Must-See Genre Films of 2013

By: Heather Seebach

Last year was a pretty good year for genre films, and 2013 already promises some exciting additions. While I am psyched for some of the blockbuster releases (Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, The Wolverine), the following films, ranging from indie horror to mainstream sci-fi, are the ones I am most eager for.

15. Horns

This darkly funny horror is based on Joe Hill's novel of the same name and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, and James Remar. Radcliffe's character awakens one day to find his girlfriend has been killed and he is the prime suspect. Oh, and he has sprouted a pair of horns. The reason I am excited for this one is simple: Alexandre Aja. Whenever that man jumps back into the director's chair, I follow. 

Release Date: TBA 

14. Among the Living

This is the latest from Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, the French directing duo behind Inside and Livid. The synopsis is as follows: "Among the Living tells the tale of three youngsters who skip school, wander around an abandoned amusement park, and suddenly see a woman in chains being dragged around through a field by a man in a clown’s mask.  Worse still, the masked man catches a glimpse of the boys.” Livid star Chloe Coulloud returns, as does Inside's femme fatale,  Beatrice Dalle. 

Release Date: TBA

No image from the film yet - so here are the handsome directors.

13. Evil Dead 

As a giant fan of the original film, I am cautiously optimistic about a remake but with Sam Raimi's blessing, Fede Alvarez behind the lens, and a surprisingly intense trailer, I am actually looking forward to this one. I sincerely hope it blows me away. If you're still holding a grudge against the very idea of this remake, check out my rant here

Release Date: April 12, 2013

12. Insidious: Chapter 2 

I unabashedly love Insidious. I found it genuinely scary and all-around fun. And as much as I love gore, sometime it's nice to take my mother to a horror movie. I put this one so low on the list because I do not think the original really needs a sequel, and because James Wan has another project due out this year (see #11). I hope this follow-up is not rushed. Regardless, I will waste no time seeing it in the theater.

Release Date: August 30, 2013

11. The Conjuring

This is James Wan's other directorial effort coming out in 2013. While I am sad Leigh Whannell did not write this one, I am encouraged by the positive early reviews. This 1970s-set ghost story centers on real-life husband-and-wife paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are best known for their involvement in the Amityville haunting case.

Release Date: July 19, 2013

10. S-V/H/S

This follow-up to 2012's found footage anthology will feature segments from Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way To Die), Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), Eduardo Sanchez (Lovely Molly), Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre) and Wingard's frequent collaborator Simon Barrett, who will be making his directorial debut.

Release Date: TBA (Sundance premiere - January 2013)

9. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, and more are back in Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's follow-up to their 2005 graphic novel adaptation. This one is also co-penned by William Monahan (The Departed). With almost all the original talent back on-board - plus a few new ones - this sequel is sure to be just as fun as its predecessor.

Release Date: October 4, 2012

8. Antiviral 

Directed by Brandon Cronenberg (yes, he is his son), this sci-fi/horror is already making waves at film festivals. It is about a clinic that sells live viruses harvested from celebrities to sell to obsessed fans. When an employee becomes sick with the same virus that kills a starlet, he becomes the target of collectors. This film looks gorgeous and has one incredibly unique story. Films like this get me really excited about the state of the science fiction genre.

Release Date: TBA

7. Gravity

I love solitary outer space movies. And I love Alfonso Cuarón. Lucky for me, this one has both! George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star as astronauts who survive a space shuttle disaster but the crash leaves the pair spiraling deeper into the blackness of space. Cuarón has already promised a 2001-like atmosphere with some of his incredible long takes.

Release Date: October 18, 2013

NOTE: This image is from Solaris - there are no images yet released from Gravity

6. Pacific Rim 

This one really does not need much explanation. It's Guillermo del Toro, and it's about giant monsters fighting giant man-piloted robots. It's the ultimate wet-dream, and unlike, say, Transformers, this one has some genuine talent behind it. Check out the trailer here

Release Date: July 12, 2013

5. You're Next

This one actually made my list of anticipated horror films last year, but the film was pushed back. A lot. The wait is seriously crushing me. The latest from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way to Die) is about a family reunion that is interrupted by masked home invaders. It has genre darlings like AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, and Barbara Crampton.

Release Date: August 23, 2013 

4. Elysium

I was in love with director Neill Blomkamp from the moment I saw District 9. Ever since I have been desperately awaiting his next film and it is FINALLY coming. And D9 star Sharlto Copley (pictured) is back - as the villain no less! Oh yeah, and some guy named Matt Damom stars. Whatever. There is no trailer yet but there is some sweet viral marketing.

Release Date: August 9, 2013

3. Stoker

I am excited about many of the films on this list based purely on the filmmaker(s). Stoker is no exception. While it looks like an amazing movie, I would see it no matter what because it is directed by Park Chan-wook. If that name does not immediately sell you, you might be on the wrong website right now. Mia Wasikowska stars as a young girl who loses her father, but develops an unhealthy infatuation with her creepy uncle (Matthew Goode). I confess, I am also excited to see Goode in a role like this. Check out the trailer here.

Release Date: March 1, 2013 (limited)

2. Only God Forgives

Here is yet another film that has sold me entirely on its director. This time it is Nicolas Winding Refn, of whom I have been a fan since I first saw Pusher. Since then, Refn has skyrocketed thanks to the critical success of Drive. Now his next collaboration with Ryan Gosling is on the way and I am psyched! Refn has described the film as a sort of western set in the Far East. Whatever it is, I am there. 

Release Date: May 23, 2013 (My birthday! Best gift ever!) 

1. World's End

Continuing the trend - it's Edgar Wright! I will happily devour anything he makes. It helps that this one is the third and final film in Wright's unofficial "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy." Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back, along with other alumni of the trilogy, including the wonderful Martin Freeman and Paddy Considine. Rumor has it this one will lean toward sci-fi (as Shaun of the Dead covered horror, and Hot Fuzz was action). The competition is stiff, but it is practically a guarantee already that this will be my favorite film of 2013.

Release Date: October 25, 2013

Possible 2013 Releases

These films may very well not be released until 2014 but they look so promising, I did not want to exclude them. 

This is the next film from Resolution creators, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. According to Benson, it is horror/action/comedy about an ex-special forces soldier and a eco-biologist who are sent on a mission into the backwoods of Eastern Europe. They become stuck in an abandoned 14th-century castle and things turn bloody. (source). Strata is only briefly mentioned in the following video but it should give you a taste of Benson and Moorhead's dark sense of humor.


Turbo Kid 

T is for Turbo (below) was an entry in the ABCs of Death 26th director competition. Although it narrowly lost the contest, it is being turned into a feature film produced by Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun). As a fan of Francois Simard and the RKSS crew since I first saw Le Bagman, I could not be more excited about this one.

T is for TURBO from on Vimeo.

Paris I'll Kill You 

A horror riff on the Paris, I Love You anthology, this one will have segments from legend Joe Dante, Christopher Smith (Severence), Xavier Gens (Frontieres), David R. Ellis (Snakes on a Plane), Christian Alvart (Antibodies) and Timo Vuorensola (Iron Sky). What can I say, I'm addicted to horror anthologies. 

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