There’s a lot of original content coming to streaming this week. Over on Amazon Prime, there’s Borat 2, which has already caused some controversy online. No doubt everyone will be talking about this one for the next few weeks. Then, on Netflix, we have Rebecca, which is Ben Wheatley’s reenvisioning of the classic story. Some of the changes to the source material have already touched a nerve – another one that’ll be talked about a lot.
Over on HBO Max in the US, there’s the latest version of The Witches, starring Anne Hathaway. Over in the UK, there’s more on Amazon, including Parasite – which everyone should watch immediately – and the original Halloween. And if that’s not enough, then be sure to check out the new Netflix movies and new Disney Plus movies that have reached those respective streamers these past few months.
Rebecca – Netflix
Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Wait, that wasn’t a dream – that was Ben Wheatley’s new take on Rebecca. The story of Maxim de Winter and the unnamed second Mrs De Winter is as famous as they come. This adaptation, though, takes some liberties with the source material. Armie Hammer and Lily James make for one of cinema’s most picturesque couples. Once you’ve watched this, make sure to read our explainer on that Rebecca ending.
Borat – Amazon Prime
“Very niiiiiice!” If you didn’t say that in the voice of Khazakstan’s most famous news reporter Borat, then this one may not be for you. Sacha Baron Coan returns as the eponymous Borat to cause more mischieve in America. This time, he’s joined by his daughter, played by Maria Bakalova, who frankly steals the show. The cojones on these two performers to do some of the stuff they do…
On the Rocks – Apple Plus
On the Rocks – which re-teams director Sofia Coppola with Bill Murray – has arrived on streaming after a brief appearance in cinemas. this one’s about a daughter, played by Rashida Jones, connecting with her father, Murray. The results are quietly funny and very touching. If you’re looking for a laid back time with one of the comedy greats, this one’s for you.
The Witches – HBO Max
Available: HBO Max in the US/PVOD in the UK
Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, The Witches from Robert Zemeckis has arrived on HBO Max in the US and PVOD in the UK. For those who haven’t seen (and luckily not been traumatised by) the original 1990 movie, the plot follows a young boy and his grandmother as they try to stop a group of child-hating witches who’ve arrived to a luxury hotel, and plan on turning all children into mice.
The new movie stars Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch. Octavia Spencer plays the Grandmother to the main character Charlie, who is played by Jahzir Kadeem Bruno. Chris Rock also features as the voice of the narrator, while Kristin Chenoweth voices Charlie’s pet mouse. Stanley Tucci plays Mr Stringer, the manager of the hotel. For some family-friendly Halloween viewing, you can’t go wrong with The Witches.
Carol – Netflix
Todd Haynes’ Carol arrives on Netflix in the US. Adapted from the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, the story follows the relationship that forms between Carol, who’s going through a stressful divorce, and Therese, a young woman with a passion for photography, in 1950s New York City. Starring Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as Therese, with Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler and Jake Lacy rounding out the cast, the film is a smouldering look at love and the way homophobia constricted the lives of so many in the time period. If you’re looking for something genuinely moving this weekend, Carol is an excellent choice (although not very seasonal, seeing as it’s mostly set over the Christmas and New Year period).
Halloween – Amazon Prime
Halloween is just around the corner so if you want to be scared silly this October, you could do a lot worse than John Carpenter’s OG slasher fest. The 1978 classic may have spawned several sub-par sequels and offshoots, but there’s a reason why Michael Myers has had the world frozen in fear for decades.
The masked monster is completely at odds with today’s modern, jump scare-heavy, horror. He stalks. And watches. And waits. Chances are, he’s always there – which makes the entire Jamie Lee Curtis-led experience all the more terrifying, without resorting to cheap spine-tingling tricks. If you need another excuse to watch Halloween, it’s the perfect prep for you to then jump right into the revived series. Another release, Halloween Kills, is set for release next year.
Parasite – Amazon Prime
Whether you’ve not yet watched this year’s Best Picture winner or want to relive the Bong Joon-Ho masterpiece all over again, you’ll be pleased to know you can stream it now to your heart’s content on Amazon Prime UK. Revolving around a poor Korean family who, through various schemes and half-truths, become employed by a rich family, this story of haves and have-nots soon spirals out into a chilling, claustrophobic tale of domestic bliss gone very, very wrong.
A strong, festering performance by Sang Kang-ho as patriarch of the Kim family is ably backed by a series of utterly compelling scenes and set-ups that made this an earned shoe-in for its Oscars success. Just… maybe don’t watch this during any birthday parties. And definitely don’t go down to the basement anytime soon.