With April comes the gentle pitter patter of rain showers across much of the country and the horror release schedule seems to be following suit, with a significantly more gentle release calendar than March. Regardless, the Horror Release Roundup is back and ready to take you through the month's meager offering. HRR is a compilation of trailers of all the horror flicks coming out over the next month, complete with a juicy little morsel of our own thoughts on each movie. Is there a movie we missed? Likely. Have you seen the operation we run, over here? Let us know what we’ve omitted either on Twitter or in the comments at the bottom of the page. Don't leave us hangin'. Teamwork makes the dream work, compadres.
DANUR: I CAN SEE GHOSTS
03/30/2017 - INDONESIA*
Jack: This doesn’t look bad, but it does look like a pile of jumpscares cobbled together. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that’s what you want, I just hope there’s at least a little substance behind it.
Jake: Welp. Guarantee this has nothing left in the tank after that trailer, which decided to spend a solid thirty seconds straight up giving you its signature scene. I have very little desire to see this now, which is a shame because I think that it touches on a creepy chord with the imaginary friend/ghost/kids see things others can’t thing. I’d also like to watch this to add an Indonesian flick to my list, but I’ll probably be looking elsewhere after that regrettable scare-jaculation.
Mark: Guys. You guys. I don’t think that nanny is going to be a very good nanny. This was a decent trailer up until the goddamn triple take in the mirror. Really? You’re gonna triple dip and give away what is undoubtedly your best jumpscare? Also, is the look away and look back thing not one of the most overused scares in horror? We’ve seen that at least 10 other times. I actually kinda liked that they showed restraint on the first trip back, but then they did the unfathomable and I jumped right off-board.
*not April, nor a US release, but included for visibility.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
04/04/2017 - VOD
Jack: They have managed to do something I previously thought was impossible: make a monkey in a suit not funny. Seriously. Think about it. Funny in every other context. This one looks creepy. And that spreads to the whole trailer. This thing just looks creepy. Mark me down.
Jake: I’m a little puzzled by some of the audio inclusions in this trailer. I get what it was trying to do, but something about the way it was cut together and the inflection of the narration left me feeling like there should have been more verbalized. Or a whole lot less. This looks better than the trailer is making it seem. I also love the title aesthetic.
Mark: Isn’t April kind of a strange time to release a horror movie about the night before Halloween? Wouldn’t it be better to release it sometime around… say… Halloween? I’m sure you’ve done a lot of market research on the subject, but inquiring minds want to know these things. All that aside this looks to have your standard home invasion trappings with not a whole lot else pinned on. Will it be good? Meh, probably. Will it great? Highly doubt it.
04/07/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Fuck me this looks like fun. I won’t hear anything to the contrary. Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis look charming as all hell, and this is a super unique concept that doesn’t seem like they ruined by taking it too seriously. I cannot wait for this movie.
Jake: I like a good monster movie, and the trouble is finding something that doesn’t feel played out at this point. What we have here, my friends, is potential. If Anne Hathaway doesn’t both play with her breasts and do the Macarena after discovering she controls that big bastard, I will be severely disappointed.
Mark: Let’s not all pretend we wouldn’t just immediately start making lewd gestures on worldwide live TV. Nothing funnier than putting the FCC in a really weird spot by having a monster doggy-hump a building with both its middle fingers in the air. What’s that FCC? You don’t think we can televise a giant monster attack? Well that’s gonna put you in some hot water. If this movie counts as horror than I’m pretty excited about it. Actually, I’m pretty excited about it regardless, but it probably won’t come up again on here if it’s not horror.
04/07/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
Jack: Woof. Being compared to the Thing is high praise, or just setting oneself up for a big fall. I’m not saying this can’t live up to the comparison, I’m just saying that the odds are ever so not in its favor (that’s the line right? I’m with it). Although that trailer did look pretty dope. I will be watching this.
Jake: Note to Jack: just because the trailer had a pull quote saying it “harkens back to The Thing” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being called a good movie. From what we can see in the trailer, that could be based solely on the amount of frenetic, practical effects generated tentacles leaping forth from a seemingly dead cranium. And that looks fucking awesome. Count me in.
Mark: Here it is. The single piano key trailer of the month. It survives another round. Thank god for that. I like the phrase “pure cosmic dread” but the whole “there is a hell, this is worse” thing aims pretty high. Do you know how spooky hell is? It’s like, pretty spooky. Actually this shit also looks spooky…. Damnit I’ve talked myself into a corner.
04/07/2017 - VOD
Jack: You know, this actually looks like a pretty decent mind-fuck. I like the face-melting thing, it looked subtle, and the bugs in food thing always wigs me out. But then they went and ruined it by ending with a jump scare. Fuck off. I am no longer excited for this movie. Fine, maybe just a little.
Jake: I think this is going to be a good example of a movie’s ambition outpacing its ability to acquire actors that won’t fuck said ambition up. I actually like a lot of the pieces this trailer gives me, but it was better on mute. That does not inspire confidence.
Mark: Uncork’d. Don’t give a shit. Moving along.
04/07/2017 - VOD
Jack: So why is this called the Eyes? What’s that you say? Because they wanted a generic horror name that matches how forgettable this thing looks? Got it. Although that’s not really being fair, Big Pussy Bonpensiero from the Sopranos is in this, so I guess it’s not totally forgettable.
Jake: Two things about this one. First, I have no idea why it’s called The Eyes, and if that organization of kidnappers call themselves that, then I’m just gonna flip (don’t worry, I’m never actually watching this shit). Second, the best actor in this trailer was the black guy, and unfortunately, he didn’t speak a goddamned word.
Mark: Well this looks like a goddamn frolic. Just sunshine and rainbows over here. Sprinkle in some blatant Saw ripoffery and you got this pile. It’s a shame because this has a decent cast all things considered but the likelihood that this sucks is extremely high. This smells like the bottom of the month.
THE DARK TAPES
04/18/2017 - VOD
Jack: Okay, first things first: V/H/S mixed with the Twilight Zone with a touch of the X Files sounds like my favorite thing ever. Ever ever. If this is that (which, from the trailer, it does not appear to be), then this thing might warrant the perfect 10. Still, based on that trailer, I might just let Mark watch it and report back. Which he will, because . . . you know . . . found footage.
Jake: I cannot fathom how this movie garnered the volume of awards it is claiming to have won, because that trailer was ass. But hey, at least they used the mask from that episode of Goosebumps.
Mark: I am completely and utterly confused. Did they put the wrong accolades roll over the top of this trailer. Ain’t no goddamn way this was nominated for all that shit. I’ll probably end up seeing this because… I mean… you know… found footage, but let’s mark me down as an “incredulous” for now.
04/21/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
Jack: Holy shit. Ridley Scott produced found footage about the Phoenix lights with a trailer that didn’t give too much away but did build intrigue? Yes. This looks great. I’m reluctant to say that it could be the modern Blair Witch Project, but something has to be because it sure as fuck wasn’t Blair Witch.
Jake: So here’s the thing. If Ridley fucking Scott is going to get behind an alien flick, especially one so different than his previous work in so many ways, you should be creaming your pantalones with excitement. Figuratively, of course. You know… Sometimes, you gotta clarify.
Mark: You know what is absolutely fucking phenomenal about this trailer? It never says that it’s based on true events. I’m giving this trailer a 9/10 just for that. That’s all it takes. I’m also giving it a bonus point for being found footage, which brings us to a 10/10 trailer. Top 1. Right here. Boom. Mark it down.
04/27/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
Jack: I’m not sure what exactly it is, but something about this looks . . . off. I can’t pinpoint why exactly I don’t want to see this movie, but I do know for goddamn certain that I do not want to see this movie.
Jake: It was really weird to get over a minute into that slog of a trailer and see “From the producer of American Sniper” pop up. What? Now you’ve lost me. My mind is wandering to the “how’s” and “why’s” of that little share. Also, fuck spiders. Hard pass.
Mark: Jake would immediately go comatose the second a spider got close to him. That’s not really on the subject of this trailer, just a fun fact for you on this day. Seeing as this is a movie about a bunch of different fears (including a fear of neon lighting, amirite?) it’s going to have something for everyone, but probably not a sustainable amount of said somethings for said everypeople. As such, I don’t have particularly high hopes for this one.
VOICE FROM THE STONE
04/28/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
Jack: Anyone else getting a real “The Others” vibe from this thing? And not just because it’s a period piece set in an old isolated British mansion. Well, okay . . . maybe it’s mostly that. Either way, this looks like it has the capacity to be genuinely creepy, much like The Others. Got there.
Jake: Based solely on the trailer, I’m incontrovertibly certain this is now one of Jack’s favorite horror movies. If you feed him juuust enough prosecco, he will likely confirm. Try it. It’ll be a hoot.
Mark: I’m torn. On the one hand I am currently very weary of period pieces. On the other this actually looks pretty spooky. I wasn’t sold until the crematorium scene. If they pull that off that shit will be nightmare fuel for a whole flock of folk. Don’t tell me you’ve never had that dream. You’ve had that dream. Luckily for her, you can’t burn the queen of dragons.
A DARK SONG
04/28/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
Jack: What did I just watch? I guess this looks like it could be decent, but it also looks like it could be complete shit. Props for having a great poker face of a trailer I guess?
Jake: I’m having a really hard time making anything of this trailer, aside from the fact that the shaman dude looks like the singer of The Cave Singers. I think this could potentially be one of those movies that benefit by means of general opaqueness, but the problem with that is the ambiguity of the trailer doesn't’ leave me particularly excited to take the plunge and see it.
Mark: We drive a really hard road on this website. Give too much away in your trailer? You suck. Put out a bewildering and atmospheric trailer that gives essentially nothing away? You still probably suck. There’s got to be a middle ground there, right? Given the choice between the two music-themed demonic possession movies, I’m going to err on the side of Devil’s Candy. It sure as hell had the better trailer.
04/28/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
Jack: You know, if I ate some meat that I later learned was human, I don’t think it would freak me out all that much, even with the risk of getting the hunger. That said, the effects on this one actually look pretty good. Probably not good enough to get me to watch it, but still.
Jake: Of all the fucking horror movies out there to remake, why Blood Feast? Is the cult following that robust and demanding? It is? Oh. Well, I’m still not watching it. No cannibals, not even the ones in suits, intrigue me. Also, fuck that poster.
Mark: I find cannibalism just so utterly unappealing as a topic of a horror movie. It just doesn’t hit any of those horror chords that so many other topics do. For me, it’s just boring. If cannibalism is your thing, you’ll probably like this as a horror movie. If you’re me you’re going to forget you ever heard of this incredibly stupidly named movie in three… two… one...
Note: There are some flicks each month that would apply better to a "Horrish Release Roundup". While there is no perfect system for determining what makes the cut, we have to draw the line somewhere. The following movies that come out this month may be of interest to some of you genre fans out there:
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:
Jack: Phoenix Forgotten - Not even close. This is an exquisitely made trailer for movie with an interesting and legitimately creepy subject matter by a production company with a proven track record. This is a must-see.
Jake: Phoenix Forgotten - We rarely have clean sweeps for this category but with this crop of films, I’ll be shocked if we don’t. The trailer is excellent, and the absolute legend backing this thing is more than enough to ensure this is a weekend one watch for me.
Mark: Phoenix Forgotten - Found footage about something that we haven’t seen much of before? Check. Trailer that doesn’t lean on being “based on true events?” Check. That’s really all I need here, but even beyond that, this one looks like it’ll be great. Since we all ended up picking the same movie I'll also throw out Colossal as one that I'm quite excited about.
Jack: Rupture - I watched this trailer just a few minutes ago and I've already forgotten what it's about. I do remember that it looked bad though.
Jake: Rupture - This bullshit was already toeing a line and then the arachnids came out. Noooooope.
Mark: The Eyes - I’m convinced that this is going to be a waste of talent, and with talent at such a premium in this genre that makes this all the more egregious. Was anyone clamoring for a poorly executed saw ripoff? I wasn’t.