I’m not a big horror fan, but there’s a certain kind of horror movie that uses the genre’s tropes to tell a story — and isn’t necessarily all that scary — that I sometimes really love. The Witch is one. And the other week I got around to seeing A Quiet Place, which is another that definitely works for me.
One thing that makes the film work so well is how lean it is: it introduces its characters, then immediately lights a fuse and watches the events unfold. There’s no unnecessary background. And as soon as it’s done exploring every beat, the film drops the mic and leaves — a lesser take on this concept easily could have added another 20 minutes of meaningless action. But A Quiet Place instead lets you leave the theater while your mind’s still running with possibilities.
Spartan storytelling extends to pretty much every aspect of the movie thanks to its premise, which means minimal sounds and very little dialogue. That means some occasionally blunt moments (like a white board of exposition), but it also means the film often has to be pretty creative to get its ideas across. It makes the whole thing a lot of fun — and really tense — to watch.
Check out 13 trailers from this week below.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Lisbeth Salander is back. But much like Spider’s Web the novel — the first written by someone other than creator Stieg Larsson — the film too comes from new creators and stars, with Claire Foy taking over as Salander. Even though David Fincher isn’t behind this one, Spider’s Web still seems to be working off its source material to create a similarly cold and uncomfortable world. It comes out November 9th.
Blumhouse is reviving Halloween, and it actually looks like a lot of fun. The new movie has a seriously prepared and aggressive Jamie Lee Curtis ready to face off against Michael Myers. Given how many Halloweens there have already been, it’s hard to imagine this one will really put an end to their decades-long battle, but I like where it seems to be going. It comes out October 19th.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
I had all of zero expectations for the first Lego Movie, but it turned out to be a hilarious and surprisingly emotional adventure — and somehow the same was true for Lego Batman. Now the first trailer for the film’s sequel is here, and it seems to me that opening on an extended Fury Road parody is a pretty good sign. It comes out next February.
Here’s the first look at the first Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee. At the end of the day, this is still a Transformers movie, with lots of over-the-top action and explosions and destructions and stuff. But it’s taking a very different approach to get there, one that could be a little bit quieter and more intimate — at least at first, which is still not something I thought I would say about a Transformers film. Plus it stars Hailee Steinfeld, who was fantastic in The Edge of Seventeen. It comes out on Christmas.
Steve McQueen’s first film since 12 Years a Slave was co-written with Gillian Flynn and features a lot of Viola Davis, along with a lot of other fantastic actors. The film is about a group of women who seem to be looking for revenge after their husbands are killed during a heist. The movie looks gorgeous, tense, and — like McQueen’s other films — just generally great. It comes out November 16th.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
If you were getting tired of Spider-Man, this animated take on the character may well turn you back around. Using a gorgeous animation style, Into the Spider-Verse puts the focus on Miles Morales to tell a different story than the one we’ve seen over and over again. Plus, it was written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and looks hilarious. It comes out on Christmas.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
I know this is supposed to be a lot of fun, but part of me finds Wreck-It Ralph 2’s depiction of the internet to be really, really stressful. But maybe that’s the point, too. This whole thing looks like a journey through Disney’s corporate takeover of all entertainment properties in ways that should be very entertaining and maybe a bit dystopian. The sequel comes out November 21st.
The director of Call Me By Your Name is following up his huge success with a re-envisioning of the horror classic Suspiria. I don’t know the original movie at all, but I love everything that’s going on here — it looks and sounds like a classic horror movie (it shares the same cinematographer as Call Me By Your Name, while Thom Yorke handled the score). It comes out November 2nd.
Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry are reuniting a decade and a half after Eternal Sunshine for Kidding, a Showtime series that has Carrey playing a Mr. Rogers-like TV host in a very Gondry-esque world of papercraft and puppets. I suspect it’ll be worth checking out just to see what they can do with a TV series. It starts September 9th.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
After two successful entries in the How to Train Your Dragon series — and a ton of TV spinoffs — DreamWorks is bringing it back for a third movie. This one looks like it’s telling a pretty familiar story, but expectations ought to be high after the first two were so well received. This one comes out next year on March 1st.
Bad Times at the El Royale
Bad Times at the El Royale collects a bunch of big, pulpy characters, mixes them together, and then throws it all into what looks like a tense chaos. It comes from Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard and has a pretty great cast, too. The film comes out October 5th.
The Old Man & the Gun
David Lowery’s first film after a Ghost Story is this take on career bank robber Forrest Tucker, who spent his life in and out of prison. The film looks surprisingly charming — if you’re curious about the background, you can read this piece in The New Yorker. It comes out September 28th.
Let the Corpses Tan
One of my favorite trailers in a while is for this spaghetti-western style film about robbers holed up in a walled town. It looks and sounds like an old film in ways that are just really delightful. It comes out August 31st in limited release.