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Sundance Film Festival has strong horror movie lineup

A scene from Adam Wingard's newest film "The Guest"
A scene from Adam Wingard's newest film "The Guest"
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival 2014

The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing in Park City, Utah, now through January 26, 2014. This is a film lover's delight as filmmakers from across the country come to present their masterpieces, and not-so-masterpieces, hoping for that big break. In prior years, there have always been the stand out films, like "Robot & Frank" or 2005's "Hustle & Flow". Horror movies have been a staple since "The Blair Witch Project" broke the classic horror mold back in 1999.

The horror entries this year are as diverse as they are contrary to expectations. Dark comedy and action thrillers are replacing much of the gory scarefests of past festivals. This is not a bad thing, and may be just what is needed to breathe new life into a genre that has seemed a little stagnant of late.

Adam Wingard, the director of such films as "You're Next" and "V/H/S", makes his return to the Sundance Film Festival with "The Guest". This film, billed as an action thriller, focuses on the Peterson family. After losing their son in Afghanistan, a stranger shows up at their home introducing himself as a friend of their son that has returned to keep a promise to him. Who is this man? Will the truth come out before it is too late? The real question is whether this is fits in the horror category of if it is just an action thriller.

Another interesting entry at Sundance this year comes from an unexpected team up. Ian Brennan, the writer of the hit FOX television show "Glee", and Leigh Whannell, the writer of the freaky horror movie "Insidious" and creator of "Saw", have teamed up to create a horror/comedy starring Elijah Wood, "Cooties". The setting is an elementary school, not the healthiest place in the world as kids share pencils, crayons, and germs. The problem is that while boys and girls know they have cooties, this time the bugs are a little more than the common cold. Nothing better than a movie full of cannibal elementary school mutants. Hopefully, there aren't any singing competitions to deal with.

"Life After Beth", a movie about a zombie girl who comes back for the boy she loved, and "A Most Wanted Man", a psychological thriller about terrorism, round out some of the more interesting films being premiered at the festival. For more information about the Sundance Film Festival, you can check out their website.