It’s that exciting time of year, with summer winding down and fall just around the corner, where the genre saves its best for last. September is kicking things off strong, too, with the release of some of the year’s most anticipated releases—Rob Zombie’s 31, Demon, Blair Witch and so much more will be making an appearance this month, so buckle up! But before we get started, here’s what I watched in August:
Don’t Breathe (review): Fede Alvarez’s masterfully taught thriller is still rattling in my brain—powerful performances and flawless direction drive one of the most intense, nerve-shattering films of the year. A must see!
Antibirth (review): Antibirth, while stylish and crazy as hell, never quite lives up to its charismatic leading lady, who shines in an otherwise aimless narrative.
I Am Not A Serial Killer (review): One of the most unique films of the year, I Am Not A Serial Killer offers a fantastic twist on the genre with equally great performances.
Lake Nowhere (review): A brisk throwback to iconic slashers, Lake Nowhere makes up for its lack of plot (it’s basically nonexistent) in over-the-top kills.
The Mind’s Eye (review): An incredibly gory throwback, The Mind’s Eye is pure entertainment with a synth-infused soundtrack that keeps the atmosphere appropriately old school.
Antibirth (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Danny Perez
Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Meg Tilly
In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions as she struggles to get a grip on reality while stories of conspiracy spread.
Director: Luke Scott
Cast: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie
A corporate risk-management consultant has to decide and determine whether or not to terminate an artificial being’s life that was made in a laboratory environment.
The 9th Life of Louis Drax (Theaters)
Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Jamie Dornan, Aiden Longworth, Sarah Gadon
A psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
Night of the Living Deb (VOD)
Director: Kyle Rankin
Cast: Ray Wise, Maria Thayer, Chris Marquette
After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but she can’t remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.
The Neighbor (VOD)
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Cast: Josh Stewart, Luke Edwards, Alex Essoe
Set in Cutter Mississippi, the film follows a man who discovers the dark truth about his neighbor and the secrets he may be keeping in the cellar.
Director: Marcin Wrona
Cast: Itay Tiran, Agnieszka Zulewska, Andrzej Grabowski
A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.
The Disappointments Room (Theaters)
Director: D.J. Caruso
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Lucas Till, Gerald McRaney
A mother and her young son release unimaginable horrors from the attic of their rural dream home.
Director: Rob Zombie
Cast: Meg Foster, Sheri Moon Zombie, Elizabeth Daily
Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.
Blair Witch (Theaters)
Director: Adam Wingard
Cast: Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister’s experiences in the demonic woods of the Blair Witch, James and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling.
The Devil’s Dolls (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Padraig Reynolds
Cast: Christopher Wiehl, Kym Jackson, Tina Lifford
In the aftermath of the hunt for a serial killer, an ancient curse consumes a city, causing a series of brutal murders and pitting a detective against the clock to save his daughter’s life.
The Good Neighbor (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Kasra Farahani
Cast: James Caan, Logan Miller, Keir Gilchrist
A pair of high school kids try to trick a neighbor into thinking a house is haunted, but their intended victim turns out to be far more dangerous than they imagined.
The House on Pine Street (VOD)
Director: Aaron Keeling, Austin Keeling
Cast: Emily Goss, Taylor Bottles, Cathy Barnett
A psychological horror about a young woman coping with an unwanted pregnancy after moving into a seemingly haunted house.
What you shouldn’t miss:
While there are quite a few films that could potentially be great this month, there’s only one that has garnered high praise across the board—Marcin Wrona’s Demon.
- Beyond the hype and buzz surrounding Wrona’s final film—sadly, he died just before its premiere in Poland—the trailer is utterly terrific, pouring out a calm before the storm-like atmosphere of angst and terror. This one looks fantastic.
What you should take a chance on:
Honestly, a lot of the movies releasing this month look pretty solid, so you should definitely dig into most of them. But if I had to pick just for the sake of it, I’d go with Morgan, 31, and Blair Witch.
- Morgan, showing shades of Ex Machina, looks like a fantastic debut from Luke Scott and boasts one of the best casts in a horror film this year, including The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy.
- Rob Zombie is back in the genre with 31, a brutal survival thriller with psychotic clowns—aka, this might be the most Rob Zombie movie Rob Zombie has ever made. If you’re a fan of his stuff, then this one outta deliver the goods.
- I’ve never been so torn on a movie than I am with Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch. I’m not the biggest fan of the original film (or its sequel) and I really dislike the found footage format, but I’m finding it difficult to not be excited for a new Wingard film. That said, it’s practically guaranteed to be a huge hit and I’m certain a lot of people are going to eat this one up, so definitely give it a shot when you can!
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
Gotta go with Demon. 31 is a close second, though!