Pack up your plastic skeletons, fake spider webs, and get over that Halloween candy hangover. October is over and as everyone gets ready to gorge themselves on unhealthy amounts of turkey, pumpkin pie, and sparkling cider, we here at Mass Hysteria have prepared an appetizer of eight movies we’re looking forward to in the month of November.
The Grinch Nov 9
Illumination’s new animated take on the story everyone knows and loves hits theaters in early November, and while remake-itis is certainly an apprehension, a fresh retelling and remaining of the character (complete with a new theme song by none other than Tyler the Creator) is not an unwelcome idea. The voice cast seems solid, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead and Rashida Jones and Kenan Thompson also set to have prominent roles. Illumination’s track record is mostly solid, but one thing to keep in mind was the somewhat less than enthusiastic response to their last Dr. Seuss based film, 2012’s The Lorax. Hopefully the studio has learned from their missteps and tightened the screws for their next release. Illumination’s writing and sense of humor is almost always on point, that’s not the concern. And if they’re able to capture the essence of the character and story while being able to bring enough fresh aspects to a story told twice before, the movie will most likely be a success.
Overlord Nov 9
Produced by J.J. Abrams and co-written by Mark L. Smith, Overlord tells the story of a group of American paratroopers who on the eve of D-Day, become stranded behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France while attempting to destroy a German radio tower. As they approach their target, they stumble across an underground lab where the Nazi’s have been running experiments and ultimately find themselves in a battle of life and death against an undead army. The film looks badass, and its premise instantly brings back memories of killing hordes Nazi zombies in Call of Duty. It looks to fill the void of quality zombie flicks that has become very apparent in the past couple of years. Hopefully Overlord is able to blend high-end gore, a classic WWII setting, and just a bit of campiness that zombie enthusiasts have come to love into a bloody hit.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Nov 16
The sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, Crimes of Grindelwald is again a prequel to the Harry Potter franchise. Taking place just a few months after its predecessor, the film will focus on infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and his plan to reveal the wizarding world to the non-magical community and raise pure-blood wizards over them. Written again by J.K. Rowling herself and directed by longtime series director David Yates, the film will continue the narrative teased at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts and tell stories that happened well before little old Harry ever got his letter from Hogwarts. While the first film in this prequel series told a very self-contained story while also expanding on the general lore of the Potter universe, Crimes of Grindelwald will be much more connected to the original film series. Featuring a young Albus Dumbledore played by Jude Law, and giving us a good look at what exactly him and his old pal Grindelwald were up to in their heyday. The film looks to expand even more on the Harry Potter universe and give fans another escape into the Wizarding World. Crimes of Grindelwald’s ability to juggle more returning and new characters, forge further connections to the films it’s set before, and tell a coherent story will go far to prove the Fantastic Beasts series’ viability moving forward.
At Eternity’s Gate Nov 16
At Eternity’s Gate follows legendary artist Vincent van Gogh as he spends his final years painting masterful works or art in France, surrounded by a community with a less than favorable opinion of his work. It stars Willem Dafoe as van Gogh and features a strong supporting cast including Oscar Isaac and Mads Mikkelsen, the film gets its plot from a mixture of van Gogh’s personally written letters, common agreements about events in his life during the time, and some completely fictional elements for good measure. Directed by Oscar winner Julian Schnabel, it received rave reviews upon its debut at the 56th annual New York Film Festival. At Eternity’s Gate looks to be a stripped down, bare, and raw drama about on of the most famous painters in history.
Ralph Breaks the Internet Nov 21
Following up 2012’s Wreck it Ralph, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet picks up shortly after the original. When Vanellope’s game needs a spare part, her and Ralph venture into the one place that has everything, the internet. The film’s goal in bringing the internet to life is intriguing and considering the hit that Wreck it Ralph was and how much time Disney seems to have taken in making the sequel, the film looks to be a fun and surefire hit. From the trailers it’s also apparent that the film will be packed full of easter eggs and references to other Disney properties, Stormtroopers and the whole roster of Disney princesses are just a few obvious ones revealed in the trailers.
Creed II Nov 21
The eighth movie in the Rocky franchise, Creed II finds Adonis Creed, current champ and son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed accepting a new challenge from Viktor Drago, the son of Russian boxer Ivan Drago who killed Adonis’ father in the ring during a 1985 match. The film sees Sylvester Stallone again returned as the legend Rocky Balboa who is now Adonis’ trainer. The original Creed breathed life back into the seemingly finished Rocky franchise, and brought enough fresh elements to the table while also doing justice to the films that came before. While Creed’s self-contained, small-scale story was one of it’s highlights, Creed II looks to jump back into the larger Rocky mythos. Hopefully it works and doesn’t rely on pure nostalgia and references to fill its runtime. One thing of note is that Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote and directed the first Creed, doesn’t appear anywhere in the film’s credits. Instead, Creed II is directed by Steven Caple Jr. (who actually went to film school with Coogler) and written by Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone. While that’s not exactly worrying, it will be interesting to see if the change in staff will alter any of the tonal or structural elements that Coogler established in his original film.
The Green Book Nov 21
Inspired by a true story, The Green Book tells the story of world-class black pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who recruits italian bouncer from the Bronx (Viggo Mortensen) as his driver and bodyguard for his tour in the deep south in 1962. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September and won its People’s Choice Award while also receiving rave reviews from critics who saw it. It’s co-written and directed by Peter Farrelly who is famous for writing and directing goofy comedies like the Dumb and Dumber and Me, Myself, and Irene. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Farrelly handles a more dramatic film, and well as seeing just how much of his comedic presence finds its way in. While we’ll have to wait until the 21st to be sure, it seems like film will almost certainly be a hit come its official release. And with Oscar season looming, it might not be too far of a stretch to start wondering if that’s on the table too.
The Favourite Nov 23
The Favorite is a period drama set in early 18th century England. Although they’re at war with France, an ailing Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne, racing ducks and eating pineapple while her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) runs the country. When new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) becomes close with the queen, Sarah takes her under her wing and Abigail hopes to return to her family’s past royal ways. The film is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos whose last film 2015’s The Lobster was received very well by critics. Its cast looks to be its strongest feature with Emma Stone looking totally in her element. Since its premiere at the New York Film Festival, it has been almost unanimously praised by critics. While its trailers don’t lend themselves to many plot points or story details, it does suggest a somewhat comedic tone along with beautiful period filming. The Favourite looks to be one of the standout movies releasing before the end of this year, and should also be considered for the Oscar shortlist.