The moment we saw Annabelle, the decrepit doll kept by the ghostbusters from "The Conjuring," we knew Hollywood would put her to use.
“Annabelle” is just one of several intriguing horror options coming our way this fall. Two prominent features tap the horrors associated with childhood. Not only will we see the aforementioned doll, but “Babadook” examines the chills conjured from one very dark children’s story.
- “Tusk” (Sept. 19): Director Kevin Smith’s 2011 film “Red State” served as a declaration of independence from Silent Bob and outsized geek expectations. Now, the “Clerks” auteur goes even darker, witness this tale of a podcaster (Justin Long) whose capture only hints at the horrors in store for him. Shades of “Ssssss” and “The Human Centipede?” We’re not in Smith’s familiar Jersey haunts anymore. DID YOU KNOW: “Tusk” began as a conversation Smith started on his popular “SModcast.” He riffed on the idea of a man who wanted to turn another person into a walrus-like creature, using the hashtags #WalrusYes and #WalrusNo to let fans vote on whether it was worth turning into a feature film.
- Annabelle” (Oct. 3): Can a movie based on the prop from a horror hit out-scare the source material? Director James Wan isn’t in charge of this prequel, but creepy/possessed dolls have a sturdy track record. Just ask Anthony Hopkins. DID YOU KNOW: The “real” Annabelle, part of the ghostly collection kept by Ed and Lorraine Warren, looked more like a Raggedy Ann doll than the creepy figure we see on the screen.
- Horns” (Oct. 31)” Daniel Radcliffe successfully separated himself from the “Harry Potter” franchise with “The Woman in Black” and “Kill Your Darlings.” Now, he’s taking this literary adaptation about a man accused of killing his girlfriend and, later, growing horns which grant him supernatural powers – wand not included. Director Alexandre Aja (“High Tension,” “Piranha”) brings the genre bona fides. DID YOU KNOW: “Horns” is based on the book of the same name by Joseph King, who writes under the name Joe Hill. He is the son of authors Stephen and Tabitha King.
- “The Babadook” (Nov. 28): What could be scarier than reading “Curious George” to your child for the 87th time? Flipping through the pages of “Mister Babadook,” the children’s story at the heart of this Aussie horror film which arrives with heaping helpings of buzz. Director Jennifer Kent based this shocker on her own 2005 short film. Should it live up to its potential it could mean a new horror auteur has hit the scene. DID YOU KNOW: Kent once worked under Lars von Trier on the Nicole Kidman drama “Dogville.”
- “The Pyramid” (Dec. 5): Had enough of found footage horror? Don’t tell that to Hollywood. The low sticker price and potential profits are too good to resist. So on the heels of “As Above/So Below” we’re treated to another shaky cam feature set below the earth. This time, a group of archaeologists discover a ‘lost’ pyramid only to learn the crypt isn’t vacant. DID YOU KNOW: Much has been written about a so-called “mummy’s curse,” but archaeologists believe the air inside a tomb like a pyramid is likely less dangerous to humans than the air outside.