Happy New Year, ya schmucks! Welcome to the first Horror Release Roundup of the year, where nothing has gone wrong yet, and none of us have made fools of ourselves. 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? Unsurprising, as this month is weirdly sparse in comparison to most. 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'.
UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS
01/06/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: That trailer is stupid-long. And this isn’t horror. Seriously, why is that trailer so long? We all know exactly what these movies are.
Jake: Obviously, this one is more horror adjacent than horror itself. We know the drill by now. There are vampires. There are lycans. Also, there are guaranteed to be a non-zero amount of ‘bullet-time’ sequences in this movie. That all sound good? It doesn’t? Ok then... moving along.
Mark: Let’s all stop for a second and reflect on the fact that “blood wars” is by far the stupidest name for a movie that any of us have ever heard. For a long time now this series has been action movies set against a horror backdrop, and not truly a horror franchise. I’m okay with that, but you just have to realize that there’s very little horror here.
01/06/2017 - VOD
Jack: Are her teeth just like that, or did the ghost do something to them? Scary either way. This trailer has a weird combination of gorgeous scenery shots and interior confined spaces. If they cut between those enough, that could be really cool and claustrophobic.
Jake: My money is on a Shyamalan-level twist in this bad boy. Prediction? Nothing happens the whole time, they just smoked some strange hash in that scene where they were clearly using a Fiji water bottle as a bong like desperate fucking teenagers.
Mark: They’re going to Pound Town, that’s where they’re going. I’m most curious to watch this movie just to figure out what the hell happens to that chick’s teeth. I get that this is British (or just vaguely European), but those teeth are fucked even by that standard.
01/10/2017 - VOD
Jack: Hmm, an old black man who’s wise beyond his training and knows something about the supernatural? That seems familiar. And look! It’s based on true events. Fucking hooray.
Jake: If you put “based on actual events” or some close relative in your marketing, you have a lot of work to do to recapture my attention. When you use that phrase in a light arial font, you can flat go fuck yourself.
Mark: I’m going to go ahead and guess that the “based on true events” part of this movie is that they found similar photographs of old black people and then completely made up a story around them. This one looks banal as fuck. Not particularly bad, but definitely not interesting.
THE BYE BYE MAN
01/13/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Why is the tagline “follow him if you dare”? That makes no sense. He’s not luring you places, is he? Is this a pied piper situation? I do really want to see this one though. I liked the Strangers a lot, and Oculus was interesting, though not great. Plus, when’s the last time we had a good boogeyman movie?
Jake: We’ve seen this coming for awhile now, and my god, I cannot get over the name of this movie. It seems kind of like The Babadook but with less obnoxious kids and more boobies. It also falls into the much hated “based on true events” category, but the promise of some mammaries on screen brings this one back to tepid levels of intrigue.
Mark: So far this makes 3 out of the first 5 movies that are claiming to be “based on true events.” For those keeping track, that means that 60% of the movies we’ve discussed so far in this post have been shitbag liars. In no way is the plot of this movie based on true events. Why the hell you gotta be like that, producers? Why can’t you just let your movie stand on its own legs without invoking some played out trope?
BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY
01/13/2017 - VOD
Jack: Holy shit there is a lot going on in this movie. Like, a lot. Somehow though, it all looks well-handled. This looks delightful.
Jake: Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Also, this looks fun and stylish.
Mark: First part of the trailer: “Wait, how is this a horror movie?” Second part of the trailer: “Oh.” I’m upset at how good this looks. This must be what hope feels like. I don't like it, it feels strange.
WE ARE THE FLESH
01/13/2017 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
Jack: Well that looks weird and legitimately terrifying. But that line about chance was stupid. Just because the killer selected them by chance, doesn’t mean he’s not the criminal. Though I’m sure someone’s tried that legal defense at some point.
Jake: What a joyless and cringe-worthy slog this seems to be. I expect this to follow through on the trailer with a hefty amount of surreal filmmaking. If that happens, this could be really cool and very unsettling.
Mark: I gotta say, there was a lot more nudity in that trailer than I was expecting. Is that even allowed on youtube? I actually rather like the idea of chance being the most dangerous criminal that has roamed the Earth. Seems like this will be a solid entry into the foreign-cult subgenres. I can’t wait to try and convince the guys to watch this for Cinco de Mayo only to get shot down for something terrible. Call this a dark horse.
ATTACK OF THE LEDERHOSEN ZOMBIES
01/13/2017 - VOD
Jack: Nope. Nuh-uh. Dead Snow is already a thing. This will have to be spectacularly charming to stand out even a little bit, and, based on the brief dialog we get in that trailer, it isn’t. Just go watch Dead Snow again.
Jake: And the first zombie flick of the month isn’t just a zombie flick, it’s a Zom-Com! There is pretty much one scenario where this could be worth a watch, and that’s if it goes with such an over-the-top amount of gratuitous splatter, you can’t help but wonder how they captured so much viscera on screen at one time. Think Braindead. 99% sure it won’t do that though.
Mark: I can’t figure out if this movie is trying to ride Dead Snow’s coattails, or if they are specifically allowing a respectable amount of time between releases for it to be okay. Based on the title of the movie I was primed to look for everything that was wrong with it, but instead this looks like something that might actually err on the side of being middling, instead of just being outright terrible.
01/17/2017 - VOD
Jack: My goodness that looks awful. I know that increased access to better technology and crowdfunding and more distribution have lowered the barrier to entry on film-making and given the world much more horror movies, and that’s a good thing. But after seeing this trailer, I think that barrier to entry might need to be moved up like three or four notches.
Jake: My thoughts on this movie’s acting quality and my own feelings toward said movie can be summed up in 2 seconds, HERE.
Mark: Oh, hey, look… it’s this month’s ultra low budget terrible movie of the month. Nothing to see here everybody. Literally. There is going to be nothing in this movie that you will want to see. Hell, even the score is terrible. Also, new request of all film producers: keep your porn out of my horror movies.
01/20/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: I’m no psychiatrist, but that body chemistry changing with personalities thing seems like horseshit, right? This movie lives or dies by McAvoy’s performance. I think he’s got the chops, but I’m worried Shyamalan took it too far. Either way, definitely one to watch.
Jake: Considering my choice of gag for the movie immediately above, I feel a little weird about how excited for this one I am. James McAvoy is taking on what looks like an insanely difficult role, and unless they blew everything on the trailer, I think he is going to be pretty magnetic to watch.
Mark: Oh my god I hope the beast is played by Bruce Willis, and they play off the change by waving their "body chemistry" line around. What I actually do hope is that this movie continues M Night’s progress from The Visit toward him being good at making films again. From the look of this trailer, it will. This looks phenomenal, unique, and creepy. Is there any chance that McAvoy gets any recognition for this role award-wise?
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER
1/27/2017 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Didn’t we already do this? Oh right, that was Underworld. This trailer is almost exactly as long as that one, and that’s too fucking long. Why is this trailer so long? Also that laser thing at the end looked effective, and she’s only gonna be able to do that split/flip move so many times, just run that laser back guy, stop cracking your neck and get down to business pushing that laser button. Jeez.
Jake: Though I find it a bit odd that both this and Underworld are coming out in the same month due to sheer similarity in approach, I’m going to go ahead and say with 100% confidence that this will be the vastly superior movie. Guns N’ Roses will do that for you. Rock on, marketing people.
Mark: Much like Underworld, these movies have always been action films set against a backdrop of horror. Hell, even the games have been mostly survival-action instead of survival-horror since the second one. If you wanted horror in the same style you would be much better served going for the Silent Hill series. That all being said, I fucking love these movies. They’re great mindless beat-em-ups. They always remind me of that side scrolling x-men game you used to be able to find at arcades and Pizza Huts where you would just beat the shit out of waves of bad guys. Good times.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:
Jack: The Bye Bye Man - If, as claimed, this is in fact based on a real local lore, then there could be enough depth to the legend that I buy it. Either way, I like these boogeyman movies.
Jake: Split - You had me at paranoid schizophrenic James McAvoy.
Mark: Split - I mean come on. James McAvoy and M Night Shyamalan in a month with very few other highlights? Yes, please. Throw in the potential for a Bruce Willis cameo and I am all the way in. Resident Evil also deserves a shoutout here, but it’s just really not a horror movie.
Jack: Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies - Look, I could pick the obvious choice and say Laundry Man, but it doesn’t deserve the honor of being my bottom 1, so I’ll pick a different movie that didn’t need to be made. Thing looks bad.
Jake: Laundry Man - I tried an exercise in removing the clear shit heap that doesn’t deserve my attention from the list and then I realized that we already gave it some attention, so let’s just go ahead and bury it for sheer cleanliness purposes. It’s also worth noting that I think the floor for this month is relatively ok. There’s a lot of very “meh” looking movies on the list, but less of the utter shitpile fuckery than normal.
Mark: Laundry Man - I’m taking the layup this month. This is easily the worst looking movie on this slate. Hell, even the shitty zombie movie du mois looks to have a frustrating nonzero amount of entertainment value. Laundry Man, on the other hand, just looks like a very regrettable decision in the making.