Flixist be previewin’
It’s almost time! We’re quite near the end-of-summer movie slump (though, there’s been some great stuff these past few months) and rolling right on into the wonderous movie time that is the end of the year. There’s the horror of October, the binge of Oscar films come November, and then the big blockbusters landing over the holidays. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but what’s the most most wonderful? The Flixist staff has you covered with each of our own most hotly anticipated films! You’re very welcome.
Of course, the majority of my fellow writers are entirely wrong in their selections because quite obviously Bumblebee is the one movie to be truly excited about. You’ll have to read through the rest of these idiots’ wonderful people’s words to find out why I think so because it’s coming out after everything else, but it’ll be worth it. Believe you me.
Director: Felix van Groeningen
Release Date: October 12, 2018
I think this film really speaks for itself. If you’ve seen the trailers, love Timothée Chalamet as much as a Timothée Chalamet fangirl and have any heart in you whatsoever, you’re probably going to agree that it looks like something pretty special. Based on the dual memoirs of father and son David and Nic Sheff, it tells what looks like a heartbreaking tale of a family caught up in a son’s drug addiction, and I’ll be damned if the trailer doesn’t have you in tears too. Not to be confused with the 2010 movie of the same name (which was similarly intense – it must be in the title), director Felix van Groeningen has whipped up a recipe for maximum emotional carnage.
In earnest, I’m awed because in a trailer of two minutes and thirty-nine seconds we get a jolt into a whole different plane of acting existence, especially for Steve Carell. The man is so versatile and I’m really encouraged to see that he’s been given a serious screenplay that fully recognizes his talents, rather than confining him to comedy (although he’s a first-rate comedian, too.) Here we have a mature and thoughtful film that pits two very different personalities against each other, probably with devastating consequences for everyone watching. I’ll make no apologies for my ugly-crying in the theater: it’s the mark of a deserving film. — Sian Francis-Cox
Director: David Gordon Green
Release Date: October 18, 2018
After a string of poorly received reboots and sequels, it looks like the IP holders behind the Halloween franchise finally have a clue about what to do with the series. Instead of trying to build off of all the wacky, tacky and frankly rushed continuations of Michael Myers’ history, basically everything is getting reset with 2018’s Halloween (not to be confused with 1978’s Halloween of which this is a direct sequel).
Set 40 years after the original, main character Laurie Strode (a victoriously returning Jamie Lee Curtis) is suffering from PTSD after her fateful encounter with the masked killer years prior. Having raised a family in the meantime, it seems Laurie can’t escape her past as Michael returns to haunt her once again.
While I’m not really big on horror franchises, the main reason for that is every sequel loses its mystique. Once you’ve seen the killer 10 times, they start to lose their appeal and frightening persona. This is precisely why series like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street became horror/shlock since no one left alive was still terrified by the sight of Jason and Freddy. Halloween didn’t get as ridiculously over-the-top, but it still had its fair share of over-the-top elements.
Doing a soft reset at least gives the filmmakers a chance to focus in on the ingredients that worked from the original (a brand new menace, its dark overtones of child abuse, a genuine surprise) and disregard the weirder expansions to Michael’s powers that sapped him of his menacing demeanor. To say I’m excited as a fan of classic horror films is an understatement. I typically avoid films like this because they are so predictable and, honestly, not scary. To potentially have a genuine fright fest on our hands is enough to get me interested. – Peter Glagowski
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Dario Argento’s Suspiria was a vibrant, otherworldly, colorful fairy tale told with a feverish logic. It’s like a child recounting a bad dream. The characters even seem to act like children, adding to its distinct feel. Remaking Suspiria is a fool’s errand, but thankfully Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria doesn’t appear to be a remake. The colors are muted and the images grainier; the vibe from the trailers seems more like a UK folk horror movie or something put out by Tigon. Even the music hints at something different, moving away from Goblin’s eldritch prog rock to Thom Yorke’s ethereal wail. This Suspiria may even have some kooky, sexy, well-choreographed dance sequences to fit in with its headier, less-fairy-story feel.
It seems like Suspiria 2018 might be this year’s mother! in terms of its critical reception. Early reviews of the film have been extremely divisive so far. Some critics have called it an artsy horror masterpiece worthy of close study, while others think it’s a pretentious slog that hardly justifies its 152-minute runtime. (I can already see the Cinemascore. It will be brutal.) Something about the divergent opinions and the reimagining of the source material excites me so much. Whatever this Suspiria film is, I’m just glad it’ll be something different. — Hubert Vigilla
Director: Josh Ridgway
Release Date: October 31, 2018
In Howlers an old west cowboy returns from the dead to stop a pack of werewolf bikers from attacking a small town.
Let’s break down how cool this idea is: Cowboys? Not all that cool, but being reanimated from the dead by the sheer need to destroy evil is very cool, so we end up at a solid amount of cool. Werewolves? As an underused but pivotal staple of horror iconography, they’re only second to skeletons, so that’s pretty cool. Then, you add that they’re bikers to the mix and there’s just no calculating how unbelievably cool that is. It’s long been claimed that Einstein died with a notebook in his lap, and on that notebook was a scribbled image of a werewolf in a denim vest perched upon a gnarly hog with “RAD =” and then a formula too complex for any of the world’s greatest scientific minds to comprehend. The mystery of just how to quantify the radicality of badass werewolf bikers may never be solved.
Either way, this will almost definitely be the coolest movie ever made. — Kyle Yadlosky
Director: Julius Avery
Release Date: November 9, 2018
If there’s one thing that I think most of us can get behind, it’s killing Nazis. What’s even better than killing Nazis? Killing zombie Nazis of course!
If you think that Overlord sounds like a tired premise for a video game, you’d be right. But we’re not dealing with a video game here. We’re dealing with a violent and gory action movie that starts off as a historical drama only to go off the rails into violence and carnage. Overlord has been playing very close to the chest about whether it’s just Nazi zombies we’re going to see get killed, since all the promotional material describes that the Nazis were conducting secret experiments. So for all we know, we may be getting Nazi werewolves, Nazi vampires, and a whole host of other nasty surprises.
Now is this putting a lot of expectation into what may just be a generic horror action movie? Possibly, but the pedigree behind Overlord has me optimistic that even if it’s just going to be a Nazi zombie movie, it’ll at least be a damned good one. The movie is produced by J.J. Abrams and was originally supposed to be a part of the Cloverfield universe before being annexed for being too different. If Overlord can keep the intensity and fun from its trailers in the final product, we may have a fantastic action movie on our hands. — Jesse Lab
Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Release Date: November 21, 2018
History is catching up to Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), with a new challenger in Ivan Drago’s son (Florian Munteanu). Determined to avenge the death of his father at Drago’s hand in Rocky IV, Creed once again trains under Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), but he must question whether to prioritize his revenge over both his own safety and his family, including his girlfriend and mother of his child (Tessa Thompson).
The first Creed did away with the cheese from a few of the later Rocky movies and instead provided us with an intimate character drama that showcased Jordan’s talent. Additionally, seeing Stallone come back with a truly wonderful acting performance was nothing short of thrilling. I’m not even too devoted of a fan of the Rocky series (which is blasphemy, considering I’m from the Philadelphia area), but I still found myself entranced and completely taken by the emotional journey that the first film provided. I’m hoping that’s what we get this time around despite the plot above sounding closer to Rocky V than Rocky.
Then again, I wouldn’t mind a return of the robot butler. — Chris Compendio
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Director: Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Wreck-It Ralph surprisingly didn’t excite me when it first came out. Of course, I’d go see it because you don’t not see Disney movies if you have like, a soul, but the hype meter was relatively low for me. After blowing me away with not only the tribute to games — classic and modern alike — but the great relationship between Ralph and Vanellope, I won’t make that mistake again. The sequel dropped the Wreck-It part as it seems to be much more ambitious than the first one. Retro games are one thing, the most important development in recent history is another.
What has me most excited about Ralph Breaks the Internet is how exceptional it could be or how exceptional it could be at crashing and burning. Following Ralph and Vanellope as they trawl the internet for a new steering wheel for Vanellope’s game, it could be a meme-filled dumpster fire that bites off more than it can chew. However, this is Disney we’re talking about, who for the most part pride themselves on making timeless comedy and films. That along with the millions of tiny details and references you’ll know they include has me willing to see this opening weekend, children screaming in the theatre and all. Maybe they’ll even slip a dig in at The Emoji Movie’s expense. — Bradley Sexton
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Release Date: November 23, 2018
I’ve not minced words on here that I love Yorgos Lanthimos calculated defiance of modern filmmaking norms by making his characters say how they feel and putting we, the audience, into uncomfortable situations, sometimes for two straight hours. So it’s really no surprise that The Favourite is my most anticipated movie for the end of the year. Sure it’s the first feature that Lanthimos will only be directing and not writing as well, but from the trailers alone it looks to carry on the absurdist pacing and humor that has come to be synonymous with Lanthimos work.
Taking place in early 18th century England, the film will tell how two cousins (Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone) vie for the favor of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) by trying to outdo or take out one another. It looks like a highbrow take on Jackass or some other film where the children fight for the love of the parents that’s name is slipping my mind now. Brain fart aside, it looks like a blast for me and my gathering of retirement home ladies at the local independent theater before our weekly Gin Rummy with extra gin session. –Anthony Marzano
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Release Date: December 7, 2018
In 2000’s The Skulls, a select group of Ivy League college kids had an opportunity to join a super-secret society that guaranteed them all the finer things in life. Coming out of college debt free, a job with a paycheck big enough for whatever they wanted, and power. The last one on that list is the greatest desire. To have the ability to determine the shape of people, countries, and the world is an irrevocable sensation many can’t fathom, and doing it in secret is even more appetizing.
Under the Silver Lake preys on the paranoia that yes, there are specific forces at work responsible for the things we see, the things we do, and the people we meet. For Andrew Garfield and his search for a young woman he just met, anything and everything is an arrow pointing to her. The double diamond on the wall in her barren apartment somehow coincides with the numbers he sees on a scoreboard which mesh with the lyrics of a pop song — he’s determined it all means something. Mixing in a dash of noir and a heaping portion of tin foil hat conspiracy to create a neurotic and obsessive, Garfield makes Under the Silver Lake one of the gotta-see movies this upcoming season. — Nick Hershey
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
Release Date: December 14, 2018
It’s a good time to be Spider-Man. Or, at least, to be a Spider-Man fan. Last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming was one of the best Spidey films to date, with a solid story and a fantastic performance by Tom Holland. Just last month, we were treated to Spider-Man. No, not Spider-Man, the classic PlayStation game. I mean, you know, Spider-Man. From Insomniac. It released last month to critical acclaim. It was really good, trust me. Or Chris.
See? This is why you add subtitles to your games/movies/furbies. It gets confusing.
Regardless, 2018 isn’t done with Spider-Man yet. Not by a damn sight. We’ve still got an animated, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller produced Spider-Man movie slated to release this December. It checks basically every box for a good Spider-Man entry. No origin story where Uncle Ben dies? Check. No distracting romance subplots? Check again. An original story that allows the writers to link up several other Spider-people together? Darlin, you’re saying all the right things! The animation looks like a living and breathing comic-book, the voice acting seems great, and we finally get to see Miles Morales on the big screen.
I’m hotter than a grease fire for this movie. If we can get two Spider-Man stories in one year that blow me out of the water, that would be…amazing. — Drew Stewart
You’re rolling your eyes at me already, I know, and trust me I’m just as skeptical. After all, the Transformers franchise hasn’t had more than one good movie, and The Last Knight was pretty much the equivalent of watching two hours of Michael Bay vomiting onto an Optimus Prime action figure. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me four more times… and I’ll still get excited about your sixth movie in the franchise?
Look, there are reasons to be excited. First, and probably most importantly, is that Michael Bay isn’t directing. Second, and connected to that, is the fact that Travis Knight is directing, and while his only directorial credit is Kubo and the Two Strings, that movie is so wonderfully directed and so full of wonder that it’s hard not to see him being able to translate that over into what is basically a movie about a girl and her robot. Sure, this will probably be full of cheesy lines and stupid plot points, but, man, if it doesn’t look like it has heart by the gallons. Plus, with the mess the Transformers universe is in thanks to the last films, they need a soft reboot like none other.
Of course, that’s not the real reason we should all be excited. A down-to-earth holiday blockbuster that will hopefully focus more on the characters, the robots, and the war between Autobots and Decepticons? That’s great and all, but old school designs for every Transformer (Starscream!!!!)? That is clearly the real reason why this is the best movie coming out in the next few months. Those designs are truly a beauty to behold, and prove just how much crap Michael Bay was spouting when he told us all it wouldn’t work. — Matthew Razak