Given my lofty aspirations when it comes to espousing a healthier lifestyle that benefits both the earth and its animals, you might think my entertainment choices would follow suit.
That, instead of sitting in my sweatpants watching “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for the millionth time, I would instead be bingeing “Blue Planet,” or, maybe, streaming Marie Kondo’s new tidying up show, taking notes on ways to de-clutter my existence.
But you’d be wrong.
Because while I do want to make a difference in the world in many ways, there are certain things that I cannot change, no matter how hard I may try.
And my love of horror is one of them.
So it is that when my soul needs some soothing — after, say, watching someone use plastic bag after plastic bag to unnecessarily encapsulate their grown-in-dirt-and-naturally-packaged-in-its-own-skin produce at Kroger — I go home and throw on “The Shining.”
Luckily, 2019 is looking pretty good for my favorite genre.
And since sharing is caring, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the most promising releases here, for my fellow scary-film fans.
1. “Us.” By far the best-looking of the bunch, the latest from Jordan Peele, who gave us 2017’s excellent “Get Out,” “Us” falls into on my favorite of horror’s sub-genres: The home invasion movie. This one centers on a family of four vacationing at the beach, only to become the targets of a sadistic … family of four! And, to make things even more terrifying, the killers look exactly like them. Peele has said he made the film to underscore the idea that we are often our own worst enemies. Release date: March 22. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Elisabeth Moss.
2. “Velvet Buzzsaw.” This trailer starts out looking like one movie, and morphs into something entirely different before the 3 minutes are over. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as an art critic who becomes overwhelmed by the dark works of an unknown talent, which seem to literally come to life the longer you stare at them. Release date: Feb. 1. Starring Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette, Rene Russo. Zawe Ashton and Billy Magnussen.
3. “Midsommar.” To be honest, I know very little about this movie yet, other than a brief description of the plot — couple’s dream vaca in Sweden goes decidedly south — and the fact that it’s directed by Ari Aster, who directed 2018’s stellar, absolutely bananas horror show, “Hereditary.” And that, my friends, is enough to get me psyched. Release date: Aug. 9. Starring Florence Pugh and Will Poulter.
4. “Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark.” The tales that terrified you as a kid are getting the big screen treatment, by none other than the amazing, visionary Guillermo del Toro, who brought us 2018’s Best Picture winner “The Shape of Water” and the absolutely flawless “Pan’s Labyrinth” (one of my all-time favorites). Like with “Midsommar,” details are few just yet, but my butt will be in a theater seat for this one. Release date: Aug. 9.
5. “It: Chapter 2.” Truthfully, I don’t know how jazzed I am for the second installment of Stephen King’s killer-clown saga. The first bit was, I thought, just OK. But Pennywise is pretty cool, so I’ll probably check it out on pay-per-view at least. Release date: Sept. 6. Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Skarsgård.
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor who begs you to request “no straw” with your movie soda, or, if you buy a $7 water, to take the plastic bottle home with you to recycle. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.