What’s new to VOD and streaming this weekend: October 30 to November 1

Including The Craft: Legacy, His House, Truth Seekers, and Parasite

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      Our critics pick what’s new to streaming and VOD for the weekend of October 30, and list everything new to VOD and streaming platforms.

      If you're brave enough to venture out for Halloween, there are also freaky films to catch at the Rio and the Cinematheque (which is offering a J-horror series).

      The Craft Legacy

      (Zoe Lister-Jones)

      Look, at this point we just have to accept that every halfway beloved '90s property is going to get a remake or sequel whether it needs one or not. Writer-director Zoe Lister-Jones threads that needle nicely with The Craft: Legacy, which functions as both a continuation and a rehashing of Andrew Fleming’s 1996 teen-witch thriller. As before, a new girl (Devs’ Cailee Spaeny) arrives in a small town and is quickly befriended by the local weirdos (Gideon Adlon, Zoey Luna, Lovie Simone); as before, her heretofore unknown abilities take the group from spell-casting cosplay to serious magicks—much to the concern of the adults in authority (Michelle Monaghan, David Duchovny).

      Lister-Jones improves on the original’s two-dimensionality in almost every way, from the inclusion of a trans character (and a wider spectrum of sexuality in general) to a very clever reworking of the first film’s love-spell gag. Her perspective also informs the movie’s tone, shaping Legacy as a more thoughtful, less scare-driven venture than its predecessor. The finale feels rushed—possibly because the production had to shut down its Toronto shoot when COVID hit and restart in Winnipeg—and one subplot feels whiffed, but this is still a much better movie than it has any right to be. 94 min. Now available on digital and on demand.

      Aidan Monaghan/Netflix

      His House

      (Remi Weekes)

      Resettled in a crumbling townhouse in England after fleeing South Sudan, refugees Bol (Sope Dìrísù) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) find themselves tormented by malevolent spirits…as well as by their memories of the little girl they lost during their escape. Spare and tense, Weekes’s feature debut finds a credible new context for its haunted-house premise: Bol and Rial can’t tell anyone what they’re experiencing because they think they’ll be dismissed as superstitious Africans, and that could endanger their asylum claim. (There’s a very sharp commentary on the United Kingdom’s apathetic, underfunded refugee support system, embodied by Matt Smith as a social worker who’d clearly be much happier never having to see his clients.)

      The genre’s prerequisite of characters walking into dark rooms and waiting for something to jump out at them becomes an amplification of the PTSD they’re already experiencing, and the ghosts are realized with no small amount of menace. And just when it seems like things are getting predictable, Weekes complicates the third act with a genuinely surprising twist. Nice one. Some subtitles. 92 min. Available on Netflix Friday (October 30). 


      (Mark Tonderai)

      When his estranged father dies, Los Angeles lawyer Marquis Woods (Omari Hardwick) flies his family home to Appalachia for his father’s funeral. Then he wakes up badly injured in an isolated farmhouse, tended to by a hoodoo practitioner (Loretta Devine) whose intentions may not be entirely benevolent. Tonderai’s first feature since the Jennifer Lawrence slasher movie The House At The End Of The Street plants itself firmly in the territory between Angel Heart and Misery, drenching Kurt Wimmer’s fairly basic script in queasy camerawork, Southern Gothic atmosphere and very messy prosthetics (including a far more graphic take on hobbling than Rob Reiner could ever stomach). Hardwick and Devine invest their characters with presence, facing off in a battle of wills that plays on stereotypes of city and country folk while also rooting the drama in a clash between the past and present. Things do get a little saggy around the one-hour mark—limiting the story’s perspective to a bedridden protagonist can be, well, limiting. But Tonderai rallies for the climax, which is exactly as big and blazing as it needs to be. 95 min. Available on digital and on demand Friday (October 30).

      Amazon Prime Video Canada

      Truth Seekers

      (Jim Field-Smith)

      The trailers for Amazon Prime Video’s paranormal comedy—co-created by and co-starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg—do their best to position Truth Seekers as an amateur X-Files, with unprepared heroes battling ghosts and demons in bucolic British settings. It’s even more mundane than that—and sadly, not terribly entertaining. More than anything, Truth Seekers feels like a feature film hastily repurposed into a season of television, with the first act stretched out over two hours in order to introduce its core characters: fibre-optics installer Gus (Frost), who moonlights as a YouTube ghostbuster; his new assistant Elton (Samson Kayo), an insistent unbeliever; Elton’s sister Helen (Susan Wokoma), a nerd with crushing social anxiety; and Astrid (Emma D’Arcy), a young woman pursued by spirits. Pegg gets a glorified cameo as Gus and Elton’s supercilious boss, and Malcolm McDowell plays Gus’s cranky father-in-law, who gets caught up in an evil scheme by a radical necromancer (Julian Barratt) in the second half of the season.

      The cast is certainly talented—Wokoma, of Chewing Gum, Enola Holmes, and Year Of The Rabbit, is a damn force of nature. But the jokes aren’t especially funny and the horror aspects aren’t particularly scary. Maybe it all comes together in the final episodes—only the first four were made available for review—but I can’t say I’m in any hurry to find out. All eight episodes available to stream on Amazon Prime Video Friday (October 30).

      Film festivals

      Blood In The Snow

      The festival of Canadian genre cinema shifts from late November to Halloween this year, and onto Super Channel this year, rolling out daily programs of homegrown horror shorts and features including Francesco Giannini’s ultra-high-concept pandemic creeper Hall (October 31, 9 p.m. with a repeat at 12:30 a.m.), Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen’s small-scale home-invasion thriller For The Sake Of Vicious (October 31, 9 p.m. with a repeat at 12:30 a.m.) and Anthony Scott Burns’s Come True (November 7, 9 p.m. with a repeat at 12 a.m.), a moody dreamscape chiller starring the incredible Julia Sarah Stone. October 28 to November 7 on Super Channel and streaming on Super Channel Fuse, details at bloodinthesnow.ca

      Korean Film Festival Canada

      The seventh edition of the Korean Film Festival Canada spotlights the work of female filmmakers over the decades; Canadian entries includes Helen Lee’s 1995 short "Prey", a twisted romance starring Sandra Oh and Adam Beach, and Min-sook Lee’s 2008 documentary Tiger Spirit, about the divided perspectives of the North and South Korean people. The entire program will be available online through November 30, so take your time. October 29 to November 30 at koreanfilm.ca

      What’s new to streaming

      October 30

      Are You The One? (seasons 6-8) (Crave)

      Black Christmas (2019) (Crave)

      Bronx (Netflix Canada)

      The Challenge: ETA (season 1) (Amazon Prime Video Canada)

      The Day Of The Lord (Netflix Canada)

      His House (Netflix Canada)

      How To…With John Wilson (season 1, episode 2) (Crave)

      Real Time With Bill Maher (season 18, episode 32) (Crave)

      Scary Godmother (Crave)

      Somebody Feed Phil (season 4) (Netflix Canada)

      Star Trek: Discovery (season 3, episode 3) (Crave)

      Suburra (season 3) (Netflix Canada)

      Truth Seekers (Amazon Prime Video Canada)

      Warrior (season 2, episode 5) (Crave)

      October 31

      Monsterland (season 1, episodes 1-5) (Crave)

      Underwater (Crave)

      November 1

      12 Gifts Of Christmas (Netflix Canada)

      About Last Night (Netflix Canada)

      Angels & Demons (Netflix Canada)

      Argo (Netflix Canada)

      Austin Powers In Goldmember (Netflix Canada)

      Bad Santa (Netflix Canada)

      A Belle For Christmas (Netflix Canada)

      Broadcasting Christmas (Netflix Canada)

      Catch And Release (Netflix Canada)

      Christmas Break-In (Netflix Canada)

      Christmas Survival (Netflix Canada)

      The Circus (season 5, episode 20) (Crave)

      Clueless (Netflix Canada)

      The Comedy Store (season 1, episode 5) (Crave)

      The Da Vinci Code (Netflix Canada)

      Dawson’s Creek (season 1-6) (Netflix Canada)

      Desus & Mero (season 2, episode 60) (Crave)

      Due Date (Netflix Canada)

      Elf Pets: A Fox’s Cub Christmas Tale (Netflix Canada)

      Elf Pets: Santa’s Reindeer Rescue (Netflix Canada)

      Gangs Of New York (Netflix Canada)

      The Good Lord Bird (season 1, episode 5) (Crave)

      The Juror (Netflix Canada)

      Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (season 7, episode 28) (Crave)

      Little Monsters (Netflix Canada)

      Mr. Deeds (Netflix Canada)

      Nasha (season 1) (Amazon Prime Video Canada)

      The Notebook (Netflix Canada)

      Our Cartoon President (season 3, episode 17) (Crave)

      Papillon (Netflix Canada)

      Penelope (Netflix Canada)

      Peppermint (Netflix Canada)

      A Perfect Christmas List (Netflix Canada)

      Primary Colours (Crave)

      Rocky (Netflix Canada)

      Ronin (Netflix Canada)

      Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult (season 1, episode 3) (Crave)

      The Spanish Princess Part 2 (season 2, episode 4) (Crave)

      The Undoing (season 1, episode 2) (Crave)

      Widows (Netflix Canada)

      Available on VOD

      American Dharma

      Documentary directed by Errol Morris

      Read our review


      The Craft: Legacy

      Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Michelle Monaghan; directed by Zoe Lister-Jones

      Apple TVGoogle Play


      Emily Peachey, Caroline Coleman, Belle Shickle; directed by Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa Kinigopoulos

      Apple TVGoogle Play

      Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President

      Documentary directed by Mary Wharton

      Read our review

      VIFF Connect


      Queen of the Morning Calm

      Tina Jung, Eponine Lee, Jesse LaVercombe; directed by Gloria Ui Young Kim

      Read our review

      VIFF Connect


      Georgia Hirst, Natasha Henstridge; directed by Bernhard Pucher

      Apple TVGoogle Play


      Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley; directed by Mark Tonderai

      Apple TVGoogle Play


      Sofia Banzhaf, Shelley Thompson, Bailey Maughan; directed by Thom Fitzgerald

      Read our review

      Emotion Pictures Virtual Cinema

      Totally Under Control

      Documentary directed by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, and Suzanne Hillinger

      Read our review

      VIFF Connect

      Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula

      Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Kim Do-yoon; directed by Yeon Sang-ho

      Read our review

      Apple TVGoogle Play

      Disc of the week

      Parasite (Criterion, Blu-ray)

      Bong Joon-ho’s genre-shuffling satirical masterwork rides its Oscar triumph straight into the vaunted Criterion Collection, where it gets a two-disc special edition that puts Universal’s earlier release to shame. In addition to an audio commentary that pairs Bong with critic Tony Rayns (programmer of the Vancouver International Film Festival's former Dragon and Tigers series) and extensive video interviews with Bong, director of photography Hong Kyung Pyo, production designer Lee Ha Jun, and editor Yang Jinmo, the package also includes Parasite’s giddy Cannes press conference, a master class with Bong from the Lumiere Festival and a discussion of the New Korean Cinema with Bong and fellow filmmaker Park Chan-wook. Criterion also throws in the black-and-white version of Parasite, as a treat; both presentations of the film offer Dolby Atmos audio, which wasn’t an option on the Universal Blu-ray. Upgrade away! Capitalism demands it!

      This article originally appeared on the NOW Toronto website. With files from Craig Takeuchi.