I think we’re going to make a regular thing of this. It’s about time to start looking at what movies to be excited about for the fall of 2018 and it is looking we’re going to have some really exciting films coming up!
10) The Nun
The Good: The Nun is the latest entry produced by James Wan into the extended universe of The Conjuring. For those unfamiliar with his productions, they tend to be solid and well-executed horror films. The trailers for The Nun are already promising for fans of a good jump scare with a little bit of a twist, and there’s every reason to believe that this will at minimum be above average.
The Bad: Producer James Wan is credited as a writer and his films occasionally rely heavily on jump scares over substance. Additionally, director Corin Hardy’s short career has very few credits and is a bit of an unknown. There’s a fair chance that the core of The Nun will be the substance lite jump scare style of a haunted house ride.
9) Await Further Instructions
The Good: The intense premise of this film and the vivid imagery in its trailer give off all the vibes of an intense claustrophobic horror, and the film has already won some awards at Cinepocalypse and FrightFest.
The Bad: We can also see from the marketing of this film that its low budget is a major aspect here, and it’s hard to tell how that will play out in the full movie. While it has earned some awards, these are from genre-specific festivals and often highly dependent on the competition at the time. This could end up being a pretty cheap-and-cheesy that falls flat on amateur acting and unable to hold it together through its editing.
8) First Man
The Good: A look a the life of Neil Armstrong that features performances from Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. The strength of the acting alone could be enough to make First Man worth a watch. It’s directed by Damien Chazelle who has given us outstanding films such as La La Land and features writing from Josh Singer who is credit with films such as Spotlight and The Post.
The Bad: As much as we loved La La Land and The Post, these films may give us a picture of where First Man could fall flat. The most likely failure will be a film that fails to be as much or more than the sum of its parts. Very unlikely to be bad, there is a fair chance that it just won’t be as good as it could be.
The Good: This is a big-budget remake of an intense and classic horror film known for the disorienting use of color and a wild sense of style as well as a surprising amount of nuance.
The Bad: This is a big-budget remake of an intense and classic horror film known for the disorienting use of color and a wild sense of style as well as a surprising amount of nuance.
6) Bohemian Rhapsody
The Good: We’re starting to see some incredible performances from the current cast, and there’s a tremendous opportunity to blend it with an out of this world soundtrack from a band that produced all-time classic hits.
The Bad: This project has publicly lost some incredible talent, such as Sacha Baron Cohen, specifically because of creative differences over the intended purpose of the film. The talent producing it may not have the creative freedom to say anything important or even particularly interesting. Additionally, director Bryan Singer has rarely risen above mediocre in the past two decades, frequently producing thin and superficial films with little merit. We could very well end up with a lazy cash in on the catalog of a once great musical group.
The Good: A gender flip of The Punisher, one of the most controversial and challenging characters in comics? Yes, please. Sign me up. A well-written movie could use this as a lens to make some pretty scathing criticisms of society, justice, and social norms.
The Bad: Do you really think that’s what we’ll get? It’s almost guaranteed to take the superficial elements of vigilante crime thrillers and fail to say anything interesting at all about the nature of vigilanteism or how the perception of it is affected by the gender change.
4) The House with a Clock in its Walls
The Good: More Jack Black and Cate Blanchette, please. There’s a fun cast here that has the talent to do a lot with some interesting writing and directing, and director Eli Roth has some deeply fascinating producing and directing credits to his name. He has the talent and history to bring an interesting darkness to children’s films.
The Bad: Writer Eric Kripke has mostly written cheap horror and supernatural episodes. With this as the weakest link, we’re likely to see the worst elements of the genre come out and get a fairly lifeless children’s film.
3) White Boy Rick
The Good: The story of drug kingpin and FBI informant Richard Wershe Jr. is likely to be a hell of a ride, especially when backed with the talent of Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh. At this point in his career, I’d literally watch almost anything with Matthew McConaughey in it on the strength of his choices of film to contribute to.
The Bad: This is another one of those movies where it’s very easy to construct a final product that is less than the sum of all of its parts. A historical drama with a director with very sparse credits that are mostly TV crime dramas could be a non-starter. Be prepared for a straightforward film that fails to find anything meaningful to say about its subject matter.
2) Bad Times at the El Royale
The Good: An insane cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Ervo, Cailee Spaeny, and Lewis Pullman that manages to drip with style and with hints of a plot that could suck you in. Writer-director Drew Goddard has worked on Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield, The Good Place, and The Martian, displaying a strong grasp of captivating drama.
The Bad: Drew Goddard is still a little green, and a lot hangs on his work as both the writer and director. Given his shorter list of credits, it’s hard to say what could go wrong here as he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to show what he has to say with so much creative control. With so many creative voices and names here, I’d be worried about the number of parts in the film and the capacity to use every actor to their fullest.
1) The Predator
The Good: The return of a franchise responsible for some of the most memorable action films of the 80’s and 90’s and a truly beloved horror character is hard to ignore. As icing on the cake, Shane Black (who has written for Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and The Nice Guys) is working as the director and contributing to the writing. Shane Black has had one of the strongest voices in the action crime genre, particularly because of his wit and ability to find a deeply human element in his subjects.
The Bad: This is a franchise that has been struggling. With only one real entry in the last 30 years, Predators, it’s fair to say that the core of these movies is non-existent. Without a real identity to tie the movies together, the audience for The Predator has wildly fractured expectations. For a studio film like this, that can have a dramatic impact on the restrictions that the studio places on the writing and directing. Finally, the main plot point appears to be a gimmicky “bigger, badder predator”, which is hard to be excited about. The question is just how much life Shane Black can possibly breathe into this property.