2008 Horror Movies

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was originally a list of horror movies that would be released in 2008. We have updated it to include some information about how well those films did at the box office, extracted from this article about the success of science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles during 2008. For a list of reviews and interviews about horror movies released in 2008, click here.]

2008 HORROR MOVIE ROUND-UP is another article (like “Holiday Films for 2008“) looking forward to next year’s releases. Slightly mistitled (it should of course be called “Horror Movie Preview”), the article gives a good glimpse of potential horror hits for 2008:

I have seen SHROOMS, DIARY OF THE DEAD, and THE SIGNAL, all of which are worth seeing. I have no hope for remakes THE EYE and ONE MISSED CALL, but CLOVERFIELD looks interesting. Hopefully, 2008 will turn out to be a strong one for the horror genre.

UPDATE 12/4/08: Links have been added to the films that have been reviewed at CFQ.com. We should note that THE CHANGELING turned out not be be a horror film but rather a moody piece of “California Gothic,” according to Lawrence French. Horror titles that did not make it onto the original list include:

  • The Happening
  • Mirrors
  • Mother of Tears
  • Prom Night
  • Quarantine
  • Saw V
  • The Strangers
  • Twilight

UPDATE 1/2/09: In “2008 Box Office for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films,” we take a look at the ticket sales for last year’s genre films. Here is the excerpt pertaining to the horror genre: 

The one bloody wound on this otherwise smiling face is the poor performance by horror films. The closest thing to a horror blockbuster was eighth-placed TWILIGHT, which is actually more of a teen romance with little actual terror on screen. Otherwise, during 2008 success was reckoned less by how many tickets its sold than by how cheaply the film was made – hopefully, cheap enough to turn a profit on rather meagre sales. So-called horror hits like SAW V and THE STRANGERSended up in the low-to-midd $50-million range, but they managed to turn a bigger profit than some higher-grossing films. Nevertheless, the genre’s box office fortunes seem in decline: SAW V slashed its way through another $56-million – continuing the steady decline from the $87-million height point of SAW II.

No doubt part of the problem is that the genre offered mostly a series of recycled sequels and remakes: PROM NIGHT, QUARANTINE, THE EYE, ONE MISSED CALL, SHUTTER, and MIRRORS – all failed to ignite interest among either the horror crowd or general audiences, and the few attempts to craft mainstream thrillers with wide appeal also fell short. Although CLOVERFIELD started off strong, it faded quickly, barely passing $80-million in North American theatres. HELLBOY II – a superhero film with horror movie undertones – also faded fast. THE HAPPENING, M. Night Shyamalan’s attempt to regain the box office lustre of SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS, was less a comeback than a comedown, stalling out at $64-million – and proving that an R-rating (Shyamalan’s first) is no guarantee of an improved scare quotient, despite the continuing chorus singing this tune at such blood-drenched websites as Bloody-Disgusting.com.

Meanwhile, good horror films – from both newcomers and old pros – barely registered. The well received THE RUINS could not reach $20-million, and interesting films like THE SIGNAL, DIARY OF THE DEAD, and MOTHER OF TEARS receiving platform release designed not to sell tickets but to boost DVD sales. 

Read rest of this article here.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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