nearby village. The witch then shapeshifts into her victim’s body to quench her thirst for a human experience. However, events turn sinister when she begins to take the form of other bodies, leading to a riveting path of human discovery. The Macedonian set film will premiere at the upcoming Sundance film festival later this month, with high hopes already blossoming amongst future viewers all in ode to the spectacular trailer released late last year. Across the film an experience is provided, with the powerful themes not being afraid to cross emotional boundaries as stunning visuals and intense performances unite to simultaneously conjure shock and allure.

Nope (Directed by Jordan Peele)

Release date: 22nd July 

Jordan Peele’s first film Get Out released in 2017 completely stole the limelight from the get go, it even did something that horror movies rarely get the opportunity to do, win an Academy Award. Soon after his debut, Peele released Us (2019), another first class film whose legacy will continue for years. It’s safe to say that audiences have been holding out for his next project. Luckily enough, we won’t have to wait long as Peele’s latest venture, mysteriously titled ‘Nope’ is set to be released this summer! Not a single ounce of information has been released about what the film entails besides the cast and the gripping poster. Leading the compelling lineup is KeKe Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael Wincott, Steven Yeun, and Barbie Ferreira. Although we do not know much, the aforementioned poster does make your thoughts run wild as to what Peele has got up his sleeves; could the carnival-esque setting pictured be hinting at a circus based setting? or could it just be throwing us off the scent? Only time will tell… 

Orphan: First Kill (Directed by William Brent Bell) 

Release date: TBC 

Isabelle Fuhrman gave one of the most haunting performances modern horror has witnessed in Jaume Collet-Serra’s 2009 smash-hit, Orphan. Over a decade later director William Brent Bell brings the terrifying ‘Esther’ back to the screen as we follow her origin story. This upcoming horror is designed to be a prequel to the events in the first film and how Esther’s maliciousness was molded. The plot is set to begin with her escaping from an Estonian asylum, and then taking on the identity of a family’s missing daughter, but Esther’s childlike impression is not fooling everybody. Orphan: First Kill utilised creative filmmaking, such as forced perspectives and body doubles to ensure that Fuhrman pulls off that same doe-eyed performance that she mastered all those years ago. Joining Fuhrman are Julia Stiles and Rossif Sutherland, who will play the unsuspecting family that Esther digs her claws into. 

Bed Rest (Directed by Lori Evans Taylor) 

Release date: 15th July 

Bed Rest is certainly a standout indie horror due to come out this year. The script is an original story, the cast is more than promising, and the plot is beyond intriguing. Bed Rest comes from writer and director Lori Evans Taylor, who has written the latest upcoming instalment of the Final Destination franchise. Bed Rest will follow Julie Rivers (Melissa Barrera), an expecting mother who moves into a new home with her husband to get a fresh start. Soon after she is ordered to bed rest, causing her to become frustrated through the monotonous routines of her now day-to-day life. However, boredom will be the least of her troubles as she begins to experience ghostly events within her home, leaving her to question her own sanity and safety. Amongst a year crowded with reboots, remakes, and revivals, Bed Rest will certainly be a rejuvenating injection for the genre. 

Hellraiser (Directed by David Bruckner) 

Release date: TBC

The Hellraiser franchise has long garnered massive amounts of praise ever since Clive Barker’s intense visions was adapted for screen in 1987, encouraging an embrace for darker horror with taboo themes. Continuing the ever expanding Hellraiser universe is David Bruckner’s reboot, which will closely adhere to the original source material from Barker, The Hellbound Heart (1986). The news of this installment has been floating around for years now, with constant back and forths and creative disagreements causing the project to fall through. However, with the likes of David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) blossoming in popularity and generating an interest in horror classics, Hellraiser finally got the green light. 

Horror reimaginings over the years have adapted and remolded their iconic villains, and now the infamous Pinhead, leader of the mighty Cenobites, will be played by the incredibly talented Jamie Clayton, the series first female Pinhead.

The Black Phone (Directed by Scott Derickson) 

Release date: 24th June 

Blumhouse Productions is set for another very successful year, particularly in ode to Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone amassing a lot of buzz. The film is an adaptation of the 2004 short story from Joe Hill, that will take the viewer on a journey back in time to the 1970s where a string of abductions are plaguing a small suburban town in Colorado. Mason Thames will star as Finney Shaw, a young boy who gets kidnapped by a spiteful serial killer, resulting in him being trapped inside a completely soundproof basement. It seems that all hope of discovery is gone, but Finney discovers a disconnected phone that has the ability to feedback voices of the killer’s previous victims. Ethan Hawke makes his return back to horror through playing ‘The Grabber’, the sinister man responsible for the disappearances. As seen in the trailer, The Black Phone has something for everyone, whether it’s a creepy mask, haunted basements, a dash of psychological horror, or a vicious fight for survival. 

Bones & All (Directed by Luca Guadagnino) 

Release date: TBC 

Bones & All is one of the most promising films to be released later this year across every single genre. The film stars Timothèe Chalamet and Taylor Russell, accompanied by Luca Guadagnino as director. Bones & All is based on Camille DeAngelis’s novel of the same name. Throughout the book, copious themes surrounding loneliness and angst, all encased within a dramatic, romanticized frame are explored. Although these elements are already weighty subject matters, what Bones & All exposes above all is the relationship between cannibalism and self discovery, as we follow Maren (Russell) and Lee (Chalamet) whilst on a treacherous road trip across America where a craving for flesh lays bare more than they can handle. 

With Guadagnino behind the camera, the film is sure to join previous masterpieces exploring such hypersensitive material, such as Ravenous (1999) Trouble Every Day (2001), and Raw (2016). 

Halloween Ends (Directed by David Gordon Green) 

Release date: 14th October 

Halloween has not only sparked an interest for horror amongst younger audiences, but it has also generated a more than pleasant reception for die hard Michael Myers fans. The final instalment within this reboot trilogy is set to be released this October, meaning that it’s not long until we get to see the conclusion of this riveting battle between Haddonfield residents and ‘The Shape’. Direct plot details surrounding Halloween Ends have been kept extremely hushed, and considering how merciless Halloween Kills (2021) was, anything can happen next. What we do know is that in the film (unlike the previous two) the events will not take place on the same night, instead there will be a time leap of four years where issues surrounding the pandemic will be covered. Although this decision of focusing on incorporating a sense of grounded reality is beyond a risk, hopefully David Gordon Green will pull it off. 

Something in the Dirt (Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead)

Release date: TBC 

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have collaborated many times before to create some truly amazing cinema, particularly Spring (2014) and The Endless (2017). Once again they are expected to deliver yet another visually impactful and emotionally rich film in their latest project Something in the Dirt. The ominously named film acquires the acting talents of Benson and Moorhead as they play the characters of neighbours John and Levi who witness supernatural occurrences in their apartment complex. Upon realising that their ghostly haunts could earn them some serious internet wealth and fame they begin to document the events, only to voyage down a much darker rabbit hole. The duo have proven in previous works that they have a natural talent for showcasing complex relationships with the self, all the while forgoing cliches and predictability. 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Directed by David Blue Garcia)

Release date: 18th February 

Back in the early 1970s Tobe Hooper was an assistant film director at university doing documentary work on the side, hoping for a shot at cinematic success. Little did anyone know that he would become one of the biggest horror icons in filmic history all thanks to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). The franchise has spawned a further eight films with the latter being released in February this year. This take revolves around Melody (Sarah Yarkin), her sister Lila (Elsie Fisher), and their friends Ruth (Nell Hudson) and Dante (Jacob Latimore), as they travel to rural Texas to set up a new business venture. But, the harmony doesn’t last for long as they land in Sawyer’s territory, encountering Leatherface himself. Their only chance of survival comes from the return of Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), who’s been waiting for a chance at vengeance all along. David Blue Garcia serves as director, whilst Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues wrote the original story. Texas Chainsaw Massacre will be a direct sequel to the original, discounting all of its predecessors. There have already been multiple attempts at resetting the series, yet not all tries have been well received, Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) only holds a mere 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Fingers crossed Garcia’s talents will ensure that this anticipated sequel will be a triumph. 

Fresh (Directed by Mimi Cave) 

Release date: 20th January 

Mimi Cave’s feature film debut titled Fresh delves into the tribulations that innately infest the dating scene for women in the modern age. Daisy Edgar-Jones will play Noa, a singleton tired of scrolling on dating apps. On a whim, she goes on a date with the shy charmer Steve (Sebastian Stan). From the first date, their chemistry is fiery, leading to Noa becoming smitten, seeing a potential partner to settle down with, but an impromptu weekend away with prince charming unveils his unusual “appetite’’.The coverage surrounding Fresh has been sparse, but if that electrifying synopsis is anything to go by, then we’re definitely in for a treat. 

All of Us Are Dead (Directed by Lee Jae-kyoo and Kim Nam-su)

Release date: 28th January 

All of Us Are Dead surrounds itself with one of the most famed movie monsters of all time- ZOMBIES! The undead (as gruesome as they are) always makes for great entertainment material, with old-time classics such as Night of the Living Dead (1968) to modern staples including Shaun of the Dead (2004) being considered as two of the best horror movies out there. To add to the ever expanding sub-genre is the highly anticipated South Korean TV series, All Of Us Are Dead which will follow a group of students trapped in their high school whilst a savage zombie apocalypse roars throughout society. The series is based upon the popular Naver webtoon titled Now at Our School created by Joo Dong-geun. 

Archive 81 (Directed by Rebecca Thomas) 

Release date: 14th January

Colliding a daring blend of truth and fiction is Archive 81, a convoluted series combining found footage, cult activity, cold cases, and demonic activity, The series is co-produced by the one and only James Wan, the force behind the Insidious franchise, the Conjuring Universe, and most recently the opinion dividing Malignant (2021). Archive 81 will take us on a menacing journey with Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie), an archivist who is employed to restore a horde of damaged videotapes dating back to 1994. On the tapes is the work from documentarian Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi), who went missing under suspicious circumstances 25 years ago after investigating a shady cult. Archive 81 is a semi-original piece, with the inspiration coming from a real-life, found footage podcast of the same name that explores the fictionalised mystery of cults and rituals. 

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.

Curiosity Corner Events MisAdventures

Dead Northern does the Harrogate Ghost Walk!

Paul Forster has invited Josh and Gareth from Dead Northern to experience Harrogate’s first Ghost walk! And given that Harrogate is the spiritual home (pun intended) to the Dead Northern Horror Film Festival we thought it would be rude not to take him up on that offer.

First things first, it’s Winter, in North Yorkshire! At the best of times, that would mean some pretty brutal weather but on this particular night, Mother Nature decided to put on a real show for us! With weather warnings across the United Kingdom, and especially harsh for the North of England, right where we are.

Whilst most folk would look out the window and opt to stay in the warm and stick on a movie, we put on our big boy pants (and took some spares), coats & scarves, and set out into the dark, cold, windy Harrogate evening. Telling ourselves that nature’s special effects of howling winds, freezing rain, and creaking trees are just going to add to the atmosphere.

Paul Forster Harrogate Ghost Walk
Paul Forster Harrogate Ghost Walk

The Ghost tour starts at 20:15 outside the Royal Pump Room Museum, and it doesn’t take long before Paul has us engaged in stories both paranormal, historical, and comical. Now, we don’t want to include any spoilers as we 100% recommend that you experience the Ghost Walk for yourselves. So we won’t include any more of the specific locations but the Ghost tour stays in Harrogate town Centre.

Like it says on the tin, this is a WALK and the tour is a decent track around town. Harrogate does have a few hills so we recommend a decent pair of shoes and wrap up warm if you’re joining in the winter months.

If you’re a visitor the walk doubles up as a fantastic tour of Harrogate as well as a spooky adventure. If you’re a local, the Ghost Walk contains a great deal of history about the town! Do you know where the jail was?

This isn’t just a walk around town with a guide yelling anecdotal yarns about otherworldly experiences though. The tour contains as much lesser know history of Harrogate as it does the supernatural. It’s obvious that Paul has done his research and this is a tour with purpose and direction, so if your find yourself wondering why you have stopped outside a building, you can be certain that it is because it’s haunted.

Paul Forster - Harrogate Ghost Walk
Paul Forster – Harrogate Ghost Walk

The Ghost stories themselves are interesting, engaging, and unique to Harrogate. This is a refreshing change, given that we’re so close to York, a city that is known globally for Ghosts and the paranormal and tends to steal the limelight.

It’s also worth noting that if you’ve got any ghost stories of your own do let Paul know, he loves to listen to the audience as much as talk, and if your story is from Harrogate who knows your story may become part of the tour!

Whilst we didn’t see any Ghost this time. We’ll definitely be back, this is one of Harrogate’s best and most unique events and we thoroughly recommend it.

Paul Forster - Harrogate Ghost Walk
Paul Forster – Harrogate Ghost Walk

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