We’ve still got a long way to go until the spooky, bloody, and glorious horror films that dominate the release schedule in the summer. January and February can be really uneven when it comes to horror movies, giving us movies that run the gamut from inspired and well-crafted to lazy and cliché. But March 2016 serves up some really interesting horror releases.
Of March’s offerings, I’m excited to see 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Invitation, and Baskin. Some of the others I can wait on, at least until Redbox has it or Amazon gets the streaming rights. And the rest…I don’t think I will be sad about not seeing The Other Side of the Door or The Final Project. I think I’ll live.
Here’s the list:
- The Other Side Of The Door
“After her young son is killed in a tragic accident, a woman learns of a ritual which will bring him back to say goodbye, but when she disobeys a sacred warning, she upsets the balance between life and death.”
Um…are we still doing that odious excuse for “writing” where we use another culture’s customs and beliefs to make an otherwise rote horror movie knock of The Monkey’s Paw? Honestly, I don’t know how much more of these movies I can take involving the loss of a child, a parent’s desperate desire to get the child back, and some spooky-brown-people-death-cult magic. How cliché can you get?
And it doesn’t look like it will be scary or create a sense of dread.
Also, I felt like I couldn’t see this trailer very well. For being in HD, parts looked so cloudy.
- The Final Project
“Six eager students strike out to explore and record live footage of supernatural activity at an abandoned plantation, but one unsettled spirit gives them more than they asked for.”
When I first heard about this film, I was kind of impressed by the choice to set a found-footage horror film on a southern plantation. In the current political environment, it might be easy to avoid all discussion of race. I would argue, however, that rising tension and flaring tempers over race is the best time to begin such a discussion.
But then I saw this trailer and I wasn’t really impressed. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s that the house didn’t look scary enough, maybe it’s that I wasn’t scared by anything in the trailer. Maybe it’s just that found footage has been done again. And again. And again.
I think more than anything is that the trailer was very blah. It didn’t make me feel anything, not scared, not compelled to see a good story, not interested in what significance the plantation would bring to the film, if any.
Looks kind of lame, to be frank.
- Ava’s Possessions
“After an exorcism frees her soul, a young woman attends Spirit Possession Anonymous and meets a fellow victim who wants her demon back.”
This looks quirky and inventive, though I’m not sure how scary it’ll be. I’m intrigued by the film’s exploration of the aftermath of a demonic possession, especially one where the victim survives her possession. How crazy awful would it be to wake up after a month of being possessed, with no memory of the messed up shit you were forced to do, only to have to clean up the wreckage left behind? Yeeesh.
But still, aren’t demonic possessions supposed to be scary and not…funny? Or at least both?
At any rate, it’s obvious this isn’t your average possession movie, for good and for bad.
“A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargained for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.”
This looks promising! The Hand The Rocks The Cradle meets Funny Games. I’m not sure if it will be very frightening or not, but certainly it looks tense and full of dread. Maybe if I had kids, the trailer would give me a much more visceral reaction. But a creepy, aggressive, loony babysitter essentially holding small children hostage is disturbing enough to be extremely compelling.
Obviously there will be some sort of twist, as none of the characters in the trailer have the titular name Emilie. I just hope the twist lives up to what the rest of the movie promises.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane
“A woman discovers the horrifying truth about the outside world while living in an underground shelter with two men.”
So 10 Cloverfield Lane is being marketed as more of a science-fiction thriller instead of a horror movie, but what about that trailer? That looks like some suspenseful, scary shit to me.
After she has a violent car accident, a girl wakes up in an underground bunker. The two men in the bunker insist they are keeping her there for her own safety, ever since something terrible devastated the outside world. But soon she realizes the men aren’t tell her the whole truth. In fact, she begins to feel a little manipulated, a little bit lied to. When she resolves to leave, all hell breaks lose in the bunker. But it’s nothing compared to what she finds outside the bunker.
I’m sure we can expect some tense conversations, cringe-worthy bodily violence, John Goodman being super weird and sinister as the dynamic between these three people becomes more fearful and mistrusting. I just hope that, like Emilie above, the reveal actually delivers.
Please, please, please, no bad CGI. Don’t do that to me, J.J. Abrams.
- The Invitation
“While attending a dinner party at his former house, a man starts to believe that his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister plans for the guests.”
There have been loads of buzz surrounding this film since it premiered at SXSW last March. It’s supposedly a really good slow-burn, with lots of tension and unsettling build-up until everything explodes in a violent climax. Even then, from this glowing review from Variety: “The Invitation delivers the necessary jolts in satisfyingly visceral fashion without descending into Grand Guignol excess.”
Additionally, this film is supposed to be very well acted, as it’s primary and supporting actors are all experienced and create an amazing ensemble. The cinematography looks gorgeous. And it looks like we’ll get some pretty jarring and effective camera work.
Again, I hope the reveal actually delivers.
“A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.”
If you follow this blog at all, you know that I don’t really gravitate towards really gory horror. There’s nothing wrong with it, just not my speed. But I may have to make an exception for this movie.
Baskin looks good. A Turkish film about a bunch of cops that stumble into hell after busting up a Black Mass? And Hell seems truly hellish? Holy moly. Martyrs better watch out.
Bloody Disgusting called it “a character piece that’s constructed around a concept that sends the several police offers to Hell” but still “filled to the brim with gore.”
I am really excited to see this because it seems to have good character development and intense horror elements at work.
- They’re Watching
“An American TV crew gets trapped in a centuries-old web of revenge, horror, and blood, when their home improvement show is attacked by angry Eastern European villagers out to kill the show’s star.”
Confession time: I love HGTV programming, especially House Hunters and House Hunters International. I love see all the places they go and the different cultures they interact with. I also love the feeling of superiority I feel whenever someone bitches about the paint color or wants a four bedroom house with original wood floors for under $300K in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It inspires me with a very satisfying homicidal rage.
So I totally understand how some obnoxious home repair Americans would a) alienate the local population and then b) inspire them to unleash some crazy weird shit on the TV crew. I feel like this movie was made for me!
Some of those effects didn’t look very high-quality, but other parts of it seem to have good creep potential. And it looks pretty funny. I need a good comedy-horror film. There haven’t been many of those lately.
I hope you all enjoyed the horror release list! If you know of any horror releases that I didn’t mention, let me know. And if you see any of these films, leave your reviews in the comments!