5 Horror Movies To Keep Your Eye on This Summer
When we think of the “horror season,” the first thing that comes to mind is Halloween and the entire month of October (or just the fall season in general). However, there are actually two distinct seasons for horror, the second being summer. For any horror movie buff, there’s something distinctively and equally creepy about the summer months, possibly due to the many horror movies that have been based around the season (Sleepaway Camp, Friday the 13th, I Know What You Did Last Summer, etc). In fact, some of the most iconic horror movies were released during the summer months: The Blair Witch Project (July 30, 1999), Poltergeist (June 4, 1982), and Alien (June 22, 1979) to name a few. What better way to honor the approaching season than to binge on horror movies? I’ve compiled a list of 5 upcoming horror films that you won’t want to miss.
Release date: July 3, 2019, Director: Ari Aster
I’m not going to lie: the biggest thing going for this film is its director. Ari Aster made his cinematic debut with the box-office hit Hereditary. If Midsommar is to be anything like Hereditary, then viewers are sure to be in for a wild and chilling ride.
The movie is about a couple that travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown. Just in time for their elaborate midsummer festival. Soon, however, the couple realizes that they have stepped into the middle of a violent and horrific competition led by a pagan cult. The trailer alone is the stuff of nightmares, with bizarre visuals and an unsettling vibe from the Swedish locals.
The movie’s biggest downfall might be its strong similarities to Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man. Hopefully, the film won’t come off as a cheap knock-off, but with Aster’s creative mind, audiences should definitely expect unconventional (and bone-chilling) situations and an intense build-up to the main action.
4. The Lighthouse
Release date: Cannes Film Festival – May 19, 2019; Cinema: TBD, 2019, Director: Robert Eggers
The Lighthouse is a black-and-white fantasy horror film. It sets itself apart from modern horror movies in that it gives off an unsettling, old-world feel. Much like Eggers’ other critically-acclaimed film, The Witch (2016). In an industry that producers bog down with cheap jumpscares and a lack of originality, it is a breath of fresh air for Eggers to switch things up with his cinematography and slow-burn horror.
Not much is known about The Lighthouse yet since there is no official trailer and the synopsis only vaguely states, “a fantasy horror set in the world of old sea-faring myths, [about] an aging lighthouse keeper named Old.” However, with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson cast as the leading roles, we can expect strong acting skills. With very little to go off of, this film’s promise rests solely in the reputation of the director and its complete diversion from the typical horror movie themes and tropes.
3. Zombieland: Double Tap
Release date: October 11, 2019, Director: Ruben Fleischer
I’ll be the first one to admit: I hate horror sequels (and I absolutely despise reboots), but Zombieland is a rare gem that deserves a second installment. Technically a horror comedy (but if we’re being honest, mainly just a comedy), Zombieland: Double Tap is sure to guarantee clever and witty dialogue, along with some inventive zombie deaths.
The second installment centers around the gang’s showoff against newly-evolved zombies, the undead separated into three categories: Homers (dumb), Hawkings (intelligent), and Ninjas (deadly). With the original cast and director preserved, audiences are safe to assume that the second film will follow much of the same format as the first.
With the same charm and humor as Shaun of the Dead — except less British — Zombieland shouldn’t disappoint, except if it gets sucked into the “sequel curse.” Hopefully, Fleischer won’t get bogged down in trying to upstage the first installment by trying too hard to be funny or edgy. Also, with the introduction of new characters, Fleischer will have to navigate the plot and writing carefully, so as not to dilute the importance of the old characters or do the new characters an injustice by writing them as one-dimensional placeholders meant to propel the plot and/or highlight the actions of the original gang.
2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Release date: August 9, 2019, Director: André Øvredal
Um, can you spell iconic? Anyone who was a child during the 80s/90s remembers reading the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy. In fact, I think it’s what spawned my love for all things dark and creepy. I grew up reading these stories. Thus, after revisiting them a few weeks ago, I can assure that they’ve only gotten more horrific with time.
Taking a slight spin on the original books, the movie is about a group of teens that stumble upon the home of Sarah Bellows. Sarah is the young and troubled heiress of the Bellows Family. Within the mansion lies Sarah’s journal, filled with scary stories inspired by her tortured life. The group of teens soon realize that upon reading the stories, the tales have a way of becoming all too real. Despite the original books serving as a childhood classic, the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark film is not to be taken lightly. With Guillermo Del Toro as one of the screenwriters, audiences can expect out-of-the-box and horrifying scares.
Not only that, but the CGI/graphics look amazing — not an easy feat in the horror genre. The film centers around haunting fantoms and disturbing creatures, but instead of looking cartoonish they actually look, well, horrifying. The only downside to the film seems to be a significant amount of child actors. Children are highly capable of possessing good acting skills, but damn are they annoying to watch.
1. Doctor Sleep
Release date: November 9, 2019, Director: Mike Flanagan
For someone who hates sequels so much, it’s kind of ironic (and hypocritical) that there’s two on my list. However, the horror industry is running out of ideas — and fast. Therefore, we can expect to be bombarded with them even more in the future.
Doctor Sleep serves as a sequel to The Shining and follows the life of a — now adult — Danny Torrance, who is struggling to deal with the traumatic events of his past and his psychic powers. Torrance meets a girl who shares the same powers as him, and together, they are swept into a battle against a cult called “The True Knot,” who prey on the souls of gifted people.
Anything Stephen King related is sure to be good. The uncertainty lies in the directing abilities of Mike Flanagan. Flanagan has worked on films like Oculus, Before I Wake, and Ouija: Origin of Evil, which all were rather hit or miss. With no trailer just yet, it’s hard to make a fair judgment, but with King’s writing as the foundation of the film, things shouldn’t go too terribly wrong. If done right, Doctor Sleep could very well be as iconic as the first film — let’s just hope Flanagan doesn’t mess it up.
It is time to dig up our swimsuits and start planning our camping trips. Long days and sunny weather aren’t the only things we have to look forward to. With the release of a few of these sure-to-be terrifying films, we can add a little bit of darkness to our sunshine.
What horror movies are looking forward to this summer? Leave a comment below.
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