Online streaming is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort through the good and the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and other services.
On the list this week: David Fincher’s latest project, a new horror-comedy, and more.
‘Mindhunter’ season 1
Director David Fincher has visited the subject of serial killers multiple times in his career — Seven and Zodiac in particular are among the best crime thrillers in recent decades. Now, with the new Netflix series Mindhunter, he dives once more into the genre, this time in a serialized format. Drawing on the memoir by FBI special agent John E. Douglas, Mindhunter follows two FBI agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), fictional pioneers of criminal profiling who interview serial killers in prison, trying to figure out what drove them to commit their vile crimes. As they dig into the darkness of their subjects’ minds, they butt heads with their superiors and try to avoid sinking. Fincher’s highly composed style gives the show a prestigious look.
A throwback to the campy, gory horror films of the 1980s, McG’s The Babysitter begins innocently enough. Teenager Cole (Judah Lewis) has a crush on his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), so when his parents leave for the weekend, he’s excited to learn that she plans to have a party in his house. Unfortunately for Cole, Bee and her friends are cultists, and the party involves less spin-the-bottle and more ritualistic human sacrifice. A shameless “horror-comedy,” The Babysitter isn’t afraid to go big with spurts of blood and slapstick humor. It’s probably not an instant classic, but a worthwhile addition to any Halloween horror playlist.
‘Lore’ season 1
The popular podcast Lore explores the darker, creepier side of history, with a focus on folklore, superstition, and how humanity’s macabre tales have factual roots. It’s a compelling, if unsettling podcast, and the subject matter will hopefully translate well to the screen in Amazon’s Lore TV series, with host Aaron Mahnke guiding viewers through stories both bizarre and enlightening. The first season includes investigations into werewolves, changelings, and even creepy dolls.
Few directors have sustained such massive success for so long as Steven Spielberg. Beginning with a gig directing a segment of Night Gallery, Spielberg went on to create the summer blockbuster with Jaws, and in the ensuing decades has found success in a variety of genres, including sci-fi (E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind), pulpy adventures (Raiders of the Lost Ark), and war dramas (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List). Spielberg is a titan of American cinema, and HBO’s eponymous documentary examines his life and the ways it shaped his creative output. Interviews with other directors and movie stars yield opinions and anecdotes that supplement the biographical details. Spielberg isn’t a challenging documentary — it doesn’t really engage critically with the subject’s art — but it is a trove of background information for those who love his films.
Obsession is a recurring theme in the films of Darren Aronofsky. In films like Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, he has zeroed in on characters fixated on external goals, whether it be getting high or creating sublime art. His preoccupation with madness goes all the way back to his debut, 1998’s Pi, which follows a mathematician, Max Cohen (Sean Gullette), who believes that all of the universe can be broken down into mathematical formulae. He pores over programs and data, fixated on finding the key to everything, and even delves into mysticism. Filmed in black and white, and shot in a frantic style, Pi is an intense thriller, where the conflict comes not from spies or terrorists but the human mind.
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