A-Z Horror Release Roundup: June 2017

Over at A-ZHorror.com each month, we scour the internet for the horror movies that are coming out that month, and then we gather them together (a “roundup” if you will), along with links to the trailers and synopses, and even a our thoughts including a few quips. Check out everything June has to offer, and let us know on Twitter @atozhorror what you’re most and least excited for. Think we missed something? Let us know that too!

 


Be Afraid (06/01/2017) (VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: Sleep paralysis is really the “it” thing to have in your horror movie these days huh? This looks like a pretty generic horror movie with a lot of tropes crammed into the thing. Hell, the “man” looks like an exact silhouette of Freddy sans finger-knives. But if everything is put together well, this looks like it could be pretty scary.

Jake: What is the marketing research being done telling people to keep peppering the concept of sleep paralysis into their films? There is a cornucopia of that shit all of a sudden and I have no idea why…  It has yet to go well. Plus, this one seems to take that idea and just jam it into a shotgun approach of other tenuously connected elements. I imagine the meetings on this screenplay must have been something along the lines of getting hammered and throwing darts at a board with a word cloud on it. What I’m afraid of is the potential trainwreck that is this flick trying to hold its thread. Then again I’m wrong about almost every single thing, so this will probably win a few oscars.

Mark: You can’t tell me what to do, movie. You have creepy kids, intense people with shotguns and incredibly deep voices, bathing in clawfoot tubs, and the fucking boogeyman. If you can’t get me to be afraid beyond just telling me that I should be than there is much more wrong with your movie than its bossy title. That being said I am tempted to watch this thing just to have that man’s voice wash over me. Is that an effect, or does he actually sound like that?


Dark Signal (06/02/2017 – Limited Theatrical; 06/06/2017 – VOD)

Synopsis 

Jack: Did you know that Snowdonia is a real place in the north of Wales? I did not and was planning on making fun of this trailer for making it up. Glad I did my homework. I love the color pallette in this trailer, it’s god damned beautiful. Unfortunately, I’m worried that the jump scare half way through the trailer will be indicative of the movie overall, and that shit was lazy as all get out. I don’t hate the premise by any means, but I have reservations about this one.

Jake: This looks like a good time. I’m at least interested enough to find out how the villain is not like Jack the Ripper or ‘killer of the week’, so good writing I guess? The trailer is well constructed and shows off some great cinematography, so I’ll likely be giving it a whirl.

Mark: I gotta say the early promotional material for this film left my wildly underwhelmed. I’m not sure when this newer trailer came out, but it looks sooo much better. This looks phenomenal. You got a good looking slasher villain, a fun little hook with the radio broadcast thing, and pretty legit looking cinematography and sound design. Strong showing, Wunderkammer..


The Recall (06/02/2017) (Limited Theatrical, VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: I have literally no idea what to say about this one. I cannot even begin to fathom the sequence of events that led to RJ Mitte and Wesley Snipes starring in the same movie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of both, but for wildly different reasons. Yes, the CG does look bad in this, but it also has the vibe of a movie where that won’t hurt it too much, if you know what I mean. I’m calling this one worth a watch.

Jake: Three minute trailer alert. And on top of that, it’s a three minute trailer with a preponderance of just abysmal CG. Like really bad, you guys. That being said, it could strike a tone where that’s somehow ok, mostly because Wesley Snipes, but I’m by no means banking on that. Also, is that the same cabin from Tucker & Dale?

Mark: Uh oh. Looks like there’s been a meteorological shift. And that shift is the atmospheric pressure of Wesley Snipes’ acting career. On the one hand I’m intrigued because this seems fun and relatively unique. On the other hand that CG looks terrible. On another note, can you imagine how pissed aliens are gonna be when they show up only to realize that we’ve been making them villains in movies for, like, ever?


Aaron’s Blood (06/02/2017) (VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: Couple things here: this looks pretty interesting and I want to see it; but also, I’m really worried that this movie is glossing over how fucking hard it would be to figure out where blood from a transfusion came from. There are an astounding number of medical privacy laws put in place to prevent that, and I’m fairly confident that they cannot be overcome by calling the hospital and just asking. And it’s too bad really, because that annoyance is going to stop asshole pedants like myself from fully enjoying what might be a great flick.

Jake: Don’t listen to Jack’s stupid legalese up there, that’s the last thing to worry about when considering this movie. My concern comes mainly from the writing/acting on display here. Having someone else’s blood inside you is a gnarly thing to think about but I’m just not interested enough in what this trailer has to show from an executional standpoint to have any desire to seek it out.

Mark: There is something really weird about having a blood transfusion. I’ve never had one myself but it’s definitely a weird thing to think about. Is the schtick here that the kid turns into a vampire? Can vampires even donate blood? Isn’t that one of the questions they ask you? It really should be if it isn’t. That just seems irresponsible. As far as the movie goes, I can’t help but feel like a lot of the acting in the trailer felt pretty forced. If that permeates the whole movie the concept won’t be enough to save this thing.


200 Degrees (06/06/2017) (VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: Yikes. This think is aping Saw pretty damn hard, except, you know, with no budget. It’s a little too bad for that actor that I have no desire to watch this at all, because it kind of seems like he is just fucking slaying it performance-wise.

Jake: This really just seems to be a fan movie made by some Saw nuts. Same narration, same editing style in a few of the shots. The issue is that it seems to be lacking in any sort of reason for being. This is just some dude with too much time on his hands. No way someone goes to that extreme to ask for only $1 million in the 21st century.

Mark: So this is just a straight up unabashed Saw ripoff then? That’s what we’re doing now? They don’t even bother using a different voice. They also seem to have significantly toned down the intelligence of the writing and set design, because the guy doesn’t even try and hit the heat lamps with his chair. I hope the people who made this had fun doing so, because otherwise this thing is a complete waste of time.


After Death (06/06/2017) (VOD – US Release)

Synopsis

Jack: Smoke monsters! Sex! Lighthouses! Other things! This movie has a lot going on, and as far as I can tell, the plot is just: “some sexy people die and end up in hell in a beach house.” I’m a little concerned that this is biting off more than its budget can chew, but if I’m wrong about that, this could be awesome.

Jake: Holy shit what the fuck is that smoke ghost and who thought that would be a good idea? Seems like some Scooby Doo shit to me. Wonder if the gang will get to the bottom of it… I’m having very mixed feelings about this one. The idea at play is pretty interesting and the desolation feels appropriate, but then you have that goddamn smoke ghoul and lines like “if you see god, tell him to go fuck himself” which ratchet the cognitive dissonance way up for me. I’m not sure what it is trying to be, and I’m not confident it knows either.

Mark: Oh, they’ll get to the bottom of it, Jake. The bottom of HELL. Anyone else getting a “Father’s Day” from Holidays vibe? I’m intrigued that they were seemingly able to get rights to Apocalyptica’s cover of Nothing Else Matters. That’s a good sign for the movie as a whole. A bad sign of equivalent magnitude? The fucking smoke monster. This seems to be a low budget movie as far as both effects and acting are concerned, but it deals with a concept that is interesting enough for me to look past those things. This may well be my darkhorse pick for the month.


Child of Satan (aka Neron) (06/06/2017) (VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: Are the filmmakers aware that there is a 2014 movie called Devil’s Due wherein a couple on vacation south of the border mysteriously gets pregnant after some weird quasi-religious ritual and gives birth to Satan? Are they aware that 30,000 other horror movies have the exact same plot? At least Devil’s Due mixed it up by making it found footage. Also, “on the verge of happiness”?! The fuck? You’ll never be happy until you have a child; when that happens all of your problems will go away and you’ll instantly be happy.

Jake: Holy shit, this looks like a regrettable time. There were multiple half second shots in that trailer so laughable that I pulled a rare YouTube maneuver and jumped back so I could get a better look at them. Naturally, this led me to asking questions about why I was spending time giving enough of a fuck to do something like that and it went to some dark places. Don’t let this do the same to you, intrepid reader. Just say no.

Mark: I have virtually nothing to say about this generic mashup of The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby so I’m just gonna ramble for a minute. Oh sure, blame Mexico for the evil. Maybe it’s actually the fact that you banged Satan. Ever think of that? Kids these days just refuse to take responsibility for their actions. You see Satan? You swipe left, that’s what I always say. Momma didn’t raise no fool.


Sacrilege (06/06/2017) (VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: Woof. This month is digging deep into the well of well-worn horror tropes so far, huh? A demon-infested music box. Got it. Why do we even still have music boxes? I get that the past was depressing, but kids can watch Adventure Time on their smartphones now, right? No need for music boxes.

Jake: I did not care for this trailer.

Mark: Can we all just agree that music boxes are pretty much a universally bad idea? Are they really entertaining enough to warrant the nonzero chance that they house an ancient evil of some kind? Look, I know that it’s rare, but even if there’s like a 1% chance that there’s a pissed off demon waiting on the inside that seems to be a pretty shitty tradeoff. This movie seems utterly generic. I suppose the psycho-assisted-suicide angle is kinda interesting, but it looks like it’s buried beneath a pile of generic story and bad acting.


Besetment (06/06/2017) (VOD)

Synopsis 

Jack: You know, for an Uncork’d film, this looks pretty decent. I’ve been to enough creepy motels throughout the northwest that the concept resonates pretty well. I think this one is going to come down to acting, and you can’t see enough of that in the trailer to make a call yet. Might just have to give this one a watch.

Jake: In a rare turn of events, I’m more sold on an Uncork’d flick than the one I took a look at immediately beforehand. To be clear, that does not make me want to watch this at all, but because we already have Jack on record as volunteer, he can be the bearer of bad news.

Mark: Uncork’d rule in effect. Although to this movie’s credit this does look to be at least a little better than some of the other movies this month. You see what not jamming in a pile of shit CG will do for you?


It Comes at Night (06/09/2016) (Theatrical)

Synopsis

Jack: Holy diver! That right there is how you put a trailer together. I have no fucking idea what is going on this movie: is it supernatural, psychological, what? I know that I want to find out. The thing was dripping with atmosphere. Also for some reason, i saw that red door and now I kind of want to paint it black. What’s up with that? You know what? No colors anymore, they should all turn black.

Jake: Hell yes. We’ve known this is coming for some time, and I had trouble committing to watching the trailer because I want to know almost nothing about it… the things I do in the name of professionalism. This trailer is a masterclass in using tension. I’m ready to figure out what’s going on in this one, for sure and will now go back to looking at nothing about the movie so I can go in as fresh as possible.

Mark: I’m sold so hard on this movie. As soon as I saw that poster of the dog barking into the darkness I had a feeling this thing was gonna blow me away. This trailer hits the right balance of mystery and tension. There are others out there that tell you a little bit more (though still not much) so if you’re intrigued you can find them, but I recommend you keep yourself in the dark as much as you can with this.


The Mummy (06/09/2016) (Theatrical)

Synopsis

Jack: It sure was lucky for the filmmakers that the mummy was a young and sexy woman, huh? This is Mission Impossible 6: Now with more mummy! Which I’m into, and I will see, but which is decidedly not a horror movie. If this is how they’re rebooting the classic Universal monsters, then count me out. Except don’t, because I still want to see this, but . . . dammit you know what I meant.

Jake: Unlike the other losers I write with on this site, I will not be seeing this. “Rebooting” the classic Universal monsters into Tom Cruise doing MI shit for 90 minutes does not seem like a good time. AND this was announced with the promise of being scary. I know looks can be deceiving and cast a wide net etc. but there is nothing here that looks remotely frightening to me.

Mark: Reimagining the classic horror monsters from the 30s seems like a good idea, in theory. Unfortunately this execution looks more like a Tom Cruise movie than a monster movie. I mean don’t get me wrong, I will definitely be seeing this, but my expectations of this being an honest-to-god horror movie is pretty low. I feel like this can be middling and I’ll still be okay with it as long as they learn from the experience and make some corrections to the impending franchise.


Camera Obscura (06/09/2017 – Limited Theatrical; 06/13/2017 – VOD)

Synopsis

Jack: Hey, which producer of Paranormal Activity was this from? A producer, don’t worry about it. I’m not terribly excited about this one, but I might be wrong. It just looks “meh.” A camera that kills people makes this seem like it would have been better at home among your Rings or One Missed Calls (Ones Missed Call?) or White Noises of the world, but I guess there’s no reason not to bring that back out now.

Jake: The idea of a camera capturing creepy shit is a scary one. We’ve seen it countless times from horror flicks to video games. While his doesn’t look bad, I’m just not seeing enough in this one to carry the load created by its lack of originality.

Mark: “From a producer of Paranormal Activity” seems like a pretty suspect line, but I’m not going to go out of my way to dispute it. Isn’t this the plot of an Are You Afraid of the Dark Episode? I don’t know why I’m phrasing that as a question because it totally is. Not that I’m mad, I just want to give credit where it’s due.


Land Shark (06/13/2017) (DVD)

Synopsis 

Jack: Hahaha, I get it. It’s Camp Motion Pictures because they make movies that are campy. Hilarious. People think you can just shit out a terrible movie, and if you’re winking about it, it will be funny. But guess what? SyFy actually walks a very fine line, and their shitty movies have a lot of things going for them. This doesn’t. And also fuck you for thinking you invented this concept. There are already Street Sharks, and they fight and bite.

Jake: I pretty much made this fucking movie on my parents handycam one summer when I was a kid. It might have been a superior product to this, too. I swear to god if I can find those mini-cassettes I will upload that video to the site.

Mark: You’d think that a production company called “Camp Motion Pictures” would have some semblance of what it means to be a campy horror movie. Quick lesson to anyone interested: you can’t just intentionally make an insultingly bad movie and then label it as camp. That’s not how that works. Unfortunately, that is how this movie is going to work. I’m putting Camp Motion Pictures on notice here, one more trailer like this and your landing in Uncork’d territory. If you haven’t already save yourself the 45 seconds and don’t watch the trailer.


The Mist – TV Series (06/22/2016) (Spike)

Synopsis 

Jack: I enjoyed both the book and the movie of the same name and source material, so I have no reason to believe I won’t enjoy this too. It does kind of feel like jumping on the bandwagon of horror TV shows though, doesn’t it? This might just be a cash-grab, and I really hope it isn’t.

Jake: I’m not sure about the other guys, but I Just don’t really do TV series. I really dislike how the dramatic arc works in them and have a hard time sticking with it. I like The Mist but I can’t help but feel this will fail to keep me on board. I can always revisit the movie and that’s fine by me.

Mark: This is a TV Series? Is it like a mini-series that has a defined end point? If so, I’m cool with that. If this is gonna be a three season long meandering television show that constantly changes its story depending on whether or not the writers think they’ll get cancelled then this won’t be worth the time. I’m obviously hoping it’s the former because there really isn’t enough horror television out there.l


The Bad Batch (06/23/2017) (Limited Theatrical)

Synopsis

Jack: I’d like to start by discussing the notice posted at the beginning of the trailer. It states that a person who crosses the border is no longer a resident of the United States. What the fuck? That’s a powerful sign right there, to just strip away residency. Do they burn down your house so you can’t claim to have established residency in the United States? It also cites “Title 18 USRCS” as its authority. That isn’t a thing. The USRCS was a service created in the late 1700s that would go on to become the Coast Guard. I think they meant to cite Title 18 of the US Code, the part listing most federal crimes. Someone wrote this, and if this is the kind of attention to detail the movie’s sporting, count me right the fuck out.

Jake: Holy fuck Jack no one cares about your horseshit nits… This looks cool as fuck. I’m hoping for some violent, stylish goddamn summer film junk food. Don’t have any reason to think this will fall short of my expectations.

Mark: Honestly the main thing I noticed about this trailer is how badass that chick’s shorts are. I mean, they’re also on the poster for the movie so I’m guessing I was supposed to notice that. In other news…. Holy shit is that Keanu Reeves? What the fuck is he doing these days? Did he go straight from Neon Demon to John Wick 2 to this? If so that’s goddamn incredible. I have a hard time seeing how this is going to be actual horror, short of maybe the kidnapping scene, but I’ll still happily put this one in my queue to find out.


 Amityville: The Awakening (06/30/2017) (Theatrical)

Synopsis 

Jack: The end of that trailer listed “January 2, 2015.” Has this really been on the shelf for that long? This doesn’t look bad by any means, and I’m sure it was competently filmed and directed, but I just don’t care.

Jake: I have no reason to believe this is actually going to come out this time, given its tumultuous past, but let this serve as a bookmark so we can all laugh when it’s shelved again. As far as the movie goes, it looks fine, but I’m almost unable to see it without the context of all the delays at this point. It is far too late for objectivity.

Mark: I never know anymore if release delays are a good thing or bad thing. Are we actually even sure that this release is really happening this time? It seems like it’s just as likely that this was slated for release in Q2 2017, so it got thrown onto this date as a placeholder. This was supposed to come out back in January and the development has been floating around for a while. Hell, the trailer itself says that it’s from 2015. The likelihood of this movie being a bad or uninteresting horror movie is pretty minimal, but I am fairly positive that they just gave away all the good parts with this trailer.


BONUS STUFF

HORRORISH RELEASE ROUNDUP: These movies might not exactly count as “horror” but we figure we can squeeze them in as “ish.” That still counts, right?

Kill Switch – (06/16/2017) (VOD)

ACTUAL RELEASES: Every once in a while (read: all the time) a film will list a release date, when in fact it is only a limited release or the movie is otherwise delayed. We do our best to keep you updated on when these movies actually end up coming out. Check out these flicks that finally got to the finish line.

47 Meters Down – (6/16/2017) (VOD) (Our thoughts can be found in August’s HRR)

Blood Feast – (06/23/2017) (VOD) (Our thoughts can be found in April’s HRR)

 



TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1:

TOP 1:

Jack: It Comes as Night – Look. I’m sure we’re all going to pick this one. This month, while replete with quantity, is wanting in the quality department and this one looks downright awesome. Also, the poster rules.

Jake: It Comes at Night – This is an easy pick for me. The trailer builds great tension and packs an enormous sense of dread. Typically, when I find a movie that makes me wish I somehow knew less so I could go in totally blind, it earns this spot. This month is no different. I’m ready.

Mark: It Comes at Night – Hot diggity daffodil. This movie looks like it could have it all. A strange red door, people getting fucked with in the woods, and one of the best posters I’ve seen in quite a while. There is a small chance that this ends up being too ambiguous for its own good, but the smart money is on this being a well put together movie that really pulls off the creepy.

 

BOTTOM 1:

Jack: Child of Satan – This movie’s premise is just so fucking played out to the point that another movie had to add the found footage thing to try to keep it interesting. I cannot imagine that this movie has much redeeming value.

Jake: 200 Degrees – Also an easy pick for me this month. The lack of the character that was so important to the movie it seems to be paying homage to make this one a big ol’ nope for me.

Mark: Sacrilege – I’m going to use this soapbox to continue my PSA against music boxes. Parents, don’t buy your child a music box. Definitely not from a yard sale or flea market. Definitely don’t give them one you find under strange circumstances, like in a graveyard or a musty cabin. I would argue that you shouldn’t even give them your own from your childhood. Sure, you were never possessed, but if your kid ends up getting possessed not only do you have to deal with that, now you also have to figure out why the demon didn’t want to possess you. No one wants that level of emotional baggage.