This Friday the 13th conjures up a new Stephen King adaptation and plenty of new and original horror films.
1980’s Firestarter is one of Stephen King’s earliest novels that acts as a solid blueprint for some of the storyteller’s recurring elements: Supernatural children, shadowy government organizations, and the usual gruesomeness that comes out of all the action. The book tells the tale of Charlie McGee, a young girl who’s parents unwittingly become test subjects for an agency known only as the Shop. The experimentation leads to Charlie developing a powerful and destructive form of pyrokinesis, which puts everyone in danger and forces them on the run. Ryan Kierra Armstrong will star as Charlie, alongside Zac Efron as her father Andy and Sydney Lemmon as her mother Vicky. The film also stars Michael Greyeyes, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, and Gloria Reuben. The film is directed by Keith Thomas, who has made a considerable presence for himself with his recent horror debut The Vigil. None other than John Carpenter, his son Cody Carpenter, and frequent collaborator Daniel Davis will be doing the score.
‘Operation Mincemeat’ (Netflix)
In the thick of World War II, two British intelligence officers hatched a scheme that would forever alter the course of the war. The invasion of Sicily was a pivotal moment and thus needed to be kept secret from the Germans, so the plan was to make them believe that the targets were Greece and Sardinia instead. To do this, they dressed up the body of a deceased homeless man as an officer with fake military documents, released it close to shore and hoped that the Germans would take the bait and fall for the ruse. The unorthodox operation will play out on Netflix this month in a film from John Madden that stars Colin Firth, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfayden, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn, and Jason Isaacs.
‘On the Count of Three’ (VOD)
Jerrod Carmichael is best known for his stand-up comedy and NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show, and made his directorial debut at last year’s Sundance with the darkly hilarious On the Count of Three. The film follows best friends Kevin (Christopher Abbott) and Val (Carmichael) who have grown increasingly sick of living, so the suicidal pair make a plan to take each other’s life at the same time. That’s definitely a morbid concept, but the film is actually a kind of twisted buddy comedy, one that delivers laughs while also having plenty to say about the complexities of depression. The pair get themselves into more and more absurd situations as they try to make their last day on Earth count, and it leads to outrageous car chases, shootouts, and what is likely the best possible use of Papa Roach of all time.
Candy Montgomery (Jessica Biel) is a 1980 housewife and mother who did everything right—good husband, two kids, nice house, even the careful planning and execution of transgressions—but when the pressure of conformity builds within her, her actions scream for just a bit of freedom. Until someone tells her to shush. With deadly results.
‘The Sadness’ (Shudder)
The city of Taipei suddenly erupts into bloody chaos as ordinary people are compulsively driven to enact the most cruel and ghastly things they can imagine. Murder, torture, and mutilation are only the beginning. A young couple is pushed to the limits of sanity as they try to reunite amid the violence and depravity. The age of civility and order is no more.
‘The Essex Serpent’ (Apple TV+)
Set in Victorian England featuring a star studded cast led by Claire Danes, Tom Hiddleston, Frank Dillane, Clémence Poésy and Hayley Squires, The Essex Serpent follows London widow Cora Seaborne (Danes) who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She forms surprising bond of science and skepticism with the local vicar (Hiddleston), but when tragedy strikes, locals accuse her of attracting the creature.
A terrifying new horror awaits Laura (alt icon Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody (Santino Barnard) when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse. Still traumatized, their physical and mental well-being are pushed to the limit as their fragile existence is threatened. This supernatural thriller pulls from fears both real and extraordinary – a slow burn that is sure to make you think just as much as it’s sure to send chills down your spine.
‘Our Father’ (Netflix)
After a woman’s at-home DNA test reveals multiple half-siblings, she discovers a shocking scheme involving donor sperm and a popular fertility doctor. Decades later, his “children” band together to pursue justice.
‘The Stylist’ (Shudder)
We all dream of being someone else… but for Claire (Najarra Townsend), that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Hairstylist by day, serial killer and collector of scalps by night, Claire’s lonely existence is thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia (Brea Grant), asks her to style her hair for her wedding day. Increasingly fixated on Olivia’s seemingly flawless life, Claire vows to lock up her scalp collection and change her ways for good – only to discover that repressing your deadly desires is easier said than done.
‘The Innocents’ (VOD)
During the bright Nordic summer, a group of children reveal mysterious powers. But what starts out innocent soon takes a dark and violent turn in this gripping supernatural thriller. Disturbing, intelligent and held together by a young cast of impressively talented actors, the uncanny and sometimes unthinkingly violent world of childhood is explored with chilling candor and exceptional skill in writer-director Eskil Vogt’s arthouse horror feature The Innocents.
CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:
‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ (Paramount+)
Paramount+ continues its all-in approach to the Star Trek universe with yet another series to add the franchise. This latest is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The series will feature fan favorites from season two of Star Trek: Discovery. Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy. The first two episodes are now streaming.
Dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant, the long-awaited Halo series will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future. Nobody can save humanity alone-not even the Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber). Meet the heroes who will risk losing everything to come together and protect humankind from the universe’s greatest threat. The first eight episodes are now streaming with the finale arriving next week.
‘Atlanta (Season 3)’ (Hulu)
Taking place almost entirely in Europe, Season 3 of Atlanta finds Earn (Donald Glover), Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) and Van (Zazie Beetz) in the midst of a successful European tour, as the group navigates their new surroundings as outsiders, and struggle to adjust to the newfound success they had aspired to. The first nine episodes are now streaming with the finale arriving next week.
‘We Own This City’ (HBO Max)
A miniseries exploring the deep systemic corruption inherent in law enforcement, We Own This City details the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the series is based on the book of the same name by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton. The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘Tehran (Season 2)’ (Apple TV+)
Tamar (Niv Sultan) is a Mossad hacker-agent who infiltrates Tehran under a false identity to help destroy Iran’s nuclear reactor. But when the mission fails and she’s trapped in a new life, Tamar must plan an operation that will place everyone dear to her in jeopardy. Glenn Close joins the second season. The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘The Baby’ (HBO Max)
The new limited series blends horror and comedy in a surrealist study on motherhood. When a controlling baby with violent powers mysteriously lands in Natasha’s (Michelle de Swarte) lap, she must figure out how to wrestle her life back: She doesn’t want a baby. The baby wants her. The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘Shining Girls’ (Apple TV+)
Based on Lauren Beukes’ best-selling novel, Shining Girls follows Kirby Mazrachi (Moss) as a Chicago newspaper archivist whose journalistic ambitions were put on hold after enduring a traumatic assault. Years after a brutal attack left her in a constantly shifting reality, Kirby Mazrachi learns that a recent murder is linked to her assault. She teams with veteran reporter Dan Velazquez (played by Wagner Moura) to understand her ever-changing present—and confront her past. The first five episodes are now streaming.
‘Barry (Season 3)’ (HBO Max)
Desperate to leave his violent past behind in favor of his newfound passion, Barry (Hader) is attempting to untangle himself from the world of contract killing and fully immerse himself in acting. But getting out is messy. While Barry has eliminated many of the external factors that pushed him towards violence, he soon discovers they weren’t the only forces at play. What is it about his own psyche that led him to become a killer in the first place? The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ (Hulu)
Under the Banner of Heaven is an original limited series inspired by the true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer, which follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her baby daughter in a suburb in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah. As Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) investigates events that transpired within the Lafferty family, he uncovers buried truths about the origins of the LDS religion and the violent consequences of unyielding faith. What Pyre, a devout Mormon, unearths leads him to question his own faith. The first four episodes are now streaming.
‘The Offer’ (Paramount+)
This biographical dramatic miniseries tells the true story of producer Al Ruddy’s (Miles Teller) experience of making the 1972 film The Godfather with Francis Ford Coppola. From development to production, the series lays out the process of creating one of the greatest films of all time. The first five episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War’, ‘42 Days of Darkness’, ‘Bigger than Africa’, ‘Senior Year’, ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’
Shudder – ‘Popcorn’, ‘A Ghost Waits’
HBO Max – ‘The Matrix Resurrections’
Disney+ – ‘The Quest’, ‘Sneakerella’
Paramount+ – ‘Allied’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘Borrego’, ‘Tully’, ‘Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror’, ‘The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar’, ‘Jackass 4.5’, ‘Love, Death & Robots (Volume 3)’
Hulu – ‘The Brass Teapot’, ‘Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room’, ‘The Mountain Between Us’, ‘One Last Thing’, ‘Sundown’, ‘The Deep End’, ‘American Underdog’
Shudder – ‘The Found Footage Phenomenon’, ‘Brain Damage’
HBO Max – ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’
Disney+ – ‘Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’
Apple TV+ – ‘Now and Then’
Paramount+ – ‘Joe Pickett’, ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’