Fall movie season is upon us! Not going to lie this is one of my favorite times of the year not only because the next few months bring me into my favorite season on the calendar as a New Englander, but also because some of the most interesting and fun movies tend to come out in September and October to kick things back into gear after the dead months of August. Since the fall movie season starts next weekend I took a look at some of the most anticipated upcoming releases of the next two months and hopefully this will give you an idea of what you might want to see at a theater near you. These are Ten Anticipated Films of Fall 2018.
For this list I looked at films slated to be released during the fall movie season of 2018, a span of time ranging from the first Thursday after Labor Day to the Thursday before the first Friday in November, so basically the post-Labor Day weekend through Halloween weekend. I took a look at every film scheduled for release during September and October at the time of this posting and took into consideration the hype surrounding the films and their potential for success OR even infamy should they turn into flops. I’m not looking at films that could become Oscar favorites or pander to art house lovers. These aren’t “anticipated” films as much as they are potential examples of quality film making on limited release. No, these are the movies that show the most potential to break the bank at the box office and draw a crowd although they may also be good enough to earn critical respect. We’ll have to wait and see.
Also, just to wet your appetites I included trailers for all of these films instead of my traditional photos.
So what movies are you looking forward to this fall? Maybe this list will give you some ideas. I hope so. Let’s get to it!
10. “The Hate U Give”, Oct. 19
We have seen several films tackle the racial divide issue in America in 2018 especially police violence. However, none of them have done so through the eyes of the current generation of youth. “The Hate U Give” promises to do just that and is probably also the most mainstream offering to tackle the subject. Based on the 2017 young adult novel of the same name the film will focus on a young teenage black girl named Starr, played by Amandla Stenberg, who lives in a poor, mostly black neighborhood but attends a mostly white prep school. After her childhood best friend is shot dead by a police officer Starr finds herself torn between her two lives and becomes a voice standing against the wrongs in her community. If you can’t tell these are tough morals to tackle, especially considering the timely nature of the subject matter. “The Hate U Give” has potential to be an inspiring work of fiction that could speak to a generation or it could become a pretentious mess feeding off of the drama of real-life controversies. We’ll have to wait until October 19 to find out.
9. “A Simple Favor”, Sept. 14
From one book adaptation to another, “A Simple Favor” has gained steam as an anticipated movie over the last few weeks as trailers started to surface more and more. Directed by Paul Feig and starring powerhouses Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, “A Simple Favor” is being adapted from the book of the same name by Darcey Bell and promises plenty of mystery, suspense and drama in its previews. The story will follow a pair of best friends through a tale of betrayal as a mystery unfolds about the fate and whereabouts of Lively’s character. The trailer offers glimpses into the intrigue we can expect from the project but doesn’t offer too many answers which leaves a lot to the viewers’ imaginations. In some ways this could be one of the year’s most interesting thrillers but it could also offer nothing more than a bland and predictable plot as well. Having never read the book I personal can’t wait to see what it will bring. We’ll all find out in just a few weeks’ time on Sept. 14.
8. “A Star is Born”, Oct. 5
A classic Hollywood tale, “A Star is Born” is one of those stories that is timeless and deserving of numerous adaptations to fit the changing world. We will get the modern version of the film in October with Bradley Cooper starring alongside Lady Gaga. It will also be Cooper’s directorial debut. This is the third remake of “A Star is Born” after the project sat in development hell for years and went through many variations and potential stars. For those who don’t know, the story involves an elder singer, in this case Cooper as an alcoholic country artist, who discovers a young female songstress and helps her find stardom while the two fall in love. There’s a long legacy behind this movie and some are a bit nervous about whether or not a rookie director, even one with as much talent as Cooper, could do it justice. Still the trailers show potential for a sincere story about love and chasing one’s dreams and if done right “A Star is Born” may even prove to be more relevant to today’s world than it was in year’s past. We’ll have to see if this film can live up to the legacy of its predecessors or if its own time in the spotlight has come and gone. “A Star is Born” will hit theaters on October 5.
7. “Bad Times at the El Royale”, Oct. 12
Written, produced and directed by Drew Goddard, who also directed “Cabin in the Woods” and has helped write numerous hit films including “Cloverfield”, “World War Z”, and “The Martian” and was a consultant for “Deadpool 2”, “Bad Times at the El Royale” has had many people buzzing in 2018 even if it’s received relatively limited screen time from previews. This thriller is packed to the brim with star power including the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Jeff Bridges and Jon Hamm just to name a few all involved in a story that focuses on seven strangers inside the El Royale hotel all given a final chance at their redemption before things go south. The trailer hints at numerous themes the most interesting of which seems to be the concept of good and evil and choosing a side to be on. With a great writer and accomplished stars on hand to help brings this tale to life “Bad Times at the El Royale” could very easily become one of the most pleasantly complex and symbolic mainstream films of the year, that is if it lives up to the promise of its previews. We’ll have to see for ourselves when “Bad Times” hits theaters on October 12.
6. “First Man” Oct. 12
The story of the first man on the moon is one of modern America’s most legendary, but do we REALLY know the story of that man? This upcoming biographical drama seeks to tell that tale. Based on the 2005 biography of the same name, “First Man” will release alongside “Bad Times at the El Royale” and will tell the story of Neil Armstrong’s journey to becoming the first man to set foot on the moon in 1969. The first good sign is Ryan Gosling is playing the lead role. The second good sign? Damien Chazelle is directing. Chazelle, if you don’t know, also directed the magnificent works of art “Whiplash” and “La La Land” earning a Best Director Oscar for the later which also starred Gosling. So if nothing else those factor alone make “First Man” a no-brainer. This story is also a worthy one to bring to the big screen as it’s a staple of modern American history that has been relatively untouched by anything other than science fiction films. There’s a lot of promise in this project, but we’ll have to wait until October 12 to see if Chazelle and Gosling can hit another home run with their newest collaboration.
5. “Night School” Sept. 28
As much as I’d honestly like to leave this movie off of this list I just can’t. Even I’m intrigued to see if “Night School” is as fun as it looks. I mean it’s not like it doesn’t have a lot going for it. Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish will lead this comedy about a man who goes to night school to earn his GED and ends up bonding and causing trouble with his fellow students. The cast looks great, the trailers offer plenty of laughs on their own and it truly is among the most anticipated mainstream comedies yet to see the light of day. On the one hand it has two capable comedians who could truly bring out the best this film has to offer, however it runs the risk of pandering to the lowest levels of amusement which could make “Night School” nothing more than a run-of-the-mill generic genre piece. Personally I can’t wait to find out what kind of movie it is. It’s either going to be a lot of fun to tear apart or a lot of fun to praise. That said it seems that whether you’re looking for something simple or something with a little more substance “Night School” could work either way. Which way it will go we’ll find out for sure on September 28.
4. “The Predator”, Sept. 14
This film could be a truly awesome hit or a major miss for 20th Century Fox as the continuation of the long-running “Predator” franchise and the alien’s first big screen appearance since 2010. Directed by Shane Black, who had a part in the original “Predator” movie in 1987, this new installment is meant to be a true sequel to the original two films and set before the 2010 movie. The original sneak peek trailers offered little substance, however subsequent previews like the one shown above have promised much more from this alien epic which will showcase upgraded versions of the Predators as they target a new group of humans. The synopsis also hints that the Predator will have new abilities having melded its DNA with other lethal creatures. The idea sounds like a whole lot of fun and the large fan base for the franchise is hoping that this new take on the creatures will do them justice. It’s either going to be a magnificent train wreck or an exhilarating thrill ride. We’ll see for sure on September 14.
3. “The Nun”, Sept 7
Next weekend we will get our first look at one of the most talked about movies in the fall lineup of 2018, “The Nun”. Directed by up-and-coming horror filmmaker Corin Hardy, “The Nun” is the latest spinoff of the “Conjuring” universe and will explore the origin of the evil nun feature in “The Conjuring 2” in 2016 and hinted at in “Annabelle: Creation”. So what makes this movie so special? Well the previews have because the trailers for “The Nun” have leaned heavily on jump scares and the promise of a truly terrifying edge-of-your-seat experience. Just watch the one above if you don’t believe me. In fact YouTube had to pull the trailer from being shown as a pre-video advertisement because people were so terrified by the result. The film could also offer some deeper looks into the paranormal history of the “Conjuring” saga and it is pretty cool that “Conjuring” mainstay Vera Formiga’s younger sister Taissa, herself a horror veteran, is playing one of the main roles. Could this imply a familial tie between their two characters? Who knows?! Personally I can’t wait to see if “The Nun” is as scary and fun as it looks. Thankfully we only have to wait one more week until Sept. 7 to find out for sure.
2. “Venom”, Oct. 5
Of all the films on this list this one could truly be the most divisive when all is said and done. Despite allowing Marvel to utilize Spider-man for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony still owns the rights to many of the hero’s enemies and allies which eventually resulted in the studio greenlighting a new universe of their own utilizing those properties. So what better way to kick it off than with Spider-man’s most legendary foe, and an antihero, Venom? The project has recovered from early negative buzz after the original preview offered no real look at the famed symbiotic being. Later trailers showed us Venom in all his glory but once again fans were mixed on the tone and dialogue used in those previews. Still many have noted “Venom” as one of the most anticipated movies of the fall of 2018 and there is a lot of promise especially since Tom Hardy is playing the titular role. In a world where superhero movies are a dime a dozen and with memories of “Spider-Man 3’s” misuse of Venom still fresh on the minds of many fans can the “Venom” solo film stand out and leave its own mark? We’ll see come its release on October 5.
1. “Halloween”, Oct. 19
The “Halloween” franchise has an amazingly devoted following. Along with “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” it is part of the trinity of iconic horror franchises that defined the slasher genre and helped redefine the horror genre as a whole many years ago. However the sequels have never truly shined and the two reboot films are divisive at best among fans. Could this new film right the ship? Well there’s a lot going for it. The new “Halloween” is being described as the true sequel to the original film, disregarding all other movies in the franchise and even poking fun at some of those elements in the trailer especially Michael Myers’ relationship with Laurie Strode. Jamie Lee Curtis is returning for one final face off against the masked killer while Nick Castle returns as Myers bringing back the series’ two most legendary actors for a little bit of added fanfare. The film is expected to bring Strode and Myers back together for one final confrontation 40 years after the 1978 original changed cinema forever. More than any other film on this list there’s a lot riding on “Halloween”. It could either be an incredibly satisfying continuation of one of the most legendary horror movies ever made or it could be a massive misfire that disappoints and leaves fans still longing for something more. Regardless it’s almost guaranteed to be THE must see movie for this Halloween and fans will certainly be flocking to the theater to see the result for themselves come October 19.