Horror fans welcome the official onset of winter, because that means the onslaught of January horror movies is near at hand! Beyond four major releases in the first month, however, 2014 holds the promise of many more treats for horror movie fans. Here's an early look at how the year is shaping up so far.
By Peter Martin
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Release Date: January 3
Positive advance word-of-mouth indicates that the spin-off of the 'haunted family' franchise is indeed tied to the original story, yet exciting in its further exploration of ghostly activities. The action moves to Oxnard, California; Richard Cabral, Carlos Pratts and Eddie J. Fernandez star.
Release Date: January 17
A couple experiences a "lost night" during their honeymoon, but they're too happy at the news that the wife is pregnant to worry too much about it -- until the pregnancy takes some very strange, frightening turns. Zack Gilford and Allison Miller star.
Big Bad Wolves
Release Date: January 17
A most unusual horror film from Israel, this thriller follows a hard-nosed cop and an angry father on the trail of a particularly heinous serial killer, whose victims are children. When a suspect is freed on a technicality, the cop and the father decide to mete out justice on their own. This is an extremely well made, brutally violent movie with a demented sense of humor.
Release Date: January 24
Aaron Eckhart stars as Frankenstein's creation, still walking the Earth 200 years later, who gets caught in a war that will decide the fate of humanity. Yvonne Strahovski and Bill Nighy also star.
Release Date: February 7
In what looks like a big slice of cheesecake horror, Paz de la Huerta is a dedicated nurse who moonlights as an avenging angel, exposing the true nature of cheating men. It's up to newly-arrived nurse Katrina Bowden to bring her to justice -- or die trying.
Release Date: February 14
For movie fans who prefer the lighter side of horror, this adaptation of the popular book series pits peaceful mortal vampires against blood-thirsty vampires who live forever. Zoey Dutch is a half-human, half-vampire guardian who seeks peace. With Sarah Hyland and Olga Kurylenko.
Release Date: March 21
Best friends Pat Healy and Ethan Embry, both in dire financial straits, compete for cash prizes offered by a bored rich couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton). The prizes dangled and the tasks required quickly spiral out of control in this bloody, black-comic thriller.
A Haunted House 2
Release Date: March 28
Marlon Wayans returns with a new girlfriend, her two children, and a new dream home in this new spoof of scary movies. Expect plenty of amiable yet raunchy humor.
Release Date: April 18
Now adults, a brother and sister seek out the supernatural phenomena they experienced as children in a creepy old house in order to exonerate one of them of a dastardly crime. Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites star as the siblings; with Katee Sackhoff and James Lafferty.
The Quiet Ones
Release Date: April 25
In the newest Hammer horror picture, a college professor (Jared Harris) leads his students as they attempt to create a poltergeist, with unexpected and unsettling results.
Release Date: May 16
Gareth Edwards' reboot of the classic Japanese monster movie looks ready to tap into the realistic terrors of the modern age. Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston star.
Release Date: May 30
A classic fairy tale is turned on its head, telling the origin story of the young woman who would become Maleficent, the villainous foe of Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie stars, with Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, and Sharlto Copley.
Release Date: June 6
In this fictional, found-footage tale that will remind many of the events leading to the horrific Jonestown massacre, A.J. Bowen stars as a journalist investigating the disappearance of a colleague's sister, which leads them to a compound in thrall to a charismatic leader.
The Purge 2
Release Date: June 20
The sequel to this summer's breakout suspense thriller is still shrouded in mystery, though we know that Frank Grillo, Michael K. Williams, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, and Kiele Sanchez will star. The key here, however, is whether writer/director James DeMonaco can expand the premise established in the original: one night a year in which any and all criminal activity is legal.