Desperate for money, a security guard takes a night-time job at an abandoned family pizza restaurant – what could possibly go wrong?
I mean, in the real world, not much – he’d probably spend the night dodging rats, fashioning origami swans from novelty napkins and staring at discarded menus trying to work out how many different anagrams he can make out of the word ‘meatfeast’ – but this being Halloween week, it’s murderous mascots ahoy in video-game adaptation Five Nights at Freddy’s.
There’s plenty more cinematic tricks and treats to enjoy in the run-up to the big night too – while Christmas comes early for David Fincher fans as the director teams up with Michael Fassbender in The Killer…
“Stick to the plan. Trust no-one. Anticipate, don’t improvise…” Michael Fassbender plays a relentlessly focussed hitman whose precision-engineered world begins to spiral out of control, in this eagerly-awaited thriller from director David Fincher.
The story – adapted from a cult series of French graphic novels – sees Fassbender’s nameless assassin caught up in an international manhunt after a Paris-based hit ends up a miss.
Boasting Fassbender’s first screen role in four years, a supporting turn from Tilda Swinton and a screenplay from Fincher’s Se7en scribe Andrew Kevin Walker, expectations were high for this one – and happily, reviews suggest it’s been worth the wait, with Empire calling it ‘a riveting revenge riot, with gobsmacking levels of film craft’.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson leads this big screen take on the hit video game set in an abandoned 80s diner which comes to terrifying life at night.
The plot sees desperate security guard Mike (Hutcherson) take a night-time gig at the long-defunct Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria in order to support his 10-year-old sister Abby (Piper Rubio).
As a friendly cop informs him, it’s an establishment with a somewhat chequered history connected to the disappearance of several local kids back in the 80s – and then there’s the small matter of the four animatronic mascots who don’t take kindly to anyone who hangs around after midnight…
Typist Artist Pirate King
Monica Dolan (Appropriate Adult) and Kelly Macdonald star in this tribute to an unsung British artist that’s been described as ‘a Sunderland Thelma and Louise’.
In one of the more creative variants on the ‘based on a true story’ template, the film shines a spotlight on real-life artist Audrey Amiss (Dolan) via a fictional road trip undertaken by Amiss and her long-suffering psychiatric nurse, Sandra (Kelly Macdonald).
Written and directed by the great Carol Morley (who painted a similarly compassionate portrait of another marginal figure in 2011’s Dreams of a Life), the story sees the incorrigible Amiss – a civil service typist whose art went unappreciated until after her death in 2013 – trick Sandra into driving her from London to Sunderland on a mission to reconnect with her sister Dorothy (Gina McKee).
Film at the Folk Hall are marking Black History Month with a screening of highly acclaimed true-life story Till, which follows a Black woman’s relentless pursuit of justice in the wake of the murder of her teenage son.
Directed by Chinonye Chukwu (whose previous, equally lauded film Clemency is currently available on the iPlayer), the film tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley (Danielle Deadwyler), who insisted that the world should be made aware of the horrific attack on her son Emmett, with images of his brutally maimed body causing the lynching to gain international notoriety.
Supported by funding from Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the screening will be preceded by a talk from York Racial Equality Network (YREN).
The film screens on Fri 27th at the Folk Hall, New Earswick, with tickets priced at £5; doors are at 6:30pm, followed by the talk at 7 and the film at 7:30. Advanced booking has now closed but tickets will also be available on the door.
Other new releases and previews
Eddie Izzard stars as Doctor Jekyll in a female take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic chiller – the latest production from resurrected British horror legends Hammer Studios, it’s showing daily at Vue this week.
Based on a short story about the perils of modern dating that went viral on its publication in 2017, thriller Cat Person (showing daily at Cineworld and Vue) arrives in cinemas off the back of reviews that have largely seen critics swiping left.
More promising is 20,000 Species of Bees (City Screen, daily), an acclaimed Spanish drama about an eight-year-old trans girl navigating gender identity and her place in the family during a summer holiday spent with her beekeeper grandma.
Women are front and centre in two documentaries showing at City Screen this week, as Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (Tues 31st) sees the clientele of an Estonian retreat talk candidly about their lives, bodies and dreams, while Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn (Weds 1st) follows young virtuoso British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason as she explores the overlooked music of the German composer’s less famous sister.
Meanwhile, the recent live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is this month’s Dementia-Friendly screening at City Screen on Mon 30th.
And if you fancy taking a leap into the unknown, Weds 1st sees Cineworld, City Screen and Vue play host to their latest Surprise Film screenings, in which you get the chance to see a preview of a mystery up-and-coming film.
My money’s on satirical sci-fi Fingernails or acclaimed British coming-of-ager How to Have Sex, both out next Friday – but you’ll have to wait until the lights go down to find out…
Half-term holiday round-up
With cinemas offering up plenty of family-friendly frights to go along with this Halloween half-term week, you won’t be short of options if you’re looking to entertain the kids after all the trick and treating excitement’s over (or if you’re wanting somewhere to hide out to avoid all those devilish door-knockers).
Cineworld have daily budget screenings of Hocus Pocus in their Movies For Juniors slot (tickets £2.50) – you can also catch standard priced screenings at Everyman (Fri 27th) and Vue (Sat 28th to Mon 30th) – while Vue’s Mini Mornings selection is animated Oscar Wilde tale The Canterville Ghost, showing daily from Sat 28th (£2.49).
Over at City Screen on Sat 28th, Mexico’s annual Day of the Dead carnival is the setting for 2014’s highly acclaimed animated adventure The Book of Life (£3.30), which follows a bullfighter’s journey into the afterlife.
Of course, it wouldn’t be half-term without an obscure European animation with a one-star Guardian review being presented for your viewing delectation, and this time that honour goes to How to Save the Immortal, a Russian animation about a Dracula type looking for someone to spend eternity with – while (a bit) more fun is promised in the antics of the cow-and-rabbit sleuthing duo in Agatha Christie-inspired Norwegian caper A Mystery on the Cattle Hill Express (both daily at Cineworld, standard price).
There are two Autism-Friendly screenings on offer this week, with Vue showing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem on Sun 29th (£2.49), followed by the live-action The Little Mermaid at City Screen on Mon 30th (£3.30).
Plus recent releases PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie and Trolls Band Together are still widely available to watch at Cineworld, Everyman and Vue.
Kiefer sleeps all day and Jack’s all work and no play: old favourites back on the big screen
Being immortal, you’re bound to end up on the wrong end of a fashion fad now and again, as evidenced by Kiefer Sutherland’s mullet-rocking bloodsucker in The Lost Boys, who must be eternally grateful for the whole can’t-see-yourself-in-the-mirror thing – head back to the 80s at Vue on Sat 28th and Tues 31st.
That ever-charming secluded getaway spot the Overlook Hotel is opening its doors again as The Shining returns to City Screen and Everyman on Tues 31st – room 237 is already occupied but you can take your pick of the rest…
More spooks and spectres abound as Beetlejuice returns to celebrate its 35th anniversary – showing at Cineworld (Sat 28th) and Everyman (Sun 29th, Tues 31st), the much-loved Michael Keaton comedy is the latest 80s film to announce a profoundly unnecessary latter-day sequel, due out next year.
Everyman’s cult Late Nights strand is getting into the spirit of things with a screening of perennial favourite The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fri 27th – while if you’re feeling particularly brave, Cineworld are offering two screenings of mystery Halloween classics on Tues 31st, to be revealed on the night.
Over at City Screen, they’re bringing back two classic British chillers from yesteryear to mark the season: released to great controversy in 1960 but now seen by many as a masterpiece, Peeping Tom features a serial killer who uses a portable camera to record his victims’ dying expressions – it’s showing on Fri 27th, Sat 28th, Tues 31st and Weds 1st.
Showing on Sun 29th, Dead of Night is a 1945 horror anthology from Ealing Studios, best known for the final story featuring Michael Redgrave and a creepy ventriloquist’s dummy.
And finally, we move away from the shocks and scares as City Screen’s season of Sight and Sound’s Top 10 films of all time arrives at the film which held the number one spot for decades until it was defenestrated by Vertigo in 2012 – Orson Welles’ 1941 classic Citizen Kane screens on Sun 29th.
See it, and you too will be able to nod knowingly the next time your film geek friends randomly drop the word ‘Rosebud’ into the conversation…