Now that we're past the major comic book adaptations, and explosive, expensive blockbusters of the summer, we can see what kind of strange, challenging, and occasionally dangerous films have been brewing in Hollywood (and beyond). Here are ten films that MTV Geek is... well, geeked about heading into the fall:
Release Date: TBD
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho, Ed Harris, Alison Pill
Why we're geeked about it: It's complicated being geeked about this one: on the one hand, it's the English-language debut of acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who gave the giant monster feature a jolt of life with "The Host" along with star Song Kang-ho. On the other hand, this sci-fi film set on a perpetually moving train in the snowy ruins of the Earth is set to receive some unwelcome edits from the Weinstein Company which will be handling the film's release in English territories--possibly trimming 20 minutes of its 126-minute running time to play to some hypothetical cheap seats in middle America. Bong is a talented director and "Snowpiercer" has an incredible cast, but will the version of the movie we receive in the U.S. be the best version possible? We'll have to wait and see.
Release Date: September 13
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye
Why we're geeked about it: While "The Conjuring" showed director James Wan using subtle, smaller elements to tell an effectively frightening tale of the supernatural, "Insidious: Chapter 2" is the director at his kitchen sink craziest. Continuing just minutes after 2010's "Insidious," "Chapter 2" sees the Lambert family once again stalked by a malevolent presences which shares a mysterious tie to the past of troubled father Josh (Patrick Wilson). If you liked the way Wan and frequent collaborator Leigh Whannell wove a heaping helping of mystery and mythology through their "Saw" films, and you enjoy a healthy dose of lunatic ghostly manifestations, then "Insidious: Chapter 2" is one you don't want to miss.
"We Are What We Are"
Release Date: TBD
Director: Jim Mickle
Starring: Ambyr Childers, Kelly McGillis, Odeya Rush, Julia Garner
Why we're geeked about it: The latest from "Stakeland" director Jim Mickle is an adaptation of 2010's "Somos lo que hay" from Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau. That film, if you haven't seen it, involved a family attempting to keep a gruesome tradition alive, even as life in the big city threatened to tear about their way of life. Mickle's remake holds on to the central premise, but shifts the family dynamics somewhat, with patriarch Frank (Bill Sage) attempting to ensure that his brood sees their next meal.
"All the Boys Love Mandy Lane"
Release Date: September 6
Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Amber Heard, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes
Why we're geeked about it: In the seven years since "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" first wrapped production, we've wondered when this slasher would make its way to the U.S. Shot on a shoestring budget and featuring a weekend of sex and drugs interrupted by a killer with a crush on Amber Heard's title character, "Lane" was caught up in a tangle of rights issues before finally--finally--Occupant Films was able to work out a domestic release from The Weinstein Company. With "Warm Bodies" and "50/50," Levine has shown he's a pro at focusing in on characters and creating interesting genre and non-genre plots, and this, his first feature, sees the filmmaker honing his craft with a little bit of Texas-set horror.
"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"
Release Date: October 25
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll
Why we're geeked about it: First off, this isn't us shilling for the MTV mothership: even without the "Jackass" branding, this narrative/hidden camera feature from Jeff Tremaine would be worth checking out for its crude (and what looks to be very funny) assault on the American public. Starring Johnny Knoxville in old age makeup as as grandfather taking his grandson (Jackson Nicoll) to live with the boy's father, it's an excuse to create more squirm-inducing comedy involving plenty of pratfalls, smashed property, and crotch damage from the "Jackass" crew.
Release Date: TBD
Director: Keanu Reeves
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Tiger Hu Chen, Simon Yam, Iko Uwais
Why we're geeked about it: Keanu Reeves has his big, special effects-driven "47 Ronin" out this winter, but the movie we're most geeked about from "The Matrix" actor is "Man of Tai Chi," his directorial debut and descent into the bloody world of underground martial arts fights. Not only is Reeves behind the camera on this one, but he's taking on a rare villainous role as the man behind the fights who drafts Tiger Hu Chen's Chen Lin-hu into the ring to test his Tai Chi against some of the world's deadliest combatants. We're not just optimistic because the fights in the trailer look convincingly staged, but because Reeves had the good sense to bring along Chen as well as Hong Kong stalwart Simon Yam and "The Raid" star Iko Uwais for the mayhem.
Release Date: November 27
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olson, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson
Why we're geeked about it: In the ten years since the release of Park Chan Wook's adaptation of the revenge manga "OldBoy," Hollywood's been trying to figure out how to bring this twisted tale to the West (for years, "Better Luck Tomorrow" and "Fast and Furious" director Justin Lin held on to the rights). Repeatedly, we heard that a remake would give some filmmaker in the West the chance to hew closer to the source material, which sees a man imprisoned for 20 years and framed for the murder of his wife, only to be released by his mysterious captor. However, even if some of the stills from the film have so far given the indication that "OldBoy" 2013 will have some of the same visual elements of its predecessor, we have to trust director Spike Lee and star Josh Brolin to bring something new, dangerous, and strange to the mix. Lee, in particular, is the one to watch out for, with this new blockbuster phase of his career in effect (who knew people would flock to see "The Inside Man"), the sometimes uneven Lee has figured out how to make big budget crowd pleasers in between his intensely personal, smaller works.
Release Date: TBD
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Sarah Manninen, David Hewlett
Why we're geeked about it: The latest from "Splice" and "Cube" director Vincenzo Natali on discovering that she's in fact, dead, teen Lisa (Abigail Breslin) attempts to reach out from beyond the grave to prevent another young girl from sharing her fate. Natali has been at work on some tightly-crafted independent thrillers for years which usually relied on a healthy dose of violence to get things moving, but here, the director is dealing with teen-centric horror, and the constraints of the genre might just give him some interesting tools to work with. And with stars Abigail Breslin ("Zombieland") and Stephen McHattie ("Pontypool," "Death Valley") along for the ride, we want to know how this spectral mystery turns out.
Release Date: October 4
Director: Jacob Vaughan
Starring: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton
Why we're geeked about it: "In Search of a Midnight Kiss" director Jacob Vaughan trades indie drama for horror comedy with "Bad Milo!" which features a pretty terrific cast, topped by "The State" alumnus Ken Marino. Marino plays mild-mannered Ken, who discovers that the problems in his life are only going to get worse once he finds out that the chronic stomach pain he's been feeling is actually a malevolent demon. "Community" star Gillian Jacobs is along as Ken's love interest, but the real star is Milo, this pint-sized, saw-toothed, animatronic horror.
Release Date: August 23
Director: Adam Wingard
Starring: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Ti West, Joe Swanberg
Why we're geeked about it: This home invasion thriller is another film whose release date has been up in the air since it made the rounds at the film festival circuit back in 2011 and 2012. Featuring a family gathering brutally interrupted by animal mask-wearing killers, this indie effort cast with mumblecore crown filmmakers from director Adam Wingard ("V/H/S," "A Horrible Way to Die") received a lot of love from fans and critics alike for its relentless viciousness. But nearly as much attention was paid to the way in which it upends conventions with a heroine (Sharnie Vinson) who becomes an unexpected (and dangerous) complication in the killers' plans.