October Movie Preview

A few years ago, I’d have liked nothing more than to see theater marquees filled with horror movie posters for the duration of October, populating the screens with all manner of monsters and maniacs.

The disappointing reality of it was that the odds weren’t in favor of most of those movies actually being good, so I’ve adjusted my expectations accordingly and found new optimism in the exciting variety of selections to be found as fall begins.

While there’s a substantial amount of spooky stuff on the horizon for the coming weeks, October will also see the debut of some Oscar contenders and perhaps even a late blockbuster or two. Multiplex screens will be packed with several more releases than what I’ve compiled here.

But for the first time this year, I can honestly say I’m interested in seeing nearly everything that made the list.

Here are a few of the new movies that will be haunting Athens this month:

“Blade Runner 2049”

After nearly 20 years in development, this sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi noir classic “Blade Runner” finally became a reality while Scott and star Harrison Ford were still alive to have a hand in it. Though Scott handed the directing job to “Arrival” filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, Ford shows up to assist new leading man Ryan Gosling (“Drive”) in saving humanity from the android apocalypse.

“My Little Pony”

Once thought to be a relic of the ’80s, these adorable multicolored ponies experienced a surge in popularity thanks to Lauren Faust’s “Friendship Is Magic” television series, leading to their first feature film in over two decades. The movie was animated using traditional techniques to give it a retro look, and the voice cast includes Uzo Aduba and Emily Blunt.

“The Foreigner”

Jackie Chan departs from the usual comedic and family-based material American audiences have seen him do in this thriller based on Stephen Leather’s 1992 novel “The Chinaman.” Chan plays Quan, a London businessman who takes matters into his own hands after his daughter is killed in a terrorist attack. Directed by Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) and co-starring Pierce Brosnan.

“Happy Death Day”

The slasher genre officially joins time-loop films like “Groundhog Day” and “Edge of Tomorrow” with this high-concept horror about a woman (Jessica Rothe, “La La Land”) who is forced to relive the day she is murdered by a masked serial killer over and over again until she figures out who did it. Director Christopher B. Landon was responsible for three of the “Paranormal Activity” movies.


After playing Jackie Robinson in 2013’s “42” and James Brown in 2014’s “Get On Up,” actor Chadwick Boseman goes for his third historical portrayal in this biopic of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice of the United States. The film dramatizes the 1941 Connecticut v. Spell case that defined Marshall’s early career. Directed by Reginald Hudlin (“Boomerang”).


It’s hard to imagine why anyone would rush out to see a movie about “a storm of epic proportions” when the devastating impact of climate change is no longer a Hollywood special effect. But “Independence Day” producer Dean Devlin thinks we will. Gerard Butler (“300”) stars as an astronaut who must fix a broken climate-controlling satellite before the planet is destroyed by giant storms.

“The Snowman”

Hopefully no unsuspecting parents will mistake this friendly-titled crime thriller for a family picture and subject their children to this murder mystery from “Let the Right One In” director Thomas Alfredson. Based on the novel by Jo Nesbø, Michael Fassbender (“Alien: Covenant”) stars as detective Harry Hole opposite Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg and J.K. Simmons.

“Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween”

The 10th movie in Tyler Perry’s “Madea” series just happens to be the sequel to what is arguably his funniest, last year’s holiday hit, “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Once again playing the title character in addition to uptight dad Brian and Uncle Joe, Perry’s usual cohorts Hattie Mae (Patrice Lovely) and Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) join most of the returning “Boo!” cast for more hilarious tricks and treats.


After getting a new “Saw” movie every October from 2004 to 2010, the idea of the excessively gory torture franchise coming to an end seemed a little strange. Rather than go the popular “reboot” route, a new storyline based on “Jigsaw Killer,” John Kramer begins with a new series of murders that fit the puzzle-trap profile from the previous seven movies. Directed by the Spierig Brothers.


There’s a reason why this crime comedy looks like something by the Coen Brothers (“Fargo”) even though it’s directed by George Clooney: they originally wrote the script back in 1986 after their neo-noir classic “Blood Simple” came out. Set in 1959, Matt Damon (“The Martian”) stars as a suburban dad whose scheme is unraveled by an insurance investigator (Oscar Isaac). Julianne Moore co-stars.