Yes, it’s the weekend again, and time to review the best new movies and TV shows added online, to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. And there’ some scary good stuff out there, so let’s get started!
One of the biggest adds online this week is Hulu‘s Little Monsters, a 2019 horror/comedy movie starring Lupita Nyong’o(!). Nyong’o stars as a kindergarten teacher, Caroline, who gets help from an admirer, Dave(Alexander England) and a TV personality, Teddy McGoggle(Josh Gad) for an afternoon outing. Dave doesn’t like the handsome competition of McGoggle, but things get worse when zombies invade. Kat Stewart, Charles Whitley, Kim Thien Doan and Nadia Townsend also star and the director is Abe Forsythe. John Anderson of the Wall Street Journal says, “Is this Bergman? Fellini? George Romero? No, but it’s alarmingly fun (and profane, and gory) and Ms. Nyong’o is a delight.” And it gets an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching. If it’s not too scary. Hulu has also added the 2017 Irish movie Maze. It stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor(Avengers:Infinity War), Barry Ward, Martin McCann, Eileen Walsh and Aaron Monahan in a retelling of the IRA HMP Maze high security prison escape of 1983, where 38 IRA prisoners escaped. It was the largest escape in Europe since WWII. Cary Darling of the Houston Chronicle says Maze “doesn’t have much action until the end and even that is fairly muted and low-key compared to what might be expected from a Hollywood movie on the same topic. But that’s exactly what makes “Maze” impressive.” And it gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s on my list. Hulu has also added a new 2018 scifi movie Starfish, starring Virginia Gardner. Here, Gardner plays a young woman, in town for her friend’s funeral, and finds the town empty of people one morning and uses her friend’s cryptic tapes, one labelled “THIS MIXTAPE WILL SAVE THE WORLD,” to find an answer. The cast also includes Christina Masterson, Eric Beecroft, Natalie Mitchell and Shannon Hollander, and the director here, in his feature film debut, is A.T. White. Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com says “Starfish is very much its own sci-fi mixtape-curated with hit and miss offerings, but with an undeniable and meaningful sincerity all the same.” And it gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Hulu has added Trespassers, a 2018 horror thriller. This follows two couples as they set off to the desert and a beautiful vacation for a weekend of debauched fun, only to have it turn bad, of course, when a neighbor knocks on the door for help, after car trouble. It stars Angela Trimbur, Zach Avery, Janel Parrish, Fairuza Balk and Jonathan Howard, and the director is Orson Oblowitz. This isn’t a great movie, it’s violent and rather empty headed, and it gets only a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes. But I know you need horror, especially in October.
The biggest add on Netflix this week has to be El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, the 2019. This catches up with Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, released from captivity, and come to terms with his life, after the events in the series finale of Breaking Bad. That’s all I’ll say, to avoid spoilers. You’ll find some of the old characters here, like Skinny Pete(Charles Baker), Jane Margolis(Krysten Ritter), “Badger” Mayhew(Matt Jones), with Tess Harper as his Mom, Jesse Plemons and Robert Forster, too. And it was all written and directed by Vince Gilligan(Breaking Bad). Oh, and if you haven’t watched the original show, like me, there is a great recap at the beginning of the movie to catch you up. And it gets a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8/10 on IMDb. Netflix also offers Fractured, a 2019 thriller starring Sam Worthington(Avatar). Here, Worthington plays a father who brings his daughter(Lucy Capri) into a hospital, after she has broken her leg, while they were on a trip. After she and her mom(Lily Rabe, from American Horror Story) go in to be treated , he falls into an exhausted sleep, only to wake to find no record of them anywhere in the hospital, and he starts on a frantic search. The show also stars Stephen Toblowsky, Adjoa Andoh and Lauren Cochrane, and is directed by Brad Anderson(The Machinist). While it’s been called dull and lacking in energy, it gets a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.2/10 on IMDb. And the mystery might engage you. Netflix has also added The Forest of Love, by cult Japanese director Sion Sono(Tokyo Tribe, Tag).In this, conman Joe Murata, played by Kippei Shiina, who’s also a chronic liar, manages to become friends with a group of artists. Then, a group of filmmakers become interested and start clandestinely filming them, only to have Murata himself take over, with murder and other crimes ensuing, committed by his little band. Kyooko Hinami, Eri Kamataki, Shinnosuke Mitsushima and Natsuki Kawamura star in this 2 & 1/2 hour long movie(!), but Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com says “there’s something mesmerizing about the excess.” And it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. Netflix also offer Raising Dion , a 2019 supernatural series from Michael B. Jordan(Fruitvale Station, The Wire). Here, Dion(Ja’Siah Young), a six year-old boy, tries to deal with having superpowers, while also having to deal with the everyday problems that racism brings him, as well. His mom is wonderfully played by Alisha Wainwright(Shadowhunters) and Michael B. Jordan plays his deceased dad and Sammi Haney, Gavin Munn, Donald Paul and Ali Ahn also star. And it gets a 7/10 on IMDb. And, finally, for your Halloween thrills, Netflix has added The Influence, a 2019 horror movie from Spain. This movie tells the tale a woman (Manuela Velles) returned to the childhood home of her dying grandmother and convinced an horrible evil lives there, now threatening her own children. It also stars Emma Suárez, Maggie Civantos, Alain Hernández and Claudia Placer and is directed by Denis Rovira. It doesn’t have ratings on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, and doesn’t get great reviews, but the trailer scared me, so maybe it will satisfy your need for new horror.
Okay, so Amazon hasn’t added a lot this week, but what they have added is good, like To Dust, the 2019 comedy starring Geza Rohrig and Matthew Broderick. Here, Rohrig plays a Hasidic cantor, distraught over the death of his wife and her suffering in the grave, so he goes to Bio professor Broderick for a complete explanation of the body’s breakdown in the grave, which is totally unacceptable in the eyes of his church. The cast also includes Sammy Voit, Sarah Jes Austell and Bern Cohen and is directed, in his directorial debut, by Shawn Snyder. It’s a lovely warm view of being Jewish, especially Hasidic, in the modern world and Andrea Gronvall of the Chicago Reader says “Shawn Snyder makes a strikingly original and winsome feature debut.” And it gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching. And, Amazon has also added Babylon, a 2019 anime drama limited series from Japan.It’s adapted from the incredibly popular novel of the same name, where an investigator from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office investigates a pharmaceutical company, and the scandal it’s involved in. It stars Yuichi Nakamura, Takahiro Sakurai and Kensho Ono and is directed by Kiyotaka Suzuki. There are 3 episodes available on Amazon and the series gets a 7.7/10 on myanimelist. It’s a good mystery.
So sit back and binge this fall weekend and enjoy classics, new and old, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!