- Words Louis Rabinowitz
We take a look at some of the biggest cinematic releases coming in April, from new franchise entries to Viking revenge sagas to creepy Sundance horrors.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (8th April)
J.K. Rowling’s name is not what it once was, but the franchise she created continues to lumber on. Part three of this prequel sequence, The Secrets of Dumbledore, brings back most of the familiar cast to face off against familiar villain Grindelwald, now in the decidedly unfamiliar guise of Mads Mikkelsen. Expect more globe-trotting, more Harry Potter fanservice, and more surprise Dumbledore family members.
The Lost City (13th April)
The original studio romantic comedy in cinemas is a virtually dying breed, but who better to juice it again than one of its heroes, Sandra Bullock. She’s paired off with Channing Tatum in this jungle-set adventure, in which a romance novelist and her cover model struggle to survive against the evil machinations of a scenery-chewing Daniel Radcliffe. Brad Pitt will jump in for an action movie cameo. Delightful.
Benedetta (15th April)
French auteur Paul Verhoeven has made his name on provocative films poking at social taboos with deadly irony – whether it’s militaristic fascism or rampant capitalism – and his latest work turns its lens to religious fervour. Benedetta is the story of a newcomer nun who spurs a messianic movement to cover up her not-safe-for-the-17th century misdeeds. Its premiere at the London Film Festival last autumn proved it to be much funnier, and much sillier, than that premise suggests.
The Northman (15th April)
After The Witch and The Lighthouse, two confined tales of human folly and bodily waste, Robert Eggers widens the scope but keeps the mud-streaked aesthetic for The Northman, a brutal tale of Viking vengeance in which Alexander Skarsgard seeks Hamlet-style vengeance for the murder of his father (Ethan Hawke) and the kidnapping of his mother. Reports indicate naked fighting in a volcano will ensue.
Happening (22nd April)
Audrey Diwan’s latest film picked up the prestigious Golden Lion award at last year’s Venice Film Festival and a Best Director nomination at the BAFTAs, and it finally makes it way to cinemas this month. An adaptation of a 2000 novel, it’s the 1960s-set story of a student’s surprise pregnancy and her risky quest to get an abortion in spite of the massive social taboos against it.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (22nd April)
Nicolas Cage is Nick Cage: that’s the premise for Tom Gormican’s meta film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which skewers its star’s unusual career by putting him in the plot of a classic Nicolas Cage action movie, only with characters who keep telling him how much they loved Face/Off and The Croods 2. The Cagenaissance is in full swing after last year’s Pig, and there’s no better way to celebrate a career resurgence than this.
We're All Going To The World's Fair (29th April)
We’re All Going To The World’s Fair lit up audiences back at last year’s Sundance festival, and now the creepy horror is winding its way to cinemas. The film takes a look at the Internet’s abiding obsession with creepypasta – easily shareable horror stories spinning out new urban mythology for the Internet age – and filters it through a story of the fractured nature of adolescence. Also, there’s something nasty going on with somebody’s skin.