Looks like we might have a better month for horror this time around as a couple indies with plenty of buzz are seeing a release along with the sequel to Annabelle that no one was asking for. That said, Annabelle: Creation has (to my surprise) been seeing some positive buzz after an early screening, so who knows, it could be one of this summer’s big surprises. But before we get started, here’s what I watched in July:
Tragedy Girls (review): A hilarious and fiercely entertaining slasher the blends an old school slasher mentality with today’s social media obsession.
68 Kill (review): Gnarly and gross in all the right ways, 68 Kill plays like a sleazy throwback to the exploitation era with another fantastic and hilarious turn by Mathew Gray Gubler.
Better Watch Out (review): A Christmas-set home invasion thriller with quite the twist up its sleeve, Better Watch Out is a solid little movie with a bite. Major points for its ridiculous homage to Home Alone.
68 Kill (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Trent Haaga
Cast: Matthew Gray Gubler, AnnaLynne McCord, Alisha Boe
Trailer-dwelling, sewage-pumping Chip may not lead the most glamorous life, but he’s got one thing going for him: he’s head over heels infatuated with his girlfriend Liza. He’s more than willing to overlook her wild streak—the fact that she’s hooking up with their landlord; her rather extreme mood swings —so when she proposes a plot to steal $68,000, he goes along with the plan. But when what was supposed to be a simple heist turns into an off-the-rails, blood-spattered crime spree, Chip learns the hard way just how deranged the love of his life really is.
Cut Shoot Kill (VOD)
Director: Michael Walker
Cast: Alexandra Socha, Alex Hurt, Phil Burke
Serena Brooks, an ambitious young actress, signs on as the star of a horror film with a crew of backwoods filmmakers that have worked together for years. When the cast starts disappearing, Serena has to become her character if she wants to survive.
The Transfiguration (VOD)
Director: Michael O’Shea
Cast: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Jelly Bean
When troubled teen Milo, who has a fascination with vampire lore, meets the equally alienated Sophie, the two form a bond that begins to blur Milo’s fantasy into reality.
Annabelle: Creation (Theaters)
Director: David F. Sandberg
Cast: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Alicia Vela-Bailey
Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
The Ice Cream Truck (VOD)
Director: Megan Freels Johnston
Cast: Deanna Russo, Emil Johnsen, John Redlinger
Mary moves back to her suburban hometown, to find that the suburbs are scarier in more ways than she ever remembered.
The Domicile (DVD & VOD)
Director: Jared Cohn
Cast: Steve Richard Harris, Demetrius Stear, Katherine Flannery
Russel Brody, a one-time successful playwright, works diligently on a follow-up play that could land him back in the spotlight he so early craves. With a baby on the way, however, and a strained marriage, stress and frustration take center stage. When his wife accidentally stumbles down the stairs and dies from her injuries, Brody’s mental state goes from bad to one of utter despair.
Ghost House (VOD)
Director: Rich Ragsdale
Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, James Landry Hébert, Mark Boone Junior
A young couple go on an adventurous vacation to Thailand only to find themselves haunted by a malevolent spirit after naively disrespecting a Ghost House.
What you shouldn’t miss:
Another tough decision here because all of these films look potentially pretty good, but I’m going with 68 Kill and The Transfiguration. Here’s why:
- Since I’ve already seen 68 Kill I can confidently say that if you wan’t to see a movie that’s utterly ridiculous, a plot that’s crazier than a shotgun-wielding AnnaLynn McCord, and over-the-top blood ‘n guts thrills, then you’ll probably get a kick out of this one.
- There are few genres more surprising than what vampires have to offer because after all these years, we’re still seeing exciting new takes on them. Michael O’Shea’s The Transfiguration sounds like it’s yet another vampire film to fit that mold, so I’m curious to see if this one is worthy of all the hype.
What you should take a chance on:
I can’t believe I’m about to type this but the film you should take a chance on this month is Annabelle: Creation, only because early word has been surprisingly good. I guess you can only go up after that first movie, right?
- David F. Sandberg, who turned in last year’s disappointing Lights Out, will follow that up with the sequel to Annabelle. And while the original film was (in my opinion) the worst movie that came out that year, early word on Creation is that it’s actually quite good, so it might be worth a look.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
I’m really curious to see how The Transfiguration turns out because it sounds, if anything, pretty unique.