New streaming movies are coming to entertain you and your family during socially distanced times.
This Halloween weekend, producer Jason Blum and writer/director Zoe Lister-Jones unveil another crew of witchy teens to expand the world of the 1996 cult hit “The Craft,” Omari Hardwick runs afoul of a Hoodoo woman, and Netflix debuts a horror flick featuring a pair of Sudanese refugees trying to start anew in England.
If that’s not enough to get you online and watching scary stuff, the horror-centric service Shudder is streaming “A Creepshow Animated Special” featuring a pair of frightful tales: “Survivor Type,” based on the Stephen King short story, stars Kiefer Sutherland as a man who goes to extremes to survive on a deserted island, and “Twittering from the Circus of the Dead,” based on a Joe Hill short story, offers Joey King playing a teen whose family visits “the gravest show on earth.”
Here’s a rundown of new movies hitting streaming and on-demand platforms this week, for every cinematic taste:
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Fans of the original “Craft” will find a lot familiar in the sequel, which centers on another youngster, Lily (Cailee Spaeny), moving to a new town with her mom (Michelle Monaghan) and becoming the fourth in a coven of fellow high schoolers (including Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Zoey Luna) who get up to magical shenanigans. There’s a fleeting connection to the first film, though the follow-up actually works best when charting its own path, like putting a “woke” spell on a toxic jock and digging into what’s up with Lily’s mom’s boyfriend (David Duchovny).
Director Mark Tonderai conjures a truly unnerving, surprisingly satisfying thriller about a wealthy man (Hardwick) with deep-seated childhood issues who flies his family in a private jet to rural Appalachia for his father’s funeral. The plane crashes in a storm, he wakes up alone with a serious injury, and he discovers that the woman (Loretta Devine) taking care of him has created a Boogity doll from his own skin and blood to control him before he’s ready for a black magic ritual. Many scenes will leave you squirming but it’s worth sticking them out for a refreshing “Misery”-like take on a survival movie.
Politically timely and nightmare-inducing, writer/director Remi Weekes’ masterfully crafted chiller does some wondrously spooky things to the haunted-house film. Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù and Wunmi Mosaku star as a couple that escapes from war-torn South Sudan, arrive in Britain and are afforded decent digs in a seemingly quaint neighborhood. But it becomes quickly clear that there are some strange goings-on, especially within the walls of their new place. He wants to move on, she’s still dealing with the past, and a wicked evil has designs on both of them.
Where to watch: Netflix
“The Monster Squad” star Andre Gower directs this documentary that lovingly looks back at the creation and cultural impact of the 1987 cult hit. Filmmakers Fred Dekker and Shane Black as well as original cast members discuss key scenes from the horror comedy, which pitted spunky kids vs. classic monsters Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, Gill-man and the Mummy, and how a box-office bomb found new life – and needed word of mouth – via VHS rentals and HBO viewings. Most interesting is seeing Gower interact with hardcore fans and talk about the creative influence of a movie that’s carved out its own niche and yet remains underrated in the ’80s film canon.
Featuring a young teenager (Jaeden Martell) whose body is covered with hair because of a rare genetic condition, director Martin Krejcí’s coming-of-age film is a charming, powerful and slightly insane journey about embracing who you are and not what you look like. On his 13th birthday, Martell’s bullied main character is gifted a map to find the mom he never knew, and his quest involves an overprotective dad (Chris Messina), an antagonistic carnival owner (John Turturro), a trans mermaid (scene-stealing newcomer Sophie Giannamore) and an enigmatic pirate queen (Eve Hewson, aka Bono’s daughter).
Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, FandangoNOW
It’s true, we’re not even to Halloween yet and here come the Christmas movies, though there’s a broader all-holiday view to this forgettable, foul-mouthed romantic comedy. (No joke, one sequence has the f-word uttered about 20 times in less than a minute.) Tired of being interrogated about her love life by her family one Christmas, Sloane (Emma Roberts) finds someone else who hates the holidays, Jackson (Luke Bracey), and they embark on being each other’s no-pressure “holidates” for the next year. Shocker: They start developing feelings for each other in highly predictable fashion.
Where to watch: Netflix