The Week in Horror: A24’s ‘Lamb’, ‘The Swarm’, ‘Caroushell The 2nd’, + more!

It’s a wacky week for horror fans – maybe even more than normal. We’re two movies into Netflix’s Fear Street and I don’t know about you folks, but I’m into it and think it’s captured the pulpy nostalgia feel that it’s going for. In news, though, I’ve got an unexpected wildlife focus with lambs, locusts, and lethal unicorns, news about upcoming projects from the folks that brought you The Wolf House, Southbound, and what appears to be a weekly feature where I announce yet another new thing that Mike Flanagan is doing.

According to Variety, indie label A24 has picked up Valdimar Jóhannsson’s debut feature, a supernatural horror drama starring Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) that’s being compared to Robert Eggers’ The Witch. Lamb is the story of “a childless couple, María (Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason), who are sheep farmers in Iceland. On Christmas Eve they find a newborn who is half human, half sheep. Longing for a child of their own they decide to keep the lamb-child and raise it as their own regardless of the consequences. This unexpected prospect of a new family brings them much joy, before it ultimately destroys them.”

Sounds like lovely Christmas fun for the whole family! Gather ‘round for the extremely gripping first trailer here, which was unleashed this week: 

Prano Bailey Bond’s Censor is making waves all around the world, and the filmmaker has her next project lined up according to Variety. The film is called Things We Lost in the Fire and is based on an Argentinean short story by Mariana Enriquez about a community of women that takes extreme action in response to increasing male violence. Censor deserves every bit of the praise it’s been getting, and I have every expectation that Prano Bailey Bond will be even better in her second outing.

Duke, the homicidal unicorn that was brought to life by (of course) Nazis in the first Caroushell movie is back! The follow-up to Steve Rudzinski’s surprise horror-comedy hit is, naturally, called Caroushell The 2nd and the film’s synopsis is, well, a bit of a journey:

Duke has always wondered about his purpose in life. Who he was, what he was, what he was meant to do. He just found out he is a father. He needs to meet his son, he needs to find out. Is fatherhood his answer? At the same time, those who created Duke years ago have finally found him. The Nazis who created Duke as a weapon want him back. Duke needs to confront them. Is being a weapon his answer? Now Duke has to deal with being a dad AND Nazis using dark magic.

If that’s not enough, check out the trailer for “the Joker of killer unicorn movies”, which recently got funding on Kickstarter:

Screen Daily reported that Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound) and David Bruckner (The Ritual, The Night House) will be collaborating on an upcoming film called Fall Into Darkness, with Benjamin directing from a screenplay by Bruckner and Nick Tecosky. The film is an adaptation of 2014’s La Cueva and will tell the tale of “American backpackers stranded with locals in a vast cave system in Dominican Republic.” Lorenza Izzo (Knock Knock), Nell Tiger Free (Game of Thrones), and Thomas Doherty (Gossip Girl) are signed on to star.  

Like the Wu Tang Killa Bees, we’re on The Swarm with this new trailer for Just Philippot‘s feature debut. In The Swarm, “Virginie lives on a farm with her children Laura and Gaston and raises locusts as a high-protein crop. Life is hard: money worries and practical problems are piling up, tensions with her kids and neighbors are running high. But everything changes when she discovers the locusts have a taste for blood.”

Netflix will be releasing this delicious-sounding horror on August 6, but you can get a taste right here. I was taken aback by the production value on this film, but you might want to cover your eyes if bugs squick you out:

Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House) was something I stumbled upon almost by random on Shudder a while back but it completely captured my imagination. It’s a stop-motion terror with captivating visuals and atmosphere for days. Apparently I’m not alone in that opinion as, according to Variety the pair have wrapped their next production, a short film called Los Huesos (The Bones), with executive producer backing from Ari Aster. The Hereditary and Midsommar director said that “with La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House), Cociña and León struck [him] as the clear successors to Jan Svankmajer and the Quays. Here they seem to be channeling Ladislas Starevich and Joel-Peter Witkin, while sharpening their uncanny and unmistakable signature. Los Huesos is a brilliant film by two utterly singular filmmakers.”

Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s The Bones, Courtesy of Variety
Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s The Bones, Courtesy of Variety

Mike Flanagan never takes a break, huh? The prolific writer/director has numerous projects in the work, including an adaptation of Christopher Pike’s Season of Passage, but The Hollywood Reporter reports that he’s taken on yet another adaptation alongside his Doctor Sleep compadre Trevor Macy called Something Is Killing The Children. The story is based on the successful Boom! Studios graphic novel of the same name and will be adapted to a series for Netflix. The novel is by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera and has been published in monthly installments since 2019. 

The synopsis of Something Is Killing The Children reads as follows: “When the children of Archer’s Peak begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible stories of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to see what they can see. Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it MUST be done.

Sounds like a perfect project for Flanagan and Macy, and we’ll bring you more news when we get it.

Supernatural horror The Old Ways from director Christopher Alender and writer Marcos Gabriel has just wrapped up a successful festival run following a premiere at Sitges, the Florida Film Festival, the Brussels International Film Festival, the Glasgow Film Festival, and more. The last stop for the well-received creeper is Netflix, which will premiere the film on July 29.

In The Old Ways, “Cristina, a journalist of Mexican origin, travels to her ancestral home in Veracruz to investigate a story of sorcery and healing. There, she is kidnapped by a group of locals who claim she’s the devil incarnated.

We have a trailer for The Old Ways here which should pique your interest ahead of the Netflix release of the film.

Finally, everyone was talking last week about the trailer for Don’t Breathe 2, the sequel to the 2016 home-invasion horror hit starring Jane Levy and Stephen Lang. The controversy is that it sure looks like they’re making Lang’s Blind Man into the protagonist for this sequel, which, if you’ve seen the first movie, is problematic to say the least. It’s still early to tell whether that’s actually the case, but we did get a new poster ahead of the film’s theatrical release on August 13.

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