This week features films about a world where slavery never ended and religiously motivated kidnapping. So, no escapism this week!
I hope you like a ton of drama and charged topics, cause this weekend is packed with both. Even the obligatory teen horror flick involves social media and Russia!
If you thought you’d get away from the heavy stuff by avoiding the box office…sour news jack. Most of this week’s VOD is equally charged: a cult leader has his flock turn on him in Luz, we get a journey through the existential with About Endlessness, and even Netflix gets topical with the story of four guys looking for “male empowerment” and get in over their head with a warped self-help guru.
Infidel (Sep. 18)
An American man, played by Jim Caviezel, is kidnapped after a friend invites him to Cairo to speak out about recent militant uprisings. His wife heads to the city after hearing the news, determined to get him back.
The Secrets We Keep (Sep. 15)
In post-WWII America, a woman (Noomi Rapace), rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband, kidnaps her neighbor and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her.
Lie Exposed (Sep. 18)
Melanie experiences a terminal diagnosis, leading her to leave her husband and life behind for LA and an affair with a tintype photographer.
The Nest (Sep. 18)
Life for an entrepreneur and his American family begin to take a twisted turn after moving into an English country manor.
Ravers (Sep. 18)
When a contaminated energy drink turns an illegal rave into a nightmare, a germaphobic journalist has to overcome her deepest fears to get her friends out alive.
The Way I See It (Sep. 18)
Former Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza’s journey as a person with top secret clearance and total access to the President.
My Name is Pedro (Sep. 17)
Lillian LaSalle’s award-winning, powerful documentary MY NAME IS PEDRO explores what public education meant to South Bronx Latino maverick educator, Pedro Santana, and what he, in turn, meant to public education. The film is also especially timely in this moment of national reckoning since the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests.
Last Call (Sep. 18)
LAST CALL stars Daved Wilkins (The Mindy Project) and Sarah Booth (The Moodys) in a film that follows a suicidal alcoholic on the anniversary of his son’s death. When he attempts to call a crisis hotline, a misdial connects him with a single mother working as the night janitor at a local community college. The split screen feature showcases both characters in real-time as they navigate a life-changing conversation.
Antebellum (Sep. 18, Alamo at Home)
Successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.
*Staff Pick: Been waiting on this one for a while. Early reviews aren’t glowing, but I’m down to check out this film just for all of the technical visual work alone.
No Escape (Sep. 18)
A social media star travels with his friends to Moscow to capture new content for his successful VLOG. Always pushing the limits and catering to a growing audience, he and his friends enter a cold world of mystery, excess and danger. As the line between real life and social media is blurred, the group must fight to escape, and survive.
Video on Demand
The Grizzlies (Sep. 15)
THE GRIZZLIES is based on the inspiring true story of a group of Inuit (Eskimo/Indigenous/Native) students in a small Arctic town suffering from one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world. The classmates are initially resistant when a naive and culturally ignorant white teacher introduces them to lacrosse—but gradually, as they begin to connect with each other as teammates, the students’ find inspiration to make profound shifts in their lives.
Luz: The Flower of Evil (Sep. 15)
The leader of an isolated cult finds himself under attack from his followers, including his three daughters, after bringing a false messiah into the community.
*Runner Up Pick: This looks like a Hammer version of The Witch…which could go either way. Still, stylistically interesting and at worst guaranteed to have plenty of creepiness and women in clingy nightgowns.
Wheels (Sep. 15)
Dreaming of a better future, a young DJ confronts his family struggles in the streets of Brooklyn.
Spiral (Sep. 17, Shudder)
Malik and Aaron move to a small town in search of a better environment for them and their 16-year-old daughter. But nothing is as it seems as something sinister lies behind the picturesque homes and welcoming faces of their new neighbors.
About Endlessness (Sep. 18)
ABOUT ENDLESSNESS is a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendor and banality. We wander, dreamlike, gently guided by our Scheherazade-esque narrator. Inconsequential moments take on the same significance as historical events: a couple floats over a war-torn Cologne; on the way to a birthday party, a father stops to tie his daughter’s shoelaces in the pouring rain; teenage girls dance outside a cafe; a defeated army marches to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Alive (Sep. 18)
A severely injured man and woman awake in an abandoned sanitarium only to discover that a sadistic caretaker holds the keys to their freedom and the horrific answers as to their real identity….
Blackbird (Sep. 18)
Lily (Susan Sarandon) and Paul (Sam Neill) summon their loved ones to their beach house for one final gathering after Lily decides to end her long battle with ALS on her own terms. The couple is planning a loving weekend complete with holiday traditions, but the mood becomes strained when unresolved issues surface between Lily and her daughters Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Anna (Mia Wasikowska).
H is for Happiness (Sep. 18)
Based on the award-winning book My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg, it is the genuinely heart-warming and unflinchingly honest story of one twelve-year-old’s determination to bring her family back from the brink and spark happiness in their lives.
Whipped [Bucin] (Sep. 18, Netflix)
Four young men – each with their own love issues – enrol in an ‘anti-whipped’ class to break free from being enslaved by love. The foursome soon realise that not only does the class have unusual, if not extreme methods, to teach them, it also starts to threaten their friendship and relationships with their partners. Will they survive the class?