Shudder’s latest is a fresh take on vampires, HBO Max drops a new sci-fi epic starring Hugh Jackman, and Hulu dips into metal culture in a new drama
‘Jakob’s Wife’ (Shudder)
Shudder’s latest exclusive stars horror icon Barbara Crampton as a dissatisfied house wife named Anne dealing with the onset of middle age. An attempt at some excitement in her life has terrifying results when she’s attacked by a vampire (played by The Conjuring 2 and The Nun star Bonnie Aarons) and begins a powerful transformation. The film is a fresh take on vampires movies that still honors the classics, with a smart focus on how Anne’s changes don’t just lead to several very awesomely gruesome kills, but how it affects her already strained relationship with her husband Jakob (Larry Fessenden, another horror veteran). Part bloody scares, part marital drama, and a surprising amount of clever humor.
‘Reminiscence’ (HBO Max)
Lisa Joy, co-creator, writer, director and executive producer of the acclaimed HBO series Westworld, makes her feature debut with another mind-bending sci-fi concept. Reminiscence follows a man named Nick (Hugh Jackman) who gives people a way to relive their pasts via their memories. He meets a mysterious young woman named Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) and falls deeply in love, but when a client’s memories appear to convict Mae in a serious crime, Nick is sent on a dark and dangerous path to uncover the truth.
‘Blast Beat’ (Hulu)
On the cusp of the year 2000, Colombian brothers Carly (Mateo Arias) and Mateo (Moises Arias) prepare to move to the United States for their last years of high school. Metalhead Carly has his heart set on attending the Georgia Aerospace Institute and working for NASA, while his supportive parents (Diane Guerrero and Wilmer Valderrama) seize the chance to escape the political turmoil in Colombia and chase the American Dream. At first, Mateo is the only one to express any cynicism, but when the reality of their new life sinks in, the family struggles to adapt as their expectations are shattered. When events threaten to derail their future, Carly’s dream becomes his only lifeline. All fans of metal culture should check this one out.
‘Sweet Girl’ (Netflix)
Straightforward and to the point, Sweet Girl stars Jason Momoa as a devastated husband who vows to bring justice to the people responsible for his wife’s death while protecting the only family he has left, his daughter (Isabela Merced). Directed by Brian Andrew Mendoza, this revenge thriller is sure to pack plenty of punches and hardcore action to keep audiences entertained throughout.
‘Godzilla vs Kong’ (HBO Max)
It’s radioactive lizard versus big monkey time. The showdown of titans is finally back on HBO Max. The film is the long-awaited culmination of the cinematic MonsterVerse that started with 2014’s Godzilla reboot and was followed by Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In this clash of gods, Godzilla suddenly embarks on a rampage of destruction across the globe and humanity calls on King Kong to defend them. But a greater conspiracy may also be at play. If you missed one of the year’s biggest movies the first time around, now’s your time.
‘Annette’ (Amazon Prime Video)
This incredibly bizarre yet strangely endearing rock opera follows Henry (Adam Driver), a stand-up comedian with a fierce sense of humor who falls in love with Ann (Marion Cotillard), a world-renowned opera singer. Under the spotlight, they form a passionate and glamorous couple. The birth of their first child, Annette, a mysterious little girl with an exceptional destiny, will turn their lives upside down. A film by visionary director Leos Carax (Holy Motors), with story and music by Ron & Russel Mael of the band Sparks, this original musical is a journey of passion, love, and fame.
‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ (Hulu)
Based on The New York Times best-selling book by author Liane Moriarty, Nine Perfect Strangers takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort’s director, Masha (Nicole Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine “perfect” strangers have no idea what is about to hit them. The series is a captivating mystery with excellent performances.
‘Reefa’ (HBO Max)
Israel “Reefa” Hernandez Jr (Tyler Dean Flores), an 18-year-old Colombian immigrant and talented artist, is spending his last summer in Miami with friends, family and his new girl Frankie (Clara McGregor) before moving to New York City on an art scholarship. While Israel and his friends skateboard the city streets and spray paint the walls of Wynwood, Miami’s graffiti Mecca, anxieties emerge twofold: Israel and his family nervously await their Green Cards while he desperately seeks recognition for his art. On August 6, 2013, as Israel spray paints one last wall which would command immediate respect from his peers, a fatal encounter with a police officer leaves his family and friends devastated, the Miami community outraged, and the country reeling from another case of police brutality. Reefa is a timely and moving drama with an interesting perspective from the street art scene.
‘Dave Made a Maze’ (Shudder)
This special little film has a massive looking and inspiring production design and also feels wholly original. The film follows Dave (Nick Thune), a frustrated artist who has yet to accomplish anything significant in his career. He builds a fort out of cardboard boxes in his living room, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave’s girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Upon entry, they find themselves in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur. Director Bill Waterson proves himself to be an inventive and incredibly stylish filmmaker.
Steven Soderbergh is one of the very best filmmakers working today and his 2018 thriller / psychological horror flick Unsane is one of his most intense. Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) relocates from Boston to Pennsylvania to escape from the man who’s been stalking her for the last two years. While consulting with a therapist, Valentini unwittingly signs in for a voluntary 24-hour commitment to the Highland Creek Behavioral Center. Her stay at the facility soon gets extended when doctors and nurses begin to question her sanity. Sawyer now believes that one of the staffers is her stalker — and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay alive and fight her way out.
CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:
‘What If…?’ (Disney+)
The very first animated series from Marvel Studios, What If…? runs wild and plays loose with the sprawling cinematic universe that everyone knows. The series dives into the multiverse to show a variety of different timelines where major moments from the MCU play out differently, such as Agent Carter receiving the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, Killmonger rescuing Tony Stark before he’s ever kidnapped by terrorists, and even an episode that involves superhero zombies. With a gorgeous cel-shaded animation style and an infinite amount of exciting and weird directions the show can go in, it’s sure to be a hit for Marvel fans. The first two episodes are now streaming.
‘Reservation Dogs’ (Hulu)
Created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, Reservation Dogs details the lives of four Indigenous teenagers – played by D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Deverey Jacobs, Paulina Alexis, and Lane Factor – in rural Oklahoma. The kids steal, rob, and save in order to get to the exotic, mysterious, and faraway land of California, where they hope to find better lives. It’s consistently hilarious, moving, and eye-opening. The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘Slasher: Flesh & Blood’ (Shudder)
The anthology horror series Slasher – obviously inspired by the genre it takes its name from – has been all over the place. The original first season aired on the now defunct Chiller television network, its second and third season premiered on Netflix, and now its fourth iteration, Slasher: Flesh & Blood, is exclusively streaming on Shudder. This new season follows a wealthy, dysfunctional family that gathers for a reunion on a secluded island only to learn they’ll be pitted against one another in a cruel game of life and death, all while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer. Nothing is what it seems and no one is safe as the tension – and body count – ratchets up. The first three episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘UNTOLD: Deal With the Devil’, ‘Black Island’, ‘Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes’, ‘Nneka the Pretty Serpent’, ‘Gunshot’, ‘The Chair’, ‘The Loud House Movie’
Hulu – ‘The Hate U Give’, ‘Silo’, ‘The Skeleton Twins’, ‘The Marijuana Conspiracy’, ‘Jungleland’
Shudder – ‘A Field in England’, ‘Borgman’, ‘Anguish’
HBO Max – ‘Jurassic Park Trilogy’, ‘Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground’, ‘Half Brothers’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘In Bruges’, ‘Killer Among Us’
Disney+ – ‘Eragorn’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘Boomika’, ‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf’, ‘Count Me In’, ‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed’, ‘Clickbait’, ‘John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer’, ‘Open Your Eyes’, ‘Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes’, ‘The November Man’, ‘The Old Ways’, ‘The River Runner’, ‘The Water Man’, ‘SAS: Rise of the Black Swan’
Hulu – ‘We Broke Up’, ‘Disobedience’, ‘Feral State’, ‘American Horror Story (Season 10)’, ‘Love and Monsters’, ‘Chaos Walking’, ‘Vacation Friends’
Shudder – ‘Mosquito State’, ‘Cheap Thrills’, ‘Nothing Bad Can Happen’
HBO Max – ‘San Andreas’, ‘Lincoln: Divided We Stand’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘The Courier’
Disney+ – ‘Cruella’, ‘Dan in Real Life’, ‘Underdog’