Fall movies promise to be a real fright fest
When serial killers – whether Jason, Freddy or a generic Boogeyman – haunted silver screens, viewers knew which of the teens in jeopardy would be the next up for slaughter. Often, a couple would cozy up and snuggle. This led to greater intimacy and a loss of innocence. Slicing and dicing followed soon after.
As the so-called shaky one camera jitters took hold with “Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity,” the supernatural targets shifted to pre-teen innocents. You know the dread – something moves, an apparition lurks and a child is coaxed to let down their shields and allow a nighttime “friend” to wreak havoc.
“Sinister 2” has a duel story line flowing with the supernatural: A mom played by Shannyn Sossamon (“Wayward Pines”) has fled home with her twin 9-year-old sons after their dad battered them. Courtney Collins hides from her husband, Clint (Lea Coco), on a cursed piece of rural property which has been the scene of multiple ritualistic murders. While Clint’s attempting to abduct Dylan and Zack from their mother’s custody, the two boys fight for their souls which are wanted by a group of young ghouls luring them to watch 8mm movies of gruesome demise.
Chilling nightmares provide the precursor for following a rigid tot in a dark suit to a basement movie gallery. Where Freddy’s “Nightmare on Elm Street” victims struggled to stay awake, watching a quota of snuff flicks will supposedly subdue the dreams.
Shrieks do not evolve from suspense. The shaky filmstrips contain gut wrenching horrors branded by flames and rodents. You may resort to temporary eye closing to avoid the torture imagery.
Yes, unavoidable logic lapses collide. Who took each of the deadly reels? How many other world creatures participated in tying all those knots? And, when do older folks learn a new demon fleeing lesson, i.e. when a child has nightmares, when objects move and when you see a boogeyman or one of his imps, well, it’s time to get the hell off the property, not seek an exorcist, ghostbuster or paranormal specialist.
To see or not to see? Unlike the original which weaved terror with a sense of finesse and restraint, the sequel does not accent mind’s eye imagination thrills. You will see disturbing scenes which may trigger nightmares.You won’t walk out on it. You likely will find an abundance of flaws and predictable premise cliches, including a teaser for #3.
For seekers of additional creeks and scares, the genre has a solid slate ranging from the mostly family-friendly “Goosebumps” to possible franchise starters.
THE VISIT (Sept. 11) M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”) writes/directs a film from Jason Blum who produced “Paranormal Activity,” “Purge” and “Insidious.” Rewording the premise might contain the phrase “if you go into the woods,” in this case rural Pennsylvania farm house where their grandparents are up to something chilling.
GREEN INFERNO (Sept. 25) A group of rich New York City students travel to the Amazon to save a rain forest where they encounter an unexpected band of brutal natives. Guts, gore and blood run over the top in the Eli Roth (“Hostel”) production.
BEFORE I WAKE (Sept. 25) Mike (“I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Oculus”) Flanigan directs Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane as parents of an 8-year-old suffering from imaginative bad dreams that come to life.
CRIMSON PEAK (Oct. 16) Guillermo del Toro, perhaps, best unknown as the screenwriter for “The Hobbit” series, returns to the suspense horror genre where a heartbroken woman inhabits a house on a hill filled with supernatural secrets. (Does this appear reminiscent of “Dark Shadows?”) Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam star.
GOOSEBUMPS (Oct. 16) Teen Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door whose dad pens a series of monster books, except the creatures from his imagination are real.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: Ghost Dimension (Oct. 23) Katie Featherston returns to her “Paranormal” roots in a sequel helmed by Gregory Plotkin (“Area 51”).