Horror Release Roundup
June 2018

HRR June.png

Well readers, it's June. We're halfway through 2018. Time marches inexorably forward, eh? June is historically the doldrums as far as entertainment goes, and this year seems to be abiding by that rule... hard. We're not going to lie to you. This list isn't long, but you know what? There might be a horror rogue-wave to disturb your otherwise quiet movie-sailing. I liked that metaphor at first, but then immediately lost control of it. Dang.

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 June of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.

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


COLD SKIN
06/01/2018 - VOD

 
 

A young man who arrives at a remote island finds himself trapped in a battle for his life.

Jack: You know what? I kind of dug the last mermaid horror movie I saw, Lure. Granted, this one looks way less off the wall fucking bonaners than that movie was, but hey, the connection is still there dammit. Actually, though, this looks kind of conventional but with the zombies/vampires/whatever monster swapped out for zora-people. And was that Ray Stevenson? I’ve always pictured him in a lighthouse.

Jake: Mark needs to stop recording our conversations and transcribing them in the internet. I don’t feel comfortable with how I’m being painted in that thing you probably haven’t read yet because it’s below this.

Mark:  So I’m pretty positive this is how this movie came to be. Picture two guys in a writers room...
Person 1: Hey, other person, did you see that The Shape of Water won best picture?
Person 2: I sure did person 1. Do you know what that movie was about?
Person 1: A sexy merman. I didn’t really get it, as a film, because you know what’s sexier than a merman and a woman who doesn’t talk much? A sexy mermaid and dudes who talk a lot. Also guns, and fire, and boats, and spikes, and stuff. I bet we could make a totally better movie.
Person 2: Let’s do it. Also, we’ll shoehorn in a sexy mermaid love story. Why not?
Person 1: Because that doesn’t make sense?
Person 2: Shut up, Mark, love doesn’t make any sense.
Person 1: Whoa, dude, back up. You doing okay?
Person 2: Yeah… sorry. Didn’t mean to snap. Things have just been hard lately. You know? I make movies to cope and I kinda just need to channel my anger and confusion at something right now. I’m sure it won’t have a detrimental effect on my work.
Person 1: There is absolutely zero fucking way that’s correct, but whatever you had me at sexy mermaids.


DISCREET
06/01/208 - VOD, LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

After years in hiding and struggling to control his demons, an eccentric drifter returns home and discovers that his childhood abuser, the center of his pain, is still alive. Armed with this knowledge, the drifter plots his revenge, all the while navigating the perilous land of masculine fragility in modern-day America.

Jack: . . . what? I know we rag on trailers for giving too much away sometimes, but this one might have gone too far the other direction. I do kind of dig the confidence to decide that a few short images of men being rubbed, fed soup, and rubbed off (in that order) is good enough to tell the world about your horror movie. Does it make me want to see it? No. But I still kind of dig the confidence.

Jake: I have no idea what to say about this other than that it’s apparently a serious topic, which the trailer did nothing to articulate. That shot with the field and the mist was cool though. Really painted a picture of isolation that could only be considered a metaphor for the trials of modern masculinity.

Mark: Thank god for that synopsis, because that trailer did nothing to tell me about what happens in this movie. I’m guessing that this movie will make people equally uncomfortable because of both its subject matter and its blatant challenges to heteronormativity, and that might be a good thing. Sometimes when you combine these more complex themes it can be a bit of synergistic effect with the horror elements. Sometimes it devolves into preachy drivel that is trying waaaaay too hard to be edgy. Which will this one be? Well, maybe if they made a trailer that included, like, any semblance of detail we could weigh in.


UPGRADE
06/01/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

Jack: Fuck. Yes. Logan Marshall-Green going semi-unwillingly hog wild in action scenes that, instead of being cut to shit employ some really cool continuous cinematography? Mark this guy down. Do it. Seriously. Mark me down. I’ll wait. Done? Good. I also like the Asimov’s laws of robotics vibes this thing hinted at toward the end.

Jake: This does not seem like a horror film to me, but with Leigh Whannell doing it I guess we will let it slide. There will be some cool practical effect-driven violence  courtesy of Logan Marshall-Green, who I fucking loved in The Invitation (my movie of the year in 2016), so yeah, I’m a little hyped. At least it fits into the sci-fi subgenre, right Mark?

Mark: Actually Jake, yes, yes it does. It seems you’ve actually stumbled bass-ackward into being correct about what constitutes sci-fi. Anyway not to belabor the point, but this is likely more in the vein of “horror-light.” I don’t give a shit, because that trailer was grade AAA certified badass. Even if you are a horror purist who only comes here to watch the most serious horror entries you probably aren’t really all that upset you watched that trailer. I’m certainly not.


HEREDITARY
06/08/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

When Ellen passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

Jack: Well this looks disturbing as all shit. There is a metric fuck-ton of hype around this movie, but I’ve gotta say, in a rare twist this thing looks like it can live up to it. God I hope it can. Also, and maybe I’m not supposed to be confused about this, but is this or is this not set in an actual dollhouse?

Jake: I’m all in on this movie. I’m not even going to try to joke or be cute. This could be a movie of the year.

Mark: Aside from the fact that it was a bit overly long and spoilery, this has to be the best edited trailer I have ever seen. This is clearly the big-hitter of the month. You should go see it. It looks great. Maybe watch the first minute of the trailer and then turn it off to avoid the spoilers but still see how well edited it is. You already watched it in its entirety? Shit. We’ve failed you and I formally apologize.


THE TOYBOX
06/19/2018 - VOD

 
 

An estranged family take a trip to the desert in their used RV but become stranded and isolated in the scorching terrain. They soon learn their RV holds terrible, haunting secrets, and it starts killing them off one by one.

Jack: The casting of this movie is very confusing to me. Denise Richards and Mischa Barton? Was the director just really hoping for some of that sweet, sweet OC and Tammy and the T Rex crossover we all crave? Actually, yeah. Yeah, I think he was. Who doesn’t want that? You? You’re lying and I will fight you.

Jake: This has a decently recognizable cast and I have to at least give credit to the fact that I was surprised to discover this is not going to be exactly like The Hills Have Eyes. Not sure how the whole “sinister RV” will work out for them, but kudos for making a decision.

Mark: Wait, why is this called The Toybox? That name is positively fuzzy wuzzy beetle brained. Also, “something’s not right here?” Is it that your RV has a tape deck? Is it that your dad referred to an RV as a boat? Is it that there is apparently a forest fire inside of your RV? Is it that your RV seemingly has soundproof windows? Is it that the OC got cancelled way to early, and the world deserves more slow-mo Imogen Heap drama scenes? Is it that you thought the actor that’s in the trailer for like 10 seconds was Joseph Gordon Levitt, but then turned out to be Matt Mercer? My guess is that it is none of these things, but I am definitely not interested enough to find out.


US AND THEM
06/22/2018 - NETFLIX

 
 

Angry and frustrated, working class Danny aims to kick start a revolution by turning the tables on the establishment with a deadly game of chance.

Jack: I’ve got to say, I’m into the super short trailer game that companies are doing. That aside, this trailer did not get me excited for this thing. What happens if the roulette wheel lands on 00? The killer kills himself?

Jake: Why is this “the type of movie we desperately need right now”? I don’t get what aspect of this movie is going to benefit our lives, and I had no idea the societal need for said unnamable thing was so dire. Does it teach us to always bet on red?

Mark: Well that trailer went 0 to 60 dinnit? I feel like a roulette wheel is a bit of an over-elaborate prop to use to determine how to kill/torture these people. Did you feel like flipping a coin was too derivative of Anton Chigurh. Maybe roll a die? No. You’re right. Definitely bring an entire roulette table into this house. That’s the most elegant solution.


TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY
06/26/2018 - VOD

 
 

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story is the harrowing story of a stuntman overcoming a dehumanizing childhood filled with torment and bullying in Sparks, Nevada.

Jack: Can it possibly be true that Kane Hodder has murdered more people on screen than anyone? Don’t get me wrong, the guy’s a goddamned legend, and I’m interested in this movie, but, come on. Rambo killed so fucking many people. And Tony Jaa in the Ong Bak movies murdered just so many dudes in search of a single elephant. Cite your source, Hodder. That’s all I’m saying.

Jake: Never has there ever been a documentary that more clearly articulates why it’s important to tack on mass. Except for maybe Pumping Iron. That shit was rad. I want to see a horror version of that. Let’s make that movie.

Mark: Bruce Campbell, Cassie Peterson, Adam Green, Robert Englund, and other icons lend some serious horror chops to this documentary. I’ll admit I’m a little peeved that they didn’t even bother mentioning his stellar performance in Wishmaster. But you know what? That’s okay, I guess the rest of his career is sufficient in its own right. Plus that’s clearly the thing everyone wants to see, so why put it in the trailer? Okay. I’ve talked myself out of being peeved.


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?

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM - 06/22/2018 - THEATRICAL


More things:

The Endless is now promising to come out on discs on 6/26. IT FUCKING BETTER.


TOP 1/BOTTOM 1

TOP 1:

Jack: Hereditary - This is almost a forced choice this month.

Jake: Hereditary - I’m obligated to do this.

Mark: Hereditary - Yeah. I mean there are 7 total options and this one actually looks really really good so I would be lying to you if I didn’t pick this one.

BOTTOM 1:

Jack: The Toybox - Look, I tried to go back and watch Starship Troopers not too long ago, and despite that movie being entirely and obviously satire, Denise Richards’s performance was unwatchable. Has she gotten that much better since then?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Jack is an idiot and Starship Troopers is infallible.]

Jake: Cold Skin - I’m not really interested in the brand of whimsical mermaid warfare going on here and I don’t know enough about Discreet to put it in this spot.

Mark: Us and Them - British people being over dramatic? Overly complex gambling mechanism, presumably for determining who lives and who dies? This movie is going to be a mess.