• Nixon

  • Kathryn Scott / The Denver Post

    Filmmakers have apparently exhausted the zombie and vampire possibilities. Are scary clowns the next big trend for horror movies?



Candy’s in the aisle and the sparkle of early onset diabetes is in the air, so that must mean Halloween is almost upon us and hauling with it another batch of seasonal horror movies.

The wondrous titles gifted to the masses this year include “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” requisite annual horror prequel and follow-up to 2014’s “Ouija,” firmly establishing a film franchise based on the second scariest board game that Hasbro has unleashed on the populace so far (right after Pictionary with inebriated extended family).

Also in the mix is “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” and while I’m quite impressed by Tyler Perry’s continued drive to take his Madea character adventuring through every major American holiday in a way that once Ernest only dared, it most likely won’t fill the seasonal horror void in the hearts of most moviegoers.

So yeah, some slim pickins this year. And I find myself asking, where did all the vampire movies go? It seems like two years prior, you couldn’t get 10 feet into a depressive moontime jaunt through the fog-lit undergrowth without running into a befanged degenerate, and now they’re nowhere to been seen. We had New Zealand vampire mockumentaries, black-and-white Iranian art house vampires, moody and jaded Detroit musician vampires, and now zilch.

Thus is the cyclical and fad-based nature of horror, I guess. Just like the string of zombie flicks that ruled in the years before the vampire flood bubbled up into theaters, these circles have to be broken sometime — usually right after the romantic comedies start kicking in, at which point it’s more or less a mercy kill anyway, so I can’t get too broken up about it.

But it begs the question of what creature will be built up next. There’s already a smattering of sadistic clown movies out and about with the remake of Stephen King’s “It” underway and the recently released Rob Zombie picture “31” and Eli Roth’s aptly named “Clown” floating about in the nether. I’m not quite sure if spooky clowns are the next genre niche poised to be beaten to death like zombies were — bit of a harder sell to shoehorn in an additional narrative surrounding psychos in face paint.

I’d personally cast my vote for a werewolf resurgence. It’s been too long since those furry bastards got a movie of their own and longer still since any hung around in the minds and hearts of the people. There might be hope for lycanthropes yet with currently in production “We’re Wolves,” a spinoff of the Taika Waititi/Jemaine Clement-directed “What We Do in the Shadows” mockumentary, but even that spells a more goofy genre inversion than a straight-up horror show.

Ho-hum. New installments in the “Resident Evil” and “Underworld” series at least promise a dump of cheesetastic action horror in the semi-near future, but nothing in time for the holiday. Seems like the most reliable avenue for sowing widespread fear and revulsion continues to be the 2016 presidential campaign.

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