Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help.
Trailer Watch returns this week and highlights some of the best (and most exciting titles) you may have missed! It was an unexpectedly busy week for trailer premieres, and while not all films are created equal, we've selected six that are very much worth your time, including a few remakes, a few sequels, and one featuring a bi-state hotel.
Bad Times at the El Royale (dir. Drew Goddard)
Bringing together a group of questionable strangers (who are not as they seem) has been the source of great drama since the days of Agatha Christie, and Bad Times at the El Royale definitely has its fair share of shady characters and evil intentions. If the neon-soaked trailer gives off the impression that this simple mystery premise has twists and turns that destined to redirect the plot every five minutes, that's probably accurate.
With this being the sophomore directorial effort of Drew Goddard, whose The Cabin in the Woods was similarly lenient in its direction of narrative reveals and upheavals, expect something equally lighthearted and sinister, i.e. Jeff Bridges as quite possibly a priest. Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth (also of The Cabin in the Woods), Nick Offerman, and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo round out the cast. Release Date: October 5th, 2018, via 20th Century Fox.
A Star is Born (dir. Bradley Cooper)
Long in the works as a Clint Eastwood-directed vehicle to star Bradley Cooper and Beyonce, this inspired remake of the 1954 (but more likely 1976) hit, while retaining Cooper in the lead, arrives with a different director behind the camera and a different leading lady in front of it. Cooper himself directs the passion project, and the shiny trailer impressed judgmental folks of the internet earlier this week by actually appearing.....good? Lady Gaga plays Ally, and you can already place your bets on her copping the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical next January. The inspired casting goes beyond her, however, with Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay (playing Lady Gaga's father!), and Anthony Ramos making up the supporting cast.
The visuals are inspired, and that's due in no small part to frequent Darren Aronofsky cinematographer Matthew Libatique, who, in a theatrical scheduling coincidence, will have this film and his Marvel release, Venom, opening on the exact same day. Release Date: October 5th, 2018, via Warner Bros Pictures.
Halloween (dir. David Gordon Green)
It has arrived, and no, it's not a remake! David Gordon Green's direct follow-up to John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic wipes the slate clean of the numerous sequels and Rob Zombie remakes that have populated theaters over the past four decades (some quite good), choosing to instead focus on its Final Girl, Laurie Strode (played, for the fifth time—but second in this new version's chronology—by Jamie Lee Curtis). Turns out Laurie has remained in Haddonfield since that fateful night, choosing to booby-trap her home in the event that Michael Myers ever decided to escape the insane asylum and return for another murderous binge.
Whether you're on board with the filmmakers' decision to ignore every entry in the series outside of the original—in a clever line early in the trailer, the notion that Michael and Laurie are brother and sister is quickly dismissed as a mere rumor—may affect whether you will take to this one. But outside of the Home Alone-inspired premise, this Blumhouse production, complete with a script by frequent collaborators and friends Green and Danny McBride, appears to be taking things mighty seriously, and that's for the best.
If we get one of these "let start over" reboots with Jamie Lee Curtis once every 20 years—Halloween: H20 is fun!—I'd welcome it. Release Date: October 19th, 2018, via Universal Pictures.
Suspiria (dir. Luca Guadagnino)
News of this upcoming remake's existence angered diehard Dario Argento fans, bewildered that someone would dare attempt to recreate the otherworldy, chromatic, blood-dripping world of the 1977 original. "No one will be able to recreate that!," we cried, and, going by the first trailer for this Amazon Studios production, the film's director, Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) wisely doesn't even try to. The familiar narrative elements remain: the young ingénue, the creepy dance academy, the uncomfortable visual asides (the low-lit backs of those chummy children walking in unison is oddly unsettling), the unnerving musical score (although perhaps not the Goblin tune we so closely associate with the original), etc.
This film is an entirely different beast, a step-ball-change rather than a pirouette, and Tilda Swinton—playing, depending on who you ask, two roles of a contrasting nature—and Dakota Johnson appear up for the challenge of finding their own interpretation of the story. Interpretation is the key word here, as the original was its own beguiling visual tone poem, prompting Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman to remark of the Argento original, "Suspiria is a movie that makes sense only to the eye (and even then . . .)" Release Date: November 2nd, 2018, via Amazon Studios.
The Girl in the Spider's Web (dir. Fede Álvarez)
The Stieg Larsson-created character of Lisbeth Salander was last seen on American movie screens in David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a quite strong adaptation that netted an Oscar nomination for Rooney Mara's performance in the title role. The Girl in the Spider's Web, while not a direct sequel (it's the fourth novel in the Millennium series), continues to follow the pursuits of Salander, this time played by The Crown's Claire Foy.
To note that 2018 feels like quite an appropriate time to release a film like this feels like an understatement—much of the trailer serves as an extended sequence of a terrible man receiving his appropriate comeuppance—and it's refreshing to see Fede Álvarez take over the directing reigns here; his remake of Evil Dead was so over-the-top that one could only sit back and applaud its bloody bravado. Release Date: November 9th 2018, via Sony Pictures.
Widows (dir. Steve McQueen)
Based on a popular 1980s British miniseries, this modernized, now Chicago-set big screen adaption is the latest from Steve McQueen, the Academy Award-nominated director of 12 Years a Slave, Shame, and Hunger. After a group of wives lose their devious, criminal husbands to a heist gone wrong (resulting in a fatal shootout), the widows pick up where their beaus left off. Chicago law enforcement, undoubtedly corrupt, remains hot on their trail.
Viola Davis and Colin Farrell lead an all-star cast that ranges from Liam Neeson and Michelle Rodriguez to Robert Duvall and the recently Oscar-nominated Daniel Kaluuya (and Bad Times at the El Royale's Cynthia Erivo), and the behind-the-camera team is equally impressive: Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) co-wrote the screenplay and Hans Zimmer composed the score. When you think of gritty Chicago "action" movies, the names Michael Mann and Christopher Nolan immediately come to mind, but after Widows, it may be time to add McQueen to that list. Release Date: November 16th, 2018, via 20th Century Fox.