Horror Release Roundup
May 2016

What's that? Oh sorry, we didn't see you there. We were too busy posting the Horror Release Roundup for May, 2016! 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. 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?


Jack: Wow. Strobe lights, lingerie, ghouls, and period costumes? What doesn’t this thing have going for it?! Chances of them successfully jamming all those things into one movie? Slim.

Jake: So, this is a haunted mansion story featuring the spirit of a sexual slave? Jack will very likely contend that this is a slasher. Dink.

Mark: ‘This place is sick.’ Penned the 36 year old horror movie writer who recalled fondly saying similar things two decades ago. “Yeah, that’ll make for a believable line reading.” Interestingly this movie, which apparently made its rounds on the festival circuit back in 2014, currently has an 8.1/10 on IMDB. No idea what to make of that, especially when the main jump scare in the trailer looks to just be a cardboard cutout with a strobe light on it.

THE FAITH OF ANNA WATERS AKA THE OFFERING
5/6/2016 - THEATRICAL

Jack: Was that a hacking priest? What’s next, some kind of flying nun? Wait . . . And why do all of these kinds of movies have a hanging cross that falls to upside-down? Is that a thing for christians? Just mount it so that can’t happen. I gotta do everything for these people?

Jake: You guys. INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS. IN SINGAPORE. Now, I’ve been to Singapore and I can tell you one thing for certain. These characters are not perspiring nearly enough, so they’ve clearly taken great liberties with that “inspired by” tag.. Even demonic ghosts would be sweating balls in Singapore. And speaking of balls, kudos to this shit for having what is possibly the most phallic looking inverted cross I’ve laid eyes on. Bravo.

Mark: Singapore’s first horror movie? Really? Do they know you are making that claim, and are they okay with that? Are the filmmakers aware of how strict the littering laws are in Singapore? Because this seems like a piece of garbage. Boom, roasted.

BITE
5/6/2016 - THEATRICAL / VOD

Jack: Well hot damn. That looks pretty well-made. Plus an interesting and original concept? Color me intrigued. If only to see her excuse for not going to the doctor immediately when that ‘bug bite’ became a seeping wound.

Jake: I hate body horror. This film is body horror. Therefore nooooope. That was a syllogism.

Mark: The trailer left a weird taste in my mouth. It’s an interesting premise, but the idea that there is anything of significance living out in the Utah wilderness is hard to swallow. In any case the plot could be an interesting piece to chew on regarding why people refuse to see doctors. Maybe I’ll watch it alongside Teeth.

NIGHT PEOPLE
5/9/2016 - VOD

Jack: Techno-vampires. So Blade? I would watch Wesley Snipes try to do an Irish accent all day long. In other news, what in the fuck was happening in that trailer? All I remember is the one punch where the dude’s fist was like 8 inches away from the “punched” face.

Jake: Full disclosure, I had very little idea what was going on in this trailer. It involved what seemed like criminals, sexual fetishists, and vampires, and I’m not sure how connected they all are. I think it could make sense as an anthology, but It doesn’t seem to be selling itself as such. I’m also not sure if it is intended to be art or if it was made on a film school budget. It’s rare that I exit a trailer more uncertain about what a movie is than when I come in, but this somehow succeeded. The music was fuckin’ bumpin’ though.

Mark: That really started getting good around the 1:20 mark, didn’t it? Literally nothing about this seems interesting. Why is one of the shots sideways?

SHEEP SKIN
5/9/2016 - VOD

Jack: Jesus. The old “it’s been written about so it must exist” argument put forward huh? Also, I’m confused about the many different animals in this thing. It’s called Sheep Skin, they wear pig masks, and the dude is supposed to be werewolf? Alright fine, so that’s not that confusing. Still though, if it’s that hard a decision, just wait to kill him until he transforms right?

Jake: This trailer straight up shows one of its seemingly 4 characters definitely getting killed in the movie. In horror, we operate under the assumption that pretty much everyone is gonna die (unless they are female, in which case bets are off), but to give it away so needlessly as in the trailer is just sloppy. Doesn’t bode well for the film, which I didn’t necessarily have high hopes for anyway. It seems to be one long torture sequence which is a no fly zone in Jake’s World. Party most assuredly not on, Wayne.

Mark: Okay, first off, this is actually a pretty decent trailer because it doesn’t really show much of anything actually happening. The way I see it it’s either A.) a normal dude getting tortured by paranoid werewolf hunters, B.) we get an actual werewolf movie, which we haven’t had for quite some time, or C.) you think he’s a human the whole time, then the twist is he actually is a werewolf. Spoiler alert, it’s going to be C. Either way seems interesting.

THE DARKNESS
5/13/16 - THEATRICAL

Jack: Hey you guys. Do you . . . do you think they believe in a thing called love? Nailed it. So it’s BlumHouse, but what is BlumHouse Tilt? I’ve never heard of that. Ehh, with BH behind it and starring K-Bacs, it at least looks competently made. I’m also sure they did tons of research and were very respectful to the Native American cultures they’re stealing their contrived plot from.

Jake: I remember this trailer came on during the Super Bowl and the whole room was nonplused because it’s horror and people suck. When you’re Blumhouse you have the leisure to buy that space knowing damn well the reaction you will receive from most viewers, it caught my eye though. The issue is that until this movie proves otherwise, I am forced to operate under the assumption that this is somehow canon to the Tremors universe.

Mark: Wow, lots to unpack here. First off, that kid is definitely Mikey from the life commercials. If there isn’t at least one Life cereal sighting in this movie I’m gonna put somebody through a wall. Secondly, is the presumption here that a christian god exists, but he is somehow powerless to intervene on a Native American haunting, because of jurisdictional issues? Like the deity court system has ruled on this matter and god’s hands are tied unless the Anasazi agree to some type of demonic extradition? So many questions, and betting we get zero answers.

THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY
5/13/16 - LTD THEATRICAL

Jack: Oh for fuck’s sake. Aren’t we tired of the fairy tale thing yet? Why that abandoned old-timey mansion has so many modern mannequins and shit in it is already infuriating. And you mark my words right now: that princess is evil. Calling it.

Jake: This movie looks pretty great visually, and while I’m not sure how well we will be able to slot this into the genre, I can’t say I’m totally against the trend we are starting to see of taking fairy tales back to their dark origins. Coupled with April’s Tale of Tales, maybe it will open the door for more to follow because there’s a wealth of inarguably horrific yet forgotten lore out there.

Mark: I’m surprised how excited I am for this movie. At first I was like “What the hell?” but like in a bad way. Then, I was like “What the hell?” but like in a good way. That’s some professional trailer analysis right there. On a deeper level, is this really a movie that boils down to how shitty it is to find true love’s kiss? Or rather how shitty it is to fall in love with someone who’s haunted?

WHAT WE BECOME
5/13/2016 - VOD

Jack: Zombies. What we become is zombies. Good. If this movie adds even one original element to the zombie genre, I will be astounded. Also Shaun of the Dead beat you to any kind of social commentary you were going for.

Jake: Zombies. Danish ones. Moving on.

Mark: So as everyone knows, the best zombie movies aren’t about zombies, but are instead about the human issues that arise when you put a bunch of people into a room together and surround them with zombies. Nothing in this trailer implied to me that it was the latter of these options, but the name of the movie seems to imply otherwise. I’ll mark this one as a “cautiously optimistic.” At the very least it’s been awhile since we’ve had a new zombie movie to watch.

DEMENTIA
5/17/2016 - VOD

Jack: This looks genuinely disturbing. I think it’s going to come down to how well they can build and establish a tone for the movie. If the world-building is good and immersive enough, this looks like it could really stick with me.

Jake: The immediate comparison for this one is Misery, so let’s just get that out of the way. I like what this film is bringing to the table, conceptually. Dealing with the uncertainties and fear around aging and memory loss is a very intriguing idea, and one that not many movies I can recall have preyed upon. Interested to see where it goes.

Mark: An aging baby-boomer population demands that horror, as a genre, evolve to address their concerns. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to where being trapped by their live-in nurse is their number one greatest fear. Actually, I can. It’s none. None people.  At the very least it’s probably still preferable to living in one of those institutionally abusive old folks homes. I’ve seen Better Call Saul. I know how that shit works. Man, getting old sucks.

. . . IN THE DARK
5/20/2016 - Ridgefield Independent Film Festival

Jack: So it kind of seems like that trailer showed me a small clip from literally every scene in the whole dang movie. But somehow without really giving a whole lot away. Looks like it has potential to be pretty spooky.

Jake: This one is still making the film circuit rounds, and while I’m not sure how long it will be before we are able to get our hands on it, I’m hopeful that it can make the most of its paranormal investigation subject matter. Which is to say, I hope this doesn’t just become a movie about possession or demons tromping around a house. Could be anything. The mystery is giving it a few bonus points.

Mark: Yet another for the “cautiously optimistic” category. Literally the only thing I want answered based off of that trailer is why in the hell they’re still using cassette tape recorders.

DARK SIGNAL
5/23/2016 - UK, VOD, DVD

Jack: Well shit. I am really excited for this movie. I am having trouble telling if it’s more a serial-killer job or a The Ring kinda thing, but either way it looks like a fun ride. The cinematography on this thing looks pretty cool too.

Jake: It’s funny that a movie about sound has me writing about how it looks visually stunning. I’m interested in seeing what can be made of the premise, and while I don’t expect much, I also have a sneaking suspicion the floor isn’t too low for this one either (backhanded compliment, take note). One thing I know for damn sure - they should have called this Dead Air...

Mark: Seems intriguing and opens the doors open for some interesting sound design. Doubt it goes down that avenue though. Doesn’t this kinda just seem like something you’ve already seen?

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA
5/24/2016 - VOD

Jack: Umm, exsqueeze me? Baking powder? If nothing else, that trailer inarguably makes the movie look interesting. I’m going to watch this movie, but I have no fucking idea whether or not it looks good.

Jake: This Aussie flick seems like it could bring a certain “it” factor to the table due to its subject matter dealing with mental instability or impediment. I get the distinct sense that this will largely be a drama, but am interested to see how it blends the surrealist qualities it served up in the trailer with the real-world consequences of the character’s actions.

Mark: The part Jake Gyllenhaal was born to play, but then didn’t because it’s a low budget horror (?) movie from Australia. Just saying, if they remake this stateside for some reason, he’s the first call I make as the casting director. This one seems to be flirting with the line of “is this a horror movie?” I was erring on the side of “probably not” until the last 10 seconds of the trailer. Still probably not scare heavy though.


TOP 1 BOTTOM 1:

To wrap up May's horror movies, we’re all going to give our most anticipated movie and our least anticipated movie. Let us know what you're most and least excited for.

TOP 1:

Jack: Bite - This movie looks like it’s going to blend the monster flick genre really well with some disturbing body horror. If they do it well, that sounds like a pretty cool combo that will really like. Plus the effects in the trailer look pretty good. I am excited.

Jake: The Curse of Sleeping Beauty - If I had looked into a crystal ball and seen myself writing this in as my pick prior to having seen the trailer, I’d probably want to kick my own ass. But I had a pretty big change of heart. As I mentioned earlier, I am on board with the opportunity to delve more deeply into dark folklore, and the more success films like this have, the more realizable that dream becomes. I can’t help but think back to a game like Year Walk and think about how fucking cool that would be as a film.

Mark: The Darkness - With Blumhouse and Kevin Bacon this one is going to be decent at the very least. It covers what could be an interesting subject matter with a new source of horror in Native American folklore. It will also be the first discussion of the Anasazi in popular culture that I know of since that X-Files episode from 20 years ago. Beyond all that though, I just want to have the discussion on jurisdictional limits on demonic possession.

BOTTOM 1:

Jack: Night People. This month overfloweth with movies I’m not really that excited to see, so picking my bottom one is a bit of a challenge. Ultimately, I rewatched this trailer and saw that goddamned “punch” again. That cinched it.

Jake: Bite - Much like April had me struggling to pick my Top 1, May just didn’t drum up much interest for me. From tired concepts to movies that straight up seem low quality, I am just not very excited for this month’s releases. Silver lining? I can catch up on some of last month’s releases I’ve yet to get my hands on. As for picking this particular category, I decided to just go with my gut on what I had the most adverse reaction to. That was Bite. Noooope.

Mark: The Faith of Anna Waters - In a month that isn’t particularly blockbuster heavy this one still falls way out the bottom. It’s a tired concept that looks to be poorly executed. I’m also still very curious as to whether or not the government of Singapore endorsed this movie or not.