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[Sundance ’14] Hot Horror Titles: ‘The Guest,’ ‘Cooties,’ ‘The Voices,’ and ‘Life After Beth’

While Bloody Disgusting’s Ryan Daley prepares to unleash his onslaught of reviews, I thought it would be a good idea to get you guys excited about the hot horror titles out of the first few days of the ongoing Sundance Film Festival.

We were told leading up to the fest that 2014 was one of the best genre years ever, and early reviews indicate that this is quite true.

Pimping out our V/H/S boys Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, also known for You’re Next and A Horrible Way To Die, the duo is receiving rave reviews for their Snoot-produced thriller The Guest, pictured. “If John Carpenter made The Terminator for Cannon Films in 1987, it would be The Guest,” says Hitfix. “And it would rule.” Quint over at AICN says that”it hit some crazy euphoric movie nerd buttons,” while Variety calls it “A willfully over-the-top, giddily violent exercise landing between slasher horror and ’70s crazy-Vietnam-vet-returns action-thrillers.” You can also read reviews over at THR and Twitch.

Another film receiving high praise is Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott’s zombie film Cooties, starring Elijah Wood and Leigh Whannell. “Gore can only go so far in the service of humor. Fortunately, the team behind Cooties…manage to pit comedy and horror together in a satisfying package,” explains Indiewire, who give the film a B+ rating. Film School Rejects adds that “Cooties is horror comedy done right. It’s laugh out loud funny but never shies away from the gory, violent bits involving adults and children,” while THR adds that the film is “star-stuffed, well paced and very funny, ” and that “Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s debut is closest in commercial terms to 2009’s Zombieland, and should easily connect with auds beyond the genre-buff faithful.

Then there’s the Ryan Reynolds starrer The Voices, about a schizophrenic worker at a bathtub factory who accidentally kills an attractive woman from accounting. While trying to cover his bloody tracks, Jerry starts taking advice from his talking (and foul-mouthed) cat and dog. raves that the film “navigates the line between the gruesome and the goofy with a step as nimble as a tight-rope walker going over a sea of broken glass. It’s an extraordinarily warm and funny movie about a likable schizophrenic murderer; it’s candy-colored and meticulously composed and yet also shiny with fresh wet blood. It’s weird and funny and perfectly-pitched, and to cap off its catalog of rare feats, it also features an immensely likable performance from Ryan Reynolds.THR writes that “this thriller-horror-comedy hybrid is among the more eccentric films screening at Sundance,” while adding that, “Reynolds here continues his rather satisfying run of more complex roles in indie films…and impresses with a go-for-broke performance that’s intentionally mannered yet entirely in synch with the film’s shifting tones.

Lastly, people seem to really enjoy the other zombie film, Life After Beth, starring Aubrey Plaza. THR says the film is the zombie pic “that finds a new metaphoric meaning for zombie tropes, making them about the devastation of grief, and manages to keep us laughing while making that metaphor stick,” while Variety adds: “For those wondering if there’s any fresh meat left to chew on in zombie cinema, relationship comedy Life After Beth answers a resounding yes.” They add, “Lending smart fantasy elements, broad comedy, tender romance and an atypically slow-burning apocalypse, the [film] is charming, thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny.

Watch Bloody Disgusting for our own coverage in the coming days.



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