April 2023 Preview: Nic Cage, Giant Demon Sharks, & Ari Aster’s Newest Nightmare

DISCLAIMER: This is not a joke! April really is looking this good!

Evil Dead Rise Bruce Campbell Warner Bros Horror Evil Dead
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The month of April is shaping up to be a pretty exciting month for horror fans. With tons of new film and game releases, plus our very own Panic Fest film festival happening this month; here’s a quick roundup of just some of what you can look forward too for the next 31 days…

April 1-30: Month-Long “April Ghouls”

Six months away from everyone’s favorite holiday, Pluto TV is bringing a month’s worth of scares to the Spring season. The free streaming service will be adding several new titles to their platform, as well as run different programming blocks throughout the month.

In addition to adding titles like Martyrs (2008), “NOS4A2”, and Evil Dead (2013) to the platform, they’ll be doing marathons of Scream 1-3, Saw 1-7, and a found footage marathon among many other programs.

Panic Fest
Credit: Universal Pictures / Lionsgate / A24

April 13-23: Panic Fest 2023

Our 3x World’s Best Genre Fest winning festival Panic Fest is back for its tenth year, and we’ve got a whole lot in store! Experience the festival in-person at the Screenland Armour theater, from the comfort of your own home, or both! With both hybrid and virtual passes available, you can catch a long list of shorts, features, and panels however works best for you!

The festival notably held the North American premiere of the 2015 vampire film What We Do in the Shadows, and has a similar honor this year by hosting the premier of another vampire-focused flick, RenfieldAlmost immediately following the its premiere, the film hits theaters Friday April 14.

Evil Dead Rise, which made its premiere at SXSW earlier this year, will also be screening at the festival where you can catch it a week before it arrives in theaters on Friday April 21.

In addition to these are a slew of other features— including Finnish action film Sisu, Satanic Hispanics, and Brooklyn 45— and short films scheduled to screen throughout the festival. For the complete programming list, click here; and keep an eye out for new additions leading up to your favorite genre festival in the world!

April 14: The Pope’s Exorcist 

“Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican (Academy Award®-winner Russell Crowe), The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden.”

Directed by Julies Avery (Overlord, Samaritan), the film is based on two books written by Fr. Gabriele Amorth titled “An Exorcist Tells His Story” and “An Exorcist: More Stories.” Along with Russel Crowe, the film also includes appearances by Ralph Ineson (The VVitch, The Green Knight) and Alex Essoe (Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass).

Beau is Afraid A24
Credit: A24

April 21: Beau is Afraid Evil Dead Rise + Dead Ringers Series

Almost four years after his entry into the ‘possibly the worst break-up ever’ competition with 2019’s Midsommar, Ari Aster is back to bring you another nightmare directly from that nefarious noggin of his. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Beau is Afraid expands on one of Aster’s old short films titled “BEAU”.

“A paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film”

By the looks of the trailer, it seems like Aster is once again redefining what the horror genre can look like. Brightly colored (what seems like) handcrafted backgrounds, animation, and an overall very clear and colorful film promise another unique and unforgettable film from the already established auteur.

Both Beau is Afraid and Evil Dead Rise will release in theaters April 21, so I hope you all are ready for a double feature!

“A modern take on David Cronenberg’s 1988 classic film, “Dead Ringers” is a limited series starring Rachel Weisz playing the double-lead role of Elliot and Beverly Mantle, twins who share everything: drugs, lovers, and an unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes—including pushing the boundaries on medical ethics—in an effort to challenge antiquated practices and bring women’s health care to the forefront.”

Short and sweet, all six episodes of this Dead Ringers reimagining will be released on Amazon Prime on the same day. Complete with dark sci-fi imagery and a deadly foreboding, the trailer provides a good idea of what direction the series might take in contrast to its original source.

April 28: The Black Demon 

A ‘big’ R-rated killer-shark movie, finally!

“When oilman Paul Sturges takes his family to Bahia Negra, the crown jewel of Baja and the site of Paul’s best-performing rig, the vibrant Mexican coastal town he once knew has mysteriously crumbled. In the decrepit ghost town, the last inhabitants tell Paul the offshore platform has awoken ‘El Demonio.’ Scared to be left alone, the family follows Paul out to the platform and just after they get on, the man and boat that risked bringing them is ferociously attacked by a massive black shark.

“Under constant attack by the giant monster and with the time literally ticking away, Paul must find a way to somehow get his family back to shore alive.”

YouTube player

Directed by Adrian Grunberg (Rambo: Last Blood), the film stars Josh Lucas (The Forever Purge) and Fernanda Urrejola (“Narcos: Mexico”) as they do their best not to become chum for ‘El Demonio’, or ‘The Devil’.

Bombs, chihuahuas, and oil; and a ridiculously large and malicious shark, indicate a campy, thrilling time. And with that R rating, you can expect to see more than just oil staining the waters.

Neon Infinity Pool Mia Goth
Credit: NEON

Blu-ray & Video Game Releases

April 7

“The Voidness” Steam release

April 11 

Infinity Pool Blu-ray release

House of 1000 Corpses 20th Anniversary Blu-ray release

Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge Blu-ray release

April 17

“Suffer the Night” Steam release

April 20

Lovecraft-inspired game “Eresys” Steam release

April 21

The Thing Wal-Mart Exclusive Steelbook release