We have a question for you, readers. Do you feel it coming? Do you feel it coming in the air tonight? Even at the onset of August you can see the impending tidal wave of movies heading toward us as we approach fall. Before they arrive though we have the last vestiges of the summer to deal with. This month brings a lot of variety: a few blockbusters, a few stinkers, and a few that may have flown under your radar.
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 August of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.
Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.
THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS
08/05/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
The Forest of the Lost Souls is a dense and remote forest, Portugal's most popular place for suicide. On a summer morning, two strangers meet within the woods.
Jack: Really kicking things off with a whimper here, huh? I certainly can't say that this movie looks bad, but hot damn it does look like a slog to sit through. When every line uttered could just as easily be narration as dialog, that is not a recipe for a movie about which I am excited. Is this another real forest like the suicide forest in Japan, or are they just aping the idea? Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I want the answer.
Jake: Why are the most popular places for suicide always dense forests? Of all the months for a movie like this (foreign language + black & white) to come out, I think August is the absolute worst in terms of me actually wanting to take the time on it. Give me something with explosions and man eating monsters and beefcakes, please.
Mark: Everyone comes here for a reason SADNESS! I feel like they probably could have handled that transition with just a bit more subtlety, but who am I to criticize? This looks interesting enough, but the foreign language and black-and-white things mean I probably won’t ever have the drive to actually see it. I’m calling it now, at least one of those two people were dead the whole time.
ALONG CAME THE DEVIL
08/10/2018 - THEATRICAL
After a troubled childhood, Ashley searches for a connection, and unknowingly invites in a demonic force, which leaves her loved ones fighting for her soul.
Jack: Holy diver this looks bad. No one was clamoring for a new exorcism movie, and even fewer are looking for such a derivative iteration. Yikes. Also, I'm sure the Exorcist had a bigger budget and all, but come one, it's been 45 years, the effects of the two should not be this comparable.
Jake: Brutal. Is this how it’s going to go, August?
Mark: Inspired by true events guys, this one is basically a documentary. This trailer gets an F for sound design. It’s one thing to make us watch, but unfortunately we are also required to listen. Do you just want to hear two shrill notes whistled for like 30 seconds each? No? Yeah, neither does anyone else. Also, the devil is fully aware that he is not god. I doubt he would introduce himself as such.
08/10/2018 - THEATRICAL
After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.
Jack: Fuck. Yes. I'm not sure this is squarely horror (read: I'm certain this is horror-adjacent at the absolute best), and I do not care even one bit. I need to see Statham punch this fucking shark squarely in the nose. It's been a rough few months, I needs this and will not be denied its glory.
Jake: Ok, that didn’t take long. This is what I was talking about, Forest of Lost Souls. This is an August movie.
Mark: Yo Jason Statham gonna fight a shark. This movie is pure hot buttered popcorn. Also, that wedding party is full of terrible dog owners. A.) That dog wants nothing more than to escape the fuck out of there and B.) No one seems to mind? Shouldn’t at least one person be like “oh man Fifi is getting really far out there… maybe we should toss her a life preserver?”
08/10/2018 - THEATRICAL
Slender Man tells the story of a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens.
Jack: I was all set to just hate this, but I've gotta say, that was a pretty well-done trailer. Full of tropes with annoying sound design, sure, but it made me kind of excited to see this movie which I was just not ready for.
Jake: This is a better trailer than I was expecting but I don’t expect the movie will be any good, and that’s if it even comes out. I’ll believe it when I see it. Also, just go watch Marble Hornets.
Mark: For a second I thought she was just gonna scribble “HI.” Then I was disappointed when she turned it into “HIM.” Then I realized that both things are equally innocuous and absurd to write backwards on a glass board. Is she writing a message to someone outside or do the filmmakers legitimately not understand how mirror images work. They’re professional filmmakers, so I’m guessing they know what they’re doing, but honestly this trailer leaves more than a seed of doubt.
SUMMER OF '84
08/10/2018 - THEATRICAL
After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.
Jack: This bandwagon is careening right along (can you careen positively?) and cannot be stopped. And I'm pretty okay with that. There might come a time when I'm tired of this nostalgia childhood thing in well made movies, but today is not that day.
Jake: There’s something about 80’s nostalgia that the horror community is so collectively hard for. And I guess I’m part of the problem. I can’t wait to see this movie. Nostalgia can play in the summer too, you guys. Look at Stranger Things. That shit felt perfect.
Mark: I’m belaboring the point to bemoan the blatant nostalgia play so I won’t talk about it anymore, despite the fact that I find it pretty bothersome that they rely on it when it is wholly unnecessary. I’m betting they could have set this in the 2000s and had it been the same movie, but this way they get to use the cool bikes, goofy clothing, and pulsing 80 synth laden soundtrack. This is likely a good movie, but it’s faking a limp and using a crutch. Whew, aren’t you glad I didn’t belabor that point? That was a close one.
08/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
08/31/2018 - VOD
Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda.
Jack: Ned was probably the best part about Spider-Man Homecoming, and this looks to have that guy in spades. That alone makes me interested, even if the rest of the thing looks to be leaning a little too far into "bad for the sake of being bad" territory.
Jake: I don’t expect this movie will be good but it could be s very Good Friday night beer and pizza joint. I’m going to beat a dead horse and remind you that it’s August. That’s what I want.
Mark: So Cabin in the Woods and Funhouse Massacre basically? This is just those two things mashed together right? The cynical part of me is like “Yeah, we get it. Horror films have a set of rules, and it’s been done before to make it meta.” But then the other side of my brain is like “Fuck you, shitty side, you wanted to be goth in high school. This movie looks bitchin.” The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Also, for the record, I was not a goth in high school.
08/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD
After an unprecedented global pandemic turns the majority of humankind into violent "Infected," a man gifted with the ability to speak the Infected's new language leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.
Jack: Okay, sure. I'm obviously going to talk about how awesome this looks and how excited I am for it, but there are more pressing matters: What in the flying fuck is happening with Matt Smith's accent? They let Natalie Dormer keep her natural british accent, why not Matt? It'd be one thing if he could do a convincing accent instead of whatever Philly/Appalachian/Midwest patois he has brewing.
Jake: I was not expecting this to be even one bit as good as it looks when I opened up the link to watch the trailer for the first time. I don’t like zombie movies though, so… yeah I can’t keep up the charade anymore. I’m seeing this one.
Mark: I will admit that I judged this movie based on its poster. By that metric, I was assuming this movie was going to be unforgivably bad. Then I watched the trailer and changed basically my entire mind. I’m left handed now. My wife loves Stanley Tucci. I love Natalie Dormer. We both love zombie movies. It’s a win win win, with some decent vinyl enthusiasm sprinkled on top for good measure.
08/17/2018 - VOD
After winning the championship cup, Jonsey and his team must survive the zombie apocalypse.
Jack: I'm really struggling to think of something funny to say here. I wish hockey-themed horror movies could be good, but history has, and I'm afraid forever will, deem these movies bad. This appears to be no exception.
Jake: Another zombie movie, and this one looks very fucking dumb. Why did Barry Melrose agree to be in this?
Mark: What a lame sport, right guys? Get a tennis racket like a real man. Is the main kid’s name Henrik Lundqvist? Who is he trying to impress? He ain’t no king. Homeboy is barely a peon. This movie looks bad and it should feel bad.
DOWN A DARK HALL
08/17/2018 - THEATIRCAL
Kit Gordy, a new student at the exclusive Blackwood Boarding School, confronts the institution's supernatural occurrences and dark powers of its headmistress.
Jack: Why did that guy say she had a "misdemeanor arrest"? What's the alternative there? The only other kind of arrest is a felony arrest, and so he's affirmatively trying to make her feel better about the lesser of the two arrests, I guess, but that didn't seem like what he was doing. You can't get arrested for an infraction, so I'm at a loss here. Also it looks like that was one of the first scenes, so at least I'll have that to ponder during the rest of what appears to be a pretty slow movie.
Jake: Oh hey another boarding school movie. That’s too many boarding school movies, guys. At least Uma Thurman is in this one so I’d definitely steer in this direction if made to make a choice.
Mark: If you can get past the rough dialogue (“some of us are trying to hate this place in peace!”) then I think this one might actually be a decent viewing experience. I’ll say that I’m certainly more excited for it than the other boarding school themed movie coming out this month. I’m not sure what that monster is, but I kinda get the sense they’re going for vampires. I’m not a huge vampire guy, but it does seem like it’s been forever since we’ve had a decent vampire movie. Aside from that incredibly bad tandem of jumpscares at the end I actually thought this looked pretty good.
PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH
08/17/2018 - THEATRICAL
Note: From what we can gather at this time there is no legit trailer for this one. Here is a “sneak peek” instead.
All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets up for auction at a convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that's motivated by an evil as old as time.
Jack: It's a Puppet Master movie, so plan accordingly: Do you like Puppet Master? Then see this. No? Then don't. Haven't seen any? Why in the hell would you start here?
Jake: I haven’t seen a trailer yet so I can’t really comment save to say that you know what you’re getting with a Puppet Master flick. This is more of that.
Mark: Having found and watched a goofy bootleg trailer with people’s heads in the frame I’m pretty sure I’m glad that there isn’t really a trailer to watch. The sneak peek we link above makes the movie look charming and fun. The trailer that I just watched makes it look worse than a troma film. I’m going to err on the side of caution and plan on never seeing this.
SHARKNADO 6: IT'S ABOUT TIME
08/19/2018 - SYFY
Fin must unlock the time-traveling power of the Sharknados in order to save the world.
Jack: Move along folks, there's nothing to see here. Syfy did a terrific job with the original of making a movie to be laughed at, but still putting enough effort and love into it so it's a real movie. I stopped watching these when that wore off around movie 3 in this franchise.
Jake: They never end! This is my favorite trailer of the month based purely on the fact that there’s a 30 second teaser version whereas every other fucking movie these days takes three minutes of your life to ingest.
Mark: I hope he uses that chainsaw to cut this movie down to 20 minutes. Boom. Roasted ‘em. Seriously though I guess the Sharknado franchise is ultimately pretty harmless, but good lord is their shtick wearing thin. Syfy found a golden goose and has now milked it down to its bones. DOWN TO ITS BONES.
WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE
08/24/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
Majestic mountains, a still lake, and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
Jack: It's pretty cool that this movie just happens to be about a gay couple, and I'm really hoping they don't wreck that in the full film. That said, I'm really REALLY tired of people proclaiming that they have some kind of tactical advantage because they "know these woods like the back of my hand!" No you don't. Maybe in some kind of drawn out encounter, but you have not fucking memorized the location of every tree to the point where you are going to be any better at sprinting through the trees than anyone else. Stop doing that, movies.
Jake: This looks gorgeous but waaaay too art for art’s sake for me. This is a prime Mark movie. Guarantee he subsequently reports hating it. Consider that a bet.
Mark: How many villains does this movie have? Is it two? I’m going with two. It’s the loneliest number since the number one. I think I’m in the minority on this one, but it actually looks pretty intriguing. Good plot. Well acted. People getting fucked with in the woods? Sure, sign me up. Maybe it’s a lit artsy for art’s sake, but maybe that’s what we need right now. Maybe we all just need a little bit of 80s neon letter font over a sweeping forest shot. Maybe we all just need some confusing blacklight.
08/31/2018 - THEATRICAL
A young boy becomes fascinated with the persona of his dead grandmother and is sent to an isolated boarding school for misfits run by a mysterious headmaster and his wife.
Jack: Title might be a little on the nose there, friends. I really hope this is a bait and switch situation where the actual movie is dark and gory as all hell. Generic supernatural kids stores are wearing a little thin.
Jake: Oh my god. Another one. Cool name, too. Despite that generic title though, this seems downright whimsical. I’m not sure if the score was just off the wall bananas and had no place here or if there’s going to be magic afoot. I’ll expect magic. Why not?
Mark: Man, I love those pre-trailer mini-trailers.They make absolutely no sense. Who pulls up the trailer, watches the mini-trailer, and then gets more excited for the full one that they’re about to watch? The whole concept is just baffling to me. Hey, speaking of baffling... Are these kids wizards? Is this boarding school Azkaban or the Xavier School for Gifted Children? I can’t be the only one who got that vibe out of this trailer.
THE LITTLE STRANGER
08/31/2018 - THEATRICAL
A country doctor in the 1940s and his patients are haunted by something unexpected in the house.
Jack: Holy shit this is a long trailer. I'm always a little worried about the period pieces that seem a little over-wrought like this, but hey, I love the Others and this fits into that camp, so who knows.
Jake: I don’t know if I’ve just been desensitized by all the other movies that seem of this same ilk lately but this seems both totally forgettable and completely watchable at the same time. Good thing my brain is able to logic that out and make the decision to not waste more time on it, especially given the fact that the trailer already took 2:45 of my life. 2:45… Stop it.
Mark: So this guy doesn’t see a house for 30 years over which time a fucking World War happens and he is surprised that it doesn’t have a freshly manicured lawn? Are we to believe that this man is a colossal buffoon? I like Domhnall Gleeson, but this role looks insufferable. I’m not one for period horror because it’s simultaneously hard to identify with and boring. That’s a recipe for a bad movie watching experience. Unfortunately I don’t think the power of this one’s cast is enough for me to be interested in it.
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?
SEARCHING - 08/24/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
TOP 1/BOTTOM 1
Jack: Patient Zero - I love both Matt Smith and Natalie Dormer. I'm not usually one for zombie flicks but this looks pretty damn good.
Jake: Summer if ‘84 - Yep. My 80’s nostalgia semi is raging. Whatever.
Mark: The Meg - This one has been on my radar since last year. I love virtually all shark and deep-sea based horror. This one also has Jason Statham in it. Why would I not like it?
Jack: Along Came the Devil - No one was asking for you, stop pretending we were.
Jake: Along Came the Devil - This trailer almost scared me off from the entire month of August.
Mark: Ahockalypse - In a month where there is a perfect blend of quality from all the way at the bottom to all the way at the top it doesn’t seem fair to invoke the Uncork’d rule. I don't think there is any state of mind that I can be in where I would look forward to this one. I would rather just watch Letterkenny.