Bad news, horror fans, there are only three theatrical release horror movies in August. Three! And only one of them is a wide release!

I know, right? What happened? This summer started off strong with The Conjuring 2 and The Shallows. I know August is usually kind of “sleeper” month for movies, but this I was expecting more than this!

The good news is that two out of three of these horror movies look promising, in a RedBox or Amazon Prime kind of way. Hell, Don’t Breathe might be worth the price of a ticket just for the Silence-of-the-Lambs-esque night vision scenes.

Check ‘em out.

AUGUST 19th

  1. The Devil’s Dolls (Limited)

“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.”

Eeeehhhhhhh.

A whole lot of ehhhhh.

Not one part of this trailer looked scary. Even the jump scares couldn’t make me jump. Maybe it was because the film forecasted all of its “scary” bits. I understand why a filmmaker would want to pay homage to old-school slashers, but this looks more like a re-hash instead of an homage.

Yes, the violence looks pretty intense, if that’s your thing. But again, the promise of violence without any sense of apprehension or terror doesn’t do much for me. I can get that watching the news.

And don’t get me started on the Magical Negro stereotype featured prominently in the trailer. Lazy.

 

AUGUST 26th

  1. Don’t Breathe

Rocky, Alex and Money are three Detroit thieves who get their kicks by breaking into the houses of wealthy people. Money gets word about a blind veteran who won a major cash settlement following the death of his only child. Figuring he’s an easy target, the trio invades the man’s secluded home in an abandoned neighborhood. Finding themselves trapped inside, the young intruders must fight for their lives after making a shocking discovery about their supposedly helpless victim.

Just so you know, Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite horror movies ever. Any movie that includes an impressive Silence of the Lambs reference will get my attention.

Don’t Breathe seems to have a lot more going for it than good taste in horror films. I’m intrigued by the reverse-home-invasion premise, which reminds me a lot of You’re Next. I’m also interested in the film’s point of view, since it’s not every day the audience is supposed to empathize with home invaders.

This movie has great potential to put its audience in an uncomfortable position. Can we root for the thieves, who seem like nothing more than dumb, desperate kids except for all the armed robbery? Can we root for the homeowner, who seems like an awesome blind badass except for that person chained up in his basement? Are we supposed to be able to root for someone?

Personally, I really like challenging horror movies. Otherwise, what’s the point?

 

  1. I Am Not a Serial Killer (Limited)

A troubled teen with homicidal tendencies has to hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer while suppressing his own inner demons.

Christopher Lloyd is still alive?

But seriously, I’m always ready for an in-depth portrayal of an otherwise villainous character. I’ve always found serial killers darkly fascinating, given their urge kill other people in the absence of threat or material gain. Understanding such a person makes me uncomfortable; yet I feel a strong urge to understand.

I Am Not a Serial Killer seems to do just that—the film confronts us with earnest but weird John, a kid torn between his latent compulsion to kill and his desire to be a good person. That’s creepy enough. Add an actual serial killer into the mix, and I am both concerned for and repulsed by John.

This doesn’t seem to be as visceral a film as Don’t Breathe, but it appears to be disturbing on a much deeper level.

 

Do any of these look good to you? Have you seen any? Let me know in the comments!