Welcome to November 2016's Horror Release Roundup! HRR is a schedule of the horror flicks coming out over the next month, complete with links to trailers and a juicy little morsel of our thoughts on each release. Can't find the trailers? Well we now just toss them right in this damn post. You lazy son of a bitch. 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. Do it.
THE CURSE OF ROBERT THE DOLL
11/01/2016 - VOD (US Release)
Jack: . . . Is it bad that this looks kind of scary to me? Look, I know. It looks stupid. But something about it . . . just looks like the kind of flick I might toss on drunk while my wife’s not home and get a fright or two out of.
Jake: Does the fact that this is a UK production really necessitate the Guinness posters? Outside of that, this seems like a run of the mill killer doll flick. The only odd thing is that Robert is a real “haunted” doll. Is this supposed to be about him? Motherfucker looks nothing like him. Why even call him that if it’s not about him? There are thousands of names they could choose from.
Mark: There are very few things that are less scary than murderous dolls. Haunted dolls are one thing if they just sorta stare at you with their cold lifeless eyes, judging you for your wrongdoings and impure thoughts, but making them come at you with a knife actively harms the mystique. You know what you do if a doll comes after you? Fucking kick the thing into the creek. Not hard, it weighs like 4 pounds.
11/01/2016 - VOD
Jack: Come the fuck on. That Krampus doesn’t even look good. I know that Krampus was popular and all, but Jesus.
Jake: More Krampus? Jesus, why? Stop!
Mark: Is…. is this a real thing? Am I being punk’d? Fuck you guys, this isn’t funny. One thing that gets under my skin is filmmakers purposefully releasing a movie with a similar name to one that people actually want to see. Stop relying on other people’s success, and actually try and make a good movie.
11/03/2016 - VOD
Jack: This just looks boring to me. I simply cannot bring myself to care about any of this. Fuck. Also I have many quibbles with that 800,000 figure they cited there. I mean,I’m clearly not going to do any research into it or anything, but still.
Jake: Not sure how “horror” this looks, but if we are accepting it into the genre for this month (and by the look of things we may need to), at least this trailer promises masks. Masks are creepy… I’m really reaching here.
Mark: This is probably more in the “real world horror” area. It looks pretty tense, which makes sense given the subject matter. I do take some issue with using “please find Kaitlin” as their URL… it just seems exploitative of a fairly serious topic. I also take some issue with how those SWAT team guys line up in that firing squad formation. That’s not how that works.
11/04/2016 - VOD (US Release)
Jack: “Hey guys. The boss needs this thing done like now. Oh, what’s that? We’re not sure how to make it look horror-y enough? Easy, just cram as many fucking tropes into the thing as you can!” - Trailer guy probably.
Jake: “What is going on, now?!” pretty much sums up where I am with this month’s offering at this point. I will say that the formula for this movie is just intriguing enough that it could be a pleasant surprise, but I’m going to go ahead and keep my expectations at a minimum.
Mark: I find it endearing that they think that they need to define the word “shelter” for us. I think the concept of being trapped in a house and forced to face the demons of your past is an interesting one, but I think stilted acting and meh-level effects will keep this one from fighting above its weight class.
THE HOSPITAL 2
11/08/2016 - VOD/DVD
Jack: The pull quote they used there looks like it was from an organization about as legitimate as ours. That isn’t a good thing for those keeping score at home. This is a hard pass.
Jake: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. I’m going to go drink a bottle of malt liquor to wash this specific taste from my mouth. That will be an improvement on my current state of being.
Mark: Nope. Zero Points. Pass. Moving along. Fuck you. Set in on fire and send it to hell.
11/11/2016 - Theatrical
Jack: Well, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are both terrific actors and really captivating, so it’s got that going for it, which is nice. Jokes aside though, I’m genuinely excited for this one. Maybe this month will have something to offer after all.
Jake: Very much horror adjacent rather than horror itself, this one seems to be the tried and true formula of ‘aliens come to earth and want to wreck shit’. I can't totally blame them in this case. If I had to fly around space in some shit that looks like a floating flapjack I'd probably be pretty temperamental, too.
Mark: This is probably only horror from the perspective of the most fragile sensibilities. That being said, it’s got aliens of unclear intentions so you never know what direction it’ll go. I’m excited for it because it’s a competently made blockbuster, but that also means I don’t have a lot to say about it.
11/11/2016 - VOD / Theatrical (?)
Jack: This looks like it’s going to be a really slow burn. Just a whole bunch of build up. If the balance between the build-up and the payoff is right, this could hit hard and be great. Luckilly, it’s starring Naomi Watts, so the even the most boring of build-ups could only be so bad.
Jake: Ten bucks says that kid from Stranger Things isn’t a vegetable at all but is just really looking for attention from Naomi Watts’ character. I mean, wouldn’t you?
Mark: This looks like the best movie of the month. I’m happy that we’re getting back into the winter vibe for movies. This one seems like it’s got a little bit of The Orphanage in its DNA, but with a more sinister ghost. I like that combination. Plus, with that cast the likelihood of it being held back by its on screen talent is pretty low.
11/11/2016 - VOD
Jack: Well, I dug the strangers. Cool to see what that director could to with a creature feature. Now, is thing a proper creature feature? Only time will tell my friends. And you know, seeing the movie. Time and seeing the movie will tell.
Jake: Ok, so a couple of things about this one:
This was already released on DirecTV. But frankly, no one has that bullshit and it’s coming to more platforms this month so we are including it.
If you are making a monster movie called “The Monster”, you better fucking nail the reveal process and have some great practical effects on that son of a bitch. And you know what? This looks like it might actually do both. Color me intrigued.
Mark: The concept of being trapped in car whilst being stalked by a monster harkens back to Cujo. With Bryan Bertino’s pedigree of movies about defending yourself from an outside predator this will probably be well shot and executed. I have high hopes.
11/15/2016 - VOD (US Release)
Jack: Holy shit this looks awesome. This thing looks like it sets a tone early, plays with it interestingly, and keeps you glued to the screen for the whole damn ride. Also it looks beautifully shot. Mark me down.
Jake: I hate calling the international flick my dark horse, because the foreign aspect really has nothing to do with my interest in this one. This has a really unique artistic quality and, based on what little the trailer gives away, it seems to supplement that unique look with an interesting, weird story. I’ll watch this.
Mark: This looks like it was shot in the same manner as one of those 1940’s shorts about World War II that was played before whatever talkie you were going to see. It’s obviously pretty high concept so that could pay off in spades, but I’ll remain cautious on this one. If nothing else it gives us something better than The Bermuda Triangle to watch for Cinco de Mayo.
THE EYES OF MY MOTHER
11/18/2016 - Limited Theatrical
Jack: So that trailer was too long. And the movie looks disturbing and all, but damn if I don’t just have the feeling that all of the shots in between what they showed us in the trailer are going to be unwatchably boring. Do I have any real evidence to back that up? No. But in my defense, do I ever?
Jake: This seems pretty artsy and I was left wondering if it opt for graphic, visceral horror at any point. I mean, it certainly could, but given the artful approach it seems to be going for, I think it could be more effective by leaving things up to the imagination. How it toes that line is pretty much all I’m interested in with this one.
Mark: I know there’s a subset of people who are really fucking freaked out by eye stuff. This movie will probably not be for them. I’m going out on a limb there, but dammit someone’s gotta do the heavy lifting around here. I kinda hate it when movies do the black and white thing for no reason other than to just be artsy. I hope that remains my largest quibble.
11/18/2016 - Limited Theatrical
Jack: Wait, did I miss something, or is this the second horror-ish movie starring Amy Adams of this month? How did that happen? This one looks decidedly less interesting to me though. Pretty generic thriller stuff.
Jake: Similar to Wolf Mother, I’m not sure if this one really fits squarely into the genre and the ensemble cast doesn’t help matters, but I think we will take whatever we can get this month. The “horrorness” of this movie is going to hinge on the promise of the last few seconds of that trailer. Adult fears or bust.
Mark: Ah yes, this month’s taut psychological thriller. How many times has insomnia been invoked as a shortcut to eerie psychological unease? I’m with Jake on this one: this is probably more real-world-horror than actual horror. Not that that’s a bad thing, just that it’s not really my bag of chips.
11/22/2016 - VOD/DVD
Jack: That’s what I want to see from a trailer! Enough crazy shit that I’m sucked in and want to know just what in the hell is going on, but no so much that it feels overwrought, or like anything is being given away. Color me intrigued.
Jake: There’s a lot going on here. Conceptually, it seems like The Mist met The Day After Tomorrow, snorted a bunch of sugar and fucked.This in turn spawned a monster plot and an unexplained, 28 Days Later-esque setting. At best, this will blend genre elements really well and create something like a good Twilight Zone episode. At worst, it’ll be like the fat kid sticking his arm into a blender in Unfriended. More money on the latter...
Mark: This looks surprisingly good. Apparently this movie has been floating around since 2012, but finally got its DVD release slated for this month. If that’s really the case then I am happy that they stuck with it. Waking up in a abandoned city with no real understanding of what’s going on is an interesting concept. Mix The Langoliers into that and you get something that is at the very least intriguing. This looks like a good darkhorse pick.
11/22/2016 - VOD/DVD
Jack: I’m not really sure what to say. This looks a lot like a movie I’d expect from a film school student. It looks like a decent movie by a film student, but still. I really don’t have anything constructive to say, but in my defense, do I ever?
Jake: Cool font, bro.
Mark: Ugh. This looks bad. Moreover, it looks bad in a way that is completely uninteresting and forgettable. They’re not taking any chances and they’re still not executing. This is a movie that looks like it’s aiming to be middling, but still didn’t hit its target. My guess is this will be a snorefest that isn’t even worth invoking as worst-movie-I’ve-ever-seen fodder.
11/22/2016 - VOD
Jack: Hey creep standing in a hood in the dark in the rain? When someone says “I didn’t see you there,” the creepiest possible response is “why would you?” I feel like this woman either has a) not enough security for how famous she is; or b) an entirely too lax trigger finger on the 9-11 call. Either way, not that interesting to me.
Jake: This is a weird trailer. It seems to be establishing every male character as a threat in a whodunit sort of approach, but then it seems to highlight the individual doing the home invading. I’m not sure if they are just trying to get the point across that the woman is semi-famous and therefore vulnerable by way of being noticeable, but it’s confusing in trailer format.
Mark: Getting stalked is scary no matter how you want to cut it. Therefore, getting stalked by like five different guys has gotta be five times as scary, right? Right? Guys? The best possible outcome of this is all of the different stalker dudes fighting each other over the rights to be the alpha stalker. There can be only one.
11/22/2016 - VOD
Jack: My goodness that CGI looks bad. That’s all I’ve got. You don’t get more words from me movie. Fuck you. Except those words. Fuck.
Jake: This looks outrageously bad but at least the trailer has a scene where a girl takes her shirt off. Without that, I’m pretty sure I’d rather watch this on repeat for an hour and a half.
Mark: There is literally nothing positive to say about the prospects of the movie. However, I will probably play this trailer on loop just to have a dance party to those hawt beatz. Can someone explain to me the motivation behind putting things on Vimeo over Youtube?
11/25/2016 - VOD (US Release)
Jack: I know that earlier, I said that I liked it when I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but this is not what I meant. I want to know, like, broad strokes, what in the fuck is happening. That said, this looks watchable to me.
Jake: It’s really hard to tell what’s going on at any point in the trailer but it has me thinking body horror. If that’s the case, pass.
Mark: Is it just me, or is the last movie on the list every single month the one that has the most nonsensical trailer? This is basically the vhs tape from the ring, but in color and marine biology themed. What did that starfish ever do to you man? Just because you can regrow an arm doesn’t mean you want to. I learned that from Men in Black.
TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:
Jack: The Similars - This just looks great to me. Atmospheric as hell, interesting, and like it coudl just be an episode of the Twilight Zone. I’m all the way in.
Jake: Shut In - In a month like this, you just go with Naomi Watts and move on.
Mark: Monster - To be fair, Jake took Shut In. I am also very excited for that movie. That being said, Monster looks great for a straight to VOD release. My initial take was that it was a werewolf movie, which I was excited for because it’s been awhile since there has been a werewolf flick on the prowl. On a second viewing though, that thing looks way too slimy to be a werewolf. I think this looks unique, interesting, and cognizant of the fact that you don’t want to show your CG monster too close because it probably looks like balls.
Jack: Wolf Mother - Not only does this look formulaic as all get out, but they neglected to use even one Wolfmother song. Inexcusable.
Jake: The Curse of Robert the Doll - To go more with Mark’s methodology for this category selection, I’m going to bypass the myriad flicks that are straight nooooooope and pick the doll movie about a doll named Robert who is not the same doll as the Robert the doll that actually exists. Also nooooooope.
Mark: Krampus: Unleashed - Fuck you, filmmakers. This is a cheap ploy to get moms to rent the wrong movie for their kid’s birthday party. When you go to hell, I hope they have the movies Transmorphers and Snakes on a Train on a non-stop loop.