Horror Release Roundup
September 2018

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You know, a lot of people say that September is just the little brother of October when it comes to horror movie releases. I’ve never actually heard anyone say that, but it seems logical so I assume a bunch of people have said it. That’s how it works, right? Anyway, September is here, and little brother or not, there’s a lot quality contained within it. Not a football fan? Football fan, but still have time to watch horror movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays? Well then do we have a list for you...

The Horror Release Roundup is our recurring feature breaking down the screams and scares that are heading your way every month. This time around we have everything (or at least our attempt at everything) coming at you in September of 2018. Enjoy the trailers and our respective thoughts below.

Interested in reading up on previous months? Try checking out our archive.


OUIJA HOUSE
09/04/2018 - VOD

 
 

To help her down-on-her-luck mother, a graduate student brings her friends to a mysterious house where they plan to do research for a book project.

Jack: Loathe as I am to give Mark points for anything, count one for his “single piano key score in a trailer” fantasy things pick. That movie doesn’t look completely terrible, but you know what’s really grinding my gears? All I can think about is the setup to the shot where they’re playing Ouija on the young woman’s stomach. Did the demon possess them to take off her shirt (but not her bra because it’s PG-13 and demons love bras) and write down all of those letters and then sit down and start playing? Did the demon tell them the order of the letters? I’m worried this is just a string of mildly creepy set pieces strung together with “I dunno, demons or whatever.”

Jake: Do you really “play” a ouija board? I’m not sure I’ve heard it referred to as that before (also entirely possible I just don’t pay attention). I don’t feel like you play it. It’s more of a “use” it type situation. Kind of like this movie is using names like Dee Wallace to try to get some traction. Hey, that house is pretty cool looking, though. End stream of consciousness.

Mark: I got in trouble last month for being too cynical and therefore I am actively trying to be less cynical in this month’s commentary. So, my take on this one? Hey, at least it has a pretty good cast. Mischa Barton, Tara Reid, and Dee Wallace? Boom. Nailed it. You looking for bad campy possession horror? Well, look no further. Sidenote: Hypothetical situation, you ask a ouija board if there are any spirits present. It answers “no.” Then what? Isn’t the answer of “yes” assumed if the planchette moves?


TRENCH 11
09/04/2018 - VOD

 
 

A highly contagious biological weapon, created by German forces in WWI, is discovered by Allied troops as they explore an abandoned underground bunker.

Jack: They really should answer that question about how they know it’s abandoned. That aside, this movie looks rad and scary on a few different levels. The worms thing looks fucking terrifying, and the creatures kind of look like the monsters from The Descent. Count me in.

Jake: I fucking love warror movies. Fucking. Love them. Therefore, I’m quite in for this one. The effects look gross and cool and it’s WWI. It’ll be the best horror movie set in the Great War since Deathwatch! If only Andy Serkis was in this, right Mark?

Mark: Vermiphobics beware, you’re in for a scare. This movie shows promise, but I am also a little concerned about the zombie effects in this thing. How do you nail parasitic worms, but then just have dudes in light makeup twitching as your zombie monsters? You’re right, Jake, this is going to be the best movie since Deathwatch. It’s also probably going to be better than Deathwatch, sooooooo best WWI movie ever?


DIANE
09/07/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL
09/17/2018 - VOD

 
 

When a disabled war veteran discovers the dead body of a beautiful singer in his back yard, his fascination with her photographic image soon turns to obsession.

Jack: What kind of permit does he have to keep a revolver in a lockbox? He’s not concealed carrying it, so . . . what? I know in like Illinois and New York the state keeps handgun registries, but that’s not really a permit is it? What state is this in? Before I devolve into firearm policies, I’m kind of getting a They Look Like People vibe from this, and it looks like it will be of about equivalent quality. I really dug that movie, so this seems promising.

Jake: This trailer became more and more indie as it went along. However, I’m very happy to report it is clocking in at well under 90 seconds. I’m not sure this will land the paranoia angle it is going for because there’s a certain amount of subtlety required that this trailer does not show even a little bit. Also, watch the part where the guy jumps the fence. Look at those hops!

Mark: Why do returned vets always work on Home Depot? Has their pro-veteran stance become a trope? At this point, I’m pretty there are only two types of people that work at  Home Depot: veterans and olympic athletes. Anywhoozles, this has low budget indie horror written all over it. It will be creative, but lack the overall polish and watchability that you probably need in order to have an enjoyable experience.


MARA
09/07/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL / VOD

 
 

After a man is seemingly strangled in his bed, criminal psychologist Kate Fuller (Olga Kurylenko) interviews the sole witness.

Jack: Is being in between asleep and awake really a distinct state of being? Are they sure it’s not a spectrum like sexuality or Jeremy Piven fandom? All she needs to do is go find one of the Freddy survivors and shake them down for some Hypnocil. Problem solved. I’m tired of sleep paralysis movies.

Jake: oh my god another sleep paralysis movie… in this one’s defense, I think it looks like it could easily be the best of the recent crop of this highly specific category, but I’m a little exhausted at this point.

Mark: Do you think Mara and Freddy Krueger know each other? Why does the trailer enumerate the third state of being, but then she specifically can’t fall asleep? If Mara exists in the “somewhere in between” category, then wouldn’t sleep provide a safe haven? This will be a jumpscare heavy sleep paralysis reliant trope-fest. Will it work? Yeah, maybe kinda. Will it be memorable? No, probably not.


THE NUN
09/07/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate.

Jack: Not too much to say here. This is going to be a well-produced and watchable movie with good jumpscares, but you’re kidding yourself if you think it will have the charm and watchability of the Conjuring or even the Conjuring 2. It’s going to be pretty good, and many of us are going to see it.

Jake: Nothing happened at the end, you lazy ass ad agency clowns. That being said, we all know this will be the popcorn guzzling prelude to October this year, and it’s hard to expect anything less than a watchable and fun flick. The production value is certainly there. Also, just want to comment that the final jumpscare is basically from the “how to” book on executing a subversion of your expectation. It’s both good because you don’t see it enough, but also makes you think about what things would be like if everyone follows a simple concept like this. Would that make the shitty kind cooler? #deepthoughts

Mark: I stayed to the end of the trailer…. Nothing. What? You wanted me to see the release date? Of all the movies this month, you think I somehow missed the release date on this one? Also, if I am putting on a full length trailer to watch on youtube do you not expect me to stay until the end? Who does that? They’re monsters.


PAINLESS
09/07/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL (UNCONFIRMED)

 
 

Henry Long desperately seeks a cure for the condition that leaves him unable to feel physical pain. But when he meets the beautiful and mysterious Shani, he gets much more than he bargained for…

Jack: Are we to believe that someone took away his ability to feel pain and he doesn’t just have CIP or something? He doesn’t need to be able to create pain, right? We can definitely do that. He needs his nerve endings to become sensitive to it. There’s like . . . a whole field of medical science devoted to that already, and it seems like he should collaborate with some of them.

Jake: This movie should get weird and gory. If that happens then I’ll be back on board. It seems like it’s gonna be a blasé thriller though...

Mark: Henry later went on to become the villain from the third Pierce Brosnan James Bond Movie. That is basically the only piece of commentary I have for this. Oh wait, here’s one, I am definitely going to have some qualms with the “scientific” element of this movie. Boom. Roasted.


DON’T LEAVE HOME
09/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

After recently unveiling her new sculptural exhibit on Irish urban legends, artist Melanie Thomas is contacted by Father Alistair Burke, a reclusive Irish priest who, legend has it, once painted the portrait of a young girl who later disappeared on the very day her image vanished from the painting.

Jack: “I’ll take ‘most generic horror movie titles imaginable for $600, Alex.” I can’t say that this looks bad, but nothing is exciting me about it either. I will say that if, during what should be a casual conversation, and old woman says that she won’t shackle you if you want to leave, fucking run because her brain instantly jumped to a very strange place.

Jake: I can say nothing that would do any better or more humorous justice to this than the pull quote in the trailer from Indiewire, so I’m just gonna throw it in here. “Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside.” Amazing. Just outstanding. Bravo.

Mark: Pro tip - If you are invited into a remote home on the countryside and asked not to tell anyone about your visit, you should probably tell a lot of people about your visit and also not go. Just a hunch.


LIZZIE
09/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

In the late 1890s in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murdering her overbearing father and step-mother with a hatchet, but she is publicly condemned.

Jack: I’m pretty stoked for this movie. The Lizzie Borden story is fascinating, and this looks like they at least put the effort into it, and got a good cast who seem to be giving good performances.

Jake: Fun fact. I had to drive through Fall River on the way to and from work for almost three fucking years and I can say with some confidence that no one who has ever lived there has ever been as easy to understand as any of the characters in this film.

Mark: At first I was a little surprised we haven't seen more of the Lizzie Borden story on screen. I mean, if the Villisca Axe Murders have their own movie, then why not this? Then I did a quick googling and found out that there are actually a bevvy of movies with basically the exact same name as this one. Although this looks to be really more of a drama with a bloody ending than a true slasher, that is actually probably a smart choice for the story and will hopefully set it apart from the rest of the riff raff.


MANDY
09/14/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL

 
 

Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.

Jack: No. Not doing it. I’m going to catch some flack for this, but I’m fucking tired of people slapping Nic Cage in a “wacky” movie and letting idiots revel over how “random” he is. Also, “visionary director”? Really? Maybe, but don’t be bragging about it until someone has heard of him.

Jake: Nic Cage in a Spectrevision joint that involves gigantic battle axes and at least one animation sequence. This is gonna be fuckin weeeeird. I’m all in.

Mark: Nicolas Cage’s performance of a lifetime, you say? Sign. Me. Up. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to watch it and then tell the guys that it was amazing and then have them yell at me for being an idiot but them being wrong because this was amazing.


THE PREDATOR
09/14/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

When a boy accidentally triggers the return of the Predator species to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

Jack: Predator. Correct. And this one looks more rad than most.

Jake: Yes please, mate. Yes please.

Mark: I am being serious when I say this formula will never get old. A rag-tag group of soldiers fighting alien assassins is something that I will never tire of. Every predator movie has been great (including Alien vs Predator) and I am definitely going to see this. Keegan Michael Key? Ummmm, yup.


THE BASEMENT
09/15/2018 - LIMITED THEATRICAL / VOD

 
 

Craig is abducted and wakes up in a basement. His captor, Bill, is a twisted serial killer who wishes to reenact his own capture, with Craig playing the part of Bill and Bill playing everyone else.

Jack: Not gorey enough to be interesting for gore, not novel enough to be interesting for being creative, and not creepy enough to be interesting for being scary. Who is this for?

Jake: Well nothing about that got me aroused. Wait. It wasn’t supposed to? Fuck you.

Mark: That synopsis sounds awesome. For some reason it reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob is stalking Bart on a houseboat. Dissociative Identity Disorder is so hot right now


CYNTHIA
09/18/2018 - VOD

 
 

Robin and Michael are college sweethearts who have everything – a perfect marriage, adorable cat, a beautiful home, but one thing is missing from this idyllic setting – a baby. After years of fertility treatments their dreams come true when Robin finds out she is pregnant!! Is this a dream come true or a nightmare come to life?

Jack: Okay, I admit. They got me with this one. I was so ready to hate this, and then they made some god damned decisions. The movie looks bonkers, and I’m pretty stoked on it.

Jake: Sid Haig is in this movie. It also has a mutated, murderous fetus monster. Sounds like a horror movie...

Mark: Quick note - this received a limited theatrical release at the end of August. Additional quick note - this might be getting pushed back to October. It’s hard to tell, so we’re leaving it in September. You’ll just be extra aware of it if it gets pushed back. Don’t say we never do you any favors.  You know what’s great about this trailer? They don’t show the monster. Last quick note - What the hell is with all these girls names titles?


THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS
09/21/2018 - THEATRICAL

 
 

Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town's sleepy facade magically springs to life with a secret world of witches and warlocks.

Jack: That is a well put-together trailer. Jack Black is consistently delightful, if occationally a little extra (I’m young and cool and used that correctly, right?). It’s going to depend on some quality writing to pull this out of just kids-movie territory, but if it pulls it off I am in.

Jake: Great Scott, this movie looks whimsical. With a cast like this and a guy like Roth at the helm, I am more than a little excited to see how it turns out. This could be a great gateway into this year’s Halloween season.

Mark: Yes, this is a movie geared toward younger audiences, but if you read that plot description and note that the director is Eli Roth then I think you’ll see that it belongs on this list. Youth-oriented horror movies are actually sort of interesting. I watched the Goosbumps movie recently (also starring Mr. Black) and found it to be charming if a little sloppy. I have high hopes for this one   I am left with one final sentiment: The porn version of this movie will be hilarious.


HELLFEST
09/28/2018 - THEATRICAL

A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

Jack: They’re signing a waiver “because the liability is epic.” Think about that. Who’s liability? The amusement park’s? You cannot contract around criminal law, so that’s really not going to be sufficient for this particular park in the business of gutting people. I know that was an attempt to put some detail into it, but I really think it would have been better off without that line at all.

Jake: The extreme haunts genre is getting a little bit crowded these days and at first, I thought we had mistakenly duplicated last month’s Blood Fest trailer, but this looks quite different in the end. There’s a decent to good slasher in here somewhere. Let’s see if it finds itself.

Mark: Although it seems a bit derivative of the Funhouse Massacre, and looks pretty similar to last month’s nearly identically named Blood Fest, it still looks awesome and I want to see it. That all said, after this movie I think we can officially declare this genre full and ask that all future movie scripts use the overflow genre parking lot.


REDCON-1
09/28/2018 - VOD

 
 

A squad of eight Special Forces soldiers are assigned a suicide mission to rescue a scientist from a city ruled by the undead.

Jack: In a world where zombie movies have been slowly regaining my interest by doing new and cool things, this one chose to just play it right down the middle, huh? I kind of hope this is the start of trending the other way, because there’s enough on my plate, I don’t need to be interested in zombie movies anymore.

Jake: Just when I thought we were through a month without a zombie movie...

Mark: This was a befuddling movie to google owing to the fact that it shares its name with a family of protein powders that appear to basically just be steroids with better branding. It was even further a befuddling trailer to watch owing to the fact that that dude is using what appears to be taekwondo and nunchucks to fight zombies. Those are two things that I personally would avoid using in zombie combat.


Top

Jack: The Nun - Nothing this month just jumped off the page at me, and this is at a minimum guaranteed for good production and a few decent jump scares. That’s not a bad floor.

Jake: Trench 11 - read earlier comments about warror movies.

Mark: Mandy - Nic Cage = trump card

Bottom

Jack: Mandy - You’re not being fun and random. You’re being reductive and lazy.

Jake: The Basement - Mark picked first of I would have gone with his. This also looks befuddling and not entertaining, though. We are here to give you variety.

Mark: Cynthia - Baby horror ain’t scary, yo. What’s worse is that it is also not entertaining, yo.