This Week’s Movie Menu (15 – 21 April 2024)

It’s time to sink your teeth into a brand-new week of film releases, and there are some truly salivating options to choose from, including a terrifying new vampire caper, a subversive Biblical epic, the second part of a sci-fi opera, and – as Homer Simpson calls it – The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down

Movie of the Week

 

Abigail (2024, dirs. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett)

CAST: Alisha Weir, Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, William Catlett, Kevin Durand, Angus Cloud, Giancarlo Esposito, Matthew Goode

CREW: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (directors), Guy Busick and Stephen Shields (writers), Paul Neinstein, William Sherak, James Vanderbilt, Chad Villella and Tripp Vinson (producers), Brian Tyler (composer), Aaron Morton (cinematographer), Michael P. Shawver (editor)

PLOT: A group of kidnappers – including Joey (Barrera), Frank (Stevens), Sammy (Newton) and others – capture Abigail (Weir), the daughter of a powerful underworld figure, and hold her in an isolated mansion for a $50 million ransom. However, the kidnappers soon realise that Abigail is no ordinary girl: she is a fierce, blood-thirsty vampire, who has now set her sights on the people who have abducted her…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – collectively known as Radio Silence – take a break from the Scream franchise for a gory and imaginative new vampire horror
  • The film is said to be a modern update of the Universal Classic Monsters film Dracula’s Daughter, which suggests more than one vampire in the mix of this self-contained narrative
  • Among the ensemble cast, which includes the director’s Scream lead Melissa Barrera, there are standout turns by young Matilda star Alisha Weir and the late Euphoria favourite Angus Cloud
  • There are some shocking displays of violence and dark comedy, which draw the film further in line with the directors’ previous acclaimed horror hit Ready or Not
  • It could bring about a whole new creative era for vampire movies, provided that the film is as glorious as the trailer makes it seem

Abigail is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

The Book of Clarence (2024, dir. Jeymes Samuel)

CAST: LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, Anna Diop, RJ Cyler, David Oyelowo, Micheal Ward, Alfre Woodard, Teyana Taylor, Caleb McLaughlin, Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Babs Olusanmokun, Nicholas Pinnock, Chase Dillon, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor

CREW: Jeymes Samuel (director, writer, producer), Shawn Carter, James Lassiter and Tendo Nagenda (producers), Rob Hardy (cinematographer), Tom Eagles (editor)

PLOT: In 33 AD Jerusalem, Clarence (Stanfield) is a down-on-his-luck hustler who cannot compete with his twin brother Thomas (also Stanfield), who happens to be one of Jesus Christ’s (Olusanmokun) twelve disciples. In order to pay back a debt owed to local criminal Jedediah the Terrible (Kofi-Abrefa), Clarence decides to capitalise on the wave of interest in Jesus by declaring himself a new Messiah, but soon finds himself on the receiving end of the Roman army whose job is to round up and punish so-called prophets…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • BAFTA-winning filmmaker Jeymes Samuel follows up his cool-as-hell Western flick The Harder They Fall with a bold new take on the Biblical story of Jesus Christ
  • LaKeith Stanfield, a highlight of Samuel’s previous film, plays a would-be Messiah as well as his twin brother Thomas, one of twelve disciples to the real deal
  • The Oscar-nominated actor leads an impressive cast that also includes Omar Sy, Anna Diop, David Oyelowo, BAFTA-winner Micheal Ward, James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Samuel also brings plenty of his usual style and charisma to every frame, establishing him as an exciting new visionary in the world of cinema
  • Its premise is certain to ruffle some feathers among the conservative religious crowd, but the film is less a mocking parody and more of a genuinely compelling tale of faith and divinity, which we desperately need to hear right now

The Book of Clarence is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2024, dir. Rachel Lambert)

CAST: Daisy Ridley, Dave Merheje, Parvesh Cheena, Marcia DeBonis, Meg Stalter, Brittany O’Grady, Bree Elrod, Lauren Beveridge, Ayanna Berkshire, Sean Tarjyoto, Jeb Berrier, Rich Hinz, June Eisler, Treasure Lunan

CREW: Rachel Lambert (director), Kevin Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz and Katy Wright-Mead (writers), Brett Beveridge, Lauren Beveridge, Brittany O’Grady, Dori A. Rath, Daisy Ridley and Alex Saks (producers), Dabney Morris (composer), Dustin Lane (cinematographer), Ryan Kendrick (editor)

PLOT: Fran (Ridley) is an isolated young woman who regularly daydreams about her own death during her job as an office worker. She soon strikes up an intimate friendship with new co-worker Robert (Merheje), but her withdrawn personality threatens to stand in the way of her own sense of happiness…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Prepare to see a whole different side to Daisy Ridley in this dark comedy about the mundanity of life and loneliness
  • The Star Wars actor puts in an impressive lead performance as a young woman with more than just melancholy on her mind
  • The dreary landscape of the Oregon coast provides a suitably miserable tone for director Rachel Lambert’s film, which first gained attention during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival
  • Some surreal sequences allow us inside the troubled mind of our protagonist, which open up some haunting yet vital conversations about mental health
  • At its centre is a sweet romance that could hopefully provide a bright spot in a somewhat bleak narrative

Sometimes I Think About Dying is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

Jeanne du Barry (2023, dir. Maïwenn)

CAST: Maïwenn, Johnny Depp, Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, India Hair, Suzanne de Baecque, Capucine Valmary, Diego Le Fur, Pauline Pollmann, Micha Lescot, Noémie Lvovsky, Marianne Basler, Erika Sainte, Laura Le Velly, Robin Renucci, Patrick d’Assumçao, Ibrahim Yaffa, Djibril Djimo, Teddy Lussi-Modeste, Éric Denize, Raphaël Quenard, Grégoire Oestermann, Coralie Russier, Aurélie Vérillon, Luna Carpiaux, Marie Bokillon, Stanislas Stanic

CREW: Maïwenn (director, writer), Nicolas Livecchi and Teddy Lussi-Modeste (writers), Pascal Caucheteux, Konstantin Elkin and Grégoire Sorlat (producers), Stephen Warbeck (composer), Laurent Dailland (cinematographer), Laure Gardette (editor)

PLOT: In 1768 France, young working-class woman Jeanne Vaubernier (Maïwenn) uses her charm and intellect to work her way up the social ladder, and eventually to the court of King Louis XV (Depp) in Versailles. The King is instantly taken toward Jeanne, who becomes his favourite courtesan, and he finds his appetite for life reignited by his love for her, but a scandal erupts when their romance shocks the country…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The controversial romance between the King of France and a seductive commoner is all the range in this fanciful historical drama
  • Actor and filmmaker Maïwenn both directs and co-writes the film, in addition to taking on the title role opposite Johnny Depp as King Louis XV
  • Depp, in his first major role since the conclusion of his headline-grabbing legal cases, performs his role entirely in French for the first time
  • The film opened last year’s Cannes Film Festival to a mixed response, though critics were quick to compliment the chemistry between Depp and Maïwenn
  • Its fanciful filmmaking compliments the overall powerful focus on a largely unexplored historical figure in French history

Jeanne du Barry is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

Swede Caroline (2024, dirs. Finn Bruce and Brook Driver)

CAST: Jo Hartley, Aisling Bea, Ray Fearon, Richard Lumsden, Celyn Jones, Alice Lowe, Fay Ripley, Neil Edmond, Ash Tandon, Linda Hargreaves, Wendy Albiston, Jeff Bennett, Steve Brody

CREW: Brook Driver (director, writer), Finn Bruce (director, producer), Anthony Toma (producer), Dan Baboulene (composer), Joseph Guy (cinematographer), Ash White (editor)

PLOT: Caroline (Hartley) is a competitive giant vegetable grower who, like many other equally ambitious farmers, is preparing for an upcoming competition. However, when her prized marrow plants are mysteriously stolen, Caroline embarks on a journey for the truth…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The overly competitive world of giant vegetable growers is an endless source of laughs in this hilarious mockumentary
  • Jo Hartley leads a formidable ensemble cast that also includes Aisling Bea, Richard Lumsden and Alice Lowe
  • A truly unpredictable mystery is crafted by writer Brook Driver, who also co-directs with Finn Bruce in their collective debut as filmmakers
  • Some shocking mishaps unfold throughout the free-wheeling narrative that you simply won’t believe!
  • It takes the documentary format of storytelling to absurd new heights as the central figures dig further to the root of the situation

Swede Caroline is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

Fantastic Machine (2023, dirs. Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck)

CAST: Maximilien Van Aertryck

CREW: Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck (directors, writers, producers), Mikel Cee Karlsson (editor)

PLOT: Filmmakers Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck take the viewer on a fascinating and often shocking look at the history of humanity’s obsession with the image of the camera, and the social consequences that come from it…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This insightful documentary is all about the amazing and not-so-amazing things that cameras have been able to bring to society since its creation
  • It begins with the early days of the camera, and goes right up to its incessant use in our everyday lives, whether it’s for personal use or to document historic events
  • Some of the lengths that a number of people go to for the sake of a photo or video are truly astonishing, and not always in the best way!
  • With Oscar-nominated Triangle of Sadness director Ruben Östlund on-board as an executive producer, you can expect plenty of satirical edge in the documentary’s exposé
  • In addition to laughing at the absurdity with our image obsession, there are also some sobering warnings about the real dangers that could be in store if we’re not careful with our cameras

Fantastic Machine is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

All You Need Is Death (2024, dir. Paul Duane)

CAST: Simone Collins, Charlie Maher, Olwen Fouéré, Barry McKiernan, Nigel O’Neill, Catherine Siggins, Sarah Burns, Barry Gleeson, David McDermott, Vinny Murphy, John Murry, Benedict Stewardson, Gary Whelan

CREW: Paul Duane (director, writer, producer), Ian Lynch (composer), Conor Rotherham (cinematographer), Eoin McDonagh (editor)

PLOT: Anna (Collins) and Aleks (Maher) are a young couple working for a mysterious and secret organisation that sends them travelling across the country to discover and record rare folk ballads. When they come across Rita (Fouéré), an elderly woman who sings ancient songs from a dark and troubled past, their attempted translation of her ballad opens up a world of madness and evil…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • You may just never hear a folk song the same way again, if the makers of this terrifying horror have their way
  • Writer-director Paul Duane creates a chilling atmosphere as the mysterious melody seeps its way into the minds of the main characters
  • Simone Collins and Charlie Maher deliver a pair of disturbed turns, while Olwen Fouéré radiates tension in a significant supporting role
  • It calls to mind the deeply unsettling nature behind certain traditional songs, whose true meanings have been lost for centuries (and possibly longer)
  • Said to contain a number of set-pieces that could rival some of the much more prominent horrors out there, this is one that you can expect to carry a tune and a whole lot more

All You Need Is Death is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

If Only I Could Hibernate (2023, dir. Zoljargal Purevdash)

CAST: Battsooj Uurtsaikh, Nominjiguur Tsend, Tuguldur Batsaikhan, Ganchimeg Sandagdordorj

CREW: Zoljargal Purevdash (director, writer, producer), Frédéric Corvez and Maéva Savinien (producers), Johanni Curtet (composer), Davaanyam Delgerjargal (cinematographer), Alexandra Strauss (editor)

PLOT: In the Mongolian city of Ulaanbaatar, impoverished teenager Ulzii (Uurtsaikh) is determined to win a local physics competition and get a scholarship. When his mother (Sadagdordorj) is forced to leave him and his younger siblings in the middle of winter to take a job in the countryside, Ulzii must keep his family warm while preparing for the competition…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Witness life in the middle of a Mongolian winter during this tender coming-of-age drama
  • It is the feature debut of award-winning filmmaker Zoljargal Purevdash
  • The film was nominated for the Un Certain Regard prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival
  • At once a tender family drama and the story of a young prodigy, it sets the stage for some emotional scenes later on
  • Though the temperatures may be freezing, it has enough heart to give plenty of warmth

If Only I Could Hibernate is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

 

Butterfly Tale (2023, dir. Sophie Roy)

CAST: Mena Massoud, Tatiana Maslany, Lucinda Davis, Richard M. Dumont, Edda Fischer, Eleanor Noble, Val Mervis, Stephanie Breton, Tristan D. Lalla, Daniel Brochu, Wyatt Bowen

CREW: Sophie Roy (director), Heidi Foss and Lienne Sawatsky (writers), Marie-Claude Beauchamp and Emely Christians (producers), Martin Roy (composer), Johann Bel (editor)

PLOT: Patrick (Massoud) is a big-dreaming yet inept young butterfly whose undersized wing leaves him unable to fly with the rest of his swarm. Undeterred, he enlists the help of his caterpillar friend Marty (Davis) and rebellious butterfly Jennifer (Maslany) to create a milkweed carriage for him, thrusting the three unlikely travellers on an epic adventure…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This charming animated feature provides plenty of goodwill and fun for families everywhere
  • Emmy-winning actor Tatiana Maslany lends her voice to the film, as does Mena Massoud of Disney’s recent live-action remake of Aladdin
  • It is a Canadian-German co-production, with the animation provided by studios in both Montreal and Hamburg
  • Canadian music superstars Shawn Mendes and Johnny Orlando contribute some hummable songs to the film’s soundtrack
  • Young kids will love the bright colours and silly slapstick, while parents can appreciate the meaningful messages that their children should be susceptible to

Butterfly Tale is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver (2024, dir. Zack Snyder)

CAST: Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Ed Skrein, Michiel Huisman, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Staz Nair, Fra Fee, E. Duffy, Anthony Hopkins, Stuart Martin, Cary Elwes, Rhian Rees, Charlotte Maggi

CREW: Zack Snyder (director, writer, producer, cinematographer), Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad (writers), Eric Newman and Deborah Snyder (producers), Dody Dorn (editor)

PLOT: Having recruited a band of noble warriors from across the galaxy, Kora (Boutella) brings them to her secluded farm community on the planet Veldt, where they must train the unprepared locals for an upcoming attack by forces from the authoritative Motherworld…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The second part of Zack Snyder’s epic space opera reaches its action-packed conclusion
  • After the much slower paced first half, this one contains a lot more action, which should wake up those who fell asleep during Part One: A Child of Fire
  • Sofia Boutella once again leads an ensemble cast that includes Djimon Hounsou, Ed Skrein, Ray Fisher and the voice of Anthony Hopkins
  • Snyder’s signature vision engulfs the action, which is inspired from a failed Star Wars pitch that the filmmaker once put forward
  • With wide-reaching action and suspense, this could be a sci-fi second half to rival even Dune: Part Two!

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 19 April 2024

 

Black Flies (2024, dir. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire)

CAST: Tye Sheridan, Sean Penn, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Raquel Nave, Kali Reis, Michael Pitt, Katherine Waterston, Mike Tyson

CREW: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire (director), Ben Mac Brown and Ryan King (writers), Eric Gold, Warren Goz, Christopher Kopp, John Ira Palmer, Tye Sheridan, Lucan Toh, Tina Wang and John Wildermuth (producers), Nicolas Becker and Quentin Sirjacq (composers), David Ungaro (cinematographer), Saar Klein and Katie Mcquerrey (editors)

PLOT: Ollie Cross (Sheridan), a young New York paramedic, is assigned to a night shift where he rides in an ambulance with grizzled but respected veteran Rutkovsky (Penn). As they race across the city responding to urgent 911 calls, the two of them face countless ethical challenges that end up changing both men forever…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The chaotic life of NYC paramedics is on full display in this heart-palpitating thriller from acclaimed director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
  • Two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn and Ready Player One star Tye Sheridan make for an uneasy duo who make some truly difficult calls throughout the film
  • Look out for some scene-stealing performances from Michael Pitt, Katherine Waterston and even Mike Tyson
  • The film competed for the Palme D’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where critics drew numerous parallels to the likes of Training Day and Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead
  • You’ll have a whole new amount of respect for paramedics who have to face an endless number of life-altering situations on a daily basis

Black Flies is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 19 April 2024

 

On Fire (2023, dirs. Peter Facinelli and Nick Lyon)

CAST: Peter Facinelli, Fiona Dourif, Asher Angel, Lance Henriksen, Glenn Morshower, Ashlei Foushee, Dana Wing Lau, Laurie Coker, Cole Springer, Aaron J Rome

CREW: Nick Lyon (director, writer, producer), Peter Facinelli (director, producer), Ron Peer (writer), Beth Bruce, Matthew Joynes, Suzanne Weinert and Peter Winther (producers), Sacha Chaban (composer), Philip Roy (cinematographer), Robin Gonsalves and Don Money (editors)

PLOT: When a wildfire suddenly breaks out across their California town, contractor Dave (Facinelli) and his family are forced to flee from their home and survive the perilous dangers that the fire is creating for them and the rest of the area…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The heat is turned up well beyond its limits in this fiery natural disaster film that sets the action during a giant wildfire
  • Lead actor Peter Facinelli, a veteran of the Twilight films, is also credited as co-director with Nick Lyon, who also wrote the script
  • During the final days of filming, original director Lyon tested positive for COVID-19, and Facinelli was selected to finish the film in his stead, hence the dual directing credits
  • It is loosely inspired by true events, with a powerful tale of faith and family driving the central plot, even as the destructive fire rages in the background at all times
  • There is plenty of devastating human drama as well as some incredibly tense set-pieces to drive home the environmental message at its core

On Fire is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 15 April 2024

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

Speed (1994, dir. Jan de Bont)

CAST: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, Jeff Daniels, Alan Ruck, Glenn Plummer, Beth Grant, Hawthorne James, Carlos Carrasco, David Kriegel, Natsuko Ohama, Daniel Villarreal, Margaret Medina, Jordan Lund

CREW: Jan de Bont (director), Graham Yost (writer), Mark Gordon (producer), Mark Mancina (composer), Andrzej Bartkowiak (cinematographer), John Wright (editor)

PLOT: Jack Traven (Reeves), a Los Angeles bomb disposal officer, receives a call from extortionist bomber Howard Payne (Hopper), who informs him that he has rigged a public bus to explode if it falls below 50 miles per hour. Racing against time, Jack enlists the help of bus passenger Annie Porter (Bullock) to get the other passengers to safety without slowing the bus down…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The early 90s action classic celebrates its 30th anniversary with a fast-paced return to cinemas
  • It marked the directorial debut of Jan de Bont, then best known as the cinematographer of films like Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October and Basic Instinct
  • Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock make for compelling everyday heroes opposite Dennis Hopper’s sneering villain, and the film’s success catapulted both of them towards A-list status
  • Upon its original release, it grossed several times its $30 million budget, won critical acclaim by many who called it one of the best action movies of that decade, and it even won two Oscars for its sound design
  • It set the benchmark high for 90s action movies – perhaps a bit too high, as not even de Bont could replicate its success with the infamously underwhelming sequel Speed 2: Cruise Control!

Speed is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 April 2024

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

Sting (2024, dir. Kiah Roache-Turner)

A mysterious little spider soon grows to terrifying sizes…

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024, dir. George Miller)

A young Furiosa attempts to make her way home in a post-apocalyptic wasteland…

The Garfield Movie (2024, dir. Mark Dindal)

The lazy cat Garfield comes face-to-face with his long-lost father…

The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024, dir. Renny Harlin)

A couple find themselves tormented by masked intruders…

IF (2024, dir. John Krasinski)

A young girl develops the ability to see people’s imaginary friends…

Hoard (2024, dir. Luna Carmoon)

A troubled teen begins a dysfunctional relationship with an older man…

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024, dir. Wes Ball)

Many years after the reign of Caesar, an ape-ruled kingdom comes under threat…

The Fall Guy (2024, dir. David Leitch)

A Hollywood stuntman winds up on an epic misadventure during his latest gig…

Tarot (2024, dirs. Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg)

A group of teenagers find themselves haunted after messing with spiritual tarot cards…

The Idea of You (2024, dir. Michael Showalter)

A 40-year-old single mother begins a relationship with a much younger pop star…

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