Marvel Studios’ first horror production opens the week’s digital premieres list, which also highlights other streaming-exclusive releases and big-box titles at digital stores.
Check out 10 new movies below to check out on subscription platforms and VOD (video on demand) services.
| WEREWOLF IN THE NIGHT | DISNEY+
Marvel’s first horror film is a production stylized as a black and white expressionist work, with various elements of the genre, such as sinister shadows and shrill screams. A completely different tone from what has already been seen in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Conceived as a 52-minute Halloween special for streaming, the plot is fast-paced, with several monster hunters meeting in a castle for a supernatural mission, and the hostess (Harriet Sansom Harris, from “The Addams Family 2”) warns to everyone that one of them is not who he appears to be, hiding a monstrous secret under human guise.
For those who don’t remember, Werewolf was one of the most striking characters of Marvel’s horror era in the 1970s – when the publisher released comics of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Ghost Rider, among others. But the detail is that the publisher has two important werewolves in its publications. The main one is Jack Russell, created in 1972 by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog, which originated the comic book “Werewolf by Night” – released in Brazil by Bloch as “Lobisomem”. The second, named Jake Gomez, appeared two years ago and is a young descendant of a Native American tribe that has suffered from the curse of the wolf for generations. A curiosity is that this character was created by Taboo, singer of the band The Black Eyed Peas, in partnership with Benjamin Jackendoff and Scot Eaton – and Taboo, coincidentally, is also the name of one of Jack Russell’s main enemies in the original comics.
Now the situation complicates (and probably is a spoiler!): the list of characters in the film brings both: Jack Russell, played by Gael Garcia Bernal (“Tempo”), and Jake Gomez, played by Jaycob Maya (“Six Degrees of Separation”) “).
And there’s more: the Man-Thing, an empathetic monster created by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway in 1971, is the threat they must hunt. And among those who enlist in this endeavor is Elsa Bloodstone, a character played by Laura Donnelly (“Outlander”, “The Nevers”), who is a monster hunter originally introduced in the comics in 2001, in a miniseries by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.
Composer Michael Giacchino, author of the score for the movie “Batman” and Oscar winner for “Up” (2009), is directing, making a very impressive debut as a feature film director. In keeping with the usual Marvel productions, critics loved it: 93% approval on Rotten Tomatoes
| NO! DO NOT LOOK! | VOD*
Jordan Peele’s third film (after “Run!” and “Us”) is a different-than-usual flying saucer film, in which the characters, instead of fearing the UFO, think about how to profit from it. The protagonists are two brothers who train horses for Hollywood movies, who after the sudden death of their father are faced with the sight of something strange in the skies. But his plans to record the phenomenon end up in chaos.
The cast highlights Daniel Kaluuya (Oscar winner for “Judas and the Black Messiah”), who repeats the “Run!” with Peele, Keke Palmer (“Scream Queens”), Steven Yeun (Oscar nominee for “Minari”), Brandon Perea (“The OA”), Michael Wincott (“Westworld”) and Barbie Ferreira (“Euphoria”). A success with audiences and critics in the US, it reached 82% approval on the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
| BULLET TRAIN | VOD*
Brad Pitt’s new film is an action-packed bullshit that features one fight after another from start to finish. He plays an unlucky hitman who boards a bullet train in Japan with a simple mission. But he soon discovers that he is not the only killer with the same objective, which leads to a general conflict during the trip, in which the Oscar winner for “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” exchanges punches, kicks, stabs and shots with opponents. varied by the possession of a mysterious suitcase.
The all-star cast includes Joey King (“The Kissing Booth”), Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Godzilla”), Brian Tyree Henry (“Child’s Play”), Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”), Michael Shannon (“The Shape of Water”), Masi Oka (“Heroes”), Logan Lerman (from the “Percy Jackson” films), Andrew Koji (“Warrior”), Hiroyuki Sanada (“Westworld”), Karen Fukuhara (“The Boys”) and the singer Bad Bunny (“Narcos: Mexico”), in addition to Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”) in a cameo.
Cartoonish to the point of looking like a violent cartoon, the thriller is based on a bestseller by Kôtarô Isaka (“A Pierrot”), which was adapted by screenwriter Zak Olkewicz (“Street of Fear: 1978”) and featured an expert in bludgeoning director, David Leitch (“John Wick”, “Deadpool 2” and “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw”).
| THE PHONE OF MR. HARRIGAN | NETFLIX
Jaeden Martell, main child actor of “It: The Thing”, returns to star in a horror based on Stephen King’s work, but this time with almost no scares. He plays a small-town teenager who befriends an elderly, reclusive billionaire named Mr. Harrigan – played by veteran Donald Sutherland (“Saw”). The two bond over their shared love of books and an iPhone, but when the old man dies, the boy finds he can keep talking to his old friend over the phone, who was buried with him.
This happens after he leaves a message on his cell phone on the coffin, wishing his old friend was alive to advise him on how to deal with an older boy after suffering an assault. The call begins a series of deaths, apparently accidental, of the boy’s enemies.
The adaptation is written and directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side”), who is clearly no expert in the genre. The weakest film in this selection, it only had a 39% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes – which, in any case, is more than the Netflix thriller “The Lucky One” with Mila Kunis, which didn’t make the list.
| CATARINA, THE GIRL CALLED BIRD | AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
The medieval comedy written and directed by Lena Dunham (creator of “Girls”) revolves around the title character, played by Bella Ramsey (the courageous Lyanna Mormont of “Game of Thrones”). Catherine is a young aristocrat who refuses to accept the conventions of her time, among them marrying an older man chosen by her father and behaving like a maiden.
The plot takes place in 1290, when the Rollo family pins all their hopes on the young woman, known as Birdy. Bankrupt and without hope for the future, Sir Rollo believes that his youngest daughter’s dowry will be his way out, in a marriage with a wealthy suitor. But he wants a lot more out of life and that results in a lot of problems for everyone.
Andrew Scott (Fleabag’s priest) plays Sir Rollo and the cast also includes Billie Piper (“Doctor Who”), Joe Alwyn (“The Last Love Letter”), Dean-Charles Chapman (also from “Game of Thrones”) “) and Ralph Ineson (“The Witch”).
| SECRET LIES | VOD*
Benoît Poelvoorde (“Romantics Anonymous”) plays a famous writer in Fabrice du Welz’s thriller (“King: A Story of Vengeance”). Looking for inspiration to write a new novel, he moves into his country house with his wife. But the couple’s retreat turns into a nightmare when a mysterious young woman fascinated by the protagonist’s books arrives at the house, starting a triangle with seduction and betrayal. Applauded by international critics, it reached a 73% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
| FIGHT FOR FREEDOM | VOD*
Master Zhang Yimou’s first spy film (“Hero”) is set in the 1930s and follows four Communist Party special agents who return to China after receiving training in the Soviet Union. But as they embark on their first mission, they are betrayed and find themselves surrounded by dangers on all sides. The photography is stunning – customary in Yimou’s films – and has been recognized with many of the 19 trophies won by the film at festivals and awards in the Chinese film industry.
| GOOD LUCK BIG LEO | VOD*
The English actress Emma Thompson (“MIB: Men in Black – International”) lives a widow who decides to hire the Big Leo of the title, a call boy played by Daryl McCormack (“The Wheel of Time”) who, in addition to providing her first orgasm, also becomes her confidant. The almost theatrical narrative (one environment, two actors, many dialogues) is directed by the Australian Sophie Hyde (“Animals”). Highly praised, it has the highest approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes among the movies of the week: 93%.
| 45 OF THE SECOND HALF | VOD*
Three high school friends meet again after 40 years to recreate a photo taken on the opening day of the São Paulo subway. The meeting is, in fact, the pretext of one of them, a restaurant owner with financial problems, to warn the others that he intends to kill himself. But not without first seeing Palmeiras be champions.
Luiz Villaça’s dark comedy (“O Contador de Histórias”) stars Tony Ramos (“Se Eu Fosse Você”), Cassio Gabus Mendes (“Justice”) and Ary França (“Samantha!”) reunion to confront the nostalgia of an unreal past, embellished by distant memories, and a present of disenchantment with the directions of life. The three became people completely different from who they were. And although one of them made the decision to end his story in this way, the other two began to ponder the option of resignification. The result is a beautiful film that, as the title implies, reinforces faith in hope until the final whistle.
| THE SPEAKER | VOD*
Fábio Porchat lives an accountant with no prospects, recently fired and abandoned by his fiancee, who on an impulse assumes another identity when he sees a sign with a random name at the airport in Rio. But he ends up, unknowingly, taking the place of a motivational speaker hired to cheer up a company’s employees. Now he has to put them all up when he’s down.
The comedy was written by Porchat himself in partnership with Cláudia Jouvin (“LOCA”), is directed by Marcelo Antunez (“Até que a Sorte nos Separe 3”) and features Dani Calabresa as the employee who welcomes the fake speaker and soon becomes the romantic interest and motivational incentive for the character to persist in the farce.
* VOD (video on demand) releases can be rented individually on platforms such as Apple TV, Claro TV+, Google Play, Prime Store, Microsoft Store, Vivo Play and YouTube, among others, without the need for a monthly subscription.
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