Woohoo! June horror movies are here! There’s a lot this month, so strap in and buckle up because there’s wide array of films. There’s different subgenres, different levels of quality, and different levels of WTF-ness.
I need to apologize as well, because I’ve been traveling the last few days, which delayed my normal blog post schedule. Basically, I was traveling and boozing it up. Consequently, I wrote a lot of this in the Houston airport after drinking several glasses of overpriced wine (#noregrets). I am truly a Hemingway fan and wrote drunk and edited sober.
Can I just say that this was very fun to edit this? It was a challenge.
But anyway! Here’s your June Horror Movie list! You didn’t miss much from my post being late. Ooops!
Dark Signal (Limited)
“A stranded woman and the staff of a radio station team up to solve a girl’s murder after her spirit returns with a message.”
This conceit isn’t new, right? But it’s a fairly good trailer, which shows lots of morose landscapes, claustrophobic and shadowy corners, a masked baddie, and lots of people with twisted grimaces and varying degrees of make-up leering at the camera. This could be a lot of movies, and despite the nice trailer, Dark Signal could end up a very average horror movie.
The one thing it has going for it is Neil Marshall, who is an accomplished filmmaker. Among his director credits are Dog Soldiers, Doomsday, and The Descent. He’s also directed episodes of Game of Thrones, Hannibal, and Westworld. I’d say he knows a thing or two about bringing thrilling and suspenseful stories to the screen. Consequently, I am cautiously optimistic.
Aaron’s Blood (Limited)
“With help from a local vampire hunter, a single father tries to find the source of an infection that threatens to turn his young son into the undead.”
What’s the last good vampire movie we had? People keep saying that vampires are played out, but that’s only because Twilight ruined everything…where are the real vampire movies. I’m a sucker for a good vampire flick, so I was ready to watch this trailer with an open mind.
But then I watched the trailer. What are these lines? What is this acting? What are these terrible plot devices? You think blood banks just gives out blood donor ID numbers to some guy calling them on a cell phone?
From the trailer, Aaron’s Blood seems dead on arrival.
To make things even more clear, I googled the film in search of a good review that would assure me that, hey, this isn’t so bad. But then this review from the L.A. Times popped up as the third entry: “Hemophiliac vampire flick ‘Aaron’s Blood’ is so bad it’s … no, it’s just bad”
Yiiiiikessss you guys. Like, this reviewer doesn’t even care if you read his review or give him page views—he literally just feels compelled to warn you away from how bad this movie is.
The Mummy (Wide)
“Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.”
Full disclosure, I’ve got Egyptian heritage, and I love mummy movies. They are always over the top and ridiculous and fun, and absolutely fictitious.
ANYWAYS, digression aside, I’m kind of stoked for this movie, as pulpy as it looks. Tom Cruise’s character may deserve everything that’s coming to him in the movie. Is it wrong to root for the mummy herself?
Like, I feel like Tom Cruise is the Last Real Movie Star (kind of like The Last Action Hero), and I have kind of a soft spot for his crazy, insecure, talented ass, but I kind of want the whole movie to be the Mummy kicking Tom Cruise’s ass.
I am a touch worried about the attempts at levity in some of the trailers. It’s very hard to juggle comedy with horror, and even harder to juggle comedy with an evil-Egyptian-queen-wants-to-destroy-everything story. We’ve been spoiled by movies like Shaun of the Dead.
I want this movie to succeed. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen.
It Comes at Night (Wide)
“Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous order a man (Joel Edgerton) has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within the man as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.”
If I had to pick one movie in this wondrous spread of June horror movies, I chose It Comes at Night. I’ve been waiting for this movie for months because a) it looks creepy AF, b) dat cast, and c) if A24 distributes it that’s almost a guarantee that it will be a quality film. Remember, this is the same distribution company that put out critically acclaimed, wildly popular films like Moonlight, ….and modern day horror marvels like The Witch and Green Room.
A24 does such a good job finding films that are not only fearsome but are about fear.
On a storytelling note, I’m very intrigued by the choices made regarding this movie’s narrative. It Comes at Night might take place during what is probably a zombie apocalypse, but that is not the focus. Zombies are not the point. Sure, zombies are hardly ever the point in a thoughtful zombie movie, but this story seems very removed from anything like a zombie movie. I can’t wait to see it and how it turns out.
Camera Obscura (Limited)
“Jack Zeller is an intelligent, solitary man who continues to struggle with the horrors he witnessed as a war photographer. He receives a strange camera as an anniversary gift. As he develops the film, Jack realizes that the images show imminent deaths in the locations he photographed. As one horrific scene after another comes true, Jack is left with an enormous moral dilemma that challenges his already fragile sanity.”
Didn’t they make this movie? I swear they’ve made this. Exact. Movie. Before. Honest to God, movies about death omens and portents of doom are a dime a dozen.
Not that here isn’t intriguing stuff here. Narratively speaking, there’s of meaning and nuance to mine from the character’s past career as a war photographer. Some of that definitely came out in the trailer, but the poor quality of acting was very distracting, and I don’t have high hopes.
47 Meters Down (Wide)
“Young sisters Kate and Lisa and travel to Mexico for a vacation filled with sun, fun and adventure. Lisa needs some extra persuasion when Kate suggests that they go diving in shark-infested waters. Safe in their protective cage, the thrill-seeking siblings come face to face with a group of majestic great whites. Their worst fears soon become a reality when the cage breaks away from their boat, sending them plummeting to the ocean floor with a dwindling supply of oxygen.”
I feel very uncharitable and I think this looks like last year’s The Shallows, which was kind of silly but fun and thrilling, which made it an actually worthwhile summer survival-horror movie.
47 Meters Down doesn’t look like a straight rip-off of The Shallows (it has not one, but TWO cute girls! And a shark cage! And MORE THAN ONE SHARK YOU GUYS!). That being said, can it offer more than The Shallows? I hope so. Sharks are scary, and being stuck underwater with limited air is scary on its face. But it’s hard to manage tension and scares in this movie with this situation.
I also have many important questions. Will I be able to see everything with the shots being so dark? Will the film explore the bends and the danger of de-pressurization? Which sister will be the one to die? Will Mandy Moore be wearing as much Stella & Dot jewelry as Blake Lively did in The Shallows? Someone watch this and let me know!
The Beguiled (Limited, Wide Release on June 30th)
“An injured Union soldier arrives at an all-female Southern boarding school during the Civil War. Soon, sexual tensions lead to dangerous rivalries as the women tend to his wounds and offer him shelter and companionship.”
As I profiled for my Horror at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival post, the beguiled may not be straight horror, but tell me this trailer isn’t creepy as hell? When you are an outnumbered handsome enemy like union soldier Collin Farrell? And when Nicole Kidman plays a distrustful, icy woman? And especially when a philandering Yankee soldier crosses a bunch of Confederate women?
This could go so many ways, most of them promising. The cast is strong, the story seems compelling, and Sofia Coppola is a very talented director. If this positive review from EW says anything (among many of the positive reviews), not only is The Beguiled a “witheringly elegant f–kboy takedown” but a “distinct departure from[Coppola’s] signature, subdued style in a film that radiates with thrilling, deliciously dark southern gothic flair.”
Slay a bit, ladies.
The Beginner’s Guide to Snuff (Limited)
“Two brothers kidnap an actress, torture her, and make her think she is going to die.”
Oh my. That title is very descriptive!
I was worried about this one, since a lot of horror movies fall into a misogynist, objectifying mess. But the trailer seemed intelligent and self-aware! Like maybe The Beginner’s Guide to Snuff is skillful satire?
That might be a premature statement, but I want to see where this goes. It could be a solid indie horror-comedy film!
Blood Feast (Limited)
“A man falls under the spell of the ancient Egyptian goddess Ishtar and succumbs to her need for ritual human sacrifice and blood.”
Let’s try this one again!
I profiled this movie for my April Horror Movies post, but I guess it got moved back.
So…I don’t think this movie is going to be releases on the 23rd, mostly because the movie’s website still isn’t up and the date keeps getting pushed back. Not a great sign.
Amityville: The Awakening
“A single mother moves her three children into a haunted house, unaware of its bloody history.”
Look, I’ll level with you, because I care about you, but these movies have NEVER been good. Like, the original made waves because of the hype surrounding the debatable truth of the story, and it was pretty gruesome for its day (which deserves consideration, of course), but it was never good. It was notorious. The acting is bad and the stories are corny, stereotypical and tedious but I guess these movies are cheap to produce and they make money because of it.
So, there you go, that’s why this movie exists. Kick me off the internet if you want. I dun curr.
(Also, the best part, if any, of the original was that it was ambiguous if the dad was actually hearing ghosts or if he was just going mad. That kind of horror goes out the window when the possessed body is a comatose kid.)
But get your money, Bella Thorne! I can’t hate on a girl for earning a paycheck.
Darkness Rising (Limited)
“Nearly murdered as a child by her mother, a woman (Katrina Law) returns to the house where her mom went mad.”
Can IFC hire someone who knows how to cut a trailer? This was very underwhelming. How many times are you going to show me a girl in creepy makeup as if that’s a jump scare? That’s not a jump scare.
I thought long and hard, for about five minutes, for something nice to say about this movie. But I couldn’t. It looks very blah. Like, I don’t even care enough to find out where that random wolf came from that conveniently traps them in the house, hilarious though that plot contrivance is.