By Tom Moore and Joan Ammen
October brims with two big things for film: horror movies and major film festival appearances. This October is no different, with new female-directed horror films set to hit streaming services, theaters, and festivals (including one being released after first appearing at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival). There are also some noteworthy film festival debuts with new films from prominent directors such as Kelly Reichardt, Joanna Hogg, and Claire Denis bowing at the New York Film Festival, alongside two pivotal world premieres.
Please click the titles to find the available trailers.
1. Saint Omer: Documentary filmmaker Alice Diop (“We”) makes her narrative feature debut with this film about a novelist (Kayije Kagame) who attends a criminal trial for new inspiration for her next story, which introduces more than she expected. Co-starring Guslagie Malanga (“My Friend Victoria”), it debuts at the NYFF on Oct. 3.
2. Showing Up: Director Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”) reunites with Michelle Williams (“Certain Women”) for the fourth time to deliver a comedic look into the world of a sculptor seeking new inspiration and a way to impress those around her with her upcoming show. The film makes a main slate appearance at the NYFF on Oct. 5.
3. Pretty Problems: Directed by Kestrin Pantera (“Mother’s Little Helpers”), this darkly funny film costarring Britt Rentschler of “Uncle Frank” (shown in the main image, above, with J. J. Nolan) and Michael Tennant (“Secret in Their Eyes”) takes viewers on a wine-country getaway gone wrong. Look for it Oct. 7. In the meantime, check out our SXSW 2022 review and our exclusive interview with Pantera.
4. The Eternal Daughter: Filmed in secret during the pandemic, this ghost story from director Joanna Hogg (“The Souvenir”) reunites Hogg with Tilda Swinton (“Three-Thousand Years of Longing”), who plays the dual role of a mother and daughter in this haunting and mystery family tale. The film makes a main slate appearance at NYFF on Oct. 10.
5. Till: Chinonye Chukwu (“Clemency”) directs this heartbreaking drama about Mamie Till Mobley’s real-life pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son Emmett Till, lynched in 1955 while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. Danielle Deadwyler (“The Harder They Fall,” “Devil to Pay”) and Jalyn Hall (“Space Jam: A New Legacy”) play mother and son. In theaters Oct. 14, with a world premiere at NYFF.
6. Stars at Noon: The latest from the always intriguing, thought-provoking Claire Denis (“High Life”) pairs Margaret Qualley (“Once Upon a Time In Hollywood”) and Joe Alwyn (“The Favorite”) in a romantic thriller set in 1980s Nicaragua. Appearing at NYFF and in theaters Oct. 14.
7. Rosaline: Kaitlyn Dever (“Booksmart”) plays the jilted ex of some guy named Romeo (Kyle Allen of “West Side Story”) who falls for Juliet. You know the rest. Directed by Karen Maine (“Yes, God, Yes”). On Hulu Oct. 14.
8. Falcon Lake: Director Charlotte Le Bon makes her feature debut with this haunting coming-of-age story that sees a harrowing and mysterious summer vacation change the lives of two teens (Joseph Engel of “The Crusade” and Sara Montpetit of “Maria Chapdelaine”). The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival’s centerpiece selection.
9. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed: The NYFF’s Centerpiece Selection is an excellent new documentary from Laura Poitras (“Risk”) that delves into the life and career of photographer Nan Goldin, as well as her notable activism against the prominent Sackler family, a pharmaceutical dynasty involved in the opioid epidemic. The film also took home the coveted Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.
10. Descendant: This documentary from director Margaret Brown (“The Great Invisible”) tells the story of the descendants of the Clotilda, the last slave ship that carried Africans to the United States. This 2022 Sundance Film Festival winner of a US Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision debuts on Netflix Oct. 21 and also appears at NYFF.
11. Aftersun: For her debut feature, writer-director Charlotte Wells takes on a young girl (Frankie Corio) navigating growing up and her relationship with her father (Paul Mescal, “The Lost Daughter”). Appearing at NYFF and in theaters on Oct. 21.
12. Run Sweetheart Run: Jump into this date from hell just in time for Halloween from Shana Feste (“Boundaries”) starring Ella Balinsky (“Resident Evil”) and featuring a cameo by Shohreh Aghdashloo, the Queen of the Solar System herself (“The Expanse”). On Prime Video on Oct. 28 and appearing at the Brooklyn Horror Festival.
13. Give Me an A: An ensemble of women directors delivers this anthology of 15 short films centered on abortion rights and bodily autonomy in response to the US Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade. The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival hosts a special screening, donating all proceeds to The New York Abortion Access Fund.
Also of note:
- Hellraiser: Jamie Clayton (“The L Word: Generation Q”) portrays the first female Pinhead in Hulu’s latest in the horror franchise on Oct. 4.
- Catherine Called Birdy: Director Lena Dunham (“Sharp Stick”) adapts Karen Cushman’s book about a 14-year-old girl (Bella Ramsey of “Game of Thrones”) fending off suitors in Medieval England. Look for it on Prime Video on Oct. 7.
- Tár: The ever-watchable Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”) begins her 2022 awards run on Oct. 7 with this Todd Field film about Lydia Tár, the first female chief conductor of a major German orchestra and widely considered one of the greats.
- She Said: We’ll circle back to this in November, when it enters wide release, but NYFF attendees will get a first look at this drama about the New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan of “The Big Sick” and Carey Mulligan of “Promising Young Woman”) who unearthed the truth behind Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault.
- The Inspection: The NYFF also has this feature directorial debut from Elegance Bratton, which also enters wide release in November. Jeremy Pope (“One Night in Miami…”) stars as a gay Black man with few options who enters the US Marines.
- Decision to Leave: Director Park Chan-wook (“The Handmaiden”) brings this story about a detective (Park Hae-il, “The King’s Letters”), a death in the mountains, and a mysterious woman (Tang Wei, “The Whistleblower,”) to NYFF.
- Other notable female-directed films appearing at NYFF include Mia Hansen-Løve’s “One Fine Morning,” Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” and Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage.”
- Other notable female-directed films appearing at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival include Nyla Innuksuk’s “Slash/Back” and Marie Alice Wolfszahn’s “Mother Superior.”