This is it, folks, the end of 2016 is near with December marking the final month of horror for 2016—that’s crazy. What’s even crazier, perhaps, is horror’s ridiculous line-up of films seeing a release this month. It’s no surprise either that indie horror will be closing out the year with a handful of fantastic films that include The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Eyes of My Mother, Always Shine, and more! But before we get started, here’s what I watched in November:
Evolution (review): Although stunning to look at with some heavy themes, Evolution is undeniably boring and lacks a strong character—the film has no emotional weight whatsoever.
Trash Fire (review): Richard Bates Jr.’s third film is a shocking little treat with insane characters that thrive in a world that masterfully blends dark comedy into straight-up horror. It’s also RBJ’s best film yet!
The Monster (review): A fun, straightforward monster movie with a couple of great performances and some cool practical effects.
Always Shine (Theaters)
Director: Sophia Takal
Cast: Mackenzie Davis, Caitlin FitzGerald, Lawrence Michael Levine
Best friends Anna and Beth take a weekend trip to Big Sur, hopeful to re-establish a bond broken by years of competition and jealousy. Tensions mount, however, leading to an unexpected yet inevitable confrontation, changing both of their lives…forever.
Director: Brad Peyton
Cast: Carice van Houten, Aaron Eckhart, David Mazouz
A scientist with the ability to enter the subconscious minds of the possessed must save a young boy from the grips of a demon with powers never seen before, while facing the horrors of his past.
Pet (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Carles Torrens
Cast: Jennette McCurdy, Ksenia Solo, Dominic Monaghan
A psychological thriller about a man who bumps into an old flame and subsequently becomes obsessed with her, leading him to hold her captive underneath the animal shelter where he works. But what will the victim have in store for her captor?
The Eyes of My Mother (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Cast: Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Olivia Bond
A young, lonely woman is consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life.
Siren (VOD)(In theaters on Dec. 2nd)
Director: Gregg Bishop
Cast: Hannah Fierman, Chase Williamson, Justin Welborn
A bachelor party becomes a savage fight for survival when the groomsmen unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities. A feature adaptation of the segment “Amateur Night” from the 2012 horror anthology “V/H/S.”
Abattoir (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Cast: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Dayton Callie
An investigative reporter teams up with a Police officer to solve the mystery of why a seemingly good man murdered her sister’s family.
Beyond the Gates (VOD)
Director: Jackson Stewart
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Brea Grant, Ryan Kunert
Two estranged brothers reunite at their missing father’s video store to liquidate the property and sell off his assets. As they dig through the store, they find a VCR board game dubbed ‘Beyond The Gates’ that holds a connection to their father’s disappearance and deadly consequences for anyone who plays it.
Train to Busan (VOD)
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Cast: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jeong
While a zombie-virus breaks out in South Korea, a couple of passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Theaters & VOD)
Director: André Øvredal
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond
Cox and Hirsch play father and son coroners who receive a mysterious homicide victim with no apparent cause of death. As they attempt to identify the beautiful young “Jane Doe,” they discover increasingly bizarre clues that hold the key to her terrifying secrets.
What you shouldn’t miss:
What a way to end the year than with the release of a couple films that have been talked about all year long—the two highly praised indies The Eyes of My Mother and The Autopsy of Jane Doe are absolutely must-sees.
- The trailer says it all for The Eyes of My Mother, a film that has been sweeping through the festival circuit with nothing but high praise. The black and white aesthetic really works here, selling the surreal and nightmarish world of Nicolas Pesce’s feature film debut.
- Mostly known for his excellent Trollhunter, director André Øvredal returns with his first film in six years with The Autopsy of Jane Doe. We really didn’t know much about this movie until a few months ago when it started making the festival rounds, so it was a total surprise to hear just how good it is.
What you should take a chance on:
Like I said, 2016 is ending on a genre high note with a handful of great looking features rounding out the year. A couple of films that have been mostly under the radar are seeing a release and they both look fantastic—Pet and Always Shine.
- Pet is this totally twisted looking thriller about obsession and love that has been getting some good reviews; it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
- I’m particularly excited about Always Shine, starring the great Mackenzie Davis, as it promises to be an intense, jealousy-driven thriller about friendship.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
Going with The Autopsy of Jane Doe.