Movie theaters are entering their second week of serving mask-wearing, social distancing-abiding guests with limited-capacity and private screenings, from David Prior's supernatural horror The Empty Man to the classic Halloween kids' movie Hocus Pocus. While other local theaters are hanging back for now, they're continuing to put out great stuff to stream at home, like Tyler Taormina’s Ham on Rye, streaming through Grand Illusion, and the Northwest Film Forum's youth-focused film festival NFFTY. Plus, The Stranger's new horror film fest SLAY is coming to the On the Boards Drive-In, and The Witchescomes to HBO Max, starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Butler. For more options, check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area this week, or our calendar of on-demand moviesstreaming through local theaters, and our fall guide to online film festivals.
The Addams Family (1991)
Reunite with your favorite creepy, kooky, altogether spooky family as they defend their fortune, their ghostly mansion, and their gothic stoicism against a fraudulent man who claims to be their long-lost relative.
Vasa Park Resort(Friday)andWheel-In Port Townsend(through Sunday); also streaming on Netflix
The Best Movie About Teenage Girls Starting a Band
The actual title of this private screening at the Columbia City indie movie house won't be revealed until you're in your seat, but they guarantee it's "the best movie about teenage girls starting a band" ever made. We're putting our money on the '80s gem Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, but we can't be sure.
The Broken Hearts Gallery
Executive-produced by Selena Gomez, this movie follows a 20-something NYC gal who copes with heartbreak by serendipitously becoming the co-proprietor of a gallery for people to air their lovelorn grievances.
Pacific Place & Southcenter
The Empty Man
In David Prior's supernatural horror film based on Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R. Del Rey's graphic novel, a terrifying midwestern urban legend known as the Empty Man is assumed among the locals to be the culprit of a string of teen disappearances.
Pacific Place, Lincoln Square, and other theaters
Demi Moore gets horny with pottery and cries a single glycerine tear after Patrick Swayze is fatally stabbed or something. This is a 30th anniversary screening!
This beloved fantasy/comedy film features a trio of witches (played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker) who want to suck out children’s souls in order to be young and hot forever.
Admiral, Varsity, Burien Drive-In, Cinemark, and Skyline Drive-In; also streaming on Disney+
Determined to change his bank-robbing ways for his true love, Liam Neeson decides to turn himself in and pay his dues. But when he realizes that the Feds are just as corrupt as his cohort of criminals, he decides to fight back. Don't expect any Oscar-worthy performances, but do expect mindless fun.
Admiral, Pacific Place, Rodeo Drive-In, and other theaters
Rife with the eccentricities you'd expect from the director of The Future and You and Me and Everyone We Know, Miranda July's latest comedy stars Evan Rachel Wood as the youngest in a small family of grifters who parkours her way through Los Angeles avoiding security cameras and droning in a voice that hangs as low as her extremely long hair. The family's opposite is met in Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), an optician’s assistant who, through her endless optimism and comfort with displays of love, brings the family's insecurities to the foreground.
AMC Kent Station, AMC 10, & AMC Woodinville 12; also available on VOD
The Kid Detective
Adam Brody plays a former kid detective who's rescued from his burnt-out adult malaise when some teens enlist his help in solving a mystery. An alternate title to this dark comedy could be Spy Kids: Where are They Now? But... we're glad it's not. Especially since Adam Brody was never in Spy Kids. (Side note: If you're actually interested in where the Spy Kids are now, one of them is married to "All About That Bass" singer Meghan Trainor.)
AMC Kent Station & AMC Woodinville 12
Supposedly the last film in the X-Men franchise (and if Dark Phoenix is any indication, the end can't come soon enough), The New Mutants is a superhero/horror hybrid about five young mutants held captive in a scary facility. With Anya Taylor-Joy as a teleporting mutant, Maisie Williams as a werewolf, Charlie Heaton as a kid who can sort of fly, Blu Hunt as a mutant who can weave illusions, and Alice Braga as their doctor and mentor.
Admiral, Pacific Place, Varsity, and other theaters
Personal History of David Copperfield
We're hoping for some of that wry magic from director Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin, Veep), screenwriter Simon Blackwell (Veep, The Thick of It), and actors Dev Patel, Gwendoline Christie, Hugh Laurie, and Tilda Swinton in this adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, which is finally ready for the big screen after being postponed this past spring.
Lincoln Square, Varsity & Southcenter; also streaming on VOD
SLAY, the inaugural horror short film festival conjured from the same freak-genius minds that brought you the HUMP! and SPLIFF Film Festivals, will get the drive-in treatment at On the Boards. As if that wasn't exciting enough, each screening will include a costume contest hosted by none other than spooky drag legend Old Witch, so you'd better go all our with fangs, blood-splattered wigs, and feather boas large enough to hide baby bats. SLAY will also be livestreamed, and if you miss your chance to get tickets to the drive-in (or you just can't get enough scary movies!), you should absolutely get tickets for the online version! We got so many great submissions for SLAY that we'll be streaming two different volumes online (with a discount if you get tickets to both!). At the drive-in, we'll be screening a combination of our very favorite films from both volumes.
Stevie Nicks: 24 Karat Gold: The Concert
Recorded over two nights of her sold-out 24 Karat Gold tour, the former Fleetwood Mac frontwoman and noted good witch Stevie Nicks busts out hits, deep cuts, and mystical fits in this limited-release concert film.
AMC and Cinemark theaters
BFF paramedics (Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) uncover a dangerous psychedelic drug while attending to a series of gruesome accidents.
AMC & Cinemark theaters
In Christopher Nolan's action-packed thriller, John David Washington stars as a secret agent who manipulates time to try to save the world from World War III. It's got a complicated storyline that will have you "shush"-ing your theater-going companions and IMAX-worthy bangs and booms.
Admiral, Pacific Place, and other theaters
Broadway performer Eva Noblezada stars in Diane Paragas's new film as a Filipina teen torn between staying in small-town Texas with her close-knit family or pursuing her dream of becoming a country music singer.
Varsity & AMC 10
Cinemark Fright NightsLincoln Square/Cinemark (all weekend)
Scream & Scary MovieBlue Fox Drive-In Theater (through Monday)
War of the Worlds
Wheel-In (through Monday)
Citizens of the World
Three retired Romans decide to make the most of their small pensions by moving away from their expensive hometown and heading for the country. Gianni Di Gregorio's latest comedy looks damn delightful.
Coming Home Again
Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) brings us an intimate family drama based on a personal essay featured in The New Yorker in 1995 by award-winning Korean-American writer Chang-rae Lee, wherein he recalls a year he spent learning to cook the Korean dishes of his childhood before his mother died of stomach cancer.
Ham on Rye
After a John Hughes-like introduction into a fairly recognizable suburban teen scene—albeit soaked in more dreamy pastels and glittery lighting than your average suburb—Tyler Taormina’s debut looks like it slips into supernatural territory in the most thoughtful and non-shlocky way. With an ensemble of over 100 people (including non-actors, musicians, and '90s Nickelodeon child stars), it follows a prom-like ritual that gives way to "the decay of the human spirit," as press materials say. "The film's quiet eccentricity lends the economic implications of the students’ diverging paths an eerie air of muted anguish," writes Richard Brody for The New Yorker.
Little Shop of Horrors
Roger Corman's original pre-musical film, released in 1960 (featuring a small role from Jack Nicholson and presented on 16 mm), will come to your computer screen at this Facebook Live watch party with Skyway Outdoor Cinema.
Skyway Outdoor Cinema (online)
Pony World Theatre - Suffering, Inc.
See Pony World Theatre's 2016 production of Brendan Healy's Suffering, Inc., which uses lines of dialogue exclusively from the plays of Anton Chekhov to tell the story of an American office whose employees are experts in bankruptcy and regret.
Northwest Film Forum
Pr0n 4 Freakz
Saira Barbaric and Alistair Fyrn, founders of the porn production company ScumTrust, will continue their series of genderqueer/trans erotic films online to the delight of LGBTQ+ smut enthusiasts. "We seek to embrace the surreal sensuality in kink and BDSM while building collaborative structure to honor the multiply marginalized artists and workers at the center of this process," write the organizers. Each screening begins with a "social" and online market and wraps up with a discussion.
Northwest Film Forum
The sheepherders in this documentary (who drive massive herds deep into the Beartooth Mountains, searching for green pastures) are eerily placid. They seem to resent having to talk, even to each other about basic things—but not in an ornery way. They just seem to wish somebody would invent telepathy already so they wouldn't have to mess will all those pesky words. At least with each other. One of the film's most charming segments is an old sheepherder talking and singing to his horse, repeating the same phrases over and over again; one of its most dramatic segments is a young sheepherder flipping the fuck out on a mountainside: cursing the sheep, cursing the sheepdogs, cursing his worn-out knees, cursing the rocky soil and bad grass. It's a volcanic outburst in an otherwise slow—sometimes lusciously slow, sometimes achingly slow—film. BRENDAN KILEY
Northwest Film Forum
Virtual Moving History – Home Movie Day 2020
October Home Movie Month and National Archives Month gives MIPoPS the perfect opportunity to flex their archival video-procuring skills. They'll return with a compilation of local home movies from their library and from the staff's personal collections.
Northwest Film Forum
Bicycle Film Festival 2020
The longrunning Bicycle Film Festival Northwest will present an international selection of three short film programs. In addition to screenings, the online event includes panel discussions with titles like "Bicycle, a Tool for Social Change" and "Women in Cycling."
Engauge Experimental Film Festival 2020
This experimental film festival, which has moved online, will once again screen "films that originated on film" from artists around the world.
Friday Harbor Film Festival
The Friday Harbor Film Festival, founded by Lynn Danaher and Karen Palmer, is a good one, although you won't get to use it as an excuse to take a beautiful road trip since it'll move online this year. Expect lots of documentaries. If you're a student, you can watch a bunch of films for free.
French Cinema Now
This festival of French and Francophone cinema culture that's usually crammed (effectively) into a single week will get over three months of attention at SIFF. Nine of this year's feature films, presented on TV5MONDE, are directed by women, including emerging filmmakers like Manele Labidi, whose Arab Blues follows a woman who, after years of studying abroad in Paris, returns home to Tunis to pursue her dream of opening up her own psychotherapy practice.
The "young filmmaker's Cannes"—Charles Mudede called it "world-class"—the National Film Festival for Talented Youth assembles the best films made by directors under 25. See works by promising cineastes who will make you feel very old. We're already choked up over Bloom, about a victim of assault who learns to cope in her abstract world made of clay. There's also Athol Park, wherein a girl searches for her missing school teacher, and a new Chong the Nomad music video.
Seattle Queer Film Festival 2020
Local shorts, indie features, and national or international releases will stoke and satisfy your appetite for gay, lesbian, bi, trans, enby, and otherwise queer-focused films, which will be available to watch for 72 hours once you hit play. This year's online event is expanding its screenings to include not just Seattle but the rest of Washington, as well as Oregon and Idaho. The Stranger's Jasmyne Keimig lays out some recommendations here, including Monsoon, starring Crazy Rich Asians leading man Henry Golding.
From the freaks who brought you the HUMP! and SPLIFF Film Festivals comes something new, fun, and totally terrifying: SLAY! SLAY calls for filmmakers to send in homemade short horror films—eight minutes or less—capturing what scares them most. From classic ghost stories and slasher films to dystopian cults and political nightmares, SLAY dares you to show us your darkest fears. We know reality is scarier than fiction right now. Let’s purge our fears together. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
A woman's new weave takes on a life of its own and terrorizes all who cross its path in this Hulu original horror-comedy from Dear White People's Justin Simien. "This movie builds its fright night around the oppression Black women face in the form of discrimination against their natural hair. But despite the potentially heavy (or heavy-handed) material, Bad Hair is self-consciously and pleasingly campy, and it delivers a new cinematic monster: the sew-in weave," writes Teo Bugbee for the New York Times.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Sacha Baron Cohen is back as a Kazakhstanian reporter in the latest iteration of his mockumentary comedy film series Borat, this time tackling COVID, the presidential election, and a creepy, headline-making scene involving Rudy Giuliani and an underage girl. Watch at your own risk.
It's kind of strange that Todd Haynes—the director of Velvet Goldmine—has become a master of cinematic restraint, but Carol is perfectly attuned to the culture of mid-century repression it documents, and equally adept at showcasing the passions and prejudices that simmer below the surface. Carol and Therese are careful because they have to be, but their relationship is no less intense or profound for all its caution. Carol is set in the 1950s, which was not a great time for gay people getting to live the lives they actually deserved. That makes it all the more remarkable that the film, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt, doesn't punish its characters by dooming them to misery or early death, like most of the nonhetero narratives Hollywood offers up. If creativity thrives within limits, Carol makes a pretty good case that love can, too—although it certainly shouldn't have to.ALISON HALLETT
David Byrne’s American Utopia
Following his acclaimed PhatBoy Slim collab Here Lies Love, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's second Broadway musical will come to the small screen, directed by Spike Lee during a recording of its run at Broadway's Hudson Theater. With the help of 11 musicians and dancers from around the world, the artist imagines a dream world in which "human connection, self-evolution, and social justice are paramount." Gotta love it.
On the Rocks
Drawing from his own history of infidelity, Bill Murray susses out a fishy situation with his daughter's (Rashida Jones) seemingly perfect husband in this new Sofia Coppola comedy.
The Queen’s Gambit
The ultimate strategy game of competitive chess grounds both the plot and the life metaphors in this Netflix mini-series based on Walter Tevis’s popular 1983 novel. Anya Taylor-Joy (who starred in Emma., one of the first Hollywood films released online early on in the lockdown) plays Beth Harmon, a child chess prodigy who learned the game from the janitor at her orphanage in 1950s Kentucky.
Ben Wheatley's adaptation of Alfred Hitchock's Oscar-winning 1940 film (based on Daphne Du Maurier's classic 1938 novel) takes some modern-ish liberties with the story of a young, working-class orphan who meets and falls in love with the wealthy widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) and struggles to match the apparent perfection of her new husband's late wife, Rebecca.
The well-dressed and well-wigged witches (Anne Hathaway among them), cool grandma (Octavia Butler), and mice children from Roald Dahl’s classic story return in Robert Zemeckis’s fresh adaptation.
Looking for more ways to support local movie theaters? These on-demand streaming options through the Northwest Film Forum, SIFF, and elsewhere are available to watch anytime.