The year 2016 is winding down to its bitter end, but for us horror fans, we tend to celebrate and look for solace in onscreen horrors as opposed to the real life ones. That’s why we love the genre, isn’t it? Escapism!
And this year has had plenty to offer. I’m sure a lot of you are looking back and cataloging in your head what the 10 best horror movies were this year, but a whole slew of new ones has emerged just in the nick of time! If you don’t want to miss any, we thought we’d break down for you this last batch of genre titles that have just been released.
The latest from director Darren Lynn Bousman is by far his most ambitious and best movie yet. It’s a modern day noir with an investigative reporter and the sister of a recent murder victim examining the strange disappearances of “murder rooms” from crime scene houses. Basically, someone is buying up property where terrible things have happened, then removing entire rooms where the murders took place. How do you build the ultimate haunted house? One room at a time! This one’s now playing in select theaters, but also available on all digital platforms and VOD. This includes Amazon Video and iTunes!
THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE
From Andre Ovredal, the director of TROLLHUNTER, comes this mysterious thriller where a father and son coroner team investigate the arrival of a female cadaver. As they continue to work on the body of Jane Doe to figure out her cause of death, and also why she’s so incredibly well preserved, very strange things start happening around their morgue. This is one of those movies that is best seen knowing as little as possible going in. Don’t even watch the trailer! The actual autopsy is fascinating, but there’s a few twists and turns as the movie unfolds. Plus, you’ve got Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch playing the father and son, and it’s always a treat to watch such fine actors in a genre picture. This one will be available on VOD and digital on December 21st.
Here’s a horror import from Turkey! It’s a bit of a strange one, but stylistically impressive. The trailers from earlier this year also asked us if this was going to be one of the most extreme movie ever? A bold statement, and while I don’t think it’s that extreme, it’s definitely worth a look. A squad of cops get a called to an abandoned house as back-up and may have actually stumbled through a portal to hell! This one’s currently streaming on Netflix Instant.
BEYOND THE GATES
For people that grew up during the VHS boom, this is a fun, nostalgic piece in which 2 estranged brothers are reunited to pack up their family video store after the disappearance of their father, and wind up stumbling upon an old VHS board game titled “Beyond The Gates.” When they begin playing, it seems as if they may have opened themselves up to sinister forces! This one features a lot of familiar faces including Graham Skipper (THE MIND’S EYE), Chase Williamson (JOHN DIES AT THE END), Brea Grant (HALLOWEEN II), Matt Mercer (CONTRACTED: PHASE II), Justin Welborn (SiREN) and many, many more. It’s now available on VOD, digital and playing in select theaters!
This much talked about feature from Polish director Marcin Wrona wowed audiences at film festivals earlier this year. It’s a twist on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk about a bridegroom who is possessed by a malevolent spirit in the midst of a wedding celebration. Sadly, Wrona committed suicide before this was officially released. But it’s now available on VOD and digital platforms. You can rent it for $4.99 on Amazon Video.
THE DEVIL’S DOLLS
This is director Padraig Reynolds follow-up to his well-received debut feature RITES OF SPRING. In THE DEVIL’S DOLLS, a Detective finally takes down a notorious serial killer, but in the aftermath of his death, a strange curse befalls those that have come into contact with his collection of voodoo dolls! Part voodoo horror, part splatter film, this is another unique, fun horror flick featuring Christopher Wiehl, Kym Jackson, R. Brandon Johnson (MALEVOLENCE) and Brea Grant (BEYOND THE GATES). It’s on Blu-Ray from Scream Factory, and also now streaming on Netflix Instant.
THE EYES OF MY MOTHER
The directorial debut from filmmaker Nicolas Pesce is a horror arthouse masterpiece. In the same vein as HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, this sparse, beautifully shot black and white film shows the rise of Francesca, who under a series of circumstances suffers a traumatic loss and becomes a killer. A truly striking debut. Now available on VOD and digital platforms (including Amazon Video), and playing in select theaters.
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
Here’s one I haven’t personally seen yet, but have heard nothing but raves about from its festival debut earlier this year. I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER is about a young troubled teen that must hunt down a supernatural killer while keeping his own urges at bay! Is this DEXTER-esque? With Christopher Lloyd?! Count me in. It arrives both on Blu-Ray via Scream Factory and on Netflix Instant on December 13th.
There are a lot of movies out there with the title “INTRUDER” or “INTRUDERS.” I actually mixed this one up with an “INTRUDER” that’s already on Netflix Instant. The one I’m talking about is directed by Adam Schindler and is about an agoraphobic girl named Anna whose affliction is so strong, she can’t bring herself to leave her house, even when a group of intruders break in. But as the thieves are about to discover, they may have just stumbled into something more than they asked for. This one’s available to rent or own digitally via Amazon. The DVD is also available on Amazon for under $10 bucks.
The new feature from THE HILLS RUN RED director Dave Parker is set entirely in a house where Andre (Ivan Djurovic), an amnesiac that’s suffering memory loss caused by a car accident, reluctantly agrees to a house sitting gig. As nightfall comes, he begins to get the sense that he’s definitely not alone. Is someone messing with him, or is there something supernatural at play? What’s fascinating about this contained horror thriller is that the house itself is presented as a character, and it keeps you guessing as to what Andre is really going through up until the very end. This one’s now available to rent or buy on VOD and digitally. A DVD release is coming on February 21st.
LAST GIRL STANDING
Benjamin R. Moody’s directorial debut asks the question we’ve often wondered at the conclusion of any 80’s “slasher” flick – what happens after you survive a massacre? LAST GIRL STANDING opens with the conclusion of such a blood bath where Camryn (Akasha Villalobos) manages to defeat the hulking maniac that murdered all her friends at camp. Now, she’s trying just to go back to a regular life. But is the unstoppable killer back to finish what he started? Or is someone else messing with the survivor girl? A really great character piece that shines the spotlight on the ramifications of surviving a traumatic event. This one’s available on VOD and digital platforms including Amazon, and also now out on DVD!
Ever since Bryan Bertino made a splash with his strong and terrifying debut feature THE STRANGERS, he’s been a filmmaker to keep an eye out for. THE MONSTER applies the same basic premise that made THE STRANGERS work so well. A mother and daughter are stranded on a deserted road, and must survive against a literal monster! This one’s now available on VOD and digital. Amazon Video has got it for $6.99!
Adapted from the first short segment “Amateur Night” from the horror anthology V/H/S, SiREN expands the story of the strange “I Like You” creature named Lily played by Hannah Fierman. A group of young men are out for a night on the town to celebrate Jacob’s bachelor party. Looking for the ultimate party, they eventually stumble upon an underground rink where Jacob sets free a woman whom he thinks he’s saving – but in actuality is a deadly predator. For those craving a fun, old fashioned “creature feature,” SiREN is now available on VOD and on digital. The DVD is currently available on Amazon for under $10 bucks!
ROB ZOMBIE’S 31
The latest from Rob Zombie was put together with the help directly from his fans! It’s Halloween Night in the late ’70s and 5 carnival workers are kidnapped and put into a terrifying maze where they must face off against homicidal maniacs and try to survive the night! 31 feels stylistically like it belongs in between HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS. It’s available now on VOD and digital services. It’s also streaming now exclusively on Shudder, so if you’re a subscriber, you can watch it there!
UNDER THE SHADOW
Horror from other cultures tends to always be fascinating and unique. This Iranian import proves that point. In Babak Anvari’s directorial debut, a mother and daughter are just trying to survive in post-war-torn Tehran. But soon, a mysterious supernatural evil will disrupt their home. This one’s currently available on VOD and digital platforms, including Amazon Video for $6.99. The official DVD release arrives on January 10th!