Halloween season is upon us and to celebrate I’ll be recommending horror pics I’ve seen recently that I think merit a view in each Top 5 installment this month. This week my recommendation goes to writer/director Mike Flanagan‘s Oculus. The film hit theaters back in April where it enjoyed solid box office returns and critical success alike. While not overly frightening, Oculus is an effective, unsettling picture thanks in large part to Flanagan’s editing which expertly weaves present day and past events together in a way that makes the outcome(s) feel inevitable yet satisfying. Watching Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites‘ terrifying past and present unfold concurrently could have easily discombobulated the narrative. Instead, the transitions not only feel smooth but they add tremendous tension and empathy for the brother and sister. More psychological horror than gore fest (although it’s not completely void of tough to watch moments), Oculus is absolutely deserving of a spot on your All Hallows’ Eve watch list.
Recommendations aside, this week’s edition features Matt’s Gone Girl review and the conclusion of his David Fincher retrospective, the first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, a new Interstellar trailer, a breathtaking first trailer for Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper, and a look at our most anticipated movies for the rest of 2014. Read on for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. GONE GIRL Review & David Fincher Retrospective
I’ll be seeing Gone Girl tonight which isn’t soon enough but, alas, will have to do. Given that I can’t comment on the the merits of the film yet, I’ll simply direct you to Matt’s review and our “What Did You Think?” post where you can discuss the film with other readers who’ve already seen it. I’ll also remind you to check out Matt’s David Fincher retrospective series which wrapped up this week and is a must-read for fans of the unflinching director.
2. First Trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE
The first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice debuted this week and while fun summer movies certainly have their place, I can’t overstate how happy I am to be entering awards season where it seems like every other weekend will bring a new great film to check out. As for the trailer, it makes the pic look about as fantastic as you’d expect. I may be in the minority, but I’m actually glad to see a bit of a lighter tone in play here after PTA’s beautiful, albeit quite serious one-two punch of There Will Be Blood and The Master.
3. New INTERSTELLAR Trailer
Speaking of being thrilled about the start of awards season, this week brought us a new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. This is probably my favorite look at the film thus far if no other reason than the absolutely delightful piece of Hans Zimmer’s score that’s on display. Think Philip Glass meets Zimmer’s classic thunderous percussion. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.
4. First Trailer for Clint Eastwood’s AMERICAN SNIPER Starring Bradley Cooper
Rounding out the trio of huge trailers that premiered this week is the first trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. At first glance I wasn’t sure if this would be my cup of tea as military dramas generally have to work extra hard to earn my interest. I obviously can’t predict how the finished product will sit with me but I can say with certainty that this trailer is completely riveting and I can’t wait to see more.
5. Our Most Anticipated Movies: October to December
As we enter the last quarter of 2014 it’s only prudent of us to be proactive and prepare for our most anticipated films left in the year. Matt, Adam, Perri, and Evan did just that in one convenient place this past week with their Most Anticipated Movies: October to December post. While I echo much of what they said, some films they left off that I’m looking forward to seeing include John Wick on October 24th and Alexandre Aja’s Horns which hits limited theaters on October 31st but is available as of this weekend via VOD.