One of the most exciting things about this month is that it marks the beginning of a whole new year of horror and it’s starting off with some intriguing looking titles. We have a couple of festival favorites in Mom and Dad and The Strange Ones coming out later this month and a few indie films that might be worth a look. But before we get started, here’s what I watched in December and don’t forget to check out my list of favorite horror movies of 2017 (if you haven’t already).
Super Dark Times (review): Easily one of my favorite movies from last year was Kevin Phillips’ first feature length film Super Dark Times. It’s moody and atmospheric and totally lives up to its name—super dark times, indeed.
Director: Mickey Keating
Cast: Ashley Bell, Josh Ethier, Larry Fessenden
Several psychopaths wreak havoc over the course of a violent night.
Day of the Dead: Bloodline (VOD)
Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Cast: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech, Jeff Gum
A small group of military personnel and survivalists dwell in an underground bunker as they seek to find a cure in a world overrun by zombies.
Devil’s Gate (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Clay Staub
Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Bridget Regan, Amanda Schull
Set in the small town of Devil’s Gate, North Dakota, the film examines the disappearance of a local woman and her young son. Schull plays an FBI agent who helps the local sheriff search for answers. Partnering with a deputy, they track down the missing woman’s husband and find that nothing is as it seems.
The Strange Ones (Theaters)
Director: Christopher Radcliff, Lauren Wolkstein
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus
Mysterious events surround two travelers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to a dark and complex web of secrets.
Insidious: The Last Key (Theaters)
Director: Adam Robitel
Cast: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson
Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet – in her own family home.
A Demon Within (VOD)
Director: Ayush Banker, Justin LaReau
Cast: Charlene Amoia, Clint Hummel, Patricia Ashley
A skeptical, small town doctor is forced to confront his personal demons in order to save the life of a teenage girl who has become possessed in his family’s old house.
Director: Miguel Ángel Vivas
Cast: Rachel Nichols, Laura Harring, Stany Coppet
A woman in her third trimester of pregnancy is stalked by a stranger who is obsessed with her unborn child.
Mom and Dad (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Brian Taylor
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters
A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.
The Open House (Netflix)
Director: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Cast: Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Sharif Atkins
A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house.
The Midnight Man (VOD)
Director: Travis Zariwny
Cast: Logan Creran, Robert Englund, Grayson Gabriel
A girl and her friends find a game in the attic that summons a creature known as The Midnight Man, who uses their worst fears against them.
The Devil’s Well (DVD)
Director: Kurtis Spieler
Cast: Bryan Manley Davis, Chris Viemeister, David Alexander
Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband into the Devil’s Well, an underground location reported to be a gateway straight into hell, and the site of ongoing strange phenomenon. A year after her disappearance, a group of investigators go back to uncover the truth about Karla, and are faced with evil forces greater than they ever imagined.
Like Me (Theaters)
Director: Robert Mockler
Cast: Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden
A twisted coming-of-age story about a young woman who sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media.
What you shouldn’t miss:
Again, there’s a lot of unheard of indie stuff coming our way this month, but there’s a couple of movies that have been talked up for months now (since their festival debuts)—they are Mom and Dad and The Strange Ones.
- Batshit Nic Cage is the best Nic Cage. His upcoming thriller Mom and Dad has received some strong hype since making the festival rounds, and it looks like a pretty fun spin on the zombie(ish) genre. It looks like Cooties, but with adults. I’m there.
- The Strange Ones is probably the most under-the-radar movie of the month because despite seeing a lot of buzz out of its festival debut, there’s hardly any hype for it. The trailer is fantastic, however—a slow, methodical-looking thriller with plenty of ambiguous tension. Gotta see it.
What you should take a chance on:
It’s hard to say which of these films is really going to stand out this month, but if I had to chose I’d go with Inside and The Open House, and Like Me.
- For those who don’t know, Inside is a remake of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s French thriller of the same name—those are some pretty big shoes to fill. I’m skeptical that this remake will pack as much of a punch as the original, but it’s certainly an intriguing thought to see how close it gets.
- In typical Netflix fashion, they dropped the first trailer for The Open House with less than a month before its release—when you’re Netflix marketing kind of takes a backseat. That being said, you can’t argue with their track record as of late, and the last time Dylan Minnette was in a horror movie where he was stalked by a killer inside of a house, it turned out to be pretty damn good.
- I’ve been hearing some great things about Like Me, but it looks like the kind of movie that’s going to divide its audience—it might be the most interesting looking movie of the month, though.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
I’m leaning towards Mom and Dad. That shit looks right up my alley.