Do you feel that change in the air? In Texas, it’s no longer 100 degrees every day, and the mornings almost feel…pleasant? It must be fall!

Now that summer is drawing to a close, we’re less than 60 days out from Halloween! That means we’re about to get a whole slew of horror movies in anticipation of our favorite holiday.

And boy, does September deliver a bunch of horror movies. The quality of these movies varies, but there are some exciting choices here, like Nic Cage’s metal-horror Mandy and the religious-horror film Don’t Leave Home. Due to a crowded October release schedule, we also get a lot of big-name horror films this month, like sequels The Nun and The Predator. There’s also The House with a Clock in Its Walls, which might go on to become a kids’ horror classic.

Let’s get to it!

September 4th

The Crescent (VOD)

“After an unexpected death in the family, a mother and son struggle to find spiritual healing at a beachfront summer home.”

The Crescent definitely has a slow-burn, 70s-vibe horror going for it, which could be a good or a bad thing. Sometimes, these artsy-horror movies are too slow for their own good; other times, they’re wonderfully, deliciously languid in getting to the horror. I’m not sure which one this will be after reading the mixed reviews from last year’s TIFF.

September 7th

The Nun

 “When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together, they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

Finally, we get more on the story surrounding the best part of The Conjuring 2—the demon Valek, who appears as a freaky decrepit nun. I’ve always liked these movies for the most part (though The Conjuring was by far the best). As long as the character development is robust, the atmosphere spookily executed, and the jump scares not cheap, I think this will be an entertaining horror movie.

Mara (Limited)

“A criminal psychologist investigates the mysterious strangling death of a man in his bed. She soon meets members of a community who tell her about a centuries-old demon that kills people in their sleep.”

Ehhh…pass. There’s so much that could be mined from the scary experience of sleep paralysis that this effort seems…lazy.

September 14th

The Predator

“From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race.”

I’m still not entirely convinced this sequel to the original Predator will make a compelling (or even entertaining) horror film, but I’ll have to see it nonetheless. Just because I love the original so much. And because I’ve got a hankering for action horror. I’m hoping that, at the very least, this version will give us lots of splashy and horrific action scenes.

Mandy (Limited)

“In the Pacific Northwest in 1983, outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with deadly fire.”

I always thought this sounded pretty rad for an action-horror movie, but now I really, really, want to see this movie. It looks so metal! Like, literally like a phantasmagoric metal album transformed into a movie. Nic Cage vs. a cult? Sign me up! And throw in some truly gorgeous and arresting cinematography? EVEN BETTER.

Don’t Leave Home (Limited) 

“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.”

This film played at this year’s SXSW Fest, where it earned positive reviews for its performances, gothic setting, and direction. I like a good creepy ghost story/religious horror movie very much, and I’m hopeful that Don’t Leave Home will deliver that. The Hollywood Reporter described the film as “in many ways…a throwback to vintage Euro Gothic, overriding its occasional borderline campiness with resolute morbidity.” Sounds interesting to me!

The Basement (VOD)

“A Los Angeles serial killer kidnaps a famous musician and drags him to a dungeon-like basement.”

I had to force myself to finish the trailer. Goddamn, that was bad. If you want to watch a serial killer movie where the serial killer has multiple personalities, watch Split instead.

September 18th

Cynthia (VOD)

“A woman gives birth to more than she bargained for when her little monster comes into the world with her own nasty little bite.”

What did I just watch? LMAO, this looks ridiculous. I wouldn’t watch this even on bad movie night.

September 21st

The House With a Clock In Its Walls

“Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town’s sleepy facade magically springs to life with a secret world of witches and warlocks.”

Eli Roth is doing a kids’ movie? What the WHAT? And Cate Blanchett and KYLE MACLACHLAN are in this?

I don’t normally want to see little kid horror movies anymore, but I might make an exception for this one. It looks like fun! The story is a bit conventional, but kids’ movies usually are. What makes this trailer special is the worldbuilding aspect. The house looks amazing, both creepy and intriguing. And that cast!

Do we have a new kids’ horror/fantasy classic on our hands?

September 28th

Hell Fest

“On Halloween night, three young women and their respective boyfriends head to Hell Fest — a ghoulish traveling carnival that features a labyrinth of rides, games, and mazes. They soon face a bloody night of terror when a masked serial killer turns the horror theme park into his own personal playground.” 

Hell Fest looks like the kind of dumb and fun horror movies that I grew up on—those 90s slashers with a near-invincible killer and a group of unsuspecting teens who can’t take shit seriously? God, that takes me back. I feel like this movie is an excellent choice leading into Halloween, especially if you want to have a bad movie night with your friends!

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