Well, here we are. It’s November. We’re all hung over and it’s the lowest point of the year because October is, like, the year’s Saturday. However, with the quality of film that’s coming out I guess that makes November the Sunday that was unexpectedly productive? Like you cleaned your basement and were able to hang your dart board before the first snowfall? I dunno. I really lost track of that metaphor. Here are some horror movies for November.
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 MONTH of 2019. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
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11/01/2019 - VOD
On Christmas Eve, a woman enters a curiosity shop looking for a last minute gift. There, she meets a mysterious shopkeeper (Combs) who tells her the horrific stories behind four objects in the shop.
Jack: As with a lot of low budget horror movies, this one looks like it will live or die by its performances. With stellar performances, you really don’t notice a lot of the stuff that tends to sink small movies. On the other hand, if the performances are stilted, you really laser in on all the other faults. This actually looks pretty good and it looks like the actors were having fun, so it’s probably worth a watch.
Jake: The other recommended videos feature popped up waaay too soon on this one. I like the little shop of curiosities concept. There’s a world of opportunity in there. Think about all the other crazy shit that could have been in the shop where the mogwai was. Or (even though they tip their hand to what a lot of it is in the movie), think about all the cursed trinkets in the basement of the cabin in the Cabin in the Woods. It would be asking a lot for this movie to live up to things of that level, but I’m hoping there might be a bit of excitement with all the different items in the shop coming to life and causing mayhem. Also, if Jeffrey Combs as shop owner is my narrator for an anthology based on this idea, I’m definitely interested.
Mark: Man, Christmas stuff starts earlier and earlier every year. Low budget horror is always a crap shoot. I feel like this would make a really stellar series of youtube shorts, but I’m not totally sold the content will fill a whole feature length movie.
11/01/2019 - HULU
During Thanksgiving, Anna Baker invites pilgrim re-enactors to her home, to help them remember their privilege and to get them to form bonds between themselves. When the re-enactors continue in their character roles, Anna and her family begin to regret showing them gratitude.
Jack: Anachronistic or not, you should not let a pilgrim smoke a pipe in your living room. Pipe tobacco tends to be pretty pungent, and that’s gonna linger for some time. Also, what was with the repeated emphasis on the wishbone? Are they implying that the dad wished for pilgrims? Why would that be his wish? Dammit, now they’ve intrigued me and I have to watch it.
Jake: The Into the dark trailers continue to be pretty damn good, but I am also assuming this will continue the trend of the movie itself not being so good. It looks pretty dumb though and I like watching holiday-ish horror movies so what the hell, let’s do it.
Mark: Okay, so first things first, how would a pilgrim know the name of the holiday that they were re-enacting the first of? God damn. That alone should disqualify them from the job. Into the Dark is pretty good at making unique concepts into feature length films which I appreciate, but this is probably too much for me.
GHOSTS IN THE GRAVEYARD
11/05/2019 - VOD
The town of Mt. Moriah comes under the thumb of Martha, a ghost who comes back to haunt the teens who witnessed her death as children during a game of 'Ghost in the Graveyard.'
Jack: I kind of like that creepy song, but they made it all the way from 1:00 to 11:00 and every time, the ghost was just “near.” That’s what’s wrong with millennial ghosts. No drive. Shiftless. Just hanging out in the graveyard all damn day listening to records and eating avocado toast.
Jake: There was a Shudder ad before this trailer and it was a banger. Then there was this trailer which is damn near 3 minutes. Under no circumstances is that an acceptable trailer length. Get the fuck out of here with that. I also find it funny to see Jake Busey playing a small town sheriff so close to his role in Stranger Things.
Mark: Jake Busey ladies and gentlemen. I always love the flavor that the Busey family in general brings to a production. His particular brand of performance in contrast with what appears to be a very angsty group of teens could make for a movie that is a bit schizophrenic. Based on the content of the trailer that might be the exact vibe they are going for.
RED LETTER DAY
11/05/2019 - VOD
While adjusting to a new life in a quiet suburban community, a recently divorced mother and her two teens receive mysterious red letters instructing them each to kill or be killed.
Jack: Did that trailer open with a guy stealing one of the red envelopes from someone else’s mailbox? What would happen in that situation? If I get a parking ticket and it blows off in the wind, the city doesn’t know that before it sends the ticket to collections or suspends my license or whatever. Is the Red Letter Day equivalent that my neighbor with whom I’ve previously been cordial just starts trying to kill me for no reason I can discern?
Jake: This is a tiny bit like the Purge. I hope they explain how they paired these people up in their most-dangerous-game matchmaking though. Not too much, mind you. Just enough. Yep, that’s what I want. A perfect explanation.
Mark: That kid jumped to “kill someone” way faster than he should have for how unique a conversation this is. Maybe you and your mom have been through some shit. Maybe you two have a bit of a psychic bond. That’s still too fast to assume your mom is going to ask you whether or not a piece of mail instructed you to kill someone. As a sidenote, this would be a very difficult scenario for me to be in because I’ve lived in my house for almost five years now, and I know maybe three of my neighbors by name. “”Kill Dave? Who the hell is Dave?”
11/08/2019 - THEATRICAL
The sequel to The Shining follows Danny Torrance’s character as an adult who uses his unique abilities to help others. Warner Bros. have hired Mike Flanagan to rewrite the script and direct but few other details are known. Ewan McGregor will play Danny Torrance.
Jack: Stephen King - yes. Mike Flanagan - yes. Ewan McGregor - yes. Mash it all together? Hell yes. Actually though, I’m kind of nervous for this one. My expectations are objectively too high.
Jake: I love The Shining. It’s one of my all time favorite horror films. I have been lukewarm on this one from the beginning and I have no idea why. Obvious chops are on display from every possible angle and yet, watching the trailers, I haven’t been able to get excited until the very end when that ominous soundtrack from the original kicks in on the title card at the end. I’m going to stop thinking about it and just go see it. We have a real candidate for a movie that could blow my doors off because my expectations are lowish for some reason.
Mark: I have basically nothing more to add to this discussion since this a highly publicized release and I’m writing third in line so I’ll just mention that when I went to see It: Chapter 2 I sat next to a teen who thought he was hot shit at providing commentary on all of the previews.When this one came on he was unironically upset at how brazen a ripoff of the The Shining this was and concluded loudly that they must’ve just not been able to get the rights to the original title. In other news I consider Mike Flanagan to be the best modern horror director so I’m really hoping he can make this thing into a masterpiece.
11/15/2019 - THEATRICAL
As a couple goes on a trip to find their way back to each other, a sideshow artist and his shady entourage emerge from the woods, terrorizing them, luring them deeper into a maelstrom of psychological terror and humiliating slapstick.
Jack: This looks terrifying. That was a fantastic trailer, and I hope the film is edited just as well. Slow in building parts and hyper-frenetic in others. I have no idea what’s actually going on, but I am interested.
Jake: This sure was a thing to watch. This is going to be for a small subset of people, and that’s ok. I don’t think I’m part of that group.
Mark: I am way more invested in the bunny family cartoon than I am in the people in this trailer. If this movie is even 10% bunny shadow puppets than my interest level will go up substantially. Overall this looks frenetic and dark and ominous, and that’s exactly what you want out of an “alone in the woods” kind of movie.
11/15/2019 - THEATRICAL
A young woman and her new step-children find themselves trapped together in a remote holiday lodge during a winter storm.
Jack: Am I to believe that Grace went on a winter vacation to an isolated cabin in the snow and remembered to pack ice skates but forgot to pack a hat? Or is it that the kids are really protective of their Mom’s hat, but not their mom’s ice skates? Because it’s one or the other and neither really makes sense to me. Either way, this looks amazing and I will be seeing it.
Jake: Oh hell yes. You had me at “Directors of Goodnight Mommy”. That movie did isolating horror extremely well and it looks like this is going to go for a lot of the same vibes as that. I somehow hadn’t heard anything about this prior to right now and I am all in.
Mark: We frequently see cult stuff in the context of what happens before the cult goes bonkers. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any movie that talks about the cult coming back for you a few decades later. Set that in a dark cabin in the woods and you have a recipe for something very spooky.
11/15/2019 - VOD
Stan lives with his abusive grandfather and tries to protect his best friend from high school bullies. When he discovers a murderous creature has taken refuge inside his tool shed, he tries to battle the demon alone until his bullied friend discovers the creature and has a far more sinister plan.
Jack: Ummm, just for the record, a killing that is motivated by “payback” could very well be sufficient to elevate it to first degree murder. So “it’s not murder, it’s payback” is, as an old professor used to say “exactly wrong.” That aside, this looks pretty funny and fun.
Jake: This trailer plays itself up as being humorous, stylish and relatively lighthearted, and it might be. But there’s something about the synopsis and a few of the scenes that makes me wonder if it will have some issues with the tone. Trying to land the more dramatic elements could be pretty disastrous if it’s not just right, and that’s hard to do.
Mark: The concept of being judged not for who you are but for who you hang out with is self defeating. At a certain point you have to make a judgement on a person or the logic becomes circular and my excel spreadsheets give me an error message every time I try and pull that shit.This could be fun and I am intrigued. Anyone want to bet on whether or not we actually see the monster outside of the shed?
THE DIVINE FURY
11/19/2019 - VOD
An MMA fighter with stigmata helps an exorcist fight evil.
Jack: I was not ready for that. I was similarly not ready for how excited I am to see this. Hard action with a horror-bent? Yes please. Sure, it could all go sideways and combine the worst parts of an action movie with the worst parts of a horror movie, but you’ve got to believe in something, damn it.
Jake: Well I thought they’d done everything in the exorcism genre. Having a divinely empowered MMA fighter come and beat the shit out of the demons is a hilarious and welcome turn. I bet ESPN 8 would eat that shit up, too.
Mark: Hard to argue with that plot synopsis. I’ve always been curious if you can punch demons out of people and this film seems to posit that you can, but only if you have stigmata.
11/22/2019 - VOD
A group of astronauts living in the haunting emptiness of deep space awake to find earth has suffered an extinction level event.
Jack: Omar Epps should be higher billed in this thing. That guy rules. Really though, they shouldn’t be worried. They’ll get really low on oxygen, and then Captain Marvel will fly by and fly their ship to a hospitable planet and they won’t need air or food or water for the time it takes her to fly them there for some reason. See? Easy.
Jake: Miranda Cosgrove aka Summer in School of Rock is in this movie as an adult and this is one of those times where a reminder of how old you are and how quickly life moves hits you like a freight train. I’m now spiraling into the abyss just like the astronaut at the end of the trailer. It does feel scary. Can confirm.
Mark: Love the concept, but I have to play the Debbie Downer role here. Yes, you are just expected to float around in outer space until you suffocate. That’s what happens when the earth explodes. Even if you did have infinite oxygen there aren’t enough people on that space station to repopulate the planet so you’re effectively the last members of an extinct race. Maybe this movie will pull some sci-fi card of “a distant colony” coming to the rescue, but I’m still struggling to understand why the one actor seems to think they have any recourse in this situation.
NOVEMBER 2019 - LIMITED AND HIGHLY OPAQUE THEATRICAL
*This technically premiered in South Korea in May and has been a smash hit. As far as US distribution goes it premiered on October 11th, but it was a highly limited release. It’s getting a wider release in November that will eventually develop into 125 markets by December. When will you be able to see this? No clue. Should you keep an eye out for it? You betcha.
Editors Note: Apparently this is much less of a horror movie than we were given to understand, so maybe don’t go in expecting to frightened senseless.
All unemployed, Ki-taek's family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.
Jack: Holy diver this looks rad. The team of Bong Joon-ho and Song Kang-ho have already produced one horror great, and neither seems to have lost a beat. This is a must-see in a month of quality stuff. I will say that their hot sauce distribution leaves a little to be desired, though.
Jake: I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to see this until December but per the lengthy disclaimer above, the movie is starting a two month rollout and you probably live in a bigger place than me so you might have a shot in the November timeframe. Keep your eyes peeled and go do it because this looks amazing and everything I’ve heard has been resoundingly positive. Can’t wait.
Mark: I’m going to blow right by the fact that this movie looks amazing and I can’t wait to see it to talk about something we almost never bring up here. Did anyone else really like the visual style of words on the screen? Like that shifting white box thing? I don’t know why but that put this trailer over the top. I mean, that and the phrase “Bong at his best” which made me chuckle a bit. Literally the only thing I didn’t like was that it said right in the trailer that it pulls a Kansas City Shuffle with the plot. That seems like a bit much of a spoiler for my taste but who am I to judge? I can’t wait to see this movie, and I’m sure of you lucky folks out there already have and can let us know how it is.
BBC’s Dracula miniseries is “coming soon” in 2019. It doesn’t have an actual release date yet, but it’ll likely be hitting in either November or December unless it gets delayed.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1
Jack: Parasite - I’m not going to pick Doctor Sleep here because I’m too thirsty for that movie (did I use that right?). Instead, I’m picking what appears to be a quality flick produced with care from a director who knows what the hell he’s doing.
Jake: The Lodge - This is for two reasons. First is that I didn’t know about this movie and my blissful ignorance to this point gave me the best sort of surprise so now I’m hyped. Second is that Doctor Sleep excitement has eluded me and my lack of understanding why has created a vicious circle where I actually am becoming even less excited. My brain is a hell of a thing, y’all.
Mark: Doctor Sleep - The Lodge and Parasite were obviously close runners up, but I will always pick a Mike Flanagan property as my top for the month when able. He is the best modern horror director, full stop.
Jack: Pilgrim - Despite being a little curious about the emphasis on the wishbone, this doesn’t look like it’ll be all that great. Add to that having been burned multiple times by the Into the Dark series, and I’m not that hopeful for this one.
Jake: Ghosts in the Graveyard - I don’t really need a spooky ghost story with this many seemingly annoying teenage girls in November and the 3 minute trailer pissed me off so I’m lashing out.
Mark: Holiday Hell - Yeah maybe I’m picking on the easy target here, but it just doesn’t look like it’ll be cohesive enough to keep me interested. Low budget anthology movies are a formula I haven’t seen work almost ever.