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This Week in Horror: Terror Returns to Texas, Classic Tales are Reinvented, Iconic Franchises Find New Life, and More!

We’re so excited to launch our Horror News division, where we’ll work hard to bring you the latest and greatest buzzworthy genre news each week — from theatrical trailers, to new VOD and streaming releases, to upcoming horror events and so much more. The inaugural edition of our weekly HORROR HEADLINES is jam-packed, so let’s get into it!

A SERIAL KILLER’S GUIDE TO LIFE (RELEASE DATE: 1/13/20)

It got the attention of horror fans at FrightFest, and now you can see what A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life is all about. What happens when a life coach who’s a killer (Poppy Roe) takes a woman who’s a self-help junkie (Katie Brayben) on a therapeutic road trip? See this film from Arrow Video on January 13 and find out!

THE TURNING (RELEASE DATE: 1/24/20)

Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) stars in an adaptation of the legendary Henry James story, “Turn of the Screw,” called The Turning.

GRETEL AND HANSEL (RELEASE DATE: 1/31/20)

The new Gretel and Hansel isn’t the Grimm Brothers story you’re used to seeing. Starring Sophia Lillis (It), this updated version takes some liberties with the classic tale. An element of witchiness creates a story that sees the witch (Alice Krige) trying to convert Gretel to the craft instead of cooking her up in a pot, and instead, subverting the story so that the witch wants to join forces with Gretel against Hansel. Intriguing and moody, according to the indeterminate period setting in the trailer.

BRAHMS: THE BOY II (RELEASE DATE: 2/21/20)

The Boy (2016) is a twisted story of a doll called Brahms and the nanny hired to care for him (Lauren Cohan, The Walking Dead). The sequel, titled Brahms: The Boy II, dropped a trailer this week. The first thing you’ll notice is that Katie Holmes (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) is the star of this installment. In the trailer, Holmes is Liza, mother to a disturbed young boy named Jude (Christopher Convery, Gotham), and she and her husband Sean (Owain Yeoman, The Belko Experiment) decide the family needs a change of scenery. They move into the Heelshire Mansion, unaware of the previous events that took place there. Jude digs Brahms up from the ground and creepiness ensues. Release date: February 21.

GUNS AKIMBO (RELEASE DATE: 2/28/20)

See Harry Potter in a different light when Daniel Radcliffe takes on the role of a game developer who somehow becomes an unwilling participant in live-streaming death matches. Samara Weaving (The Babysitter) stars opposite Radcliffe as a formidable foe. From writer/director Jason Lei Howden, the darkly comedic action sci-fi thriller Guns Akimbo made its World Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Check out the cast and crew Q&A from TIFF below, and see the film on February 28.

A QUIET PLACE 2 (RELEASE DATE: 3/20/20)

A Quiet Place was a hit for many reasons; the unique storyline enthralled viewers with something a horror film had never done. Complete silence for the majority of the film enabled the actors to create suspense with their actions and expressions. A Quiet Place 2 picks up where the first movie left off, and the trailer didn’t give us much except that we know the Abbott family (led by Emily Blunt) is still in danger, and that the monsters may not be the same ones from the first film. Directed by John Krasinski, who proved himself a formidable director with the first installment.

ANTEBELLUM (RELEASE DATE: 4/24/20)

The trailer for Antebellum flashes back and forth between time periods ranging from Civil War times to today, making for an intriguing trailer. The story of an author (Janelle Monae) trapped in some kind of nightmare is purposely being guarded so fans don’t know what to expect. This tactic is simultaneously fascinating and frustrating! We’re glad to see the fabulous Gabourey Sidibe (American Horror Story) again, in any case.

Indie On Demand

THE ASSENT (RELEASE DATE: 1/10/2020)

Now on demand, The Assent is not your typical child possession movie. It combines an element of psychological terror with horror to produce a suspenseful film that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s imagined. A single father’s young son may be possessed, but after enduring a trauma, they both have to come to terms with some scary issues. Watch it on VOD, and click here to read our full review. 

NATION’S FIRE (RELEASE DATE: 1/20/2020)

Nation’s Fire may be just the right film for the leadup to Women in Horror month. This movie focuses on a female motorcycle gang and its counterpart male biker gang, and when the woman’s son is killed and drugs are involved, both gangs jump in to get revenge in this action-packed film. See it on-demand on January 20.

Click here for our complete indie release calendar. 

Horror Happenings

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE VCR PARTY TOUR (JANUARY 8 – APRIL 8, 2020)

Alamo Drafthouse offers fans a love letter to the VHS tape via its new publishing arm and brand-new book, titled “Stuck on VHS: A Visual History of Video Store Stickers.” The book releases during a tour called the VCR Party Tour, which fans can attend to grab their copy and enjoy the Found Footage Festival, where some of the most enjoyable hits of the video era will be played. The tour kicked off in Austin, TX at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar on Wednesday, January 8, and continues on to Downtown LA (February 10), Denver (February 22), Brooklyn (February 27), and San Francisco (April 8). The book will be available for sale at Alamo Drafthouse theater locations and MondoTees.com on January 20. Grab tickets in your city to check out this event.

FINAL GIRLS BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL (FEBRUARY 6-9, 2020)

Women in Horror Month kicks off with a bang with the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival coming February 6-9, 2020, to City Kino Wedding. The festival continues to raise the bar by showcasing horror written directed, and/or produced by women and non-binary filmmakers. Festival co-director Eli Lewy calls this year’s festival edition the “most expansive and international yet, presenting a wide array of films by visionary filmmakers that represent the diversity and originality that can be found in the current horror landscape.” The exciting program features eight curated short blocks and nine feature films, a horror-inspired self-defense workshop, an exhibition, a festival party with multimedia drag performances, and specialist talks on horror martyrs, made-for-TV horror, ‘female monsters,’ and ‘bad mothers’ in Mexican horror cinema.

Check out the festival trailer link below. And stay tuned for more great coverage from the fest, as Morbidly Beautiful is honored to once again have been selected to cover this important event.

WOMEN IN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL (FEBRUARY 27-29)

The Women in Horror Film Festival will be held this year near Atlanta, Georgia at the Strand Theatre. This is the festival’s third year, and some of the films you can see include Black Lake, Mass Hysteria, and Cold Wind Blowing. Of special interest to A Nightmare on Elm Street fans may be seeing Heather Langenkamp’s debut as a director, Washed Away. Langenkamp is also part of the jury, as well as other prestigious names in horror. Check out the site and grab tickets to enjoy a weekend of celebrating women in the horror industry February 27-29. Morbidly Beautiful is also proud to be sponsoring a Lizzie, the prestigious award given to the best of the fest.

TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND (MAY 1-3, 2020)

Each spring, fans of Texas Frightmare Weekend, now in its 15th year, await the design of the T-shirt and poster that will symbolize the event. This week, we saw the design for the 2020 convention, rendered by artist Timothy Pittides. The drawing depicts an oversized red rose with a skull masterfully hidden in the center and bees flying around the flower. This may be a nod to guest Tony Todd and his famous turn as the iconic Candyman. It’s a beautiful design that will likely grace shirts, posters, glasses, stickers, and hopefully pins. Reserve your shirt now.

Also, be sure to grab your tickets and head to the convention yourself May 1 through 3. Morbidly Beautiful will be there providing lots of great onsite coverage throughout the fest, and we hope to see you there, too!

Streaming Suggestions

THE DEAD LANDS (RELEASE DATE: 1/23/2020)

The Dead Lands, a Shudder original series, follows the story of warrior Waka Nuku Rau as he dies and is brought back to life to discover why the dead aren’t going into the afterlife, but instead staying in this world to hunt the living. It’s a unique blend of supernatural and fantasy that’s a showcase for the Maori; it’s based on Maori myths and features a mostly Maori cast. Look for the first two episodes on January 23, exclusively on Shudder.

THE MARSHES (NOW SHOWING)

Leave it to the Australians to bring us even more great horror. The country that gave us Wolf Creek and The Babadook now gives us a suspenseful survival story called The Marshes. The story follows a trio of scientists that run into evil in a faraway, creepy marsh. Watch it exclusively on Shudder now.

QUEER HORROR (UNTITLED DOCUMENTARY COMING SOON)

Something horror fans have been waiting a long time for will make its way to Shudder this year. The as-of-yet-untitled documentary will focus on queerness in the horror genre, discussing how LGBT+ characters have been portrayed in films throughout the years, such as Sleepaway Camp and Jennifer’s Body up to the present day, as well as filmmakers like Clive Barker. Sam Wineman, who also directed the excellent Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, is behind the wheel of this project. Stay tuned for more information on when this doc drops.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY

American Horror Story fans will be pleased that the Ryan Murphy show just got renewed for three more scary seasons! All we know right now is that fan favorite Sarah Paulson (Coven) will be the star of season 10 of the popular anthology series, and it’s anyone’s guess what the show will be about this season.

CHILD’S PLAY

Chucky’s back, and this time, he’s headed to TV. The Syfy network has announced an original Child’s Play television show. And yes, to answer your first question, Brad Dourif, the original voice of Chucky, will bring his vocal chops back to the role he made famous as the serial-killer-turned-killer-doll. The show will pick up where the film franchise left off, at the end of Cult of Chucky. Though not yet formally announced, we’re hoping this means we’ll also see stars Fiona Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, and Alex Vincent in their iconic roles.

Killer Stuff

NECA HALLOWEEN 2 FIGURES

NECA has impressed horror fans of late with their highly detailed figures based on classic characters ranging from Pennywise to Sam. Now, they’re dropping a two-pack featuring 8-inch renditions of Dr. Loomis and Laurie Strode as their characters appeared in 1981’s Halloween 2. These are authorized, fully licensed figures that are articulated and come with accessories like the pumpkin from the poster. The packaging recreates the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Add the set to your collection on May 20.

Buzzworthy Bites

ATTENTION SAW FANS: BOUSMAN IS BACK!

There’s not much information yet, but if you’re a big fan of the Saw franchise, you’ll grab every morsel of news about this never-ending saga. News has just dropped of yet another Saw movie, but this time, Darren Bousman returns to direct. Titled The Organ Donor, this will be the ninth Saw film. It gets even more interesting when you find out that this movie is based on a story by comedian Chris Rock, who apparently is a huge fan of the series. It should be released on May 15, and Samuel L. Jackson is also attached in a starring role.

A REMAKE WE’RE ACTUALLY HOWLING FOR

It’s early days, but there’s some talk that Andy Muschietti, who successfully brought Pennywise to the big screen, may have his eye on another horror classic: The Howling. After the success of It and It Chapter Two, is it possible that Muschietti will give this ’80s werewolf flick the remake treatment? The original film starring Dee Wallace was given a nod by Muschietti when he mentioned how cool it would be if the film was ever remade during last summer’s It panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It would be a Netflix exclusive film, and we’ll give you more details as the full moon rises!

FRIDAY THE 13TH: WE JUST CAN’T QUIT YOU

There’s a rumor going around of yet another Friday the 13th reboot to celebrate the original film’s 40-year anniversary. The last reboot was a financial flop. Our advice: give Kane Hodder a call.

Stay tuned for more news as it develops. 

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