‘Sinister 2’ (Oct. 15)
The unique “Sinister” was top-of-the-line horror movies of the 2010s, a brutally efficient and inspired hybrid of “Blair Witch”-style found footage and “Poltergeist”-inspired suburban dread. Its success landed its director and co-writer, Scott Derrickson, and his collaborator C. Robert Cargill a lucrative gig making “Doctor Strange” for Marvel, but they made time to put in writing the script for this sequel, following the “Sinister” supporting player James Ransone right into a latest and terrifying story. Shannyn Sossamon is an empathetic lead, while Robert and Dartanian Sloan make a memorable impression as her twin sons. However the most beneficial addition is the director Ciarán Foy, whose moody, atmospheric lensing and nightmare imagery is a very good fit for Derrickson and Cargill’s world.
‘Yes, God, Yes’ (Oct. 21)
Religious faith and raging hormones crash into one another with uproarious ends in this coming-of-age comedy from the author and director Karen Maine. Natalia Dyer (best referred to as Nancy from “Stranger Things”) is delightful — funny, credible and endlessly sympathetic — as Alice, a Catholic teen within the early 2000s who discovers that the web (specifically that millennial relic, that AOL chat) helps her tap into her blooming sexuality, and all of the sin and guilt therein. The “Veep” M.V.P. Timothy Simons stands out as a reasonably clueless man of the material.
‘8 Mile’ (Oct. 31)
When Eminem decided to make the leap from music to film, he could’ve easily taken the straightforward route, spitting out a “Cool As Ice”-like exploitation flick to make a fast buck. As an alternative, he connected with the gifted director Curtis Hanson (“L.A. Confidential”), the super-producer Brian Grazer and a forged that included Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and Brittany Murphy to make an actual, respectable movie debut. He was also smart enough to maintain his acting ambitions modest — he mainly plays himself, a tough-talking Detroit kid who finds his voice, and his confidence, in the town’s underground rap battles. But his is a compelling story, and it’s well told by Hanson, who makes Eminem’s home turf atmospheric and lived-in.
‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ (Oct. 31)
Renée Zellweger nabbed her first Academy Award nomination for her work on this zingy adaptation of the Helen Fielding novel, itself a loose-limbed update of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s a justifiably beloved performance, by turns snarky, spiky, silly, and sympathetic, as our heroine jots down every stray thought on her journey to quitting smoking, losing a number of kilos and finding true love. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are exquisite because the two leading contenders for love, with Firth perfectly forged because the upright, uptight riff on Mr. Darcy and Grant at his bad-boy best as a beautiful, selfish hedonist.
‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ (Oct. 31)
Few words in our modern vernacular have been abused like “iconic,” yet that seems like the just one to properly describe the title character of this comedy classic from the author and director John Hughes. Matthew Broderick became a generational hero (and a bane to the generation before it) because the clever and witty high schooler who fakes sick for one last day of consequence-free senior 12 months hooky. Nevertheless it’s not all fun and games; he brings along his best buddy, Cameron (the long run “Succession” co-star Alan Ruck), and his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), and what first looks as if goofing off becomes something like group therapy. Jennifer Grey (later of “Dirty Dancing”) is particularly funny as Ferris’s bitter sister.