February 2017 is officially here, and we are back to provide your monthly Horror Release Roundup. HRR is a compilation of trailers of all the horror flicks coming out over the next month, complete a juicy little morsel of our own thoughts on each movie. Is there a movie we missed? Quite likely. Let us know what we’ve omitted either on Twitter or in the comments at the bottom of the page. You can do it. You have the power in those fingertips of yours.
02/01/2017 - VOD
Jack: Huh. Mermaid horror. I’ll tell you this much: if anything in the water sang me a song saying specifically that it wasn’t going to eat me, I’m not getting in that water no matter how pretty it’s fucking voice is. This looks insane, but I’m kind of into it.
Jake: This is a Polish horror-musical about mermaids who work at a strip club. I’ve heard people sing this movie’s praises, but I’m pretty sure I just can’t do this one. I nominate Jack.
Mark: I also nominate Jack. Jack, this is now yours. Congratulations. I like high concept shit as much as the next guy, but “mermaid Polish horror musical” is almost too “NPR” for me. I mean, really, this has to be a parody of itself, right?
02/03/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Well damn. I’m kind of excited for this one. They hit all the beats. But like in a nostalgic, but still interesting way rather than a lazy and contrived way. It looks like the Ring, in a good way. I will be seeing this one.
Jake: Well this has been delayed enough. Just look at the poster... It’s The Ring, but replace the vhs with a Youtube link. When I went to watch this trailer, the preview ad was also for Rings, so I fell into a kind of Rings-ception with the whole thing. We know what it will be about, but the interesting note is that the trailer seems to promise a bit more of the psychological, trippy side hinted at by the first film but never really explored. If it hits those notes, it will be successful. If not, it’ll be ball chortle worthy.
Mark: I went ahead and painted myself into a corner by choosing this one as my top upcoming horror movie of 2017. I don’t regret my decision, but I do wish it came out last month so I didn’t have to justify it as a winner over Get Out. Look, I’m fucking gaga over the ring series of movies. They are the best... I just want to see where this shit takes the franchise. That being said, please please don’t be shit. This might be a terrible move, and I’m uncomfortable that I’m going to have to defend it. If it’s good, then I called it. If it’s bad, then it’s not my fault.
02/03/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL/VOD
Jack: Motherfucker. Seriously? Yeah, you know what? If you need a death certificate of someone who lived in an asylum that burned down, you have to break in there. There’s literally no other recourse. That shit isn’t filed or copied or anything. Also, it’s not like there’s provisions in place in case those are lost or damaged. Fuck me this looks generic.
Jake: I thought they established that the hospital burned down… So, uh… where do they go? Also, pro tip. Don’t release a movie involving a looney bin the same month that A Cure for Wellness comes out (more on that shit, shortly).
Mark: Are we sure, as a collective, that this is not somehow based on a true story? That seems like something this ilk of movie might pull. So far, and I’m only three movies in, this shit is fucking retarded. Boo this movie. Boo. None of this is even remotely plausible. I simultaneously want to applaud and boo the T2000 being a demonic doctor ghost. Booplause. Boo this clapping sound.
02/03/2017 - VOD
Jack: Well hot damn. Here’s a low budget indie movie that looks goddamned awesome. Backpacking shit gets to me, and this looks like no exception. Plus, I love how creepy that monster is. Mark me down.
Jake: There are about three too many things going on in this trailer for me to be able to focus. Most importantly is the discount Matthew McConaughey who belongs to some sort of woods militia that I don’t think had any reason to exist in a trailer like this in the first place. Thanks, Arbor Demon, now I’m going to go watched Dazed and Confused.
Mark: Are we responsible for this? Did we accidentally make “people being fucked with in the woods” a legit subgenre? No. There’s no way. This wasn’t us. Then again, a lot of parents have probably said similar things about their serial killer children. I’m gonna apologize in advance for this one. Even if we are 1% culpable then I feel like we may have unleashed something terrible on the planet.
DON'T KNOCK TWICE
02/03/2017 - VOD
Jack: This one, unfortunately, looks pretty generic. Although I do like Katee Sackhoff quite a bit, and she’s a genre-regular, so that’s a thing. This one will likely fly right under my radar, and I’ll forget about having seen the trailer for it.
Jake: So if one knock wakes the witch and two knocks summon the witch, what do three knocks do? Make her sing Queen? What about multiples of two? Is there any combination of knocks that will make her grill me a cheese?
Mark: Oh shit, there’s a darkness around her? Well in that case you better not fuck about. I’m with Jack on this - this is a re-tread of a generic re-tread. I just kept waiting for the trailer to introduce something new and then all of a sudden…. nothing happened. In that way, I’m assuming the trailer will be largely representative of the film as a whole.
STAKE LAND 2: THE STAKELANDER
02/07/2017 - VOD
Jack: “One stake at a time” huh? Why aren’t they also decked out in garlic armor? I never saw Stake Land, but a big problem I have with these movies that use classic lore is what rules they follow and don’t, and how well they explain that. The one seems firmly in the “whichever ones they fucking want,” and “fuck you we’re not explaining shit” camps, respectively. Which can also be fun.
Jake: This is easily the best horror title since the last SyFy original was released. Stake Land was an ok flick, so maybe this will be, too. But doesn’t seeing this just make you wish it was Chuck Norris doing the ass kicking?
Mark: Wait. Wait. Stakelander 1 was a thing? Here is that trailer if you feel like you may have missed out on something. Also, the best Stake Land sequel subtitle you could come up with was “Stakelander?” Tell me, honestly, have you ever been described as special? This not only looks bad, but it’s a largely befuddling sequel. Why does this exist? Who was clamoring for this?
02/07/2017 - VOD
Jack: Fuck. That looks disturbing. Might just be Busey, but either way, unsettling as all hell. That one looks like it will stay with me for a while. Might just have to give that one a watch.
Jake: When you have Gary Busey on board, you don’t really need to do anything else to creep me out, so I’m calling low blow on that shit. This looks fucked up even without him though. And I don’t know if that’s in a good way or a bad way.
Mark: Gary Busey is a beautiful human. He is the best of all of us. Excuse me while I go watch “Life with Busey” re-runs on comedy central. I actually feel like this is probably how Busey comprehends reality. As a result, I’m okay with this. Gary Busey is currently re-establishing my stride, and I appreciate that.
02/07/2017 - VOD
Jack: OH GOD KNIFE ON TONGUE!! This movie doesn’t look that good, and the effects look like . . . NOPE, ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS THE KNIFE SLICING THROUGH THAT TONGUE!
Jake: This trailer is cut like ass. So many bad cuts (mostly too quick, but one with like a second of time before they even said “action”). At least they were able to shoot a home being demolished on their iPhone as they walked down the street one day. I’m sure that’ll come in handy for the climax.
Mark: I dislike the fact that I have given this trailer 2 whole views on youtube. Do yourself a favor and just skip right over this one. This is everything that gives horror a bad name. This is literally in contention for worst movie trailer ever. Production company, did you pay a separate entity for this trailer edit? Don’t pay them. Backcharge those motherfuckers. They took your averagely bad movie and made it worse looking.
02/07/2017 - VOD
Jack: Why doesn’t this look terrible to me? Intellectually, this does not look good, and I know and accept that. But something about it . . . the heart wants what the heart wants I guess.
Jake: You boys wanna go ‘Squatchin?!.. Yeah… Me neither.
Mark: I’m tempted to weigh this against the other Sasquatch movie I’ve recently watched: “Exists.” That one was better. I mean, granted I haven’t seen this one, and “Exists” was still pretty bad, but this trailer gives me exactly zero hope that this is any better. Guys, there is a fertile horror campground here that remains largely unexplored. We just need one competent filmmaker to come along to explore it. Hunting Grounds does not appear to be it.
02/10/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL/VOD
Jack: Well like . . . maybe without that music and the text on the screen this will have something going for it. I don’t get the vibe. Is it trying to be serious? If so it’ll be campy and good. But if it’s trying to be campy, then it’s gonna crash and burn.
Jake: This trailer included a grand truth in saying that fresh air and cold beer are good. That’s about all I got. It looks forgettable.
Mark: So… Yup… I fully hope that these filmmakers were cool with making garbage. This trailer is clearly edited by the cuttest of cut-rate trailer cutting companies. There’s an outside (and I mean way outside) chance that this is a decent movie, in which case the trailer will have done it zero favors.
DON'T HANG UP
02/10/2017 - VOD
Jack: Anyone else getting some serious Saw vibes from this? Kind of Saw mixed with the Milgram experiment. Not the real Milgram experiment, but the apocryphal one that every blowhard at a party thinks they understand and wants to explain to you. That one. And Saw. Jammed together.
Jake: This doesn’t look bad other than that I’m left with very little desire to see the actual movie after watching the fucking three minute trailer. Three minutes? Are you fucking kidding me? Make some decisions. Chop things. Make me want to watch your movie. Don’t just sit there with your dick in your hand and act like all of that was necessary. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Mark: Those rascally pranksters better get what’s coming to them. That is the only possible justice that comes from this. Jake makes a good point - if this movie ends up being 90 minutes then that trailer is 3% of the total movie. Think about that. People are being paid to edit these trailers, and that’s incredible in its own right. I’m upset by how decent this movie actually looks. My guess? This will be a middle of the road movie that takes exactly zero risks and winds up being forgotten to history about three months from now.
02/10/2017 - VOD
Jack: Jesus H Christ. Can anyone in this movie speak in full thoughts rather than just maxims? Although I guess he who speaks in maxims can sound wise. Fuck, now I’m doing it. That combined with the “In a world . . . “ style of narration at the beginning is just a little too much for this guy, thank you.
Jake: I’m not sure I’ve ever heard more one-liners from a less one-liner-worthy movie than in the two minutes I spent watching this trailer.
Mark: I’ll be the hero that this trio deserves. This movie looks interesting. Yes, the trailer is stupid as fuck, but the narration probably won’t be there in the actual movie. I feel dirty and manipulated, but why am I actually sort of excited for this one?
A CURE FOR WELLNESS
02/17/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Ugh. I have seen a trailer for this movie soooo many times now. And yeah, it looks competently shot, and Gore Verbinski did The Ring, and that train shot looks fucking beautiful. But come on. With the super low-key version of the Ramones? I’m getting tired of that bit. I’m definitely going to see this one, but something about it just doesn’t quite look great to me.
Jake: TOP MOTHERFUCKING 1
Mark: This movie is essentially the attractive guy at the party who your girlfriend is flirting with because he has a vaguely European accent and an air of mystery. Fuck that guy. You wanna date that guy? That guy is a womanizing asshole who promises the world and then is completely substance-less. Why would you use the Ramones in this trailer? That alone is “fuck you” worthy, and then they follow up with some ridiculous annotation based add-on marketing ploy. You suck. Booooooo. Boo this pretentious ad campaign. Booo.
02/17/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL/VOD
Jack: I really hope this is great. When you swing hard with that kind of marketing (which I do think is a cool thing), you’d best come prepared to back it up. It’s hard to tell with anthologies whether they’ll be any good or not, so here’s hoping this one’s the former.
Jake: I’m all for what this is going for in terms of giving women filmmakers a chance to come together and showcase their work. The anthology format is a cool, natural way to do that. However, anthologies are typically a mixed bag, and this looks like it will be no different, at best. With only four segments, at least one better be really fucking good, or this could have the exact opposite of the intended effect.
Mark: I’m torn. Part of me is like: women = men. So why would this be any different than four short films strung together? The other part of me is like: women haven’t been given a fair shake on the whole genre so let’s give them a shot. Either way, this movie deserves to be weighed purely on its merits, and frankly, I think it’s going to blow us out of the water. Worst case scenario? Holidays. Best case scenario? Southbound. That’s a range I’m comfortable with.
02/24/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Well damn. That looks proper scary. I know Jordan Peele is a big horror guy, and if that trailer is any indication, he’s got a good grip on the genre. Even if Keanu wasn’t really all that good.
Jake: Jordan Peele made a horror movie and if I’m to venture a guess, there will be quite a bit of humor in here. It’s whether he is able to strike a balance between that humor and chills that will dictate whether this thing is at all noteworthy. He seems to know horror, so I’m excited to find out what his first take on a genre film is, if nothing else.
Mark: Fuck you, Jack. Keanu was great. Also, fuck you Jake, humor ain’t got nothing to do with this. Both of you are trying to break my stride and I don’t appreciate it. This looks unique, well processed, and well written. I’m smitten. Everything is wonderful. Sunshine and rainbows over here, assholes.
02/24/2017 - VOD
Jack: Well this movie starring two white women looks like it will sensitively handle another drastically misunderstood culture’s beliefs. Oh, what’s that you say? All they did was generic possession and plaster on a racist depiction of what early-1800’s white newspapers thought Voodoo was? Terrific.
Jake: Jack’s our resident VooDoo shit talker so I’ll go ahead and let whatever he said speak for this one. Always lean on the experts, kiddos.
Mark: Oh shit yeah the single piano key score survives another month. I was worried for a moment there. Aside from that, I’m going to actively try and distract from this trailer by linking to a song from the first CD I ever bought so….. Here. Some kind of voodoo has come across this land, some kind of voodoo medicine man. Fuck yeah, Aerosmith.
02/24/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
2/28/2017 - VOD
Jack: Well here’s our ultra-low budget “low expectations” movie for the month. This one, though, looks like it might have some raw talent behind the thing. Ahh well, I’m certainly not going to watch it, so there’s no way of finding out.
Jake: The “sadistic psychopath family doing crazy shit to a group of people in a remote location” is a tried and true format. How could this possibly go wrong? Oh yeah, people have to act in the movie for the movie to be a movie.
Mark: You gotta wonder, did Jack even bother watching the rest of the trailers this month? I mean... yeah... this isn't going to blow any one away, but this is the one you single out as the low budget low expectations movie? Bruh. This looks basically like a Mad Max ripoff that will probably feature a non-zero amount of cannibalism. I could be persuaded to watch this movie, and that is literally as high as I'm willing to rate this movie.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:
Jack: Arbor Demon - Look, I could go with the sexy pick and choose Rings or A Cure for Wellness here, but I’ve gotta vote with my heart goddamn it, and honestly, A Cure for Wellness just doesn’t do that much for me. The demon monster thing in this though looks fucking awesome.
Jake: A Cure for Wellness - don’t listen to Jack. He blacked out that day. This movie looks fucking gorgeous. I am quite confident this will be the best movie of the bunch. My only concern is that I hope it’s not too Shutter Island-y and carves out its own, better path.
Mark: Rings - I’m legally obligated to mention this as my top 1. That being said, please also go watch Get Out. Rings is my top 1 because I’m married to its original as one of the best things to happen to horror. Get Out looks like it could legit create a new horror sub-genre in its own right. Can I just demand that you see both?
Jack: Eloise - Fuck you movie. Right from your stupid premise, all the way through to your poor execution, fuck you.
Jake: Bornless Ones - In a continued effort to lay up off the movies that are clearly low on the totem pole (some of those are made by beginning filmmakers who I think absolutely deserve a shot and many are capable of great things, especially after giving it a few cracks) and avoid the fuck-heaps that don’t deserve our recognition, I’m just going with the one I had already forgotten about from the first time I went through this list to now. Nooooooope.
Mark: The Covenant - There isn’t a lack of movies that are bad this month. This is the worst fucking insult of a trailer I have seen come across my feed in quite some time. Easily worse looking than anything I saw all of last year. Now, let me say, there’s a chance this movie is good. We’re not here to judge movies, we’re here to judge trailers, and this trailer is the worst goddamn fucking insult of a trailer to have come across my feed in quite some time. I award you no points and may god have mercy on your souls.