Biggest New US Movie Releases This Week: Halloween, The Night Comes For Us, The Guilty
By Dan Auty on
John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic Halloween was originally going to be titled The Babysitter Murders, but the decision to change the title helped create horror history. Forty years later, a new Halloween movie hits theaters just in time for the season of scares. Horror is as popular a genre now as it has ever been, and given the universally recognised franchise title, David Gordon Green's sequel/reboot is set to dominate the box office this coming weekend.
There are also a couple of great movies arriving on streaming services this week too. Another acclaimed chiller, The Witch in the Window, premieres on Shudder, while the insane Indonesian action movie The Night Comes For Us makes its explosive Netflix debut. There's also the digital release of the horror sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, and the Marvel sequel Ant-Man And The Wasp is now available to rent or buy.
The landscape for consuming movies has really changed over the past few years. The biggest films still debut the old fashioned-way--in theaters, with home releases still a few months off. But with the rise of streaming and Video on Demand, we are increasingly seeing simultaneous releases for smaller movies, with films getting a limited theatrical release on the same day that they are available to buy and rent digitally.
The rise of Netflix and Amazon as major players in film production has also disrupted standard release patterns. Netflix in particular has attracted some major directors, and their movies will bypass theaters entirely and premiere worldwide on the streaming platform. And of course, movies that did get a theatrical release continue to move to digital platforms after a few months. This is a great way to catch up on movies you might have missed on the big screen--or are keen to rewatch. So here's our look at the best and most interesting new movies in theaters and available to watch at home this week.
Watch it in theaters on October 19
The Halloween series might be one of longest-running and most profitable horror franchises in movie history, but most fans would agree that every entry hasn't necessarily been a good one. The last time Michael Myers stalked the screen was in Rob Zombie's hugely divisive remakes a decade ago, but now, on the 40th anniversary of John Carpenter's original movie, the killer also known as The Shape is back. This latest entry is a direct sequel to the original 1978 movie and sees Jamie Lee Curtis return as Laurie Strode to do battle once more with Michael (who is no longer her brother). In his review for GameSpot, Rafael Motamayor said that Halloween "doesn't reinvent the wheel or create a new subgenre of horror. What it does is take the best parts of all the films in the franchise, and deliver the ultimate companion piece to Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece. It's a film that not only has something to say about trauma and PTSD, but also delivers a bloody, fun time at the theater."
Watch it in theaters from October 19
Jonah Hill has already proved himself to be an extremely versatile actor over the years, from his early comedy work in movies such as Superbad to his Oscar-nominated performance in The Wolf of Wall Street as well as his recent role in Netflix's brilliant sci-fi drama Maniac. Mid90s sees Hill branch out into directing. It's a coming-of-age comedy drama, which he also wrote, about a 13-year-old kid who becomes involved with a group of skateboarders in LA. Festival reviews suggest a confident, nostalgic debut, and if Hill is even half as good a director as he is an actor, then this could be the start of a great second career.
Watch it in theaters from October 19
Many of the best thrillers on both TV and at the theaters have comes from Scandinavia in recent years, and The Guilty looks set to join the likes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Killing, and Headhunters. It hits theaters in selected cities this week with some rave reviews behind it. This is a claustrophobic thriller set entirely within the confines of a call center, in which an emergency call dispatcher answers a call from a kidnapped woman--as the search for her begins, the dispatcher starts his own investigation using only the phone line.
The Night Comes For Us
Watch it on Netflix from October 19
Indonesian director Timo Tjahjanto has been making a name for himself in cult movie circles over the last few years with a distinctive blend of action and horror movies, such as Headshot, Macabre, and Killers. At the recent Fantastic Fest in Austin, he debuted two new movies--the horror movie May the Devil Take You and this over-the-top actionfest, which hits Netflix this Friday. To say it is a crowdpleaser is an understatement--reviews from the festival suggest that it's one of the wildest, most thrilling action movies for years. It's a sprawling crime movie in which a former Triad enforcer attempts to protect a young girl trying to escape a gang. Watch the trailer for a taste of what to expect, the check out the full thing on Friday.
The Witch in the Window
Watch it on Shudder from October 18
AMC's Shudder has become a must-subscribe for horror fans, with a steady stream of old classics and new shockers hitting the service every week. The Witch in the Window is Shudder's latest exclusive release and looks like a suitably spooky Halloween treat. It focuses on a young boy who is sent to live with his estranged dad but discovers something terrifying living in the house with them (the clue as to what is in the title).
The Spy Who Dumped Me
Own it digitally from October 16
Kate McKinnon has been one of the funniest members of the Saturday Night Live cast for years, but on the big screen, she is yet to find a movie that really makes full use of her comedic skills. Her latest movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me, is no classic, but it does deliver a great double-act alongside Mila Kunis and delivers a satisfyingly rowdy mix of comedy and action. Kunis plays a woman who discovers that her ex is a CIA agent and together with her roommate (McKinnon), finds herself embroiled in a ridiculous espionage plot.
Unfriended: Dark Web
Own it digitally from October 16
2014's Unfriended was part of the short wave of social media horror, which also included movies such as The Den, Chatroom, and Friend Request. Dark Web is the sequel and again uses the technique of a laptop screen from which to tell the story, with chat windows, message boards, and video calls allowing the viewer to experience its web-based terror first-hand. While the first Unfriended had more of a supernatural influence, Dark Web is based more on real-life online horrors, which makes for an even more unnerving experience.
Ant-Man And The Wasp
Rent it digitally from October 16
Ant-Man might not have had the immediate audience recognition of Captain America or Spider-Man, but the character's first standalone Marvel movie was a hugely entertaining hit, and the sequel followed this year. This time, Paul Rudd's criminal-turned-superhero teams up with Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) for another adventure in which they must save Hope's mom from the Quantum Realm. In his review for Gamespot, Michael Rougeau said that Ant-Man And The Wasp is "hilarious, fun, silly, self aware, and creative. Filled with pseudo-science gobbledigook, crazy action, and multiple villains all vying for screen time, it's one of the most comic-booky MCU movies yet. The fates of all our favorite heroes after Avengers: Infinity War may still be up in the air, but in the meantime, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a welcome distraction."