Is it just me or did July go by really fast? It turned out to be another great month for horror, not only in releases, but because the Fantasia Film Festival came rolling in with some great films and I was lucky enough to review a handful of them. But now that August is here, it’s time to gear up for another batch of solid indie features as well as Fede Alvarez’s long-awaited return to the genre!
Rant time: If you’re wondering why I didn’t review Lights Out—one of the most anticipated movies of the summer—it’s because my shitty theater didn’t get it, which also happens to be the nearest one for three hours in one direction and six in the other—it’s hard to watch movies when you actually live in Satan’s asshole. Anyway, here’s what I watched in July:
Summer Camp (review): While it mostly thinks inside the box and follows familiar horror tropes, Summer Camp has some solid thrills and plenty of mayhem.
Carnage Park (review): Brimming with style and violence, Mickey Keating’s latest is his best film yet.
Bed of the Dead (review): Despite a cool (albeit weird) concept like a killer bed, Bed of the Dead isn’t nearly as fun as its premise suggest and way too convoluted for its own good.
The Unseen (review): A family drama by way of disappearing man, The Unseen is a wickedly original and altogether heartbreaking exploration of a man losing himself while trying to reunite with his daughter.
The Wailing (review): A total, non-stop nightmare that kicks and screams its way towards a final act that will leave you breathless.
Red Christmas (review): A goofy, hyper violent throwback, Red Christmas is a bizarre slasher with a great performance from Dee Wallace.
Summer Camp (VOD)
Director: Alberto Marini
Cast: Diego Boneta, Jocelin Donahue, Maiara Walsh
Four American counselors at a European summer camp must deal with the outbreak of a rage-inducing plague among the children they are supervising.
Sun Choke (VOD)
Director: Ben Cresciman
Cast: Christina Amber, Derek Bevil, Barbara Crampton
Janie’s just trying to get well. As she recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. But when she develops an obsession with a stranger, Janie’s buried demons begin to surface.
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Cast: Sofia Black-D’Elia, Analeigh Tipton, Michael Kelly
Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family’s new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.
The Suffering (VOD)
Director: Robert Hamilton
Cast: Phil Amico, Nick Apostolides, Liz Christmas
A man fights for his sanity when he finds himself trapped on a rural farm inhabited by sinister beings overseen by a mysterious caretaker.
Let’s Be Evil (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Martin Owen
Cast: Kara Tointon, Elliot James Langridge, Isabelle Allen
Three chaperones are hired to supervise an advanced learning program for gifted children, who wear Augmented Reality Glasses to assist in their education. Contained within a secure, underground facility, events quickly spiral out of control.
The Mind’s Eye (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Joe Begos
Cast: Graham Skipper, Lauren Ashley Carter, John Speredakos
Zack Connors and Rachel Meadows were born with incredible psychokinetic capabilities. When word of their supernatural talents gets out, they find themselves the prisoners of Michael Slovak, a deranged doctor intent on harvesting their powers. After a daring escape, they are free from his sinister institution, but the corrupt doctor will stop at nothing to track them down so that he may continue to siphon their gifts for his own use.
The Remains (VOD)
Director: Thomas Della Bella
Cast: Todd Lowe, Nikki Hahn, Lisa Brenner
After a family moves into an old Victorian home, they discover a chest in the attic containing antiques tainted by a malevolent spirit. As the antiques slowly possess each family member, the spirit grows stronger, hellbent on kidnapping the children.
Lake Nowhere (Bluray & VOD)
Director: Christopher Phelps & Maxim Van Scoy
Cast: Wray Villanova, Laura Hajek, Nathan Andrew Wright
When a group of friends arrive at a desolate lakeside cabin, they are stalked and murdered by a Masked Maniac, whose lust for blood transcends our world. This age-old tale of senseless slaughter quickly spirals into the realm of supernatural horror and classic monster movies, as we learn the true power that lies within Lake Nowhere.
Don’t Breathe (Theaters)
Director: Fede Alvarez
Cast: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette
A group of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong.
I Am Not a Serial Killer (VOD)
Director: Billy O’Brien
Cast: Laura Fraser, Christopher Lloyd, Max Records
In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.
Chopping Block (BluRay & Vimeo on Demand)
Director: Joshua Hull
Cast: Haley Madison, Michael Malone, Jas Sams
Chopping Block follows a group of corporate guys who get laid off. Desperate times call for desperate measures. They decide to kidnap their ex-boss’s daughter for ransom. Things take a bloody turn, when the boss’s daughter just happens to be the only survivor of a masked psychopath. A masked psychopath still out for blood. Hilarity & bloodshed ensue…
What you shouldn’t miss:
This should go without saying, but this month’s must-see movie is Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe (duh!) :
- I don’t know if you guys are as excited as I am about Don’t Breathe, but considering it’s Alvarez’s first film since his fantastic remake of Evil Dead, and it’s been receiving nothing but high praise since its festival run, I don’t know how you couldn’t be! I can’t wait for my theater to not get it!
What you should take a chance on:
While Don’t Breathe was a shoo-in for the movie you shouldn’t miss this month, Joe Begos’ The Mind’s Eye deserves to be on your radar just as much!
- The Almost Human director will follow up his throwback horror debut with another film that looks heavily inspired by the glorious body horror movies of the 80s. The movie not only looks fantastic but it stars genre starlet Lauren Ashley Carter, who never disappoints!
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
Gotta go with Don’t Breathe!