ByM.J. Lennon, writer at
Professional binge-watcher. Writer. Gamer.
M.J. Lennon

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone totally unaware of Stephen King's It film adaptation with all the promotion we've seen (seriously, I feel like Pennywise is going to come up from every sewer grate I see). It is slated to premiere in September. Before that, the latest entry into The Conjuring franchise, Annabelle: Creation, will hit theaters early August. Those aren't the only horror movies 2017 has left in store for us. Here's a list containing several smaller — but still promising — horror films you should keep an eye out for.

1. Killing Ground

'The Killing Ground' [Credit: IFC Midnight]
'The Killing Ground' [Credit: IFC Midnight]
  • Starring: Ian Meadows, Harriet Dyer, Julian Garner, Maya Strange and Tiarnie Coupland
  • Directed by: Damien Power
  • Release Date: Now available for rent and digital download.

Killing Ground is an IFC-produced Australian horror film. At its heart it is a survivalist film. A couple go camping in the woods and discover a lone toddler wandering through the underbrush. What initially begins as a seemingly tranquil and romantic night out for the duo spirals out of control into a tense, brutal, nail-biting action horror when Sam and Ian, (Dyer and Meadows) find themselves being hunted. They will have to go to extremes to save themselves and the child. If they survive, who knows if they will ever be the same again?

2. The Gracefield Incident

'The Gracefield Incident' [Credit: Momentum Pictures]
'The Gracefield Incident' [Credit: Momentum Pictures]
  • Starring: Mathieu Ratthe, Laurence Dauphinais, Juliette Gosselin, Kimberly Laferriere and Alex C. Nachi
  • Directed by: Mathieu Ratthe
  • Release Date: Now available for rent and digital download.

The Gracefield Incident is a found-footage horror film. Matthew Donovan (Mathieu Ratthe) chooses a rather unorthodox way to document his friends' debauchery at a cabin during a weekend getaway. He installs a camera into his prosthetic eye in order to ensure he doesn't miss a single moment with his friends. However, when a meteor crashes the party it doesn't take long for his recording to bypass the beer pong and go straight for the crop circles and mysterious, monstrous arrivals.

3. Polaroid

'Polaroid' [Credit: Dimension Films]
'Polaroid' [Credit: Dimension Films]
  • Starring: Madelaine Petsch, Kathryn Prescott, Tyler Young and Javier Botet
  • Directed by: Lars Klevberg
  • Release Date: August 25, 2017

A teenage girl stumbles upon an old polaroid camera while cleaning out some old boxes at home. What first appears like a fun blast from the past slowly folds her and her friends into a much more sinister tale. It quickly becomes apparent that all who are photographed by the vintage piece of equipment are doomed to an untimely end.

4. Friend Request

'Friend Request' [Credit: Freestyle Releasing]
'Friend Request' [Credit: Freestyle Releasing]
  • Starring: Alycia Debnam Carey, William Moseley, Brit Morgan and Connor Paolo
  • Directed by: Simon Verhoeven
  • Release Date: September 22, 2017 (Limited)

Friend Request is a German supernatural thriller that was initially released in 2016 but will now be getting its USA release in the fall. It stars Fear the Walking Dead's Alycia Debnam Carey as Laura, a popular college student who frequents social media. One day she gets a mysterious new friend request from a lonely, outcast girl. Things take a dark turn when Laura realizes that this girl is not so ordinary after all and her entry into Laura's life takes her for a terrifying turn.

6. Better Watch Out

'Better Watch Out' [Credit: Well Go USA Entertainment]
'Better Watch Out' [Credit: Well Go USA Entertainment]
  • Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Virginia Madsen, Levi Miller, Dacre Montgomery and Patrick Warburton
  • Directed by: Chris Peckover
  • Release Date: October 6, 2017

Better Watch Out is looking to be an instant holiday horror classic. The film is about a home invasion that takes place on Christmas Eve, and married couple Deandra and Robert (played by Virginia Madsen and Patrick Warburton) must defend their children from the incoming attackers. While the film is a movie, it is also a black comedy and rumored to provide an insane twist on the genre.

7. Happy Death Day

'Happy Death Day' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
'Happy Death Day' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
  • Starring: Jessica Rothenberg, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine and Charles Aitken
  • Directed by: Christopher B. Landon
  • Release Date: October 13, 2017

Happy Death Day puts a murderous spin on a familiar plot. We've already seen a movie with a similar premise this year alone with Before I Fall, but this film certainly looks much scarier. Happy Death Day is being advertised as a slasher film meets Groundhog Day. Jessica Rothe plays Tree Gelbman, who was planning on celebrating her birthday like any normal teenager — until she is brutally murdered. She then gets a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, and so on as she is forced to relive the horrific day of her death until she can work out who murdered her and why.

Which film are you most excited for? What other horror movies are you looking forward to?


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