Reboots on the ground Halloween chills and Predator thrills revived among fall films with Oscar dreams

For the discriminating cineaste, the end of summer and the coming of autumn usually heralds the coming of prestigious Oscar-bait movies.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/09/2018 (1613 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For the discriminating cineaste, the end of summer and the coming of autumn usually heralds the coming of prestigious Oscar-bait movies.

And yes, the 2018 fall roster does have its share of Oscar-plated potential, including Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man or the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

However, the season mostly seems to revolve around… Halloween.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as a traumatized Laurie Strode in the latest Halloween reboot. (Universal Pictures)

That is… Halloween (Oct. 19) a reinvention of the John Carpenter franchise from writer-director David Gordon Green that daringly proceeds on the premise that all the sequels created after Carpenter’s seminal 1978 thriller never happened.

An aged Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), forever traumatized by the attack decades previous, lives in the knowledge that she is not done with masked psycho Michael Myers and does her best to prepare when he inevitably escapes the mental institution.

The Predator (20th Century Fox)

In a way, the film, like the scary day itself, sets the tone for the season because it is one of three reboots of revered horror-genre favourites in the next few months.

Starting next Friday, Sept. 14, for example, is The Predator, a new take of the franchise begun in 1987 with star Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You may remember the new film’s writer-director Shane Black from the original, playing the mercenary with a penchant for off-colour jokes.

Suspiria (Produzioni Atlas Consorziate)

The third kick at the genre classic can is Suspiria (Oct. 26), a remake of Dario’s Argento’s nightmarish original from 1977, this time directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name).

Dakota Johnson stars as a ballet student trapped in a dance school run by witches.


More scares

The House with a Clock in its Wall (Universal Pictures)

The year 2018 is evidently a fruitful one for the horror genre. Also on the calendar is the kid-friendly The House With a Clock in its Walls (Sept. 21), a fantasy of witches and warlocks starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett and directed by former hardcore horror maestro Eli Roth.

Hell Fest (Sept. 28) sees a group of sacrificial young people visiting a Halloween horror event at a theme park, only to discover that a real masked psycho is taking the gory fun too far.

As Jack Black was otherwise engaged with another kid-friendly scare-fest (see above), the sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Oct. 12) proceeds without him in another juvenile scare-fest based on the books of R. L. Stine.


Franchise Faves

The sole comic-book adaptation before December, Venom (Oct. 5), stars Tom Hardy as the Marvel antihero possessed by a deadly alien symbiote.

Johnny English Strikes Again (Oct. 26) stars Rowan Atkinson as the bumbling superspy called upon as a last resort when the identities of all England’s other spies are revealed by a fiendish hacker.

Tom Hardy plays villain Venom (CTMG Inc.)

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Nov. 9) is the second reboot of the Lisbeth Salander thriller, from the fourth book of the franchise, with Claire Foy taking over from Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Nov. 16) is the second instalment in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter prequels, with Eddie Redmayne returning as Newt Scamander and Jude Law playing a younger Dumbledore in pitched battle with Johnny Depp’s evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

Creed II (Nov. 21) continues to spin off from the Rocky cycle with Michael B. Jordan returning as the young Adonis Creed, this time facing the son of his father’s killer, Ivan Drago.


Musically inclined

The fourth iteration of an old showbiz tale, A Star Is Born (Oct. 5) sees Lady Gaga walking in the same thespian shoes as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand as a performer first mentored by her lover (Bradley Cooper does the honours as well as directing the film) before overshadowing him in her stellar career rise.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born. (Warner Bros.)

Bohemian Rhapsody (Nov. 2) A biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury stars Rami Malek under the direction of Bryan Singer, before the X-Men helmer was fired and replaced by Dexter Fletcher. So… drama on either side of the camera, evidently.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Nov. 2) is a Disney-fied live-action fantasy based on the ballet The Nutcracker with the Tchaikovsky score appaently intact.


True Tales

White Boy Rick (Sept. 14) is a slice of 1980s low-life from director Yann Demange, about the youngest alleged FBI informant/drug dealer ever, starring Matthew McConaughey as the unlikely lad’s seedy dad.

Documentarian Michael Moore takes on the rise of Donald Trump in Fahrenheit 11/9 (Sept. 21).

Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in First Man. (Universal Picture)

First Man (Oct. 12) sees director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) taking on the story of Neil Armstrong’s mission to the moon, with La La’s Ryan Gosling stretching as Armstrong.

Beautiful Boy (Oct. 12) stars Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet as a father and son navigating through the younger man’s drug addiction in this adaption of David and Nic Sheff’s memoirs.

Can You Forgive Me (Oct. 19) stars Melissa McCarthy in this story based on the memoirs of Lee Israel when she who abandoned a freelance career to start anew forging famous letters.

Remember the quaint old days when a single extramarital affair could get you eliminated from presidential consideration? Jason Reitman does, with The Front Runner (Nov. 7) a drama about Gary Hart’s scandal-plagued 1988 presidential campaign, starring Hugh Jackman.


Comic Relief

Night School (Sept. 28) sees established comic Kevin Hart playing the student to Tiffany Haddish’s teacher.

Smallfoot (Sept. 28) is an animated twist on the legend of Bigfoot, with a community of skeptical Yeti discovering the existence of humans.

Tiffany Haddish, left, and Kevin Hart in a Night School. (Universal Pictures)

Apparently the awful Ron Howard version of the Dr. Seuss classic did not kill off the property. The new iteration Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (Nov. 9) is entirely animated, with Benedict Cumberbatch providing a layer of snoot to the voice of the Grinch.

Instant Family (Nov. 16) sees childless married couple Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne entering the world of foster parenting, with zany results.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Nov. 21), a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph places the primitive video game character (voiced by John C. Reilly) into the dazzling realm of the internet.



Reilly gets all live-action opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the title roles of The Sisters Brothers (Sept. 21) playing fraternal assassins stalking an errant gold prospector. Adapted from the book by Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt.

Viola Davis, left, and Cynthia Erivo in Widows. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Bad Times at the El Royale (Oct. 12) pits seven sinister strangers (including Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth) in a strange and dangerous Lake Tahoe motel.

Widows (Nov. 16) looks like a kick-ass thriller from director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) where a planned heist is carried out by the widows of four dead thieves. Viola Davis stars.

Green Book (Nov. 21) is a drama about a Jamaican-American classical pianist (Mahershala Ali) touring the Deep South with a wised-up white driver (Viggo Mortensen), under the director of none other than Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary). Twitter: @FreepKing

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Randall King

Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

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