Although 2020 was bad for blockbuster movies, it was a great year for indies. These movies may have had a small budget but carried a mighty punch when it came to storytelling. Anything for Jackson, The Wretched, and Spontaneous come to mind.
It was a weird year for movie release dates too. Some premiered at festivals in 2019 were then picked up for distribution in 2020. But the pandemic dealt setbacks by closing theaters. Therefore these movies were sent to 2021 in hopes coronavirus would be done toying with release dates. That remains to be seen.
A few of these indies are headed straight to VOD and some will get concurrent releases in states that allow theatergoers to social distance inside the auditorium. For now, we are going to assume that the below movies will get a place at the cineplex at some point in 2021, but more than likely will hit you up for admission via On Demand or head exclusively to streamers.
Here’s the list:
Psycho Goreman (Jan. 22)
Young siblings resurrect and take control of an alien bent on destroying Earth. They force him to do their bidding but accidentally alert intergalactic assassins who descend upon their small town to wreak even further havoc. This practical effects bloodfest was reviewed by iHorror’s own Jacob Davison who called it “A heartwarming and heart-ripping family classic.”
Saint Maud (Jan. 29)
This movie premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Subsequently, it got a U.K. wide-release over a year later, but hasn’t been available for people in the United States. iHorror recently reported that int Saint Maud is coming to theaters on Jan. 29 with an exclusive run on EPIX around Feb. 12.
Saint Maud follows a young nurse who has just converted to Catholicism. She becomes obsessed with one of her hospice clients—a former dancer—and thinks the woman’s soul is in danger. Maude takes it upon herself to deliver the patient from evil by any means necessary. Saint Maud is an A24 film.
Terrifier 2 (TBD: 2021)
Given the fanbase the first Terrifier has attracted, it’s sequel is one of the most anticipated of 2021. Art the Clown has become a rising movie monster right up there with Freddy and Chucky. Some production setbacks have hindered its release, but the director of Terrifier 2, Damien Leone, assures iHorror that this film will be ready to view in the upcoming months.
The Vigil (Theaters, Digital and VOD Feb. 26)
Perhaps not since 2012’s The Possession have we had another supernatural horror movie based around Jewish folklore. The Vigil left audiences awestruck at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and on February 26, 2021 you can finally see why it was rated among the best.
Steeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, The Vigil is a supernatural horror film set over the course of a single evening in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood. Low on funds and having recently left his insular religious community, Yakov (Dave Davis) reluctantly accepts an offer from his former rabbi and confidante (Menashe Lustig) to take on the responsibility of an overnight “shomer,” fulfilling the Jewish practice of watching over the body of a deceased community member. Shortly after arriving at the recently departed’s dilapidated house to sit the vigil, Yakov begins to realize that something is very, very wrong.
Bloody Hell ( In Select Theaters, Drive-Ins and On Demand January 14, 2021 On DVD/Blu-Ray January 19, 2021)
Rated R for bloody violence, gore, and language throughout, Bloody Hell is getting great word of mouth. What’s even better is that this is supposed to be part one of a trilogy. Alister Grierson (Sanctum) directs.
Here’s what it’s about:
A man with a mysterious past flees the country to escape his own personal hell… only to arrive somewhere much, much, much worse. In an effort to survive this new horror, he turns to his personified conscience.
Last Night in Soho (Expected April 23, 2021)
With no official trailer and very little to go on, Night Last in Soho might be the most obscure title on this list. It’s supposedly an homage to British horror filmmakers and might feature some time travel. Sadly, this was the final film for legendary actress Diana Rigg.
Here’s what it’s about:
A young girl, passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
Vicious Fun (TBD 2021)
Cody Calahan’s indie period 80s piece has been lauded by critics. Modern Horrors called it, “a shocking, surprising, and downright delightful highlight of 2020.” And iHorror’s own Kelly McNeely said, after she saw it at Sitges Film Festival, “You’ll have a lot of fun. And it will be vicious. Vicious fun. There you go.”
Here’s what it’s about:
Aubrey Plaza Wants to be the Next Tim Burton With ‘Hocus Pocus’ Like Film
Aubrey Plaza has long been a self-affirmed “sea hag”. Her dark personality and sense of humor has long been a favorite of ours. Now, with her production company, Evil Hag Productions, she intends to make a family-friendly film that is something like Tim Burton meets Hocus Pocus.
While talking to GQ, Plaza said that she would like to “…fill the Tim Burton slot” by putting together her first directorial effort. The family-friendly affair is said to be a mix of Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus.
Plaza can currently be seen in Evil Hag Production’s Emily the Criminal and on HBO’s White Lotus season 2.
We can’t wait to see what Plaza has to offer in her directorial efforts. It would be great to see her built a brand and aesthetic as awesome as Burton’s.
M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Knock at the Cabin’ Finds Danger Right Outside
M. Night Shyamalan’s next film is already on its way. The ominous Knock at the Cabin is incredibly intriguing, especially since the first trailer gave away so little. The first poster for Knock at the Cabin is just as ominous as the teaser.
Shyamalan’s last film Old, played up the Twilight Zone like mystery and took it to Sci-Fi levels. Knock at the Cabin looks to trump that and move far into the horror/thriller genre.
The synopsis for Knock at the Cabin goes like this:
“While vacationing at a remote cabin, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.”
Knock at the Cabin arrives in theaters beginning February 3.
‘Cocaine Bear’ Gives Us One of the Wildest Posters of the Year
Elizabeth Banks has decided to grace our eyeballs with one of the wildest titles, posters and film synopsis’ of the past decade. I’m of course talking about Cocaine Bear. This true story is one of those that you have to see to believe. But, the title is exactly what you think it is.
Kentucky 1985 was the time and place. A really unlucky bear ingested a lot of cocaine that was dropped in the woods by a smuggler. Unfortunately, the bear died from an overdose but not before going on a real rager beforehand.
Deadline’s synopsis for Cocaine Bear is as follows:
“The movie finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500- pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow … and blood.”
The film stars Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Cocaine Bear comes raging into theaters February 24.