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Entertainment Essentials: October 12, 2018

CREDIT: Daniel McFadden/Universal; Kimberley French/Twentieth Century Fox; Tina Rowden/Netflix

Every Friday, NewsCult Entertainment Editor Jeffrey Malone recommends the entertainment essentials of the week – at least three, often more, and usually at least one cinematic and at least one televisual, but it could be ANY combination.

1. Movie: Bad Times at the El Royale (Theatrically Nationwide) The Cabin in the Woods is one of my favorite films of all time, and it was the debut directorial effort from Drew Goddard. Thus, I am interested in whatever the future of his career has in store. We’ve been waiting some time for a follow-up, and six years later we finally have his second feature, and thankfully, it does not disappoint. Bad Times at the El Royale is about a bunch of kooky characters uneasily spending the night together at the titular hotel that straddles the California-Nevada state line and attracts all sorts of neo-noir shenanigans.

2. Movie: First Man (Theatrically Nationwide) Whiplash and La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s latest is a strikingly intimate biopic about Neil Armstrong’s trip to the moon. It’s primarily an accomplishment on a technical level, with Ryan Gosling’s intensely interior lead performance and Justin Hurwitz’s gentle score combining with Chazelle’s direction to create a crushing portrayal of the stresses of space exploration and having the weight of the world on one’s shoulders.

3. TV: The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 (October 12 on Netflix) – Could this take on the 1959 gothic novel by Shirley Jackson (which was twice previously adapted into a film) be the first great original Netflix horror series? Sure, we’ve already got Stranger Things, but that’s also got the coming-of-age elements, whereas The Haunting of Hill House looks to be more straight-up terrifying. We’re definitely in good hands, as it comes courtesy of Mike Flanagan, the director behind such modern horror gems as Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Gerald’s Game. He’s brought on board some of his previous actors, like Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, and Lulu Wilson.

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