Pick of the Litter – October 2015

BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak

(Universal) Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam. Among genre fans, Guillermo del Toro is a fan favorite and one of his most anticipated projects in years is this gothic haunted house tale. In it, an aspiring author, recovering from a family tragedy, is torn between the affections of a childhood friend and the attentions of a mysterious man who sweeps her into his mansion, a home that hides secret terrors and ancient evil. Even Da Queen, who hates horror films, is eager to see this one. October 16

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Garm Wars The Last Druid

Garm Wars: The Last Druid

(ARC Entertainment) Melanie St.-Pierre, Kevin Durand, Lance Henriksen, Jordan Van Dyck. Cloned soldiers from three different military clans do battle in a never-ending battle of technology, magic, land and sky. When one clone is separated from the battle, she finds herself on the run with a group of unlikely companions. Her journey will take her to places she never could have imagined, and might just lead to the end of war – or destroy her world forever. Japanese director Mamoru Oshii helmed this visually spectacular Canadian sci-fi fantasy. October 2

Hell and Back

Hell and Back

(Freestyle Releasing) Starring the voices of Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis, Bob Odenkirk, Susan Sarandon. A pair of meatheads, fooling around with a book they shouldn’t be fooling around with, are forced to travel all the way to Hell to retrieve their friend whom they accidentally sent there. They’ll have to traverse their way to the deepest regions of the pit and fend off demons, monsters, angels, Greek legends and oh yeah, Satan himself. From the animation studio that brought us Robot Chicken and Bo-Jack Horseman comes this delightful feature that ought to make Dante roll in his grave. Assuming he isn’t already. October 2

The Final Girls

The Final Girls

(Vertical) Taissa Farmiga, Nina Dobrev, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig. Max Cartwright misses her mom, an actress who passed away far too young. Of course, Max’s mom was best known for playing the “good girl” in the classic slasher flick, Camp Bloodbath. When Max and a bunch of her friends are caught in a theater fire they find themselves somehow transported inside the movie. Now, knowing that there is a crazed killer stalking the counselors, they can save them and themselves right? It’s a lot harder than they thought though. This has been getting rave reviews from the festival circuit and could well be Scream for the next generation. October 9

Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation

(Netflix) Idris Elba, Abraham Atta, Ama Abebrese, Richard Pepple. A young boy, living a peaceful life in an unnamed African country, gets caught up in the civil war tearing that country apart and falls under the sway of a charismatic warlord. Netflix, having made extensive inroads in television programming, now turns its attention to feature films, of which this is the first and in addition to playing on Netflix, it will get a limited theatrical release in select cities. It is already garnering Oscar buzz for Elba as well as some for its juvenile star, Atta. October 16

Watchers of the Sky

Watchers of the Sky

(Music Box) Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Benjamin Ferencz, Emmanuel Uwurukundo, Samantha Power. Genocide is a term we use for tragically too many occurrences. The man who coined the term was Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust and determined that the penalties for mass murders on an epic scale were less than killing a single person. In order to facilitate prosecution of those who attempt to wipe out an entire human community, he came up with a word which led to international laws. In researching his life which is mostly forgotten in the 21st century, author Samantha Power discovered four compelling cases of people working to prevent genocide or prosecuting those guilty of it. October 16

Difret

Difret

(Amplify!/Truth Aid) Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere, Haregewine Assefa, Abel Abebe. A two hour drive outside of Addis Ababa, a 14-year-old girl is walking home from school when men on horseback attempt to abduct her. She attempts to escape, grabbing a rifle but ends up killing her would-be abductor. The trouble is that in rural Ethiopia, abduction into marriage is a common practice. Accused of murder, the girl is given a big city lawyer whose women’s issues practice will be put to the test and on the line as she walks the line between defending the human rights of an individual against the collective cultural practices of a people. October 23

Extraordinary Tales

Extraordinary Tales

(GKIDS) Starring the voices of Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Guillermo del Toro, Julian Sands. One author – the great Edgar Allen Poe. Five of his most chilling tales. Five different animated styles. GKIDS, one of the leading purveyors of quality entertainment for children and families, brings us these masterworks just in time for Halloween. Two of the narrators, who read the stories that we watch enacted on the screen, are no longer with us – both legends of horror cinema. Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee may be gone but their voices live on…here. October 30

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