Movies out today: Spooky Halloween releases

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Happy Halloween! If you’re planning a night out, you can get your scare on with the first of our new releases, Oculus.

Oculus

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Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim (Brenton Thwaites) and Kaylie (Karen Gillan) forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…

While Oculus might play up some of the usual horror movie tropes, it’s still a well-crafted, original movie which turns out to be surprisingly scary. Writer/director Mike Flanagan has struck a good balance between the psychological and the supernatural, and keeps up an atmosphere of dread and eerie anticipation throughout. With 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, you might want to sleep with the lights on tonight!

Horns

horns

Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Horns is a supernatural thriller driven by fantasy, mystery and romance. The film follows Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe), the number one suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend’s tragedy and for exacting revenge on her killer.

Critics are fairly split down the middle on Horns. Some are saying it’s reminiscent of a teen horror comedy, overdoing the silliness and lacking in substance. Others are praising the satirical tone and balanced mixing of genres between black comedy, romance, fantasy and horror, with Daniel Radcliffe’s performance as Ig holds the movie together. Much like Cabin in the Woods, you’ll either love it or hate it. Currently at 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, I’d say give it a go if you’re looking to try something different this Halloween.

A Walk Among the Tombstones

A Walk Among The Tombstones

Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, A Walk among the Tombstones is the story of Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson), an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last.

If you’re looking for a crime thriller/drama, then A Walk among the Tombstones is the right movie for you. It’s gritty, it’s moody, it’s got Liam Neeson doing what he does best (playing Liam Neeson), and it’s got 67% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander

If you’re looking to take your kids out for some not R-Rated cinema this weekend, this Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (what a mouthful) could be the best choice for you.
Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life-a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one. Light, sweet and charming, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day has its drawbacks of strained, obvious slapstick, but you weren’t really expecting anything else from a PG-13 kids movie were you? It might be a bit forgettable, but it’s affably pleasant enough to keep you entertained. 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Postman Pat: The Movie

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Postman Pat: The Movie finds Pat, everyone’s favourite postman, centre stage as a contestant in a national TV talent show competition. Will success and fame tear him away from his hometown of Greendale and the friends he loves? Can Pat return to town in time to foil a sinister plot to replace him with legions of Patbot 3000 robots destined to take over the world? Only Postman Pat can save the day!

Postman Pat: The Movie isn’t really getting rave reviews, with one dimensional characters, a plot that’s all over the place and downright shoddy animation. With only 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s not going to be competing with Disney classics any time soon.

Fed Up (Cinema Nouveau)

fed-up

After the U.S government put in place its first dietary guidelines, one of the greatest health epidemics of our time occurred. This documentary offers a deep look inside the misinformation being presented to the public by the food industry with help from the U.S. government, and follows a group of children over a period of two years as they go through the struggles of following conventional diet and exercise guidelines.

For a documentary about food and the obesity in the US it’s more polished than Supersize Me, but critics are saying that it just feels like a Carte Blanche style news segment stretched to feature length. While still presenting a thorough, in-depth view look at the issues, it’s more apt to place blame than over solutions, but it still scores 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. So if you want to scare yourself with reality and rethink that third helping of Halloween sweets, Fed Up is your movie.

Last Updated: October 31, 2014

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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