- Film & TV
- 23 Jan 20
A full preview of some of the must-see movies hitting cinemas in 2020.
Gretel & Hansel
Our wildcard for the year is a film that hasn’t had much publicity, but with one of the most unsettling trailers we’ve seen in a long time, we’re all onboard. Oz Perkins, who has previously directed the horror films The Blackcoat’s Daughter and I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, is interpreting the German folklore story Hansel And Gretel, and shot much of the film in Ireland. The trailer looks absolutely terrifying, with arresting, unsettling imagery of a brother and sister (IT’s Sophia Lillis and Sam Leaky) who are kidnapped by a forest-dwelling witch (Star Trek’s Alice Krige). With a nerve-jangling score, atmospheric cinematography and the creepiest of villains, we’re looking forward to having a childhood fairytale turned into the stuff of nightmares.
Already described as a masterpiece, a magic trick and an urgent, sensational story of class, Bong Joon-Ho’s black comedy thriller Parasite won the Palme D’or and Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes. Parasite tells the story of a poor, unemployed family who scheme to become employed by a much wealthier family by forging qualifications and hiding their relationship to each other; but their invasion of a new, upwardly mobile life has tragic consequences. Bong Joon-Ho’s previous films, The Host, Okja and Snowpiercer have shown the director’s talent for dark comedy, social satire and thrilling action, and Parasite is destined to become one of 2020’s most deliciously unsettling films.
Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn
It’s safe to say both that the ensemble villain film Suicide Squad was a multi-faceted disappointment, and that Margot Robbie’s performance as the mischievous, damaged Harley Quinn was one of the film’s rare highlights. So we’re delighted that Harley – now split from the Joker – is now getting her own film, and her own squad. Harley has built her own team of female superheroes, including Black Canary, Huntress and a cop. Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rosie Perez all star alongside Robbie, uniting to save a young girl from the warlord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), who has it in for all of them. Trailers and footage show a film filled with explosive action, circus sets, burlesque numbers and Harley’s signature trouble-making charm. We can’t wait.
The Invisible Man
We’ll watch the compelling actress Elisabeth Moss in just about anything, and her upcoming psychological horror The Invisible Man looks fascinating, terrifying and very prescient. Directed by Leigh Whannell and very loosely adapted from the H.G. Wells novel, Moss plays Cecilia, the victim of a violent and abusive relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist. After his suicide, Cecilia should finally feel free – but a series of eerie coincidences, lethal accidents and unsettling incidents cause her to question her sanity and fear for her safety. With themes of abuse and gaslighting, this horror is set to not only be disturbing and terrifying, but an important conversation-starter featuring a powerhouse performance from Moss.
Promising Young Woman
It’s time for an unflinching feminist revenge film, and 2020 promises to deliver with Promising Young Woman. Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell’s debut feature film stars Carey Mulligan, a young woman who was once on the road to becoming a doctor. But after her future was derailed, her life has taken on a new meaning and mission: to catch, punish and expose sexual abusers. The trailer and marketing show Mulligan’s character pretending to be drunk on nights out, then coldly confronting the predatory men who try to take advantage of her – and a notebook full of allies imply both that rape culture is pervasive, and that she is taking no prisoners. This energetic, creative and fearless film is taking a cold, hard look at how we repeatedly fail survivors of sexual assault, and we cannot wait.
Already achieving festival hype and critical acclaim on international film circuits, Irish director Lorcan Finnegan is set to become a new critical darling with his sci-fi thriller Vivarium. Starring The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg, Green Room’s Imogen Poots and Irish actor Eanna Hardwicke, Vivarium sees a young couple trapped in a mysterious, labyrinthine, Kafka-esque suburban nightmare. All attempts to escape end in failure, culminating in the discovery of a baby with the instructions ‘raise the child and be released’. Reminiscent of the likes of Get Out and Black Mirror, Vivarium’s thrillingly provocative concept marks an exciting shift into sci-fi and social satire from an Irish director.
No Time To Die
Rarely has an actor seemed so disillusioned with a role than Daniel Craig is with James Bond, and so we’re happy that the talented actor is having his last hurrah as 007 – but, true to form, Craig still seems determined to put on one hell of a show. In the 25th Bond film, directed by Cary Juji Fukunaga, who directed Beasts Of No Nation and the first season of True Detective, Bond has retired to Jamaica. But his attempt at a quiet life is interrupted when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission is to rescue a kidnapped scientist. Old faces like Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes pop up as do new ones such as Rami Malek as the antagonist, whilst Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge came onboard late in prediction to amp up the writing. Look forward to Bond, James Bond, exploding into cinemas in April.
Now that Jordan Peele has been crowned the new king of horror, anything he turns his hand to will automatically have our attention. After revitalising The Twilight Zone, he’s also remaking Candyman through his Monkeypaw Productions. It’s set to be directed by Little Woods helmer Nia DaCosta and will be both a remake and a “spiritual sequel” starring The Get Down’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Chi-Raq’s Teyonah Parris and Misfits’ Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, with Tony Todd reprising his role as Daniel Robitaille/Candyman. Peele’s work has brilliantly addressed racism in America, and here, the titular character is the vengeful ghost of a black man who was the son of a slave, and lynched for an inter-racial love affair. The story will no doubt allow for plenty of social commentary as well as terrifying action.
Having already breathed breathtakingly beautiful life into one classic sci-fi property with Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve is remaking sci-fi classic Dune. Given his involvement – and that of his cinematographer Greig Fraser – we already know it’s going to be a supermodel of a film, but even more intriguingly, Villeneuve has amassed an incredible cast. Timothy Chalamet will lead, and he’s joined by the likes of Dave Bautista, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling and Jason Momoa in the epic fight for resources. It’s likely to be stunning to look at, and combined with Villeneuve’s emotionally intelligent approach to characterisation and subject matter, Dune promises to be a must-see.
Top Gun: Maverick
We admit, we already concerned about the upcoming sequel to 1986’s action drama Top Gun. There doesn’t seem to be any appearance of Kenny Loggins singing ‘Danger Zone’ in any of the trailers or marketing material, and frankly, without Loggins, what’s the point? The film, starring Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell and Ed Harris, returns to Tom Cruise’s Maverick, who has served in the Navy for 30 years, but risks becoming obsolete as the Navy continues to modernise amidst brutal wars. But when he finds himself training a group of Top Gun graduates for an unprecedented mission, Maverick is forced to confront the ghosts of his past – and the offspring, as he meets Rooster, the son of his old best friend Goose. Val Kilmer is set to make an appearance in the film, and with Tom Cruise constantly aiming to star in the most impressive action sequences in mainstream cinema, we’re sure it’s going to be one hell of a ride – and not just down memory lane.
And for some honourable mentions, we’re also incredibly excited about Emma, Black Widow, Soul, Onward, The Photograph, Wonder Woman 1984, The Quiet Place 2, Irresistible and Respect.
Pick up your copy of the Hot Press Hot For 2020 issue now to read more about the most exciting things coming up this year!
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