It looks like May will be a somewhat busy month in regards to horror and sci-fi VOD/Digital HD releases, as we have thirteen different titles arriving before Memorial Day. Dark Sky Films is kicking things off with Adrián García Bogliano’s Scherzo Diabolico, and for those of you wanting to check out the latest from Kane Hodder, The Haunting of Alice D arrives on all digital platforms the very same day.
Scream Factory is unleashing their latest film, Bite, on VOD on May 6th, and Regression, the mystery thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, is getting released on May 10th courtesy of Starz Digital. Also, one of my favorite films from the 2015 Los Angeles Film Fest, Crush the Skull, is being released on May 17th courtesy of Breaking Glass Pictures.
Other notable VOD titles for May 2016 include The Offering, What We Become, The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, and The Ones Below.
The Haunting of Alice D (RLJ Entertainment) – May 3rd
In the late 1890s, Davenport House was a famously successful brothel, ruled with an iron fist by an owner notorious for his cruelty and insatiable greed. Virtually imprisoned inside these walls, young Alice was forced to endure years of brutality and sexual slavery – until she took murderous revenge on her captors and tragically ended her own life. More than a century later, the latest Davenport heir is hosting a decadent bash in the newly renovated mansion – complete with drugs, prostitutes and just one rule: anything goes. But the “fun” has barely begun when strange, terrifying things begin to happen. Suddenly, the legend of Alice’s tormented ghost proves to be very real as the guests discover firsthand that vengeance never rests in peace!
Scherzo Diabolico (Dark Sky Films) – May 3rd
With SCHERZO DIABOLICO, the prolific and wildly inventive Adrián García Bogliano (Here Comes the Devil, Late Phases, The ABCs of Death, Penumbra) has created a tale of dread concerning a seemingly mild-mannered man who enacts a disturbing plan for vengeance.
Aram (Francisco Barreiro, We Are What We Are, Here Comes the Devil) is a low-paid accountant living an unbearably dull existence. With a nagging wife who berates him for not being assertive enough, he quietly suffers while awaiting a long-deserved promotion. But there's more to Aram than his quiet demeanor lets on: He has been secretly devising a scheme to finally get what he feels he is owed.
One day he asserts his power menacingly when he kidnaps a schoolgirl (Daniela Solo Vell, Eddie Reynolds y Los Angeles de Acero) and keeps her tied up in an abandoned warehouse. But what seems like the perfect plan soon unravels into his worst nightmare, and his carefully constructed scheme comes crashing down piece by bloody piece.
In this twisted thriller, Bogliano uses his startling visionary style to subvert genre conventions while constantly keeping us guessing as to what will happen next in what becomes a gritty game of cat and mouse.
Bite (Scream Factory) – May 6th
While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey, the bride to be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding but before she's able to, she starts exhibiting insect like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.
The Horde (Gravitas Ventures) – May 6th
The Horde follows ex-Navy Seal John Crenshaw (rising action star Paul Logan) as he accompanies his girlfriend and her students on a weekend nature-photography expedition deep into the woods. What should be an educational and fun-filled trip turns into horror as the group is besieged by an unspeakable evil: a horde of hideously disfigured, mutated humans with an insatiable taste for blood. As things go from bad to worse, Crenshaw becomes their only hope if they want to re-emerge from the woods alive.
The Offering (Momentum Pictures) – May 6th
When successful reporter Jamie (Elizabeth Rice) finds out that her sister has died mysteriously, she travels to Singapore to uncover the truth. There, she discovers multiple deaths linked to her sister and must join forces with her sister’s husband (Matthew Settle) in order to defeat a demonic entity that is using new technology to complete an ancient mission.
Regression (Starz Digital) – May 10th
Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.
Cash Only (FilmBuff) – May 13th
Elvis Martini is in deep shit. His dilapidated Detroit apartment building is about to be foreclosed on by the bank, most of his tenants are behind on rent, and he’s in big debt to bookies in the dangerous Albanian underworld. The only light in his dark world is his nine-year-old daughter, Lena; he’s in debt to her school, too. Elvis finds some ill-gotten cash in an evicted tenant’s apartment and is able to briefly keeps the wolves at bay, but he soon learns that the money belonged to an even bigger wolf – one that wants his stolen money back.
When Lena is kidnapped by the mysterious menace he’s accidentally messed with, Elvis has 24 hours to come up with $25,000 to save his daughter's life: cash only.
Lensed on location in the cold, dangerous trenches of Detroit, CASH ONLY’s World Premiere at the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival was met with great acclaim, and took home the festival’s Best Director award. The Hollywood Reporter called it “one of the more convincingly gritty indies to hit fests in several seasons” and TwitchFilm praised it for being “both sharp and vulnerable.”
Most Likely to Die (MarVista Entertainment) – May 13th
Gaby has been dreading her high school reunion for months. It’s not that she doesn’t want to hang out with the old gang; as one of the top players on the Texas Hold ‘Em poker tour, she’s come a long way from her high school tag, “Most Likely To Play the Hand She’s Dealt.” But old grudges die hard — and it seems one of her former friends isn’t content to let the past rest in peace.
The suspense mounts as one by one, Gaby’s friends are picked off, each murdered in a manner that pays gruesome homage to their yearbook superlatives. As the body count climbs, Gaby’s forced to admit that one of her friends is a psychotic killer. But who? The Jock? The Class President? The Prankster? With their numbers dwindling, suspicion and mistrust pit friend against friend in a deadly race against time. Because at this reunion, it doesn’t matter what you were voted in high school. Everyone is Most Likely To… Die!
What We Become (IFC Midnight) – May 13th
The Johansson family’s idyllic summer is brought to an abrupt halt as deaths stack up from a virulent strand of the flu. The authorities start off by cordoning off the neighborhood, but soon panic and force the inhabitants into quarantine in their hermetically-sealed houses. Isolated from the rest of the world, teen Gustav spies out and realizes that the situation is getting out of control. He breaks out, but soon the family of four comes under attack from the riotous, blood-‐thirsty mob who forces them to the extreme to escape alive.
Crush the Skull (Breaking Glass Pictures) – May 17th
A group of thieves find themselves trapped in a house they intended to rob, only to discover they've inadvertently wandered into the lair of a deranged serial killer. Forced now to navigate his sadistic torture den, will they survive?
The Curse of Sleeping Beauty (XLRator Films) – May 17th
"The Curse of Sleeping Beauty" is an entirely new, dark vision of the classic Brothers Grimm adventure. Thomas Kaiser (Ethan Peck) inherits an ancestral mansion that has been in his family for generations -- only to learn that he has also inherited an ancient curse stemming back to the Crusades. Forced into his new role as "protector" -- the guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay -- Thomas must unravel the mystery of the house, while struggling to awaken the beautiful Briar Rose (India Eisley), held captive in a terrifying netherworld seen previously in his dreams.
The Ghost and the Whale (MarVista Entertainment) – May 17th
Joseph Hawthorne went off to sea with the love of his life, Annabel Lee, but returned to the sleepy town of Bodega Bay alone. Annabel’s disappearance, along with Joseph’s exoneration creates a mystery among the town. One year later, journalist Ed Hale visits Bodega Bay in hope to cover Joseph’s story, but finds that Joseph now alters between hysterical mania and crippling melancholia, and spends most of this time with his only friend, a massive gray whale. As Ed and a gregarious local, Mitch Captree, explore Joseph’s story, Annabel’s diabolical brother, Jack, returns home to exact his revenge. Joseph and Ed must survive long enough to uncover the truth about Annabel’s disappearance.
The Ones Below (Magnet Releasing) – May 27th
THE ONES BELOW is the debut feature from writer-director David Farr (screenwriter of HANNA and AMC’s THE NIGHT MANAGER), starring the ensemble cast of Cleěmence Poeěsy (BIRDSONG, THE TUNNEL, HARRY POTTER), David Morrissey (THE WALKING DEAD, RED RIDING, WELCOME TO THE PUNCH) Stephen Campbell Moore (COMPLICIT, HISTORY BOYS, ASHES TO ASHES), and Laura Birn (THE PURGE, PEARLS AND PIGS, HEART OF A LION).
Blending an element of urban dread with an edgy sense of paranoia, THE ONES BELOW follows Kate (Poeěsy) and Justin (Moore), a young couple in a tiny London suburb eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child. But when the enigmatic Teresa (Bim) and Jon (Morrissey) move into the apartment downstairs, the parents-to-be soon become involved in a psychological battle of wills with the new tenants.