It’s a new year, monster fans, but don’t get too excited about what you’ll find in theaters. Major studios are busy cranking out a slew of remakes and sequels to films that never really needed them, while milking the prostate of aging franchises to get a few more drops before fans lose all interest whatsoever in the overused properties. Still, there will be some entertaining stories or, at the very least, some entertaining moments on screen for a few creatures we’ve come to know and love so we’ll have to take the bitter with the sweet, I guess. Here’s a look at what you can expect as 2018 ramps up its monster madness. Slender Man We’re opening up the season with another Millennial cash grab using the internet celebrity of the Slender Man. The film looks to be beautifully shot with excellent lighting and cinematography but that is about as kind as I can be here. Every year we see more of these features pop up. They all use a very simple, very common plot where they can drop in the sort of socially maladjusted teen icons that every 8th grader idolizes for six months then discards completely without another thought. Let’s examine just this excerpt of the synopsis from IMDB. “In a small town in Massachusetts, four high school girls perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the lore of Slender Man.” My 12-year-old son knows that Slender Man was created on a Creepypasta style web forum ten years ago and he seriously does the bare minimum of research. You’re not going to sell me on the notion that high school age teens aren’t going to come across this shit on Wikipedia first before they laugh it off and do something else. I mean, just coming from my own experiences as the sort of dumb teen who would play with a Ouija board in the middle of an abandoned house in the woods at night, I’m not able to believe that I (or anyone else) is still going to perform a ritual after seeing that the creature I’m summoning is 100% fictional. You can’t debunk what’s already proven fake. A slew of films like this come out every year with forgettable titles and less than memorable casts and they all fade into the same obscurity from whence they came. If you want to see some cool Slender Man content just search Youtube for Marble Hornets or for Slender Man short films and you’ll get plenty of genuine creeps. Patient Zero A better, alternate title might be The Zombie Whisperer. Matt Smith can talk to zombies and, using this rapport is going to track down “patient zero” and discover a cure for the apocalyptic virus. I’m a huge fan of zombie movies but Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ am I tired of all this melodramatic humanization. “Humans are the real enemy.” “Stop the killing or lose the war.” “Zombies are people too.” Blah blah blah blah blah. Look, everything dies. Even the undead and the freshness date on the zombie apocalypse passed with Warm Bodies and their cadaverous, watered down retelling of Romeo and Juliet. There’s plenty of cool things left in the zombie sub-genre but in order to find them you’ve got to turn to comic books and graphic novels and, since all the comic adaptations are going to be superheroes, I wouldn’t expect to find Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse or Z for Zombie on screen anytime soon. Pacific Rim Uprising Okay, Rimmers -that’s the preferred term for fans of the Guillermo Del Toro robot/monster smackdown Pacific Rim. Right? Previews have already dropped on the upcoming sequel to the 2013 mixed blessing of a film. If you’ve watched it, you either loved it or hated it. There’s really no in-between. It was very much what fans of the giant monster and giant robot schools of science fiction and anime have wanted to see in the form of live action combat between the two categories. Coupled with a script about a man seeking redemption and closure as he saves the world, with some comic relief provided by Ron Perlman and Charlie Day, and it was enjoyable. Pacific Rim Uprising looks anything but. A generic action sequel with the estranged son of a dead character from the original film taking over as the male lead to bring a ragtag group of egotistical misfits together to save the world. That pretty well sums it up. Aside from stock characters and a beyond formulaic plot, the movie does promise some awesome robot on robot and robot on monster battles. If you’re in the mood for another cringe inducing, John Boyega performance, it’ll be great. If you’re in the mood for machines kicking the shit out of aliens, also great. If you’re looking for an entertaining and well-written story, then you’ve clearly not understood what I’m saying. And, just in case you thought Pacific Rim 2 was the only hopeless sequel lined up for this year, take a look at this list: Predator Deep Blue Sea 2 Trick ‘r Treat 2 Lights Out 2 Mama 2 God Particle (aka Cloverfield 3) World War Z 2 Insidious 4 The Nun (aka Annabelle 3 or The Conjuring 6, depending on how you track it) Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space The Grudge I’d love to love all of these movies. Really. I want to see truly updated retellings of some of my favorites or, at the very least, coherent continuations with familiar characters and settings. I’m holding on to a lot of hope for Trick ‘r Treat 2 and Killer Klowns. Time will tell. As for the rest, I’d say go ahead and brace yourself for a series of uninspired regurgitations with no purpose other than to separate fans from their money. As for me, I’ll no doubt give in to the urge to watch at least a quarter of these and be thoroughly underwhelmed. But, there’s always hope. Streaming services (especially Netflix, Amazon, and Shudder) have been cranking out some truly phenomenal original content while small studios and independent filmmakers are doing their best to keep monsters as scary and fresh as possible. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.