By Sean Ray | a&e editor
October has started, which means the count down until Halloween is on. Besides the usual worries over what costume to wear and what candy to get, you must also consider what horror movies you’ll watch this year. It can be hard choosing what to watch, with the endless streams of zombies, ghosts, demons, werewolves and vampire movies that seem to come out every year. Well this is one issue not to be frightened about this year. The Duke has all horror fanatics covered, with these four horror flicks that will be out just in time for Halloween.
“Goosebumps” (Release: October 16)
The classic book series from R.L. Stein that terrorized children for years is finally getting a theatrical movie production. The movie follows two children, Zach and Hannah Cooper, who move in next to Stein, played by Jack Black, only to discover that his novels are a bit more fact than fiction. Soon a legion of monsters is unleashed, wreaking havoc upon the town of Greendale, Maryland.
The film promises a menagerie of classic “Goosebumps” creatures from across the stories: werewolves, giant praying mantises and even killer garden gnomes all join in this monster mash. While the concept may seem a bit ridiculous at first, there really is not many other ways one can fit the wide range of “Goosebumps” monsters all into a single movie.“Goosebumps” will be a comedy-horror movie that cannot be missed, especially if you’re not used to the much more frightening kind of horror films.
“Crimson Peak” (Release: October 16)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro and staring Tom Hiddleston of “Avengers” fame, “Crimson Peak” is a traditional ghost story about an author torn between two loves while also being tormented by violent and angry spirits haunting a darkened mansion, filled with secret doors and hidden pathways.
With its foot planted firmly in the camp of gothic horror, “Crimson Peak” looks to be very similar to Universal monster movies like “Dracula” and “Frankenstein.” Filled with Decaying castles, dark corners, Victorian era architecture and all being directed by the man who delivered the excellent “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Crimson Peak” appears to be a return to classical form for horror movies. While it may seem like a lot of horror movies lately are about ghosts, “Crimson Peak” sets itself out by following tradition rather than newer trends in horror. A movie that prioritizes atmosphere and tension over jump scares. Any fan of horror films from the 1930s should see this movie the instant it comes out.
“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” (Release: October 23)
Promised to be the final film in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise, “Ghost Dimension” will do something none of the others films have done before: actually show the ghosts. The plot follows a family who discovers a camera, as well as a series of video tapes from past users, that enables the user to see the demons and spirits that have been tormenting the main characters of the series since the beginning. However, being able to see the demons and ghosts does mean the family is immune to the threats posed by them and soon they must find a way to keep their young daughter safe from possession.
While it is pretty doubtful that it truly will be the last film in the series, “The Ghost Dimension” at least promises to do something very different from the past few entries. The spirits will finally be seen, which only adds to the horror as audiences see their horrifying visage as they attack the characters. The horror does not just come from the spirits but also from the video tapes of past camera users and their terrifying fates, adding a new layer of paranormal horror beyond just objects being thrown around. While it may be a little disheartening it took five entries for the “Paranormal Activity” series to finally innovate, at least the franchise looks to go out with a bang if “Ghost Dimension” truly does become the final chapter.
“The Last Witch Hunter” (Release: October 23)
Staring Vin Diesel, “The Last Witch Hunter” follows an immortal man living in modern day. He is pulled into a battle against the super natural when a plague conjured up by covens of witches threatens to wipe out mankind. Unfortunately, accomplishing this quest will require him to work with a witch, something he is none too happy about dealing with.
“The Last Witch Hunter” seems the perfect film for fans of both action and horror. Vin Diesel is always a treat and the fact the movie was partially filmed in Pittsburgh should peak the interests of any locals to the ‘burgh. looking like evil plant creatures made of twisted vines and roots. Plus, it seems like such a long time since witches were the main villain in a horror movie that it is refreshing to have them back at the forefront once more, especially in the none too common action-horror genre.