Due largely to lacklustre, disappointing blockbusters and franchise entries, 2016 seemed to rub a lot of people up the wrong way, with many looking to 2017 as the year that redeems the tent-pole release and introduces new horror and animated films to savour.
Here are 10 releases to keep an eye out for.
For Eddie’s take on the best films coming our way in 2017 CLICK HERE
Plot summaries from IMDB. Words by Jordan
10. A Cure for Wellness
Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Dane DeHaan
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem.
Gore Verbinski may be to blame for the glut of unwanted Pirates of the Caribbean sequels of disastrous quality, but its easy to forget the thrill ride the original offered, as well as his successfully terrifying remake The Ring. So, he can create thrills, horror and has a keen eye for visuals; with an intriguing trailer already released, here’s hoping that A Cure for Wellness has him back in critical favour.
Release date: 17th February (USA)
9. Ghost in the Shell
Directed by Rupert Sanders. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Michael Wincott
A cyborg policewoman attempts to bring down a nefarious computer hacker.
Rupert Sanders directing doesn’t immediately breed confidence, but the thematic and visually arresting 1995 anime classic does lend itself to a live-action rendering. Scarlett Johansson as The Major dominates the pulse-pounding trailer, and I’m hopeful that she can be the driving factor in ensuring that this does the original justice.
Release date: 30th March (AUS)
8. Star Wars: Episode VIII
Directed by Rian Johnson. Starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac
Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.
Star Wars is bigger than it has ever been, and with the quality of The Force Awakens and Rogue One being so high, everyone should be happy about that. Rey and Finn in particular are fan-friendly heroes to rally behind, with their futures the source of much heated conversation.
Release date: 15th December (USA)
7. Resident Evil: Vendetta
Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto. Voice work by Matthew Mercer
BSAA Chris Redfield enlists the help of government agent Leon S. Kennedy and Professor Rebecca Chambers from Alexander Institute of Biotechnology to stop a death merchant with a vengeance from spreading a deadly virus in New York.
Its not a Most Anticipated list without a Resident Evil film (I wanted to include The Final Chapter, but have probably mentioned it too much as is), and the third CGI feature film following Leon’s mission to end bio-terrorism looks to continue the trend of bringing favourite characters back into relevance as support to the series’ coolest BOW killer.
Release date: 27th May (JPN)
6. Death Note
Directed by Adam Wingard. Starring Lakeith Stanfield, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham
A student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone begins a crusade against evil in order to rule the world as a benevolent human god. Then a deadly game of cat and mouse begins when a reclusive detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.
Having not seen anything Death Note in the past, I’m intrigued by this feature instead because of Adam Wingard being at the helm. Having stamped himself a keen horror mind, I’m hoping he can make the transition to a more commercial affair without sacrificing his energy or intensity.
Release date: TBC
5. Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral
Directed by Victor Salva.
A successful mother Patricia Trish Jenner teams up with witnesses to a murdering spree by a winged flesh-eating monster in hopes to end his disastrous killings once and for all.
So, this is hardly going to be high art, but Jeepers Creepers scared me a lot as a teenager and I’m hoping that the second sequel can be equally as effective for new and returning audiences alike. The Creeper is too good a monster to keep away from screens, and from my nightmares…
Release date: TBC
4. Wonder Woman
Directed by Patty Jenkins. Starring Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Chris Pine
An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes.
It can’t be as bad as Batman v Superman can it? and surely DC can’t afford another Man of Steel misfire. Wonder Woman’s all-too-brief appearance in Dawn of Justice was its one redeeming factor, and Gal Gadot now has a hefty weight of expectations on her shoulders, but given she is not being directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen seems so long ago) she might just pull it off.
Release date: 2nd June (UK)
3. Cold Moon
Directed by Griff Furst. Starring Christopher Lloyd, Frank Whaley, Josh Stewart
From the Writer of Beetlejuice & the Nightmare Before Christmas… A Chilling Tale of Supernatural Vengeance
An adaptation of Michael McDowell’s renowned novel Cold Moon Over Babylon, which features a uniquely pulpy aesthetic. The imagery and setting of McDowell’s harrowing thriller promise to translate strikingly to screen, and the cast (and trailer) in particularly instils confidence that this could be an independent standout.
Release date: TBC
2. The Dark Tower
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey
The Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, roams an Old West-like landscape where “the world has moved on” in pursuit of the man in black. Also searching for the fabled Dark Tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.
Stephen King adaptations can be decidedly hit or miss, usually depending on whether Frank Darabont is directing (then its always a hit), and the execution of The Dark Tower remains hard to gauge based on what we’ve seen so far. There is a lot of potential here though, and I truly hope that it does rank among the best of the screen translations to date.
Release date: 27th July (AUS)
1. Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Plot – TBC
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the promising talent behind Studi Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, Mary and the Witch’s Flower signals the first endeavour for Studio Ponoc and appears very likely to be instilled with the same movie magic as the sublime films that have inspired it.
Release date: July (JPN)