The dog days of summer may be here but August’s horror entries are anything but lazy. I mean holy shit you guys. This bunch of movies are more lit than your campfires. In other words, they bat…
Welcome to the third quarter of the year everyone. It’s hot and the best thing you can do over those sweltering weekends is to stay inside and watch a nice horror movie with the AC blasting. It might not be the most energy efficient thing to do, but dammit if it doesn’t feel good. And what movie should you put on while trying not to sweat your ass off? Well, let us make a few suggestions 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 July of 2019. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
Prefer hearing words over looking at words? Try checking out our podcast.
Like us enough to throw a buck or two our way? We have a Patreon now!
07/02/2019 - VOD
Jack: The idea of protagonists lacking one major sense or another is becoming really popular on the backs of movies like A Quiet Place and Bird Box and Hush a little before that. Nothing about this looks bad, but it just feels like the logical conclusion of this trend by adding it to the zombie genre. I’ll let Jake watch this one, being the resident zombie fan and all.
Jake: Welp, the zombie category is already full enough for the month. This… uh… this looks like a zombie movie. It doesn’t look like a particularly good one either. The idea of blindness in the face of the threat is interesting but not sure it’ll amount to much here.
Mark: I generally like to start these things out by being positive, but god damn that is a stupid name for this movie. Kudos, however, should go to the editor for shoehorning in the main character basically reading the synopsis of the movie in the first 20 seconds of the trailer. The name is dumb but at least we know what we’re in for.
07/02/2019 - VOD
Jack: So I was quite ready to give this thing grief for an uninspired concept and an on the nose title, but maybe dolls are actually creepy enough to carry the day here. Damn if that didn’t actually look pretty freaky.
Jake: So this is an Uncork’d Puppet Master-ish thing. Not a lot of need for this but it makes some sense given the popularity of that franchise and Mark said it below… this could be worth a watch.
Mark: Wait, is that drew carey? I swear to god Uncork’d, if you got Drew Carey to do a horror movie then I fully apologize for everything I’ve ever said about you. IMDB informs me that this guy’s name is actually Thomas Downey, but hey at least now we all know what it takes to get back on my good side. In all seriousness, this actually does look like one of Uncork’d’s better efforts. Also, I’ve never had to make Uncork’d possessive like that and now I want to know what the style guide says I should do.
PLAY OR DIE
07/02/2019 - VOD
Jack: So the “based on” card toward the beginning definitely led me to believe that this movie was based on a best-selling puzzle until I went back through and re-read it. Full disclosure, most of my jokes were based on that fact. Kind of drawing a blank now . . . I don’t think people bemoan the fact that they made a movie about emojis enough.
Jake: Based on a book about events inspired by a game. Question: if rule number 1 is to be believed then does rule #2 matter?
Mark: Basically Escape Room but on a seemingly lower budget. I think there is something fundamentally appealing about these “malevolent games” types of movies. I’m in on this one. It might not be great, but at the very least the conceit will appeal to the potentially-a-serial-killer side of my brain.
07/03/2019 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Well. I mean, yes. What’s surprising to me is how much this feels like Hereditary. The guy’s really got a style, I guess, and that style works for me.
Jake: Given the unreal success of Hereditary, it was pretty inevitable that Aster’s next movie would carry some heavy expectations but this looks up to the task. Cult things really get to me for some reason. Can’t wait for this.
Mark: I guess Ari Aster really wanted to remake Wicker Man, but this time get it right? Well, looks (and per the early festival viewings, sounds) like he did. I guess the trick was to put it in Sweden instead of the San Juans. Who knew filmmaking was both that fickle and that easy? Really though, this looks great and I want it in my life.
STRANGER THINGS SEASON 3
07/04/2019 - NETFLIX
Jack: Obviously, I’m excited for this and it will almost certainly be great. That said, I like season 1 wayyyyyy more than season 2 and this trailer leads me to believe I will like season 3 a little less than season 2. I think this thing woked best when the supernatural stuff was really unknown and mysterious.
Jake: Known quantity binge fest, this. It seems odd to have Midsommar play second fiddle in any month but when we’re talking Stranger Things, that’s exactly what we have in July #blessed.
Mark: In preparation for this, the horror cinematic event of the summer, my lovely wife and I have been re-binging the first two seasons of Stranger Things. Both seasons are amazing, but season 1 absolutely blows 2 out of the water. Why? Well, many things, but in my opinion the chief reason is that instead of the cooperative optimism of the first season the Duffers defaulted to a much more simplistic angsty feel where all the characters basically argue non stop. Season 3 will be great if they can re-capture the vibe of the first season and could falter significantly if they continue to go down this path where all the characters hate each other for no sensical reason. Also, don’t (for the love of all that is holy) bring back any of those fucking stupid X-Men characters from that bullshit backdoor pilot. No one wants that.
07/09/2019 - VOD
Jack: Ooh, baby. A lot of tropes on display here. Jump scares, heavy violins, ouija boards, metronomes--it’s like they were working from a checklist. Not that that’s always a bad thing, but I’m not expecting much innovation here.
Jake: I have no idea what is happening in this trailer. The aunt plays too large a role. This is probably just a bump-in-the-night ghost story so I’m not going to worry about it too much but really not seeing anything that piques my interest.
Mark: Based on actual events… somebody’s aunt died? I mean, yeah, that’s probably happened. Someone’s aunt got mad at them? Also seemingly possible. Isn’t this basically the plot of Hereditary but with an aunt instead of a grandma? This is your run-of-the-milll ghost movie fodder. Probably good for putting on in the background at your halloween party, but there’s virtually no way it’s bringing anything new to the table.
07/12/2019 - RELEASE FORMAT
Jack: Oh hell yeah. I’m a little worried that there was a pretty major spoiler about halfway through that trailer, but who really cares? You’re not watching this thing to figure out if they survive the alligators.
Jake: You guys. Third fiddle (that’s a thing) is a fucking Alexandre Aja directed, Sam Raimi produces fast ball of a summer monster flick. I am so excited for this embarrassment of riches.
Mark: Ah yes, everyone’s new favorite genre cross-over: alligator home invasion. Sam Raimi and Alex Aja bring some gravitas to this one. This is the exact perfect time to release something like this. Best case scenario we get something that can run with Deep Blue Sea or Lake Placid. That might sound like a bad thing, but I love both of those movies.
07/12/2019 - VOD
Jack: They didn’t cast the girl who played that demon thing ninja in season 2 of Barry, and that was a mistake I cannot abide. Still though, this looks pretty cool and is probably worth a watch.
Jake: Pretty sure someone would just shoot the feral mom character and all of this action would never come to pass. This is America, after all.
Mark: So basically if Nell were a serial killer? Chicka chicka chickabee. Tee an me an tee an me, chickabee? (And then ostensibly she eats someone’s face or something.)
07/12/2019 - VOD
Jack: I have A LOT of questions about that whiskey decanter in the kitchen there. This is clearly an AirBnB kind of a sitch, right? Is this an AirBnB that comes with a decanter of whiskey for the guests? That’s a classy move. Did they bring their own decanter on vacation to pour whiskey into? Show me those establishing shots a la breaking bad. Did they rummage through the host’s house just to find a decanter? Then they probably deserve some of what they get. Again, build the world, show me how this happened.
Jake: This looks like it could be pretty brutal. I don’t care for torture porn, but that’s probably the necessary direction for this to stand out even a little bit. Looks well made but I do have a question about the synopsis. Does the phrase “murderous trouble” have a weird ring to it to anyone else? Sounds like a minor inconvenience when put that way.
Mark: So, kind of a strangers ripoff but with some purge mixed in as well? Looks good enough. Senseless violence just for the shit of it is something that will always work in horror at a very basic level. Production value doesn’t look incredible, but I’d watch this if it were on any of the common streaming services.
07/16/2019 - VOD
Jack: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again--if you’re going with a straight up and down home invasion flick, you’ve gotta put some time into finding or making cool masks. This, unfortunately, did not do that. I am pretty curious about the censor blurring on the guy’s face at the end, though.
Jake: This is the second straight release that looks a lot like The Strangers and this one seems to lack the potential of Trespassers. I do not appreciate this.
Mark: Oh, so we get two Strangers rip offs four days apart from each other? I guess there’s a little bit more to the story based on the synopsis we were able to find, but boy that sure is a strange coincidence isn’t it? There’s gotta be some marketing research something or other out there saying that this is the best month for Strangers ripoffs right?
07/18/2019 - SHUDDER
Jack: I’m always a little concerned when the use a pull quote from a publication predicting how the thing looks. “Looks like a blast” is the conclusion I should (and, for the record, kind of did) come to on my own after watching the trailer, not what I need the appeal to the authority of Bloody Disgusting to believe. It’s awesome that Shudder just keeps taking shots, however this turns out.
Jake: This may hit all the right notes and be hilarious and awesome. It’s also totally possible that this will fall totally fall flat but I don’t really care. Shudder is really starting to bring it with more and more exclusive and original content and I am genuinely excited to see what they continue to put out as they grow. Thanks Shudder!
Mark: This strikes me as a show where they came up with the name first and then decided to write a narrative around it. Having said that sardonically, I would now like to seriously state that this show looks awesome, and I fully endorse Shudder getting more original exclusive content.
07/19/2019 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
Jack: What just happened? Smart trailer-ing there, movie. Now I’m going to have to watch just to figure out what in the hell was going on. Also, I can figure out why that receptionist just ignores a weird woman standing directly in front of him for what looks like minutes on end.
Jake: This is a difficult trailer to glean much from in terms of what the hell the movie will be about (synopsis doesn’t help). What it does do is larger on some atmosphere and showcase some interesting and pretty gorgeous shots. I like it when movies give a tiny morsel but really afford you the opportunity to go in blind. Given the pedigree of the releases this month I probably won’t get to this until later in the year but it’s for sure one I will check out.
Mark: Hard to tell what’s going on here, but the imagery sure seems spooky. The opaque trailer combined with the synopsis kinda leads me to think this might feel a bit like Last Shift, and if that’s anywhere near the right ballpark then we’re all in for a treat. Why is she pantomiming driving a car like she’s in an improv class? That’s basically my biggest question here. Second biggest question: what was the smoke machine budget for this movie?
07/23/2019 - VOD
Jack: Yup. This sure is Critters. I will say that they seem to have just nailed the tone, which is among the most important things with campy flicks like this.
Jake: Hell yeah, dude. Like with Luz, I might not be able to get my eyeballs on this until later but this is gonna be a ton of fun. Those little bastards rolling around and causing mayhem is a thing of beauty. The earlier phrase “murderous trouble” applies much better in this scenario.
Mark: Crampton gonna Crampt, nahmean? Critters is one of those franchises that I’m glad exists, but I'll never really seek it out in any regard. Basically the same as tremors in that way. It’s doofy camp and this is going to premier on Syfy in a month or two… you know what you’re getting into with this one. I love the laser sound effects they use for the “really big gun.”
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS (aka ROCK PAPER DEAD)
07/23/2019 - VOD
Jack: See? Here we go. Original mask. I’m a little worried this might have one too many subplots going on, but I do like the hunting the serial killer thing, and I’ll good and guarantee you that: 1) there will be a significant twist; and 2) that significant twist will not be the final twist.
Jake: This movie is my dark horse for the month because it has the potential to and lightly suggests it may go the direction of having the female lead fuck with this dude, turning the tables a la the cop in The Devil’s Rejects. That would be awesome but I’m not sure it will go there.
Mark: If I just said “the doll movie from July” you could legitimately think I was talking about any of three or four movies. Are we at peak doll saturation? I guess I should say that at least The Boy 2, which also has a doll theme to it, was originally slated for release this month as welll but got pushed to December. This will likely be a moderately well made psychological serial killer type movie that I wouldn’t hate to watch. Michael Madsen wouldn’t sign off it it was that bad, would he?
HORRORISH RELEASE ROUNDUP
These movies might not exactly count as “horror,” but we figure we can squeeze them in with an “ish.” That still counts, right?
Once upon a time in Hollywood - 07/26/2019 - THEATRICAL
This is a dram-com about being recruited into Chuck Manson’s cult. Probably won’t be particularly scary unless you think hard about it, but Manson is a recognizable subject in the genre and there was that other Sharon Tate movie just a few months ago… A few of those shots of the family about to attack do ring true to the genre, and we don’t need much of an excuse to give a tenuous recommend to a movie with this cast.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1
Jack: Midsommar - Hereditary was amazing, and I have absolutely no reason to believe that this won’t measure up. The tone in that trailer is chilling.
Jake: Stranger Things Season 3 - I have to. Don’t fucking kill Steve, writers. Or I will come to your house, and I will cut you.
Mark: Midsommar - I get Jake’s take, but I’m also too concerned that they’ll continue to push that series down the angst rabbit hole. Midsommar is a new IP that is brought to us by the guy who brought us arguably the best movie from last year. The worst case version of Midsommar is still pretty damn good.
Jack: Deadsight - I don’t love zombie flicks to begin with, and I’m pretty soured on these down-a-sense movies (thanks, the Silence).
Jake: Ashes - I could barely give a shit about the likely run of the mill paranormal storyline here but the trailer was unnecessarily confusing as well. Does not inspire confidence.
Mark: Deadsight - I just don’t have any interest at all in seeing this. The sight disadvantage really doesn’t seem to impede the protagonist much and although the elevator pitch of the movie sounds good it just doesn’t look like it’ll execute.
We make an April showers joke in this post every single year. This year, I refuse to talk about pilgrims or spring or flowers or dentists. Why? I’m not sure, I’m just feeling spicy. Hey, speaking of spicy… this month has a pretty stellar lineup of on-the-radar and off-the-radar horror movies that you should probably look into so you don’t get blindsided by them like 8 months from now when they show up on those “best of 2019” lists.
March is here and spring is in the air. Valentine’s Day is behind us and St. Patrick’s day is doing its jig on the horizon. Maybe instead of going back to your yearly re-watch of Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun, you could take a look at some of these newer movies heading your way? March has some serious talent.
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 March of 2019. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
Prefer hearing words over looking at words? Try checking out our podcast.
03/01/2019 - THEATRICAL
French dancers gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all-night celebration morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD.
Jack: Now I’ve never done LSD, but I don’t believe that its whole thing is making people violent and deranged where they otherwise wouldn’t be. Also, with a crew that big, you figure at least of few of ‘em would end up on the kind of trip where they just can’t leave their corner or whatever. I also have many questions about how to regulate LSD dosage when you’ve just dissolved it in a large bowl that people are pulling from wily nilly. I guess what I’m saying is that this movie looks more style than substance. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Jake: So dancers at a dance thing do LSD… I don’t get what’s different about that than any normal night at any club, anywhere. I’m guessing this will take “dance battle” quite literally, but I’m still struggling to grasp how LSD is an inciting incident for dancers. They gotta be used to this shit.
Mark: This looks to be more than just Suspiria with drugs instead of witches, which is what my initial impressions were. I don’t want to pigeon hole this movie just because it uses dance, and to the credit of the director, the camera seems to move as much as the dancers themselves which is a nice thematic element. It is a little concerning that most of the movie appears to take place on one set… maybe they just don’t want to give too much away?
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND
03/01/2019 - VOD
Sarah O'Neill is building a life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris. A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbour shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiralling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust.
Jack: I would just not be very worried about a person of that stature headbutting the window of my modern-ish car. You ever see those compilation videos of local reporters trying to smash car windows with hammers and just miserably failing? Good shit. Also, the movie looks pretty creepy and like the kind of paranormal shit that really freaks me out.
Jake: Does anyone else think this kid looks like Haley Joel Osment? Also, that “hole” in the ground looks less like a hole and more like that pit in Star Wars that eats people (I don’t know the name. Don't @ me). Regardless, we got a changeling tale here that seems very well shot and atmospheric. Hopefully it’s a good entry that helps the year gain some needed momentum.
Mark: I like the soundtrack mix in that trailer. I also like the idea of discovering a Sarlac pit in the middle of the woods near your house. That’s creepy. What do I not like about this trailer? How half assed that window headbutt was. Right? That being said, if that’s my main complaint then you are doing pretty well for yourself. I can’t wait to see this one.
INTO THE DARK: TREEHOUSE
03/01/2019 - HULU
Peter Rake, who tries to escape a recent wave of negative tabloid exposure by retreating to his family’s vacation estate in the woods. But the ghosts of Peter’s past are everywhere and debts will be settled.
Jack: See, now I’m in a conundrum. On the one had, I have caught two of these so far (Pooka and Down) and didn’t particularly enjoy either of them. On the other hand, James Roday directed this, and I love that guy and also love Jimmy Simpson. I’ll probably end up watching this and hopefully this will be the installment that turns the series around.
Jake: Think this was made at least in part because of the role the treehouse played in Hereditary? McPoyle gon’ get it.
Mark: So, for the record James Roday directed this and he has generated enough good will for himself from Psyche that I will absolutely be watching this. Beyond that, this actually looks good and has a very low barrier to entry. It’s got that mix of fantasy monster haunting and childhood trauma that really gets the juices flowing nahmean?
03/01/2019 - VOD
A headstrong textile student tries to overcome her problems by accepting a summer job offer from an isolated and offbeat village of Kyrsyä.
Jack: Well this certainly looks . . . odd. I can’t quite figure out if that one shot of her addressing the camera directly means this is going to be a fourth-wall-breaking bonanza or if it’s just an interesting or symbolic shot. This kind of has the vibe of being a little too weird to be outright terrifying, but will make you feel weird and disturbed throughout.
Jake: Finland with another hat into the ring and this one looks, incesty? I wonder when the warning signs for this girl actually go off and how the alarms manage to be too late (I assume) because there is not one inhabitant of this village at any moment of this trailer that looks acceptable enough to make me spend a second in their township. Hard pass on them as people. Hard maybe on this flick.
Mark: Prime example of the people Jake is talking about? Skip to 1:03. Look at that beard. It’s majestic in its absurdity. I assume this movie will be a solid entry into the stranded-with-a-cult type of movies like Wicker Man or Apostle, but the trailer did not inspire much gusto in me to go and aggressively seek this out in any regard.
03/01/2019 - VOD
An orphaned teenager forms an unlikely friendship with a detective. Together they investigate her mother's murder, and uncover the supernatural force that proves to be a threat to her family.
Jack: You never guarantee the victim’s family you’re going to find the killer. Haven’t you seen any Law & Order SVU? That’s your mistake right there. And this just proves why that’s the case, what if she was just some random non-supernatural detective and this victim was killed by whatever CG ghost did the deed here? No chance of solving that one. You lucked out with those powers.
Jake: This seems like it might be horrorish rather than horror-proper, but whatevs. There’s some super duper dicey CG in this one and it looks like there’s a lot of it. As for the story, it kind of seems vaguely like a superhero plot line and as I type this I’m sure there are some nerds out there who are livid and calling for my head and fuck you nerd.
Mark: I’m a big superhero movie apologist. I like all of them almost without exception. Superpeople are just fun imagination capsules that present you with new and fun ways to escape your world. That little extra superhero twist on the “ally with a detective to solve a murder” trope might just be enough to pull me into this one.
30 MILES FROM NOWHERE
03/05/2019 - VOD
When five college pals return to rural Wisconsin for their estranged friend's funeral, what begins as an uneasy reunion becomes a terrifying fight for survival.
Jack: My grandparents used to live in Chanute Kansas, and when we would drive hundreds of miles down to see them, my dad would bemoan the fact that they live “a hundred miles from any place you’d rather be.” What I’m getting at it is that 30 miles doesn’t make something seem all that secluded. And if nowhere is the part that’s supposed to make me feel alone, then this makes it seem like I’m thirty miles closer to safety from that. What’s that? I should talk about the movie rather than just its title? Ehh, looks kind of generic.
Jake: Man I wonder what these people did to their friend because I gotta say, based on how pissed he is in the afterlife, I’m not sure they should have been invited to the funeral. Real low blow type stuff.
Mark: I disagree with Jake on this one. If I die anytime soon, I will absolutely spend my free time in the afterlife fucking with him and Jack. Blood coming out of the faucets? Yup, that’s gonna happen. Flickering lightbulbs? You betcha. He must’ve really loved these friends, because he could be hanging out with Elvis and instead decides to spend his time dragging them around the forest.
AMONG THE SHADOWS
03/05/2019 - VOD
A private investigator must unravel the murder of her uncle while keeping the secret that she is a descendant from a line of werewolves.
Jack: Wowsers bowsers. This trailer looks to be about half free stock footage. And the other half starts with an aggressively bad green screened Lindsay Lohan. I know her career took a turn and all, but holy diver. I cannot fathom this movie being even mildly watchable.
Jake: Is this a real movie? It kind of seems like one of those a fan would cobble together to make suckers think someone is in a new flick but it’s really just a bunch of footage recycled from other movies. This seems like it’s real though and Lindsay Lohan seems not good in it so I guess that makes sense. What a journey it was to land on “this movie exists”. Now I’m tired.
Mark: Okay, wait. For reals though. Is this actually a thing? Let me pull the curtain aside, we see a lot of fake trailers while putting this piece together. I feel like we are pretty adept at sniffing them out. This one? I have no clue. If it is actually the true true then I really want to know what percentage of this movie was shot in front of a green screen, because judging by the trailer it’s upwards of 90%. You couldn’t just shoot the dialogue on a set?
03/05/2019 - VOD
Rose is a quiet, demure, unassuming woman. When a terrible accident leaves Rose scarred beyond recognition she seeks out a radical untested stem cell treatment. When the treatment seems too good to be true, she must realize that everything in life comes at a price.
Jack: The description of this makes it seem like a body-horrorish monster flick. I’m way in for that. Mark says it’s a Cronenberg remake, so I’m now deeming my analysis unassailable.
Jake: Mark did the research (I think) so… what he said.
Mark: So there’s no trailer yet for this one, and what I’m getting from our thorough and incredibly probing research is that this is a remake/reimagining of the 1977 Cronenberg flick from two Canadian sisters. I’m betting it’ll be a solid body horror flick, so if that’s your bailiwick then keep an eye out for this one.
03/06/2019 - VOD
A neuroscientist's obsession with a drug that expands the human mind inadvertently unleashes a deadly supernatural force on his team.
Jack: So I’m pretty sure that a big part of hallucinations is your brain believing that they’re real, and I’m not sure I’d believe anyone saying they could identify one. That said, the monster looks pretty cool, and this might be the first movie to play with the scientifically-induced afterlife thing and actually be watchable. Plus it’s got Sofia from the League in it. So it’s probably a watch.
Jake: Moderately cool looking monster in this one aside from 1 or 2 shots where it looks like a walking lump of feces. I’m hoping it comes along with some good scares but will tread lightly. This seems like a Jack movie.
Mark: “I’d know a hallucination if I saw one?” Would you though? Isn’t that like the whole deal with hallucinations is that they’re believable? I have a hard time getting behind a movie that has a line like that in the first few seconds of the trailer, but this actually seems to be pretty decent monster fodder.
03/07/2019 - NETFLIX
Out to avenge his mother's death, a college student pledges a secret order and lands in a war between werewolves and practitioners of dark magic.
Jack: Oh, what a fun, clever, and timely use of “fake news.” You’re so up on the zeitgeist, movie. I mean, it’s almost a guaranteed watch just by virtue of being on Netflix which means it will start auto-playing. And I’m really really hoping that the line “What does it do? Anything is possible” is just bad trailer editing and doesn’t actually appear that way in the movie.
Jake: Love Netflix doing more and more horror and even horrorish things. Not sure where exactly this will fall because of the heavy dose of whimsy to that trailer, but there were enough werewolves involved to think it’ll have a chance at being pretty cool. I hope the maulings are aplenty.
Mark: This is the most stereotypical Netflix thing I’ve seen to the point where I would buy that it’s some type of parody. Young adult themed semi-horror set in a high school full of 20 somethings and solid production value with a sonic backdrop of a synthy bass with repeating female vocals and a trailer that drops like a week before the movie comes out. Neato. Am I stuck in the matrix? Can anyone else see that lady in a red dress?
GARDEN PARTY MASSACRE
03/12/2019 - VOD
A gathering of friends goes awry when an uninvited guest appears. With a pickax. And an attitude.
Jack: So here’s the thing. This is ultra-low budget and it’s cool that the filmmakers actually did the damn thing and made it. That being cool, mind you, does not make me want to see it. Also, I don’t care how low budget your movie is, don’t have the person give up on mustard-ing their wiener after not actually getting any on said wiener. That has nothing to do with your budget. That’s just being careless with your wieners. We here at A to Z Horror cannot abide that.
Jake: In the space of “__ Party Massacre” movies, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this will be near the bottom of the barrel. Definitely no chance at reaching the lofty heights of Slumber Party Massacre or Dude Bro Party Massacre 3.
Mark: One time when I was in high school me and a friend of mine rented a slasher flick from the local Hollywood Video, took it home, popped it in the DVD player, and something along these lines came on. We lasted about 3 minutes before turning it off and finding something to watch on MTV. I tell you that completely pointless story to provide the basis for my opinion that this movie also looks like it will overstay its welcome in about 3 minutes. Shit, I got tired of it during the trailer.
03/22/2019 - THEATRICAL
A family's serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorize them.
Jack: Yeah. Not much to say here. This looks amazing on every level. This would be the top pick if Jordan Peele wasn’t fresh off one of the best and coolest horror flicks in modern history. But that’s also a thing.
Jake: Wow. Just wow. Top 1 for this month. Top 1 for probably the year. Let’s go see it.
Mark: I have no idea what putting five on it means, and at this point I’m too afraid to ask. I’m not going to belabor the point on this one. This movie looks good. It looks sublimely good. It looks existentially terrifying, smart, disturbing, funny, and psychotic break inducing. If this turns out to be a fraction of what I’m hoping for then I will be satisfied.
BOOK OF MONSTERS
03/19/2019 - VOD
Sophie's 18th birthday party becomes a bloodbath when six terrifying monsters descend upon her house.
Jack: Is waiting for your parents to go out and drinking when they’re gone a big thing when you’re 18 in Great Britain? It is here, but you also can’t just go to a fucking bar when you’re 18 here. Now don’t get it twisted, this looks like a ton of fun and I legitimately chuckled with delight when those garden gnomes popped up at the end, but still.
Jake: That was shockingly so much more interesting than I was expecting. Practical will do that for you. This might be pushing for a dark horse pick, y’all.
Mark: Am I given to believe that she carved that pentacle into the guys chest before she became possessed and summoned Satan’s horde? I know Europeans are known for their sexual proclivities, but that is a bit much for my delicate constitution. This looks like a fun and silly (albeit mindless) romp, and there will always be a place in my heart for gnomes bursting forth from someone’s chest.
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
03/27/2019 - FX
A look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of four vampires who've lived together for over 100 years in Staten Island.
Jack: This looks absurdly funny. Matt Berry, Mark Proksch, and Taika Waititi? Yes please. All three of those people are known for really bizarre high-concept comedy, but I think were all funniest when they were doing more middle of the road stuff which this looks to be.
Jake: The movie was funny but I thought it started to lose its shine as the film went on so I’m definitely pumping the brakes just a bit on this. This definitely looks like What We Do in the Shadows and when I think about it conceptually, the concept seems like it would fit a show format really well, so there’s definitely hope here, but I’m not going too far.
Mark: While I hear what Jake is saying I have two rebuttal arguments to make: Taika Waititi and Mark Proksch. Boom, QED. This might not be an absolutely stop-what-you’re-doing-to-watch uproarious comedy series, but I will at least bet that it’ll be prime Hulu fodder that you’ll sink into and then realize you’ve watched 7 episodes since breakfast.
THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL
03/29/2019 - VOD
A feature-length anthology film. They are known as myths, lore, and folktales. Created to give logic to mankind’s darkest fears, these stories laid the foundation for what we now know as the horror genre.
Jack: Note to other trailer editors - If you’re going to insist on flashing your festival awards around during your trailer, the least you could do is actually arrange them interestingly and meaningfully like this one does with the upside down cross reveal. That was kind of cool. As for the actual movie, I’m not sure what the connective tissue, if any, of this anthology is. Looks kind of cool regardless, but I’d still like to know.
Jake: Anthologies are always a way more reasonable an endeavor when I’m skeptical about the quality than normal flicks because the time each segment demands is so much more limited and there is always bound to be some quality in at least one segment. I didn’t find a ton that I was interested in from the trailer for this one, specifically, but it’s about folktales and they did the thing where they had directors from different countries for each segment. That’s a cool combo. I’ll probably check this out just to see if there’s something cool to be seen.
Mark: I like that they say that we “probably haven’t seen an anthology like this” to leave the door open for us weirdos who might actually have seen an anthology like this. That phrasing please both my inner horror nerd and my inner stats nerd. This is coming from the people who brought us the ABCs of Death so I’m sure it’ll be interesting, but I just wish that the trailer gave us a little more information on what the anthology was actually trying to accomplish.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1
Jack: Us - I’ll leave it to the other two yahoos to say more.
Jake: Us - no shit.
Mark: Us - Yes, shit. For the record (since you didn’t come here to just see us pick Us a bunch) Hole in the Ground is my runner up. I’m actually also very excited for that movie as well.
Jack: Among the Shadows - This looks so astonishingly unwatchable that I will be making a metric fuck-ton of ill advised bets just to try to pin watching this thing on one of the other guys.
Jake: Stray - I probably would have taken the layup like Mark but this looks like a vaguely super-heroey flick with terrible CG throughout. Nah.
Mark: Garden Party Massacre - Yeah so this is a layup and I’m taking it. March is a strong month content-wise and this is the lone movie that looks terrible.
February: Still winter, almost spring. Valentine’s Day AND President’s Day? Wow. What a month. Also, not for nothing, it’s Women in Horror Month, so make sure you celebrate that appropriately. February 2019 is hitting us in full force, and frankly has already dropped some gems in our lap by the time you’re reading this.
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 February of 2019. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
02/01/2019 - HULU
A pair of office workers get trapped in an elevator over a long Valentine’s Day weekend, but what at first promises to be a romantic connection turns dangerous and horrifying.
Jack: Okay. Hold on. I’mma let the obvious copy of Devil pass for a minute because there’s something more important to talk about here. The guy in that trailer is clearly the villain. I flat refuse to look up how many times valentine’s and presidents’ day happen on the same weekend, because no non-demon human in the history of forever has or would have referred to that event as the perfect storm. Nope.
Jake: Is Valentine’s Day a holiday that anyone, anywhere, gets a day off for? If not, then I’m confused because I don’t know anyone who is getting more than 3 days off for that “long weekend”. President’s Day is the federal holiday, not that Hallmark bullshit.
Mark: These two bozos are over here commenting on the semantics of holidays, and the only thing I can focus on is the fact that some file folders are deleting themselves from a computer that appears to be running Windows Vista. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say neither of them are the villains and that they’re being attacked (or maybe set up on an elaborate blind date) by some type of sentient techno-demon.
THE VELVET BUZZSAW
02/01/2019 - NETFLIX AND LIMITED THEATRICAL
Note: This trailer is super long and a bit spoilery. You can turn it off at about 1:10 and still get the gist without spoiling too much.
After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.
Jack: Well alright. I was all ready to slam this trailer for being way too long, but damn if I was engrossed throughout that whole thing. I dug Nightcrawler a whole lot and think it was pretty underrated, so I’m into this whole thing. But you know what? What if the trailer didn’t show me the entirety of the horror turn? Okay, I’m back on thinking this trailer is way too fucking long.
Jake: Jack’s wrong. This trailer is still way too long. And it officially lost me when the monkeys started doing monkey things. Not that it was the movie fault, mind you. But I just couldn’t help but think about Jumanji for the rest of the trailer. Yeah, I have problems… This movie will be great.
Mark: There is no way I’m going to take Gyllenhaal’s performance as anything other than Ongo Gablogian.I fully expect this movie to be one of those that I find funny, but also I’m not sure if that was intended or not. Does that make it art? I have no clue. Will this movie be another grand slam netflix power house? I have no clue. Will everyone at work be talking about it and will there be a Velvet Buzzsaw challenge where people set themselves on fire while driving around town? Yeah… probably.
02/01/2019 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
A man kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service, and kill an unsuspecting prostitute.
Jack: A lot of those things fit in that trailer. And then one thing abundantly did not. All of the psychosexual stuff fits very well with the kinky, BDSM, border-questioning horror this thing appears to have going on. And then there’s a talking infant at one point? Kind of mood killer. I have a feeling that this thing won’t be anything like the tone we just saw.
Jake: What. The Fuck. The Eyes of My Mother was pretty gnarly and this looks like it’s from an entirely different universe of weirdness. Count this one in for at very least a lost bet movie because it’s too damn odd not to be.
Mark: If Jake is going to hand this thing out as a penalty for a lost bet then I’m going to start throwing bets. It feels weird to say (and will definitely get me on some lists in a government building somewhere) but I am really digging what this movie is putting down. The hotel room torture scene thing has been done before, but I get the sense that this mixes in enough absurdly weird toppings that it won’t get bogged down enough to make it a slog. Mix in some good ol fashioned doo-wop and I’m hooked.
02/01/2019 - HBO
This HBO Asia Original horror anthology series features the deeply-rooted superstitions and myths across six Asian countries, including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Jack: Why was there a random white guy in the middle of that trailer saying “holy fuck”? That made me think that “U.S.” was going to pop in at the end there when they were listing countries. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it didn’t, but was that supposed to be in there?
Jake: Conceptually, this seems awesome. I really hope it’s actually accessible because I’d be in just to see the differences in style from place to place.
Mark: Anthology series? Cool. Based in Asian folklore? Cool. Something I’m going to have to ask my sister for her HBO Go password for? Less cool. If nothing else I like that this exists as it seems that off-mainstream horror is becoming more and more desirable for streaming services, which is going to make things better for all of us in the long run.
02/01/2019 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
02/05/2019 - VOD
During an outbreak of a deadly plague, a mystical woman must save her tight-knit Jewish community from foreign invaders, but the entity she conjures to protect them is a far greater evil.
Jack: Hell yeah. We’ve been wondering for awhile why there isn’t more Jewish horror. Not that religious horror is something I really need in my life, but if I’m gonna have to sit through x hours of demonic possessions and crucifixes every year, I might as well be exposed to other myths too. And to be clear, this looks to be about as good as the upper tier of bad possession movies that come out every year. Which isn’t great.
Jake: This trailer is too fucking long. And it’s boring. I also got all I needed to know out of the on-screen text. This is made by the creators of Jeruzalem. Ok. I hated that movie. This is “A Jewish Frankenstein”. Oh. Just that I’ve been clamoring for…
Mark: It seems that the single piano key trailer score trend has been replaced by the single atonal cello string plucking trend. On the one hand, I can really only name one time I’ve seen an honest-to-god golem storyline in horror media, and it was that episode of The X-Files with the dude made out of garbage. On the other, this still looks like it might be pretty trope driven. Time will have to tell if this thing is creative as it has the possibility to be. From the directors of Jeruzalem? Uh oh.
THE MERMAID: LAKE OF THE DEAD
02/05/2019 - VOD, DVD
An evil Mermaid falls in love with Marina's fiancé Roman and aims to keep him away from Marina in her Kingdom of Death under water.
Jack: You know, the last mermaid horror movie I saw was The Lure, and it’s going to be pretty hard to convince me that this extremely generic looking flick that happens to feature a mermaid is going to be worth it after the unadulterated insanity that was The Lure.
Jake: Awful lot of jumpscares involving mildly to full-blown horrible CG effects. That’s flat-out danger zone for the movie and there’s also a real chance you just saw all of them right here in a 2 minute trailer. What’s the reason for me to throw this five bones at this point? So I can see mermaid lady jolt at me again?
Mark: When did mermaids become the villains? Back in my day mermaids were just there to ogle you from afar and sing to their crustacean-jamaican friends about life in the Epipelagic Zone. It was sirens you had to worry about. They were the ones that sang too… I feel like we definitely got some mythological wires crossed within the last decade or so. This movie might have some budget limitations, and with it some not-great-looking CG effects in that trailer, but I’m actually surprisingly interested by it. It seems like it has a lot to say about mermaids and their ability to teleport into any source of water anywhere, and I would like to know more about their powers. If a mermaid doesn’t swim out of somebody’s blood stream in this film I am going to be upset.
02/08/2019 - THEATRICAL
A mother concerned about her young son's disturbing behavior thinks something supernatural may be affecting him.
Jack: Yikes. When the best name-dropping you can do is “a producer” of the Exorcism of Emily Rose, you’d have been better off not saying anything. And god dammit. That was such a rad jump scare, why did they fucking just ruin it right there in the trailer? Still, this looks pretty good and the heterochromia on the kid is a nice touch.
Jake: This trailer is too long. And not a lot happens. It’s going for the tension thing and I suppose the second half is pretty good but you could start almost a minute in and get nothing different from the thing. Judging by the pre trailer-trailer, this movie is at least acting like it’s the real deal. I’m not sure I’m convinced, but I’m going to avoid anything more and try to go in as blind as possible.
Mark: It is sorta funny that the trailer seems to be actively trying to put you to sleep. Maybe not the best device to get people excited for your movie? Except, I suppose it worked because I’m in like Flynn on this one. Kids are creepy, and now if I have to start worrying about past lives then that well becomes much deeper. Sidenote, I’m not a musical person and only am just now realizing that metronomes tick when the pendulum is all the way out and not when it’s straight up. Ya learn something new every day.
02/08/2019 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
London-raised Ronnie returns to his home in India to discover his mother Suleka has died in mysterious circumstances. As he uncovers a series of similar past murders, Ronnie's own inner-darkness come to light.
Jack: Holy diver, this looks downright terrifying to me. I always love horror movies based on lore and cultures that I’m not terribly familiar with. Plus, the use of color in the trailer alone is striking. This is on my must-watch list.
Jake: It’s hard to take too much away from that trailer but it looks like it’s a competently made film and I am totally down with checking out a horror movie from India because that’s an area I definitely don’t have much experience in.
Mark: I’m going to get past it in a second, but I can’t not comment on the title. I feel like it was supposed to be more deep than it is. Darkness is visible all the fucking time. Unless you are somehow reading these words from the world of THX 1138 then I’m not buying that darkness isn’t visible. As far as the movie goes I can get behind any trend that brings in some new horror cultures into the mix, and if they’re willing to lower the barrier to entry and shoot in english then more power to them. This one might not blow your socks off, but you never know.... Maybe you’ll see something new. Just please don’t make another The Other Side Of the Door.
THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT
02/08/2019 - VOD
A legendary American war veteran is recruited to hunt a mythical creature.
Jack: Sam Elliott badassery and sweeping Canadian vistas is enough to draw me in right off the bat. There is very little that could stop me from seeing this movie.
Jake: Title alone should have you ready to throw down whatever it takes to see this. But then you’ll see that it has Sam Elliott and Ron Livingston in it. Wow. Just wow. Take all of my money.
Mark: Likely to be more horrorish than horror, but sometimes those are the ones that surprise you. This will obviously get our stamp of approval because it looks awesome, but can I just gripe for one second that they could’ve gotten rid of the “the” before bigfoot and it would flow just a little bit better? Wait, that’s two title gripes in a row now… I must be in a mood.
02/08/2019 - VOD
Set in the 1950s in small-town Georgia, a pregnant young woman named Agatha seeks refuge in a convent. What first starts out as the perfect place to have a child turns into a dark layer where silence is forced, ghastly secrets are masked, and every bit of will power Agatha has is tested as she learns the sick and twisted truth of the convent and the odd people that lurk inside its halls.
Jack: Hey, here’s part of that pile of christian horror movies I was talking about earlier. I guess this could surprise me, but I’m pretty sure it will be fairly indistinguishable from the other 400 demonic horror movies that will come out this year.
Jake: Oh shit. Nunsploitation making a comeback. There are a lot of Sitges 2018 movies coming out on Feb 8th. I have not idea how good they all are but that’s at least a little exciting.
Mark: Are we all just going to accept that nunsploitation is a thing? If there is a setting or character archetype that has been in more than two movies does it just automatically qualify for a sploitation? I’ll tell you what, that rorschach-without-the-splotches masked homey shows promise, but everything else about the trailer leaves me very uninterested.
02/08/2019 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
On a remote island off the west coast of Scotland in 1846 a heavy storm hits, causing a ship to sink. The survivors soon discover that the myth of a ghostly siren haunting the island may be true, driving them to uncover the truth whilst they battle to survive.
Jack: It’s giving me a headache that everyone in the trailer calls it “the island” when the movie is called “the isle.” I honestly didn’t even really retain any other information from the trailer. I would also guess that if you can’t find an island with rudimentary navigating equipment in a spinning rowboat, it’s not that the island--sorry, isle--doesn’t or shouldn't exist. It’s that you don’t have a sextant or whatever. Or a table.
Jake: A period piece about people running around on a spooky British island just isn’t doing it for me. I’m not sure if I’ve hit my period piece quota or if cold, damp windswept islands are too much to enthrall me in the dead of winter, but my excitement meter didn’t move at all while watching the trailer. This is going to be a pass from me.
Mark: For a moment I thought this might be a reimagining of Shock Waves and I got very excited. Although I can’t be certain that this isn’t that, I’m pretty sure no one will ever re-imagine that movie. At its best this could be something like It Comes at Night on an island and with a plot, so at least it has promise.
HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U
02/13/2019 - THEATRICAL
Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.
Jack: The first one of these ended up being really fun, and this one looks no different. Jessica Rothe is charming and magnetic on screen, and, like the first movie, the very worst this one will be because of how good she is is good, stupid fun. I’m not giving it much hype beyond that, but that’s plenty. What are you people looking for these days? Sheesh.
Jake: I didn’t really think we’d be seeing Happy Death Day turn into a series and when this was announced I wasn’t really able to make heads or tails of it but hey, just watch the trailer if you’re skeptical. Seems fun, right?
Mark: What Jake fails to realize is that Happy Death Day made a cool $125MM on a $5MM budget, which is a return of 2500%. Granted, that’s basically all Blumhouse ever does (make piles of cash off small budget movies - the much worse Truth or Dare had a return of 2700%), but I’m not even remotely surprised they’re dipping back into this well. It’s funny. It’s got that easy to settle into college setting. It’s super easy to setup bonkers situations like skydiving in your skivvies. It satiates our subconscious need to watch Groundhog Day. They’d be dumb not to make it. And releasing it for Valentine’s Day as a date movie? Brilliant.
02/26/2019 - DVD
A man, who years earlier mysteriously abandoned his family and isolated himself in a small northern town, returns for one last chance to reconnect with his troubled daughter. When she goes missing, he risks everything to find her, including exposing the fact that he is becoming invisible.
Jack: What does this have to do with Unbreakable? You know what? I don’t even care, this looks original as shit and totally awesome. The effects, though briefly shown, look largely practical and great. Mark me down.
Jake: Damn this guy gets all fucked up. If that’s what getting a superpower looks like I don’t want it. Too much drama and I like my guts on the inside of my skin, thanks.
Mark: I honestly think the best thing this movie can do is avoid using the invisibility as a hamfisted metaphor for anything. For one, it will lead to a bunch of people arguing about whether or not it has a deeper meaning, which will generate both word of mouth and possibly create some interesting fan theories. For two, it can allow the movie to focus on the actual interesting part of its story which is that this dude is literally turning invisible for no reason and it looks fucking weird. That’s what I want to see. If the effects are pulled off even remotely well then this could be a phenomenally interesting little flick. Hopefully it actually comes out… (it’s been kicked around the release schedule for a bit).
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1
Jack: Darkness Visible - I cannot get over the cinematography and use of color in that trailer. If this continues that and has a halfway competent story, it will be excellent.
Jake: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot - for having the best title ever and then showing me who is in the movie.
Mark: Piercing - I’m already on their list. I might as well lean in, right? The bloody fishbowl murder movies are not typically my thing at all, but if this movie has any of the charm and editing prowess of the trailer then I’ll be all the way in on this one.
Jack: Down - This appears to have an unoriginal premise with very little to back that up. No thanks.
Jake: The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead - I was damn close to picking Golem but the over-reliance on jumpscares in this trailer bodes terribly for the quality of the film as a whole. There are some other forgettable movies this month, but I have the feeling this one could be a rage-inducing piece of work.
Mark: St Agatha - Nuns and convents don’t really resonate with me at all as a horror element. I just don’t see any avenues where I find this movie either engrossing or entertaining.
Welcome back, dear reader, and happy new year! If you’re reading this then you must’ve survived the apocalypse and managed not to look at any otherworldly zephyrs of suicide inducing leaf movement. 2019 greets us with a frankly lackluster number of new horror movies coming out. But what the month may lack in quantity, it may just make up for in quality, as there’s some heavy hitters coming in.
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 January, 2019. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
01/04/2019 - Theatrical
Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control, and must use their wits to survive.
Jack: I’m actually really surprised this concept hasn’t been brought to the big screen as a horror flick before now, because it fits perfectly. Almost . . . suspiciously perfectly? I really like the Cube-style modular rooms of terror this looks like it’s bringing, and it looks very well put together. Also Karen from Daredevil is in this thing! She’s a good actor. So there’s that.
Jake: This movie looks super duper fun. I don’t know if it will be very good, but I’d be shocked if I wasn’t entertained. Plus it has Tyler Labine in it, so you know you want to see it. If it sounds interesting, I’d recommend not watching the trailer because that thing seems SPOILERY AS FUCK.
Mark: If your curious, Minos was the dickhole king of Crete who commissioned Daedalus’ famous labyrinth and eventually became the judge of the dead in Hades. So if that's not foreshadowing than I don't know what is. This really strikes me as having the same vibe as Jigsaw, the Saw franchise reboot that came out in 2017, but it doesn’t appear that the two movies share any DNA. That movie surprised me with how good it was (especially in relation to how bad the franchise had gotten before it), and I’m hoping that this one does the same. There’s just some part of my lizard brain that likes these exceptionally complicated yet somehow poetic traps that force characters to confront their past. I’m not sure I’ll ever get bored of that setup.
01/04/2019 - Limited Theatrical
An overachieving college student gets lost on her way to a job interview. A wrong turn leaves her stranded deep in the Kentucky forest. The woman must defend herself against the harsh elements and a band of ruthless outlaws. She is forced into an uneasy alliance with a strange loner who has unknown intentions.
Jack: You know, for a concept as tired as the wrong-turn leads to hillbillies wanting to kill you, this actually looks pretty innovative and cool. I do predict that this will have a least a few twists along the way, but the kind of twist that you can see coming from well earlier, along the way. What? I’m eloquent.
Jake: This seems a lot more thriller than horror but we’ll include it here because this wrong turn genre is for real and the hillbilly cat & mouse game can get pretty ugly. Will it in this flick? I doubt it but I’m also usually wrong.
Mark: As Jake said, this will likely be pretty low on the scare factor score, but pretty high on the intensity factor score. Moreover, it actually looks like a pretty solid movie on its own right even outside the confines of the horror genre. If this one lands itself on any of the major distribution channels I’ll plan on giving it a watch.
The Vanishing (aka ‘Keepers’)
01/04/2019 - Limited Theatrical
Three lighthouse keepers on the remote Flannan Isles find a hidden trunk of gold, leading to their mysterious disappearance.
Jack: By “based on true events,” do they mean that one time a lighthouse keeper disappeared? Cool, good work. Also that trailer gave way too much of the movie’s plot away. I kind of thought we were moving away from that particular issue, but here we are. Nothing about this looks bad, but it sure doesn’t look exciting to me either.
Jake: Another possibly horrorish movie coming out this month, but at least this one asks the age old question, “what’s in the box?” At very best, this seems like it could be in the same-ish psychological sector as something like Black Mountain side, which, to be clear, it absolutely won’t be but we have to make exciting comparisons that are totally unfounded or we aren’t doing our jobs.
Mark: It sorta sends the wrong message to have the opening lines of your trailer be “we don’t talk about this.” If that’s true then, well, what exactly are you talking about? I am also immediately dubious of anything that claims to be “based on true events.” Especially, because it seems that these people disappeared and presumably never reappeared. Should read more along the lines of “based on a dramatized version of something that could’ve happened we suppose.” Man, I should quit my job and go into marketing.
01/11/2019 - Limited Theatrical, VOD
A group of college freshmen pledge an exclusive fraternity but soon realize there's more at stake than they could have ever imagined.
Jack: I’m confused about the “this isn’t a frat” line. Like, did these guys pledge a regular, well-established frat but it was taken over by lunatics for the night, or does this frat do this pretty routinely? Frats have some heft paperwork to comply with, and I think I’d need like 45 minutes of story to explain how a frat is continuously getting away with it. Not that I’d want to watch 45 minutes of explanations about how a frat skirts administrative regulations, but I’d need it to be satisfied. It’s hard being me.
Jake: I don’t know if this is trying to be serious or funny or both, but I’m a little concerned about the tone with this one. Granted, this is just a trailer and we see plenty of trailers that are waaaay different than the movie. Still, I’m feeling a bit funny about the odor wafting from the direction of this flick. I’m going to play it cautiously.
Mark: I suppose it was only a matter of time before we got a hazing as torture porn style movie (which also might have some Would You Rather mixed in for good measure). Truth be told, I’m actually rather surprised it took this long. The only other movie I can think of that is in the same space is The Skulls, and even then it’s only kind of. This might not be good, but at least it’s a setup that is relatively fresh.
01/18/2019 - Theatrical
Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
Jack: Don’t do that. You know about Glass. It’s going to be great. You’re going to watch it.
Jake: This will be a good movie that is extremely well done and the acting chops that will be on display are otherworldly, and I don’t give a shit. When we enter superhero territory, I’m out hard. I hate superhero movies.
Mark: Coming off what I thought was a truly stellar supporting role in Birdbox, Sarah Paulson is one of those people that I want to see everything that she touches. Jake is right in saying that this is going to be a cavalcade of talent, and the fact that Anya Taylor Joy only gets like 8 seconds of screen time in the trailer is a great indication of this. I actually do like superhero movies, so I’ll be reporting back on this one. Only thing is this: I fully expect this to not be a horror movie.
The Final Wish
01/24/2019 - Limited Theatrical
After the death of his father, Aaron returns home to help his grief-stricken mother and to confront his past. Going through his dad's belongings, he comes across a mysterious item that is more than it seems.
Jack: Ugggh. What even is this? Is this in the same world as Wishmaster? It’s got Tony Todd in it, so they’re clearly pulling for some kind of nostalgic allusions. But then it looks like it’s taking itself totally seriously too. I do not like that combination.
Jake: I don’t know about you, but I prefer my djinn to have some personality. This one seems to be all bite and no bark. All wheat and no chaff, nahmean? That said, the movie made sure to let you know it’s going to share some DNA with Final Destination, so here’s hoping for some entertaining kills.
Mark: Of course Tony Todd is in this. And of course he has some expositional knowledge about the exact nature of things that are happening. I like this cast. I like this concept. I’m not totally sure when it is we’ll actually be able to see this movie given their weird one-night-only release, but I’ll be trying to watch as soon as it becomes widely available..
Top 1 / Bottom 1
Jack: Glass - This is going to be well acted and well put together, and polish off a trilogy that I have quite enjoyed the first two installments of. This is what I’m looking for.
Jake: Escape Room - Fuck it. We are in the vice grip of winter and I want something entertaining.
Mark: The Final Wish - There are only 6 movies this month and two of them are massive blockbusters that we’ve seen coming for a while. I’m picking The Final Wish because it surprised me with some interesting content and I think it actually looks promising as long as you can get past the makeup effects on the djinn.
Jack: The Final Wish - Whatever this movie was going for, I’m almost certain they missed the mark. If it’s just trying to wink at Wishmaster, I’m out. If it’s trying to take itself totally seriously, then why the nods to Wishmaster? I’m out.
Jake: Glass - must be a pretty good month so I’ll put the “objectively not horror but all the horror fans will be talking about it so we do too” superhero movie here.
Mark: Pledge - Unique premise, but the trailer leaves the execution looking lackluster. There isn’t really a bottom of the barrel pick this month so my hand is forced.
Ho Ho Ho, Merry Wintertimes. Happy solstice. Cheerful almost-next-Julian-Calendar-year. Also, all the holiday jazz too. With times this festive the best thing I can think to do is close myself in a room and plow through the last horror movies 2018 has to offer. Next time we see you the year will end in a 9! How crazy is that? I bet that doesn’t happen for another thousand years.
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 December of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
A BRILLIANT MONSTER
12/01/2018 - VOD
Where do you get those brilliant ideas? A question which plagues all creators. They say success comes with a price, but for the story of Mitch Stockridge, an author of self-help books, that price feeds a bigger monster inside of us all.
Jack: Wow. Starting off the month heavy, huh? This movie looks well made and all, but I can’t help feeling like I don’t need to turn to fiction for this particular tale these days. Probably not a must-watch for this guy.
Jake: The most impressive part of this trailer is that they captured the same, stupid face on what I presume is the main character and his kid self, and it’s the most absurd, least realistic mug I’ve seen in some time. Also, if a movie uses a pull quote to clarify that it’s “for the horror fans out there”, how confident are you in its horrorness?
Mark: For some reason this just reminds me of the old Twisted Metal intro video for Mr Grimm that asked “What happens when I mind is forced to bend so far that it breaks?” Granted this guy didn’t have his mind shattered in Vietnam and decide to wear his buddy’s skull as a hat, but I’m sure this self help guru guy has seen his own share of shit.
IT’S JUST A GAME
12/01/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
A teenage girl is kidnapped by a bizarre theatre cult intent on summoning an ancient witch.
Jack: Did they need to make up an alternative to Bloody Mary? I mean, I guess I’m for original content, but not when it’s so similar to existing lore. I . . . I . . . dammit. I can’t think anymore because now I just want a bloody mary. OOH! That’s why they did it. Good work, filmmakers.
Jake: In the spirit of the season and being positive, I am absolutely thrilled that trailer was a minute long.
Mark: Anytime anyone has ever said “It’s just a game” they are 100% of the time being a dick or an idiot. I can hardly blame this witch for killing these kids… they summoned her. Also, they seem to be dangling on the precipice of insanity as it is, so this probably didn’t help. I mean, who just has those types of costumes lying around?
12/02/2018 - SYFY CHANNEL TV SERIES
On a mission aboard the Nightflyer, the most advanced ship ever built, a team of scientists embark on an expedition to make first contact with alien life.
Jack: Is this what I keep seeing those NYT interviews with George R.R. Martin about? That guy’s got a history of being involved with successful shows, so that’s something I guess, even if the parts of the show not based on his books that took years to write are hot garbage. There’s a lot of horror shows these days, so the bar is pretty high, and I’m guessing this won’t quite clear it.
Jake: I typically stay at arm’s length from tv series, and I don’t anticipate I’ll be jumping on board this one, but I will say the similarities to Event Horizon are interesting, at least. It looks like this one will be on Netflix in terms of secondary airing, so it won’t be hard to find.
Mark: SyFy occupies a very strange place in the genre. It consistently produces content, but most of it is (at best) tongue-in-cheek cash grabs that are geared toward stoners (see: Sharknado). But then they go and do something like this, an apparent collaboration with Goerge R R Martin that seems like a totally serious serialized version of Event Horizon. I find this incredibly intriguing, but I’ll wait until I can binge the whole thing before I get my hopes up.
ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING
12/04/2018 - VOD
When an awkward date on Christmas Eve leads a couple into a strange theater, they're treated to a bizarre and frightening collection of Christmas stories.
Jack: I like how that trailer does almost nothing to indicate that it’s an anthology. Even though it looks really low budget, it doesn’t seem like it’s falling victim to doing the “bad for bad sake” thing that a lot of these movies do.
Jake: I love anthologies so I’ll probably watch this but it seems like it has a relatively tongue-in-cheek tone for all of the shorts. If that’s the case I’m going to go on record and say that’s a bad idea.
Mark: At first blush, holiday anthology horror seems like a great idea. Sure, there’s already A Christmas Horror Story (which you should totally see if you haven’t), but there’s room enough for two here. I need something to watch on my laptop while staying with my in-laws and everyone has gone to sleep by 9pm.
CHRISTMAS BLOOD (JULEBLOD)
12/04/2018 - VOD
An escaped murderous psychopathic convict looks to restart his killing spree in the far north of Norway during Christmas.
Jack: Right. I kind of forgot this was December. The Christmas slasher thing is wearing a little thin for me. Am I getting cynical? Also, how many times does an insane asylum patient need to attack staff before they start implementing restraint procedures?
Jake: I appreciate that we have a Christmas-themed horror movie coming out in december but I don’t really have a burning desire to read subtitles while I watch a psycho kill people with an axe while wearing a Santa costume. I can just throw on Silent Night Deadly Night for that shit.
Mark: I have a feeling Jake is gonna freaking love this movie… he has very specific and weird tastes. I also love the fact that they directly translated “Juleblood” to “Christmas Blood.” That might be the best possible name for a movie like this. Good work.
12/04/2018 - VOD
It's Christmas Eve, and three cosplaying women come across the malevolent Christmas demon Krampus. The girls must team up with Santa Claus himself to battle the creature and save the world.
Jack: Well there we go. This is another Christmas gore-fest, but this one looks like a ton of fun. It doesn’t look great, but at least it looks distinguishable. Also, I’m getting real Tragedy Girls vibes from this, and that move was rad.
Jake: Whoa, Santa’s officially lost his goddamn mind. Wacky. Hilarious. Drop the bass.
Mark: Did anyone else think that this was the new Borderlands trailer because of the chick with the blue hair? I did, but I’m also very excitable. There’s something weird about Christmas that brings out the worst in horror movies. Like, you get some B-Movies around halloween, but they’re nothing in comparison to Christmas. This looks like your typical bottom of the barrel trying-to-be-so-bad-it’s-good fair. Proceed at your own risk.
(A NIGHT IN) THE CABIN
12/04/2018 - VOD
When a couple visits a remote cabin and cross paths with a compulsive liar, their vacation takes a dramatic turn for the worse.
Jack: Is that woman just really not stoked to go the cabin? I know that we, as the trailer viewers, got the irony of the “I think this will be good for us” line after we know stuff has gone to shit, but she didn’t, right? Oh snap! I’m calling it, this is gonna have an All the Boys Love Mandy Lane style twist.
Jake: The slow-mo jump off the fucking porch two feet down onto the grass is really summing up how this month rides, in general. Thanks, movie, for visually representing how poorly this is going in one clip.
Mark: Let’s just get right down to it: Cabins are creepy, especially when they’re on water. You’re isolated, it’s dark outside, you probably don’t have cell reception, you have no idea how many kids have historically died in that lake, and you are surrounded by people who are trying to escape society for various, mysterious reasons. Plus, you get that marine layer fog that hides everything. Honestly, just don’t go to cabins. Terrible idea. You could end up like these nice folks in the trailer that you just watched.
A woman with a checkered past must protect her son when a man brings trouble to her isolated bed and breakfast.
Jack: Pretty good cast on this thing. Not a particularly original premise, but if the tone and acting are good enough, this should make for a decently suspenseful ride. Although I do hope they don’t try to make a twist out of anything we saw in that trailer . . . because we saw the trailer.
Jake: This trailer pulled up the nosedive with what seems like some pretty good writing, but Emmanuelle Chriqui is probably also the most high profile name we’ve had thus far this month so it could just be that speaking to me. This seems like it might be more horrorish than horror, but whatever.
Mark: Dude, it would be so weird to run a B&B. I mean Airbnb is one thing, but like actually running a real B&B would bring by all kinds of shitty guests. This thriller will have to rely on the strength of its actors and writing to make it work, but the trailer seems promising enough. If the suspenseful thriller is more your speed, maybe seek this one out?
12/11/2018 - SYFY
Sorority sisters unwittingly awaken a depraved leprechaun who decides to teach them a lesson... in murder.
Jack: They really should have gotten Jennifer Aniston to reprise her role. It’s working for Jamie Lee Curtis, and Leprechaun is pretty much Halloween, right? This looks like decent fun, but I can’t imagine it will be memorable in any real way. I kind of want to shit on them for just remaking another existing IP, but actually, SyFy does go balls to the wall on bananas original content, so that’s not really fair.
Jake: Hahaha going to state the obvious and proclaim that December is not the right month for watching a Leprechaun movie. Maybe they needed to pull the trigger now because look at this fucking slate, but yeah. Not the right vibes for the season… Also, they should have had Jack Skellington go through the Shamrock door in a sequel to A Nightmare Before Christmas. Imagine the wacky hijinks that they could have gotten up to. Imagine them hammered. I want that movie.
Mark: See earlier comment on SyFy’s position in the genre. Also, who exactly thought it was a good idea to release a leprechaun movie in December? I mean, I don’t mean to burst any marketing people’s bubble here, but there’s a whole holiday dedicated to leprechauns. That holiday is obviously Arbor Day. Duh. All that said, Leprechaun movies are usually pretty goofy fun and I wouldn’t kick this one out of bed.
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
12/14/2018 - THEATRICAL
In five episodes, failed architect and vicious sociopath Jack recounts his elaborately orchestrated murders -- each, as he views them, a towering work of art that defines his life's work as a serial killer in the Pacific Northwest.
Jack: This looks pretty good, but all of that is pretty much irrelevant because they used that David Bowie song in the trailer instead of The House that Jack Built by Aretha Franklin. It was right there people. Maybe if they went really far afield in musical style, and I get that they are different, but not different enough. Not. Different. Enough.
Jake: Thank you, horror gods. Finally. This looks hilarious and interesting and awesome. Gotta put the 3 minute trailer on blast for a split second though. Why? Fucking why?
Mark: Here it is. The big hitter. The one that was out in the zeitgeist over a year ago. Does it seem like gritty serial killer dramas are having a moment recently? This one actually looks to sprinkle a little dark humor onto that recipe. I am very excited about this movie because it’s obviously competently made and has a great cast, but I’m a little worried that the sub-genre is getting to be a bit saturated.
INTO THE NIGHT
NO TRAILER AVAILABLE
Based on a story by Stephen King, two men help a stranger look for his wife and daughter, during a blizzard.
Jack: I don’t actually remember this King story off the top of my head, and with no trailer and a first time feature director, there is just not a whole lot to say about this thing at this point.
Jake: We don’t have a trailer at the time of this post so just listen to whatever Jack says about it because he’s the one who jerks off to King stories every night.
Mark: We don’t have much to go on here except for the poster, which makes it seem like we might be getting a yeti movie? I don’t know the Stephen King story, so I’ll just assume it’s about a torrid love affair between two men and yeti.
12/21/2018 - NETFLIX AND LIMITED THEATRICAL
When a mysterious force decimates the population, only one thing is certain -- if you see it, you die. The survivors must now avoid coming face to face with an entity that takes the form of their worst fears.
Jack: Holy diver, this looks rad. Sarah Paulson is an amazing actor, and the rest of the cast is pretty stacked too. This must have been in production since before A Quiet Place came out, so I wonder if they were pissed when that dropped, or if it’s getting them a little extra hype. Either way, this is a must-watch and it’s being dropped right into my living room on netflix. Yes please.
Jake: This looks awesome too! Ok I’m out of my funk. There seem to be some interesting scare mechanics here and it could create for some good set pieces along the way in what feels like quite and adventure/thriller with heavy horror elements. Also, the scariest part of this trailer is shooting the rapids blindfolded. Eff that.
Mark: So… this is A Quiet Place but with no sight instead of no sound? Is this a new a trend of just making monster movies based around sensory deprivation? I’ll tell you what, if they all have casts like this one that I have absolutely no issue with that. Wow. This is an absolute blockbuster lineup of talent. Confusing name though…. that’s gonna put some people off.
12/21/2018 - NETFLIX
A fallen priest, a legendary demon hunter, and a modern day superhero join forces to battle evil.
Jack: The last few seconds of that trailer had a drastically different tone than the rest of it. Is this just the smoke monster from lost flying around a city? With it being on netflix, the barrier to entry is pretty low and the concept is certainly original, but this one could be dicey.
Jake: It took .5 seconds for this movie to proudly flaunt its smoke monster. Guess what? It looks like complete horseshit. Pass.
Mark: On the one hand Netflix usually has a pretty high floor on the quality of its content. On the other hand, there seem to be a lot of CG smoke monsters in this trailer, and I will never trust a series that leans heavily on that effect. Let’s put this one in the “wait and see” column.
THE KRAMPUS CAROL
12/28/2018 - VOD
A drunkard kills his wife and then is visited by the ghosts of krampus past, present, and future.
Jack: Yikes-a-rooney that was a long trailer. Is Krampus actually in this thing or not? I saw him at the beginning when I thought this was a whole other movie. Then it went all Christmas Carol, and I lost track. I’m afraid this one might be a pass for me.
Jake: What the hell did I just watch? This was like two trailers mashed together. One had a woman wearing flat out bonkers clothing and the other had an aggressive amount of botox. Krampus looks like dick, too. I can’t do it anymore.
Mark: See earlier comment about Christmas B-movies. To top it off, Krampus Carol seems to be taking itself completely seriously (mostly seriously?) which adds another layer of difficulty to get past. I’ve been wrong before, but I’m fairly confident this one should be a hard pass.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1
Jack: Bird Box - This movie looks very good. I had halfway considered the House that Jack Built, but I think it’s over two hours long, and that is wayyyyy too long.
Jake: The House that Jack Built - It was between this and Bird Box. Mark wrote first and picked the other one. Those are the only two movies to pay attention to this month so I figured I’d get it out there so we have the bases covered.
Mark: Bird Box - The Happening + A Quiet Place with one of the best casts I’ve seen in a movie. There is no chance that I would be picking anything other than this movie.
Jack: Christmas Blood - This certainly doesn’t look like the worst movie on the list this month, but it looks like the one I least give a shit about. Almost every aspect of it in that trailer has been done before.
Jake: The Krampus Carol - I’m going to focus on the one that not only has some serious tone issues but is also a Christmas themed horror movie coming out after Christmas. That’s not the movie makers fault but really sums up the lump of coal that is this movie, and largely, this month.
Mark: Brilliant Monster - I ended up juggling a bunch of different options for this decision and landed on the aptly named BM. The psychological thriller about a genius gone rogue is just not my thing, and this one looks to be really overwrought. Also, between watching the trailers and then coming back to write a few days later I had completely forgotten about this movie. Never a good sign.
Well everyone, we made it through the massive horror dump that is October, and now find ourselves in the horror hangover that is November. Luckily enough for us, there’s still quite a few horror movies coming our way, and a lot of them look pretty damn good!
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 November of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
10/31/2018 - THEATRICAL
An illustrious British boarding school becomes a bloody battleground when a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site unleashing unspeakable horror.
Jack: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost doing the horror comedy thing has proven itself a good a good idea in the past. That trailer gave me no reason to believe that this will be any different.
Jake: It’s pretty easy to say yes to this one AND the trailer was under 2 minutes when you take out the pre-trailer, trailer-within-the-trailer teaser. Good work, Simon Pegg. I’m sure it was you who made that decision.
Mark: So this is getting a Halloween night release only in the UK and Ireland. What that means for the rest of us is seemingly a big mystery, but hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to get our eyes on it. The Pegg and Frost combo is infinitely charming and we need more of it in our lives.
10/26/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
11/02/2018 - THEATRICAL
A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist.
Jack: Anyone else think it’s weird that Amazon Studios is behind this thing, and yet you still can’t watch the original on Amazon? No? Just Me? Also, that felt like two different trailers jammed together at the 1:10 mark using a film festival award as the transition. But still. You’ve gotta see it.
Jake: Despite the original Suspiria being as hard to find as it is (at least in the states), it is a known and beloved quantity in the genre. Therefore, I feel like it’s basically impossible for this movie to receive anything other than a polarizing reaction. I guess it could be terrible, but it certainly doesn’t look terrible. I’m interested to see it, that’s for sure.
Mark: I was recently able to get my hands on the original Argento classic to watch for the first time in my life, and I can see why it garnered such a status over time. Aside from a few telltale issues typical to the era (notably the audio track quality), the film has aged remarkably well. It’s a shame that it can be damn near impossible to find. Regarding this version: I can’t wait to watch Tilda Swinton in this role, and I am very interested in the creative decisions they made with the plot.
10/26/2018 - UK
11/02/2018 - VOD
After returning to his childhood home, a disgraced children's puppeteer is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured his entire life.
Jack: . . . Ummmm, what now? This is one of those trailers that I’m guessing gives you no clue as to the quality of the film, but really makes me want to watch it. I know that “from the producers of” means almost nothing at this point, but I thought that I Am Not a Serial Killer was pretty good, so that’s something.
Jake: And the award for this month’s weirdest trailer (I sincerely hope) goes to this fuckin’ thing. And it looks weird not for the sake of being off the rails on a joyride like some movies, but because it’s a strange story. I can get behind that. I could also get behind this being some type of sequel to Basket Case. Bags are just the caskets of baskets, anyway.
Mark: I want so bad for there to be a ‘what’s in the bag?!?’ line that rivals Brad Pitt’s “what’s in the box?!?” If that is all we get from this film I will be happy, but I am guessing that we will be getting much much more. Also, some nice little arachnid action thrown in to make Jake shit himself, so that’s always welcome.
WELCOME TO MERCY
11/02/2018 - VOD
When a single mother begins to experience symptoms of the stigmata, she seeks the help of a local priest and nun to help her understand what is seen and unseen.
Jack: It takes a lot to get me excited for an exorcism movie these days, but damned if those really unique shots during the possessions almost do it. The quality is clear here, and I just don’t have that many jokes to make about what looks to be a pretty chilling film.
Jake: I’m not very excited for this movie that is clearly very well made which almost assures it will be one of the best movies of the year. I felt very similar when I watched a trailer for A Dark Song and we all know how that went. Now I think I’ve jinxed it though. Yeah, probably just jinxed it. That’s how all of this works.
Mark: This looks to have a high production value, but I’m not sure the story will be one that is able to capture my attention. Part exorcism, part cult, part period piece… these all seem like ingredients in a salad that I’ve eaten before. Don’t get me wrong, I hope there’s a new special dressing that makes me really like this salad, but it wasn’t apparent in the trailer. I might be getting hungry....
11/02/2018 - VOD
Three teenage thieves infiltrate a mansion dinner party secretly hosted by a serial killer cult for the social elite.
Jack: Is the premise of this movie that cat thieves break into a house that happens to be full of rich people going through the 12 steps and also there’s a purge-style security system and everyone’s a murderer? Because, wow. That’s a lot of stuff. And then you throw in Lieutenant Daniels with a hatchet? Too much for this guy.
Jake: Sorry movie but I just don’t care. Maybe it’s because there has been some quality on the list thus far, but I had to watch this trailer three times just to make sure I hadn’t spaced out anything that would be more enticing. I didn’t.
Mark: Ain’t nothin’ but a monster party. If they don’t leverage that hip-hop tie in then I will be very disappointed. This looks like unapologetic and colorful fun, plus it seems like the guy who is antagonist is also a trump voter, so you know it’s gonna have that unnecessarily political special sauce sprinkled over it. Wait, maybe he’s the protagonist? Maybe I just assumed he was an antagonist because he wants to make something great again? What a topsy turvy world we live in, eh?
11/02/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
Lee Chung is a Prince of Joseon, but he has been taken hostage to the Qing Dynasty. He returns after more than 10 years. Soon, Lee Chung faces monsters that run rampant in the night.
Jack: So, it’s obviously pretty hard to say too much about this one, but Korea has previously done a good job with zombie flicks. And I’m not saying we should all jump on board a new stereotype of “Koreans make good zombie movies”, but you never know.
Jake: I’d like to reflect on the synopsis for this one real quick. These seem like totally unrelated things, but I guess it’s the movie’s job to tie them together. You can do it, movie. I’ll never know though because I never, ever watch zombie movies.
Mark: By the time you read this Rampant will already be out in much of the world, but for some reason the theme of November is “movies that premier internationally first.” Oh well, hard to complain with the level of quality so far. Hey speaking of level of quality, why are there not more samurai vs. zombie movies? Am I missing something or is this near-perfect match sorely underrepresented?
11/09/2018 - THEATRICAL
The story of two American soldiers behind enemy lines on D Day.
Jack: Hot damn that’s a well made trailer. We’ve mentioned before how there aren’t enough war horror movies (or “warror”™), but we’ve seen some decent looking ones recently.
Jake: When we reviewed Maximum Overdrive I said something along the lines of “literally any movie would be better with AC/DC”. Welp, here you go.
Mark: Hey remember how everyone thought this movie was going to be a Cloverfield movie? When it was revealed that it was not, I was disappointed, but then I remembered what they did to the Cloverfield Paradox and realized this is waaaaay better off being its own thing. I’m really picking up what this movie is laying down. Granted, I’m a sucker for licensed music, but I’m still pretty sure this trailer would be great on mute.
THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS
11/13/2018 - VOD
On the night of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered his entire family as they slept. At his trial, DeFeo claimed that "voices" in the house commanded him to kill. This is their story.
Jack: So here’s the thing. Nothing in that trailer looked outright terrible or anything, but holy diver do I not want to see that movie. I’ve also lost track of which Amityville related franchise this belongs in, and it doesn’t seem like it needed to, right? Couldn’t this have just been a generic haunted house? Do they really think they’re getting anything out of the based on true events tag at this point?
Jake: Nope don’t need another one of these. It’s amazing that Amityville has the type of power to churn out something like this every 3 months...
Mark: Aaaaaaaand here it is. Here’s the low-budget overly-reliant-on-CG entirely-derivative movie of the month. I know I shouldn’t make too much fun, because movies are way fucking harder to make than any of us realize, so kudos to these people for getting something across the finish line. But also, I mean shouldn’t we be focusing that creative energy on making a movie that’s just a little more original?
11/13/2018 - VOD
An Active Senior Tour group outing turns deadly when the crazed, bloodthirsty cowboys from a local rodeo attraction start abducting and killing people.
Jack: Holy shit, when is the last time you saw Sean Patrick Flanery in something? That first rodeo clown scare looked genuinely good, and this could go a couple of different directions, from a more comic over the top vibe to a totally serious vibe. I’m glad that trailer didn’t give it away.
Jake: Well I haven’t seen this before that's for god damn sure. I went from being surprised and a little excited that Sean Patrick Flanery is in this movie to immediately not at all surprised and also not at all excited. What a roller coaster, y’all.
Mark: This trailer gave me a dose of nostalgia for the old Nickelodeon show, Hey Dude! At the very least, I will thank it for that. Remember how I was literally just talking about focusing creative energy on things that are more original? Case in point, right here. How many rodeo horror movies are out there? A few probably. How many have I seen? None. You know what? I’m actually rather excited for this one. Rodeo clowns are creepy.
THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER
11/16/2018 - THEATRICAL
A picture-perfect family is shattered when the work of a serial killer hits too close to home. Dylan McDermott stars in this chilling portrait of all-American evil.
Jack: Man this movie looks cool. I love Dylan McDermott, and he looks appropriately terrifying in this thing. That said, did he really need to highlight “peep hole” on his murder room plans? It feels like the guy who needs a peep hole will remember it’s there / to build one even if it’s just in normal unhighlighted typeface.
Jake: Mark wrote his bit here before I did and I just have to really harp on the fact that I think it would make waaay more sense for someone who is into serial killing to also be into couponing. Maybe the mom’s the serial killer. Ever think of that? Lotta twists in this one, gotta keep up.
Mark: “How come dad never helps with couponing? Oh, honey, it’s because he’s a sadistic serial killer.” Wow, what a fucking swing that is. I would just like to point out that there is a false dichotomy at play here. No matter what this trailer tries to tell you, it is possible that you can not like couponing, and also not be a serial killer. Contrapositively, you could also be into both. Maybe you like to buy your murder implements using coupons? This movie looks great, and now I will have Will the Circle Be Unbroken stuck in my head for the rest of the night. Splendid.
11/23/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
A detached university student faces the consequences of astral projection when he uses it to reconnect with his dead mother.
Jack: Oh good, a ouija board and astral projection. Hooray. I can almost guarantee you that I will immediately forget about this movie, even if I end up seeing it, which I actually might, because the trailer didn’t actually look that bad. And if they don’t mention Art Bell’s episodes dedicated to out of body experiences, I’m going to walk out . . . at the end I guess . . . hmmm.
Jake: Oh boy, that don’t fuck with astral projection chestnut. There is an excessively odd looking smoke monster/ghost in this one. I’m not sure if that makes the preposterous CG better or not.
Mark: Man, I was so in on this trailer until the last 10 seconds or so. There’s just something about those black eyes and the demon face that implies to me that there'll be a lackluster conclusion. You know what though? The other 95% of the trailer was good so hopefully the movie also follows that same fraction. I'm fine with a 5% lackluster film.
THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE
11/30/2018 - THEATRICAL
A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is working the graveyard shift in the morgue when she takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver.
Jack: I have a real demonology question: they said in there that if you don’t complete an exorcism the evil will find a new vessel. Isn’t that what happens when you complete an exorcism too? Why ever finish an exorcism if the evil is just going to leave the person anyway?
Jake: This movie is very clearly just exorcism meets J-Horror herky-jerky meets Autopsy of Jane Doe meets Last Shift and you know what? The trailer got under my skin somehow. I want to see this. I am completely dumbfounded.
Mark: Why would you consider the cadavers to be coworkers? Also, pretty sure this is just the Autopsy of Jane Doe with a slight twist. Now that’s not to say that I don’t think this is promising, just to point out that this is a good example of a new dressing on an old(ish) salad.
ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
11/30/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
12/07/2018 - THEATRICAL
A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival.
Jack: If this really is Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land, then sign this guy right the fuck up. I have a sneaking suspicion that both of those films have a little more going on than this one, but you never know I guess.
Jake: Oooohhhh. Jake and musicals don’t really get along. I’ll let one of these guys take the plunge first and report back. I still haven’t even seen The Lure yet and I have heard basically nothing bad about that one.
Mark: Three words for everyone: Horror. Christmas. Musical. Why would we not want this? Now that being said, why is there such a preponderance of zombies in November? I’m not particularly upset about it, because the time to be upset at zombie saturation is long past, but it does seem like the trend was dying off before we had three new zombie movies this month.
HORRORISH RELEASE ROUNDUP
These movies might not exactly count as “horror,” but we figure we can squeeze them in with an “ish.” That still counts, right?
Prospect - 11/02/2018 - Limited Theatrical - After a power breakdown, two federal agents must fight their way through a secret prison known as Death House.
Death House - 11/06/2018 - VOD - We first talked about this wayyyy back in January of 2018, but after a bunch of delays, it looks like it’s finally getting a wide release this month.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1
Jack: Overlord - I had a really hard time not picking the Cloverhitch Killer here, but this is just too well made a trailer. Either way, you’re not going too far wrong.
Jake: The Clovehitch Killer - This looks absolutely rock solid. Can’t go any other direction though I got very close to getting surprised into picking The Possession of Hannah Grace here. My mind is still blown by the fact that I didn’t hate that trailer.
Mark: The Clovehitch Killer - This is not usually my type of movie, but something about that trailer really clicked in my brain. Maybe it was the choral Circle Be Unbroken rendition. Maybe it was that dreamy Dylan McDermott. Maybe it was that it allowed me to use the word contrapositively in a sentence (and I may have even gotten close to using it correctly). I don’t know. All I know is I like it.
Jack: Amityville Murders - No thank you. Unnecessary and unexciting.
Jake: Monster Party - because Mark wrote before me and took the layup. Also because I had to watch it several times because I kept zoning out. Also because I don’t think it looks very good.
Mark: Amityville Murders - I don’t love to choose the layups like this in a month, but there’s a suspiciously high level of quality this month. Amityville is the lone dark spot on an otherwise close to immaculate month.