October may be over but if you think that’s gonna put a stop to this horror train we’re currently riding, you better check your final destination. Us horror fans can find a reason to get excited about nearly every holiday season. November and Thanksgiving aren’t exempt from this, so let’s put aside the treats of Halloween and savor the impending feast.
In November, horror fans can get excited about a new entry in one of sci-fi/horror’s most enduring franchises. A new Stephen King adaptation will bring audiences back into a shining world. Indie horror will see neighbor face neighbor in a suburban melee to the death. All this and more are yours to look forward to as we venture into November’s horror offerings. So grab your carving knives and let’s serve up some terror on a silver platter!
1. ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ – November 1
Subgenre: “The future is in peril again! …again.”
Official Synopsis: Linda Hamilton (“Sarah Connor”) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (“T-800”/”Terminator”) return in their iconic roles in Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and produced by visionary filmmaker James Cameron and David Ellison. Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator: Dark Fate also stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta.
Why You Should Check It Out: James Cameron’s return to help with the story, as well as be a producer, should honestly be reason enough. The first two Terminator films are classics for damn good reason and it’s all thanks to Mr. Cameron. There’s a reason the other Terminator films have felt lacking and we won’t point any fingers but we will note Cameron’s absence.
If Cameron’s involvement isn’t enough, seeing Hamilton return in the role of Sarah Connor should seal the deal. For an entire generation, Hamilton’s portrayal has been that of a role model. Tough, in charge, determined, she was the ultimate warrior, the mother of the resistance. However, it’s been nearly 20 years since we saw Hamilton lead the charge and now – forgive me in advance – she’s back.
2. ‘Red Letter Day’ – November 1
Subgenre: “Love Thy Neighbor…Or Suffer”
Official Synopsis: A typically quiet suburban community descends into chaos and paranoia after the delivery of mysterious red letters containing deadly instructions.
Why You Should Check It Out: I’m no longer with Dread Central or their genre distribution label DREAD but I championed Red Letter Day to the powers that be and I’m still very proud to have been a part of it. It’s tight, funny, gory, well done, and is there to scratch the itch of anyone who’s been looking for something similar to The Purge. Support indie horror and filmmakers!
3. ‘Doctor Sleep’ – November 8
Subgenre: “It’s A Stephen King Adaptation By Mike Flanagan So Just Buy A Ticket Already”
Official Synopsis: Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.
Why You Should Check It Out: With Gerald’s Game under his belt and absolute bangers like Before I Wake and Ouija: Origin of Evil, it should be apparent by now that Mike Flanagan is one of a new generation of horror masters whose films should be seen as events. His ability to mix genuine humanity and emotion against a backdrop of horror and fear is paramount.
Flanagan has already expressed how much he adores King and the attention to detail that he and his team showed with Doctor Sleep is mind-boggling. If you, like me, are a fan of The Shining, or a fan of Stephen King in general, this is a continuation that should prove to be a journey worth taking.
4. ‘The Lodge’ – November 15
Subgenre: “Oh, So We’re Going To Be Depressed Today? That’s The Plan?”
Official Synopsis: Trapped inside a cabin by a fierce blizzard, two children and their future stepmother must fight for their lives against an unseen evil force.
Why You Should Check It Out: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala stunned audiences the world over with their 2014 psychological thriller Goodnight Mommy. For those who want their horror dark, depressing, oppressive, and almost claustrophobic, The Lodge will offer just that, all set against a backdrop of frigid snow and familial mistrust. My recommendation? Either have nothing planned for a few hours after the credits finished rolling so you can wallow in the bleakness OR immediately watch a comedy as a palate cleanser.