October has always been my favorite month as the leaves change color and fall to the ground amid the cooler temperatures while darkness descends earlier each evening. However, the main reason is that the big kid inside of me races to the forefront salivating for candy, cider and that perfect costume. Horror and dark thrillers make the month of October even that more appealing. The following are just a few new releases coming out that will satisfy all of that and more as we approach Halloween.
The Addams Family (PG)
It snapped into theaters on Oct. 11 just in time for Halloween. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, the film stars the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler and Finn Wolfhard. Based on the comedy/ horror cartoons by Charles Addams (who was born in New Jersey and resided on Long Island), this animated film follows the beloved family as they move to New Jersey and must deal with the ever-evolving world around them including a selfish, nefarious television host, all while preparing for extended family members descending upon them to rejoice for a special event. A great family movie for Halloween.
This film debuted on Oct. 4 amid rave reviews and deep controversy. Directed by Todd Phillips, the movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joker, Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beetz. This DC comic-inspired movie delves deep into The Joker’s backstory as never seen or explained before in any other movies. Phoenix naturally shines in his maniacal performance of the broken and misunderstood Arthur Fleck who is ridiculed and beaten down (literally) in all aspects of his life, finally emerging as the infamous Joker of Gotham City. The movie even attempts to humanize the Joker if not also trying to illuminate what led up to his violence. This advisory account is a must see but it is rated R for a reason and not suitable for young children or teens. Despite the warranted hullabaloo, it had record breaking openings and I’d be shocked if Phoenix doesn’t earn another nomination from the Academy.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PG)
On Oct. 18, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil flies into theaters, directed by Joachim Ronning and starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, both of whom reprise their roles of the first film. They are joined by Michelle Pfeiffer. Five years later, Maleficent must now face new perils as her goddaughter, Aurora, accepts a proposal from Prince Phillip, whose mother attempts to segregate humans and fairies once and for all. Jolie gives another superb performance in this must-see movie for the whole family.
Little Monsters (R)
Also on Oct. 11, Little Monsters screamed into theaters, directed and written by Abe Forsythe. Starring Lupita Nyongo, Josh Gad and Stephen Peacocke, this comedy/horror follows a bunch of town misfits along with the children they are trying to protect as they band together to stave off an unexpected outbreak of zombies from a neighboring military base. This film will have you laughing and cringing all at the same time.
The Lighthouse (R)
One more for Oct. 18 is The Lighthouse, directed by Robert Eggers and written by him and his brother Max Eggers. Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson and Valeriia Karamav star in this all black and white mesmerizing tale set in the 1890s of two light keepers, who face their worst anxieties as terror is thrust upon them. A great fantasy/horror film just in time for Halloween.
Zombieland: Double Tap (R)
Also on Oct. 18, Zombieland: Double Tap hit theaters, directed by Ruben Fleischer (who also directed the first one). The film stars Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray and Jesse Eisenberg, all of whom reprise their roles from the 2009 cult classic first movie. The events of this new movie take place 10 years later as the improvised family continues to fight off new and progressed zombies as well as other survivors while re-examining their compulsory family. A must-see, especially if you saw the first one.
Grab your popcorn, drink and some candy and run to the movies for a good laugh and scare.