Hulu kicks off a new murder mystery inspired by the rise of true crime series, Shudder lets loose the AirBnB host from hell, and some horror classics hit streaming this week
‘Only Murders in the Building’ (Hulu)
A wonderfully timely take on our nation’s ongoing obsession with true crime, Only Murders in the Building has been receiving glowing reviews since its first episodes aired. The series stars Steve Martin (who created it alongside John Hoffman), Martin Short and Selena Gomez as three strangers who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living among them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.
In Superhost, travel vloggers Teddy (Osric Chau) and Claire (Sara Canning) share their experiences in and around vacation homes with their subscribers while maintaining a moderate level of internet fame. When their follower count starts to dwindle, they pivot to creating viral content around their most recent host, Rebecca (Gracie Gillam). With all eyes turned towards their “superhost,” Rebecca, they slowly start to realize something isn’t right and as they investigate further, they unlock a horrifying truth. The film is written and directed by Brandon Christensen and also stars Barbara Crampton (Jakob’s Wife – check out our review).
‘Level 16’ (Netflix)
Level 16 is written and directed by Danishka Esterhazy, who directed The Banana Splits Movie and is set to direct an upcoming remake of Slumber Party Massacre. This 2018 sci-fi thriller follows a group of girls who live at a highly regulated institution that supposedly teaches them how to be “perfect young women” for families that they are told will eventually adopt them. Two of the girls, Vivien (Katie Douglas) and Sophia (Celina Martin), grow suspicious and embark on a desperate search to uncover the awful truth behind their captivity.
‘Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles’ (Disney+)
Happier Than Ever is the second full-length album from music superstar Billie Eilish, whose unique style and sound influenced an entire generation almost overnight with her first album. The new collection of music shows the growth and continued musical prowess of the young artist, and now she’s set to debut her second documentary in the same year following February’s The World’s a Little Blurry. Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles is also part concert film which will see her perform the new album in its entirety at the Hollywood Bowl. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film will also feature appearances from her brother FINNEAS, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and world-renowned Brazilian guitarist, Romero Lubambo.
‘Afterlife of the Party’ (Netflix)
A social butterfly named Cassie (Victoria Justice) experiences the biggest party foul of all dying during her birthday week. To her surprise, she’s given a second chance to right her wrongs on Earth by reconnecting with loved ones, and most importantly, prove that she’s worthy enough to get into the big VIP room in the sky. Directed by Stephen Herek (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks), the supernatural comedy also stars Midori Francis, Timothy Renouf, Adam Garcia, Gloria Garcia and Spencer Sutherland.
‘A Hijacking’ (HBO Max)
2012’s A Hijacking is a marvel of Danish filmmaking. Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm (whose latest film Another Round swept major awards earlier this year), the movie focuses on a merchant ship that’s taken over by pirates. To ensure as much realness as possible, Lindholm hired a cast that was a mix of first-time actors and professionals, filmed on location and used an actual ship, the crew of which worked as extras during filming. The result is an intense and gripping thriller with some stunning realism to back it up.
Lifeforce has a plot that gets straight to the point: A race of space vampires arrives in London and infects the populace, beginning an apocalyptic descent into chaos. Tobe Hooper’s bizarre 1985 flick has been called ridiculous, crazy and downright silly, but in the decades since it bombed at the box office it’s gone on to become a cult film. There’s certainly not much else out there like it.
‘The Descent’ (Amazon Prime Video)
If there’s some reason why you haven’t watched The Descent, Neil Marshall’s 2005 horror masterpiece that gives me chills just thinking about it, then it’s high time you hopped on over to Prime Video to see what scary movies are all about. The film follows a group of women who set off on a caving expedition when pretty much everything goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange and terrifying breed of predators. The Descent was a landmark moment for horror in the 2000s.
Brad Bird may have made a name for himself with true animated classics like The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, but also proved how naturally he could make the switch to live-action spectacle with 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. His 2015 feature Tomorrowland never seems to get the appreciation it deserves, which is a shame considering it’s a thoughtful and at times subversive family advetnure. Whenever Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) touches a lapel pin with the letter T on it, she finds herself transported to Tomorrowland, a city filled with huge robots and sleek buildings. The gifted young woman recruits the help of scientist Frank Walker (George Clooney), a previous visitor to Tomorrowland, who years ago made a startling discovery about the future. Together, the two adventurers travel to the metropolis to uncover its mysterious secrets.
‘The Dunwich Horror’ (Hulu)
When a beautiful student named Nancy (Sandra Dee) catches the eye of the weird Wilbur Whateley (Dean Stockwell), it’s up to her professor, the good doctor and occult expert Dr. Henry Armitage (Ed Begley), to warn her that no good will come of it. But as Armitage digs deeper into the Whateley family history, he uncovers a buried secret – and a plot intended to call forth an evil beyond imagination. 1970’s The Dunwich Horror is a psychedelic showcase of cosmic horrors that has gone on to be considered one of the greatest screen adaptations of the work of H.P. Lovecraft.
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 four 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 consisten in tly hilarious, moving, and eye-opening. The first five 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 five episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘UNTOLD: Crime & Penalties’, ‘Agatha Christie’s Crooked House’, ‘House Party’, ‘Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles’, ‘How to Be a Cowboy’, ‘Marshall’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘Money Heist (Season 5 – Part 1)‘, ‘Worth’
Hulu – ’50/50′, ‘A Fish Called Wanda’, ‘Anaconda’, ‘Angel Unchained’, ‘At the Earth’s Core’, ‘Bull Durham’, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, ‘Cellar Dweller’, ‘Count Yorga, Vampire’, ‘Crazy Heart’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Election’, ‘Exterminator 2’, ‘Friday the 13th – Part III’, ‘Friday the 13th – Part IV: The Final Chapter’, ‘Fright Knight’, ‘Gattaca’, ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’, ‘Hitman: Agent 47’, ‘I Spit On Your Grave’, ‘The Interview’, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, ‘Magic Mike’, ‘Mommy’, ‘Office Space’, ‘The Omen’, ‘Phase IV’, ‘Raising Arizona’, ‘The Ring’, ‘Shaun the Sheep’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘It’, ‘Sucker Punch’, ‘Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride’, ‘Vantage Point’, ‘Volcano’, The Wrestler’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘The Unthinkable’, ‘What We Do in the Shadows: Season 3 Premiere’, ‘Bolden’
Shudder – ‘Carrie’, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’,‘The Haunting’, ‘Poltergeist’,
HBO Max – ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Army of Darkness’, ‘Cloverfield’, ‘Dead Again’, ‘Drinking Buddies’, ‘Event Horizon’, ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Evil Dead 2’, ‘The Forgotten’, ‘The Goonies’, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’, ‘King Kong’, ‘Lady in the Water’, ‘Mr. Nobody’, ‘Oblivion’, ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’, ‘Santana – Corazon: Live From Mexico, Live It To Believe It’, ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’, ‘Transformers’, ‘Adventure Time: Distant Lands – Wizard City’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘(500) Days of Summer’, ‘Apollo 13’, ‘Arachnophobia’, ‘Armageddon’, ‘Daredevil’, ‘Do the Right Thing’, ‘Heist’, ‘I Am Bolt’, ‘I Am Duran’, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, ‘Jennifer’s Body’, ‘Nacho Libre’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Predators’, ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘Sicko’, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘The A-Team’, ‘Stuart Little’, ‘The Boy’, ‘The Host’, ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, ‘The Social Network’, ‘Young Frankenstein’
Disney+ – ‘Dug Days’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space’, ‘If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd’, ‘Kid Cosmic (Season 2)’, ‘Into the Night (Season 2)’, ‘Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali’, ‘Kate’, ‘Lucifer (Season 6)’, ‘Prey’
Hulu – ‘Flower’, ‘La La Land’, ‘The Killing of Two Lovers’, ‘Transporter 3’
Shudder – ‘Grave Encounters’, ‘Grave Encounters 2’, ‘Resolution’, ‘They Look Like People’, ‘Jugface’, ‘Dark Waters’, ‘Martyrs Lane’
HBO Max – ‘News of the World’, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘Malignant’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘The Voyeurs’