As the weather drops on the streets you’ll find no respite from the cold inside Tokyo’s cinemas as the abundance of horror and spine-tinglers on offer sends chills up the spine.
By Christopher O’Keeffe
Take a tour of a haunted English mansion, a Japanese “ghost theater” and an isolated US religious commune as the Halloween hangover continues throughout the month. It only gets colder with big action offering Everest providing nothing in the way of shelter up its glacial peaks. Best wrap up warm this November.
Everest – Out November 6
Survival spectacle “Everest” utilizes its 3D format and all-star cast to the fullest in order to tell the true-life tale of the infamous 1996 mountain disaster. Jason Clarke (“Terminator Genisys,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) stars as Adventure Consultant’s co-founder Rob Hall, the man responsible for leading a group of amateur climbers to the summit of the world’s tallest peak. Making the climb with a separate team is Jake Gyllenhaal’s Scott Fischer of rival commercial expedition agency Mountain Madness. Climbing to the summit of the mountain’s 8,848 meters was never going to be an easy task but after a series of minor setbacks, things go from bad to worse when a major blizzard descends on the climbers, leaving them trapped in a fight for survival against impossible odds. Joining the pair on the doomed mission are Josh Brolin and Sam Worthington, while Robin Wright and Keira Knightly play the loved ones left behind. Intended for IMAX 3D release, the breathtaking scenery and stunning action sequences of this dizzying journey demand a big-screen viewing.
Woman in Gold – Out November 27
Screen legend Helen Mirren stars as Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish refugee who fled her home country of Austria to take residence in the United States during the opening days of World War II. Recalling the time when Nazis would loot and pillage from Jewish homes, Altmann resolves to recover a stolen painting of her aunt. After she enlists the service of inexperienced lawyer Randal Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), the pair embark on a battle that will take them all the way to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Based on a true story, “Woman in Gold” co-stars Katie Holmes, Daniel Brühl and Charles Dance and is directed by “My Week With Marilyn’s” Simon Curtis.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2 – Out November 20
After four years and an equal number of films, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” brings the hugely successful franchise to an end. “The Hunger Games” drama revolved around a dystopian future society where children are chosen each year to fight in a televised death match. Having survived two such tournaments, heroic young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) was last seen growing into her role as figurehead of a revolution aiming to thwart the evil leaders of the Capitol. Other returnees include veterans Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland and a final screen appearance for the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman. After a downbeat, action-light Part 1 let’s hope this finale can finish the series in style.
Ghost Theater – Out November 21
Director Hideo Nakata’s name will forever be synonymous with the late nineties/early noughties J-horror boom thanks to global-smash “Ringu.” The director scored further success in the genre with sequel “Ring 2” and “Dark Water” and he’s back on familiar ground with his latest release, “Ghost Theater.” A remake of his own early feature, “Don’t Look Up” (aka “Ghost Actress”) the film stars AKB 48 member Haruka Shimazaki as a young actress with a small part in a theater production. She receives her big break after two lead actresses suffer encounters with a murderous mannequin, but can the starlet survive until opening night? Sadly Nakata’s last film in the same genre, “The Complex,” was a major disappointment; Ghost Theater will prove if the famed director can still deliver a good scare.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – Out November 14
With the latest entry into the “Mission: Impossible” franchise proving the series still has considerable box office clout, another throwback from the world of 1960s television is getting in on the espionage action. “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” debuted in 1964, two years before the boys from the IMF got involved in their own world-saving antics. The show, penned by Ian Fleming, followed the exploits of American agent Napoleon Solo and his Soviet counterpart Illya Kuryakin as they work for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. In a break from the “M:I/Bond/Bourne” model, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” retains the show’s Swinging Sixties setting. Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) plays Solo, a former thief turned CIA agent who must work with KGB operative Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) in order to prevent a criminal organization from getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Guy Ritchie helms this slick and stylish action comedy that features sharp suits, snappy dialogue and fast cars.
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death – Out November 21
With a great team of up-and-coming talent behind it, 2012’s “The Woman in Black” proved a major success for recently resurrected British horror studio Hammer. Based on a Susan Hill novel, the film was directed by James Watkins, fresh off the back of highly rated indie horror film “Eden Lake,” and starred Daniel Radcliffe, who was out to prove that he’s more than just Harry Potter. Having become the most successful British horror film in history, a sequel was bound to follow. “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” is set during World War II, forty years after the events of the first film. In an effort to escape the bombs that are falling on London, young teacher Eve and her class of schoolchildren set off for the countryside. After taking up residence in spooky old Eel Marsh House it’s not long before the children start disappearing and the mysterious Woman in Black is sighted. While the haunting atmospherics of the first film remain, much of the talent from the original has been lost for this supernatural horror sequel.
Best of the Rest
Dumb and Dumber To (Nov. 20) – Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return as dim-witted duo Harry and Lloyd for this belated comedy sequel.
The Rewrite (Nov. 20) – Romantic comedy in which Hugh Grant is a skirt-chasing, washed-up screenwriter forced to teach classes at a university before finding love with single mom Marissa Tomei.
The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (Nov. 21) – Documentary about the hugely successful independent film company Cannon, which made its name in the 80s putting put the best of the worst in trashy action-entertainment onto screens.
Last Knights (Nov. 14) – Japan’s own Kazuaki Kiriya (Casshern, Goemon) makes his first English-language film with Clive Owen as a fallen warrior setting out to avenge his dishonored master, Morgan Freeman.
The Sacrament (Nov. 28) – Horror specialist Ti West teams up with producer Eli Roth for a found footage thriller that follows two journalists into the heart of an isolated religious cult.