October movie guide
A guide to this month’s cinematic offerings
October is upon us, so prepare for a surge of big horror releases sure to tingle the spine and chill to the bone. Or not.
This spooky month is surprisingly light on the scares with only two major horror releases. The scariest thing about this month’s releases seems to be the fact that Tyler Perry is still allowed to make “Madea” movies. Anyway, on to the pictures.
“The Girl on the Train”
Director Tate Taylor tries his hand at another book adaptation, this time based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins.
“The Girl on the Train” tells the story of Rachel Watson, a divorcee who takes the train to work every day.
She spends her commute fantasizing about the relationship between her neighbors Scott and Megan Hipwell, but that fantasy is shattered when she witnesses something from the train window and Megan goes missing, presumably dead.
Emily Blunt, cast as Rachel, has had a busy couple of years becoming a go-to leading lady in films such as “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014), “The Huntsman: Winter War” (2016), and “Sicario” (2015).
The film adaptation of a popular novel by a female author, “The Girl on the Train” is perhaps shaping up to be this year’s “Gone Girl.”
“Voyage of Time”
With these first few weeks of fall also comes a documentary from director Terrence Malick, who has been working on this project to varying degrees since the ’70s.
The film is said to cover the creation of time, from the inception of the universe to its collapse. A lot of material for a 90-minute movie, or 40 minutes in the IMAX cut.
Depending on the version of the film you see, the narration will differ.
In the traditional 35mm film cut, Cate Blanchett will narrate while viewers seeing the film in IMAX will hear the voice of Brad Pitt, who has worked with Malick in the past on “The Tree of Life” (2011), which utilized production elements from “Voyage of Time.”
Ben Affleck takes a break from “Batman” to get back the type of movie that helped restore his reputation as a serious actor. This comes after his legendarily bad run in the early ’00s which coincidentally also saw him try his hand at the superhero genre with 2003’s “Daredevil.”
He stars as Christian Wolff, a math genius and book-cooker for various criminal enterprises. Bodies start to pile up as Wolff gets closer to the truth of a multi-million dollar discrepancy. Meanwhile, he’s ducking a Treasury agent played by J.K. Simmons (who is also playing opposite Affleck in the upcoming “Justice League” film as Commissioner James Gordon).
“The Accountant” is director Gavin O’Connor’s latest effort. Though not immediately recognizable by name, O’Connor has turned in some great work in the past – most notably “Warrior” in 2011, an exceptional sports drama with then-rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.
“Ouija: Origin of Evil”
Set 50 years before the original “Ouija” (2014), “Origin of Evil” tells the story of a mother and her daughters (Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson), who perform faux séances to make a living.
However, when the latest addition to their act, the titular Ouija board, accidentally allows the youngest daughter to be possessed by an evil spirit, the family must confront actual evil to save her.
Apparently these Ouija boards are dangerous. Good thing they sell them at your local Target.
The original “Ouija” was universally panned by critics, but it made an astonishing amount of money – $103.6 million from a $5 million budget – which is why we are getting this prequel.
“Origin” is directed and co-written by Mike Flanagan who has created two very well-received horror films in the past – “Oculus” (2013) and “Hush” (2016). The second of the two currently holds an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Boo! A Madea Halloween”
On October 21, Tyler Perry will unleash upon the world “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Perry will once again don his signature housedress and wig to play the famous character as she defends a group of teens against ghosts, ghouls, zombies, killers and good taste.
It is worth mentioning that this film originated as a joke in Chris Rock’s criminally underrated film “Top Five.” Perhaps that’s where it should have stayed.
“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”
Damn Tom Cruise, back at it again with the action movies nobody cares about. Or maybe they do?
The original “Jack Reacher” (based on the Lee Child novel One Shot) made over $200 million, nearly four times its budget when it was released in 2012, but I could not name a single person I know who saw that movie.
Perhaps it was the middle-aged men who devour the Jack Reach book series along with the complete works of Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler.
The film stars Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, who in the book series is a mountain of a man, standing at 6’5” with a 50” chest. Cruise himself stands at 5’7” and probably does some pushups sometimes.
Set four years after the original film, Reacher returns to his old military unit and finds himself accused of a murder, but is everything as it seems? Probably not. Otherwise it would be a pretty short movie.
“Keeping Up with the Joneses”
Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher star in this comedy as the Gaffneys, an average suburban couple living an average suburban life. That is until the Joneses move in next door, played by Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot.
The two have the potential to be the most beautiful couple on film. What’s more important is that the Joneses are also government agents and the Gaffneys find themselves entangled in an international espionage plot.
Greg Mottola, who has a pretty impeccable record bringing us films like “Superbad” (2007), “Adventureland” (2009) and “Paul” (2011), directed this film. Mottola has also worked on some of the funniest television of last decade, directing episodes of Judd Apatow’s “Undeclared” and Mitchell Hurwitz’s “Arrested Development.”
Ron Howard’s “Inferno,” is the director’s third adaptation of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books including “The Da Vinci Code” (2006) and “Angels & Demons” (2009).
Langdon (Tom Hanks) awakens in an Italian hospital and finds himself with no memory of his last couple days. He also finds himself the target of yet another manhunt he must evade with the help of symbologist Dr. Sienna Brooks played by Felicity Jones.
This film is probably not entirely necessary but Dan Brown, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are the holy trinity of breezy entertainment so “Inferno” will surely follow suit with the artists’ previous collaborations.
David Tunis-Garcia is the arts assistant editor and can be reached at