Look Out For… April

As the Easter holidays approach (for most students at least), exams are still a distant prospect, so why not watch a film in the interim?

If you’ve already watched Us and want some more horror, the latest Stephen King adaptation Pet Sematary – about a supernatural graveyard for animals – is a good follow-up. If you’d prefer a thriller starring Andrew Scott in a standout performance, then check out Steel Country, which follows Scott as a truck driver who takes it upon himself to investigate the death of a young boy.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more light-hearted, I’d recommend Little, inspired by the ‘80s classic Big and developed from the idea of 14-year-old Black-ish star, Marsai Martin. There’s also this little movie, I’m not sure if you will have heard of it – it’s called Avengers: Endgame and it’s got a bunch of superheroes or something? Either way, aside from those there’s still an eclectic group of movies to look out for this month.


Shazam! – 5th April

While Marvel may try to dominate this month with the afore-mentioned Avengers: Endgame, DC Comics will also be throwing their hat in to the ring with Shazam!

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) can’t think of anything worse than having to live with a foster family – especially given that is new foster brother (Jack Dylan Grazer) is a superhero enthusiast. But when Billy finds he can transform into a superhero himself (Zachary Levi), he realises that things may not be so terrible after all.

I’ll be honest – superhero movies aren’t really my bag. However, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued after watching the trailer. Considering DC’s previous, more “sobering” movies (like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman), Shazam! Seems to take a much less pompous approach – leaning into the camp cheesiness that can be associated with superhero movies. Hopefully, this will make it a fun, tongue-and-cheek addition to a saturated market.


Mid90s – 12th April

Having received a positive reception at its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, Jonah Hill’s feature directorial debut looks rather promising.

Set in the mid-‘90s, 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic) escapes his difficult home – and hot-tempered older brother (Lucas Hedges) – by skirting trouble with a group of older skateboarders. Although he soon feels a sense of belonging, Stevie starts to wonder whether he’s truly ready to grow-up.

Directing from a script that he wrote himself, it’s obvious that Hill has poured a lot of himself into this film. Although this may be the first time he’s taking the helm, Hill is no stranger to coming-of-age movies, given his break-out role in 2007’s Superbad. And yet, judging by the trailer, this appears to have much more heart than his previous work. It will be interesting to see how Hill follows this up.


Greta – 18th April

On a very different note, is Greta, a psychological thriller from Academy Award-winner Neil Jordan.

Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) thinks she’s doing a good deed when she returns a lost handbag to Greta (Isabelle Huppert), a lonely piano teacher who invites her in for tea, as a thank-you. However, as Frances gets to know her, she starts to realise that maybe Greta is a bit too interested in her…

One of the main things that attracts me to this movie is the cast. To see acting royalty Huppert against up-and-comer Moretz (who, after a slight lull in her still-envious career, starred in the underrated The Miseducation of Cameron Post) will certainly be exciting. That, combined with a nerve-racking plot, should make for a wonderful afternoon trip.


Eighth Grade – 26th April

Perhaps the film that I’m most excited for this month is Eighth Grade, which finally makes its way across the pond to the UK, after receiving near-universal acclaim for both its first-time director, Bo Burnham, and its star, Elsie Fisher.

Although eighth grade student Kayle (Fisher) finds it difficult to make friends at school, she has no trouble posting videos on YouTube promoting self-confidence and kindness. In reality though, she’s just trying to get through that awkward transition between childhood and teendom – a period that’s difficult for everyone.

“Eighth Grade is one of those rare beings that captures a thing so specifically and so honestly, that it immediately evokes a universal feeling”

As many of us have grown-up with social media, it is easy to forget that it is still a new thing. Having those painful few years of not quite knowing who you are documented on the internet for the world to see, is a part of growing up that generations before us didn’t really have to deal with – at least, not on this scale.

And yet, Eighth Grade is one of those rare beings that captures a thing so specifically and so honestly, that it immediately evokes a universal feeling – one that everyone who has lived through that adjustment period and made it out to the other side can relate to. Burnham and Fisher both deserve the stellar reviews that the film has received; if you watch one film this month, make it this one.

Sarah Quraishi

Featured image courtesy of Georgia Butcher. 

Image use license here.

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