Must-See Genre Films of 2014

By: Heather Seebach

Each January, I like to list my most anticipated genre films of the new year. One year ago, I picked pretty good choices, I think. I ended up loving most of them! So the following are the films I am most looking forward to in 2014:

20. Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead

The Norwegian Nazi-zombie movie gets a fellow-up, this time with some Americans in the cast (Martin Starr, Derek Mears) as professional zombie killers. Tommy Wirkola is back in the director's seat after making his American debut, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. The film is set to premiere at Sundance this month.

Release Date: TBA

19. Oculus

I don't know a lot about Mike Flanagan's Oculus except that it has Karen Gillen, involves a possessed mirror, and has fantastic reviews. I'm always open to a solid supernatural thriller so I'm so there.

Release Date: April 18

18. Knights of Badassdom

 This Joe Lynch horror-comedy has been in limbo for years and will finally make its debut this year. It's about a group of live-action role players who accidentally summon a demon. The great cast includes Ryan Kwanten, Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Jimmi Simpson, and Summer Glau. Unfortunately, the reason it's so low on this list is because this release is probably not Lynch's cut. You can read more about that mess here. It's still a good cast and a good idea, so hopefully it's fun but it's a shame it got taken away from Lynch.

Release Date: Select Theaters - January 21; On Demand - February 11 

17. Tusk

Director Kevin Smith based this horror flick on a real newspaper ad (which ultimately was a prank) about a man who wanted a roommate willing to dress up like a walrus. Justin Long and the wonderful Michael Parks star in what Smith describes as "a cuddly version of The Human Centipede." 

Release Date: Fall 2014

16. Witching and Bitching

The latest insane-looking movie from cult director Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus; Day of the Beast) wherein a group of thieves are held hostage by coven of cannibalistic witches. The film looks delightfully nuts.

Release Date: TBA

15. Killers

Timo Tjahjanto, who helped create some of the most memorable shorts in The ABCs of Death and V/H/S/2, re-teams with Macabre's Kimo Stamboel for this brutally bloody Indonesian actioner about a serial killer and a vigilante facing off. Killers premieres at Sundance this month.

Release Date: TBA

14. The Rover 

Next-up from David Michôd, the director of Animal Kingdom, is this gritty post-apocalyptic western/thriller set in the Australian Outback. Guy Pearce, Scoot McNairy, and Robert Pattinson star, and Joel Edgerton co-wrote it. This has all the makings of something great.

Release Date:  TBA

13. Snowpiercer

Based on a French graphic novel, the film is set in a future where Earth's only survivors are the inhabitants of a massive train called 'Snowpiercer.' Over time a class system evolves on the train, with the elites inhabiting the 'front' of the train and poor inhabiting the 'back' of the train. Tired of the poor conditions suffered by riders in the 'back', a revolution occurs with the riders attempting to seize control of the engine. The version we get here in the U.S. might not be the original cut (thanks, Weinsteins!) but I'm still very eager to see what's next from director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother).

Release Date: TBA

12. The Raid 2: Berandal

Two years ago, action fans went nuts for Gareth Evans' Indonesia martial arts thriller, The Raid: Redemption. In that film, Rama (Iko Uwais) became trapped in an apartment complex and faced off with a ton of bad guys. The sequel picks up right where Redemption left off as Rama infiltrates the crime syndicate and much ass-kicking ensues.

Release Date: March 28

11. Almost Human

This was one of my most anticipated movies from TIFF based purely on its trailer. It's about a man who disappears (presumably abducted by aliens) and returns a changed man - possibly a serial killer. This film looks like the lovechild of a slasher, The Thing, and Fire in the Sky. I am so there!

Release Date: Spring 2014

10. Cooties

Leigh Whannell co-wrote this horror-comedy about a virus that turns an elementary school of children into bloodthirsty savages. Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, and Rainn Wilson star. Cooties will debut at Sundance this month.

Release Date: October 10

9. Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins

I happily helped fund this one via Kickstarter because it's from the team behind Bellflower (which I loved) and it sounds like a kick-ass tribute to 80s video games with a Mad Max edge. They will be bringing to the screen those larger-than-life bosses, plus high-speed car chases, pyrotechnics, and street brawls. The filmmakers even promise to one-up Oldboy's famous hallway hammer fight with a TEN MINUTE side-scrolling fight scene! You can read more about the film here.

Release Date: TBA

8.  [REC]4: Apocalypse

 I'm a big fan of the first two [REC] films, both of which managed to make the very overexposed zombie and found-footage subgenres fresh and exciting. [REC]3: Genesis was not as great as its predecessors but it was still an entertaining flick. Needless to say, I'm all for another another one. The co-directors of the first two films split up for Genesis and Apocalypse. While Paco Plaza made the former, Jaume Balagueró made the fantastic thriller, Sleep Tight. So I am very excited to see what Jaume does with this fourth installment. In this direct sequel to the second film, the reporter Angela is back and causing terror on an isolated oil rig.

Release Date: October 10th

7. Godzilla 

 If anybody can make this monster movie awesome, it's Gareth Edwards (Monsters). Everyone is a bit skeptical after that last Godzilla abortion by Roland Emmerich, but so far the footage for this one looks amazing. The cast includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston.

Release Date: May 16

6.  The Sacrament

I don't always love Ti West's films but look, I'll watch anything with AJ Bowen in it. This one is based on the Jonestown Massacre and looks to be West's most ambitious film to-date. In addition to Bowen, it also stars Wingard regulars, Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg.

Release Date: VOD - May 5; Theaters - June

5. The Green Inferno

Unlike the case of Ti West, I love every movie Eli Roth has directed. While I'm not a big fan of Italian cannibal movies (mostly for ethical reasons), I am excited to see what Roth does with this subgenre. He definitely has the right sensibilities for such a sick brand of horror.

Release Date: September 5th

4. The Guest

This is the latest from director-writer duo, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (You're Next). Dan Stevens plays a soldier who befriends the family of a fallen comrade but is not who he claims to be. This one also premieres at Sundance this month.

Release Date: TBA

3. Interstellar

Christopher and Jonathan Nolan are making a sci-fi involving time travel and alternate dimensions. There is nothing else that needs to be said here.

Release Date: November 7

2. Blue Ruin

As a huge fan of Murder Party and of gritty revenge movies, I have been dying to see Jeremy Saulnier's sophomore effort and film festival darling, Blue Ruin. Thanks to all my 2013 traveling, the film managed to elude me at every turn. I need to see this freaking movie already!

Release Date: TBA

1. Spring

As most followers of this site know, I am a giant fan of Resolution and the gents who made it, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. I interviewed them about a year ago and they described their upcoming features to me and I instantly wanted to see them ALL. One of them was Spring, which is the first one out of the production gates. It's about a man who flees to Italy and meets a woman with a dark secret. Having seen and loved both the feature work and short films of Moorhead and Benson, I have complete faith that Spring will be something really special.

Release Date: TBA

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