Horror Release Roundup
May 2017

They say that spring comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. And that's certainly the case with horror movie releases: just look at the roughly one billion movies released in March versus the handful coming out this May. But that doesn't mean this month won't have some sleeper hits or downright great flicks. Check out our compilation of horror movies coming out in May along with our reactionary and ill-informed thoughts on each! Let us know on twitter or by email if we missed anything, and let us know what you're most excited for.


AMERICAN EXORCISM
05/02/2017 - VOD

 
 

Jack: You know, some of that had better effects than I’ve come to expect from Uncork’d. A lot of it had exactly the effects I’ve come to expect from Uncork’d (not a good thing), but improvement is improvement. Is it enough to get me to watch the thing? No, I do not expect that this will be a good movie. But credit where it’s due.

Jake: Starting things off with exorcism du jour, and it looks… different(?) than normal. There's some weird Harry Potter magic light arc thing in effect here, though much shittier looking. There were two shots in this trailer that actually looked cool so it's good to see Uncork’d getting something in the library that has the capabilities of shooting with a drone… That's cutting edge, right?

Mark: Getting the shitty exorcism movie out of the way early this month. Efficient. Uncork’d rule in effect. This looks fucking terrible. Like even more so than normal. Even the poster sucks.


THE HEXECUTIONERS
05/02/2017 - VOD/DVD

 
 

Jack: Couple things here: first, the demon voice towards the end is right, isn’t he? If you believe in God, then isn’t rule numero uno “don’t kill people”? What did she think would happen. Also, how fucking big is that hedge maze? Because it appeared to be roughly the size of Manhattan. Those things aside, this doesn’t look half bad.

Jake: I love how pleased dude at the end of the trailer is with his own joke. That was immersion immersion shattering in its tonal shift, and it took me so far out of things that I was actually impressed. It's only a 90 second trailer, after all. The concept actually seems decent though.

Mark: Ignore the fact that the trailer says “2015.” This thing has been on the circuit for a long time and is finally getting pushed out to a wider audience. That might be a good thing. It might also be an utterly forgettable thing. What a weird quote to go out on at the end of your trailer.


OCCUPANTS
05/02/2017 - VOD

 
 

Jack: Well that certainly was a thing, huh? Do alternate reality beings leave yellow crafting paint when they cross over into our reality? Is that like a known thing? Someone track down one of those Berenstein Bears or Mandella lunatics and ask them. I probably won’t be watching this one.

Jake: Oh. Oh my. Where to begin with this one? The start of the trailer felt a bit too much like a discount Paranormal Activity for comfort, and then came the turn… If poor trailer acting and display of effects capabilities earn some kind of weird brownie points, this shit gets a golden star. A golden star made of glowstick fluid. Mark’s going to splooge over this movie for sure, though. So there’s that.     

Mark: Shut up, Jake. Why you gotta be such a bully? I actually really like this concept. I am, however, not on board with how quickly she jumps on the “alternate reality” conclusion. I think I would have to see a substantial amount of evidence in order for that conclusion to be the one I present to my spouse. That is the worst CG fire I’ve seen in weeks. It would be longer but there’s a lot of bad CG fire in this genre....


BERLIN SYNDROME
05/02/2017 - Limited Theatrical (05/26/2017 - Theatrical)

 
 

Jack: Jimminy Christmas that trailer was too fucking long. This looks boring. Also, I am fixated on that last scene in the trailer where she says the date is a 7 out of 10 and he smashes her hand in the trunk for it. Really? 7 out of 10 ain’t that bad, guy. Plus, you’re setting expectations way too high if you want that date to be a 10 out of 10. What, is the next date going to have to be an 11? I guess in his defense 11 is more than 10 . . .

Jake: At no point in that rambling, three minute trailer was I able to figure out what the point of differentiation is between Stockholm Syndrome and Berlin Syndrome. Unless she doesn’t identify or feel empathy towards Mr. Captor, but at that point she’d just be a regular captive. I don’t care about you, regular captive, and the trailer makes it seem as if you can’t figure out whether to be a regular captive or a Stockholmed one.

Mark: Open note to all trailer makers: Don’t make your trailer longer than 135 seconds. If you go beyond that point you’re either giving too much away, tipping your hand at how boring your movie is. I mean think about it, if this movie is 90 minutes long the we just watched 3% of it. In other news, I’m just going to be counting the days until Jack names this his new “best vacation horror movie.”


ANOTHER EVIL
05/05/2017 - Limited Theatrical

 
 

Jack: Holy diver, that looks funny. Plus, that cast is a who’s who of hilarious support actors that don’t get enough recognition. I am legitimately excited for this movie.

Jake: I really hope this trailer didn’t show all its humor cards because that shit was hilarious. Like, really tipping the quotability scales in its favor. However, it also feels a little too much like Creep for my liking. I just don’t know how you could blend as much humor as this is selling with as much icky as Creep had. It’s a bold move, but we’ll see how it plays out for them.

Mark: Oh shit that’s Kenny Strasser. Sold. That’s all I need. This looks solidly like it will be hilarious and then kinda awkward creepy. Mark Proksch needs to be in so many more things.


7 WITCHES
05/09/2017 - VOD

 
 

Jack: So that didn’t look unwatchable by any means, but nothing about it excited me either. Is it the acting? The story? Both? Whatever it was, this just looks so forgettable.

Jake: Late to the party on this one, but here's a question. Is it really a party with that kind of acting? Such are the mysteries of the universe, friends.

Mark: Okay so we missed this one in April. Things happen. We’re taking advantage of the fact that this is receiving a wider release in May. Atmospheric, stylized, and seemingly well shot… this movie has a lot going for it. Unfortunately it also seems to be straddled by some pretty rough acting. It’s visual style will separate it from the pack, but it’s overall execution will keep it from competing with the bigger names. Still an interesting dark horse though.


DEAD AWAKE
05/12/2017 - VOD; Limited Theatrical

 
 

Jack: Well this goddamn thing has already lied to me. She clearly believes in the hag (“I’ve seen it”), yet is conspicuously not dead. So what’s the deal, movie? Plus, his proposed solution of just stop believing in it would seem wholly ineffective if in fact you’re dead once you believe. This movie looks like it’s going to try to set rules for itself, but those rules will make no fucking sense.

Jake: I’m not sure if it's because I’m one of the (un)lucky many who have experienced sleep paralysis at times during my life and know what it’s like, but this feels like it is destined to disappoint. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m expecting a twitchy-movement induced jump scare-athon, which, no thank you. I need some depth to my old hag who sits on me while I’m stuck in REM limbo. A personality. This is why I never got dates during high school,  isn’t it?

Mark: That is one of the many reasons, Jake. The other thing was that, just like the girl in the trailer, you would insist on killing parties by telling people about your creepy waking dreams. That and also we’re all brains floating in vats of warm nutrient goo, and our robot overlords decided you can’t have nice things. I’m still siding with you on this one, though. Everything about it looks good, but for some reason I’m convinced it’s going to be underwhelming.


HOUNDS OF LOVE
05/12/2017 - Limited Theatrical

 
 

Jack: Whoever made that trailer fucked up grammatically and ruined it for me. There is text that reads “the perfect true crime-horror sweet spot”. I think they intended to use a slash there rather than a hyphen, because the way it is now indicates that this is a crime-horror movie that happens to be true. And that’s a goddamned shame because the movie actually looks great. Punctuation is important kids, don’t let those jerks from Vampire Weekend tell you differently.

Jake: I am biased towards teasers over the longer form, show all your cards extravaganzas we see a lot of in the genre these days. This gets me excited on those simple grounds, but I'm not sure it'll have much to offer in terms of unique entertainment value.

Mark: See now that’s a good trailer. Intense, shows off some cool shots, teases the plot, doesn’t give too much away, and clocks in under 60 seconds before Deadpool tells me to leave. Wait, what? Why is Deadpool at the end of this trailer. What the fuck is going on out here? In any case, this doesn’t really seem like my type of movie, but it still looks good for the genre of kidnapping psycho-thriller.


LAKE BODOM
05/18/2017 - Shudder

 
 

Jack: This movie looks beautifully shot. Stunning, actually. But what was with the weird pseudo-poetry at the end? Was it a Bible thing? Or an homage to that song by the Byrds? We may never know.

Jake: This slasher that is actually based on true events and probably treats the real horrors endured by a group of teens in the 60’s with extreme insensitivity looks really fucking pretty, you guys.

Mark: People Being Fucked With in the Woods movies generally go over well on this site, and this one seems to be decidedly channeling Camp Crystal Lake as well. With those two powers combined, I’m kinda interested. There really aren’t enough people getting attacked in tents in movies these days. It seems like one of the few still sacred sanctuaries in horror.


ALIEN: COVENANT
05/19/2017 - Theatrical

 
 

Jack: I did not enjoy Prometheus. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but it wasn’t even close to motherfucking Alien. Now that said, I’m absolutely going to see this because Ridley Scott and Alien. But I do really wish that I hadn’t watched that trailer because now I’ve had ruined for me not only the means of infection, but also two different bursting scenes, and what could have been a screaming at the screen prolonged scare. Fuck that, and with it, this trailer.

Jake: This is one of the biggest of 2017’s horror kahuna, and as a big fan of the Alien franchise, I’d be lying if I claimed to be anything other than giddy for its release. That being said, I’ve tried to avoid as much about this movie as possible because it is ripe to have the fuck spoiled right out of it. I will be seeing this, posthaste. Until then, I’m going dark on it.

Mark: I’m not really sure what I can say here to bring anything new to the table. These trailers have been floating around for a few months now so unless you are purposefully avoiding them you’ve probably seen them already. Seems like they rely pretty heavily on CG, which is always risky but will probably be fine. Seeing Kenny Powers in this thing is a strange change of pace, but I guess he’s probably playing the lovable one that injects some levity into the script. Here is the extent of my analysis: This will be an Alien movie. It won’t be as good as Alien, but it will most assuredly be better than Resurrection.


BLACK BUTTERFLY
05/26/2017 - VOD; Limited Theatrical

 
 

Jack: Opening shot of an aerial view of a car driving on an isolated mountain highway and a struggling writer typing out the same thing over and over again on the typewriter? Somebody’s hoping to get some comparisons to the Shining in early reviews. . . . And I guess I’ve just played right into their hands. Fuck. You win this round, movie.

Jake: This seems more horror-adjacent than a square fit for the genre but it at least checks the box of featuring a bloodthirsty, dickheaded psychopath. Also, Antonio Banderas looks old which makes me feel old which I don’t like. I am now biased against this movie by extension.

Mark: So I’m pretty sure this trailer is basically just the entire movie with a few minutes cut out between shots. Like, what twist did we not just see? If this month weren’t wildly anemic this would probably be pushed to the wayside. As it stands this looks like one of the stronger movies of the month. That said, being the strongest kid in gradeschool doesn’t make you strong.


TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:

Top 1:

Jack: Alien Covenant - I really wanted to pick Another Evil here because that shit looks properly funny, but if I’m honest with myself, this is the movie I most want to see. Even though I feel like the trailer ruined a lot of great moments for me.

Jake: Alien: Covenant - The devoted listener of the A-Z Horrorcast will note that I awarded this my most anticipated 2017 horror flick back in December. I really went out on a limb then, and I’m not looking back now.

Mark: Another Evil - It might look a little on the cheaply made side, but this looks charming as fuck. I love Mark Proksch from The Office and his various other personalities so I’m loving seeing him in some more creative roles.

Bottom 1:

Jack: Occupants - Look, I am absolutely aware that budgetary concerns are huge in indie horror movies like this and that you have to make do. I am also aware that a small budget is in no way a bar to making a great horror movie (see the Blair Witch Project, Creep, Black Mountain Side, etc.), but if the best you can do is a yellow paint handprint to evidence an other-worldly visit, then you probably need to go back to the drawing board and get either a bigger budget or, more likely, a new idea.

Jake: Berlin Syndrome - This just seems wholly uninteresting to me. I’m also really making the effort to not slot Occupants here because it’s clearly going to be rough, so give me some credit. Although I guess I just mentioned it here anyway… so, uhh... fuck.

Mark: 7 Witches - This is pretty thin month so I honestly deliberated on this one for a bit, noting of course that the Uncork’d Rule precludes me from actually mentioning the worst movie of the month here. 7 Witches looks to have the art style down, but the script and acting will make this thing either horrendously boring or extremely cringeworthy. Either way it’s not really a movie that needs to exist.