Wow, so, in comparison to most 2018 cinema months, October has been… honestly pretty darn good. Jumping through time periods from the 1960s to the wild West and back to the 1960s, whilst also touching on horror icons like Michael Myers, ghosts, witches and Marvel comic’s very own hulking terror, Venom, I’d say everything released in the month, if not perfect, have at least been heavily interesting and great for conversation. So here’s a brief recap of what seemingly made October 2018 so damn special… apart from the moon landing, of course.
#12 Venom (Kingdom of the Criminally Dull…)
A bland origin story polluted with cliché after cliché, feeling weirdly plucked from early 2000’s superhero film simplicities with a goofy central Tom Hardy performance that bizarrely works, especially when playing off an awesome iteration of Venom, despite the movie’s inconsistences in tone and narrative.
#11 American Animals (A CRUSADE!!)
An intriguingly and ambiguously told documentarian-styled true story with excellent acting and attention to detail that all makes for an enthralling watch, regardless of the film’s ambitious stylings and occasionally forcing narrative distractions and bloated pacing.
#10 Beautiful Boy (A CRUSADE!!)
A powerful insight into some of life’s most enduring subjects – family, love and addiction – with two standout performances from Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet for which never quite save the film from its inability to find focus and consequent repetitive nature.
#9 Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (A CRUSADE!!)
An excellently acted biopic, with standout performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill, that stumbles in execution of its narrative but ultimately delivers a satisfying emotional experience.
#8 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (A CRUSADE!!)
A philosophically engineered ode to Western cinema from the deep thinking Coen brothers, who’s narratively episodic approach delivers an engaging binge watch of genre explorations and queries on death whilst subsequently having the feature vary in quality from short to short.
#7 Halloween (A CRUSADE!!)
A chilling, white-knuckled return to form from a long dead franchise which may not be terribly consistent in characters and originality but does excel in the gravitas of certain moments with incredible writing behind the film’s two classic, leads, Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, fuelling the film’s raging fires.
#6 A Star Is Born (A CRUSADE!!)
A hard-hitting and occasionally effective drama that relies heavily on the charm of its two leads – Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga – resulting in an engaging but, simultaneously, unremarkable tale that still, at its most distilled form, gifts audiences with some tremendous musical power.
#5 Suspiria (A CRUSADE!!)
A disturbing and uncomfortable atmospheric watch, uncompromising in its chilling style brought about by the uniqueness of director, Luca Guadagnino, actors, Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, and score composer, Thom Yorke, painting a mural of intricate ideas and concepts, regardless of its escalation into a weakly explosive finale.
#4 Ghost Stories (A CRUSADE!!)
A campfire spookfest which evolves rapidly into a mind-bending tale incomprehensible on first viewing; a fascinating watch unlike many others that stumbles slightly in its lacklustre final few minutes.
#3 Bad Times at the El Royale (Lost Art)
An entertaining artistic venture on societal division from genre auteur, Drew Goddard, who’s personification of sin in a 1960’s society makes for a beautifully dark, twisted reflection of reality in such thrilling and soulful fashion.
#2 First Man (Lost Art)
An impeccably well-calculated technical masterpiece, nearly as impressive as rocket science itself, helmed expertly by Damien Chazelle who never skimps on the more intimate character study beating at this film’s heart.
#1 Leave No Trace (Lost Art)
An intimate and sentimental tale about family and the home with two flawless performances from Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie whilst director, Debra Granik, stages how enthralling and versitle cinema art can truly be.
- Bishop, B, 2018, First Man is one of the most intense space movies of all time, The Verge, Vox Media, viewed 16 October 2018, <https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/12/17848838/first-man-movie-review-ryan-gosling-damien-chazelle-neil-armstrong-tiff-2018>