Horror Release Roundup September 2018

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You know, a lot of people say that September is just the little brother of October when it comes to horror movie releases. I’ve never actually heard anyone say that, but it seems logical so I assume a bunch of people have said it. That’s how it works, right? Anyway, September is here, and little brother or not, there’s a lot quality contained within it. Not a football fan? Football fan, but still have time to watch horror movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays? Well then do we have a list for you...

The Horror Release Roundup is our recurring feature breaking down the screams and scares that are heading your way every month. This time around we have everything (or at least our attempt at everything) coming at you in September of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.

Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.


OUIJA HOUSE
09/04/2018 - VOD

 
 

To help her down-on-her-luck mother, a graduate student brings her friends to a mysterious house where they plan to do research for a book project.

Jack: Loathe as I am to give Mark points for anything, count one for his “single piano key score in a trailer” fantasy things pick. That movie doesn’t look completely terrible, but you know what’s really grinding my gears? All I can think about is the setup to the shot where they’re playing Ouija on the young woman’s stomach. Did the demon possess them to take off her shirt (but not her bra because it’s PG-13 and demons love bras) and write down all of those letters and then sit down and start playing? Did the demon tell them the order of the letters? I’m worried this is just a string of mildly creepy set pieces strung together with “I dunno, demons or whatever.”

Jake: Do you really “play” a ouija board? I’m not sure I’ve heard it referred to as that before (also entirely possible I just don’t pay attention). I don’t feel like you play it. It’s more of a “use” it type situation. Kind of like this movie is using names like Dee Wallace to try to get some traction. Hey, that house is pretty cool looking, though. End stream of consciousness.

Mark: I got in trouble last month for being too cynical and therefore I am actively trying to be less cynical in this month’s commentary. So, my take on this one? Hey, at least it has a pretty good cast. Mischa Barton, Tara Reid, and Dee Wallace? Boom. Nailed it. You looking for bad campy possession horror? Well, look no further. Sidenote: Hypothetical situation, you ask a ouija board if there are any spirits present. It answers “no.” Then what? Isn’t the answer of “yes” assumed if the planchette moves?


TRENCH 11
09/04/2018 - VOD

 
 

A highly contagious biological weapon, created by German forces in WWI, is discovered by Allied troops as they explore an abandoned underground bunker.

Jack: They really should answer that question about how they know it’s abandoned. That aside, this movie looks rad and scary on a few different levels. The worms thing looks fucking terrifying, and the creatures kind of look like the monsters from The Descent. Count me in.

Jake: I fucking love warror movies. Fucking. Love them. Therefore, I’m quite in for this one. The effects look gross and cool and it’s WWI. It’ll be the best horror movie set in the Great War since Deathwatch! If only Andy Serkis was in this, right Mark?

Mark: Vermiphobics beware, you’re in for a scare. This movie shows promise, but I am also a little concerned about the zombie effects in this thing. How do you nail parasitic worms, but then just have dudes in light makeup twitching as your zombie monsters? You’re right, Jake, this is going to be the best movie since Deathwatch. It’s also probably going to be better than Deathwatch, sooooooo best WWI movie ever?


DIANE
09/07/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
09/17/2018 - VOD

 
 

When a disabled war veteran discovers the dead body of a beautiful singer in his back yard, his fascination with her photographic image soon turns to obsession.

Jack: What kind of permit does he have to keep a revolver in a lockbox? He’s not concealed carrying it, so . . . what? I know in like Illinois and New York the state keeps handgun registries, but that’s not really a permit is it? What state is this in? Before I devolve into firearm policies, I’m kind of getting a They Look Like People vibe from this, and it looks like it will be of about equivalent quality. I really dug that movie, so this seems promising.

Jake: This trailer became more and more indie as it went along. However, I’m very happy to report it is clocking in at well under 90 seconds. I’m not sure this will land the paranoia angle it is going for because there’s a certain amount of subtlety required that this trailer does not show even a little bit. Also, watch the part where the guy jumps the fence. Look at those hops!

Mark: Why do returned vets always work on Home Depot? Has their pro-veteran stance become a trope? At this point, I’m pretty there are only two types of people that work at  Home Depot: veterans and olympic athletes. Anywhoozles, this has low budget indie horror written all over it. It will be creative, but lack the overall polish and watchability that you probably need in order to have an enjoyable experience.


MARA
09/07/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL / VOD

 
 

After a man is seemingly strangled in his bed, criminal psychologist Kate Fuller (Olga Kurylenko) interviews the sole witness.

Jack: Is being in between asleep and awake really a distinct state of being? Are they sure it’s not a spectrum like sexuality or Jeremy Piven fandom? All she needs to do is go find one of the Freddy survivors and shake them down for some Hypnocil. Problem solved. I’m tired of sleep paralysis movies.

Jake: oh my god another sleep paralysis movie… in this one’s defense, I think it looks like it could easily be the best of the recent crop of this highly specific category, but I’m a little exhausted at this point.

Mark: Do you think Mara and Freddy Krueger know each other? Why does the trailer enumerate the third state of being, but then she specifically can’t fall asleep? If Mara exists in the “somewhere in between” category, then wouldn’t sleep provide a safe haven? This will be a jumpscare heavy sleep paralysis reliant trope-fest. Will it work? Yeah, maybe kinda. Will it be memorable? No, probably not.


THE NUN
09/07/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate.

Jack: Not too much to say here. This is going to be a well-produced and watchable movie with good jumpscares, but you’re kidding yourself if you think it will have the charm and watchability of the Conjuring or even the Conjuring 2. It’s going to be pretty good, and many of us are going to see it.

Jake: Nothing happened at the end, you lazy ass ad agency clowns. That being said, we all know this will be the popcorn guzzling prelude to October this year, and it’s hard to expect anything less than a watchable and fun flick. The production value is certainly there. Also, just want to comment that the final jumpscare is basically from the “how to” book on executing a subversion of your expectation. It’s both good because you don’t see it enough, but also makes you think about what things would be like if everyone follows a simple concept like this. Would that make the shitty kind cooler? #deepthoughts

Mark: I stayed to the end of the trailer…. Nothing. What? You wanted me to see the release date? Of all the movies this month, you think I somehow missed the release date on this one? Also, if I am putting on a full length trailer to watch on youtube do you not expect me to stay until the end? Who does that? They’re monsters.


PAINLESS
09/07/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL (UNCONFIRMED)

 
 

Henry Long desperately seeks a cure for the condition that leaves him unable to feel physical pain. But when he meets the beautiful and mysterious Shani, he gets much more than he bargained for…

Jack: Are we to believe that someone took away his ability to feel pain and he doesn’t just have CIP or something? He doesn’t need to be able to create pain, right? We can definitely do that. He needs his nerve endings to become sensitive to it. There’s like . . . a whole field of medical science devoted to that already, and it seems like he should collaborate with some of them.

Jake: This movie should get weird and gory. If that happens then I’ll be back on board. It seems like it’s gonna be a blasé thriller though...

Mark: Henry later went on to become the villain from the third Pierce Brosnan James Bond Movie. That is basically the only piece of commentary I have for this. Oh wait, here’s one, I am definitely going to have some qualms with the “scientific” element of this movie. Boom. Roasted.


DON’T LEAVE HOME
09/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

After recently unveiling her new sculptural exhibit on Irish urban legends, artist Melanie Thomas is contacted by Father Alistair Burke, a reclusive Irish priest who, legend has it, once painted the portrait of a young girl who later disappeared on the very day her image vanished from the painting.

Jack: “I’ll take ‘most generic horror movie titles imaginable for $600, Alex.” I can’t say that this looks bad, but nothing is exciting me about it either. I will say that if, during what should be a casual conversation, and old woman says that she won’t shackle you if you want to leave, fucking run because her brain instantly jumped to a very strange place.

Jake: I can say nothing that would do any better or more humorous justice to this than the pull quote in the trailer from Indiewire, so I’m just gonna throw it in here. “Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside.” Amazing. Just outstanding. Bravo.

Mark: Pro tip - If you are invited into a remote home on the countryside and asked not to tell anyone about your visit, you should probably tell a lot of people about your visit and also not go. Just a hunch.


LIZZIE
09/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

In the late 1890s in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murdering her overbearing father and step-mother with a hatchet, but she is publicly condemned.

Jack: I’m pretty stoked for this movie. The Lizzie Borden story is fascinating, and this looks like they at least put the effort into it, and got a good cast who seem to be giving good performances.

Jake: Fun fact. I had to drive through Fall River on the way to and from work for almost three fucking years and I can say with some confidence that no one who has ever lived there has ever been as easy to understand as any of the characters in this film.

Mark: At first I was a little surprised we haven't seen more of the Lizzie Borden story on screen. I mean, if the Villisca Axe Murders have their own movie, then why not this? Then I did a quick googling and found out that there are actually a bevvy of movies with basically the exact same name as this one. Although this looks to be really more of a drama with a bloody ending than a true slasher, that is actually probably a smart choice for the story and will hopefully set it apart from the rest of the riff raff.


MANDY
09/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.

Jack: No. Not doing it. I’m going to catch some flack for this, but I’m fucking tired of people slapping Nic Cage in a “wacky” movie and letting idiots revel over how “random” he is. Also, “visionary director”? Really? Maybe, but don’t be bragging about it until someone has heard of him.

Jake: Nic Cage in a Spectrevision joint that involves gigantic battle axes and at least one animation sequence. This is gonna be fuckin weeeeird. I’m all in.

Mark: Nicolas Cage’s performance of a lifetime, you say? Sign. Me. Up. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to watch it and then tell the guys that it was amazing and then have them yell at me for being an idiot but them being wrong because this was amazing.


THE PREDATOR
09/14/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

When a boy accidentally triggers the return of the Predator species to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

Jack: Predator. Correct. And this one looks more rad than most.

Jake: Yes please, mate. Yes please.

Mark: I am being serious when I say this formula will never get old. A rag-tag group of soldiers fighting alien assassins is something that I will never tire of. Every predator movie has been great (including Alien vs Predator) and I am definitely going to see this. Keegan Michael Key? Ummmm, yup.


THE BASEMENT
09/15/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL / VOD

 
 

Craig is abducted and wakes up in a basement. His captor, Bill, is a twisted serial killer who wishes to reenact his own capture, with Craig playing the part of Bill and Bill playing everyone else.

Jack: Not gorey enough to be interesting for gore, not novel enough to be interesting for being creative, and not creepy enough to be interesting for being scary. Who is this for?

Jake: Well nothing about that got me aroused. Wait. It wasn’t supposed to? Fuck you.

Mark: That synopsis sounds awesome. For some reason it reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob is stalking Bart on a houseboat. Dissociative Identity Disorder is so hot right now


CYNTHIA
09/18/2018 - VOD

 
 

Robin and Michael are college sweethearts who have everything – a perfect marriage, adorable cat, a beautiful home, but one thing is missing from this idyllic setting – a baby. After years of fertility treatments their dreams come true when Robin finds out she is pregnant!! Is this a dream come true or a nightmare come to life?

Jack: Okay, I admit. They got me with this one. I was so ready to hate this, and then they made some god damned decisions. The movie looks bonkers, and I’m pretty stoked on it.

Jake: Sid Haig is in this movie. It also has a mutated, murderous fetus monster. Sounds like a horror movie...

Mark: Quick note - this received a limited theatrical release at the end of August. Additional quick note - this might be getting pushed back to October. It’s hard to tell, so we’re leaving it in September. You’ll just be extra aware of it if it gets pushed back. Don’t say we never do you any favors.  You know what’s great about this trailer? They don’t show the monster. Last quick note - What the hell is with all these girls names titles?


THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS
09/21/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town's sleepy facade magically springs to life with a secret world of witches and warlocks.

Jack: That is a well put-together trailer. Jack Black is consistently delightful, if occationally a little extra (I’m young and cool and used that correctly, right?). It’s going to depend on some quality writing to pull this out of just kids-movie territory, but if it pulls it off I am in.

Jake: Great Scott, this movie looks whimsical. With a cast like this and a guy like Roth at the helm, I am more than a little excited to see how it turns out. This could be a great gateway into this year’s Halloween season.

Mark: Yes, this is a movie geared toward younger audiences, but if you read that plot description and note that the director is Eli Roth then I think you’ll see that it belongs on this list. Youth-oriented horror movies are actually sort of interesting. I watched the Goosbumps movie recently (also starring Mr. Black) and found it to be charming if a little sloppy. I have high hopes for this one   I am left with one final sentiment: The porn version of this movie will be hilarious.


HELLFEST
09/28/2018 - THEATRICAL

A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

Jack: They’re signing a waiver “because the liability is epic.” Think about that. Who’s liability? The amusement park’s? You cannot contract around criminal law, so that’s really not going to be sufficient for this particular park in the business of gutting people. I know that was an attempt to put some detail into it, but I really think it would have been better off without that line at all.

Jake: The extreme haunts genre is getting a little bit crowded these days and at first, I thought we had mistakenly duplicated last month’s Blood Fest trailer, but this looks quite different in the end. There’s a decent to good slasher in here somewhere. Let’s see if it finds itself.

Mark: Although it seems a bit derivative of the Funhouse Massacre, and looks pretty similar to last month’s nearly identically named Blood Fest, it still looks awesome and I want to see it. That all said, after this movie I think we can officially declare this genre full and ask that all future movie scripts use the overflow genre parking lot.


REDCON-1
09/28/2018 - VOD

 
 

A squad of eight Special Forces soldiers are assigned a suicide mission to rescue a scientist from a city ruled by the undead.

Jack: In a world where zombie movies have been slowly regaining my interest by doing new and cool things, this one chose to just play it right down the middle, huh? I kind of hope this is the start of trending the other way, because there’s enough on my plate, I don’t need to be interested in zombie movies anymore.

Jake: Just when I thought we were through a month without a zombie movie...

Mark: This was a befuddling movie to google owing to the fact that it shares its name with a family of protein powders that appear to basically just be steroids with better branding. It was even further a befuddling trailer to watch owing to the fact that that dude is using what appears to be taekwondo and nunchucks to fight zombies. Those are two things that I personally would avoid using in zombie combat.


Top

Jack: The Nun - Nothing this month just jumped off the page at me, and this is at a minimum guaranteed for good production and a few decent jump scares. That’s not a bad floor.

Jake: Trench 11 - read earlier comments about warror movies.

Mark: Mandy - Nic Cage = trump card

Bottom

Jack: Mandy - You’re not being fun and random. You’re being reductive and lazy.

Jake: The Basement - Mark picked first of I would have gone with his. This also looks befuddling and not entertaining, though. We are here to give you variety.

Mark: Cynthia - Baby horror ain’t scary, yo. What’s worse is that it is also not entertaining, yo.


CUTTING ROOM
JULY 2018

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Cutting Room is our monthly post where we do short, mostly spoiler-free, single-person reviews for movies we've watched on our own. If you hear us shout something out on the podcast, you can swing by here to read our more succinct thoughts on the matter. Let us know if you have some thoughts on any of these movies, and check out past posts in the "More Horror" section.


JAKE'S SECTION

The Endless (2018)
8.5 Bearded Brewmasters

I friggin’ love Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead movies (Resolution and Spring) so I’d been waiting for a really long time to see this one. I’d been waiting for so long I’d gone through multiple cycles of getting my hopes up and then plummeting into a well of doubt about their ability to keep things trending upwards. It was rough, I tell you. And in the end, I’m very happy with this movie and won’t go into anything about the story or plot. It’s a technically solid, well acted, completely impossible to pin down film that goes well beyond horror, though it fits extremely well into the genre. This time, we also get to see Benson and Moorhead try out their acting chops and it goes surprisingly well. Do yourself and take a day to watch their movies. I’d recommend making this one last on the list for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into, but it’ll be worth your time regardless of how you approach it.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
6 Worms

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I had this one on the list for quite some time, waiting until the mood struck. I knew the conceit of the film and thought it was brilliant, and I also knew Mark watched it and gave a mixed review. I think that overall, I agree with his take. I’m not really a Flight of the Conchords fan and this thing absolutely reeks of Jemaine Clement’s brand of humor. That’s not a bad thing by and means, but it is extremely specific. I will say that I liked the concept of this movie waaay more than the execution. I felt it was a bit too meandering and didn’t really execute deeply enough on the core concept of a flat full of vampires from various stages of history trying to live together in the real world doing mundane, TRW-type things. I think I’d still recommend this movie, but do so with a mini-warning that the first 20 minutes will probably be a lot more enjoyable than the remaining 70...

The Burbs (1989)
7.5 Sardines

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This movie is a flat out jam. Flat. Out. Jam. If you don’t like it then you are lying or you haven’t seen it and if you haven’t seen it then do yourself a favor and pop it in right now. This is about as entry-level as I could possibly go with a movie for this website because its more National Lampoon comedy with some horror elements than anything truly horror, but the backdrop is such that I’m doing it. And so should you. Tom Hanks demands it.

The Mind’s Eye (2016)
5 Bulging Veins

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Jack plopped this one down as the movie I haven’t seen but need to watch during our 2017 end of year awards show omnibus extravaganza spectacular-athon (go find it in our podcasts archive. We get real drunk. It’s great.), and I forgot about it until now. Then I watched it and I almost immediately forgot about it again, hence why it’s last in this list. I’m giving this movie a pretty down-the-barrel type rating because it’s just fine but outside of some cool gore effects it doesn’t capture the imagination or do anything that I’d call unique. Cool head explosions aside, there just isn’t much here, and I’d prefer Scanners for that, anyway.


MARK'S SECTION

Houses October Built 2 (2017)
6 Camcorders

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HOB2 was my top 1 from last September’s HRR. Jack’s was The Hatred and Jake’s was Mother! so I feel like I probably won that one. HOB2 picks up right where the first left off, which you would know if you watched, like, any fraction of the trailer. But then since the first movie ends in November they lose all that momentum by jumping forward to the next October. It actually is quite charming because of what happens in the first ⅔ of the movie (there’s a freaking Kobayashi cameo), but following that it devolves into nonsense. I would  actually totally jump on board this franchise if it was just a means of highlighting America’s (or the world’s) coolest October attractions and then tenuously tacked on a bullshit narrative at the end, but I don’t think that is where this is going. Will I watch HOB3 if it happens? Yeah. Will I be totally psyched about it? Nah, probably not. The movie is actually kinda fun until the end, so if you’re interested you can check it out on Hulu.

Scream Queens Seasons 1 and 2 (2015/2016)
Season 1: 8 Armless Frat Dudes
Season 2: 5.5 Amputated Hands

Speaking of Hulu, this tv series is on it. Boom, nailed that transition. Still got it after all these years. Anyway, not an exaggeration, Scream Queens season 1 is the best season of horror television you will be able to find anywhere. It’s delightful. Emma Thompson, Abigail Breslin, and Jamie Lee Curtis are just the top names on this incredibly deep cast list that turns in great performances. At once both incredibly silly and violent it’s very hard to not be hooked by its char,. Everyone should go watch season 1 right now. Forewarning: the 90 minute pilot drags just a bit, but after that it’s all fireworks. Now go, go watch it. There. You back? Cool, let’s talk season 2. Scream Queens Season 2 adds John Stamos, Taylor Lautner, and Kirstie Alley, but struggles to maintain the same chemistry that season 1 had going for it. If season 1 is the ride you drove to the carnival for, then season 2 is the tilt-o-whirl that is still kinda fun, but also definitely not why you came to the carnival. Pure momentum carried me through to the end of the series, but honestly in retrospect I would probably just recommend you skip the second season. In summary, Season 1 absolutely wonderful… Season 2 just alright.

Ghosted (2017)
4.5 Forgettable Plotlines

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This is a monster of the week series in the same vein as The X-Files or Fringe. Unlike those two, it is predominantly trying to be comedic. I say trying because despite its cast it really is just that… trying. Adam Scott and Craig Robinson headline the show, and are clearly its best selling point,  but ultimately it falls flat for most of the first season 1. You might have fun for one or two episodes, but unfortunately I can’t give this one much of a recommend. Look, I wanted to like this. Both Robinson and Scott are great comedic actors, but there just isn’t the right connection here. If you don’t believe and you think “surely the deep state has corrupted Mark’s young mind” then you can find it on Hulu and see for yourself.

The Endless (2018)
6.28 Circles

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Wow. This movie certainly was a movie. I have seen Spring (Jake made me), but I wouldn’t say that I’m a Moorhead and Benson fanatic. I am moving in that direction, mind you, but the dudes only have like three movies. This movie has everything you want in a movie to make it near infinitely rewatchable. Beer cults, ineffective padlocks, organ solos, bad covers of House of the Rising Sun, and flannel shirts. Without getting too spoilery, I would like to reflect on the fact that this movie is highly rewatchable as a funny little trait in its own right. Jake also watched The Endless, and he actually is a Moorhead and Benson guy so I’m sure his review is a bit more knowledgeable. However, I’m here to say that you can jump into this one without knowing much about them and still have a good time. The movie is about a cult that makes really kickass beer, so that means I’m going to give it a minimum of an average score. As a small warning, this is not your standard horror movie. There is some horror here, but I would say that this movie largely has no genre. Maybe it’s just a family drama? Hell if I know. Go see this. Then see it like five more times and let me know if it makes any more sense. For the record this movie definitely deserves a higher rating, but I couldn’t resist giving it the score of 2π.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
3 Waterin’ Holes

i sat down with the wife to watch something we didn’t really need to pay much attention to. Turns out, we probably could have completely not paid attention to this one and had a better time. ATBLML takes a long time to get going, then continues being slow, then ends slow. I feel like this one did something unique and interesting for its time, but then was immediately superseded by a pile of movies that did it better. Having not seen it in its time and revisiting it now, I do not have the rose colored glasses that others might. This movie sucks. If you are trying to get something done and need a movie to actively repel your attention you can find this one on Netflix. It’s a generic boring slasher about teens in a farmhouse. That’s about as deep as the plot goes.


MORE HORROR


Horror Release Roundup
July 2018

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Ahh, July. A month known for heat, fireworks, and now Purge movies, I guess. And true to form, this July is bringing us the latest iteration of the Purge movies along with another swath of horror movies ranging from questionable to great-looking. Are any of them worthy of a fireworks celebration? Continue on down to find out.

The Horror Release Roundup is our recurring feature breaking down the screams and scares that are heading your way every month. This time around we have everything (or at least our attempt at everything) coming at you in July of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.

Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.


Who's Watching Oliver
07/03/2018 - VOD

 
 

Sophia's sweet eccentricity and naivety puts her in danger when she meets a mentally unstable loner.

Jack: So you can just have nudity on youtube now? When did that happen? I have no idea what’s going on here, but I assume it’s about a troubled man-child and his family’s struggles in dealing with him. Ehh.

Jake: Not a lot here other than a psychotic looking fellow drinking milk out of a mason jar… Actually, there’s a lot going on here. Grown men drinking milk is bad bad not good.

Mark: I feel like if I just out and out and say that I find this trailer intriguing you’re going to assume it’s because of the surprising boobage. Granted getting that out of a youtube trailer is surprising, that’s not really what captured my attention. This looks dark and gory with a solid dash of psychosis. Basically the slightly more-off-the-wall Capture Kill Release. Is that a good recipe? I’m not totally sure, but I’m betting it heavily depends on how well Russell Banks can play this particular variety of psychopath.


Big Legend
07/03/2018 - VOD

 
 

An ex-soldier ventures into the forests of the Pacific Northwest to uncover the truth behind his fiance's disappearance.

Jack: This movie looks like it could have an unsettling tone, and kind of looks like it does the getting fucked with in the woods thing right, but I’m pretty concerned this one is going to sink with its effects.

Jake: For the first 1:45 of this trailer, I was going to say that it had a great amount of restraint in not showing “the big man”. Then the next fifteen seconds happened and WELP. Also, love what the dude has done with his camp. It ain’t home till there’s a big ass American flag as a tapestry.

Mark: You know what? That Papa Octopus logo is fucking awesome. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that. Good work, Papa Octopus design team. Unfortunately, basically everything after that logo was incredibly underwhelming. This movie isn’t going to be terrible in the sense that nothing works… it’s going to be terrible in the sense that everything is pretty close to working but just can’t quite finish. And that’s going to make it all the more frustrating. Plus, did you see the scene where the rock hits the dude in the leg? Did they steal that thing from the set of Global Guts?


The First Purge
07/04/2018 - Theatrical

 
 

To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.

Jack: You know what makes the Purge movies a whole lot less fun? When the venn diagram of the fictional world and the world it’s parodying start to overlap but I’m still not allowed to kill people. I might have to give this one a few years.

Jake: This is a Purge movie so you sort of know what you’re getting in that it will be significantly more action than horror on the ol’ continuum, but I think that of all the Purge entries, this is the part of the story that has needed to be told the most. Of course I’m seeing it.

Mark: I think it’s safe to say that the Purge is really no longer a horror movie. We are however grandfathering it in because it’s still an interesting concept, the masks are way better than any masks you would get in real life, and it is seemingly turning our co-author Jack into a serial killer. These are always solidly entertaining action movies with a weirdly progressive dystopian undertone. As Jake said, you know what you’re getting into.


Sunset Society
07/06/2018 - VOD

 
 

Humans learn a secret society of vampires is killing people in Hollywood.

Jack: Yikes. I know that Lemmy wasn’t happy in his later years, but fuck, he doesn’t deserve this. This just looks bad. Not funny bad. Just bad. That fucking smoke was nowhere near the source of Ron Jeremy’s injury. I’m betting that’s the level of detail they’ve applied across the board.

Jake: Lol what a fucking cast. Ron Jeremy. Steve-O. Fucking Lemmy. Lemmy died years ago, guys. This looks like unmitigated trash, but it’s the kind where you might find an Ali Baba sword and it’ll all be worth it, nahmean?

Mark: What is with the interspersed cartoon stuff? Actually, no, fuck that... If I’m going to be picking nits with this then I’m not going to focus on the thing that actually looks stylistically interesting and instead will point out that the disparity between quality of cameras is baffling. It’s like they filmed half of this trailer with one of those handy-cams from the 90s that recorded onto a mini-VHS tape. How long has this thing been sitting on a shelf?


The Devil's Doorway
07/13/2018 - VOD

 
 

When two priests investigate a miracle in an Irish home for unwed mothers in 1960, they discover that one of the residents is possessed by the devil.

Jack: The 4:3 aspect ratio thing is a bold choice. On the one hand, it might sell the found footage documentary feel of this thing and draw you in. But on the other hand, if there’s too much else drawing you out, you’re just going to be infuriated that you’re spending 90+ minutes staring at 4:3 aspect ratio movie on differently-sized screen in fucking 2018. I’ll play it safe and err on the side of the latter.

Jake: This move does not excite me at first glance. Something about the trailer left me with a vague feeling of The Borderlands and let me tell you, if it’s even half as good as that shit then we’ve found a winner. I don’t think that’s how things work though. I think I’m gonna go watch The Borderlands.

Mark: In case you are wondering, the movie Jake is referring to is much easier to find under the title The Final Prayer. It is good, and you should go see it. I disagree with him on his point though, I actually do think that that’s how it works. I’m excited for this one. Interesting stylistic choice? Check. Found footage? Check. Ghost hunters in a haunted house? Check. Some dude talking shit about nuns? Check. Why would I not want to see this?


How it Ends
07/13/2018 - Netflix

 
 

A desperate father tries to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious apocalyptic event turns everything to chaos.

Jack: So this is the Day After Tomorrow but with Forest Whitaker in the Dennis Quaid role? Don’t get me wrong, that’s a strict upgrade in every way, but it still doesn’t really make me want to see this wholly unnecessary movie.

Jake: That’s some bad weather. I bet global warming caused it, too. And now everybody has a gun. Sounds a lot like reality, huh?

Mark: Stop talking shit about Quaid, Jack. It’s not his fault he’s not as cool as Mr. Whitaker. No one is as cool as Mr Whitaker. He has a fucking Brother Ali song named after him. That’s hard to compete with. As far as this movie goes… look, Netflix has been on a pretty steady roll for months now. The Babysitter, 1922, Gerald’s Game, Cargo, Les Affames… their studios know what they’re doing and they hadn’t yet tackled an end-of-the-world type disaster movie. It’s a good cast (Forest Whitaker Y’all!), well funded, well shot, and will have a low barrier to access. Frankly this movie looks a lot better than it would need to for me to watch it. If you want to hear our thoughts on it I’m close to positive it will be in this month’s Cutting Room.


The Night Eats the World
07/13/2018 - VOD

 
 

After waking up in an apartment where a party was raging the night before, Sam is forced to come to grips with reality. He is now alone, and the living dead have invaded the streets of Paris.

Jack: So . . . this is a comedy I guess? It actually looks like a halfway decent zombie flick, but that still just makes it a halfway decent zombie flick. Also, why a drumset near an open window in a world where zombies can hear you? Is that necessary?

Jake: Comparing this movie to Shaun of the Dead was an interesting and weird move, trailer via Indiewire. I have no idea what’s supposed to be so innovative about this, but I sure as shit am bound to be disappointed. Thanks!

Mark: Even though Jake is the definitive zombie guy in the crew I’m always down to put one of these movies on. This one looks solid, but also decidedly not as good as the recent crop of z-word films that have been dropped on us. It’s literally only been a few sentences since I mentioned Cargo, and that probably means that we’re nearing a saturation point with zombie movies once again. This will likely scratch a 28 Days Later itch that the more recent entries haven’t... but if you don’t have that itch then you don’t need the cream, amirite?


Office Uprising
07/19/2018 - VOD (Crackle)

 
 

An employee at a weapons factory discovers that an energy drink turns his co-workers into zombies.

Jack: Fucking what?! Crackle still exists? Haven’t there been 2 vaguely comedy offices go crazy and kill everyone inside movies in the last year? This is going to be your big comeback Crackle? You’d have been better off not selling Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to Netflix.

Jake: Great. Let’s make a funny movie to jump on the office battle royale trend. Love it. Next.

Mark: Where did this genre come from? Were Belko Experiment and Mayhem that successful? Actually, this looks almost identical to the plot of Mayhem but with more protagonists and the guy from Blue Mountain State. I don’t want to turn this segment into the bash Crackle hour, but is this something that their subscribers were clamoring for?


Broken Star
07/20/2018 - Limited Theatrical

 
 

Abandoned by her friends and family and with her career in jeopardy, starlet Markey Marlowe is sequestered in a duplex with a reclusive landlord who just may be more dangerous than she is.

Jack: I love Tyler Labine. Just him in a starring role is enough to get me interested. The movie looks pretty tense too, and I can’t find too much to dislike about the trailer. I am a little worried it’s going to veer too hard into the social commentary realm.

Jake: Markey Marlowe? Cool name. No wonder she’s a psychopath. She must have heard so many Marky Mark jokes. Probably had to start popping pills just to quiet the din from all the Wahlberg jabs she’s getting each day.

Mark: Calling your studio “Gravitas Ventures” is a little presumptuous, no? This movie seems to be treading heavily into the Starry Eyes and Neon Demon realms. One of those movies was great. One of those movies aged me beyond my years and attempted to suck the soul out of my body like a dementor. I hope that this one is closer to the bucket of the former.


Unfriended: Dark Web
07/20/2018 - Theatrical


(Editor’s Warning: Spoiler filled trailer, you probably don’t need to watch if you’re interested in seeing this.)

 
 

A teenager finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is watching every move he makes.

Jack: God damn it. You know what was legit good about the first Unfriended? They kept it god damned simple. I good and guarantee you that this movie is wildly misinformed about what the dark web is. Also, fuck any and all of my friends that say I can’t take a laptop that has been sitting in the lost and found of my work for a fucking month. That shit’s mine.

Jake: Unfriended frightened ⅔’s of this outfit, so I can’t wait to hear what they think of this one. I leave this trailer wondering how the fuck you are supposed to play Cards Against Humanity with everyone in a remote location. There will probably be some cool deaths in this, though, so I look forward to that.

Mark: I hope you heeded the editor’s warning, because I feel like this movie will be substantially better if you don’t know what’s coming. They seem like they’re going down a different narrative path with this one, which I commend them for, but also now isn’t this just the plot of The Den? I really enjoyed the first entry so I will be seeing this one, but man I wish I had stopped watching the trailer at about the 90s mark.


Our House
07/27/2018 - VOD

 
 

A science wiz creates a machine that can bring back dead loved ones, which seems like a great idea -- until the wrong spirits are unleashed.

Jack: They call something with the initials E M I “eli”? Cool, makes sense. Also, isn’t wireless electricity just solar power? Or wind power?

Jake: First of all, I take issue with this movie synopsis. Who in the hell would think that bringing the dead back to life seems like a great idea? Pet Sematary? Frankenstein? Never a good idea. Ever. On the whole though, this looks like a well shot, well made movie and that machine looks cool. I also like the synths in the score. Those are so “in” right now. This could be a worthwhile flick just as easily as it could be a steaming pile of fuck.

Mark: Okay so if we can all get past the fact that this is damn close to the plot of Pulse (which was terrible), and that we still don’t have the technology to do proper smoke monsters in movies, then we can arrive at the fact that there is an interesting technology-driven ghost thriller here. I like the props they display and I’m always down for a haunted house movie. It’s not likely to blow me away completely, but this is a substantially novel summer blockbuster and I am totally in on it. Sidenote, if that kid can invent wireless transmission of power he would be the richest person on Earth by a substantial margin. Maybe don’t just sequester the project away to be tinkered with on weekends?


14 Cameras
07/27/2018 - VOD

 
 

When a family of four rent a beautiful house for their summer vacation, the price seems too good to be true. Unbeknownst to them, the lascivious owner has set up a series of spy cams throughout the house, streaming their lives onto the darknet.

Jack: You’re renting a place and you’re uncomfortable because you feel like you’re in someone else’s house? Good work. Totally normal. I actually thought the 13 Cameras movie was fine, if forgettable. This looks like that but a little worse.

Jake: Let’s file this into the folder with all the other movies that definitely didn’t need to be made. Jack saw the first one and I remember nothing from his review other than confirmation that the old dude is preposterously ripped, so I expect that to carry through, especially since the trailer practically says as much.

Mark: Damn. Two Gravitas Ventures features in one month. Maybe they should be called Cajones Ventures. I have not seen the original 13 Cameras (aka Slumlord), but voyeurism is an underutilized horror topic and that dude looks grotesque. Seems like a decent formula to me.


The Row
07/27/2018 - Limited Theatrical

 
 

A college freshman trying to get into a sorority discovers a dark secret about the house she's pledging for after a series of murders terrorize the campus.

Jack: You know, it’s actually been a little while since the last sorority slasher that came out. I assume this will be no different than the long line of those that don’t really add anything to the genre, but do provide some decent if fleeting amusument.

Jake: Fucking Randy Couture is in this movie? I didn’t know he was acting now. Also, this seems like as optimal a time as any to mention that this seems totally normal for college. Fraternities were not recognized where Jack and I went to school because too many people were dying. Flip that for a sorority and bam. This movie.

Mark: I’ll take “What Randy Couture does when he’s not making Expendables movies” for $500, Alex. For some reason this is the only “dumb horror” movie this month. Maybe that’s not the right name for it… Fun horror? I don’t know what to call it, but you get my drift. It’s the type of movie that has a voiceover in its trailer. Sorority slashers are movies you put on to unwind and relax, and in a world where this July doesn’t have any other competition this might just find a decently sized audience… I will probably not be part of that audience.


More Stuff

  • Another WolfCop is finally, actually coming out, hitting VOD and DVD on July 3rd.

Top 1/Bottom 1

Top 1:

Jack: Broken Star - Tyler Labine is a good start. A creepy looking vibe is good too. Allusions to Starry Eyes never hurt anything either. This one’s one to pay attention to.

Jake: The Row - Why not? Plenty of people will see and talk about The First Purge and Unfriended: Dark Web but it’s summer and I want some sorority murder debauchery.

Mark: Our House - This struck as the right balance of serious horror movie that won’t waste my time and suspension of disbelief. The smoke monsters look iffy at best, but you know what? Sometimes a man just wants to watch a haunted house movie that has a tenuous understanding of the underlying science it is based upon without getting all wrapped up in the rigamarole of carrying at all about the effects.

Bottom 1:

Jack: Sunset Society - This doesn’t look particularly interesting, and certainly doesn’t look funny enough or frankly even bad enough to get a chuckle out of with your buddies. RIP Lemmy, and know that this is not what you will remembered for.

Jake: Office Uprising - this looks fucking dumb and not funny. Boo.

Mark: Big Legend - I have articulated this many times in the past. Anyone can make an incredibly shitty movie. It takes almost no effort. Big Legend looks like people worked hard on it, and to their credit it looks like they almost got it to all click. Unfortunately I’m more disinterested by mediocrity than I am in out-and-out disasters.


Cutting Room
June 2018

Cutting Room <BR> June 2018

Cutting Room is our monthly post where we do short, mostly spoiler-free, single-person reviews for movies we've watched on our own. If you hear us shout something out on the podcast, you can swing by here to read our more succinct thoughts on the matter. Let us know if you have some thoughts on any of these movies, and check out past posts in the "More Horror" section.

Horror Release Roundup
May 2018

Horror Release Roundup <BR> May 2018

April showers bring May flowers… and what do May flowers bring? Turns out, not a whole lot of movies. But there’s still gold in them thar hills. Help us help you to find the diamonds in the rough…