You know what they say: April movies bring may... uhhh... floozies? That can't be right. We're not sure what these April movies bring. We'll have to get back to you on that. One thing they probably will bring is a substantial amount of horror being delivered directly into your eyeballs. April is a month that has a deceptive and surprising amount of talent in it. Hell, even the stinkers look pretty good.
The Horror Release Roundup is our monthly 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 April of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
A PLACE IN HELL
04/03/2018 - VOD
Inspired by a real serial killer. A disgraced detective on the trail of a serial killer and a group of student-filmmakers cross paths at a Halloween fright farm in the dead of winter.
Jack: So . . . they’re closing cemeteries in the winter now? Seems harsh for those looking to grieve in February. There was also a distressing amount of raw exposition in that trailer alone, which has me concerned about the storytelling in the feature length film. The movie certainly doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look exciting either.
Jake: Creating cinema does indeed seem like a wondrous process. Especially the part of the process where the finished product comes together and is good. This doesn’t look like it got quite there. It was probably still wondrous though. I’m not privy to what happened behind the scenes. Maybe it was a nightmare. Things are hard.
Mark: What does horror mean to me? Obviously it means clown serial killers. Especially when it is subtitled with “based on a real serial killer.” Seriously, I think that is this movie’s official subtitle. They’re not being subtle about it.
04/03/2018 - VOD
A man haunted by the mysterious death of his 4-year-old sister brings her back to life thirty years later as an adult woman, with dire consequences.
Jack: Well, if nothing else, this movie certainly looks disturbing. I think he wants to bang his sister? The effects look pretty decent, and the boils on forearm scene freaked me right out. This one looks like it should be worth a watch.
Jake: What is “Rapid Trailer” doing hosting trailers that are over two minutes in length? Does it magically load faster? I’m very confused. I’m also very confused about milky-goo woman traipsing around in the buff in this trailer and about the sexual tension that appears to be on display in this thing. I’m also very confused about whether this will even come out. Very, very confused.
Mark: This film has been doing the film festival circuit for the last few months but is officially listed as still “in post production” per the production company… so we’ll see if this date holds up. If this does come out I think I’m most interested in what that pile of black goo is. That shit can’t be good for your flooring. Was his sister made out of tree sap? Is that why he thinks it’s her?
04/03/2018 - DVD
A young female escapes her past and absconds to England in search of a new life. She takes a job caring for a tetraplegic but the burden of the job stirs up her past. It seems the limits of caring are not always as clear as they should be.
Jack: I am very confused about many things happening in this movie. Is the trailer just jumping around temporally to various progressions of his paralysis? Or is he able to sometimes move and sometimes not? Also, guy from that trailer, let me answer your question. No. That woman is not cut out for the job of taking care of him. Obviously.
Jake: I sincerely hope the paralyzed fellow in this film calls this woman “slime” and “filth” and then kills her with his bare teeth. That would be fun and totally novel.
Mark: We’re gonna be real with you kind folks out there reading: this movie has been out and about for a while and is readily available in the UK, but it’s getting a stateside release in April so here we are. Broken is seemingly a “Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear” but with a human nurse as the deranged monkey. I hope he gets to go fishing at the end, Ace. Also, why is there so much singing in this?
04/03/2018 - DVD
After a terrible accident leaves a young girl disabled, five years later, the group responsible are invited to a remote manor house in the countryside for a class reunion. Little do they know, they are being targeted by a masked maniac hell bent on revenge.
Jack: Wowy wow wow. What a ridiculously played out concept. I’m having a hard time imagining anyone, from the creator to the backers, being excited at any point during production. Nothing about it looks overtly bad, but my goodness am I uninterested.
Jake: With movies like this where the basic trappings are so completely overplayed, I find myself commenting and thinking about the mask worn by the killer. I didn’t see much of it in this trailer, but the little glimpses we get make it seem kind of cool. Now, that does not a good movie make, but it’s a start.
Mark: That song is basically the mermaid song from Harry Potter 4. I have no idea how that affects my rating of this movie, but it’s where my brain immediately went. You know what does affect my rating? Another fucking use of the trope of getting clobbered on an abandoned road by a driver. Is this just the British version of “Last Summer?”
04/03/2018 - VOD
The story follows a mother of two who inherits a home from her Aunt. On the first night in the new home she is confronted with murderous intruders and fights for her daughters lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, and that is when things get strange.
Jack:There appear to be some fucking legit scares in this thing. I have less than no idea what is actually happening in any of that or whether or not any ghosts are actually involved, but I am intrigued.
Jake: To refer to one of my least favorite things from our podcast (you should really listen to our podcast, guys. I’m selling it so hard right now.) I’m highly uncertain of what subgenres of horror this thing fits into. I can’t tell if these are bad people doing bad things or ghosts doing ghost things. So, I’ll take a wild leap of faith and assume the title is correct. I’m probably wrong...
Mark: Wow, that was an intense intro followed by an incredibly poorly done interview scene followed by a slightly-better-than-average rest of trailer. So, rollercoaster of emotions is what I’m getting at here. This is proper darkhorse material. Could be very good, could be wildly terrible, but one thing is for certain: I really like that dude charging people like a rhino.
A QUIET PLACE
04/06/2018 - THEATRICAL
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.
Jack: Look. This movie looks awesome. Obviously. It's against the law to not like John Krasinski, and I can't even remember how long it's been since an awesome looking monster movie reared its head (see what I did there). I would also like to commend the trailer makers for having the restraint to not ruin the whole damn movie. Refreshing.
Jake: Why would you have a baby if you are living in a world where any noise you make brings down a rain of hellfire-beasts upon you? That baby is going to make noise. Nothing you could do. It should never have gotten to the birthing scene, as intense as it will be. All that being said, I’m so in for this movie.
Mark: Love the trailer before trailer. Still find it utterly befuddling, but I love it. Also love John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, even if they apparently allow their children to not only have murder-toys, but also batteries for their murder-toys. That situation seems completely avoidable in about ten different ways. This is the one I picked for my most anticipated movie of the year from our holiday omnibus and I feel like I hitched myself to the correct wagon.
PARTY BUS TO HELL
04/13/2018 - VOD
When a party bus on its way to Burning Man filled with a bunch of sexy young adults breaks down in the desert and in the middle of a group of Satanic worshippers, all hell literally breaks loose. A massacre leaves seven survivors trapped on the bus, fighting for their lives while wondering if someone or someones are not what they seem.
Jack: Somebody’s gonna have to help me out with this one. Is nudity allowed on youtube or not? I was pretty confident that the answer was no, but there I was, face to face with some breasts. And last month I think we saw some pubes in a youtube trailer. What gives? Also they 100% ripped that opening song off from the Hardest Button to Button.
Jake: Ha, this looks awesomely terrible. I’d like to comment for a moment on some discussions we’ve had as an A-Z Horror group about good settings for a horror film. Burning Man has come up in all of those conversations and, well, this is not what I think any of us had in mind.
Mark: Tara Reid is likely the best actor in this movie. Let’s just sit and ruminate on that for a moment...
...Okay, good, glad we got past that. This is obviously going to be bad, but you know that going in so shame on you if you let that be a surprise. This is a particular brand of movie I don’t care for, and won’t be seeing, but also might watch if it’s just sort of on in the background of shudder TV or something at 1am and I’m too lazy to change the channel. That’s where these movies thrive.
GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM
04/13/2018 - VOD
The crew of a horror web series travels to an abandoned asylum for a live broadcast. It soon encounters much more than expected as it moves deeper inside the nightmarish old building.
Jack: This is like the platonic ideal of what found footage movies are made for, right? Incomprehensibly fast title cards aside, this looks like it probably won't disrupt the genre or anything like that, but will pack some pretty decent spooks and make me look behind me if I'm watching alone in a dark room.
Jake: A Quiet Place may well have been Mark’s most anticipated movie of the year… Until he found this. Or this found him? Until they found each other. There is a zero percent chance he doesn’t watch this and report back so stay tuned, found footage fanpeople.
Mark: Couldn’t they have chosen a better word than “freakiest?” Anyway, here are the seven in case you didn’t feel like pausing to read the screens: Sedlec Ossuary, Battleship Island, The Island of the Dolls, Chernobyl, Akodessewa Fetish Market, The Aokigahara Forest, and this place. What is this movie? By the look of the trailer it’s a found footage tour of this place by a bunch of overzealous teenagers. Seems like a good time to me.
THE SECRET OF MARROWBONE
04/13/2018 - VOD, LIMITED THEATRICAL
A young man and his three younger siblings, who have kept secret the death of their beloved mother in order to remain together, are plagued by a sinister presence in the sprawling manor in which they live.
Jack: Ooh, I really like the look of this one. But I need to steel myself, because I've been burned by a beautiful looking movie from the guy who wrote the orphanage before. It was called the Orphanage. Hopefully this will prove to pack a deeper kind of creep than that one, but either way, I'll be seeing it.
Jake: Aaaand we’ve found Jack’s top 1. It’s safe to say the cast alone should push this over the edge and into your ‘must watch’ bucket, but it also looks like a pretty film. I’ve heard good things, so let’s take the ride.
Mark: I think the secret is that the marrow is inside the bone? Did I get it? I think I just cracked the code. This movie has made some festival rounds and the buzz I’ve heard has been VERY good. Also, judging by the fact that ATJ is apparently now just in every amazing horror movie I don’t know why this one would be any different.
04/13/2018 - VOD
A blossoming teenager uncovers the dark secret behind her traumatic childhood.
Jack: So is Ygritte just gonna come bashing through that window? If this is set in the modern day, it must be set in an alternate reality without GoT, because otherwise she definitely has heard of wildlings before. And it’s only the racist dicks that don’t like the wildlings, right? It’s the white walkers you’ve really gotta watch out for . . . I think. That show hasn’t been on in a while.
Jake: Oh shit it’s Liv Tyler AND Brad Dourif. We’re looking at a non-zero chance for a LoTR mashup here, folks. She’s gonna find Middle Earth. She’s gonna pop right into Mordor. She’s the girl Robert Plant met, but Gollum's gonna slip away with her. Yeah.
Mark: Cue Mama coming out of the woods. Now there’s a wildling. Are we going to end up being mildly sympathetic toward her crazy ass kidnapper of a father? Is that where this is going? I don’t know how I feel about that… guess I’ll just have to watch this to find out.
TRUTH OR DARE
04/13/2018 - THEATRICAL
A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone (or something) begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
Jack: Well shit. I was not expecting that to look terrifying. I don’t know how much effects was applied to make those fucking smiles look that unnatural, but whatever the case, good god damn job because that shit is proper scary. This is Blumhouse, so it’s baseline quality is already pretty high, and this looks like it could actually be really good.
Jake: I like the weird smiley thing that this movie has going on to show whatever malevolent force is running the show. It reminds me a bit of “They Look Like People,” or maybe “We Happy Few.” It’s a Blumhouse, so I don’t think it will be unwatchable trash, but I’m not sure I’m in love with the concept of the game of truth or dare as a film. Very on the fence about this one.
Mark: So Blumhouse is now just making the weirdest shit they can possibly think of right? And they keep really fucking nailing it, right? That pool ball scene was straight out of the Final Destination franchise when it was still good. I’m dumbfounded by how intrigued I am by this. If it were helmed by any other production company I would have only modest expectations, but Blum has been on a roll lately so…. here we go.
CONDEMNED aka GOD’S ACRE
04/16/2018 - VOD
Malcolm lost everything to the recession. To pay off his debts he needs to renovate and sell his last house fast but a dreadful secret lies entombed within its walls.
Jack: So a man’s home is his castle, his prison, and his grave? Is that a saying or just something this movie made up? Also, what about the guys invading this man’s castle that I would bet dollars to donuts he ends up killing? Does it work in reverse? Like, because they died in his house, that’s actually their grave and therefore their home? Seems like a real catch-22.
Jake: Mark wrote his bit for this one before me so I’ll just say that he’s likely right about how that went down and find his “general level of generic” comment to be on point. Good work, Mark. There’s definitely a cake in this for you at the end.
Mark: God’s Acre is actually a movie about an Aboriginal gent in Australia who has to adapt to the ever changing lifestyle of the modern world. I assume this movie had to change its name the the much more generic “Condemned” in order to avoid some copyright infringement bullshit or something like that. Probably a fair move though, because this seems to match that general level of generic. This was apparently made back in 2015 but hasn’t yet been made available. You’re guess is as good as mine as to whether or not this is actually when its coming out.
04/20/2018 - VOD
A rogue police detective in search of his parents killer is murdered and reborn the ultimate killer.
Jack: Hold on just a fucking second. The lead actor’s name is Dean Jagger? Why did they go with Corbin Nash? Just call it Dean Jagger and everyone can take the rest of the day. Good work guys, we did it.
Jake: Corbin Nash is a great name and an even better baseball name. Swing away, Corbin. Swing away.
Mark: Baseball is a cover for a fight between good and evil? Excuse me? Oh. I get it. The baseball bats are used to make stakes for some good ol-fashioned vampire killin’. Wouldn’t that hurt your hand to swing it then? Is that why Sosa corked his bat? How is this not just a direct ripoff of Blade for people who don’t like Wes Snipes?
EDGE OF ISOLATION
04/20/2018 - VOD
Stranded deep in the woods, a young married couple is taken in by an isolationist family, one that lives off the blood and plunder from lost hikers, and they want the couple to stay for the rest of their lives.
Jack: There are a thousand better ways to lure unsuspecting travellers to their doom than having a naked doof run across the street and hoping idiots stupidly crash their car. Like, just put your homestead up on Air BnB. Have a bunch of hipster jerks there in a heartbeat ripe for the slaughtering.
Jake: Oh my god that was possibly the worst car accident I’ve ever seen committed to film. Bravo! I watched it about 10 times and gained appreciation for its shittiness each and every time. I’m not even joking. It’s an accomplishment.
Mark: Oh. Hey. Look. Another fucking stupid car accident scene. Do people not realize that there’s a whole pedal dedicated to slowing the car down in a safe and relatively controllable manner? Also, why would you swerve off the road if the dude is running off the road? Just stay on the road because that’s where the guy isn’t. God I’m good at this logic thing. Notice how I’m not talking about this movie? Yeah, it’s because I don’t care for it. Good outro clip though.
04/20/2018 - VOD
Arch skeptic Professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable 'hauntings'.
Jack: Come on. This looks great. Fucking Martin Freeman is so charming in literally everything he’s in. Add to that an interesting premise, beautiful cinematography, and terrifying scenes? I am all the way in.
Jake: Good mind-fuck scary is one of the best kinds of scary. I feel kind of bad because this looks awesome and I didn’t even see it coming. Shame on me, I guess. This will be a watch, for sure.
Mark: Love me some Martin Freeman, unfortunately I’m highly confident he’s going to become very insane in this movie. This movie looks phenomenal and appears to be tailor made for my horror-leanings so I’m definitely going to be revisiting it later. I don’t have much else to say about the trailer so instead I am going to make a recommendation: If this particular brand of “debunkers getting screwed with” horror floats your boat, I’d recommend “Borderlands” to tide you over in the meantime. (It’s also called The Final Prayer in some regions, but that name is much worse).
THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH
04/20/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
Father Gabriele Amortha performs his ninth exorcism on an Italian woman.
Jack: This looks like it might delve a little further into the Christian mythos than I’m looking for, but I did like the Exorcist and am always on the lookout for a good horror documentary. I’m tentatively interested.
Jake: This looks interesting in the sense that if it were on the History channel or something, there’s a chance I could land there. I like documentaries and documentary-style films do I think this could be kind of cool.
Mark: “This is not fiction.” Cue obviously overproduced demon voice. Okay, sure. There are few things that make me more profoundly uncomfortable than watching people who are deeply religious so this is likely going to at least make me pretty anxious, but I don’t think it will be for the reasons the movie intends. If the exorcism angle actually also ends up being good then, hey, bonus points.
04/20/2018 - THEATRICAL
A couple off for a romantic weekend in the mountains are accosted by a bike gang. Alone in the mountains, Brea and John must defend themselves against the gang, who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.
Jack: Holy shit was that Omar Epps? What’s that guy been doing since House ended? I think he’s a really underrated actor, so I’m stoked to see him back in the mix. The rest of the movie unfortunately looks like a pretty standard thriller, but I’m hoping to be surprised by this one.
Jake: This seems more horrorish than outright horror to me, but maybe the home invasion element can hold it up enough. Speaking of horrorish, let’s get to that.
Mark: I like that the premise of this horror movie happening actually relies upon their phones having cell reception. That seems like an interesting inversion of a trope in a relatively straightforward looking trailer. Look, if you’re going to get attacked and injured near anyone, wouldn’t you want it to be near Dr. Foreman?
- The Endless went full horror blue-balls on us, pushing back its release to April 6th on VOD.
- #Screamers got bumped again, this time to an April 17th VOD release.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:
Jack: A Quiet Place - Come on. It's just going to be the best.
Jake: A Quiet Place - Because it’s the only movie this month starring Jim from the office doing his best Joel from The Last of Us. He also wrote the screenplay and directed.
Mark: A Quiet Place - My hands are tied on this one, but there was actually a lot of competition. Unfortunately that competition was throat stomped by the Krasinski Blount power team and the novel concept. Also, everyone at SXSW said it was great and I’m nothing if not a follower. For the record, second place goes to Ghost Stories.
Jack: Fox Trap - I would love to know the story of how this thing came to be from start to finish, but unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever get teh chance, becuase, like the movie itself, it seems like it'd be boring and predictable.
Jake: Edge of Isolation - Because outside of the awe-inspiringly bad car crash, I didn’t give a shit about anything this was serving up.
Mark: Condemned - If you ask me about this movie in about four days I will have completely forgotten that it exists. It’s brimming with generic boredom.