What’s not to love about October film releases? Autumn is here. Which means more reason to visit the cinema at this dreary time of year. And Halloween is upon us. Which means guts, gore and more. It’s also the month of Spectre! James Bond 24 is finally upon us, and that’s surely enough to get you howling like a pack of hungry werewolves. So onto the previews we go.

Sicario:

Off the back of drug dramas like Breaking Bad and Netflix hit Narcos, which enlightened modern audiences with a very inside track of what must go on within criminal organisations like drug cartels, Sicario aims to give its own interpretation of the war on drugs from a more lawful perspective. CIA agent Emily Blunt, one of many stars in this stellar cast, finds herself in too deep in her operation to take down an infamous drug lord, and confused about the morality of the very side for which she fights. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, who is also taking on the monumental responsibility of the Blade Runner reboot, and with industry legend Roger Deakins in charge of cinematography, Sicario looks like it’s lived up to the acclaim it recieved at Cannes when it was released in the UK last week (October 8). If you’re still yet to see it, get in there now before you’re forced to wait for its DVD release.

Crimson Peak:

In classic October fashion, Crimson Peak kicks off the Halloween gala of scary movies on October 16 when Mia Wasikowska tries to uncover the mysteries of a haunted house. She has been able to see ghosts all of her life and she finds out that the people closest to her might have been hiding the fact that there have been multiple gruesome murders in that very decrepit mansion. Desperate for answers, she digs further until her new husband forbids her from going to the lower floors of the house. What is he hiding? Why do these ghosts seem especially violent? What happened to them anyway? It’s a bloody, gory, but polished looking film. And it looks like Guillermo del Toro is back to his Pan’s Labyrinth mindset of freaking us all the hell out with weird and twisted monsters. Oh, and Stephen King said it’s terrifying. You know it’s scary when he says so.

The Last Witch Hunter:

It’s enough to know a film is going to be awesome when it stars Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine and Rose Leslie. Yes, in a confusing semi-fantastical world in which fairytale witches seek to destroy humanity on Earth, Vin Diesel teams up with the “you know nothing” actress in a showdown against a witch queen who has come back to end our world once and for all. The special effects look genuinely captivating, and Diesel is clearly emulating the time his Fast and Furious costar Dwayne Johnson portrayed Hercules, as he also tries to get away with an unhygienic amount of body hair. To coincide with Halloween fever, this fantasy adventure will swoosh to screens on October 21. It certainly sounds like a cheesy entry to his month’s horror set list, but early reviews suggest it has some genuine substance with its gawping sound and visuals.

Spectre:

In what could be Daniel Craig’s last appearance as James Bond, director Sam Mendes returns to tell the story of the double agent’s 24th outing as a suave antihero. This time, Bond has a run-in with a ghost from his past and attempts to deal with it in his own gun-fighting, car-chasing, smooth-talking way, in absence of the help, and authorisation, of his agency. Except of course for the man he does deem useful for obvious reasons – Q. Have you seen that new Aston Martin? Mmmm. Fiennes’s M, however, seems to be having a more difficult time containing his best agent, but with a more personal attachment to this mission than any other he’s had before; James is, well, a man on a mission. Also, when Christoph Waltz is your villain, you know you’re in trouble, so Bond has got to be extra careful if he’s to come out on top this time. To see how England’s top super spy manages it this year, make sure you don’t miss it when Spectre is released on October 26.

So that, I’m afraid, rounds it up. It’s been a fairly quiet month in comparison to the summer blockbuster season. Well, at least in terms of the number of must-see films. In terms of terrifying screams and bloody, fantastical murder scenes, I doubt it’ll actually be that quiet at all. Expect many loud and memorable scares as we head towards Halloween. And if you haven’t been bitten by a zombie, ripped into another dimension, or drained of your blood by a vampire, I’ll see you safely back here in November for our next batch of movie picks.

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