Here’s a collection curated by the entertainment journalists at The Associated Press, covering what’s hitting TV, streaming services, and music and video game platforms this week.
– For some fresh Halloween scares, several well-reviewed thrillers are coming to Video on Demand on October 25th. First up is Pearl, Ti West’s technicolor horror prequel starring Mia Goth as a farm girl in a pandemic-stricken Texas town in 1918, whose dreams of becoming a movie star drives her a little insane. There are nods to everything from Singin’ in the Rain to The Wizard of Oz, but with a dark, murderous edge. Ahead of the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this fall, West said, “I just had this interest in doing a kids’ movie that had a crazier adult story.” Goth also helped write the screenplay, which ended up having a epic monologue done in almost a single shot.
Also coming to VOD on October 25th is “Barbarian”, the low-budget indie horror starring Justin Long that became a box office hit. In “Barbarian,” Georgina Campbell plays a woman who accidentally double-books with a stranger (“It’s” Bill Skarsgård) at a creepy Detroit-area Airbnb run by Long’s character, a television actor accused of sexual misconduct becomes. Writer-director Zach Cregger said he took the film, which has an unconventional structure that essentially resets halfway, to every studio that’s made a horror in the last 15 years, and everyone said no. To date it has grossed over $40 million on a $4 million production budget.
– Breakout country artist of the year Lainey Wilson’s fourth studio album is out Friday, October 28th and features 14 tracks, all but one cover of which she co-wrote. Singles from Bell Bottom Country include the sweet first love ditty “Watermelon Moonshine” and “Heart Like a Truck” with the lyrics: “I got a heart like a truck/It’s been drug through the mud/Runs on.” dreams and gasoline.” Wilson is the winner of the Academy of Country Music’s New Female Artist of the Year Award for 2021 and last year won her coveted Song of the Year Award for her hit single “Things a Man Oughta Know”.
— It’s time to celebrate Garbage. A new compilation called “Anthology” will be available on double transparent yellow vinyl and two CD editions as well as via major online streaming platforms from Friday October 28th. She will perform the hits “Stupid Girl”, “I Think I’m Paranoid”, “Why Do You Love Me” and “Only Happy When It Rains”. Among the 35 tracks is a rare recording entitled Witness to Your Love. Lead singer Shirley Manson teased the compilation, saying it was “a testament to nearly three decades of creative collaboration, our collective tenacity, and our chilling ability as a group to withstand regular ritual humiliation.”
— It may be a bit early, but there’s always time for a Louis Armstrong Christmas album. While Satchmo’s Christmas carols are standard Christmas fare, he never released a Christmas album in his lifetime. Now, Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule will be released digitally for the first time on Friday October 28th, followed by CD, red vinyl and a limited edition vinyl artwork on November 11th – his first official Christmas album ever. The 11 tracks include “Cool Yule”, “Christmas Night in Harlem” and the swinging “‘Zat You Santa Claus? 28 Oct
— “Till,” director Chinonye Chukwu’s fact-based account of Emmett Till’s mother’s quest for justice, was a powerful film made even more poignant by its score. Composed, orchestrated and conducted by Abel Korzeniowski, the work is out on Friday 28th October and has stirring strings, dark pulses and suspenseful sequences. Listen to “This Is My Boy” and try not to be moved. Korzeniowski says, “It’s a tribute to those who, against all odds and despite the world’s indifference to their need, continue to maintain their humanity.”
Get in the Halloween spirit with Netflix’s Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology the Oscar-winning filmmaker has produced with the aim of challenging “traditional” expectations of horror. The eight stories include “The Autopsy,” based on a short story by Michael Shea, starring F. Murray Abraham, Glynn Turman and Luke Roberts; the HP Lovecraft-based Dreams in the Witch House, starring Rupert Grint and Ismael Cruz Cordova; and Lot 36, one of two episodes based on an original story by del Toro and starring Tim Blake Nelson and Elpidia Carrillo. Episodes will be released in pairs every day Tuesday through Friday, October 25-28.
“Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes,” which debuts Tuesday, October 25 on PBS’ “Frontline” (see local listings), details the toll of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the challenges Russia is facing in its accountable for actions. The documentary is part of a collaboration between Frontline and The Associated Press that includes collecting, verifying and cataloging potential war crimes and co-publishing stories and videos from AP and Frontline’s war coverage. The joint initiative, which includes the War Crimes Watch Ukraine interactive experience, has documented more than 500 potential war crimes incidents since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February.
A gunman’s fatal attack on a place of worship, its causes and aftermath are explored in HBO’s “A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting,” which airs Wednesday, October 26 at 9 p.m. EDT. The film, directed by Trish Adlesic, goes deeper into the 11 lives lost in the October 2018 tragedy and the impact it has had on family members, survivors and the community at large. The attack is also seen in the context of increasing hate speech and actions. Michael Keaton, Billy Porter and Mark Cuban, the film’s prominent executive producers, hail from the Pittsburgh area. An original song, “A Tree of Life,” will be performed by Broadway and film star Idina Menzel.
— AP TV writer Lynn Elber
– The venerable Call of Duty series returns on Friday, October 28th for its annual round of gun-filled mayhem. This year’s Modern Warfare II Chapter comes from Activision’s Infinity Ward studio, widely regarded as the publisher’s finest storyteller for rock-solid single-player campaigns. Special Ops Task Force 141 is on the hunt again, this time battling a terrorist network and drug cartel who have teamed up to launch stolen missiles at the United States. As usual, there are plenty of options for multiplayer mayhem, from competitive battles royale to cooperative raids. The game is available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox X/S, Xbox One and PC.
– Bayonetta 3 brings the flamboyant, demon-hunting witch from Platinum Games – imagine a cross between Kim Kardashian and Tina Fey in full dominatrix gear – back to the Nintendo Switch on Friday 28th October. Longtime admirers might miss the original voice actress behind Bayonetta, who skipped this sequel over a salary dispute and called on her fans to boycott it. Still, fans of Platinum’s brand of campy, high-octane hack-and-slash action won’t be able to resist the siren’s call, especially as this sequel promises “a virtual coven of bayonets, one more fabulous than the last.”
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.