You can tell summer is nearly upon us, as this month, the streaming services are welcoming zombie flicks, thrillers, horror films and other pulse-pounding blockbusters in droves.
Starts May 14
The Woman in the Window
The voyeuristic ghost of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” is all over this highly anticipated psychological thriller from “Atonement” director Joe Wright. Amy Adams plays Dr. Anna Fox, a psychologist beset with agoraphobia—that most COVID-friendly of afflictions—whose new neighbor across the street (Julianne Moore) isn’t what she seems. The more time Anna spends gazing through her window, the more potential crimes, and paranormal activity, she witnesses from her otherwise generous neighbor. But is it all in her head? Acclaimed playwright/actor Tracy Letts wrote the screenplay, and the all-star supporting cast includes Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie and Brian Tyree Henry.
Starts May 21
Army of the Dead
George Romero’s zombie films were never just about the walking dead; a true artist and social commentator, Romero’s pioneering B movies deployed the undead to speak about the human condition at its rankest and most materialistic. I would be surprised if such subtext made its way into “Army of the Dead,” director Zack Snyder’s latest foray into the zombie mythos, which looks like an eardrum-tingling, check-your-brain-at-the-door actioner, but I’d love to be wrong about that. The trailer dispenses with plot entirely, but apparently it concerns a band of mercenaries that attempts to pull off a casino heist during a zombie apocalypse: Think “Ocean’s 11” meets “Dawn of the Dead.” And yes, given the Las Vegas setting, a zombie Elvis impersonator makes an appearance.
ON AMAZON PRIME
Starts May 13
Originally scheduled for release in spring 2020 but finally available after a year of COVID delays, this seriously disturbing feature-film debut from director Rose Glass appears cut from a same Catholic-horror cloth as “The Exorcist.” The title character is a British hospice nurse, played by Morfydd Clark, who has converted to Roman Catholicism. Her most important charge is Amanda, an atheist American dancer stricken with Stage IV lymphoma. Saint Maud takes it upon herself to convert the dying woman and save her soul before it leaves its ungrateful husk. As cerebral as it is terrifying, “Saint Maud” boasts 93-percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes; it’s a good one to watch with the lights down low.
Starts May 7
Seeing a character communicate through a surgical face mask in a trailer for a movie completed, just barely, in the pre-COVID times, is eerie and disconcerting. So too are the implications of “Little Fish,” which envisions a medical dystopia in which a memory-loss virus runs rampant—causing, say, a pilot to suddenly forget the controls of his aircraft—and quack cures propagate among the panicked masses. But “Little Fish” isn’t a horror film so much as a romance, centering on a couple (Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell) that attempts to piece together threads from their relationship under the disease’s constant threat of wiping it away.
ON HBO MAX
Starts May 14
Those Who Wish Me Dead
The latest concurrent streaming-and-theatrical release from Warner Brothers, “Those Who Wish Me Dead” offers one of Angelina Jolie’s meatiest roles in years, as a veteran smokejumper and survivalist expert who takes under her wing a young boy who has just witnessed the murder of his father near a large national forest. Much of the action takes place in and around said forest (it was shot in New Mexico), as this pair of fugitives must escape the well-armed assassins intent on silencing the boy while surviving a harsh landscape that is increasingly set aflame. Taylor Sheridan directs in his second feature following the acclaimed “Wind River;” Nicholas Hoult and Tyler Perry are among the costars.