The world is full of horrors, and most of them are no fun at all. But in the horror genre we use these stories to empower us, to confront our fears, to entertain and thrill. So we look forward optimistically to all the awesome-sounding horror movies, TV shows, video games and books arriving this month, and hope that they help us get through what has been – by anyone’s estimation – a pretty rough year.
So let’s get started, and see what’s to come!
You’ve been playing video games and watching TV throughout the whole pandemic. Why not crack open a book for a change? August 4 brings two major releases in the publishing world, starting with The Living Dead, a new novel set in the universe of George A. Romero’s zombie franchise, co-written by Romero himself! The Living Dead was unfinished when Romero passed away in 2017 and has been finished by Daniel Kraus, who previously co-wrote Trollhunters with Guillermo del Toro!
And speaking of Guillermo del Toro, the Oscar-winning director of The Shape of Water is also back with a new novel on August 4, co-written by Chuck Hogan. The Hollow Ones tells the story of a young FBI agent who has to kill her partner in a bizarre incident that sends her into the realm of supernatural mystery. The authors’ previous novel The Strain was previously adapted into a multi-season FX horror series.
If that’s not enough for you, August 4 also brings the new horror movie Star Light, about a group of young teenagers trying to save the life of a pop star (Scout Taylor-Compton) who is running for her life, and the new video game Hellbound, a retro-horror shooter that debuts on Steam with all the monster-killing you can handle.
A busy week for the horror genre continues on August 6, when Jayro Bustamente’s La Llorona debuts on Shudder. The film combines the supernatural haunting genre with a political tale about the aftermath of a genocide. Bloody-Disgusting’s Meagan Navarro reviewed La Llorona out of Sundance, calling it “a layered and politically charged horror film that eschews the supernatural in favor of tragic realism.” August 6 also brings with it the new sci-fi horror thriller Shifter on VOD, about a time travel experiment gone horribly awry.
You’d better watch those movies fast! One day later, on August 7, Amy Seimetz’s acclaimed horror movie She Dies Tomorrow arrives on VOD after a small theatrical run at American drive-ins. The film tells the story of a woman who somehow just knows she’s going to die tomorrow, and the inexplicable sensation proves contagious. In her review for Bloody-Disgusting, Meagan Navarro calls She Dies Tomorrow “a gorgeous film meant to wash over you in hypnotic visuals, but it isn’t easy to connect the dots once it’s all over.”
Also on August 7, crocodiles attack – again! – in Black Water: The Abyss, a sequel to 2007’s indie horror film Black Water. The film tells the story of a group of friends who get trapped in a Northern Australian cave system with, you guessed it, a man-eating crocodile! And what the hell, let’s venture right into the inferno on VOD one day later, on August 8, when Mark Young’s new movie Limbo tells the story of a murderer trying to defend his soul in a legal battle in Hell.
Sometimes, you just gotta watch 8 days worth of TV specials about sharks. And that time is August 9-16, when the Discovery Channel debuts its 32nd installment of Shark Week! The 24 new specials this year feature guest appearance by celebrities like Will Smith, Mike Tyson and Shaquille O’Neal, and a program called Tiger Shark King, because of course it does.
If that’s too “real” for you, the new horror film Monstrous might be right up your alley. The film tells the story of a woman searching for a missing friend in the woods who runs into one heck of a Bigfoot. Monstrous arrives on VOD and DVD on August 11.
Not scared of Bigfeet? Not scared of sharks? You’re probably scared of spiders. In fact… THERE’S ONE RIGHT NOW! In the new PC video game Kill It With Fire, you search your house for spiders and, when you find one, you completely rip the place apart in order to kill the eight-legged beast. Which, let’s be honest, we’ve all done at one point or another.
August 14 is a big day for the horror genre, in large part because it marks the return of The Last Drive-In! Joe Bob Briggs is back with The Last Drive-In: Summer Sleepover Edition, a double-feature of mayhem on Shudder featuring guest star Adam Green, the director of the Hatchet series, and more, as yet unannounced guests!
And don’t forget the new thriller The Silencing, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) as a former hunter waging wits against a serial killer. The film, which is already available on DirecTV, arrives on Digital, VOD and select theaters on August 14. That’s the same day as the new Russian sci-fi/horror film Sputnik, about an astronaut infected with an alien life form, and the doctor trying to save his life.
If that’s not interactive enough for you, check out the side-scrolling action RPG Eastern Exorcist on PC on August 14! In the video game you play an exorcist fighting monstrous demons.
You’d better mark August 16 down on your calendar right now, because that may very well be the biggest day of the month for the horror genre. That’s when the new series Lovecraft Country debuts on HBO and HBO Max, based on a novel by Matt Ruff, and created by Misha Green (Underground) and Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us). The series is about a cross-country road trip in the midst of the Jim Crow 1950s, where a Black family encounters the horrors of real-life racism and the cosmic horrors of Lovecraftian lore.
If that’s not enough Lovecraftian evil for you, August 18 brings with it the new fish monster film The Barge People. The VOD debut tells the story of, as you may have guessed, a bunch of people who get attacked by fish monsters.
Also on August 20, Shudder debuts their latest exclusive feature Random Acts of Violence, from writer/director/co-star Jay Baruchel (Goon: Last of the Enforcers). The slasher, based on a comic book, tells the story of a comic book creator whose story “Slasherman” was based on real-life killings, and whose book tour accidentally inspires the killer to resume their rampage. Bloody-Disgusting’s Trace Thurman reviewed Random Acts of Violence out of Fantastic Fest, and says “the film will no doubt be off-putting to some viewers,” because of Baruchel’s commitment to exploring and vilifying the exploitation of violence instead of reveling in it.
August 21 could be a big day for horror, as it’s the day that multiple new scary movies are going to try – at least – to arrive in theaters. Unhinged, the new road rage thriller starring Russell Crowe, was supposed to come out earlier this summer but was pushed back due to the pandemic, and might actually make it out this time. It would hit theaters alongside Train to Busan: Peninsula, a follow-up to the acclaimed South Korean zombie thriller Train to Busan, about a covert operation into the zombie plague zone four years after the first wave.
All release dates are subject to change, and that’s more true than ever this year, so those theatrical releases could get bumped back further, or get taken off the schedule, or wind up going straight to VOD. Or, audiences might just not be comfortable going to the theater right now what with the whole deadly pandemic we’re experiencing right now.
So it’s good to have backup plans like The Pale Door, which arrives on VOD, DVD and Drive-Ins on August 21, and tells the story about wild west outlaws who run afoul of a brothel full of witches. You’ll also be able to access new DLC for Remnant: From the Ashes on PC, PS4 and Xbox. Subject 2923 will introduce new locations and story elements, and will arrive alongside Remnant: From the Ashes – Complete Edition, across all platforms, which will offer the original game alongside both DLC packs.
Rounding out the month of frights, The Shed debuts on Shudder on August 27. The new film tells the story of a bullied kid who, after finding a vampire trapped in a shack, decides to use the monster to his advantage. In Bloody-Disgusting’s review, critic Daniel Kurland calls it “an inventive spin on the vampire genre that hints at deeper ideas than the ones that it fully explores.”
And finally, if you can believe it, Disney is getting set to unleash The New Mutants – which was supposed come out in April of 2018, but has been repeatedly pushed back for a variety of reasons. The film was all set to finally hit theaters earlier this year, but then 2020 happened. The release date was moved to August 28 back in early May, but whether Disney actually releases the Fox acquisition on schedule is a big question mark at this point, so stay tuned to see if (once again) The New Mutants gets pushed back due to the pandemic.
What are YOU looking forward to most this August?