“Amityville: The Awakening,” June 30
The “Amityville” franchise doesn’t have the best track record, but perhaps the 10th time is the charm? Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne take the lead in this latest go-round, which find the two actresses as a mother and daughter who move into a house they’ll soon discover is haunted. Once there, Leigh’s son awakens from his coma just as her daughter begins experiencing night terrors. Maybe we’ll get lucky and this one will inspire some nightmares of its own?
“Wish Upon,” July 14
What’s this? A studio-made horror film that’s neither a sequel nor a remake? A reminder to be careful what you wish for, “Annabelle” director John Leonetti’s latest takes a cue from the monkey-paw school school of horror: You may get what you asked for, but remember to phrase things carefully. If, say, you were to wish for a non-sequel or -remake to come out and ended up getting something terrible, well…
“Annabelle: Creation,” August 11
The prequel to a “Conjuring” prequel/spinoff, “Annabelle: Creation” has a lot to live up to, at least financially: “Annabelle” made more than $250 million against a budget of just $6 million. If you’re into horror of the creepy-doll variety, perhaps you care to learn how the eponymous figurine came to be? It’s sure to be a wholesome story worthy of “Pinocchio.”
Joining the grand tradition of movies about women exacting revenge on their attackers (see also “Ms. 45” and “Lady Snowblood”), writer Leah McKendrick and director Natalie Leite’s new film makes an extracurricular activity of vigilante justice. Francesca Eastwood plays a grad student who inadvertently kills her rapist, eventually using the experience as inspiration for her art — a timely premise, given the campus-rape epidemic, and one Leite apparently renders in vivid detail.
As everything from “Rosemary’s Baby” to “The Babadook” has taught us, motherhood isn’t just difficult — it’s often terrifying. “Still/Born” is the latest to focus on the grief that comes with a newborn, especially as the child in question had a twin who didn’t survive labor. What comes next likely isn’t fun for anybody, whether onscreen or off.