Horror Release Roundup
September 2016

Welcome to September 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 just click the movie's title you silly goose. 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?


MORGAN
9/2/2016 - Theatrical

Jack: This thing has the potential to be truly top tier. But with that potential comes the risk of the biggest fucking flop I can possibly imagine. Make no mistake, Imma see this thing in theaters, but also don’t make any other mistakes (or something?), this could be terrible.

Jake: Here there be hype. This is coming from Ridley Scott’s son, and the stakes are high for his feature film debut. I’m cautiously optimistic and I like the measures that have been taken to shield what “Morgan” really is from the public, but something has me a little uneasy that the goods might not totally be delivered in this one. I can’t really explain why, but the trailer seems to be lacking a little chutzpah.

Mark: I want this movie to be good. I’m really rooting for it. It’s just that there’s something about this trailer that seems off. Best case scenario this is Splice mixed with Ex Machina. Worst case scenario… Lazarus Effect. I will say that I’m profoundly confused by the combination of their refusal to show Morgan in the trailer with the fact that the movie poster is basically just Morgan standing alone. Kinda ruins the effect.


THE 9th LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX
9/2/2016 - Theatrical

Jack: Terrible name on this thing. And doesn’t seem to be offering much to the entrenched horror fan. That said, I’m an Idahoan so I’m legally required to love Aaron Paul (and I do), so I’m mildly excited.

Jake: I’m not sure how much crossover the mystery part of this film will have with horror, but the trailer gave a couple promising glimpses. I’ll watch this if for no other reason than because Aaron Paul is in it and Ducks fly together, y’all.

Mark:Calling it now, the mom is the swamp creature and Louis was a cat the whole time. Nailed it. Next.


ANTIBIRTH
9/2/2016 - VOD

Jack: “I blacked out” and “I haven’t gotten laid in months” seem incongruous. And was that CG smoke coming out of that explosion? Thought we wouldn’t notice that huh? Well we did, and fuck you. That said, I’m a fan of Natasha Lyonne, and if they give her enough space, she could carry this sucker.

Jake: This is a tough one. It looks like it knows exactly what it’s doing, yet I have no interest in the particular flavor of horror-comedy weirdness it seems to be bringing to the table. Not planning on watching unless there’s some gold I’m as of now unable to see due to the shitty CG smoke clouding up the trailer.

Mark:  This looks impressively bad. Like just awful. The filmmakers should have aborted the process in the early stages. I guess it’s basically Rosemary’s Baby but self inflicted by drug abuse and general misuse of a microwave. Hey, at least it’s not a possession flick.


THE NEIGHBOR
9/6/2016 - VOD

Jack: I’ve praised movies like Hush for coming up with cool new masks for the villains to wear in home invasion movies. There’s so many iterations now that it’s a hard thing to do. Turns out, paper mache does not meet that threshold for me. Apart from that, pretty generic-looking home-invasion.

Jake: I kind of wish the trailer had not made mention that the apparent antagonist in this film is none other than fuckin’ Bill Engvall. Despite that fact, this movie looks like an intense ride. I’m hoping it leans more to the psychological side of things because there were some hints in the trailer that things could get a little torture-y. Knowing Marcus Dunstan’s previous work, I’m a little concerned it will go that road.

Mark: Spoiler alert, Jake. It will absolutely without a doubt go down that road. Ain’t nobody making it out of this thing without getting tortured. I actually rather like the creative casting of Mr. Engvall. It wouldn’t be the first time that seeing someone in a totally new light is sufficient to create unease in and of itself. Remember when Robin Williams randomly started starring in tense psychological thrillers? Or that time Jim Carrey starred in a murder mystery conspiracy theory paranoia flick? They all turned out decently enough.


DEMON
9/9/2016 - Limited Theatrical - VOD

Jack: There could not be a more generic title. I expected much worse from this trailer based on the name. Now though, I’m excited for the seemingly deep folklore upon which this draws and jesus fuck the town in which these people live looks depressing as all hell. That’s atmosphere son.

Jake: This is a true dark horse for me. It looks phenomenally well shot, atmospheric, and dips into a well of folklore that I find refreshingly untapped. So much so in fact, that I’m looking right the fuck past the fact that it is called ‘Demon’ and is, so far, carrying the banner as September’s obligatory possession flick. On top of all that, I could see this one going with The VVitch levels of slow-burn. Maybe the lack of hype is for the best.

Mark:  I’m quids in on this one. My main concern, as Jake alluded to as well, is this thing could be paced at a rate that could most effectively be described as glacial. When I added this thing to my Netflix queue they suggested a movie about a man that has a fetish for implanting scrap metal into his body… if that is any indication of how this is going to go then I am extremely confused.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY
9/9/2016 - VOD

Jack: We are just on a string of generically bad titles here huh? Also how is this horror at all? Plus I’m worried that Steven Tyler is gonna get really gimmicky really quickly. That said, it looks pretty fun.

Jake: I’m not really sure what I’m looking at here. Steven Tyler playing a psychotic kingpin in some nondescript Mexican town and causing all sorts of mayhem for random travelers through the employment of sadomasochistic vixens? That’s probably not it at all. Now call me Crazy, but I might be a little too Jaded to give this one a shot.

Mark: Okay, first off, this is basically just the torture porn version of the Hangover. Secondly, no one was clamoring for this movie to be made other than maybe Steven Tyler. I can’t wait to forget that this exists.


WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS
9/9/2016 - Limited Theatrical - VOD

Jack: Again, more thriller than horror. Also that man’s name is Morris Chestnut. I have nothing else to add. Morris Chestnut.

Jake: Feels like a formula I’ve seen movies follow a few times before, but the surrogate riff on that could add just enough of a new flare to make things interesting. Judging by the trailer (because that’s what we do here), I don’t expect this flick to fulfill that hope, but hey, I’ve been wrong before (link to literally anything I’ve ever written goes here, editor).

Mark: I have an exceptionally little amount to say about this film. The Fatal Attraction baby-stealing lover stalker genre is just incredibly tired. This may well be a good movie for the sub-genre but that means nothing if the sub-genre itself is shit. See also: body horror.


BLAIR WITCH
9/16/2016 - Theatrical

Jack: All aboard the hype train!!! I’m not saying that pejoratively, I’m serious. I am fully on board this hype train. I have not been this excited about a movie in quite some time.

Jake: In one of the more surprising trailers this month, it looks like we are getting a found footage film following a few young adults as they set off into the woods to…. Just fucking kidding. It’s the Blair Witch. We know what this is. And what this is is HYPE. You will watch this. You know you will watch this. You don’t even need a trailer to tell you that.

Mark: All I want for Christmas is for this to live up to its potential. I’m crossing my fingers but I get the same sense with this one as I do for Morgan. I just don’t see how they can replicate what made the first one good. Relative to the first one it looks a bit overproduced, and I doubt the acting will be nearly as good (probably because the first film wasn’t really acting per se). Whatever, I’ll just be over here holding my breath.


31
9/16/2016 - Limited Theatrical

Jack: “Mastermind of horror Rob Zombie” seems aggressive to say the least. That guy’s track record is spotty at best. With that said, this looks halfway decent. Really creepy and exquisitely shot. Hopefully the writing lives up, which has always been ol’ Rob’s weak spot.

Jake: Rob Zombie, you scamp. Somehow this looks interesting. The thing is, to tackle the twisted funhouse concept, there is going to need to be a healthy dose of FUN involved, and I’m roughly 99.999% (repeating, of course) sure that this will be too intense and visceral to check that box. Will I watch it? Probably. But my expectations are about as low as they were for an album titled “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser”.

Mark: Let’s be real here. This movie is just Running Man as directed by Rob Zombie. And, much like Running Man this movie will be objectively bad. However, much like Running Man, I will watch this movie basically every chance I get. It’s not going to catch you by surprise, it’s not going to throw you some emotional curveball, it’s just going to brutalize you with Clown themed violence. A lot of clown themed violence.


THE GOOD NEIGHBOR
9/16/2016 - Limited Theatrical - VOD

Jack: Who can? James Caan! There are just no relatable characters in this whole damn thing huh? I’m kind of rooting for Caan given how much I fucking hate that long-haired motherfucker. Go Caan!

Jake: What the fuck kind of experiment are these clearly-not-actually-kids kids conducting, and how are they not aware that what they are doing is both extremely illegal and morally reprehensible? This trailer seems to paint the “kids” as the protagonists, which I’m calling shenanigans on. Additionally, if I am someone who can put pieces together at all, the trailer also includes a big ass spoiler.

Mark: In a month where I’ve seen a lot of these movies coming for months (31, Blair Witch, Morgan) it’s pretty interesting that the best looking one is relatively unheard of. James Caan looks terrifying, it’s got found footage, and the rear window voyeurism aspect of it seems pretty fresh. At the very least I can say this looks like the best “neighbor” themed horror movie this month. They should put that on their poster.


TELL ME HOW I DIE
9/16/2016 - Limited Theatrical - VOD

Jack: So this is just a big jumble of tropes in a bucket pulled out in a random order and stuck on a storyboard huh? You know what’s the lazy writer’s best friend? Arbitrary fucking rules. Also, you know what else is lazy? A jump scare at the end of the trailer. What’s that? That’s in there too? Oh, good.

Jake: At best, I’m feeling some cheap Final Destination vibes. If it manages that, then I’m thinking it’ll at least be a decent, mindless romp.

Mark: Jake nailed the best case scenario. I fucking love the Final Destination movies so if this is even remotely in the same vein then I’m onboard. Unfortunately, what we’re going to get instead is a movie that takes itself way too seriously in an effort to try and create a “mind bender” about the nature of reality. I’m gonna go ahead and guess this movie doesn’t make many strides forward in that realm of philosophy.


THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
9/16/2016 - Theatrical (UK)

Jack: I am so fucking tired of zombie movies, but you know what? This looks like it might actually have figured out an original enough element to suck me back into the genre. Color me intrigued.

Jake: Thank goodness. I was getting really worries that we might not have a torch bearer for zombies this month, so this one really burst in like a hero and gave the people what we need. This could be a mildly interesting spin on the cure rather than the outbreak, but I just can’t get excited for something in the zombie territory at this point.

Mark: I think I like zombie movies much more than either of these other two jabronis. That being said I have some hope for this movie. It’s an adaptation of a novel that apparently is actually quite good, and if they were able to land Glenn Close then I assume the script is at least moderately well written. The best zombie flicks have something to say about humanity in general, and it looks like this one might get close to fitting that mold. A man can dream.


SACRIFICE
9/20/2016 - VOD

Jack: So I really really want to say lots of interesting things about this trailer (as you’ve come to expect of me), but I am having the hardest time moving past that title card animation. I could make that in Adobe After Effects, and I’m a fucking moron. What the fuck?

Jake: Shetland Islands and cults. Something something bog body.  

Mark: Well, it’s this month’s tense psychological thriller. Whodunnit? Was it the mysterious gardening gentleman? Was it the awkward but misunderstood townsfolk? Was it the helpful hobo looking dude who can read ancient runes that have been scribbled on a piece of paper? Was it the bald dude pretending to be James Bond? Or was it secret option E, “Who cares?” Spoiler alert, it’s the last one.


FRANCESCA
9/27/2016 - VOD (US)

Jack: That looks like one of the more unsettling things I might ever see. Like the kind of movie I’m going to complain to my wife about not being able to sleep from watching for months. Jesus. Just . . . Jesus.

Jake: If I were to show you this trailer with zero context, you would probably not have guessed this is a current release. The commitment to the technicolor style and trappings of the Giallo film are interesting enough, and when mixed with the bombastic score and brutal undercurrents of the premise, it blends for a movie I’m actually kind of excited for.

Mark: What the actual fuck was that? I mean just…. Huh? I don’t even. Is this a movie about serial killers or possessed dolls? I guess it gets a pass on weirdness because it’s European and who can even begin to figure them out, but if it is edited in the same frenetic manner as the trailer I’m going to avoid this one purely for the sake of my personal health.


TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:

TOP 1:

Jack: Blair Witch - Nothing else comes close. There’s other movies in September I guess, but fuck ‘em. Blair Witch.

Jake: Demon - Can’t believe I’m doing this. The possession flick is taking my top spot. To be fair, I actively did not select Blair Witch for this because no shit. We are all excited for that. I instead took a look at all the other flicks the month ahead has to offer, and I’m happy to say it looks great. I could have easily chosen The Neighbor here as well. The thing that intrigues me about Demon is just how beautifully shot it looks and how fresh it seems in spite of the fact that it’s a possession flick. Don’t let me down.

Mark: The Good Neighbor - There’s a lot of heavy hitters this month… Morgan, 31, The Girl with All the Gifts, Blair Witch. I’m going with The Good Neighbor because it’s a new one for me. I haven’t heard anything about this movie at all, and James Caan looks god damn awesome. Plus… you know… found footage is kinda my thing. Runner up goes to Demon for similar reasons. I really hope that one turns out good.

BOTTOM 1:

Jack: Tell Me How I Die - I genuinely hope this is campy, but it really just looks lazily written.

Jake: When the Bough Breaks - This was a hard month to pick a bottom 1 because I just don’t see many true garbage fires here. None captured my imagination less than When the Bough Breaks though. It just doesn’t seem particularly interesting to me.

Mark: Antibirth - To clarify, there looks to be a few movies this month that will absolutely be stinkers that aren’t worth mentioning, but the real trick to making my bottom 1 is to have actual potential that you don’t achieve. Antibirth looks like a fairly novel concept with decent actors and relatively high production value, but I will be fucking stunned if it is even remotely watchable.