While we can’t quite smell the burning leaves of October just yet, you couldn’t have handpicked a better line-up to send us into the Halloween season than what the month of September has to offer. Seriously, this month is stacked. Not only are we seeing the release of one of the very best horror films of the year in Goodnight Mommy, but Eli Roth’s long delayed The Green Inferno will finally see the light of day, and that just barely scratches the surface. But before we get started, here’s a quick recap of what I watched in August:
- Cub (review): Although it doesn’t quite hit the highs of its wickedly cool premise, Cub is still a solid little slasher flick with a big enough body count to make it worth a look.
- When Animals Dream (review): This coming-of-age werewolf tale is as unique as they come, offering a haunting look at a young girl dealing with change and the monster she really is.
- She Who Must Burn (review): This one totally caught me off guard with its nightmarish visuals and brutal nature. While it’s not as strong as it could have been, the film is no doubt one to keep an eye on because it does off some unforgettable, skin-crawling moments.
- Goddess of Love (review): Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the year, Jon Knautz’s Goddess of Love is a haunting portrayal of insanity and what a woman in love does after her mind shatters into a million bloody pieces.
Para Elisa (VOD)
Director: Juanra Fernández
Cast: Ana Turpin, Ona Casamiquela, Luisa Gavasa
Para Elisa is a terrifying story based on a simple, innocent children’s game. Something that looks naive and harmless turns into the worst nightmare, into the struggle to escape a tragic and expected end, into an explicit and inevitable horror.
Bloodsucking Bastards (VOD)
Director: Brian James O’Connell
Cast: Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joey Kern
Evan Sanders is a dutiful and overworked employee stuck at a soul-killing corporation with his beautiful co-worker and girlfriend Amanda and his slacker best friend Tim. Evan’s world begins to crumble when Amanda dumps him and his boss Ted hands his coveted promotion to his nemesis Max. When his officemates start going through disturbing changes and bodies begin to pile up, Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles and water coolers, win back Amanda, and rescue his workplace pals before his life and career go from dead-end… to just dead.
Contracted: Phase II (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Josh Forbes
Cast: Matt Mercer, Peter Cilella, Marianna Palka
Riley searches for a cure to the virus that took over Samantha before it consumes him and the entire world.
The Editor (Blu-ray)
Director: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy
Cast: Paz de la Huerta, Udo Kier, Laurence R. Harvey
Rey Ciso was once the greatest editor the world had ever seen. Since a horrific accident left him with four wooden fingers on his right hand, he’s had to resort to cutting pulp films and trash pictures. When the lead actors from the film he’s been editing turn up murdered at the studio, Rey is fingered as the number one suspect. The bodies continue to pile up in this absurdist giallo-thriller as Rey struggles to prove his innocence and learn the sinister truth lurking behind the scenes.
Goodnight Mommy (VOD)
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Cast: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
In the heat of the summer, a lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields, lives nine-year-old twin brothers who are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother. It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust.
The Visit (Theatrical)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould
A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.
Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill
A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
Hellions (Theatrical, VOD)
Director: Bruce McDonald
Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland
A teenager must survive a Halloween night from Hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door.
Some Kind of Hate (VOD)
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Cast: Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Lexi Atkins
A bullied teenager is sent to a reform school where he accidentally summons the spirit of a girl, herself a victim of bullying, who takes vengeance on his tormentors.
Before I Wake (Theatrical)
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Kate Bosworth, Annabeth Gish, Thomas Jane
In this intense and heart pounding supernatural thriller, Jessie and Mark decide to take in a sweet and loving 8-year-old boy, Cody. Unbeknownst to them, Cody is terrified of falling asleep. At first, they assume his previous unstable homes caused his aversion to sleep, but soon discover why: Cody’s dreams manifest in reality as he sleeps. In one moment they experience the incredible wonder of Cody’s imagination, and in the next, the horrific nature of his night terrors. To save their new family, Jessie and Mark embark on a dangerous hunt to uncover the truth behind Cody’s nightmares.
The Green Inferno (Theatrical)
Director: Eli Roth
Cast: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns
A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.
What you shouldn’t miss:
This is a tough one because they all look so damn good, but if I had to pick just a few, I’d go with The Editor, Goodnight Mommy, Cooties, and The Green Inferno. Here’s why:
- After what feels like forever, Astron-6’s giallo-inspired throwback The Editor will finally see a release through Shout Factory, so if you have soft spot for Italian horror, then you’re not going to want to miss this gem.
- Goodnight Mommy (read my review) is one of the most unsettling films I’ve seen this year. It’s an unreal experience and a total nightmare of a movie, so please check this one out as soon as it drops because it’s easily one of the best films of the year.
- While zombies have been played out for a while now, the school teacher vs. rabid little kids angle hasn’t been explored nearly enough—that’s where the Elijah Wood-starring horror comedy Cooties comes in. After some great early reviews and a kick ass trailer, this was an easy pick for the month.
- And then there’s Eli Roth’s cannibal thriller The Green Inferno, a movie that was supposed to release at this time last year. After such a long delay, it’s finally here, so let’s hope it was all worth the wait!
What you should take a chance on:
As good as the must sees of the month are, the film’s you should take a chance on are just as good, offering a return to horror for M. Night Shyamalan in The Visit as well as a few stellar looking indie horror films with Bloodsucking Bastards, Hellions, and Some Kind of Hate.
- Even though Shyamalan’s films are hit or miss, his return to horror with the low budget The Visit could be just the thing he needs to get our confidence back. While I’m a bit weary on this one myself, I’m excited by the notion of another good Shyamalan flick.
- Bloodsucking Bastards looks like a ton of fun and the early word is that it’s every bit as awesome as the trailers suggest, which is enough for me!
- I’ve been excited for Bruce McDonald’s new horror film Hellions since we first heard about it a couple of years ago, so to say that it’s coming out this very month is amazing. And not only is this his long-awaited return to the genre, but this is the first official Halloween movie of the year, so get excited!
- Lastly, Some Kind of Hate is one of those quiet little indie films that has been making quite a bit of noise during its festival run. With its unique take on the slasher genre and a female lead at the center of its madness, this is definitely one you’re going to want to keep an eye on.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
I’d be crazy not to pick Eli Roth’s long delayed The Green Inferno, so there it is.
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