June turned out to be a rather solid month for the genre, most notably giving us The Conjuring 2, which was yet another masterful turn by James Wan. And while I didn’t catch every film I wanted to (I still need to see The Neon Demon), June gave genre fans plenty of variety. So July may not have any big names like James Wan, but what it does have is a few fantastic looking films from some of the genre’s most exciting up-and-coming filmmakers like Lights Out director David F. Sandberg. But before we get started, here’s what I watched in June:
The Shallows (review): Led by a strong performance from Blake Lively, The Shallows is an often fun and totally goofy thriller that’s plenty entertaining.
The Conjuring 2 (review): Another brilliant outing from James Wan, The Conjuring 2 is just a ton of fun with even more scares than the first film.
Clown (review): A movie with so much potential and a wicked clown design is ultimately wasted with a by-the-numbers monster story that’s never as good as its premise suggests.
Carnage Park (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Mickey Keating
Cast: Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, James Landry Hébert
After botching an ill-conceived bank robbery in a desolate California town, two wannabe crooks flee the scene with a hostage and lead the local lawmen on a dangerous high-speed chase.
Director: Jeffrey G. Hunt
Cast: Sarah Hyland, Marc Barnes, Justin Chon
Four friends on their way to Coachella stop off in Los Angeles to tour true-crime occult sites, only to encounter a mysterious young runaway who puts them on a terrifying path to ultimate horror.
The Purge: Election Year (Theaters)
Director: James DeMonaco
Cast: Elizabeth Mitchell, Frank Grillo, Mykelti Williamson
Two years after choosing not to kill the man who killed his son, former police sergeant Barnes has become head of security for Senator Charlene Roan, the front runner in the next Presidential election due to her vow to eliminate the Purge.
Lights Out (Theaters)
Director: David F. Sandberg
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia
A woman is haunted by a creature that only appears when the lights go out.
The Blackout Experiments (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Rich Fox
This documentary follows a group of people who discover the ultra-scary, psycho-sexual horror experience Blackout, and develop an obsession that hijacks their lives and blurs the line between reality and paranoid fantasy.
What you shouldn’t miss:
The obvious one here is Lights Out from newcomer David F. Sandberg, who was recently given the gig to direct the sequel to Annabelle. Here’s why this was an obvious choice, though:
- The trailers for Lights Out have been phenomenal (to say the least) but what makes this movie so exciting is that not only was it spawned from a wickedly creepy short film (here), but it received nothing but positive reviews out of its premiere at the L.A. Film Festival. All signs are pointing to Sandberg’s feature film debut to be one of the surprise hits of the summer.
What you should take a chance on:
This was an easy pick for me because there is a film coming out this month that I think could surprise a lot of people and that is Carnage Park.
- Mickey Keating (Pod, Darling) really needs no introduction around these parts—the dude must never sleep—so a new film from him is always worth getting excited about. His latest, Carnage Park, looks crazy fun and could be his best film yet.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
I have to go with Lights Out based on all the positive reviews!