8 films we're looking forward to in 2016
From Puritan horror stories to a film dubbed 'Clueless meets Gremlins', here's what we'll be watching this year.
The Green Room
Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier had audiences recoiling in horror at Cannes with this, his second feature film in which a venue's artist lounge area -- usually the scene of in-fighting over the last bottle of Becks -- gets a little bit more heated. A Portland area punk band witnesses a murder in the green room when the neo Nazis hosting their gig turn nasty. Anton Yelchin, Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat and Imogen Poots star as the gang desperately staving off the slaughter. Out May 13.
First timer Stephen Fingleton won the debut director award at the British Independent Film Awards and it's not a surprise. The Survivalist is an assuredly stripped down tale of post apocalyptic survival. Martin McCann plays a lone survivor living by his wits (and stripping down) in the Northern Irish woodland after the apparent end of civilization. But his tiny patch of land is precious and soon, a mother and daughter team (Mia Goth and Olwen Fouéré) knock on his door offering sex in exchange for shelter. The three form an uneasy pact to outwit shadowy militia while plotting ways to do over each other in this singular vision of the near future. Out February 12.
Eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) gets the blame from her Puritan farm family when their youngest child goes missing in 1630s New England and religious hysteria takes root. Robert Eggers took the director prize at Sundance 2015 for this genuinely scary horror, with dialogue direct from 17th century scripts in a folklore tale with real contemporary resonance. Prepare to be spooked in style. Out March 11.
Tale of Tales
Matteo Garrone, known for his gritty dramas like Gomorrah, goes medieval with this bold historical fantasy based on origin stories for the the likes of Rapunzel and Cinderella. But don't expect glass slippers and Prince Charming here: Tale of Tales is also inspired by Game of Thrones and includes scenes like a Queen, played by Salma Hayek, so desperate for an heir that she eats a dragon's heart. Cersei Lannister's got nothing on this one. Out July 1.
The Neon Demon
Elle Fanning stars as a would be model in L.A. who finds herself in the company of thirsty women eager to devour her youth and beauty. It's not a true life story, but Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn says his new horror is about 'vicious beauty'. Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks, Bella Heathcote and Keanu Reeves co star. Expect a high beautiful body count. Out summer 2016.
Clerks writer/director Kevin Smith returns behind the counter with Yoga Hosers, a tale of two Canadian teenage shop girls and downward dog enthusiasts who team up with a legendary man hunter to battle an ancient evil threatening to pour cold water on their party plans. Lily-Rose Depp stars, Smith's called it 'Clueless meets Gremlins'. The film premieres at Sundance in January. We're in.
The summer blockbuster promises to be one hell of a dust up as DC Comics band of antiheroes -- bad, bad folk instructed to do good -- take to the big screen in a wicked imagining of the comic strip. Watch out for a star turn for Jared Leto as the Joker, Margot Robbie as fan favorite Harley Quinn and Cara Delevingne as a powerful sorceress, in a role that may prove powerful enough to catapult her into 'former model' status permanently. Out August 5.
The Coen Brothers open the Berlin Film Festival in February with this starry, gloriously Techicolor hoot. It's 1920s Hollywood and the lead actor of a flick about ancient Rome goes missing, having been captured by a shady group called The Future. George Clooney is the actor gone AWOL, Scarlett Johansson a street smart studio actress and Tilda Swinton plays a terribly English gossip columnist who goes by the name of Hedda Hopper. The film also features Channing Tatum as a dancer in a sailor suit. Take that, Magic Mike. Out February 26.
Text Colin Crummy