How does one follow up a year that kicked everything off with the astounding Deadpool, freaked us all out with the masterful The Witch and then made us laugh to tears in a Sausage Party? You make a list and exclude the annual Star Wars flick – that’s how. I did it in 2015 and I’ll do it again dammit.
I will always exclude the latest Star Wars film from these lists (read 2015 HERE) because it isn’t fair to the rest of the year’s movies. Star Wars will always be my most anticipated movie no matter what, so let’s analyse the rest shall we?
#5. GOAT (September 23rd)
From Paramount Pictures and director Andrew Neel comes the shocking fraternity hazing drama based on the memoirs by Brad Land – Goat. Starring Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, James Franco, Gus Halper, Danny Flaherty, Virginia Gardner and Jake Picking the film opens in select cinemas and on VOD September 23, 2016.
Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19 year-old boy enrolls into college with his brother and pledges the same fraternity. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood” tests the boy and his loyalty to his brother in brutal ways.
“I got a healthy vibe of another true story college flick – The Stanford Prison Experiment – while watching the below unnerving trailer for GOAT. Hazing is supremely messed up shit – I remember when I was in highschool, we were forced to wear dresses and put on makeup as part of our initiation from Junior to Senior high. They auctioned us off like cattle too. That was the last year they did that bullshit and man oh man – it is NOTHING compared to the insane stuff we will see in GOAT, which is based on the memoirs of a student who was right in the thick of it…
James Franco probably has a minor role, but I always love seeing the dude fly off the handle Springbreakers style and he looks bonkers here once again. Teenage girls – I hope get traumatized when they hit theaters strictly to see Nick Jonas. This one looks like a tough watch, but it’s one I desperately want to witness.”
#4. 31 (September 1st)
31 is an upcoming horror film from director Rob Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects). It stars Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Sheri Moon Zombie, Lew Temple, Richard Brake, Ginger Lynn, Judy Geeson and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs . It made it’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah on January 23rd and will make a limited theatrical run September 16th.
The story of five random people kidnapped on the five days leading up to Halloween and held hostage in a place called Murder World. While trapped inside this man-made hell, they must fight to survive playing the most violent game known to man… a game called 31. 31 has no rules. 31 has no boundaries. It is ever so simple. Do whatever you can do to killer your opponent before they kill you. Keep this up for 12 hours and freedom is yours.
“The Devil’s Rejects is not only my favourite Rob Zombie film, it’s one of my favourite movies period. It’s a modern horror western crime drama masterpiece with one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. Now, 31, looks like it’s going to be a mishmash of Zombie’s first two movies – House of 1000 Corpses with the grit and dirty ass beard feel of Devil’s Rejects, so this is why I have it high on my radar in 2016. The cast look great and I love seeing Richard Brake play a psycho with a decent chunk of screentime (The Night’s King baby!).
Zombie’s past few efforts have let me down. I wasn’t a fan of The Lords of Salem – not in the least.. His two Halloween flicks were alright, more-so the first one for me personally, but I’ve always been waiting to see that next spiritual successor to Devil’s Rejects and I’m praying that this one is it. Zombie really found a style all his own with that movie and it’s one I wish he had stuck with. Bring on the killer clowns next month please and let’s give it another go with 31!”
#3. Blair Witch (September 16th)
From Lionsgate and director Adam Wingard (The Guest), comes the surprise sequel to The Blair Witch Project – titled ‘Blair Witch’. The film was made in secret under it’s previous title ‘The Woods’ and stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid and Wes Robinson. It hits theaters September 16, 2016.
College students enter the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to see if the disappearance of James’ sister is connected to the Blair Witch. As night falls, the students realize the legend is all too real after they are visited by a menacing presence.
“I remember watching the first Blair Witch Project film in theaters with my dad when it first came out. Before the hype of the internet consumed us, before we were even sure that the shit wasn’t real even… Parts of it fascinated me, but ultimately I was left unsatisfied and I just wasn’t used to seeing indie horror – let alone found footage horror. It was ahead of it’s time and even though I didn’t dig it, I grew to appreciate it’s impact on the genre. That’s why I’m excited for a true and direct sequel to that movie all these years later.
Director Adam Wingard is the reason why I’m this pumped to watch Blair Witch. He’s one of the best up and coming filmmakers today and if you haven’t watched The Guest yet – I urge you to do so because it’s one of the craziest and most impressive movies of the past five years. I loved how this movie was initially being advertised as The Woods, until they finally pulled the curtain back at SDCC to let everybody know it was a Blair Witch sequel the whole time. Now that’s badass secret movie-making at it’s finest.”
#2. Bad Santa 2 (November 23rd)
From Miramax, Broad Green Pictures and director Mark Waters (Mean Girls), comes the sequel to cult classic from 2003 – Bad Santa 2. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly and Kathy Bates. It hits theaters November 23, 2016.
A criminal (Billy Bob Thornton) conspires with his mother (Kathy Bates) to bilk a charity.
“I watch Bad Santa every year around the holidays. It still holds up and it’s one of the best vulgar comedies ever made. Billy Bob Thornton shines as a disgusting con who dresses up like the most unconvincing Santa Claus of all time and proceeds to say the most inappropriate things one could imagine. Usually in the same vicinity as several children mind you.
Seeing nearly the whole original cast back for the sequel, warms my heart. Thurman Merman is even back guys! THURMAN MERMAN is all grown up and it’s incredibly disturbing seeing him dressed nearly the same way and asking Thornton if he’s going to “pop his cherry”. I laughed like an idiot during the Red Band trailer below so I can only imagine that in the spirit of the first, that they re-captured the glory of that twisted holiday classic and re-invigorated it with even more vulgar and crude deliciousness.”
#1. The Birth of a Nation (October 7th)
From Fox Searchlight Pictures and director/star Nate Parker comes the highly anticipated Birth of a Nation which chronicles a slave uprising in the South. Starring Parker himself, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Jr., Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith and Gabrielle Union, the film hits theaters October 7th, 2016.
Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.
“I was unfamiliar with Nat Turner and the vital history that this man made when he led an uprising of slaves in 1831 which resulted in the murders of several white plantation owners. Filmmaker Nate Parker, who wrote, directs and STARS in this movie is delivering to us one of the most important films of not only 2016, but maybe ever. I love that he took the name “The Birth of a Nation”, which used to belong to one of history’s first ever silent films. Also – here’s the kicker: The original Birth of a Nation is probably the most blatantly racist movie in the history of cinema. Scratch that — it IS the most racist movie ever made. They made the KKK out to be heroes in that 1915 film that D. W. Griffith directed. He’s one of modern cinema’s founding fathers too. It’s all just such a horrible mess…
After Parker’s 2016 The Birth of a Nation comes out this Fall, I’m hoping we can begin to erase that original and horrific piece of shit from the annals of history. Parker’s upcoming movie looks glorious, it’s loaded with an amazing cast and it’s a piece of history that I feel is more important than ever to have a light shone upon it considering the amount of blatant and violent racism towards the black community that continues to happen over a hundred years since that original Birth of a Nation came out. Everyone should go see this movie if they get the chance.”