Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 12/5/19 – 12/11/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a full slate of heavy-hitter auteurs and some appropriate Holiday Season programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Varda by Agnès Legendary French New Wave auteur Agnès Varda was one of this year’s greatest losses, but she did leave behind an impressive catalog of cheeky cinematic masterworks. See her final feature—a self-examining documentary along the lines of previous triumphs like Faces Places, The Gleaners & I, and The Beaches of Agnès—only at the Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Waves Trey Edward Schults continues his hot streak of highly divisive, emotionally rattling A24 productions with a years-spanning melodrama about one black family’s lives in suburban America. Looks to be much more narratively & tonally well-behaved than Krisha or It Comes at Night, but those movies had deceptively conventional trailers too, so who knows. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

In Fabric Peter Strickland’s florid horror comedy about a cursed department store & a killer dress is decidedly not for everyone (someone shushed me for laughing along with its exquisite absurdity at our screening, mistaking it for a dead-serious drama), but it was our favorite film we caught at this year’s Overlook Film Festival. I also suspect it will be one of our collective favorite movies of 2019, given our weakness for over-the-top genre fare. Playing only at the Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Carol (2015) – Todd Haynes’s Christmastime lesbian melodrama is even more tonally reserved than his other queered-up Douglas Sirk homage, Far From Heaven. Those handsome, controlled tales of forbidden romance in the Conservative hell of the 1950s may not be as flashy or as idiosyncratic as his more sprawling works like Velvet Goldmine, Poison, or Wonderstruck, but they’re still astonishingly assured, emotionally rich works form one of America’s foremost gay auteurs. Screening free to the public (with donations encouraged) Thursday 12/5 via Queer Root Films, hosted at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 11/28/19 – 12/4/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including some early Holiday Season programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Varda by Agnès Legendary French New Wave auteur Agnès Varda was one of this year’s greatest losses, but she did leave behind an impressive catalog of cheeky cinematic masterworks. See her final feature—a self-examining documentary along the lines of previous triumphs like Faces Places, The Gleaners & I, and The Beaches of Agnès—only at The Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Queen & Slim The debut feature of Melina Matsoukas, whose work on the Lemonade-era Beyoncé video “Formation” already establishes her as a director who demands our attention. Pulling from pervious on-the-run epics like Bonnie & Clyde and Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song, this modern tale of accidental cop killers on the lam looks like a stylistically sharp, politically furious punch to the gut. Playing wide.

Knives Out Rian Johnson cashes in his Last Jedi money to make an old-fashioned Agatha Christie throwback whodunnit with a massive cast of celebrity faces. Looks to be more sincere than post-modern send-ups like Clue or Murder By Death, but it still clearly has a devious sense of humor all of its own. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

The Lighthouse – When this deliberately divisive, sparsely attended arthouse prank opened alongside the consistently sold-out Parasite a full month ago, I never would have guessed it would outlast the list-topping crowed-pleaser, which just ended its New Orleans run. Marvel at its unfathomable longevity at The Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge, in what’s sure to be its final week on the big screen.

When Harry Met Sally (1989) – This Nora Ephron-penned musing on the nature of heterosexual friendship & romance is one of the more enduringly beloved classics in the romcom canon (and a much-needed reminder that Rob Reiner used to direct decent pictures once upon a time). Screening for its 30th Anniversary on Sunday 12/1 and Tuesday 12/3 via Fathom Events.

Elf (2003) – I’m not really a Christmas dork in general, but a lot of people seem to like this goofball comedy an awful lot. If nothing else, it’s a perfect vehicle for Will Ferrell’s boundless energy, and I at least appreciate that The Prytania waited until after Thanksgiving to screen it. Playing Saturday 11/30 at The Prytania.

-Brandon Ledet

New Orleans Uncensored (1955)

The Prytania has been running an unofficial William Castle retrospective over the past few months as part of their ongoing Classic Movies series. That programming choice made a lot of sense around October, when Castle’s iconically kitschy team-ups with Vincent Price – The Tingler, The House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts, etc. – where a perfect celebratory lead-up to Halloween. One Castle title just before that run stood out like a sore thumb, though, as it predated his infamous theatrical horror gimmicks and instead fell into a genre Castle isn’t often associated with. New Orleans Uncensored is a cheap-o, locally shot noir about corrupt shipping dock workers, much more in tune with films like Panic in the Streets than anything resembling the Percepto! or Emergo! horror gimmickry that later made Castle a legend. The director does find stray chances to exhibit his eye for striking, attention-grabbing imagery throughout the film, but for the most part his presence is overpowered by New Orleans itself, making the film more of a worthwhile curio for locals than it is for Castle fanatics.

Originally titled Riot on Pier 6, this film mostly concerns the organized crime rackets that had quietly, gradually overtaken hold of the second largest port in the U.S. Amazingly, it frames the suggestion that New Orleans government & business might be susceptible to corruption as a total shock; sixty years later it’s as obvious of a fact as the sky being blue. The docks themselves are portrayed as gruff working-class playpens where fistfights often break out en mass to the point where workers are recruited for professional boxing careers and assigned nicknames like “Scrappy.” This wild, bully-overrun schoolyard is controlled from behind the scenes by a few Dick Tracy-level mobster archetypes who tend to fire bullets instead of throwing punches, the cowards. We watch a naïve outsider who hopes to start his own legit shipping business at the docks get seduced by the power & convenience the existing mafia structure offers him instead; he then eventually helps the fine folks at the NOPD take those criminals down once he realizes the full scope of their corruption & violence. It’s all very surface-level, familiar noir territory.

The one distinguishing element of New Orleans Uncensored is the visual spectacle of its locale – a 1950s New Orleans backdrop that looks almost exactly the same half a century later. Whereas Panic in the Streets was a document of local faces & personalities, Castle’s film is actively interested in documenting the physical locations of the city like an excited sight-seeing tourist. Panic in the Streets was mostly contained at the shipping docks and backrooms that concerned its plot, while New Orleans Uncensored goes out of its way to capture as many of the city’s cultural hotspots as possible: Pontchartain Beach, The Court of Two Sisters, Jackson Square, French Quarter nightclubs, Canal Street float parades, etc. In one particularly egregious indulgence in sight-seeing, a couple shares a nightcap beignet at Café du Monde, claiming the ritual is “a traditional New Orleans way of saying goodnight.” It’s practically a tourism board television ad. Of course, as the title suggest, the appeal of this local sightseeing to outsiders is the city’s national reputation for sin & debauchery. The film’s plot about corrupt shipping dock companies getting their due punishment for their transgressions against social order is mostly an excuse for displaying as much sex, drunkenness, and Cajun-flavored merriment as the Hays Code would allow. That becomes a major problem in the snooze of third act when the tourism is sidelined to resolve the much less engaging mafia plot, but it’s fun while the good times last.

There isn’t much room for William Castle to show off this unique touch for attention-grabbing gimmickry & cheap-o surrealism while ogling “The Mistress of The Mississippi.” Outside an opening credits graphic where a disembodied hand stamps the word “UNCENSORED” on a map of the city and a drunken montage depicting an all-nighter of a couple partying until dawn in French Quarter nightclubs, Castle is fairly well behaved in his visual stylings. The closest the film comes to touching on his iconic gimmickry is the way the movie is presented as if it were a documentary instead of a fictional drama – bolstered by stock footage & news reel voiceover. However, that choice often reads as an Ed Woodian means of cutting financial corners more than some deliberate artistic vision. If anything, the movie does function as a genuine documentary, as its sightseeing record of a 1950s New Orleans is far more valuable & purposeful than its criminal conspiracy drama or its William Castle visual play. The history & personality of the city is far more pronounced than Castle’s here, and if the movie maintains any value as a cinematic artifact it’s in that local tourism.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 11/21/19 – 11/27/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including Oscar contenders and Thanksgiving-appropriate programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood On paper, an Oscar Season biopic starring Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers sounds like the kind of fluff I’d avoid at all costs, but director Marielle Heller’s previous two features (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Diary of a Teenage Girl) has more than earned her the benefit of the doubt. Her specialty seems to be challenging, gut-wrenching dramas with trailers that make them appear like crowd-pleasing pap, so let’s just hope this isn’t the first exception. Playing wide.

Synonyms A French-Israeli drama about a Parisian immigrant frantically on the run from their own past & identity. Shot with an intense handheld immediacy that’s earned it ecstatic critical praise and the Golden Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

The Irishman Martin Scorsese returns to the gangster drama with a sprawling three-and-a-half-hour epic about the slaying of union organizer Jimmy Hoffa. Give it your full attention on the big screen during its limited run before it’s trapped forever on Netflix, where it will have to compete with the tantalizing distractions on your phone. Playing only at The Broad Theater and The Prytania.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) – Thanksgiving isn’t typically afforded the same screen space & cinematic reverence reserved for Christmas, but there are still a few standout gems in the Turkey Day genre. John Hughes’s road trip comedy, starring John Candy & Steve Martin as unlikely buddies on a hellish road trip to a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal, is probably the foremost example. Watch it with a proper crowd on the big screen for once (instead of as background television programming in-between your family’s petty, boozy bickering). Screening Sunday 11/24 and Wednesday 11/28 as part of The Prytania’s regular Classic Movies series.

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for weeks as its distribution exponentially spreads. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad.

The Lighthouse Robert Eggers’s follow up to The Witch (Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2016) is a Lovecraftian vision of madness wherein two lighthouse operators (Robert Pattinson & Wile Dafoe) grow to hate each other on a cosmic scale in tense, cramped quarters. A baroque, erotically charged exploration of the horrors of having a roommate. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 11/14/19 – 11/20/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

The Irishman Martin Scorsese returns to the gangster drama with a sprawling three-and-a-half-hour epic about the slaying of union organizer Jimmy Hoffa. Give it your full attention on the big screen during its limited run before it’s trapped forever on Netflix, where it will have to compete with the tantalizing distractions on your phone. Playing only at The Broad Theater and The Prytania.

Terminator: Dark Fate James Cameron & Linda Hamilton return to the iconic series they abandoned sequels & prequels ago to restore its original function as a nonstop sci-fi action spectacle. It’s reported to be the best entry in the franchise since Judgement Day, which is admittedly a low bar to clear (even if we were unexpectedly tickled by the blasphemous lore-tinkering of Genisys) but at least sounds promising. Playing wide.

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi A historical reenactment of the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the British East India Company, focusing on the freedom-fighting triumphs of feminist icon Rani of Jhansi, “the Joan of Arc of the East.” Watch her kick some British imperialist ass at AMC Elmwood.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Born in Flames (1983) Our former Movie of the Month‘s vision of D.I.Y. punk culture, from bicycle gangs to alternative modes of broadcasting & press to dingy nightclubs & ripped street clothes, still feels true to how radical counterculture looks today. It’s an angry, ramshackle work of radical politics that transcends its jumbled narrative & the typical limitations of its micro-budget sci-fi genre to deliver a clear, unmistakable message: “All oppressed people have a right to violence” and revolution can only be achieved through solidarity. Screening free to the public (with donations encouraged) Thursday 11/14 via Queer Root Films, hosted at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for weeks as its distribution exponentially spreads. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad & AMC Elmwood.

The Lighthouse Robert Eggers’s follow up to The Witch (Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2016) is a Lovecraftian vision of madness wherein two lighthouse operators (Robert Pattinson & Wile Dafoe) grow to hate each other on a cosmic scale in tense, cramped quarters. A baroque, erotically charged exploration of the horrors of having a roommate. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge and AMC Elmwood.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 11/7/19 – 11/13/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Jojo Rabbit The latest offbeat comedy from Taika Waititi is “an anti-hate satire” in which the Jewish director plays a WWII era German child’s imaginary friend in the form of Adolf Hitler. Early critical responses to this film have been strongly polarized, but Waititi has more than earned the benefit of the doubt with his recent string of five-star gems: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, Boy. If nothing else, it’s endearing to see him put his newfound Marvel money to use on an ambitious, personal project that’s willing to alienate people. Playing wide.

Pain and Glory Pedro Almodóvar looks back on the loves & losses of his own life as an aging gay filmmaker through the onscreen avatar of longtime collaborator Antonio Banderas. Looks to be a formidable Awards Season contender, but more importantly it’s appointment viewing for anyone with an active interest in Almodóvar’s legacy as one of the great living auteurs. Playing only at AMC Elmwood.

Doctor Sleep Horror nerd poster boy Mike Flanagan adapts Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining in what looks like his biggest-budgeted production to date (give or take an entire season of The Haunting of Hill House). What’s most interesting here is how Flanagan’s interpretation has somehow wholly earned approval from King while also pulling massive visual influence from the Kubrick adaptation of The Shining (to the point of Ready Player One-level scene recreations) that the author notoriously despised. Playing wide.

Foreign Correspondent (1940) – One of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest American productions and one of two films he had competing for Best Picture at that year’s Academy Awards (which it lost to Hitch’s own Rebecca). I don’t’ know much about this WWII political-conspiracy thriller beyond that, but I’ve had many great experiences walking into lesser-known Hitchcock films blind in the past. Screening Sunday 11/10 and Wednesday 11/13 as part of The Prytania’s ongoing Classic Movies series.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for weeks as its distribution exponentially spreads. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad & AMC Elmwood.

The Lighthouse Robert Eggers’s follow up to The Witch (Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2016) is a Lovecraftian vision of madness wherein two lighthouse operators (Robert Pattinson & Wile Dafoe) grow to hate each other on a cosmic scale in tense, cramped quarters. A baroque, erotically charged exploration of the horrors of having a roommate. Playing only at AMC Elmwood.

Greener Grass A warped Adult Swim-style comedy of manners about overly competitive soccer moms, featuring performances from D’arcy Carden, Mary Holland, Janicza Bravo, Beck Bennett, and similar improv-scene comedy folks. Total illogical chaos and menacing irreverence from start to end. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theater & Lounge.

Countdown A gimmicky thriller about a killer smartphone app – in the modern tradition of cyber-horrors like Unfriended, Friend Request, #horror, Sickhouse, Nerve, and Truth or Dare?. This is my cinematic junk food – my personal version of the straight-to-Netflix romcom or the Adam Sandler yuck-em-up. Your own mileage my vary. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 10/31/19 – 11/6/19

Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Terminator: Dark Fate  James Cameron & Linda Hamilton return to the iconic series they abandoned sequels & prequels ago to restore its original function as a nonstop sci-fi action spectacle. It’s reported to be the best entry in the franchise since Judgement Day, which is admittedly a low bar to clear (even if we were unexpectedly tickled by the blasphemous lore-tinkering of Genisys) but at least sounds promising. Playing wide.

Burning Cane A local drama starring Wendel Pierce as an alcoholic reverend in rural Louisiana who struggles to keep his community together despite the cruelties and vices that define their world. Director Phillip Yeomans, 19, shot this film when he was still in high school, making him the youngest and the first African-American filmmaker to win the top prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Playing at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge all week and for free at The Ogden on Tuesday 11/5 via New Orleans Film Society.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise in New York & Los Angeles for weeks, nearly cracking the top ten box office rankings in the US despite only playing on 33 screenings. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad & AMC Elmwood.

The Lighthouse Robert Eggers’s follow up to The Witch (Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2016) is a Lovecraftian vision of madness wherein two lighthouse operators (Robert Pattinson & Wile Dafoe) grow to hate each other on a cosmic scale in tense, cramped quarters. A baroque, erotically charged exploration of the horrors of having a roommate. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 10/24/19 – 10/30/19

Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including plenty of horror gems to help you celebrate Halloween in the dark, spooky atmosphere of a movie theater.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise in New York & Los Angeles for weeks, somehow cracking the top ten box office rankings in the US despite only playing on 33 screenings. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad.

The Lighthouse Robert Eggers’s follow up to The Witch (Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2016) looks to be a Lovecraftian vision of madness wherein two lighthouse operators (Robert Pattinson & Wile Dafoe) grow to hate each other on a cosmic scale in tense, cramped quarters. The most enticing description I’ve heard so far is that it’s about the horrors of having a roommate. Playing wide.

Countdown A gimmicky thriller about a killer smartphone app – in the modern tradition of cyber-horrors like Unfriended, Friend Request, #horror, Sickhouse, Nerve, and Truth or Dare?. It’s embarrassing how excited I am to see it, but there really aren’t that many new straightforward horrors in theaters this week so take what you can get. Playing wide.

Burning Cane A local drama starring Wendel Pierce as an alcoholic reverend in rural Louisiana who struggles to keep his community together despite the cruelties and vices that define their world. Director Phillip Yeomans, 19, shot this film when he was still in high school, making him the youngest and the first African-American filmmaker to win the top prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) A Silent Era horror classic from Sweden that likens the way mental institutions of its time were used to torment & imprison women and the mentally ill to the longer history of people being persecuted for “witchcraft.” Almost a century later it still features some of the most hellish imagery to ever reach the big screen and a controversial edge to its messaging. Screening at The Goat on Tuesday 10/29 with live musical accompaniment. 

The Tingler (1959) – Vincent Price stars in this William Castle trash classic about a parasitic creature that tingles the human spine in states of extreme fear. No word yet on whether these showings will incorporate Castle’s innovative “Percepto!” technology – in which audiences’ seats vibrate throughout the film to simulate being attacked by the titular tingler. Screening Sunday 10/27 and Wednesday 10/30 as part of The Prytania’s regular Classic Movies series.

Scream (1996) – Further developing the meta-horror sensibilities Wes Craven had tapped into with New Nightmare, this modern classic jumpstarted an entire second wave of newly excited slashers in the 90s – typified by young stars, quippy dialogue, and tie-in CD soundtracks. A lastingly impressive achievement in mainstream horror filmmaking. Screening at The Broad on Sunday 10/27.

Evil Dead (1981) – I’m personally not much of a fan of Sam Raimi’s cheap-o horror landmark, but I recognize that it means a lot to people as a stylish feat in low-budget craft & practical effects gore (influencing much better films that followed). See it with fellow fans at The Broad on Saturday 10/26.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week: The Horrors of #NOFF2019 10/16/19 – 10/23/19

There’s a wonderful overlap of goings-on in the city this week, as the 30th annual New Orleans Film Festival is descending upon us just as we approach Halloween. There are hundreds of titles screening all over the city for NOFF and we plan to cover at least a dozen or so of all types and shapes and genres for the site in the coming weeks. For the purposes of keeping our weekly Now Playing feature spooky all October, however, I’m only going to highlight a few horror-related NOFF titles here, so you can work the festival into your regular Halloween-season movie binging. Happy hauntings!

Spooky Movies Screening at NOFF

Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm StreetA long-awaited documentary chronicling actor Mark Patton’s troubled relationship with the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Closeted at the height of Reagan Era homophobia, Patton felt he was bullied by the gay “subtext” the filmmakers behind Freddy’s Dead added to his de facto “Final Girl” character. He’s since embraced the role (and the horror community at large) in his journey to self-acceptance, but that turnaround has not been easy or fair. An important episode in queer horror history. Thursday 10/17 (9:15pm) & Friday 10/18 (8:30pm) at The Broad Theater.

The World is Full of Secrets Set during the nostalgic haze of a mid-90s summertime sleepover, a group of teenage girls compete to one-up each other by telling the ghastliest, goriest stories they can conjure – answering the prompt “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever heard?” Described in the NOFF program as “something like a deconstructed episode of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?.” Saturday 10/19 (7:30pm) at The Broad Theater.

Swallow Recalling the horrors of modern life & patriarchal control in Todd Haynes’s classic chiller Safe, this discomforting atmospheric creep-out centers on “a newly pregnant woman whose idyllic existence takes an alarming turn when she develops a compulsion to eat dangerous objects.” Sunday 10/20 (9:00pm) at The Broad Theater.

Hunting for Hedonia A Tilda Swinton-narrated documentary on the history of medical research in Deep Brain Stimulation. Both a testament to the practice’s benefits for neurological disorders and a nightmarish exploration of its implications in mind control, psychological abuse, and sexual debauchery. Only “horror” in the sense that it explores the uncomfortably thin, easily exploited border between our minds and modern tech. Saturday 10/19 (2:30pm) and Tuesday 10/22 (6:30pm) at The Broad Theater.

Horror Classics Screening Elsewhere

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – This bizarro tale of child-melting Halloween masks and ancient Stonehenge-worshipping cults was once the most hated entry in its franchise (as an experiment in releasing a Halloween film that opted to not feature Michael Myers) but has since been reclaimed beyond the point of being a cult classic. It’s just a classic now. Maybe the best film about Halloween as a holiday; certainly has the all-time best Halloween jingle. Screening in the midnight slot at The Prytania on Friday 10/18 and Saturday 10/19.

Alien (1979) – Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic, bolstered by the bottomless subliminal nightmare of H.R. Giger’s visual art, is still the all-time scariest movie ever set in outer space (and maybe even beyond). Screening to commeorate its 40th Anniversary on Sunday 10/13, Tuesday 10/15, and Wednesday 10/16 via Fathom Events.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) – The first Sleepaway Camp film stumbled into over-the-top melodrama, deep psychosexual discomfort, and Problematic-As-Fuck gender politics by attempting to spice up the first-wave slasher formula with some unexpected twists. This lesser-seen sequel is much more self-aware in its slasher-riffing intentions, functioning as a full-on parody of the genre in surprisingly fun & clever ways. Screening for free at the Frenchman Theater & Bar on Wednesday 10/23 (10:00pm, with a pre-party celebration beginning at 8:00).

House on Haunted Hill (1959) – Long before it trickled down into a nu-metal atrocity under the Dark Castle brand (thanks largely to its open-season copyright status in the public domain), this classic team-up between director William Castle and horror icon Vincent Price defined the haunted house horror flick for an entire generation of dweebs. No word yet on whether these showings will incorporate Castle’s innovative “Emergo” technology – in which a “skeleton” on a pulley system swooped over the audience to punctuate specific scares. Screening Sunday 10/20 (10:00am) and Wednesday 10/23 (10:00am) as part of The Prytania’s regular Classic Movies series.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week: 10/10/19 – 10/16/19

Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a couple horror classics to help fill out your Spooktober calendar.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Dolemite is My Name Eddie Murphy stars in a celebratory biopic about raunchy comedian Rudy Ray Moore, whose iconic Dolemite character helped define the blacksploitation era. A festival darling with co-writing credits from the writing team behind Tim Burton’s Ed Wood; catch it with a crowd on the big screen before it’s forever trapped in the Netflix abyss. Playing only at The Broad.

Gemini Man This Ang Lee-directed, Will Smith-starring sci-fi action epic about guns & clones looks like it could be a heap of big dumb fun (despite its early lackluster reviews). It’s almost guaranteed to bomb financially, but there’s a novelty to its obsession with filmmaking tech that I can’t help but be intrigued by – not least of all the fact that AMC Elmwood is one of the few cinemas in the nation screening it in its intended, absurd 120fps frame rate (essentially, motion smoothing on steroids). Playing wide.

Dial M for Murder (1954) – Alfred Hitchcock’s classic crime thriller was the first of his three collaborations with Grace Kelly (followed by Rear Window and To Catch a Thief in the following year). Originally shot in 3D but released only in 2D after that fad was quickly abandoned, the film has a striking visual playfulness to it that’s notable for even Hitch. Screening Sunday 10/13 and Wednesday 10/16 as part of the Prytania’s ongoing Classic Movies series.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Alien (1979) – Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic, bolstered by the bottomless subliminal nightmare of H.R. Giger’s visual art, is still the all-time scariest movie ever set in outer space (and maybe even beyond). Screening to commeorate its 40th Anniversary on Sunday 10/13, Tuesday 10/15, and Wednesday 10/16 via Fathom Events.

Child’s Play (1988) – Long before reports warned that the new Joker movie was going to incite violent acts from the incel “community” (angry online white men who’re likely to act violently no matter how many Scorsese movies the Crime Clown rips off at the cinema), there were protests claiming that this cult classic about a killer doll was going to incite violence in children. Instead, it inspired six sequels, a (surprisingly excellent) reboot, and an increasingly campy character we’ve all come to love despite his murderous ways. Maybe there’s hope for us yet. Screening in the midnight slot at The Prytania on Friday 10/11 and Saturday 10/12.

Hustlers Boomer highly recommends this surprise critical-hit thriller about a crew of strippers who embezzle money from the Wall Street bozos who frequent their club. Features an absolute stunner of a performance from Jennifer Lopez in particular, who just wants to know one thing from her audience: “Doesn’t money make you horny?” Of course it does. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet