April might be the strongest month for the genre yet with nearly every release promising to be among some of the very best films of the year. Some of the most talked about films of the last two years are seeing a release this month, so prepare your brains for all the insanity! But before we get started, here’s what I watched in March:
Baskin (review): If you read my review of Baskin then you know how frustrated I was with it. It’s absolutely worth watching for the world-building alone and the nightmarish visuals are among the very best of the year, it’s just the film doesn’t have much of a pulse outside of those two things.
Emelie (review): Here’s a pretty wicked little psychothriller that hits all the right notes and features a hell of a performance from its leading lady. The unfortunate thing is that it goes completely flat during what should have been the best part of the entire movie.
Ava’s Possessions (review): I had some really high hopes for this one, but it ultimately doesn’t reach much further than its unique take on the possession genre.
Darling (Select Theaters; VOD April 8th)
Director: Mickey Keating
Cast: Sean Young, Larry Fessenden, Lauren Ashley Carter
It begins as a lonely young woman moves into an old, mysterious Manhattan mansion. Hired as a caretaker, it’s not long before she discovers the estate’s haunted reputation and troubling past. These stories slowly transform into a backdrop for her twisted and violent descent into madness…
The Girl in the Photographs (VOD)
Director: Nick Simon
Cast: Christy Carlson Romano, Katharine Isabelle, Claudia Lee
A bored young woman in a sleepy community called Spearfish starts receiving photographs of brutally murdered young women. Are they real or staged? The culprit is either a serial killer or some creep with a sick sense of humour.
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel, Michael Trucco
Author Maddie Young lives a life of utter isolation after losing her hearing as a teenager. She’s retreated form society, living in seclusion and existing in a completely silent world. But one night, the fragile world is shattered when the masked face of a psychotic killer appears in her window. Without another living soul for miles, and with no way to call for help, it appears that Maddie is at the killer’s mercy… but he may have underestimated his prey. As this horrifying game of cat and mouse escalates to a breathless fever-pitch, Maddie must push herself beyond her mental and physical limits in order to survive the night.
The Invitation (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman
While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.
Green Room (Select Theaters)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin
After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.
Holidays (Theaters & VOD)
Directors: Anthony Scott Burns, Matt Johnson, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Gary Shore, Kevin Smith, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, Dennis Widmyer
Cast: Jocelin Donahue, Lorenza Izzo, Seth Green
Holidays is an anthology feature film that puts a uniquely dark and original spin on some of the most iconic and beloved holidays of all time by challenging our folklore, traditions and assumptions.
Director: Ben Wheatly
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller
When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on “enemy” floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.
What you shouldn’t miss:
I may have gotten a little excited last month and posted The Invitation’s release a month early, but it is indeed coming out THIS month and it’s one you should absolutely not miss! Along with The Invitation, the other “must-sees” are Green Room and High-Rise—duh! Take a look:
- The Invitation is a masterful example of how to build tension with a finale that will leave you breathless. It was my favorite film at last year’s Stanley Film Festival and will no doubt be at the top of my year end list. You can read my full review here if you missed it!
- Jeremy Saulnier is an absolute madman and he’s following up his fantastic thriller Blue Ruin with one of the most talked about movies of the year in Green Room. This is going to be a great one, folks!
- Probably one of the most exciting talents working today, Ben Wheatly has had a ridiculous streak of films from Kill List to Sightseers and A Field in England, his next venture behind the camera looks as promising as ever with High-Rise. Do not miss this one!
What you should take a chance on:
As I said before, this month has a phenomenal line-up so you could probably pick any of these movies and be alright! That said, I think Darling and Holidays could be among the best of the month.
- Apparently director Mickey Keating never sleeps—the dude not only released last year’s Pod, but he now has Darling and two other films (Carnage Park and Psychopaths) on the way. His latest in Darling, however, has been met with a ton of praise and promises an unforgettable performance from the great Lauren Ashley Carter, so certainly give this one a shot!
- Holidays is somewhat of a question mark because no one has seen it yet (it’s releasing the day after its festival premiere) so we could be in store for who knows what. The sheer amount of talent behind it, though, is what makes it so promising and that trailer was absolutely insane!
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
All the hype and brilliant trailers have made this an easy pick for me—it’s Green Room!