The Week in Horror: ‘Unkillable’, ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’, ‘Zalava’, + more!

Horror news: it’s what’s for dinner. This week, I’ve got a bangin’ new joint from John Carpenter from the score of Halloween Kills, news on the exciting new films in the second series of Amazon’s Welcome to the Blumhouse, a new trailer for Iranian horror Zalava, and more! Check it all out here!

With summer swiftly coming to an end, it’s hard to believe that we’re only a bit more than a month out from the release of David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills on October 15. We’ve already seen that trailer, but how about something more musical? It’s well-known that John Carpenter is scoring the film alongside his son Cody and Daniel Davies, and the team have released the first track from the score, called Unkillable., which you can hear right here:

I’ve been playing this one a lot since it dropped, and if the rest of the score follows this pattern of synthy spookiness, I’m down for the whole thing. If this isn’t enough, you can preorder the soundtrack from Waxwork Records with some limited-edition art here.

Groundbreaking horror series Welcome to the Blumhouse is Welcome to the Blum-back on Amazon with a slate of four new original films. This year, the films will be released in a pair of double features on October 1 (Bingo Hell and Black as Night) and October 8 (Madres and The Manor). Here’s the deal on all four of the films:

Bingo Hell (dir. Gigi Saul Guerrero, starring Adriana Barraza, L. Scott Caldwell, Richard Brake and Joshua Caleb Johnson)

When a sinister figure threatens the residents of a low-income community, a feisty senior citizen tries to stop him in Bingo Hell, a wickedly original horror movie with a fiendishly funny twist. After 60-something neighborhood activist Lupita (Adriana Barraza) discovers that her beloved local bingo hall has been taken over by a mysterious businessman named Mr. Big (Richard Brake), she rallies her elderly friends to fight back against the enigmatic entrepreneur. But when her longtime neighbors begin turning up dead under grisly circumstances, Lupita suddenly discovers that gentrification is the least of her problems. Something terrifying has made itself at home in the quiet barrio of Oak Springs, and with each new cry of “Bingo!” another victim falls prey to its diabolical presence. As the cash prizes increase and the body count steadily rises, Lupita must face the frightening realization that this game is truly winner-takes-all.

Black As Night (dir. Maritte Lee Go, starring Asjha Cooper, Fabrizio Guido, Mason Beauchamp, Abbie Gayle with Craig Tate and Keith David)

A resourceful teenage girl leaves childhood behind when she battles a group of deadly vampires in Black as Night, an action-horror hybrid with a strong social conscience and a biting sense of humor. Fifteen years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, a new threat leaves its mark on the Big Easy in the form of puncture wounds on the throats of the city’s vulnerable displaced population. When her drug-addicted mom becomes the latest victim of the undead, 15-year old Shawna (Asjha Cooper) vows to even the score. Along with three trusted friends, Shawna hatches a bold plan to infiltrate the vampire’s mansion in the historic French Quarter, destroy their leader, and turn his fanged disciples back to their human form. But killing monsters is no easy task, and soon Shawna and her crew find themselves caught in a centuries-old conflict between warring vampire factions, each fighting to claim New Orleans as their permanent home.

Madres (dir. Ryan Zaragoza, starring Tenoch Huerta, Ariana Guerra, Evelyn Gonzalez, Kerry Cahill, and Elpidia Carrillo)

Beto (Tenoch Huerta) and Diana (Ariana Guerra), a young Mexican-American couple expecting their first child, move to a small town in 1970’s California where Beto has been offered a job managing a farm. Isolated from the community and plagued by confusing nightmares, Diana explores the rundown company ranch where they reside, finding a grisly talisman and a box containing the belongings of the previous residents. Her discoveries will lead her to a truth much stranger and more terrifying than she could have possibly imagined.

The Manor (dir.  Axelle Carolyn, starring Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison, Nicholas Alexander, Jill Larsen, Fran Bennett and Katie Amanda Keane)

A malevolent force preys upon the residents of a sleepy nursing home in The Manor, a gothic tale of terror with a modern twist. When a mild stroke diminishes her ability to care for herself, Judith Albright (Barbara Hershey) moves to Golden Sun Manor, an assisted living facility with a sterling reputation. But despite the best efforts of the staff, and a budding friendship with fellow senior Roland (Bruce Davidson), strange occurrences and nightmarish visions convince Judith that a sinister presence is haunting the massive estate. As residents begin to die mysteriously, Judith’s frantic warnings are dismissed as fantasy. Even her devoted grandson Josh (Nicholas Alexander) thinks her fears are the result of dementia, not demons. With no one willing to believe her, Judith must either escape the confines of the manor, or fall victim to the evil that dwells within it.

Iranian horror Zalava will be playing both the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival next month and is looking to take the world by storm. Arsalan Amiri’s film revealed it’s first trailer this week, which is exclusively available to watch on Deadline.

Zalava, image courtesy of TIFF

In the film: “Set in 1978, the film hones in on the inhabitants of a small village in Iran called Zalava who claim there is a demon among them. Massoud, a young police officer who investigates the claim encounters an exorcist attempting to rid the village of the demon. When he arrests the exorcist on charges of fraud, the villagers revolt and anger escalates. Massoud and his lover, a government doctor, soon find themselves trapped in a cursed house, surrounded by villagers who believe they are both possessed by the demon.

One of my favourite distractions during the pandemic has been the multiplayer joys of Rebellion’s Zombie Army 4: Dead War (which I reviewed a while back). Well, the creators have done something remarkable and have created a whole short film entirely within the game’s engine, called Zombie Army: Legion of the Dead. It’s an ultraviolent, heart-pounding little four-minute escapade that looks great. You can check out the film right here:

Finally, Deadline reported that Emily Hagins, who directed the opening segment (Cold Open) of the Scare Package anthology film for Shudder, is teaming up with the spooky streamer and Paper Street Productions for a new feature called Sorry About the Demon. The horror comedy is written and directed by Hagins and recently wrapped production with a planned release date on Shudder next year. Sorry About the Demon stars Jon Michael Simpson, Olivia Ducayen, Paige Evans, Jeff McQuitty and Presley Allard. If it lives up to Paper Street CEO Aaron B Koontz’s description of a “wonderful mix of John Hughes by way of James Wan” I am completely down for this one.

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