I love peaking into history and seeing what the studios were up to in October all those years ago.
October 16 is a pretty interesting date as it saw the release of a few horror classics, as well as some truly terrible limited releases.
The best release came in 1992 when Clive Barker’s Candyman, directed by Bernard Rose, hit theaters. Candyman is still one of my favorite horror films ever, mostly because of the urban subplot that tales place in Chicago’s now-vanquished Cabrini Green. It’s rare to see urban horror, although it’s always special when films like Candyman, Attack the Block and People Under the Stairs make it into theaters (Halloween: Resurrection was close to urban horror). Making $25M in theaters, I’m not exactly sure if that was a success or not – but it did spawn sequels and toys. Candyman is still scary as fuck.
In 1998 Ronny Yu’s Bride of Chucky, the fourth film in the Child’s Play franchise, hit theaters. Boasting a supreme soundtrack (Rob Zombie, Static-X and more), beautiful cinematography, and astounding effects work, Bride of Chucky remains a classic, even if the original film and its sequel are still the best in the franchise. Bride also took an interesting new approach to Chucky, in bringing him to the forefront and turning the franchise into a comedy. Still, the film ended on a dark note and could have set up a darker relaunch with Seed. The film was successful enough to get Universal behind Seed of Chucky, and eventually Curse of Chucky. I remember Bride being one of the first DVDs I purchased, and it was a big deal not having to wait for Blockbuster to release used on VHS.
In 2007 Echo Bridge released Anthony Del’s The Woods Have Eyes, “Tracked by a hunter and his crazy sons, to survive the children must take revenge into their own hands.” Also in ’07 Lionsgate and After Dark released Tooth & Nail, about a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world take refuge in an empty hospital with plans on rebuilding society. Oh, and the same year saw Return to House On Haunted Hill, Victor Garcia’s House On Haunted Hill sequel hit home video. In that, Ariel Wolfe is the sister of Sara Wolfe, a survivor of a massacre some years ago in the “Hill House” sanatorium.
The year 2009 was no stranger to horror as it saw the release of both Christopher Smith’s bizarre Triangle and Sony Screen Gems’ generic thriller/remake The Stepfather. Triangle was a direct-to-disc release: “When Jess (Melissa George) sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a storm in the Bermuda Triangle and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety.The ship appears deserted, but Jess is convinced she’s been on board before.They soon realize they are not alone… Someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one.”
The remake The Stepfather opened wide making $30M worldwide. Not the best of Screen Gems’ gener-o thrillers.