Editor’s Note: Welcome to Quarantainment, Vanyaland’s new series on what to watch, what to hear, and how to deal as the world engages in social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19. We’re all at home, we’re all online, and we’re all in this together. #StayTheFHome
Well, friends, we’ve come to the end of the line: The mainstream studios have really run out of their current in-theaters content, and it seems like Trolls World Tour, while successful, isn’t going to be the big streaming paradigm shift that people assumed it would be quite yet. So, the death of the movie theater might have been exaggerated just a little bit. Not to stress that this isn’t an incredibly rough time for the industry (hell, AMC might actually declare bankruptcy if theaters can’t open as early as they’d hoped), but people still want that experience. And, you know what? That gives us a decent amount of hope for what’s to come.
Anyway, that is a very roundabout way to say that this week’s biggest streaming releases are a bit on the light side. We’ve got a drama about a UN diplomat, Kristen Stewart vs. Alien, a Robert Eggers masterpiece, and a movie about an IT professional who shoves a baby up his ass. Yes, you read that right. Stay safe, y’all.
Look, if you’ve read our site in the past year, you know that we love Robert Eggers around these parts, and The Lighthouse is a tremendous film. A tale of two lighthouse keepers trapped on a small New England island together engulfed in paranoia and surrounded by supernatural occurrences (that may be of their own making), this is perfect isolation viewing. Seriously, we’re stunned that Amazon didn’t fast-track this one when they realized that people were going to be stuck inside. If you have to watch one thing this weekend, let it be this, and if you want to learn some more about the film, check out our interview with Eggers from last year. (Amazon Prime, free with subscription)
This Netflix drama, starring Wagner Moura (Narcos) as the famed UN diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello and Ana de Armos (Knives Out) as the woman who loved him, premiered at Sundance this year, and like the big idiots that we are, we overslept and missed the press screening. That might not have been such a bad thing, however: Other critics generally seemed to shrug their shoulders here, as evidenced by the chilly reception it’s received. This is a shame, de Mello was a force for good in international politics before his death, and what should have been a slam-dunk seems to have bounced off the rim, if other critics are to be believed. Still, check it out if you’re interested — it’s not the first time critics have been wrong. (Netflix, free with subscription)
We’re going to have a full review of this bizarre film coming your way on Monday, but if you’re the kind of person who loves their cinema professionally odd, we highly recommend you give Butt Boy a look. Why? Well, we’ll just go ahead and post the official synopsis for you, given that we didn’t write about the trailer when it came out a while back.
“Chip Gutchel, a bored IT Engineer, has an awakening after a routine prostate exam. What starts as a harmless rectal kink, soon grows into a dangerous addiction as he becomes responsible for a missing child. Chip eventually buries his desires in Alcoholics Anonymous and tries to move on with his life. Years later, he becomes the sponsor of Russell Fox, a newly sober detective. After Chip relapses, Russell is brought in to investigate another missing child at Chip’s office. Russell begins to suspect that Chip’s addiction may not be to alcohol, but something much more sinister. It’s up to Russell now to prove that Chip uses his butt to make people disappear. But who’s going to believe his wild theory?”
Yeah, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably already rented this from whatever VOD storefront you like the best, and we’ve heard good things from folks who got a chance to see this at Fantastic Fest last year. (VOD, from $5.99)
We Summon the Darkness
We were big fans of Marc Meyers’ first feature, My Friend Dahmer, back when it came out in 2017, and now the director’s got an amusing and interesting little genre film hitting streaming services this week. Starring Alexandra Daddario and Johnny Knoxville, We Summon the Darkness is the kind of heavy metal horror we’ve been longing for these last couple of months. It’s about three friends, who, despite hearing warnings about satanic slayings happening around them, decide to go on a road trip to a metal festival. The group meets up with three dudes and heads to a secluded house in the woods for an afterparty. You can probably guess where this is going, and you can also probably guess that we’re going to check this one out ASAP. (VOD, from $4.99)
This Alien knock-off is actually pretty fun, which might surprise some who saw that January release date and ran away from it. Underwater is about a crew of a deep-sea mining rig who, after the catastrophic failure of their platform, have to flee both the destruction of their aquatic environments and crazy monsters. It’s got a good Kristen Stewart performance, solid effects, a wild uncredited cameo from one of modern mythology’s greatest creatures, and copious Moon Pie product placement. What’s not to love? (VOD, from $5.99)
The Rhythm Section
We saw this Blake Lively-led spy thriller back when it came out, and, to say the very least, we were disappointed. But we imagine there’s a good portion of you out there who are undergoing serious Bond withdrawals, given that No Time to Die got pushed all the way back to November. So, here’s a substitute — a ffolksfor your troubles, as it were — with a price tag that might be a bridge too far for most. (VOD, from $14.99)
Look, this remake of the ’70s TV show about — you guessed it — a Fantasy Island, where your dreams come back to haunt you, is horrible. We’re not going out of our way to recommend this to you, but we will say that it’s among the most entertaining things you can check out this weekend, as long as you’re willing to roll with it. Seriously, get some pals together on a Zoom stream, crack open a few brews, and tear this thing to shreds together. It’s the kind of wildly complicated and incredibly loud and stupid movie that would have people rolling in the aisles, had they actually gone to see it in theaters. And, even better, it’s unrated now. (VOD, from $14.99)