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    Packed with demons, cannibals, ghosts, zombies and evil forces, Hollywood crosses over to the dark side this season

    We’ve had a dull phase since the release of Conjuring last July. But now nine horror films are lining up to make you scream. From mirrors and haunted houses to Satan and science experiments, the elements employed to give you your dose of the chills are varied. What’s common, however, is the intention to make you lose your sleep. Read on:

    devil's-due-stillThe Den
    Director:  Zachary Donohue
    Cast: Melanie Papalia, David Schlachtenhaufen, Matt Riedy
    A social media student witnesses a murder as she tracks the online activities of random people for her thesis, through a webcam called The Den. Much of the action— from webcams and smartphone cams— happens on her computer screen.
    Scare factor: Certain scenes show  just a blank screen, making one want to scream, “Zoom out.”
    Scheduled to release in the latter half of 2014
    .
    The Quiet Ones
    Director: John Pogue
    Cast: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin
    Based on true incidents, it follows an unorthodox professor who uses his students in dangerous experiments to create a poltergeist. “What intrigued me is the idea of approaching the supernatural in a scientific way,’’ says Harris.
    Scare factor:  The ‘blood imprint’ on the professor’s neck and the way the walls change colour are creepy. Scheduled to release on April 25

    Stage Fright
    Director: Jerome Sable
    Cast: Minnie Driver, Douglas Smith
    An indie flick, Sable’s debut is about a theater camp that is suddenly plagued by a masked murderer. “It’s a real thrill to have Minnie and Meat Loaf join our cast of singers and actors as we bring this horror-musical to life,” says Sable, who also composed the film’s music.
    Scare factor: The killer’s mask and his modus operandi.
    Scheduled to release on April 3

    oculus-stills1Oculus
    Director: Mike Flanagan
    Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Karen Gillan
    Originally shot as a short film in 2005, Flanagan has used the inherent weirdness of mirrors to give the creep-factor.  The film also has a long monologue by Gillan. ‘‘It took me two months to learn the 13-page- long script for a one-take scene. It was more difficult because the scene didn’t require any emotions,’’ said Gillan.
    Scare factor: In a recent interview, Flanagan said, “Mirrors are creepy. For one thing, they’re backwards. And every mirror has its own distortions that we don’t think about.’’
    Scheduled to release on April 11

    Paranormal Activity 5
    Director: Christopher Landon
    Cast: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz
    Taking forward the theme of evil vengeance, the fifth edition has 17-year-old Jesse (Jacobs) investigating terrifying sounds in his neighbour’s apartment.
    Scare factor: The scene where Jesse pulls a thread from his eyes.
    Scheduled to release later in 2014

    Pernicious
    Director: James Cullen Bressack
    Cast: Ciara Hanna, Emily O’Brien
    Three girls visit Thailand to teach English, but accidentaly  unleash the spirit of a murdered girl. Bressack was on holiday when he decided to make his fourth horror film.
    Scare factor:  The scene where a mans pulls out his eyeballs.
    Scheduled to release in the second half of 2014

    Dark TouchParanormal-Activity-The-Mar
    Director: Marina de Van
    Cast: Missy Keating,
    Marcella Plunkett
    In a remote town in Ireland, 11-year-old Niamh (Keating) is the sole survivor of a bloody massacre that kills her parents and brother. The musical score by French composer Christophe Chassol (Asylum, Our Day Will Come), adds greatly to the dark elegance of the movie.
    Scare factor: When Niam h   is shown with a partially severed tongue. Like Van’s previous films, Dark Touch is meant to hit a nerve.
    Scheduled to release in the latter half  of 2014

    Devil’s Due
    Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillet
    Cast: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford
    When a newlywed couple realise a baby is on the way, the husband begins videotaping everything. But he soon notices his wife is acting odd. The directors made sure this film isn’t similar to 1968’s, Rosemary’s Baby.
    Scare factor: Gory scenes of Miller’s character cutting a cow and eating it raw.
    Scheduled to release on March 19

    Tusk
    Director: Kevin Smith
    Cast: Michael Parks, Justin Long
    Podcast host Wallace Bryton (Long) goes missing in the backwoods of Manitoba while interviewing a mysterious seafarer, Howe (Parks).
    Scare factor: The movie is based on a man who was lost at sea with a walrus and is now looking for a roommate, who has to wear a walrus costume for two hours a day. How creepy is that?
    Scheduled to release in the second half of 2014

    — Mrinalini Sundar

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