November’s horror highlights – TV meltdowns, imploding marriages, and the odd festive turkey

From TV meltdowns to imploding marriages; horror fests to festive turkeys. Here’s what to watch—and what to watch out for—among this month’s releases.

Matt Glasby is the author of The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film, available here.

Where the Devil Roams

If you imagine the literal opposite of a Rob Zombie film, this arthouse horror might just be it. Though, like Mr Z’s early work, it concerns a clan of murderous sideshow performers, it’s a strange, slowburn experience. In Depression-era America, mum Maggie (Toby Poser), dad Seven (John Adams) and daughter Eve (Zelda Adams)—the actor/director/family troupe who made Hellbender and The Deeper You Dig—kill their way around the Catskills, until a violent encounter sends their act in a very different direction. Featuring repeated imagery of amputations, broken dolls and lost shoes, it’s a dreamlike concoction that doesn’t skimp on the gore. Not for everyone, but also not to be ignored.

Give Me Pity!

The latest from American musician-turned-director Amanda Kramer (Please Baby Please) is horror in the same way that David Lynch films are horror—because what the hell else do you call them? Taking the form of a kitschy, all-singing, all-dancing TV special hosted by actress Sissy St Claire (an astonishing Sophie Von Hasselberg), it’s essentially a one-woman monologue. The only problem is that Sissy is falling apart right before our eyes, rambling on about Jesus, motherhood and the dark side of fame even through her smiley tits-and-teeth veneer. With overexposed cinematography, jaunty test cards and canned applause, Kramer nails the pastiche perfectly, and the feel is of an Inside No. 9 episode stretched to breaking point and beyond.


We’re a long way from the golden era of 1980s calendar horror movies such as My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day and Mother’s Day. Hell, we’re a long way from Grindhouse, the undercooked 2007 Rodriguez/Tarantino team-up that birthed such spoof trailers as Machete (Rodriguez), Werewolf Women of the SS (Rob Zombie), Don’t (Edgar Wright) and Thanksgiving (Eli Roth), which has now been expanded into a full-length slasher starring Patrick Dempsey and Addison Rae. Machete was already made into two—two!—dismal movies back into the 2010s, so this really feels a lot like barrel-scraping. Though he may yet surprise us, Roth hasn’t made a decent horror film in almost 20 years, so the outlook is bleaker than a festive family dinner.

Do Not Disturb

John Ainslie’s erotically charged freakout film presents a portrait of a marriage in dramatic decline. Having finally tied the knot after many years together, ill-matched couple Chloe (Kimberly Laferriere) and Jack (Rogan Christopher) head to an adults-only hotel in out-of-season Miami, but no amount of winter sun or swinger action can change the fact that they’re terminally sick of each other. When a crazy man on the beach gives them a big bag of drugs then walks into the sea, they’re bored enough to indulge, which proves to be exactly as bad an idea as you might imagine. From here, things get supremely trippy, with days and nights, sex and violence, home truths and horror all blurring into one other. Soon they find themselves hankering for much more than just a hall pass.

Soho Horror Fest

Taking place both IRL at the Whirled Cinema, Brixton, London, and online, as the Sohome Horror Fest, this inclusive event features a full programme of LGBTQ+-friendly genre films. Top picks this year include Cannibal Mukbang, Aimee Kuge’s, gory, boy-meets-girl horror-comedy set in the world of online (over)eating. Anthony Cousins’ found-footage effort, Frogman, concerns a film-maker on the trail of a local legend, and has drawn comparisons with Bobcat Goldthwait’s excellent Willow Creek. Though it sounds terrible, Andrew Bowser’s genre-savvy loser-com Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls went down a storm at Glasgow Frightfest earlier this year. An honourable mention goes to whoever wrote the logline for Isti Madarász morgue-set effort Halfway Home, which is described as “When Harry Met Sally but for necrophiles”. Visit the festival website for more info.

Also out…

*More meta zombie action in Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken’s Project Z (digital, 3 November), which sees a horror film crew encounter the real thing in the wilds of Norway.
*Frank Capra-riffing slasher It’s a Wonderful Knife (cinemas, 10 November) from the writer of Freaky and featuring Yellowjackets’ Jane Widdop and Barbarian’s Justin Long.
*Graduating from YouTube to the big screen, Colin Krawchuk’s supernatural slasher The Jester (cinemas, 10 November) is billed as “from the co-creator of The Blair Witch Project”. But be warned: Blair’s Eduardo Sánchez is only the executive producer.