Week of November 28 – December 4:
1. The Advent Calendar
Eva, an ex-dancer, is now using a wheelchair, unable to walk. When her friend Sophie gives her an old wooden antique advent calendar before Christmas, she realizes each window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life. Some of them are good, but most of them are bad, really bad. Now Eva will have to choose between getting rid of the calendar or walking again – even if it causes death and destruction to everyone she holds dear around her.
Release: Theatrical (Limited) (Amazon Prime Dec. 10)
A decorated Marine (Riz Ahmed) goes on a rescue mission to save his two young sons from a mysterious threat. As their journey takes them in increasingly dangerous directions, the boys will need to leave their childhoods behind.
3. Red Pill
Release: On Demand
On the eve of the 2020 election, a posse of six progressives ride into red country armed with heart, humor, and naiveté, what they really need is heavy artillery. Despite the glaring warning signs that Cassandra (Pinkins) is so keenly aware, the group ignore the red flags and focus on their triumphant dreams of getting the vote out. A frightening prescient look at the weaponization of Whiteness in America; their dreams of getting the vote out are quickly slashed—death is their final ballot entry.
4. The Scary of Sixty-First
Release: Theatrical (Limited)
While out apartment hunting, college pals Noelle and Addie stumble upon the deal of a lifetime: a posh duplex on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. But soon after moving in, a more sinister picture of the apartment emerges when a mysterious woman arrives and claims the property used to belong to the infamous and recently-deceased Jeffrey Epstein. With this news, Noelle becomes obsessed with the visitor—to the point of infatuation. As the pair plunge deeper into the conspiracies of the Epstein case, Addie falls into her own bizarre state: a pseudo-possession complete with inexplicable fits of age-regressed sexual mania. As they peel back on these strange occurrences, the truth reveals itself to be more twisted than they could have ever imagined.
5. Silent Night
Release: Theatrical (Limited)/On Demand
From producers Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman franchise), Trudie Styler (Moon) and Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright), Silent Night follows parents Nell (Keira Knightley) and Simon (Matthew Goode) who have invited their closest friends to join their family for Christmas dinner at their idyllic home in the English countryside. As the group comes together, it feels like old times — but behind all of the laughter and merriment, something is not quite right. The world outside is facing impending doom, and no amount of gifts, games or Prosecco can make mankind’s imminent destruction go away. Surviving the holidays just got a lot more complicated.
6. The Unkind
Release: On Demand
Six friends vacationing at a historic mansion release an ancient witch from her slumber, awakening her centuries old thirst for blood.
7. Giallo Collection
The Possessed (1965) masterfully combines noir, mystery and giallo tropes in a proto-giallo based on one of Italy’s most notorious crimes. It tells the story of a depressed novelist (Peter Baldwin) in search of his old flame (Virna Lisi) who has disappeared under suspicious circumstances, prompting an investigation that finds him plunged into a disturbing drama of familial secrets, perversion, madness and murder. The Fifth Cord (1971) boasts a complex, Agatha Christie-esque plot of investigation into a series of brutal assaults. As the body count rises, whisky swilling journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero) finds himself under suspicion, making it all the more imperative he crack the case. The Pyjama Girl Case (1978), inspired by a real-life case that baffles to this day, takes us to Australia where former inspector Timpson comes out of retirement to crack the case of a young woman, found on the beach, shot in the head, burned to hide her identity and dressed in distinctive yellow pajamas…
8. The Last Matinee
The audience attending the last showing of a horror film in a small downtown cinema are 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.
9. The Laughing Dead
A busload of travelers and their guide, on the hunt for Aztec ruins, decide to stop in an all but forgotten-to-time Mexican village, on the eve of the Day of the Dead. The tour leader, a disgraced priest, is enlisted by a local doctor to perform what he believes to be an exorcism, but in actuality, the doctor is using him to begin a diabolical ritual intended to bring about Hell on Earth! Among the weirder and more original indie horror films to pop up at the tail end of the 80s, Thai born filmmaker Somtow Sucharitkul’sTHE LAUGHING DEAD, which he directed, wrote, produced, scored, and acts in, plays heavily into the colorful, gory, and effortlessly surreal tropes of Asian horror films of the 70s and early 80s, but relocates the setting to rural Mexico. Reveling in plentiful and creative death scenes (including a human ‘basketball’), all gorgeously photographed by David Boyd (The Walking Dead), Vinegar Syndrome is delighted to present the world Blu-ray debut of THE LAUGHING DEAD, newly restored in 4K from its original negative.
Malignant is the latest creation from Conjuring universe architect James Wan. The film marks director Wan’s return to his roots with this new original horror thriller. In the film, Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
11. Nothing Underneath / Too Beautiful to Die
Nothing Underneath: Bob Crane has long maintained a psychic connection to his twin sister, Jessica, who works as a fashion model in Milan. When Bob senses that his sister might be injured or killed, he travels to Italy to look for her, only to discover that she’s vanished without a trace. Enlisting the help of about-to-retire Commissioner Danesi, Bob soon finds himself embroiled in a web of mystery and terror, when a scissors wielding killer begins to strike and all clues lead back to Jessica… A highly entertaining and unexpectedly raunchy late period giallo, clearly taking a cue from the American slasher craze, Carlo Vanzina’s NOTHING UNDERNEATH amps up its mid 80s stylings and stars prolific TV actor Tom Schanley (TV’s Dexter), Danish fashion model Renée Simonsen, and Donald Pleasence (Halloween) and features a lush score by Pino Donaggio (Dressed to Kill). Too Beautiful to Die: A group of high fashion models have been invited to an isolated house to attend a party. As the night wears on, one of the models falls victim to a deadly ‘accident,’ which sets into motion a series of brutal murders, all traced back to a shocking secret… An in name only sequel to Nothing Underneath, prolific commercial director Dario Piana’s feature film debut, TOO BEAUTIFUL TO DIE is a quickly paced, ultra stylized, and satisfyingly violent giallo/slasher hybrid which stars French TV star François-Eric Gendron, Florence Guérin (Faceless), and Randi Ingerman.
12. Raiders of Atlantis
’80s exploitation maestro Ruggero Deodato (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST) fuses high-concept sci-fi adventure with low-brow gorehound horror in Raiders of Atlantis. When a pair of Miami mercenaries – Christopher Connelly (STRIKE COMMANDO) and Tony King (CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE) – rescue a team of scientists investigating the lost city of Atlantis, they’ll instead discover a post-apocalypse nightmare of punk-rock marauders, exploding stuntmen and synth-disco carnage.
13. Saint Maud
The debut film from writer-director Rose Glass, Saint Maud is a chilling and boldly original vision of faith, madness, and salvation in a fallen world. Maud, a newly devout hospice nurse, becomes obsessed with saving her dying patient’s soul — but sinister forces, and her own sinful past, threaten to put an end to her holy calling.
14. Shatter Dead
When the Angel of Death impregnates a mortal woman, the dead cease to die and the world becomes inexplicably populated by morose and disenfranchised zombies whose primary desire is to co-exist with the living during their never ending plight on Earth. Determined to traverse through this dystopian landscape and return home to her boyfriend, the gun-toting Susan runs afoul of a car-jacking, undead religious cult led by a mysterious zealot known only as The Preacher Man. With suicide now a pathway to eternal youth, Susan must grapple with her own mortality after discovering that her lover has gone through an ominous transformation of his own in her absence.
15. Summer of 84 4K
Summer, 1984: The perfect time to be 15 years old and free. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong begins to suspect his police officer neighbor might be the serial killer all over the local news, he and his three best friends begin an investigation that soon turns dangerous.
An assortment of unruly and misfit teens have all been forced to attend camp at a wildlife preserve, to commune with nature. What they don’t realize is that nearby in the woods, an illicit marijuana growing operation is underway and the weed farmers have been using a pesticide which has had one very unintended side effect: turning ordinary ticks into giant, ravenous bloodsuckers. One of the quintessential creature features of the early 90s, Tony Randel’s TICKS pays loving tribute to 1950s giant monster movies, updating the formula by adding copious amounts of slime and heavily increased bloodshed. Starring Seth Green (Austin Powers), Alfonso Ribeiro (TV’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Rosalind Allen (TV’s Seinfeld) and a very memorable appearance from Clint Howard (Ice Cream Man), Vinegar Syndrome brings TICKS to 4K UHD for the very first time in a never-before-seen extended version, featuring comprehensive interviews and commentaries with the film’s key creators including producer Brian Yuzna (Society) and TICKS creator and effects supervisor, Doug Beswick.