Hello one and all and welcome to A to Z Horror's Horror Release Roundup for July of 2016! This thing's becoming a bonafide tradition around our tiny little corner of the internet. HRR is where we let you know what horror movies are coming out over the next month, and we’ll even give you a juicy little morsel of our thoughts on them based on the trailer. Speaking of which, just click the title for the link to the trailer, we wouldn't leave you hanging. Is there a movie we missed? Likely. Let us know what we’ve omitted either on Twitter or in the comments at the bottom of the page. Pick your favorite. I mean, shit, do we have to do everything?
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
7/1/16 - THEATRICAL
Jack: These aren’t horror movies anymore. The first one was even a little on the edge, admittedly leaning closer to horror, but these things are just action now. That said, I dig these movies more than I probably should and will be watching this.
Jake: The masks alone would be enough to make this one a must watch, but it looks like there’s going to be some substance here as well. While it’s certainly leaning well into the action side of things, I’m not any less excited for Election Year because of it.
Mark: Given the current political turmoil of Brexit and Trump, the scenario presented to us in the Purge movies seems to be more and more realistic. That alone is enough to make this potentially the scariest movie on this month’s list. On the serious side I’ve talked to quite a few people who are literally terrified of these movies. Not an exaggeration. It’s possible that it’s because I live in Utah and people here have the most hilariously low bar for “scare factor,” but at least around these parts this still counts as a horror movie.
7/1/16 - LIMITED THEATRICAL / VOD
Jack: Damn Mickey Keating, back at it again with the another horror movie. Is Damn Daniel still a thing? I think I finally understand it. Whatever the case, I like seeing the different stuff Keating brings to the table, even if I don’t always love it. And true to form, this one looks stylistically way different from his prior outings, so sign me up.
Jake: Unlike the schmuck below, I think Keating is doing some of the best work in the genre right now for two main reasons. Reason one, you can count on his films to be different from one another. Each provides a stylish take on a different sub-genre. Reason two, you don’t have to wait long to get another one. If the quality ever begins to suffer for it I might change my tune on that, but based on his previous work and judging by the trailer, I don’t think we need to worry about Carnage Park.
Mark: It’s been about a month since the last Keating movie came out so he is looooong overdue. The preview looks good but I don’t much think I have to watch it to have a good idea what it entails. There’ll be strobe lights, death metal, probably some bad dialogue. I honestly have no idea if I even like Keating at this point, and the performance of this movie will probably push me off the fence one way or the other.
7/1/16 - LIMITED THEATRICAL / VOD
Jack: So much beer spilled out of that can that I half expected him to start singing Thin Lizzy and just straight toss it without a sip. Is it still lazy criticism to say something has no heart? I know that’s a pretty meaningless statement, but fuck it, I’m lazy. This thing looks like it has no heart at all. Attractive young people, questionable dialog, and vague demon shit. Did I miss anything? What’s that? Oh jump scares, right. Those will undoubtedly be there too.
Jake: Fuck these kids. They can’t even pronounce “Coachella” correctly. I hope they all die.
Mark: Hey look, it’s Hailey from Modern Family. I can’t tell if this looks wildly formulaic or formulaically wild. For whatever reason I’m actually pretty intrigued.
ME AND MY MATES VS. THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
7/5/16 - VOD
Jack: . . . They know that Shaun of the Dead was a thing right? Giving it a few years and moving it to the land down under doesn’t just give you free reign to do literally the exact same thing. Slackers in a state of arrested development fight zombies, talk about getting wasted, and make quips? Yeah. We’ve seen that. And spoilers, you aren’t doing it better than Simon Pegg. Sorry.
Jake: Guys, I’m really disappointed. It’s “Not in fucking 3D”. That was all I ever wanted, and now my soul is crushed. Serious note - this shit looks real campy. Which I suppose is a necessary step given it’s just this month’s zombie flavor. Wyrmwood didn’t even come out that long ago and was pretty cheeky. How many zombie movies does Australia fucking need?
Mark: So this one actually came out in Australia about a year ago, but now it’s arriving on VOD. This is squarely in the camp of comedy horror more than anything else, and luckily it seems like it might actually work for them. Those wacky Aussies always getting chased around by surprisingly lethal things. I hope at least one zombie gets killed by a crocodile. Better yet, I hope there’s a zombie crocodile.
7/8/16 - VOD
Jack: Oh hey. A bunch of cheeky guys with accents drink alcohol and make quips as they try to fend off something supernatural. Why do I have to keep saying this all of a sudden: Shaun of the Dead is already a thing. You will not be better.
Jake: This is nothing like any bachelor party I’ve been to. There’s way too much diversity and not nearly enough alcohol.
Mark: I’ll admit that my recollection of my bachelor party is, shall we say, hazy? But, I mean, I’m pretty sure this is basically a documentary based on the events of that weekend. As a result I will not be surprised when the heroes of the movie, who are both funny and attractive, easily overcome whatever challenges they face with grace and aplomb.
ALL GIRLS WEEKEND
7/12/16 - VOD
Jack: Well the budget on this looks extraordinarily slim. Which isn’t necessarily a knock, I’ve seen some terrific films shot on a shoestring budget. What it does mean though, is that this thing is going to live and die by the story and the acting. And unfortunately for this thing’s chances, the glimpses of acting we get from the trailer are not top notch.
Jake: Holy shit the acting in this thing looks atrocious. My favorite, or rather, the only part of this trailer I enjoyed was the stock footage of the bear running around. Primarily because it happened while none of the copious amount of horrifyingly poorly acted lines were being spoken.
Mark: Oh hey, it’s The Blair Witch Project + The Descent - Any Semblance of Good Acting. Them’s the makings of a really terrible movie that I am not even remotely interested in. Just what the hell were they trying to do with this movie? What is the elevator pitch for this thing? People paid money to get this thing made, so what am I missing?
7/12/16 - DVD
Jack: Woof. Well that’s a thing. There appears to be a lot going on in that one. None of it looked great though. I’m a little concerned they swapped in scenes with unusual things like middle-aged men cross-dressing for actual suspense, which is a shame because there were some clips in there that could build real tension.
Jake: One good thing I have to say about this one is that the trailer is pretty well made in that it makes me wonder what the hell is going on and just how much of a psychotic hell hole you’d be jumping into by watching it. Does it look good? No, not even remotely. Does that mean I’m not interested? Also, no.
Mark: Every month has that one (or more) movie that looks like it was made on a handycam by a bunch of high school students. This is just filling that role. Holy hell does this look bad. I’m going to start actively forcing this movie from my memory starting….. Now. Huh?
THE BLACKCOAT'S DAUGHTER
(ORIGINALLY TITLED FEBRUARY)
7/15/16 - VOD: DirecTV
Jack: Emma Roberts and that girl who literally grew up on Mad Men booth look like they brought their A game for this one. With that said, the screenwriter does not appear to have. Hey, there’s a demonic possession, you know what would be cool and scary? If the possessed girl vomits a lot and then contorts herself into unnatural positions. That’s never been done before right?
Jake: And we have this month’s possession movie… I’m struggling to even find anything to say about this one given the amount that was just splooged away in the over two minute trailer. If I watch this, I will be surprised if I am surprised by anything it does whatsoever.
Mark: I really dig the amount of horror media that Emma Roberts is associating herself with. This looks tense and well acted, but the trailer also seems pretty spoiler heavy. I’m excited for this one, and I’m really hoping there’s plot left that wasn’t given away in the trailer.
7/15/16 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Okay. So this trailer’s already had a lot of controversy. Now I don’t think remaking Ghostbusters is assaulting my childhood, sexually or otherwise, and I’’m a big fan of most of the starring comedians, so I’m going to watch this. But this simply looks like a bad movie. It looks like there’s going to be a tremendous amount of bad CGI, and fuck me that stupid scene towards the end where Leslie Jones slaps Melissa McCarthy looks like the broadest, most lazily written waste of talented actors I’ve seen in awhile. Hopefully the trailer-maker did a bad job . . .
Jake: Look, this is assuredly not a horror movie but were giving it a spot because fuck you is why. And it looks awful. Lazy. It’s a cash grab. I’ll see it, which makes me a part of the problem and I kind of hate myself for it. Ghostbusters didn’t need a new entry, and unless the trailer is giving a wildly inaccurate vibe, this will be a disservice.
Mark: Wait. Really? Are we counting this? I mean I get that the horror genre is vast and fluid but this is obviously just a comedy. Actually, come to think of it aside from Large Marge in the Pee Wee Movie the single most scary thing I saw as a child was Vigo from Ghostbusters 2. That guy is terrifying. Wouldn’t that be great if this one actually ended up having equivalently horrifying imagery? I’m not betting on it.
7/22/16 - THEATRICAL
Jack: You know what’s funny? Youtube auto-played an ad before showing me this trailer, and the ad happened to be the second official trailer for Lights Out. So that’s a thing; I got the double deuce. The thing about what made the short so good is they didn’t have to worry about the plot. Here they really, really do. And I hope they goddamned nail it because if so, this has the potential to build real tension and then release it through some terrific jump scares.
Jake: Just a few movies above, I mentioned that Mickey Keating is doing some of the best work in horror right now. Well, so is James Wan. I know, I know… No shit. If there’s a modern day kind of horror, you’d be hard pressed to claim it's anyone but him at this point. I loved the Lights Out short, and if Wan is pushing his chips into the pot for David F. Sandberg to gracefully turn that into a feature, I trust it’s a winning hand. The trailer is great, and I fully expect the movie to be well worth a watch.
Mark: In case you weren’t aware this one is based off of a particularly creepy short film from a while back. I really hope that they are able to effectively transition to the full length feature while still capturing the creepiness of the short. It seems from the trailer that they have, as long as you are okay with a small amount of stupid exposition about that childhood friend. Whatever, as long as the rest is good I’m happy.
THE BLACKOUT EXPERIMENTS
7/22/16 - VOD
Jack: I feel like I should have a lot more to say about this one. I also feel really stupid, but like, were those really actual people that volunteered for something fucked up or just actors? I guess I could google it, but really, who has the time?
Jake: I’m pretty sold on the documentary style this thing is bringing to the table. I don’t know anything about Blackout, but it seems like one motherfucker of a haunted house for people to partake in. Color me interested.
Mark: So there is another movie called “The Blackout Experiment” that you will see the trailer for if you google the name. It looks terrible and I don’t know when it comes out. This one on the other hand looks great. Horror needs more actual documentaries that are creepy. Found footage is one thing, but actual documentary stuff is sorely lacking in the genre and I’m glad to see this one pop up.
TRAIN TO BUSAN
7/22/16 - VOD
Jack: Oh good, zombies in a post-apocalyptic big city. Terrific. I don’t need to know the language even a little to know how tiresome this is going to be. That said, there do appear to be some halfway decent action scenes, so maybe those can save it?
Jake: I have a confession to make. I don’t speak Korean... Shocking, I know. But I am human. I tried turning captions on for this shit and I’ve gotta believe they weren’t working correctly because I was served the following line of dialogue: “Palm oil I am delighted Eurozone”. That actually makes me excited for this. Somehow. Even though it's a zombie movie. They had me at palm oil.
Mark: I like this concept. You’re trapped on a train while gliding through the countryside watching it get destroyed by the undead. I hope they make a sequel that is essentially just Snowpiercer but with zombies instead cold weather.
7/29/16 - VOD
Jack: Fuck you Kevin Smith. This movie looks atrocious. You did absolutely nothing with the Halloween segment of Holidays, and then you turn around and shit out this pile of garbage? You know when self-deprecating titles like “Human Hockey Jersey” are funny? When you’ve made something that has some redeeming value to it. This trailer shows us a lot of the movie, and I can confidently say that with Yoga Hosers, you have not.
Jake: This looks fucking awesome… said no one. Sooorry, but this looks so basic. It looks like the ‘wurst movie ever made. And you know what? I think that’s exactly what Kevin Smith is going for.
Mark: There was a time where I would’ve counted Kevin Smith as a bonus for this movie. But after seeing his Halloween short in Holidays this narrative is more about him clawing his way back into my good graces. After watching the trailer I basically can say one definitive thing about this movie, it looks obnoxious as hell. We get it, canadians say “aboot” instead of “about.” Hilarious. Get out.
7/29/16 - THEATRICAL
Jack: Just what in the fuck is going on in that trailer?! I am really excited to find out. This thing looks impeccably shot and genuinely unsettling. Even if the color palate is a bit monotonous.
Jake: For some reason I went into this trailer with a sour taste in my mouth. Not sure why. Maybe the title just wasn’t doing it for me. And just when I thought it couldn’t be any less interesting it went and made that trailer… and totally redeemed itself! I thought this trailer was outstanding. Best one I’ve seen for the month of July from solely a trailer standpoint. And that’s saying something because typically, I’m adamantly opposed to 2 minute takes. I’m excited for The Suffering.
Mark: So they’re clearly going for an audio heavy presence in the trailer. I can’t tell if that’s something I want to see in the movie or not. After about 5 seconds of lighter flipping I was on board, but after about 10 seconds I was turning my sound down. This thing looks pretty formulaic, and I feel like I’ve seen about all of the jump scares this thing has to offer.
7/29/16 - VOD
Jack: Has BlumHouse thrown it’s fat stacks behind a zombie movie yet? I don’t think so. And this one looks like it’s got some sci-fi elements too. The guy who plays Doug on House of Cards was consistently the creepiest part of that show, so that’s a good sign. Plus it looks like there’s going to be some decent body horror in there too. Am I actually excited about a zombie movie? I just might be.
Jake: It took 15 seconds for this excessively yellow-colored trailer to plug Cheese Nips. For those keeping score, this is zombie movie number fucking 3 for the month of July. At this point I’d rather eat the Cheese Nips and just skip the movie. That’s all they want from me anyway. Right BlumHouse? You fucks.
Mark: Yeah, sure, fine. I guess we just only make like five movies anymore. This one doesn’t really look bad, but it also doesn’t interest me at all. At least it’s got Stamper or whatever the hell his name is from House of Cards, but outside of that I just feel like I’ve seen this movie before in one form or another. Prove me wrong kids, prove me wrong.
INTO THE FOREST
7/29/16 - VOD
Jack: So it’s a home-invasion movie set in a near future post-apocalyptic world? Sure. Doesn’t really matter though, Ellen Page is charming enough to sell most things. This’ll likely be watchable at a bare minimum.
Jake: This doesn’t seem to be a horror movie per se, but we will see how the apparently apocalyptic scenario plays out. Home invasion? Likely. Also a hint of sci-fi, mirite, Mark? Looks very well shot.
Mark: Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page are both high caliber actors. Going off of the cards in the trailer this seems less like horror and more like drama, but we included Ghostbusters this month so we’re sticking this one in as well. At the very least it looks like there’ll be some eerie and creepy shots thrown in there.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:
Jack: The Suffering - There is not much to love this month based on the trailers. This thing looks intense, terrifying, and totally original. And ‘original’ was not a word bandied about much for this month’s offerings. I can’t wait to see this.
Jake: Carnage Park - The sexy pick here is Lights Out. I’m excited for that, but I’ve gotta say I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be as awesome as the short was. That means there’s a part of me that is scared about it not living up to my expectations. Carnage Park, on the other hand? I’m just ready to buckle up and go for that ride, man.
Mark: February/Blackcoat’s Daughter - Almost everything I’ve seen about this movie has had a positive tone to it. In a month where I’ve either seen most of these movies coming from a ways out (Purge, Ghostbusters, Lights Out) I’m pleased to see one of the surprises actually looks pretty great.
Jack: Yoga Hosers - This is the third time I’ve written this, and I promised myself I’d keep this one under 2 pages of anger-ranting. And I want to make it clear: “Bottom 1” does not simply mean the worst movie, because that’s giving that motherfucker what he wants. In this case it means literally the worst on every conceivable level. Except stereotypically Canadian I guess.
Jake: Ghostbusters - Part of me wanted to pick All Girls Weekend for this one because it looks bad. Then I remembered that scene with the bear from the trailer. Another part of me really wanted to go with Yoga Hosers because it looks absurdly bad. Then I realized it’s Kevin Smith and he’s trying to be this way and I just don’t give a fuck anymore. I finally landed on Ghostbusters because I’m actually offended by how bad that one looks and how uncalled for the movie was in the first place. Nooooooooope.
Mark: Yoga Hosers- I mean I could talk about Bachelor Games or Model Hunger or whatever, but those were low budget movies that had no promise from the start. People are actually going to see Yoga Hosers. Insecure teens might actually mistake it’s brazen idiocy for humor and insist on saying “Soory aboot that” to their friends while giggling. This thing could end up being a war crime.