The Month in Horror Releases: April

After the onslaught of horror we’ve seen over the last three months, it was only a matter of time before things slowed down. April, while less on its plate, has a couple of films very much worth checking out, including one of the most talked about films at this year’s SXSW and Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut. Not bad, not bad at all. But before we get started, here’s what I watched in March:

  • Avenged (review): This one is perfect as a revenge-fueled midnight movie with plenty of blood and guts. While certainly rough around the edges, there’s plenty of carnage going around to keep most people entertained.
  • Faults (review): A totally unique, mind-bending thriller that sets itself apart from anything we’ve seen out of the genre this year. Wonderfully acted, plenty twisted and just a hell of a film.
  • Spring (review): Easily my favorite film of the year, it’s a totally unique story that blends romance and horror in a wonderful way. Both scary and heartwarming, Spring is the real deal and unlike anything we’re likely to see in a long, long time.
  • Backcountry (review): Oh, man, this movie really turns it up. Viciousness coupled with the gorgeous beauty of the wilderness makes this survival horror an unforgettable, brutal experience.
  • The House on Pine Street (review): A familiar story meets refreshing scares in this haunted house tale. Done to great effect, this film is a reminder that simple can be scary, too.

April 10

Ex-Machina

Ex Machina (Theatrical)

Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.

lost-river

Lost River (VOD)

Director: Ryan Gosling

Cast: Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes

A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.

Sisterhood-of-night

The Sisterhood of Night (VOD)

Director: Caryn Waechter

Cast: Georgie Henley, Kara Hayward, Willa Cuthrell-Tuttleman

When a teenage girl says she’s the victim of a secret network called The Sisterhood of Night, a quiet suburban town becomes the backdrop for a modern-day Salem witch trial.

Shannon-harvest

The Harvest (VOD)

Director: John McNaughton

Cast: Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon, Natasha Calis

A couple who keeps their sick son in a secluded environment find their controlled lives challenged by a young girl who moves in next door.


April 14

From-the-Dark

From the Dark (VOD/Blu-ray)

Director: Conor McMahon

Cast: Niamh Algar, Stephen Cromwell, Ged Murray

A couple on a trip through the Irish countryside find themselves hunted by a creature who only attacks at night.


April 17

monsters-dark-continent

Monsters: Dark Continent  (VOD)

Director: Tom Green

Cast:  Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Joe Dempsie

Ten years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have now spread worldwide. In the Middle East a new insurgency has begun. At the same time there has also been a proliferation of Monsters in that region. The Army decide to draft in more numbers to help deal with this insurgency.

Unfriended

Unfriended (Theatrical)

Director: Levan Gabriadze

Cast: Cal Barnes, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson

A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.


Predictions

What you shouldn’t miss: 

Well, this is a no-brainer. Ex Machina and Lost River are the two hottest titles hitting this month for a couple of reasons…

  • Ex Machina is one you’re going to want to keep an eye on because it was one of the most praised films out of this year’s SXSW, a festival that is known for dishing out some of the best films of the year.
  • Lost River is a toss-up only because it has been met with reviews that range from bad to great. Why it’s a “must-see”, though, is simply because it marks Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut and it’s obvious he picked up on some of Nicolas Winding Refn psychedelic techniques.

What you should take a chance on:

Because there are so few genre films hitting this month, you could probably take a shot at any of these, but here’s what I’d suggest.

  • Unfriended is part of this new wave of cyber-footage that the genre recently came up with. While it’s certainly a unique style of filmmaking, I don’t know that it becoming the new “found-footage” is necessarily a good thing. That said, this film has seen some (surprisingly) good reviews.

Which film are you looking forward to the most?

Easily Ex Machina as it looks like a sure bet for the best film of the month.


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27 thoughts on “The Month in Horror Releases: April

      1. Same, I thought the trailer looked great. Has an old school slasher/splatter vibe to it that looked like it could be a lot of fun. The bad reviews are keeping me away from it, though.

    1. Yeah, they changed its name a couple of months ago (both suck, imo). I’ve heard it’s pretty good, not sure I’ll watch it though, not really my thing.

      1. Haha! Yeah, not great but Cybernatural matches it better. Unfriended doesn’t even make sense with the whole story. I wasn’t sure about it when I bought the tickets last year but it really surprised me 🙂 But then my horor movie standards are probably lower than yours…

      2. Cybernatural is definitely better than Unfriended, that’s for sure. Maybe one day someone will convince me to watch it. Glad you liked it, though!

  1. I’m glad you reminded me that Lost River is hitting VOD soon. I’m a big fan of Iain de Caestecker and Saoirse Ronon, so I will see it for them.

    Unfriended looks kind of terrible though. I think it’s just been done too many times.

    I will definitely be seeing Ex Machina!

    1. I’m really interested in Lost River, seems like there’s plenty of potential there but I’ve heard some good and bad things, so we’ll see! Ex Machina looks amazing, can’t wait to check that one out!

  2. Hmmm…..to take ‘Unfriended’ seriously or not…..that is the question.

    I am, however, going to be anticipating ‘Lost River’ like crazy.

  3. Great roundup as always man. Seriously, keep these coming.

    I’m keen for Lost River. For the Gosling director factor, but it also seems like a pretty unique concept (albeit one that could be pretentious and too slow).

    Seriously dude, what is up with Monsters: Dark Continent??? I absolutely love the first one. And whilst not everyone did, there is enough indie buzz about it that you could easily drum up some interest in a sequel. But there seems to have been absolutely no effort taken to hype it or promote it in any way. So strange. But I loved the first so much I will definitely be seeking it out.

    1. Thanks, man! Same, I think Lost River gets a watch simply just to see how Gosling does behind the camera. Pretentious is the right word for it, it could certainly be that.

      Monsters, on the other hand does seem to be oddly quiet. There are a couple of great trailers for it, but so far word of mouth is that it’s a pretty big disappointment. I agree, though, the first one is great and I’m curious to see where they go with the sequel.

      1. Dude, I just saw Unfriended. I really liked it. Thought it was really fricking scary and liked the visual idea of having it all play out over skype etc. Felt kind of original to me. Would be interested to see if you, as someone who watches a lot more horror than me, feels the same. I recommend it mate.

      2. That’s what I’m hearing. I’ll definitely have to give it a shot one of these days. Glad that it surprised a lot of folks. Who would have thought!?

      3. Yeah it was not on my radar at all. But then it got a decent cinema release out here (rare for horror) and it got some really divisive reviews which I always like. Lot of people I respect dug it. Anyways man, look forward to hearing your thoughts one of these days.

  4. I will put “The Harvest” on my radar now. I didn’t even know Michael Shannon had a new movie coming out. He’s one of my favorite actors. I plan to check out “Ex Machina” and “Lost River” too. Ex Machina looks like it could be really good.

      1. I just watched “The Harvest” on netflix last week, and I thought it was good; some wouldn’t like it as it’s not a fast-paced thriller, and doesn’t have much violence, etc. You know, I don’t even think it had any cussing in it; that’s funny to watch Michael Shannon in a role where he doesn’t use foul language, but honestly he’s still just as effective; he has such a strong presence that he really doesn’t need to drop F bombs to get his point across. I’m not sure if you’d like it, but I thought it was a well-crafted thriller with a couple nice twists along the way.

  5. I have a good feeling about Ex Machina–definitely looking forward to it! I saw It Follows just a week ago or so, and that was freakin’ fantastic. Random question: what movie is the “April” screenshot from (the one with the demon looking doorway)? Thanks! I always love coming to your site for recommendations and honest reviews!

    1. Thanks, glad to hear that! I haven’t been able to see either Ex Machina or It Follows so all the hype is really starting to kill me. They look fantastic!

      The “April” picture is from Ryan Gosling’s Lost River, which is out on VOD right now.

  6. I watched Ex Machina over the weekend and holy crapsticks, it was awesome! I was beyond impressed. I was so afraid they would drop the ball. Hope you see it soon!

    Some interesting looking movies here to keep an eye open for.

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