Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013- An alternative guide

2012, a year dominated by superheros, hard hitting blockbusters and breakthrough indie hits has finally come to a close; forcing audiences to look ahead to the seemingly dull year to come. In comparison to 2012 this year has a lack of assured blockbuster successes with only films such as Man of Steel and Star Trek: Into Darkness really standing out from the crowd. Yes there are further 'blockbuster epics' being released like sequels to both The Hunger Games and The Hobbit however neither seemed to create substantial buzz on release or in the hunger games 2's case it's miniature teaser. If 2013's a year for anything it looks as though it'll be a year for Horrors and big budget sci-fi's with over 20 horror films being released this year and widely discussed sci-fi's such as Pacific Rim and Elysium.

But what about those breakout films that aren't your typical blockbuster, whats going on behind the facade of  superheros and sci-fi? Well that's exactly what this article is intended to inform with 10 (mildly) alternative films to look forward to in 2013.


David Cronenberg, most famous in the 1980's for his wacky horror classics has given his son (Brandon) a chance in the limelight with his directorial debut surrounding the virus/medicine of the future. This dark thriller  has an extremely interesting and original premise that concerns a futuristic injection that allows average civilians to have a taste of celebrity stardom no matter how grim the consequences. With no trailer available, only an image of a psychotic man (seen on the left), it's utter intrigue and originality that makes this film so exciting. We saw it with Looper last year, a sci-fi that seemed to come out of nowhere and steal the show being gritty and knowingly intelligent it proved to deliver on many different levels. Similar hype for Antiviral will hopefully be supplied as it sounds a perhaps even better premise than it's 2012 counterpart.

 Insidious: Chapter 2

Excluding it's vague release date of 2013 near to nothing is known about the sequel to arguably one of the best Horror films of the last decade. It had bulging miss-steps and idiotic sequences appearing mostly in the concluding half hour however for the most part this film proved to be not only oddly stimulating but also refreshingly terrifying. Using jump scares sparingly with most coming from it's simplistically uncomfortable atmosphere and eerie concept. Fan excitement is perhaps the only thing keeping the sequel anticipated with a lot of things that can go wrong but a lot of things that could go magnificently right. Totally clueless of what the narrative could follow this could go either way.

The Place Beyond The Pines

Debuting at Toronto international film festival last year, The Place Beyond The Pines has already seen momentous praise from audiences and that's no surprise coming from fan favourite Ryan Gosling and the director of the acclaimed Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance. Although this looks almost identical to the universally loved Drive with the inclusion of a motorbike instead of a car, it remains to look boastfully stylistic and appealing to the gritty thrill seeker. With an almost jaw-dropping cast including Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes this film should surely deliver to a impressive extent, well given the undoubtedly awesome title how could it not.


Only God Forgives

Ryan Gosling seems to have the knack of choosing films with the most stylish titles, with his second most notable film of the year Only God Forgives concreting him yet again to the role of 'the king of cool'. Perhaps even more anticipated than the previous film mentioned this sees the return of Nicholas Winding Refn, director of the critically acclaimed Drive in which Ryan Gosling also starred. Containing maybe the most simple yet oh so appealing premise of any film to be released this year Only God Forgives follows the story of a police lieutenant and a gangster settling their differences in a Thai boxing match. With this film already winning the award for the coolest poster of 2013 expect a considerable amount of buzz to come it's way when it's released later this year.

This Is The End

With nearly every 21st century comedy icon included and the writers of the hilarious 'Superbad' at the helm, This Is The End has the perfect formula for success  With a story which is to be recycled this year in another comedy, This Is The End follows the story of various celebrities as there faced with the apocalypse whilst attending a party at James Franco's house. Following a dire year for comedy a much needed 'raunchy-romp' is required for this year, with this release looking to most likely to fill those shoes. As comedies go this one looks to go further than most with a seemingly hefty budget and A-list cast, this film can't afford to flop which is why it should almost definitely be a comedy success on unprecedented levels.


Alan Partridge: The Movie

To all the state-side readers this man will be perhaps unheard of however the fairly old yet undoubtedly gleaming comedy Icon played by Steve Coogan is widely recognisable in the UK. As previously mentioned 2013 follows a year awful for comedy releases and tragic for one in particular that involved  the use of televisions most disliked star, Keith Lemon. With such an embarrassing attempt being made last year it seems all too fitting to have another more sophisticated attempt with the much more accomplished Alan Partridge. With writers of the nationally successful series returning this TV adaptation is sure to be a hit especially when considering the last TV adaptation of this kind was the beloved Inbetweeners movie.

The World's End

There are few directors with a winning streak similar to Edgar Wright creator of Shaun of the dead, Hot fuzz and comic adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. With this being his 5th directorial picture and his final film in the 'cornetto trilogy' it's justified to say that there is significant hype surrounding this release. The Worlds End sees of course the return of two of Hollywood's most accomplished comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as well as a small collection of British acting talent including Martin Freeman and Paddy Considine and follows the story of five friends who reunite to improve upon their 'epic' pub crawl of 20 years earlier only to discover they'll soon become mankind's last hope of survival. Evidently the narrative isn't structurally clear however that's the magic of Mr Wright he seems to create masterpieces out of the most simple of ideas.


In a remake of the highly acclaimed South Korean Drama, Oldboy, a man finds himself unwittingly imprisoned for 15 years until he's released and given 5 days to discover why. Although not perfect the original film was fantastic and totally undeserved of a remake with worldwide fans worried the remake will curse the original. However with previous foreign remakes they've usually been of films with a fairly simple narrative, Oldboy is quite the contrary proving to not only be significantly more convoluted then remakes of a similar nature but also significantly darker. Directed by the respectable but by no means perfect director Spike Lee and with an impressive cast including Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L Jackson, Oldboy is above all intriguing.

A Field In England 

Much like Edgar Wright, a relatively upcoming director Ben Wheatley has got an impressive run of three brilliant films including one of 2012's only comedy hits, Sightseers. This horror release follows the events of an aftermath of a civil war battle whereby soldiers are captured by treasure hunting alchemists and psychedelic happenings follow. Perhaps one of the only reasons this film looks considerably better than surrounding releases is the fact that Ben Wheatley is at the helm who already has shown that he can perfectly combine gritty violence with blood curdling fear. This coinciding with a brilliant cast of Michael Smiley, Julian Barret and Reece Shearsmith mean A Field In England could prove to be the surprise Horror hit of the year.


Any film that's even associated with a relatively successful director seems to pick up momentum these days with Mama boasting the executive producing skills of Guillermo del Toro. Aside from this fact however this Horror film based on a intensely unsettling short film by the same director looks to hopefully get the Horror proceedings off to a bang. When two nieces are taken in to a relatives home after living on their own in the forest for five years ghostly occurrences begin to in sue. Starring the increasingly impressive Jessica Chastain and  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Mama looks as though it could be a groundbreaking Horror for the first time director.

Short film-

Calum Russell

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