Straight up: July horror is a little light on theatrical releases this month. But there are tons of VOD releases to make up for the lack of major July horror releases. Of course, I want to see The First Purge, which promises all the violent fun and heavy-handed metaphors we’ve come to love from The Purge series. I’m also interested by some of the quieter VOD releases, such as The Lighthouse, The Devil’s Doorway, and Dead Night. There are a bunch of other July horror films to choose from, so check them out!
Another Wolfcop (VOD)
“Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces Woodhaven’s residents with a new brewery and hockey team in this outrageous horror-comedy sequel.”
I haven’t seen the first Wolfcop, but now I really want to! This movie looks like it would be perfect for when you feel like some schlocky, cheesy 80s action with a healthy helping of horror-comedy slapstick. Another Wolfcop seems like an unapologetic trashy movie, and for that, I give it points.
The First Purge
“To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.”
I like these movies way more than I should. They’re not particularly well done, with not-great acting and lazy writing. But damned if I don’t love the premise and the films’ willingness to go there with its socio-political-racial messages. I’ve always thought it was a noteworthy example of how horror can be used to repackage unpleasant truths we all would rather not confront.
I’m excited to learn more about how The Purge came to be, and how much manipulation to government had to exercise to make it happen. I’ve questioned the central notion of these films, mainly that so many people not only want to murder and maim but that they act on it at all. Most people would need a bit of a push, right? Now, it seems like we’ll finally find out how hard that push was.
The Lighthouse (VOD)”A dark and disquieting journey into the heart of madness” (Starburst), the film, inspired by a terrifying true story, tells of two men trapped in an isolated lighthouse, surrounded by the deadly Irish sea, with both their minds ultimately pushed to the limits.”
This movie is based on a true story about the Smalls Lighthouse, which was chronicled in the Lore Podcast episode “Rope and Railing” (one of my favorite episodes!). It’s a tale of hatred, isolation, madness, and somewhat poetic justice. As for the film itself, I love how atmospheric this seems. I hope the acting is good because this is not a movie that can afford weak actors. It’s a shame this isn’t getting a wider release here in the states, seeing as how intriguing the trailer is.
The Night Eats the World (VOD)
“After waking up in an apartment where a party was raging the night before, Sam is forced to come to grips with reality. He is now alone, and the living dead have invaded the streets of Paris.”
Well, I haven’t watched a zombie movie set in Paris, and given my love for that city, I want to see this zombie movie. But as a horror fan, I have to say that zombie movies are pretty played out right now. I didn’t see anything new or fresh in the trailer (save the location). How many times can we watch essentially the same story about a lone survivor trying to outsmart hordes of fast zombies?
The Devil’s Doorway
“When two priests investigate a miracle in an Irish home for unwed mothers in 1960, they discover that one of the residents is possessed by the devil.”
Alright, so this looks like a typical demonic possession/exorcism movie, which is a little disappointing. However, I’m intrigued by this movie because of the historical context surrounding the Magdalene Laundries. You can read more about it here, but in essence, multiple mass graves filled with the bodies of the women and children were discovered on the grounds of a few of the asylums. After they were locked up for the crime of having a baby out of wedlock or having a mental illness, these women were abused, forced to work long hours without pay for the nuns while suffering terrible treatment. The prominence of the Catholic church guaranteed virtually no independent oversight. You can imagine what might have happened to the hundreds of children who were born behind the walls of such an institution.
It makes perfect sense to tell this story as a demonic possession story. I hope that The Devil’s Doorway is another strong example of how the horror genre can tell true stories more effectively than a straight rendition.
Unfriended: Dark Web
“A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back.”
This looks…kind of stupid. The dark web ain’t nothing to mess with, for sure, but…come on. COME ON. The dark web isn’t untraceable. You need a VPN for that, just for starters. You need a password or encrypted invitation to a lot of those sites. And would someone using the dark web for human trafficking or whatever use a MacBook and leave unencrypted file folders laying about where any dumb schmuck could find them? It seems far-fetched, silly, and not at all scary. Also, this acting look atrocious.
The Row (VOD)
“An incoming college freshman must endure cruel hazing rituals and somehow evade a demented serial killer who is targeting her sorority sisters.”
Oh my God, this looks so stupid.
Dead Night (VOD)
“James and his wife Casey load up their two teenage kids and head out to a remote cabin in Oregon for a weekend trip. When James heads into the snowy forest in search of firewood, he encounters an enigmatic woman passed out in the snow. Bringing her back to the cabin for help, the family has no way of knowing that the woman’s presence is the catalyst for a series of events that will change their lives forever.”
Wow, there’s so much happening in this trailer! Is it a slasher? Is it a spooky creature feature? Is it both? What was that cone thing? Typically, all the questions would have me itching to watch this film, though I’m cautious because I’ve heard it’s a bit of a mess. Maybe Barbara Crompton of Re-Animator fame is worth it.
Our House (VOD)
“A young genius accidentally invents a device that amplifies the paranormal activity within his family’s house, possibly bringing back the spirits of loved ones, and unleashing things far worse.”
Ehhh, pass. Reminds me too much of White Noise, but with kids.
What July horror movies do you want to see? Let me know in the comments.