Will horror have another big year as we head into warmer weather, or was that just a COVID fluke?
2020 was not a great year for most things, but horror movies really cleaned up. Separation is our second wide release horror film for 2021. While The Unholy did decently, it didn’t rule the box office like films such as The Wretched. Perhaps Separation can capitalize on being the only new wide release and return horror back to the top of the box office. It will have stiff competition, though, from all of the horror and action films also slated for Video on Demand.
Separation (Also on VOD)
8-year-old Jenny (Violet McGraw) is constantly caught in the middle of the feuding between her lawyer mother Maggie (Mamie Gummer) and artist father Jeff (Rupert Friend). She leads a lonely but imaginative life, surrounded by puppets called “Grisly Kin”, which are based on the works of her father. When Maggie is tragically killed in a hit-and-run, Jeff and Jenny try to piece together a new life. But when Maggie’s father (Brian Cox) sues for custody, and babysitter Samantha (Madeline Brewer) tries to be the new woman of the house, life in their Brooklyn townhome takes a dark turn.
In the puppet state of Manchukuo in the 1930s, four Communist party special agents, afterreturning to China, embark on a secret mission. Sold out by a traitor, the team find themselves surrounded by threats on all sides.
*Staff Pick: Zhang Yimou, famous for his martial arts epics Hero and House of Flying Daggers, tries his hand at a spy thriller. With his long list of exceptional movies, I’m fairly certain he’ll do just fine.
Four Good Days
A mother (Glenn Close) helps her daughter (Mila Kunis) work through four crucial days of recovery from substance abuse.
Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request.
The Resort (Also on VOD)
Four friends head to Hawaii to investigate reports of a haunting at an abandoned resort in hopes of finding the infamous Half-Faced Girl. When they arrive, they soon learn you should be careful what you wish for.
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Kino Marquee)
After surviving his perilous journey, Francis vows to be a good man, but he soon realizes how difficult it is to be righteous while undocumented in Germany– without papers, without a nationality, and without a work permit. When he receives an enticing offer for easy money from the psychopathic gangster Reinhold (Albrecht Schuch), Francis initially resists temptation, but eventually he is sucked into Berlin’s underworld and his life spirals out of control.
Voyagers (Alamo at Home)
With the future of the human race at stake, a group of young men and women, bred for intelligence and obedience, embark on an expedition to colonize a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, they defy their training and begin to explore their most primitive natures. As life on the ship descends into chaos, they’re consumed by fear, lust, and the hunger for power.
Video on Demand
Things Heard & Seen (Netflix)
A Manhattan couple moves to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley and come to discover that their marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals their new home’s history. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundage.
Sid Straw (Tony Hale) leads a dull life until he accidentally stalks famous college friend, Elizabeth Banks, on social media. With each failed attempt to prove he knows her, he rediscovers more of himself and the true meaning of friendship.
When her best friend Danny ropes her into taking her spot at the Women’s Arm Wrestling Championship, nice girl baker Melanie must trade whisks for barbells as she trains to face off with the reigning champ for a chance at newfound badassery and the grand prize.
The Mitchells Vs. the Machines (Netflix)
An ordinary family find themselves in the middle of their biggest family challenge yet…saving the world from the robot apocalypse.
*Staff Pick: While I am not a huge fan of The Lego Movies, I did love Into the Spiderverse, so I do trust this creative team to shepherd the absolutely stacked voice cast through a crazy and fun adventure.
The Outside Story
Brian Tyree Henry takes on his first big screen lead role as Charles Young, a broken-hearted video editor. Perceiving a betrayal of trust as a sign his girlfriend Isha (Sonequa Martin-Green) is leaving him, Charles preemptively blows up his relationship and sequesters himself at home. The fates do not comply and Charles locks himself out of his apartment. Stumbling into a transformational, timely odyssey exploring his community, Charles meets a dynamic ensemble of previously avoided neighbors (including Sunita Mani, Olivia Edward and Asia Kate Dillon) who show him everyone’s got issues and it never helps to keep them all locked up
Percy Vs. Goliath
Percy Schmeiser (Christopher Walken), a third-generation farmer, is sued by a corporate giant for allegedly using their patented seeds. With little resources to fight the giant legal battle, Percy joins forces with up-and-coming attorney Jackson Weaver (Zach Braff) and environmental activist Rebecca Salcau (Christina Ricci) to fight one of the most monumental cases all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Danger, deception, and murder descend upon a sleepy country town when a professional assassin (Anson Mount) accepts a new assignment from his enigmatic mentor and boss (Anthony Hopkins). Given only where and when along with a cryptic clue, the methodical hit man must identify his mysterious mark from among several possible targets, including a local sheriff (David Morse). Meanwhile, a chance encounter with an alluring woman (Abbie Cornish) at the town’s rustic diner threatens to derail his mission in this noir-style cloak-and-dagger thriller.
Without Remorse (Amazon Prime)
When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war.