February is here, and with it, come a flood of some of this year’s most nail-biting releases, from fiery action, to eerie sci-fi, to creeping horror. As 2018 has finally kicked off for good, let’s dig right in to this month’s biggest new movies.
Black Panther – February 16th
Anticipated for multiple reasons, Marvel’s next explosive hero finally makes his debut this month, carrying with him many potential avenues of greatness. Everything from the eye-poppingly awesome choreographed fight sequences, to the neck pains we’ll get from bumping to the hip hop-drenched soundtrack (Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Future, Run The Jewels, Vince Staples!), to the colorful and exotic locations previously unseen in live-action Marvel properties.
Black Panther sparks the flames of hype more than some previous Marvel properties, though, due to the inauguration of this fan-favorite hero in his own film as well as the seriously star-studded cast overshadowed only by Infinity War coming out in May. Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, etc. Some serious talent and skill from all ages and ethnicities can be seen here. This is going to be one literal blast of a movie.
Winchester – February 2nd
Even if you’re not an occult or paranormal nerd, Winchester will scratch a historical and realistic itch that many other modern horror films don’t. Much like the excellent 2013 film The Conjuring, movies that explore a paranormal anecdote from the distant past always make for bolder, more conceptually arresting films, and ones that can transcend the horror genre itself and become just as much of a period piece.
With acting powerhouse Helen Mirren as the titular Sarah Winchester, and uncovering the nastiest, juciest secrets of this age-old ghost story, the Spierig brothers will hopefully deliver on the promise of phantoms leading us through this gargantuan Winchester Mansion.
The 15:17 to Paris – February 9th
Here we have a setup that has never before been done in such a large scale, instantly making this film interesting: The story is centered around a 2015 terrorist attack in which a gunman carrying an AK-47 boarded a train headed to Paris with the potential of killing hundreds of people, but was stopped by three American friends who worked together to intercept him.
The twist here is that the three people who stopped the attacker and actually survived such terrifying circumstances are back and portraying themselves in the film. Not only does this open the doors for more self-portrayal in future films, but having a vivid recollection of the event would make the movie ever-so closer to that bone-chilling reality. Helmed by industry legend Clint Eastwood, this thriller couldn’t have more going for it.
Before We Vanish – February 2nd
Coming from the always-fascinating nation of Japan, Kiyoshi Kurosawa sits in the director seat of this contemporary sci-fi story, wherein aliens take control of the bodies of three humans in order to learn about us before blowing us to smithereens. The trailer has already shown us blinding brutality and violence, with The Daily Beast even calling it “the most fucked up sci-fi movie of the year”. That alone should be more of a reason to pick up this foreign potboiler.
Annihilation – February 23rd
Alex Garland, director of the sleek and introspective Ex Machina, is back with another sci-fi twist in the form of Annihilation, somewhat based off of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.
All we know about the film is that an expedition team has to explore a location known as Area X, where the film’s protagonist (played by Natalie Portman) seeks to follow her husband’s (played by Oscar Isaac) trail, and probably discover something disturbing and horrific. If Garland’s previous work is any indication, expect a slow-paced, heady, and off-kilter film with potential for nightmare fuel. If you’re ready for that, this one’s looking to be a yearly favorite.