A-Z Horror Release Roundup: July 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 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!

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THE WAKE
07/04/2017 – VOD

 

 

 

 

 

 

There doesn’t appear to be a plot synopsis available anywhere so we’re just gonna go ahead and summarize it for you ourselves: Mistakes happen, and then shit gets real at a funeral.

Jack: For someone who didn’t want Tyler to continue pugging from that flask, that woman did an astonishingly bad job of keeping it out of his reach. And Tyler, jesus, you’re already in the residential area, how much farther could it possibly be that you need to start drinking right the fuck away? I think we need to sit down with Tyler and pop a quick intervention on him. Oh shit, you think that’s what this is about?

Jake: Is that a discount Stranger Things theme playing in the background? Fuck you, it is. This looks like some bullshit. Great start to the month. And full disclosure, I don’t even know if this will actually come out. It’s one of those movies…

Mark: Hey, at least the mask looks decent if not vaguely reminiscent of Jason’s burlap sack from the Friday the 13th sequel. At best this movie will be alright with a half baked twist at the end based around “everything happening for a reason.” At worst it will be a 90 minute version of the trailer you just watched, but with extra boring bits mixed in to bog down the pacing. Not a great spread on the outcomes there.


WRECKER
07/11/2017 – THEATRICAL

 

 

 

 

 

Best friends Emily and Lesley go on a road trip to the desert. When Emily decides to get off the highway and take a “short cut,” they become the target of a relentless and psychotic trucker who forces them to play a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Jack: The first few lines of dialog are pretty rough on this one. You did not believe that “this road is like a magnet for serial killers” was a true thing. You just didn’t. And as to “what would you have done if he was a serial killer?” I’m guessing . . . still flash him? What’s the worst that could happen? Those things aside, this actually looks pretty decent.

Jake: I have no idea why this movie felt the need to go with Oobleck green for its font color, but it gives me serious pause about every other aspect of the film. Plus, for a movie with this title, that killer/psychopath seems to do very little actual wrecking. I hope that’s just a trailer withholding thing and we actually get to see that mustang get blown to kingdom come.

Mark: Oh. I get it. It’s Joy Ride, but without Steve Zahn. I like Steve Zahn, but I’m actually okay with that combo. The world needs more Joy Ride. Plus it has some raunchy waitress humor built right in. You know what, I don’t even mind that the concept is a bit derivative… this looks pretty good. Also, just for the record, this seemingly came out in 2015 but is now getting a theatrical release in the US so we’re including it to cover our bases.


THE CROPSEY INCIDENT
07/11/2017 – VOD

 

 

 

 

 

A group of online social justice activists venture deep into the woods to uncover the truth behind a recent series of gruesome ritual murders – and to capture the person responsible. But what they come face to face with is something more deadly than any serial killer, an urban legend that is very real, and determined to make them his latest victims.

Jack: I feel like the clip of guy asking whether they get IMDB credits for this might not have been him acting. I also don’t think that a camera with night-vision capabilities is unduly expensive, so I have no idea why they went with that fake-looking filter to emulate it. This one is probably a skip for me.

Jake: There is some astonishingly bad acting in this trailer, but in that self aware sort of way. I don’t think this will be remotely good, but all the pew-pew lasers in the graphics are both puzzling and kind of cool in juxtaposition with everything else in the trailer. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing for the movie. 90% sure it’s bad, but after all the beer I’ve drank to this point in my review of the month’s offering, it’s hard to tell.

Mark: Well… at least the actors look like they had fun. Also, I appreciate the lack of “based on true events” card. That’s a real integrity move right there, especially considering Cropsey is a significant local folklore figure in New York. Aside from those two comments, everything else looks terrible about this movie.


GREMLIN
07/11/2017 – VOD

 

 

 

 

 

A man receives a mysterious box containing a terrible secret, a creature that will kill everyone else in his family unless he passes it on to someone he loves to continue its never-ending circulation.

Jack: I like the idea that you can only give it to someone you love. That could make for a pretty interesting story. Although I’m a little concerned about the wise monster-hunter toward the end of the trailer. Does he always catch this one particular gremlin? What does he do with it after he catches it? Or, is he a more generic monster hunter and just always gets his man like a film noire private dick? Either way, I see some issues.

Jake: That’s not what gremlins look like. This little bastard should at least have a cigar in his mouth or something. And I guess he’s not so little at the end of the trailer, though. How did he grow so much, so quickly? Do you think, if he did have a cigar, the cigar would have grown too? Imagine how much you could sell one of those things for. You could probably buy Cuba.

Mark: Well, Jake has officially fallen off the deep end. No, Jake, the cigar doesn’t grow with the Gremlin. Cigar physics dictates that volumetric increases are only theoretically possible in or near black holes. I’m no expert or anything but it has to do with time dilation. All that aside, this movie seems intriguing insofar as it seems unique. Most of the time with these “evil artifact” movies I am basically just watching to see if they have any clever way of disposing of said artifact. Ultimately, I don’t see this being something I seek out, but if it’s already somehow on in the background I probably wouldn’t turn it off.


WISH UPON
07/14/2017 – THEATRICAL

 

 

 

 

 

A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.

Jack: You know what? Compared to what I’ve been expecting from the youtube preroll ads that have been coming at me for the last month, this really doesn’t look half-bad. I’m always a sucker for monkey’s paw curses, and it’s a been awhile since we’ve dove into that realm. It certainly doesn’t look great or anything, but much better than I was expecting.

Jake: Oh look, a second straight movie involving a magic box. So that’ll be this month’s theme. I guess like they say, summer is for magic. If it weren’t for what looked like Chinese characters on the outside of the box, I’d be hoping that this was going to turn into a Wishmaster movie. But hey, we know it’s a genie, so close enough.

Mark: Oh shit. After a few months hiatus, it’s back. The single piano key soundtrack. I mean granted, it’s technically a music box, but whatever it’s close enough.I missed it, and yet I’m already sick of it again. Strange. I’ve already made my positions on collecting strange music boxes very clear in last month’s HRR so I don’t have a whole hell of a lot more to say aside from just “meh.” For a seemingly unique concept this really feels like it’s been done before.


IT STAINS THE SANDS RED
07/14/2017 – LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD

 

 

 

 

 

In the throes of a zombie apocalypse, a troubled woman from Las Vegas with a dark past finds herself stranded in the desert with a lone and ravenous zombie on her tail.

Jack: I like this fresh take on a zombie movie. I do feel like it should have been over before it began when that zombie was coming after her asleep on that rock. How long did the zombie just stay there, not move, and walk headfirst into the rock feet from this unconscious woman? Move slightly to the right or left, zombie.

Jake: I’m going to start off by saying that this seems like an interesting concept. The desert is scary enough and in the event of some sort of humanity-ruining pandemic, if shit happens in the desert, AAA ain’t going to come save your ass. I’m also amused by the imagery of this woman just running through the desert being followed by a lone, slow zombie. That’s funny. You’d think she would try to kill it much sooner than it appears she does. I’d rather take my chances in hand-to-hand combat with one zombie than run into the great, scorched unknown. I’ll consider myself mildly interested for now. Might be a little more intrigued if it weren’t, you know, a zombie movie. Also, the zombie makeup looks like dick.

Mark: Okay, so first off you break some twigs off the local flora and jam that under the tire. You’ll be out of there in a hot jiffy. Secondly, I’m intrigued by the It Follows vibe that I get from this trailer. Maybe it’s just the way it’s cut, but it feels like that one long haired business zombie follows her for a significant amount of movie. And it also appears that it is relatively cognizant of this fact. I have moderately high hopes for this one in a month with very little competition. I’m always game for a zombie flick. Hell, I watched The Rezort a while back. No ragrets.


LAKE ALICE
07/18/2017 – VOD

 

 

 

 

 

The family Thomas goes out to their cabin in the woods to celebrate Christimas together with their daughter and her boyfriend. But their first x-mas together may be their last.

Jack: I know that original masks are hard to develop and all, but something more than a knit cap with holes cut in it might not have gone amiss. Also, do you think their cabin is in the middle of nowhere? Three fucking different people say something along those lines in the trailer. And they’re all clearly wrong because they don’t seem to be that far from other people and a convenience store.

Jake: You know what I fucking hate? I hate movies that are mixed so terribly that it’s too quiet to hear dialogue sequences & rape-your-eardrum loud during any sort of sfx sequences. This trailer is like that. At first, I thought I’d chosen a bad version but no, every single trailer I found has the same issue. If you can’t get it right here, how am I supposed to get excited for the movie? I do like the ski mask designs and I’ve always been a fan of the whole Christmas in July bit, so it’s kind of a shame that I was too distracted by the sound issues to really sink my teeth into anything else.

Mark: So I guess this movie is called Lake Alice for the same reason that 10 Cloverfield Lane is called what it is? It’s just sorta where it happens? It has nothing do with a lake? In a way, I’m disappointed. In the same way, I’m not surprised. If you have lines like “it is very isolated” baked into your trailer because that is the only way that you can impart to the viewer that these folks don’t have neighbors then I have exceptionally low expectations for the movie as a whole. This is competing for bottom 1.


RESIDUE
07/18/2017 – VOD

 

 

 

 

 

A private investigator reads a book of sinister origins and unknowingly puts his daughter and himself in a fight for their lives…and their eternal souls.

Jack: I really want to know more about the underground cagematch fighting that still uses the showy WWE-style moves. What the hell is the deal with that place? Are people really betting on these fights when one guy is given the time to backflip off of the ropes? Maybe this is my liberalism starting to show, but I think they need some regulation and oversight in that league.

Jake: I’m going to start by saying I like how little this focused on the weird, djinn-like monster that I can only assume is unleashed from the book when he one opens it. The fact that it focused more on the action side of the story means I can hope for a ridiculous crime war that uses this tangle-horned mother fucker of a monster as a pawn. Hilarity will ensue in ludicrous scenes of overkilling that splatters the screen with all sorts of viscera, forcing the academy to create an entirely new award for gore effects. We’ll call it the Oscar for “Big Dick Playa” for now… Will it be that? No. But I’m not here to deal in reality.

Mark: Love it when trailers come in at a tight 60 seconds. This thing shows more or less what the deal is without giving too much away or taking too much of your time. It also squeezes in someone saying “Hello Mr. Luke Harding” in a voice that is the lovechild of Hugo Weaving from the Matrix and Jigsaw. So it’s got that going for it as well. I think I’m weirdly excited for this movie, but I feel like I’m probably setting myself up for a letdown.


KILLING GROUND
07/21/2017 – LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD

 

 

 

 

 

A couples camping trip turns into a frightening ordeal when they stumble across the scene of a horrific crime.

Jack: What dicks. If people have pitched a tent on an isolated and scenic chunk of riverbed that isn’t an established campsite, you move down a bit and give them some space. No wonder you’re being hunted. Also, a dude with a few hunting rifles would be one of the least armed campers at many lakes and rivers in Idaho. I’m pretty sure this one won’t have me swearing off camping or whatever it said.

Jake: This looks intense as shit. I don’t need any more reasons to fear the wilds of Australia, but these Most Dangerous Game-style douchebags seem plausible given what’s out there that we know of. I will say there should be an addition to the pull quote leading the trailer off of, “Killing Ground will have you vowing to never go camping in Australia again.”

Mark: I don’t think I ever realized how creepy it would be to stumble across an abandoned campsite. Honestly, even without all these wacky Strayans hunting people this movie would’ve been intense enough just due to the deserted campsite. Like, what’s the acceptable waiting period before you raid their campsite for beans? That’s the type of shit that keeps me up at night. Also being hunted. That too.


THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT
07/21/2017 – LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD

 

 

 

 

 

In Gracefield, three couples are spending a long weekend in a luxurious cabin when suddenly an uninvited guest in the form of a meteorite, comes crashing the party…

Jack: . . . Do you really have to glue veins onto your fake eye like flocking on a Warhammer model? That is something I did not know. And I’m actually really stoked for this movie. I tend to like alien stuff when it’s done well, and this appears to be done well. The first-person perspective is especially interesting given how they explain it. Although, I guess I’m going to have to start checking my friends’ eyes to make sure they’re not recording me when we play beer pong. That’ll go over well.

Jake: Fuck off. No one would go that ape shit over an uncontested bounce shot into a full rack. Plus, dickhead’s elbow was like halfway down the table when he shot. I bet they had Mike’s Hard Lemonade in those cups. Losers. Aside from that, I have to callout the blatant recreation of the Signs cornfield scene. I will say that this looks like it could be a relatively decent mashup of that concept with a Cloverfield-esque feel given the first person perspective and apparent large size of the aliens. I’m still not sure it’s enough to make me interested, but I’m certain Mark blew his load about seven times during that trailer.

Mark: Jake is dead on with the pong complaints, but we don’t need to belabor the point. My second nitpick: you don’t integrate a camera inside a fake eye, you integrate it into the fake eye. That or you install it inside his fake eye. Unforgivable. Or at least it would be if this weren’t found footage. Since it is, I forgive it immediately and set my sights extremely high. Sign me up, this movie will be my jam… I guess Jake was right about that too. God dammit. I hate it when he’s right.


KUSO
07/21/2017 – SHUDDER

 

 

 

 

 

Events unfold after a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles.

Jack: Well both the cast and the soundtracked are stacked as shit. This is clearly going to be an absurd watch, so the real question is whether they make the ride tolerable or not. I don’t think that’s possible to judge from the trailer, so this might just be one you have to let your heart decide.

Jake: Holy. Friggin. Shit. This is probably the most mesmerizingly profane and idiotic thing I’ve ever seen. And I couldn’t help but watch the trailer over and over again. I know Flying Lotus is a weird dude but this rips straight past routine levels of fuckedupedness and tears a hole in spacetime. Fucking George Clinton is in this movie? My mind doesn’t know how to catalogue this. I know it’s going to be bad, but if being interested is wrong, I don’t want to know what’s right.

Mark: Look. I used to be with it. Then they changed what “it” was, and now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. This looks like it’ll be a Troma-esque movie but with  better actors, more funding, and just as much ludicrously stupid bullshit. Some people will like this movie. I will not. This is the exact opposite of what I want out of a movie.


AWAKEN THE SHADOWMAN
07/21/2017 – LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD

 After the mysterious disappearance of their mother, estranged brothers reunite and discover an unknown supernatural force.

Jack: That altered voice chanting got real old, real quick. Although I actually think this movie could be one where the jump scares are just good enough to really freak me out. I’m a little excited for this one as a movie to toss on and not worry too much about the plot holes or how drunk you are.

Jake: This waited until halfway through the trailer to hit you with the “based on true events” tag, so fair warning. I do have to give credit where it’s due here. There’s a kid in this movie with one of the most punchable faces I’ve ever seen. That’s noteworthy. Nothing else about this movie is, so I’ll move along.

Mark: Jake, it’s not based on “true events.” It’s based on “actual phenomena.” I’m not sure what that means, but it’s totally different. I assume the phenomena they’re referring to is the ability of matter to cast a shadow? Or perhaps they’re going for a more literal interpretation and they are referring to the phenomena of film developing after being exposed to light and they’re just using really elaborate language to state that it is a movie. You ever think of that, Jake?


SLAUGHTER DRIVE
07/28/2017 – LIMITED THEATRICAL, VOD

 

 

 

 

 

There aren’t any synopses that we can find, and the trailer is no help. Here’s our stab at it: Slaughter Drive is a movie about people, places, and things and the actions that occur to, on, or near them. Skateboarding appears to be involved and potentially… we’re not sure… vampires? Sure, let’s go with vampires.

Jack: My goodness. I am just not very excited for this movie at all. No idea what in the fuck is actually happening in this, but I think that he filmed footage of his own closet and was then “eager to check it out.” What?

Jake: Uhhh… another one of those movies. Done.

Mark: God damn, you really never know what you’re gonna get from a vimeo trailer, and this one opens with Douche-shades Magoo riding his skateboard and listening to self deprecating voicemails. Oh what’s this? A jumpscare? No seriously, was that a jumpscare? I’m confused. Where’s my mom? I want to go home.


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

A Ghost Story (07/07/2017) (THEATRICAL)


TOP 1 / BOTTOM 1

TOP 1:

Jack: The Gracefield Incident – This month doesn’t have a lot going for it, but this looks legitimately good. I like the isolated in the woods thing and the way they seem to handle the alien reveals. I will be seeing this one.

Jake: Killing Ground – I’m not that excited for this month’s releases. At all. But this looks like a quality thriller that, depending on how far it chooses to go, could be a gut punch of a stomach-churningly brutal experience.

Mark: The Gracefield Incident – Found footage alien movie. That’s basically all I ever want. You’ll notice that Phoenix Forgotten also recently won my Top 1. Not a coincidence.

 

BOTTOM 1:

Jack: Gremlin – Look. Obviously there are worse movies coming out this month, but something about this one just really rubs me the wrong way. That gremlin is all CG, and does not look good.

Jake: The Wake – if it comes out, that is. If not, Awaken the Shadowman.

Mark: Kuso – There isn’t enough weed on the planet to make this appeal to me… presumably because the people who made this movie smoked it all already.