The Big Picture
- "Cobweb" is a mysterious horror film about a family who hears strange knocking sounds in their house. Spooky!
- "Night of the Hunted" is a tense movie set in a gas station, where a woman must outsmart a sniper who is targeting her.
- "No Hard Feelings" is a hilarious comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence as a woman who enters an odd arrangement to get her car back. Funny and explicit!
As we find ourselves in the heart of the spooky season, there are plenty of horror films making their streaming debut to check out. Not looking to be scared? Don’t fret as there are family comedies, fun action dramedies, a modern riff on the Western, and much more. Whatever type of movie you’re looking for, there is a good chance you’ll find it here.
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on Hulu
Ah, Cobweb. One of the newer horror films on this list, the less that is known about this one the better. The basics involve a family who begins to notice something strange taking place in their house. Specifically, it centers on a young boy who begins to hear knocking sounds that are coming from the very walls themselves. I'm sure it's fine and nothing to be worried about, right?
Night of the Hunted
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on Shudder
This week’s Shudder offering is Night of the Hunted which tells the story of Alice (Camille Rowe) who stops in at a gas station late one night and finds herself pinned there by a sniper. She doesn’t know why this person is gunning for her, but she’ll have to think fast in order to piece it together in order to get out with her life. For those looking for a tense movie set in a confined location, this may be your jam this week.
No Hard Feelings
Release Date: Sunday, October 22 on Netflix
A film that finally gives Jennifer Lawrence the comedy she’s long deserved, No Hard Feelings is part of a bit of a summertime resurgence for the R-rated comedy. Centering on the troubled Maddie (Lawrence) as she tries to get a car back that she needs to work, she answers an ad on Craiglist looking for a young woman to date their son. In exchange, she’ll get their car as long as she sleeps with him. This leads to many shenanigans just as it does an oddly sweet undercurrent as the two actually end up forming a bond outside the odd arrangement. Don’t worry though, it’s still plenty explicit and really allows Lawrence to let loose like she never has before.
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on Netflix
The directorial debut from comedian Bill Burr, Old Dads is about exactly what the title lays out: middle-aged patriarchs. As try to navigate a changing world and raising kids, the jokes center just as much around their disconnection with everything around them as it does the frequent absurdities of modern life. For those who may think this is just Burr poking fun at others, his comedy has shifted towards being about his own shortcomings as well. Time will only tell if his film is able to carry this forward, but it’s still one of the more potentially interesting comedies to have on your radar this week.
Release Date: Tuesday, October 17 on Prime Video
One of the most fun movies to show at this past Sundance,Nida Manzoor’s feature debut Polite Society is an action comedy equally hilarious as it Is heartfelt. Centering on two sisters, Priya Kansara's Ria and Ritu Arya's Lena, it takes us into their respective dreams that haven’t quite yet materialized. As they look out for each other, they also discover that they are drifting apart when the elder sister starts to consider her future and marriage that the younger sister wants to disrupt out of fear about the family she is marrying into. It then becomes an underdog story of sorts while also being five other films at the same time. Rather than feel overstuffed, everything flows naturally through all the tonal swings and genre shifts. It packs an awareness of the films it is drawing from, ensuring that each new step it takes has a strong foundation underneath it. When it all takes to the air and kicks you squarely in the head, it proves to be a triumphant action comedy with wonderful characters you only wish you could get to know even more.
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on Peacock
The sweet yet still shallow DreamWorks animationRuby Gillman, Teenage Kraken didn’t make much of a splash in theaters though it may have some second life on streaming. The biggest problem is that it isn’t sharp enough to constitute a more robust satire of Disney’s mermaid story even as that was right there for the taking. However, it is just cheeky enough to make for a playful skewering that still could have cut quite a bit deeper. We’re not saying Ruby Gillman would have eaten Ariel, but we’re not not saying that.
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on VOD
There are few horror films that manage to be both goofy and gruesome. Not only does Saw Xpull this off better than most of the other recent entries in the franchise, it also sees a great Tobin Bell getting the chance to really take center stage. Taking place between the first and second films in the series, it is the best entry the series has seen in nearly a decade. This may not be saying a whole lot considering some of the past missteps, but it still is bloody good fun for those who are looking to reconnect with some old friends.
Silver Dollar Road
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on Prime Video
This week’s documentary to watch is Silver Dollar Road. Directed by Raoul Peck, who previously made the outstanding I Am Not Your Negro, it centers on the Reels family who are trying to protect their ancestor's land that the powers that be are trying to remove them from. Based on the 2019 ProPublica article which is itself worth reading, it is a look at how the law prevents not just Black land ownership but further exacerbates the racial wealth gap.
Release Date: Friday, October 20 on Prime Video
The final film from the late Michael K. Williams, a titan of the screen taken far too soon, Surrounded is a frequently meandering western elevated by its performances. Specifically, it tells the story of Mo Washington (Letitia Wright) who is heading out west in an attempt to lay claim to a gold mine. However, this journey is soon disrupted when her stagecoach is ambushed and she ends up having to hold a dangerous outlaw captive before help can come back. Though Williams is more of a supporting character than a main one, it is a film that is worth seeing for him alone. Without giving anything away, his performance is a briefly magnetizing one that serves as one last reminder of his immense talents. Though the rest of the film that both precedes and follows his appearance is not always as compelling, it still is all bolstered by his very presence.