The Week in Horror: ‘Tailgate’, ‘Evil Dead Rise’, ‘The Last Matinee’, + more!

Hello, fiends friends! I’m going to use this space, yet again, to give my highest possible recommendation for you horror fans to check out Leigh Janiak’s Fear Street trilogy on Netflix, which wrapped up last Friday with Fear Street 1666. For a series that’s adapted from a bunch of teen-focused pulpy horror books from the 90’s, it captured my imagination and, most impressively, touched on a few different kinds of horror in just three films, and that’s more than most horror series can boast. Similarly, this week’s edition of horror news covers a bunch of different kinds of horror as well, from a kaiju film (with puppets!) to giallo, to nearly everything in between.

Norwegian road rage thriller Tailgate has a new trailer ahead of its DVD release on August 3. The 2019 film from director Lodewijk Crijnswas named the Best Dutch Film of that year by the Dutch critics association and was the inspiration for the 2020 Russell Crowe film, Unhinged.

In Tailgate, “Hans, his wife, and two young children hit the highway on a trip to visit family. After getting stuck behind a slow-moving van, he recklessly starts to antagonize the eerily stoic driver, blaring the horn and riding his bumper. Little does he realize that he’s just crossed the wrong motorist – a deranged madman who sets out to teach Hans a lesson he’ll not soon forget. Lured into an alarming game of vehicular cat and mouse, a simple family road trip turns into a deadly obstacle course in this nerve-wracking, pulse-pounding thriller, an Official Selection at the Sitges Film Festival and FrightFest.”

Take a look at the trailer for Tailgate, which is currently available on VOD and will be released on DVD on August 3:

“No talking. No texting. No breathing.…” In the new Dark Sky x Bloody Disgusting production, called The Last Matinee, extreme gore and neo-giallo vibes are on the menu. In the film, “the audience attending the last showing of a horror film in a small downtown cinema is terrorized by a murderer who begins to pick them off, one by one. The only person to notice that something strange is going on is the projectionist’s daughter.”

Written and directed by Maxi Contenti and starring Luciana Grasso, Ricardo Islas, Julieta Spinelli, Franco Duran and Pedro Duarte, The Last Matinee will be released in theatres on August 6 and VOD on August 24.

The Last Matinee isn’t the only giallo throwback that got a new trailer this week, though. The Arrow Video Frightfest, which brings it’s showcase of horror to London’s Cineworld Leicester Square from August 26-30 this year, will be premiering Kevin Kopacka‘s Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes. The festival describes the film as an “undiscovered Mario Bava S&M shocker before turning into a José Ramón Larraz acid trip.” I don’t know about y’all but that’s enough to sell me, right there.

In the 70’s-inspired Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes, “[h]aving just inherited a run-down castle, a dispirited woman and her ill-tempered husband decide to spend the night, as time and reality slowly start to shift around them.” Take a look at the trailer here, and watch this space for news about when this film will be released!

One of the more interesting projects I heard about this week was a kaiju film from director Daisuke Sato called Howl From Beyond The Fog. You’ve seen kaiju films before (I hope) but this is something different, primarily because it doesn’t feature any human actors other than the guy in the rubber suit. The rest of the ‘cast’ is made up of puppets that have been created in the iconic bunraku style.

In Howl From Beyond The Fog, “in Kyushu during the Meiji era, a blind girl, named Takiri, and the blind monster from a nearby lake, named Nebula, fight against greedy developers who threaten to take over her family’s land.” The film is currently available on DVD. Check out the awesome trailer, which is one of the best things I’ve seen this week!

Brea Grant will follow up her directorial debut in the fantastic Lucky with a new film called Tattered Hearts for Blumhouse. The Hollywood Reporter wrote this week that the film has signed Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) in the lead role and “will follow an up-and-coming country music duo who seek out the secluded mansion of their idol, Harper Dutch (Sagal). What starts out as a friendly visit devolves into a twisted series of horrors that force the friends to confront the lengths they’ll go to in order to realize their dreams.” Tattered Hearts will be part of a series of films that Blumhouse is producing for the Epix cable channel, and will debut in 2022.

Ju-On director and creator of The Grudge, Takashi Shimizu also has a new project in the works called Howling Village, and it’s got an absolutely harrowing new trailer out this week. In the film,  “[a]fter her brother goes missing, Kanade, a young psychologist visits his last known location, an infamous haunted and cursed site known as ‘Howling Village’ to investigate his disappearance. Her investigation reveals that the village’s mysteries are connected to her family and works to uncover her family’s dark history.”

Howling Village will be released through the Dread distribution machine. It will have a theatre release on August 13, a VOD release on August 17, and a Blu-Ray release on September 14. Take a look at this spooky trailer, already!

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly this week, Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell let slip some details about a new film in the Necronomicon-based series called Evil Dead Rises. In the interview, he said that “­[p]eople can actually call it what [they] want: Sequel, remake, reimagining. It really is just another Evil Dead movie. It’s book-centric. It’s all about [the Necronomicon]. Where does this book wind up and what happens to it over the millennia?”

“In this case, it’s set in the city, it’s no more cabin in the woods. It’s entirely different, unsuspecting heroines who are going to save the day. It’s filming now in New Zealand, with some of their amazing crews down there and they’re well into it. Rob Tapert is the hands-on producer and we’re all very involved in the script. We all jump in at various times to chime in.”

Variety provided some additional details on Evil Dead Rises, saying that “[t]he next chapter in the saga builds off the original trilogy, rather than the 2013 reboot, and moves the action out of the woods and into the city. The twisted tale centers on two estranged sisters, portrayed by Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.”

We got a teaser trailer for the much-anticipated upcoming Chucky TV series that’s coming to USA Network and SyFy on October 12. Don Mancini also did an interview with Entertainment Weekly this week and had this to say:

“The main character is a 14-year-old gay boy who’s bullied and sort of lost after the recent death of his mother. He’s a young artist [making] sculptures with doll parts. He finds Chucky at a yard sale and buys him, but it turns out that he gets much more than he bargained for. One of the things I wanted to do was bring [the franchise] back to its Child’s Play roots and have the protagonists [be] kids. But since, with the first couple of movies, we’d already delved into having little kids I wanted to explore something different, so this time we’re exploring young teenagers.”

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