It’s a short month, but there’s no shortage of horror this February.
The nightmares begin on February 4 with the release of A Nightmare Wakes on Shudder! The new biopic from writer/director Nora Unkel follows Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, as her real-life and fictional worlds collide in the midst of an opium haze. In his review at Bloody-Disgusting, John Squires calls the film “a heartbreaking portrait of one woman’s pain and the enduring piece of art that it led her to create.”
Also on February 4 comes the video game Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, for the PC, PS4, PS5, XBO and Xbox Series. The adaptation of the long-running role-playing game puts the player in the role of a werewolf who aims to take down a corrupt organization polluting the environment. And over on HBO Max, February 4 brings with it The Head, a mystery series set at an Antarctic station where the crew has either died or gone missing.
Horror and music fans rejoice, because John Carpenter’s Lost Themes III: Alive After Death comes out on February 5! The latest collection of music from the director and composter of Halloween emerges from Sacred Bones Records. In his review at Bloody-Disgusting, Michael Pementel says that “in all its technical depth, creativity, and vibrant delivery, Carpenter’s third Lost Themes installment proves to be his strongest release yet.”
You can listen to John Carpenter’s latest while you queue up the new release Invisible City, a supernatural series debuting on Netflix about a murder investigation that leads to a world of creatures from Brazilian folklore. The series also premieres on February 5.
February 5 also sees the premiere of The Reckoning, the latest from Neil Marshall (Hellboy). The film, debuting in theaters and on VOD, tells a story set in the 17th century, about a woman accused by her landlord of being a witch. Charlotte Kirk and Sean Pertwee co-star in a film Bloody-Disgusting critic Joe Lipsett says “isn’t quite the return to form for Neil Marshall that genre fans might have hoped for, but it’s nowhere near the misfire that Hellboy was.”
On February 9, audiences will get to experience a distinctive horror vision in Sator, a film about a demonic entity that has been preying on a family, interwoven with actual documentary footage of the filmmaker’s own family. Sator premieres on Digital, and Bloody-Disgusting’s critic Meredith Borders called the film “weird and fascinating, sometimes impenetrable, always enthralling.”
That same day, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak) returns to the realm of Lovecraftian horror with Sacrifice, about a man taking his pregnant wife to Norway and uncovering a malevolent cult. Sacrifice debuts on VOD on February 9 before its Blu-ray premiere on February 23.
Nearly six years after Hannibal went off the air, the works of Thomas Harris return to television with the all-new reboot Clarice, which stars Rebecca Breeds (The Originals) as FBI agent Clarice Starling, who solves more crimes after the events that took place in The Silence of the Lambs. The series premieres on February 11 on CBS.
In the world of streaming, February 11 brings the debut of After Midnight on Shudder. The new thriller tells the story of a man, played by writer/director Jeremy Gardner (The Battery), whose girlfriend disappears, and who is being stalked by a monster every night. Over on Netflix, February 11 sees the premiere of Red Dot, a Swedish survival thriller about a couple whose romantic hiking trip gets ruined by a mysterious sniper.
Or, if gaming is your thing, you could switch to your PC, PS4, Switch or XBO and play Little Nightmares II. The sequel features creepy children trying to shut down creepy hypnotic television signals that have captivated all the adults, in a creepy way. Little Nightmares II also debuts on February 11.
If you love horror then make sure you mark down February 12. That’s the day that Saint Maud finally debuts on Epix HD in America, after a brief (and long-delayed) theatrical release in January. The film, from writer/director Rose Glass, tells the story of a pious nurse trying to save the soul of her dying patient because she believes God told her to, but this movie is being written about on Bloody-Disgusting, so you can guess that it’s not a feel-good drama. In his review, our critic Joe Lipsett called Saint Maud “slow, and moody, and gorgeous, and powerful. It’s simply good cinema.”
Joining Saint Maud on February 12 is the new thriller Fear of Rain, about a mentally ill teenager who suspects her neighbor has committed a horrible crime, starring Madison Iseman and Katherine Heigl. The film debuts on Digital Demand, Blu-ray on DVD.
Or, if you’re looking for something VERY different, you can watch Nicolas Cage beat the living hell out of animatronic kids restaurant monsters in Willy’s Wonderland, a movie that seems to evoke Five Nights at Freddy’s without actually being Five Nights at Freddy’s. The film also debuts in theaters and VOD on February 12.
Also debuting on February 12 is the latest installment of Hulu’s Into the Dark! The monthly series of feature-length horror movies continues with Tentacles, a Valentine’s Day-themed psychosexual horror film with an aquatic element, directed by Clara Aranovich, who previously helmed last year’s installment How to Succeed in Business Without Really Dying.
And for younger horror fans, February 12 brings the premiere of the second season of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? reboot. The six-part storyline Curse of the Shadows features a new Midnight Society, full of teen horror fans who have to save their town from a monster called “The Shadowman.”
Fans of Paul W.S. Anderson’s particular blend of over the top, monster-fighting action who missed Monster Hunter in theaters (and who could blame you, it’s a pandemic) will get their chance to see the video game adaptation when it hits VOD on February 16. Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich plays a soldier who gets pulled into an alternate dimension, and has to team up with a mysterious warrior, played by Tony Jaa, to learn how to hunt gigantic monsters in order to survive. In her review at Bloody-Disgusting, critic Meagan Navarro said of the film, “There’s inherent silliness to it all, highlighted by some cheesy writing. Yet you’re likely to have a blast anyway.”
Over on Shudder, horror fans can get Shook on February 18. The new thriller tells the story of a social media star who’s forced to play games or else her loved ones get murdered. And that’ll just have to tide you over until February 23, when the reboot of Wrong Turn debuts on VOD after a very brief theatrical premiere in January. The remake stars Emma Dumont (The Gifted), Bill Sage (We Are What We Are) and Matthew Modine (47 Meters Down), and features a new mythology for the franchise about homicidal people in the hills.
Retro gamers have a reason to get excited on February 25, because that’s when Ghosts ’n Goblins Resurrection debuts on the Switch! The original video game is still considered one of the hardest ever created, and the new horror-themed side-scroller looks to recapture the feel of the original.
On February 26, the festival favorite The Vigil finally makes its debut in theaters and on VOD. The new film from writer/director Keith Thomas is steeped in Jewish folklore, telling the story of a Shimera gone horribly wrong. In his review at Bloody-Disgusting, Joe Lipsett says “as an alternative to standard (and stale) Catholic religious horror […] this feels like a breath of fresh air.”
And finally… hey, did you hear about this zombie show called The Walking Dead? The tenth season returns on February 28. You may want to check it out. People seem to dig it.
Remember that all release dates and formats are subject to change, and have a frightful February!