Nothing can keep the horror genre down. While the major Hollywood blockbusters may be absent from the summer season, there’s a whole lot of scary movies, TV shows and video games that are still headed your way to make the month of July a lot cooler!
Netflix has staked out their claim on the first week of the month, with three big horror premieres arriving in a row. July 1st marks return of the iconic true crime series Unsolved Mysteries, which has been on-and-off the air since 1987 and provided nearly 600 episodes of real-life disappearances and murders. The reboot brings major changes to the format, featuring international mysteries and, for once, no on-screen host.
One day after the premiere of the true crime series Netflix premieres untrue horror-fantasy Warrior Nun, about a woman who wakes up dead and inside a secret order of demon-killing nuns. The action-heavy series debuts on July 2, and you’d better watch it fast because the Netflix horror series Ju-On: Origins premieres July 3, and offers six episodes that continue the story of the iconic Japanese horror franchise about a deadly haunting that spreads like a virus.
Also premiering the first week of July, the latest Shudder original film is Metamorphosis, a Korean supernatural thriller about a demonic entity that rips a family apart by impersonating its various members. The film, directed by Hong-seon Kim (The Chase), debuts July 2. And then, as far as horror goes, the month of July goes quiet for a solid week until July 9, when Shudder debuts the new film The Beach House, about a trip to the coast that turns deadly when mysterious and grotesque parasites emerge from the sea. Bloody-Disgusting’s own Daniel Kurland reviewed the film last year, and called it “a slick tale of invasion and destruction that’s both intimate and cosmically grand.”
Then, on July 10, all bets are off. It’s an explosion of new horror and horror-related media, starting with the release of Relic, a critically acclaimed thriller from debut writer/director Natalie Erika James starring Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin and Bella Heathcote. The film, which debuted at Sundance, is about a grandmother who mysteriously goes missing and just as mysteriously returns. Bloody-Disgusting’s film critic Meagan Navarro wrote that Relic “unnerves, shocks, and emotionally devastates with bone-chilling ease.”
The same day brings Volition, an award-winning sci-fi/thriller about a clairvoyant man who receives a vision of his own murder, and tries to change his fate. Debuting in theaters, on Apple TV, Prime Video and other digital platforms, Volition won Best Feature at the Philip K. Dick Film Festival, and a variety of other prizes as well.
Also on July 10, Netflix offers the kind of action spectacle normally reserved for theaters during the summer. The Old Guard stars Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kiki Layne in a comic book adaptation about a secret cabal of mercenaries who are also immortal. The film comes from acclaimed filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), who is also slated to direct the upcoming Sony Spider-Man spin-off Silver & Black, about the superheroes Silver Sable and Black Cat.
And over in the world of video games, July 10 brings two major releases. Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, the sequel to one of the most divisive cult games of all time, arrives on Switch, with a new story about mysterious mysteries. Hopefully the original game’s bizarre dialogue, plotting and mechanics remain intact! That same day, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 debuts on on PC, PS4, XBO and Switch, and promises to offer more of the same retro-Castlevania-esque thrills as the original.
Shudder debuts yet another promising feature on July 16, with Nini Bull Robsahm’s psychological thriller Lake of Death, a remake of classic Norwegian thriller Lake of the Damned, about a trip to the woods that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. In her review of the film, Bloody-Disgusting critic Megan Navarro says it “fills a satisfying retro void in horror that you didn’t know you’d missed so much – even if some of the beats along the way offer no surprises.”
One of the most critically acclaimed horror movies of the year arrives on July 17. Saint Maud was delayed from its release earlier in the year but finally arrives in theaters (where theaters are open), to the great anticipation of A24 fans and horror-lovers who have been excited by the advance word. Bloody-Disgusting’s own Joe Lipsett reviewed the film, about a pious nurse trying to save the life of her dying patient, and called it “slow, and moody, and gorgeous, and powerful (…) simply good cinema.”
In the streaming world, July 17 also sees the debut of Kissing Game on Netflix, a new Brazilian thriller series about a plague communicated through mouth-to-mouth contact. On the same day, Hulu debuts the latest installment of their monthly Into the Dark series, The Current Occupant, the plot of which is still largely under wraps.
Shudder debuts their next premiere on July 23. The film is Impetigore, from director Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves), and it tells the story of a woman who discovers that her neighbors think she is cursed and want to kill her. Bloody-Disgusting’s Meagan Navarro reviewed the film out of Sundance, and says that the film “goes for broke in terms of gonzo bloodshed, over-the-top reveals, and a ballsy approach to shattering cinematic taboos.”
You can head back to theaters on July 24 – maybe, if it’s safe – and check out either of the two horror/thrillers scheduled to come out that day. The Rental is the directorial debut of Dave Franco (Now You See Me), and stars Dan Stevens and Alison Brie in a film about couples who rent a beach house together – yes, another beach house – but whose vacation turns disturbing when secrets are revealed. The Rental will also available On Demand.
July 24 also brings with it Magnet Releasing’s Amulet, the feature directorial debut of Romola Garai that’s set for release in theaters and on demand. In the film, an ex-soldier is offered a place to stay at a decaying house inhabited by a young woman and her dying mother. Something sinister, naturally, is going on.
Also in theaters (if possible) and On Demand that day is Skin Walker, the feature debut of director Christian Neumann, about a woman struggling with mental illness and coping with the tragic infant death of her brother…but maybe he’s not dead?
Over in the video game world, two horror-themed releases are scheduled for July 28. The long-awaited reboot of Destroy All Humans!, a franchise that puts gamers in the role of invading space aliens, arrives on PC, PS4, XBO and Stadia. And exclusively on PC, the action/puzzle platform Terrorarium debuts, putting audiences in the role of a grannie navigating deadly, gory gardens.
Also on July 28, the killer shark franchise returns when Deep Blue Sea 3 comes to Digital. A new group of victims, you can expect, will be eaten by genetically enhanced sharks.
The final Shudder exclusive of the month arrives on July 30, a documentary called In Search of Darkness, dedicated to one of the most popular and influential eras in the horror genre: the 1980s! The documentary features interviews with many of the iconic figures who were part of the scary movie culture in that revolutionary decade, including John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Cassandra Peterson, Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Keith David, Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, Heather Langenkamp and many, many more.
And rounding out the month of July, the second season of the hit Netflix series The Umbrella Academy debuts on the 31st. That’s the same day that Russell Crowe turns stalker in the thriller Unhinged, available in theaters (if possible).
Again, we stress that all of these release dates are subject to change, and even more so nowadays than usual, so stay tuned for more updates about these films, shows, games and more!