Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Ominous October - Till Death (2021)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Till Death (2021)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Brave Carrot, Campbell Grobman Films, Millennium Media, Millennium Films, Blue Lantern Entertainment International, CGV Mars Dagitim, California Filmes, Cineforum, Deepjoy Picture, Dutch FilmWorks, Eagle Films, Forum Film Bulgaria, Forum Film Slovakia, Joyncontents Group, Kinepolis Film Distribution, Kinomania, Lionsgate India, Metropolitan Filmexport, NOS Audiovisuais, Norsk Filmdistribusjon, Odeon, PT. Prima Cinema Multimedia, Phars Film, Scanbox Entertainment, Telepool, Times Media Films, Top Film, United King Films, Viva International Pictures, Vértice 360, Defiant Screen Entertainment, Netflix, Screen Media Films, VVS Films
Director: S.K. Dale
Writer: Jason Carvey
Actors: Megan Fox, Eoin Macken, Callan Mulvey, Jack Roth, Aml Ameen, Lili Rich, Stefanie Rozhko, Teodora Djuric
Blurb from IMDb:  A woman is left handcuffed to her dead husband as part of a sick revenge plot. Unable to unshackle, she has to survive as two killers arrive to finish her off.

Cat’s Point of View:
Till Death didn’t land on our Top 20 Movies to Look Out for in July 2021, but only just barely. July had some stiff competition that just edged out Till Death by a hair’s breadth. The note I made for myself when I watched the trailer said “dastardly husband tries to kill wife on their anniversary with something between Saw (2004), Escape Room (2019), and home-invasion-for-hire.”
Now that I’ve watched Till Death, I’d have to say that the impression I got from the trailer was spot-on. I really appreciated that the production delivered on its teased promises – and then raised the bar.

Megan Fox (Above the Shadows, Zeroville, Rogue) gave a riveting performance as an emotionally abused wife thrust into a horrific survival situation. I couldn’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see her in roles that give her credit for brains in addition to her bombshell appearance. Till Death may have started slow and awkwardly for some – but that was clearly a reflection of the dismal position Fox’s character was in emotionally. Once the cuffs were locked on, Till Death dared you to look away as the bleak situation unfolded and escalated.
I didn’t care that there were a couple inconsistencies here and there. It really didn’t even dawn on me until after-the-fact; and, even then, not until I compiled information before writing. I was too engrossed in the cat-and-mouse fight and flight situation to notice. Part of what I appreciated the most with Till Death was the fact that there was plenty of fight to go with that flight.

I was left in awe of the detailed and meticulously evil scenario Fox’s character was thrust into. I’m not that familiar with writer Jason Carvey’s (1000 Ways to Die, A New Wave, Desire) past work, however, the intricate layering of character development and attention to detail grabbed my attention. His mind worked in resourcefully wicked ways as he showcased Emma’s brains at work in the face of calamity and the systematic erosion of hope.
Along the same vein, I was significantly impressed that Till Death was the feature-length film debut for director S.K. Dale (Soul Trader, Beyond the Water's Edge, The Coatmaker), whom has but a few short films to his credit on IMDb thus far. This is a creative duo that I absolutely want to see working together again in the future.

I could go on about the cinematography and how gorgeously the remote and isolated feeling was crafted by the set production and effects department. Though, I think I’ve gilded the lily enough.
Till Death is an excellent choice for a bone-chilling thrill ride this Ominous October. It was certainly worth the wait for it to reach Netflix, and I would definitely recommend searching it out for viewing in the most convenient means possible this spooky season.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –58%
Metascore – 66%
Metacritic User Score –  6.3/10
IMDB Score – 5.8/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Movie Trailer:

Monday, October 11, 2021

Ominous October - The Medium (2021)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Medium (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 130 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Production/Distribution: GDH 559, Showbox Entertainment, Northern Cross, Golden Village Pictures, Finecut, Shudder
Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun         
Writers: Cha-won Choi, Chantavit Dhanasevi, Na Hong-jin, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Siwawut Sewatanon
Actors: Akkaradech Rattanawong, Arunee Wattana, Boonsong Nakphoo, Chatchawat Sanveang, Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Pakapol Srirongmuang, Sawanee Utoomma, Sirani Yankittikan, Thanutphon Boonsang, Yasaka Chaisorn
Blurb from Shudder:  A documentary team follows Nim, a shaman based in Northern Thai, the Isan area, and encounters her niece Mink showing strange symptoms that seem to be of inheritance of shamanism. The team decides to follow Mink, hoping to capture the shaman lineage passing on to the next generation, but her bizarre behavior becomes more extreme.

Cat’s Point of View:
My mind is feeling a little whiplash in the wake of viewing The Medium. I went from one of the best comedy shows I’ve ever seen to watching this two-hour and change descent into madness. We’ve had the comedy show tickets for almost two years now, because of the pandemic. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I digress…
The Medium’s trailer seems to promise supernatural chaos with a side of Thai cultural flair. I’d have to say that it wasn’t misleading. The proverbial wheels come off the bus at The Medium’s climax, but it’s a bit of a meandering march to get there.

If I had to give a quick summary of what The Medium entails, I would have to say it’s as if there was a mash-up of Paranormal Activity (2007) and The Wailing (2016) but from the point of view as if someone were making a documentary of the experience.

Even though things get off to an extremely slow start, I did appreciate the time taken to give some cultural background to the characters and the region of Thailand featured in The Medium. It makes sense that a documentary crew would be getting some B-roll footage of landscape and the like. There probably could have been a little less. The Medium’s plot was engaging. There were points that I forgot I was reading subtitles and even didn’t mind the passage of time. However, there were other moments that I felt every second tick by.

The story behind The Medium is a tragic tale of a family unraveling amidst supernatural mayhem. There were points I really felt dread, and quite appreciated that the production skillfully induced fear without the need for jump scares and the like. Of course, there are some towards the end, but I get it.
I am not the biggest fan of found-footage films. The shaky cam is the bane of my existence. It’s probably my biggest pet peeve in movies. Unfortunately, because of The Medium’s framework using the point-of-view of the documentary crew, there is quite a bit of it here. It does, however, put you in the shoes of the person holding the camera. As such, it is effective in situations like this where the danger seems to be more imminent to the viewer.

Overall, the acting was on point, the visuals were interesting as well as horrifying, and the story was eerie. The Medium may not be for everyone, but it is a solid offering for this time of year. You don’t have to be specifically a fan of Asian horror to appreciate it, either.
The Medium is releasing as a Shudder exclusive premiering Thursday, October 14th.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score –None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –62%
Metascore –None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.6/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer:

Friday, October 8, 2021

Ominous October - Detention (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Detention (2019)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller  
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: 1 Production Film, Filmagic Pictures Co., Gamania Digital Entertainment Company, Kaohsiung Film Fund, Lots Home Entertainment, Taichung Film Development Foundation, Truffe Holdings, Warner Bros. Pictures, Yi Tiao Long Hu Bao International Entertainment Company, Warner Bros., Mandarin Vision, Challan, Dekanalog, Encore Films, Golden Screen Cinemas, Golden Village Pictures, Mandarin Motion Pictures Distribution, Pop Entertainment, Twin Co. Ltd.
Director: John Hsu
Writer:  Shih-Keng Chien, Lyra Fu, John Hsu
Actors: Gingle Wang, Meng-Po Fu, Jing-Hua Tseng, Cecilia Choi, Hung Chang Chu, Yue-Ti Liu, Pen-yu Chang, Ching-Ting Hsia, Chung-Yueh Yun, Chin-Yu Pan, Kuan-yi Lee, Moon Lee, Ko-Yuan Wang
Blurb from IMDb: In 1962 Taiwan during the White Terror martial law period, Fang Ray Shin, a female student at the hillside Greenwood High School is attending counselling with teacher Mr. Chang, and they gradually fall in love. It was a dangerous period where sensitive books were banned and free speech were restricted, but Mr. Chang secretly organized a study group for banned books, together with fellow teacher Miss Yin and male student Wei Chong Ting.

Selina’s Point of View:
Detention was released in other countries, and made festival rounds, before – but it’s finally getting released in the USA on October 8. The moment I became aware of that, I was all over getting my hands on a copy. Sure, it’s great for Ominous October – but I was excited about it because I loved the game.
Don’t roll your eyes.
I know that the majority of gamers reading this just got a bad taste in their mouth when they realized Detention is a film based on video game. The rest might just be reading this to see how bad the adaptation is. If you’re looking for negative feedback, though, you’re in the wrong place.
Detention was the best video game movie I have ever seen. Not only that, it took over the top spot as the best horror flick of the year, in my opinion.
I’m unfamiliar with the work of director John Hsu (Your Spiritual Temple Sucks, After Dark, Intoxicant). It’s not all that surprising, since this is his first full-length feature credit. The movie I just watched, however, was not the work of a new director. Without doing any research, I would have guessed he had an IMDb page that put anyone else to shame.
Anything he puts out in the future, I’m going to be all over. I’m talking midnight showings, screener opportunities, etc. If his first full-length movie is this good, I can’t imagine what his work is going to look like as his career progresses.

Not only was the flick good. Even more surprisingly, it was a good adaptation. Fans should be happy with what they see.
I’ll grant that it wasn’t a shot-for-shot recreation. Honestly, I’d be upset if it was. What would have been the point of watching it, if it had been? That said, I’m a gamer and I know my finicky people, so let’s start there.
That said, it still stuck so incredibly close to Detention the game that there were some scenes that looked absolutely identical. The differences that were obvious, were for the better. Those alterations meant that the film explained more, erased some of the ambiguity, and left it on a more satisfying note than the original story did.
Of course, the game does have more than one conclusion, so take the latter difference with a grain of salt. I only played for one of the endings.
Detention also concentrated a bit more on Wei than the game did. The fact that they managed to do that without sacrificing any part of Fang’s story was insane. I’m completely baffled as to how they accomplished that.
There’s not a whole lot more for me to say. Detention is my favorite horror movie of the year. In fact, it’s pretty high on my ‘all-time’ list. If you have the chance to see it, definitely go for it.

Cat’s Point of View:
If I had to describe Detention in three words, they would be: heartbreaking, terrifying, and amazing. That pretty much distills my experience with this movie into its bare essence. I was creeped out, I went on a whole rollercoaster of emotions, and I loved every minute of it. That said, I likely wouldn’t want to watch again for those very same reasons. It’s definitely not because of Detention’s quality – I just can only take so much of sad themes. I digress…
Detention was based on a video game of the same name. While I haven’t personally played it, I have enjoyed the game vicariously through watching Jack Septiceye play through it on his streaming channel. The game is gorgeous and well-done with interesting artwork and puzzles…and the same horrifyingly sad plot. That being said, if you’re familiar with the video game, there aren’t going to be a lot of surprises for you in the movie. Detention’s film adaptation is fairly true to its source material. Knowing what’s happening didn’t take away from the pulse-pounding experience for me, however.
It’s one thing to witness the 2D game experience – even with its immersive creepy sounds and score – and another entirely to watch the story play out with actual people in the roles. Speaking of which, I have to give some serious kudos to the casting for Detention. Not only did the production team cast excellent actors for the roles, but they also nailed the character aesthetics from the game. Really, they translated the creepy backdrop of the school and sundry settings brilliantly to the screen.

I feel the need to shift gears away from the video game aspect and onto the real-world source material behind Detention. The film and game’s setting of 1962 Taiwan is actually pretty scary all on its own. I hadn’t really been aware of how bad things were, or for how long. Either my history classes didn’t cover this post-World War II situation or it’s just been a while and it slipped my mind. (Either is plausible – my mind is occasionally a sieve.) The period of time Detention takes place was called the White Terror. Thousands of people were killed or imprisoned during the nearly 40 years of martial law in Taiwan following an incident in February 1947. The martial law lasted until 1987. It feels like something so heinous couldn’t have been taking place in the modern era – however, I had to remind myself that the Berlin Wall didn’t come down in Germany until 1989. I digress again…
If you set the supernatural aspects of the story aside, the fact that the events in Detention could have feasibly taken place, in reality, is spine-chilling. This sort of scenario is why the current “War on Terror’s” motto of ‘see something, say something’ gives me the creeps.
If you don’t mind the subtitles (and, honestly, this movie was so gripping I forgot I was reading), Detention was a solid horror offering. Blood, jump scares, harrowing moments around every turn, and chilling revelations abound.
I expect a few nightmares after watching Detention. I would absolutely recommend it in a heartbeat to Horror fans looking for something truly scary on multiple levels for this spooky season.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.8/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
P.S. Detention, the video game, is available on Steam.
Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Ominous October - Knocking (2021)

Movie Name/Year: Knocking (2021) 
Genre: Thriller
Length: 78 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Läsk, Sveriges Television (SVT), Swedish Film Institute, Yellow Veil Pictures
Director: Frida Kempff
Writer: Emma Broström, Johan Theorin
Actors: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, Ville Virtanen, Krister Kern, Alexander Salzberger, Charlotta Åkerblom
Blurb from IMDb: A woman leaves a psychiatric ward after a nervous breakdown, only to start hearing mysterious knocking sounds in her apartment.
Selina’s Point of View:
The answer to whether or not I liked Knocking is a bit complicated.
I first heard about this flick long before the emergence of the trailer and I was enamored with the plot. As someone who has serious issues with certain sounds, I know that something based around a sound one can’t control can get pretty harrowing. I was expecting a deep psychological thriller.
The psychological thriller part was on point, but it was also a social commentary and a VERY slow burn.
I’ve called movies slow burns before, but this one took that term to the extreme.
Knocking is relatively short for a full-length feature film, sitting at just over an hour long. Whenever you have a project that compact, you expect it’s impossible to be slow. In this case, the story seemed as thought it was still stretched to meet the runtime. Things didn’t start to get even mildly interesting until about 35 minutes in. Even then it was only mildly.
If I’m honest, I didn’t start to really enjoy it until about an hour in.

That’s a problem in a film this short.
Once things picked up, the social commentary was very in-your-face. I didn’t hate it, though. The message was an important one.
Following that, was a pretty decent ending.
A lot of the time, a good ending can save an otherwise boring film. In this case, I’m not so sure the good parts outweigh how long it took to get there.
I find that I didn’t hate Knocking. I definitely wouldn’t watch it again, though. I think it all depends on how tolerant you are of an exceptionally slow build up.
If you want to see for yourself, Yellow Veil Pictures will be releasing Knocking in theaters on October 8th, and on-demand October 19th.

Cat’s Point of View:
I find myself feeling rather ill at ease, following the credits for Knocking.  It’s a sensation of frustration, sadness, and uncomfortable empathy that continues to haunt me.
Knocking isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re looking for gore and fast-paced thrills, this is not the place to find it. This movie, however, is a slow psychological burn. I have so many questions even after Knocking’s conclusion. I’m just going to have to squash my curiosity, though. This isn’t the sort of film that gets a sequel.
Cecilia Milocco (Involuntary, The Circle, Shop) is bloody brilliant in her role as Molly. Knocking is a production of little dialogue. Most of what is going on is focused on Molly and her own inner struggles. It’s just her and her environment the majority of the time. Milocco pretty much gives a master class on carrying such a scene. I’m buying every bit of what she’s sellng on screen.
While I understand the need for the pacing in Knocking, it is almost painfully slow for me. I had to have something to fidget with in each hand to keep from reaching for my phone. I can’t say that would be the same for everyone. My ADHD plays a significant part with that. My experience is a bit meta, the more I think about it. Here I am struggling with my own mental issue during a movie about a woman trying to get her life back together after a mental breakdown.


There is only one segment of Knocking that could be seen as a negative. It’s a short sequence that transcends the term ‘shaky-cam’ and goes right into disorienting. I get it, though. It’s likely there to highlight Molly’s feelings of bewilderment, fear, and frustration in the moment. It is very effective -- just not my cup of tea.
That being said, Knocking joins the modern cinema movement to shine a light on mental illness and both raise awareness and fight the social stigma that remains today. As a society, we’ve come a long way from locking mentally ill and neurodivergent people in secret rooms or shipping them off to sanitariums. We still have a bit further to go in understanding our fellow people that are simply wired differently. Knocking illustrates that bit of social commentary as well as the compounded situation of a woman fighting to be taken seriously as those around her plainly write her off as ‘hysterical.’
If you enjoy psychological twists and turns with a side of mystery, Knocking might just be the right ominous addition to your October viewing. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13
Movie Trailer:

Monday, October 4, 2021

Ominous October - V/H/S/94 (2021)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: V/H/S/94 (2021)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Bloody Disgusting, Cinepocalypse Productions, Raven Banner Entertainment, Studio71, Shudder
Director: Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder, Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Simon Barrett, David Bruckner, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder, Timo Tjahjanto
Actors: Anna Hopkins, Steven McCarthy, Sean Patrick Dolan, Tim Campbell, Dru Viergever, Dax Ravina, Kimmy Choi, Christian Lloyd, Conor Sweeney, Slavic Rogozine, Thiago Dos Santos, Kevin P. Gabel, Daniel Williston
Blurb from IMDb: A police S.W.A.T. team investigates about a mysterious VHS tape and discovers a sinister cult that has pre-recorded material which uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.

Selina’s Point of View:
Welcome to our Ominous October!
Every year we do a whole month of nothing but horror films for October, and this year is no different. You may remember us calling it our Shudder Spree, but we’ve opted to branch out to various sources for our spooks, hence the name change.
Never-the-less, we had to start off the month with our favorite horror streaming platform.
Although you can find horror flicks on all the streaming services, there’s no digging through other genres to get there if you’re using Shudder. With it, you can streamline your journey to finding the terror you’re looking for to complete your day – especially during the Halloween season. If you’re a horror lover like we are, it just makes sense to go for the subscription, especially since it’s one of the cheapest there is out there.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about V/H/S/94.
I’ll admit that I don’t remember a whole lot about the framing devices used in the first 3. I do think I’ll remember this one, though.
The extra-staticky feel of it threw me off at first. It’s found footage, so I expected shaky-cam. The worn-out, snowy, VHS quality of the framing device still caught me off guard because it added a whole other layer to the period immersion. It was a bit distracting at first – but I really liked it by the end. It fit the over-arching theme and the final twist was completely unexpected.
There was a secondary theme seen throughout the segments in V/H/S/94. That was: supernatural creatures.

Revealing any of the actual creatures would be considered spoilers. Some of the segments really rely on that unknown/surprise factor. I expected the trailer to give away some of those surprises, but that never happened.
I did have a least, and most, favorite of the parts.
I’d say the second segment really didn’t thrill me. A lot of it was about the main character sitting around in near-silence with the occasional loud sound meant to shock. Now, I don’t mind jump scares. I’ve loved some films that relied solely on them. In this case, I just don’t think it worked. It was a short film, under 20-minutes long, and most of it was silence. The same 15-minutes in a basic-length film would have been fine. Here, I wanted more.
My favorite segment was the one right after that.
It started with a Frankenstein (as in the plot of the book) meets The Human Centipede (2009) feel. Some risks were taken in that segment that could have failed spectacularly. Instead, I was truly invested. If anything, I want that whole thing in a video game. Someone get on that. I’d pay $60 for a full-length shooter based around the characters and plot involved in that 3rd chapter.
In the end, V/H/S/94 was the best of the series. I didn’t feel the runtime, but I did feel the fear here and there. It’s suitable creepy for a Halloween mood.
If you want to see this one for yourself, V/H/S/94 will be available on Shudder this Wednesday, October 6.

Cat’s Point of View:
What better way to kick off an Ominous October, than to revisit a well-known horror franchise by way of its latest installment. V/H/S/94 brings us back to the found-footage horror anthology, and I’ve been anticipating it with both dread and excitement since we first learned of this new installment.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot about the first few V/H/S (2012) films. I do, however, recall that they were sufficiently creepy and hit-or-miss on quality. That’s generally what you expect from a collection of projects such as this, however. Each writer/director team is going to give a different feel to their work. Some things play out better than others. V/H/S/94 is definitely ahead of the pack, as the most successful so far.
The S.W.A.T. raid framework tied everything together nicely without having to stretch our suspension of disbelief beyond what we were experiencing with each of the short film segments. The exploration of the crazy compound they find themselves in adds to the overall unease of the collective experience.
I’m not the biggest fan of found-footage – mostly because of its inherent shaky-cam. I don’t get motion sickness as a rule, but good grief there have been some jolting productions out there that have made me disoriented and queasy. I’m happy to say that V/H/S/94 wasn’t one of those. You can’t avoid some bobbing and weaving with this sort of project, but this was just enough without going nuts with it.

The grainy and streaky look of a well-watched VHS tape was only mildly irritating at the beginning. It was easy to get past and ultimately brought a slight sense of nostalgia for me. There’s definitely quite a bit of homage to the antiquated titular video medium laced within the segments. Those that lived through the era of ‘be kind and rewind’ may get a little kick out of it. 
V/H/S/94 is unapologetically grisly and brutal throughout all of its segments. Audiences should certainly brace themselves for violence and gore. The chaos in the trailer really only scratches the surface. Each short plays to a different set of fears – from the subterranean unknown to mad science and from the unease of a dark and stormy night alone in a funeral home to militia extremists. These short films bridge the gap from unnatural and supernatural to some very real causes of concern.
V/H/S/94 is certainly a spectacular way to kick off the spooky season. I dare say it’s worth the subscription cost for Shudder if you don’t already have the streaming service. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 8.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
P.S. We’re not sponsored by Shudder, we’re just big fans.
Movie Trailer:

Friday, October 1, 2021

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In October (2021)

According to: Selina

20 – No Time To Die (10/8)

Production/Distribution: Eon Productions, B25, Cinesite, Danjaq, Universal Pictures, Andes Films, Cineforum, Forum Film Bulgaria, Forum Hungary, Gulf Film, Meloman, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), NOS Audiovisuais, SF Film Finland, SF Film, SF Norge A/S, Svensk Filmindustri (SF), Toho-Towa, Tulip Entertainment, United Artists Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures Canada, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Universal Pictures do Brazil, Paramount+, Studio Distribution Services, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE)
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ian Fleming
Actors: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fienne, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Baomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, David Dencik, Rory Kinnear, Dali Benssalah, Priyanga Burford
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Length: 163 minutes
IMDb Blurb: James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I much prefer the campier versions of Bond to Daniel Craig’s (Knives Out, Logan Lucky, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Still, I have to acknowledge how popular these modern Bond films are. So, I have to add it, but I will also admit that I probably won’t watch it.
For what it’s worth, the flick does look good. It just doesn’t have that humorous, tongue-in-cheek aspect that I look for in my James Bonds.
19 – Antlers (10/29)

Production/Distribution: Phantom Four Films, Double Dare You (DDY), Mirada Studio, 20th Century Fox Argentina, 20th Century Fox, Searchlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Mexico, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca, Scott Cooper
Actors: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan, Cody Davis, Sawyer Jones, Arlo Hajdu, Dendrie Taylor, Dorian Kingi
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 99 minutes
IMDb Blurb: In an isolated Oregon town, a middle-school teacher and her sheriff brother become embroiled with her enigmatic student, whose dark secrets lead to terrifying encounters with a legendary ancestral creature who came before them.
Antlers was supposed to be released in April of 2020. I remember seeing the teaser for the first time pretty well. It hooked me and Cat instantly – we may have even put it on, or considered it for, a Top 20 at that point. Unfortunately, like many movies, it was delayed by the emergence of COVID-19.
Finally, it’s getting its theatrical release.
I’m still looking forward to seeing it, but the hype has died down a bit and there are a ton of other phenomenal movies coming out this month – many of which also suffered coronavirus delays.
If Antlers had been released on time, it would have found a spot higher on my list. Through no fault of its own, though, I find myself a little less excited than I should be. Hopefully, it’s as good as I initially believed it would be and makes me regret how low I’ve put it.
18 – The Survivalist (10/1)

Production/Distribution: Highland Myst Entertainment, LB Entertainment, Lucky 13 Productions, Yale Productions, Quiver Distribution
Director: Jon Keeyes
Writer: Matthew Rogers
Actors: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Malkovich, Jenna Leigh Green, Ruby Modine, Jon Orsini, Thaddeus Street, Simon Phillips, Charlie Sara
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 91 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A year and a half after the fall of civilization due to a viral outbreak, a former FBI agent forced to protect a young woman immune to the disease from a dangerous gang leader hunting her.
There are two movies coming out this month with almost identical plots – just in different settings. This one and Survive the Game (2021). I think the big question here is not just why I chose The Survivalist, but why I chose it instead of the other film.
First, let’s look at the trailers. Survive the Game does not have the same quality as The Survivalist. When looking at the companies involved, that shouldn’t make sense. All the companies involved in the production and distribution of The Survivalist are smaller, whereas Lionsgate took an interest in distributing Survive the Game.
That means the money is there. That leads me to question why the smaller of the two films has the better quality. Usually, when this happens, the bigger company has minimal faith in the film its supporting.
Why take up the opportunity to distribute, then?
There are a lot of reasons, some of which are tax related. In the effort to not go too deep into the business aspect, I’ll just go into the most obvious of reasons: sometimes, the names in the film seem like an audience draw.
In the case of Survive the Game you have Bruce Willis (Breach, Hard Kill, Trauma Center) and Chad Michael Murray (Colors of Love, Write Before Christmas, Riverdale).
I have no issues with Murray. Willis – on the other hand – is a whole different story.
Back in the 80s and 90s, Bruce Willis could do no wrong. If you look at his more recent projects on IMDb, however, something has clearly changed. I don’t know if he’s just taking everything for the paychecks, or if he’s stopped caring. Either way, he’s not dependable anymore. You can’t pick a movie based on his name and expect it to be good anymore.
Hell, in the trailer for Survive the Game, you can pick out several line deliveries of his that feel like they’re coming from someone a hell of lot more inexperienced than him.
In The Survivalist, however, you have Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Awake, Edge of the World, American Night) and John Malkovich (Ava, Rogue Hostage, The New Pope).
I’ll grant that Meyers can occasionally come up a touch short, but Malkovich is pure gold. Even in awful movies, he comes off as a pure professional.
Looking at it from those angles, I knew that if either one of these films were going to make my list, it would have to be The Survivalist. At the very least, it looks like a solid action film.
17 – V/H/S/94 (10/6)

Production/Distribution: Bloody Disgusting, Cinepocalypse Productions, Raven Banner Entertainment, Studio71, Shudder
Director: Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder, Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Simon Barrett, David Bruckner, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder, Timo Tjahjanto
Actors: Anna Hopkins, Steven McCarthy, Sean Patrick Dolan, Tim Campbell, Dru Viergever, Dax Ravina, Kimmy Choi, Christian Lloyd, Conor Sweeney, Slavic Rogozine, Thiago Dos Santos, Kevin P. Gabel, Daniel Williston
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 100 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A police S.W.A.T. team investigates about a mysterious VHS tape and discovers a sinister cult that has pre-recorded material which uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.
I enjoyed V/H/S (2012) and V/H/S/2 (2013). V/H/S: Viral (2014) wasn’t for me, though. Still, I find myself looking forward to this fourth installment. It’s going by the same basic framing as the others: people find and watch a series of VHS tapes that have horrific, even cursed, origins.
This goes back to my enjoyment of anthologies. You get a small look at various directors and writers and it helps you decide if you’re interested in seeing more of them. It also means that even if you dislike one chapter, there’s a possibility you’ll love a different one. One bad part doesn’t kill the whole film.
I’d have put V/H/S/94 higher, but the fact that the last installment didn’t impress me makes me a little nervous.
16 – Black as Night (10/1)

Production/Distribution: Amazon Studios, Blumhouse Productions, Amazon Prime Video
Director: Maritte Lee Go
Writer: Sherman Payne
Actors: Asjha Cooper, Mason Beauchamp, Keith David, Abbie Gayle, Fabrizio Guido, Tunde Laleye, Al Mitchell, Sammy Nagi Njuguna, Derek Roberts
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 87 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A teenage girl with self-esteem issues finds confidence in the most unlikely way, by spending her summer battling vampires that prey on New Orleans' disenfranchised with the help of her best friend, the boy she's always pined for, and a peculiar rich girl.
I love vampires. Not the sparkly kind. Real, horror-based vampires. So, this movie is right up my alley.
It looks like a lot of fun. Very ‘Buffy for the new generation.’
I really trust Sherman Payne (Charm City Kings, Legacies, Tales) as the writer for this kind of concept. He’s done great work for shows such as Scream (2015-2019) and Shameless (2011-2021). On top of that, the main actor – Asjha Cooper (There’s Someone Inside Your House, Chicago Med, All American) is getting some serious exposure right now, and I think we could be looking at a rise to house-hold name with her.
The factors are all there for an amazing flick, and the trailer is just badass.
15 – Broadcast Signal Intrusion (10/22)

Production/Distribution: Queensbury Pictures
Director: Jacob Gentry
Writer: Phil Drinkwater, Tim Woodall
Actors: Harry Shum Jr., Kelley Mack, Jennifer Jelsema. Steve Pringle, James Swanton, Justin Welborn, Michael B. Woods, Arif Yampolsky
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 104 minutes
IMDb Blurb: In the late 90s, a video archivist unearths a series of sinister pirate broadcasts and becomes obsessed with uncovering the dark conspiracy behind them.
Broadcast Signal Intrusion looks creepy as fucking hell. It’s got some mystery intrigue to it, but I’m here for the pure Halloween creep factor. Everything from the soundtrack to the visuals makes my skin crawl, and I cannot wait to turn the lights off and see where this flick takes me.
Also, Harry Shum Jr. (Shadowhunters, Glee, All My Life) is a bit on the underrated side. I think he’s going to elevate the whole movie.
14 – The Guilty (10/1)

Production/Distribution: Amet Entertainment, Bold Films, Endeavor Content, Fuqua Films, Nine Stories Productions, Netflix
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Nic Pizzolatto, Gustav Möller, Amil Nygaard Albertsen
Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keough, Peter Sarsgaard, Christina Vidal, Eli Goree, Ethan Hawke, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Christiana Montoya, David Castañeda, Adrian Martinez, Oscar Balderrama, Becky Wu, Bret Eric Porter, Maurice Webster, Beau Knapp
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 90 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A demoted police officer assigned to a call dispatch desk is conflicted when he receives an emergency phone call from a kidnapped woman.
This is an English remake of a film that came out a few years ago. It looked amazing then, and this version doesn’t seem to disappoint either.
911 operators have a significantly difficult job. They have a minute or two to talk to a caller and triage their issue. When you weave into that the amount of Karens that call in with noise complaints and other bullshit situations that are not emergencies… it becomes even harder.
The trailer alone picks up on that issue when it seems Jake Gyllenhaal’s (Spirit Untamed, Velvet Buzzsaw, Stronger) character almost hangs up on the victim because he thinks it’s a prank.
I feel like films like this not only give a suspense factor, but they raise awareness about a very difficult job that gets taken for granted by way too many people.
I’m looking forward to this one.
13 – The Many Saints of Newark (10/1)

Production/Distribution: Chase Films, HBO Films, Home Box Office (HBO), New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO Max
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: David Chase, Lawrence Konner
Actors: Michael Gandolfini, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Billy Magnussen, Alessandro Nivola, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta, John Magaro, Gabriella Piazza, Leslie Odom Jr., Michela De Rossie, Joey Diaz, Samson Moeakiola, Chase Vacnin, Mattea Conforti, Lesli Margherita, Daryl Edwards, Alexandra Intrator, Nick Vallelonga, William Ludwig, Robert Vincent Montano
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 120 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A look at the formative years of New Jersey gangster Tony Soprano.
Time for a confession: I’ve never seen any of The Sopranos (1999-2007). There’s no specific reason for it, I just haven’t. There was always something I wanted to see a little more. It’s on my list, but not all that high.
Regardless, I know how popular it was (and still is), so I can’t ignore this prequel to it.
It seems like it could be interesting even as a stand-alone. The cast has an insane amount of talent, and – since it’s a prequel – I doubt viewers would need to know all that much about the show. Sure, there may be some references that people like me lose, but I doubt it would affect the film all that much.
Seeing The Many Saints of Newark might even give me the kick in the ass I need to see the series. Time will tell.
12 – Venom: Let There Be Carnage (10/1)

Production/Distribution: Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Productions and Releasing (SPPR), Sony Pictures Releasing Argentina, Sony Pictures Releasing Canada, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI), Disney+
Director: Andy Serkis
Writer: Kelly Marcel, Tom Hardy
Actors: Tom Hardy, Stephen Graham, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Scroobius Pip, Reid Scott, Peggy Lu, Sean Delaney
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Length: 90 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of Marvel's greatest and most complex characters.
I know this is a bit low on my list for a superhero flick, but I have some good reasons for my choice.
When Venom (2018) trailers first started making their rounds, the fanbase freaked out about the PG-13 rating. Venom, after all, is a pretty violent Marvel character. Never-the-less, I felt pretty confident that the creators could make a decent Venom film that fit withing the rating.
In an attempt to bring people over to my way of thinking, I posted a whole article filled with other violent films with PG-13 ratings that worked. Not the least of which was The Dark Knight (2008).
The Joker is also a significantly violent character, but Heath Ledger’s (Brokeback Mountain, Casanova, I’m Not There) performance in the aforementioned PG-13 Batman film was legendary. It made up for the rating.
Now, Venom wasn’t awful, but it did wind up being hurt by its MPAA rating. As a result, I’m going into Venom: Let There Be Carnage with more skepticism. Not just because of the titular protagonist, though.
In the comics, Carnage makes Venom look like a pussycat. I honestly don’t believe he can be portrayed correctly in a non-R-rated film.
Don’t get me wrong, the graphics in the trailer look amazing. The story looks interesting, and as much as like Tom Hardy (Peaky Binders, Dunkirk, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Venom – I think Woody Harrelson (Kate, Midway, The Highwaymen) is an even better choice for Carnage. Still, I’ll be shocked if they get it right with a PG-13 rating. Harrelson would have to pull off Ledger-level performance to compensate. He’s capable of it, but that’s still a lot to ask.
So, I’m looking forward to Venom: Let There Be Carnage. I’m just controlling my excitement a bit.
11 – Runt (10/19)

Production/Distribution: Calvin Productions, Infinite Contrast, Wagging Tail Productions, 1091 Pictures
Director: William Coakley
Writer: William Coakley, Christian Van Gregg, Armand Constantine
Actors: Brianna Hildebrand, Cameron Boyce, Jason Patric, Tichina Arnold, Charlie Gillespie, Aramis Knight, Vivian Bang, Seth Lee, Mitch Silpa, Carson Boatman, Liana Mendoza, Scott Peat, Nicole Elizabeth Berger, Cyrus Arnold
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 95 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Neglected and unsupervised, a group of high school seniors are pulled into a downward cycle of violence.
As good as Runt looks, it would not be so high on my list if it wasn’t for the involvement of the late Cameron Boyce (Steps, Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything, Bunk’d).
In 2019, Boyce died at the age of 20. He was most well-known for his part as Carlos (Cruella de Vil’s son) in the Descendants series (2015-2019). It was a part he absolutely killed at.
He had a huge amount of talent and I believe he had a career ahead of him that would have been legendary. I kind of group him together with Anton Yelchin (Rememory, Thoroughbreds, Star Trek) when I think about him. They both had that spark of potential that made me excited to see what they intended to do with their careers.
With this being Boyce’s final movie, I find it impossible to ignore. I will be watching it.

10 – Ron’s Gone Wrong (10/22)

Production/Distribution: Locksmith Animation, Twentieth Century Fox Animation, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 20th Century Fox Argentina, 20th Century Studios, Forum Hungary, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, Disney+
Director: Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine, Octavio E. Rodriguez
Writer: Peter Baynham, Chad Gomez Creasey, Trevor DeVooght, Carol Heikkinen, Laura Kruegel, Miranda Leiggi, Geoff Rodkey, Kelly Rubinsohn, Sarah Smith
Actors: Zach Galifianakis, Jack Dylen Grazer, Olivia Colman, Ed Helms, Justice Smith, Rob Delaney, Kylie Cantrall, Ricardo Hurtado
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 106 minutes
IMDb Blurb: The story of Barney, an awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device. Ron's malfunctions set against the backdrop of the social media age launch them on a journey to learn about true friendship.
Ron’s Gone Wrong looks absolutely adorable.
I’ll grant that there are some serious trope-y aspects that seem woven throughout the trailer, but that doesn’t change anything for me. Not really.
A kid’s film like this isn’t really directed toward me, so I’m more concerned about how it would appeal to younger generations. Naturally, I asked my daughter to take a look at it.
She seemed interested, for the most part. I think it may be a little old for her yet, but she did say she wanted one (referring to the robot). That says something, I think.
I see potential here, and I’m looking forward to checking it out.
9 – There’s Someone Inside Your House (10/6)

Production/Distribution: 21 Laps Entertainment, Atomic Monster, Netflix
Director: Patrick Brice
Writer: Henry Gayden, Stephanie Perkins, Théodore Pellerin, Asjha Cooper, Dale Whibley, Jesse LaTourette, Burkely Duffield, Diego Josef, Zane Clifford, BJ Harrison, Emilija Baranac, Jade Falcon, William Edward, Anthony Timpano, Aason Nadjiwan, Sarah Dugdale, Andrew Dunbar
Actors: Sydney Park,
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 96 minutes
IMDb Blurb: The graduating class at Osborne High is being targeted by a masked assailant, intent on exposing the darkest secret of each victim, and only a group of misfit outsiders can stop the killings.
This looked like a basic slasher flick when I first started looking into it, but the trailer fixed my perspective on that.
The plot for the killings is just different enough to pique my interest.
The plot goes into teens with secrets being killed by someone wearing a mask of their face. Sure, the ‘teens with secrets’ part is pretty much ever slasher flick ever, but the rest of it is where I get intrigued.
Automatically, the plot twist eliminates some of the most obnoxious slasher tropes. I like that idea. That means I go into this movie knowing there are certain aspects that can’t possibly go in certain disappointing ways. I have some theories about how it will go, but I don’t want to go into that just in case I’m right.
At the very least, There’s Someone Inside Your House should be a whole lot of Halloween fun.
8 – Army of Thieves (10/29)

Production/Distribution: Pantaleon Films, The Stone Quarry, Film United, Netflix
Director: Matthias Schweighöfer
Writer: Shay Hatten, Zack Snyder
Actors: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Jonathan Cohen, Noémie Nakai
Genre: Action, Crime, Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 127 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A prequel, set before the events of Army of the Dead, which focuses on German safecracker Ludwig Dieter leading a group of aspiring thieves on a top secret heist during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse.
I enjoyed Army of the Dead (2021). I get the issues that some critics had with it, but I don’t think most of those issues hold water. It was a fun film, with an interesting ending.
Army of Thieves is kind of a prequel. To the best of my knowledge, it won’t actually go into the start of the zombie apocalypse or anything, though. In fact, I’ve heard that there won’t be much in the way of zombies involved at all. If anything, it’s an origin story for the safe-cracker character Ludwig Dieter, played by Matthias Schweighöfer (100 Things, You Are Wanted, Hinterland).
Even people who disliked Army of the Dead have admitted that Dieter was the best character in the film. I have to agree. He injected a much-needed dose of comedic relief. Even before I saw the trailer, the fact that the prequel focused on him was a huge selling point.
Zack Snyder (Wonder Woman, Justice League, Sucker Punch) is still credited as a writer, but Schweighöfer directed this project on his own. I think that means we’ll get a really honest portrayal of the character. Hopefully with the same infusion of comedy.
7 – Night Teeth (10/20)

Production/Distribution: 42, Unique Features, Netflix
Director: Adam Randall
Writer: Brent Dillon
Actors: Sydney Sweeney, Megan Fox, Alexander Ludwig, Debby Ryan, Lucy Fry, Alfie Allen, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Raúl Castillo, Ash Santos, Bryan Batt, Sydney Bell, Nandy Martin
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 107 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A college student moonlighting as a chauffeur picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across LA. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty intentions - and their dangerous, shadowy underworld - he must fight to stay alive.
And we’re back to vampires – which is not a complaint.
It makes sense to me that Megan Fox (Til Death, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Rogue) would play a vampire, since she doesn’t seem to actually age. But that’s beside the point.
Netflix is bringing it with the blood-suckers. I could not be more pleased about it. The last Netflix original I saw involving vampires was Blood Red Sky (2021) and that one blew me away. I have high expectations now – which means this new batch of Dracula-birthed films has a lot to live up to.
Night Teeth gives me some Fright Night (2011) remake vibes. Not in the plot so much as in the feel of it. This is, also, not a complaint. In fact, I’d say it’s the driving force behind why I put it so high on my list.
I have high hopes for this one.
6 – The Last Duel (10/15)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Pearl Street Films, Scott Free Productions, TSG Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Argentina, Forum Hungary, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Eric Jager
Actors: Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Clare Dunne, Adam Driver, Harriet Walter, Marton Csokas, Alex Lawther, Zeljko Ivanek, Clive Russell, Nathaniel Parker, Adam Nagaitis, Michael McElhatton, Caoimhe O’Malley
Genre: Drama, History
Rated: R
Length: 152 minutes
IMDb Blurb: King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.
The story told in this trailer is about as dramatic as it comes. It touches on assault, victim blaming, history, etc. Alone, that would draw my attention a bit, but that’s not what got it on the list.
There were a lot of great trailers this month, and some fantastic films got fully cut from my Top 20. The Last Duel may have been a runner up or much lower on this list if it wasn’t for its writers.
The last time we had a film written by Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, Live by Night, The Town) and Matt Damon (Promised Land, Gerry, Downsizing), we got Good Will Hunting (1997). I’ve never met anyone who dislikes Good Will Hunting – for good reason. In this case, we also have Nicole Holofcener (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Enough Said, Friends with Money). I’m not overly familiar with her work, but I do know she was hired because Affleck and Damon wanted a woman’s perspective in order to get the sensitive topics correct – and I cannot ignore that.
Ridley Scott’s (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Alien) involvement certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
It seems like the creative team took exceptional care with The Last Duel and put a lot of effort into making it realistic and relatable. I have no doubt that will come out in the final product. I’m looking forward to it.
5 – Last Night in Soho (10/29)

Production/Distribution: Complete Fiction, Film4, Focus Features International (FFI), Perfect World Pictures, Working Title Films, Focus Features, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Actors: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp, Elizabeth Berrington, Jessie Mei Li, Rita Tushingham, Synnove Karlsen, James Phelps, Margaret Nolan, Lisa McGrillis, Oliver Phelps
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 116 minutes
IMDb Blurb: An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something darker.
I saw the poster for this film at the theater before I heard about it. Immediately I wondered how that had happened, considering the cast.
With Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma., Radioactive, Split), Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, The King, The Justice of Bunny King), Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones, The Painted Veil, Heidi), Matt Smith (Doctor Who, His House, Patient Zero), and Terence Stamp (Crow, Bitter Harvest, Viking Destiny) how can you go wrong?
Not only that, but it’s written and directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). I don’t think anything of his comes up short.
The trailer takes you on a journey, as well. We see time jumping, or some kind of hallucination, mixed with a slow and creepy rendition of ‘Downtown’.
It’s nothing if not eye-catching.
4 – The French Dispatch (10/22)

Production/Distribution: American Empirical Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg, Searchlight Pictures, Forum Hungary, Kinomania, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing (WDSSPR)
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness
Actors: Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Bill Murray,Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Elisabeth Moss, Christoph Waltz, Toheeb Jimoh, Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jeffrey Wright, Edward Norton, Benicio Del Toro, Rupert Friend, Fisher Stevens, Liev Schreiber, Anjelica Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Alex Lawther, Henry Winkler, Steve Park
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 108 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in "The French Dispatch Magazine".
I have some sensory sensitivities and nothing speak to me visually quite as much as the symmetry of a Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs) film. He could direct a flick on eye-trauma and it would probably be so perfectly directed that it would still be comforting to me. Considering my lack of tolerance for that kind of trauma, that’s saying something.
In this case, The French Dispatch is also an anthology, which I’ve already expressed my love for in a previous blurb.
The cast is so insanely good that I couldn’t possibly go into all of them here, either.
The French Dispatch is going to be amazing.
3 – Muppets Haunted Mansion (10/8)

Production/Distribution: Disney Branded Television, Disney+, The Muppets Studio, Walt Disney Television
Director: Kirk R. Thatcher
Writer: Bill Barretta, Kirk R. Thatcher, Kelly Younger
Actors: Will Arnett, Ed Asner, Danny Trejo, Taraji P. Henson, Sasheer Zamata, Darren Criss, Yvette Nicole Brown, John Stamos, Chrissy Metz, Craig Robinson, Justina Machado, Jeannie Mai Jenkins, Alfonso Ribeiro, Shai Jackson, Brian Henson, Pat Sajak, Bill Barretta, Matt Vogel, Dave Goelz, Eric Jacobson, David Rudman, Peter Linz
Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 90 minutes
IMDb Blurb: On Halloween night, Gonzo is challenged to spend one night in The Haunted Mansion.
I was flabbergasted to learn that this was the very first Muppets Halloween movie. Do you know how long the Muppets have been around? They were first created in the 70s – just about 50 years ago. I think I always just assumed they had a bunch of them, but nope.
Since this is their first, I’m dying to see it. I want to know what they did this time, that they never thought to do before. For an idea to strike the creators for the first time in 50 years? That needs viewing.
There are a ton of guest actors, all of which would be a draw on their own.
How could this not be the cutest thing ever?
2 – Halloween Kills (10/15)

Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures, Miramax, Blumhouse Productions, Trancas International Films, Home Again Productions, Rough House Pictures, Parco Co. Ltd., United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Peacock
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: John Carpenter, David Gordon Green, Debra Hill, Danny McBride, Scott Teems
Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall, Scott MacArthur, Robert Longstreet, Will Patton, Nick Castle, Andi Matichak, Thomas Mann, Nancy Stephens, James Jude Courtney
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 106 minutes
IMDb Blurb: The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.
Any other Halloween, this would be my number 1.
What is October without Michael? Even the worst of his movies gets better during the spooky month. Even if only by a little bit.
The whole franchise is built around Halloween. And we’re at a point where we’re getting GOOD follow-ups now. No one’s out here killing Laurie Strode in the first ten minutes, anymore.
Of course, it looks like Michael might get unmasked for a little bit. I’m interested in what happens with that. It’s a risky move. It could wind up being glorious, but it could also remove that other-worldly feel that makes Michael scary.
There’s nothing I like more than when a movie takes a big risk. I want to see how this plays out.
1 – Dune (10/22)
Production/Distribution: Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, Villeneuve Films, Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore, HBO Max
Director: Denis Villeneuve 
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth, Frank Herbert
Actors: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chen Chang, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Babs Olusanmokun, Benjamin Clémentine, Souad Faress
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 155 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.
There was no way this wasn’t going to be my number 1. I loved the original trilogy. I know there are other books in the series, but I can only speak on the first three.
Dune is not an easy read. The language is fine, but there are a lot of talky political scenes that were difficult for me to pull my focus through. I’m usually a quick reader, but Dune took me a while. Still, it’s got a great plot and amazing characters in an imaginative setting. I wind up looking back favorably.
Now, there have been Dune movies before – but none have stood up to the books. It’s a sad fact. This one shows some serious promise, though.
With a director like Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Sicario, Maelstrom) at the helm, it’s easy to expect the fantastical. With the cast of giants at his back? I feel like it’s impossible for this iteration to fail.
My only issue was that there was a perfect spot for my favorite Dune quote in the trailer, and they didn’t go for it. It better be in the film.
Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat
My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission .20
Night Teeth .19
Injustice .18
The Many Saints of Newark .17
V/H/S/94 .16
The Survivalist .15
The French Dispatch .14
Needle in a Time Stack .13
The Last Duel .12
The Guilty .11
The Warning .10
Antlers .9
Broadcast Signal Intrusion .8
Army of Thieves .7
Muppets Haunted Mansion .6
Halloween Kills .5
No Time to Die .4
Ron's Gone Wrong .3
Dune .2
Venom: Let There Be Carnage .1