Every year, as we get closer and closer to fall, we start to see some of the most exciting films hit the genre and this September is no different with one of the most talked about movies of the year finally hitting the masses—Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy! We’ll also see Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to The Green Room and the release of some very promising titles that include Cold Skin, Mara, and Hell Fest! But before we get started, here’s what I watched in August:
What Keeps You Alive (review): Despite some impressive moments, What Keeps You Alive fails because its characters never reach outside of the box they were so carelessly written into.
Hereditary (review):Ari Aster’s feature debut is an absolute monster of a movie that if nothing else, has some of the scariest visuals of the modern horror era.
Director: Mathieu Turi
Cast: Brittany Ashworth, Grégory Fitoussi, Javier Botet
Juliette, a lone survivor of an apocalyptic era, fights to survive against hunger, thirst, a broken leg and strange, disturbing creatures that only come out at nighttime.
The Crescent (VOD)
Director: Seth A. Smith
Cast: Danika Vandersteen, Woodrow Graves, Terrance Murray
After an unexpected death in the family, a mother and son struggle to find spiritual healing at a beachfront summer home.
The Nun (Theaters)
Director: Corin Hardy
Cast: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet
A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
Cold Skin (VOD)
Director: Xavier Gens
Cast: Ray Stevenson, David Oakes, Aura Garrido
In 1914, a young man arrives at a remote island near the Antarctic Circle to take the post of weather observer only to find himself trapped in a watchtower besieged by deadly creatures which live in hiding on the island.
Director: Clive Tonge
Cast: Olga Kurylenko, Javier Botet, Mitch Eakins
Criminal psychologist Kate Fuller is assigned to the murder of a man who has seemingly been strangled in his sleep by his wife and the only witness is their eight-year-old daughter, Sophie. As Kate digs into the mystery of an ancient demon which kills people in their sleep, she experiences the same petrifying symptoms as all previous victims and spirals through a chilling nightmare to save herself and Sophie before she dares fall asleep again.
Don’t Leave Home (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Michael Tully
Cast: Mark Lawrence, Helena Bereen, Karrie Cox
An American artist’s obsession with a disturbing urban legend leads her to an investigation of the story’s origins at the crumbling estate of a reclusive painter in Ireland.
Hell House LLC II: The Abbadon Hotel (VOD)
Director: Stephen Cognetti
Cast: Vasile Flutur, Jillian Geurts, Joy Shatz
It’s been eight years since the opening night tragedy of Hell House, LLC and still many unanswered questions remain. Thanks to an anonymous tip, investigative journalist Jessica Fox is convinced that key evidence is hidden inside the abandoned Abaddon Hotel-evidence that will shed light on the hotel’s mysteries. She assembles a team equally hungry for answers with one goal: break into the hotel and discover the truth.
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.
The Basement (Theaters & VOD)
Director: Brian M. Conley, Nathan Ives
Cast: Mischa Barton, Tracie Thoms, Bailey Anne Borders
A seemingly innocent man is abducted by a notorious L.A. serial killer, who forces his victims to switch roles with him so that he can enact his own capture, torture and murder.
The Toybox (VOD)
Director: Tom Nagel
Cast: Denise Richards, Mischa Barton, Jeff Denton
An estranged family take a trip to the desert in their used RV but become stranded and isolated in the scorching terrain. They soon learn their RV holds terrible, haunting secrets, and it starts killing them off one by one.
Beyond the Sky (VOD)
Director: Fulvio Sestito
Cast: Jordan Hinson, Peter Stormare, Dee Wallace
While shooting a documentary to expose the lies of alien abductees, a provocative filmmaker and his crew encounter a young woman with a dark secret who leads them to uncover a disturbing truth.
Hell Fest (Theaters)
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Cast: Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, Tony Todd
A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.
Hold the Dark (Netflix)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale
After the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.
What you shouldn’t miss:
There simply are no other choices. It’s Mandy and Hold the Dark.
- We’ve had to wait 8 long years between films from Beyond the Black Rainbow director Panos Cosmatos, which is absolutely absurd. The long wait, however, appears to be worth every minute because his sophomore effort Mandy has become one of the most talked about genre films of the year due to its massively successful festival run. It’s a must see. Simple. As. That.
- After Blue Ruin and The Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier has become one of the most exciting filmmakers in the world—Hold the Dark is a must-see based on that alone. But if, for whatever reason, you need convincing, just watch the trailer below. It kills.
What you should take a chance on:
Although Mandy and Hold the Dark both take the spotlight this month, there’s still a few great looking films that might be worth a look, which includes Hell Fest, Cold Skin, and The Nun.
- I’m running on the assumption that if Hell Fest is just half as good as its trailers suggest, we might be in for one of the year’s biggest surprises. That’s all I’ve got.
- It’s hard to pass up a new Xavier Gens project—the mind behind the supremely twisted Frontiers—but especially when it’s a monster movie as unique looking as Cold Skin. I’ve seen some positive buzz out of this one, so it might be worth checking out!
- I’m looking forward to seeing Corin Hardy breakout into big-budget horror, especially with The Nun looking as good as it does. That being said, I’m still leaning on the skeptical side however, due to the previous Conjuring spinoffs (Annabelle and its sequel) not being very good.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
This is a tough one but I have to go with Hold the Dark.