Jessica Chastain in ‘The Good Nurse’, horror movies, Tree of Life documentary
New entertainment releases this week include video-on-demand releases of the horror films “Pearl” and “Barbarian.” Another way to get into the Halloween mood is with Netflix’s ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities’ – an anthology produced by the Oscar-winning filmmaker to challenge ‘traditional’ expectations of horror. Netflix is also releasing “The Good Nurse,” which stars Jessica Chastain as a nurse who discovers that a co-worker, played by Eddie Redmayne, is a serial killer.
Here’s a collection of the best of what’s hitting theaters, on TV, and on streaming services this week.
In new Netflix movie ‘The Good Nurse,’ Jessica Chastain plays an overworked intensive care nurse and single mother who, after a patient dies, begins to suspect things about her new colleague Charlie, played by Eddie Redmayne. Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm directed the thriller, which airs Wednesday, from a “1917” script and “Last Night in Soho” screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
For new Halloween scares, several well-reviewed thrillers hit video-on-demand on Tuesday. The first is “Pearl,” Ti West’s Technicolor horror prequel starring Mia Goth as a farmer in a pandemic-stricken Texas town in 1918 whose dreams of becoming a movie star she somewhat crazy woman. There are references to everything from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “The Wizard of Oz”, but with a sinister and murderous edge. Ahead of the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this fall, West said, “I just had this interest in making, for lack of a better term, a kids’ movie that tells a more demented adult story.” Goth also helped write the screenplay, which involves an epic monologue at the end done in almost one take.
Get in the Halloween mood with Netflix’s “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” an anthology produced by the Oscar-winning filmmaker with the aim of challenging “traditional” expectations of horror. The eight stories include “The Autopsy”, based on a short story by Michael Shea and featuring F. Murray Abraham, Glynn Turman and Luke Roberts; “Dreams in the Witch House,” based on HP Lovecraft, starring Rupert Grint and Ismael Cruz Cordova, and “Lot 36,” one of two episodes based on an original story by del Toro and featuring Tim Blake Nelson and Elpidia Carrillo. Episodes will air daily in pairs Tuesday through Friday.
For something more family-friendly, Netflix also has the stop-motion animated pic “Wendell & Wild,” featuring the voices of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as demon brothers. It’s the brainchild of director Henry Selick, who also directed the spooky but kid-friendly classics “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Coraline.” “Wendell & Wild” begins streaming October 28.
On Tuesday, “Barbarian,” the low-budget indie horror starring Justin Long that became a sleeper box office hit, will also be available on VOD. “Barbarian” stars Georgina Campbell as a woman who is inadvertently double-booked with a stranger (“It’s “Bill Skarsgård) at a spooky Detroit-area Airbnb run by Long’s character, a television actor facing allegations of sexual misconduct. Writer-director Zach Cregger said he’s pitched the film, which has an unconventional structure that essentially resets mid-run, to every studio that’s made a horror movie in the last 15 years and everyone said no. To date, it has grossed over $40 million against a production budget of $4 million.
“Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes,” which debuts Tuesday on PBS’s “Frontline” (check local listings), details the toll of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the challenges of holding Russia accountable for its actions. The documentary is part of a collaboration between “Frontline” and the Associated Press that includes collecting, verifying and cataloging potential war crimes and co-editing AP stories and videos and reporting from Frontline war. The joint initiative, which includes the War Crimes Watch Ukraine interactive experience, has documented more than 500 incidents involving potential war crimes since Russia invaded Ukraine last February.
A gunman’s fatal attack on a place of worship, its causes and consequences are examined on HBO’s “A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting,” which premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. The film, directed by Trish Adlesic, delves into the 11 lives that were lost in the October 2018 tragedy and the effect on family members, survivors and the community as a whole. The attack is also seen in the context of rising hate speech and actions. Michael Keaton, Billy Porter and Mark Cuban, the main executive producers of the film, hail from the Pittsburgh area. An original song, “A Tree of Life”, is performed by Broadway and movie star Idina Menzel.
Compiled by AP writers Lynn Elber and Lindsey Bahr
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