Coming Soon: October 16th, 2020

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! We’ve got a number of theatrical releases and re-releases, as well as more horror movies in the lead-up to Halloween, and even the latest Netflix awards contender! Here’s what’s coming soon for the week of October 16th, 2020:

Featured Movie: Honest Thief

First up, we have the latest Liam Neeson action programmer, which is hoping to help revive movie theaters during this pandemic. Liam Neesons plays a longtime bank robber who turns himself into the FBI (specifically, Robert Patrick, aka the T-1000!). His goal is to hand over the millions of dollars he’s stolen over the decades, so that he can serve a reduced sentence and begin a guilt-free life with his new girlfriend (Kate Walsh). Enter two corrupt agents (Jai Courtney and Anthony Ramos), who decide to kill Patrick, frame Neeson for the murder, and take Neeson’s money for themselves. Also starring Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice fame, this is the feature directorial debut of Mark Williams, the creator of Netflix’s Ozark. (Opens Friday, October 16th in theaters nationwide.)

Opening in Theaters

The Kid Detective

Next, we have a last-minute theatrical release from Sony… and I’m not kidding: The trailer for this movie wasn’t released until 4:00 PM on Monday! Adam Brody plays an aimless 31-year-old who was once a promising Encyclopedia-Brown-like kid detective, but has since become an alcoholic burnout. But when a new client (Sophie Nélisse) asks him to figure out who murdered her boyfriend, he sees his first “grown-up” case as a route toward redemption. (Opens Friday, October 16th in theaters nationwide.)

2 Hearts

On the other end of the spectrum, we have this super-chaste inspirational romance about two seemingly unrelated budding relationships, which are apparently linked together in some mysterious way. (But, seeing how this movie looks like it’s built out of Nicolas Sparks leftovers, I’m pretty sure I can figure out how this ends… and I’m sure the title gives it away, too.) Starring The Kissing Booth‘s Jacob Elordi, Tiera Skovbye, Adan Canto, and Rahda Mitchell, this is directed by Lance Hool, whose two most prominent credits were back in the 1980s: Missing in Action 2: The Beginning, and the Patrick Swayze post-apocalyptic flick Steel Dawn. (Opens Friday, October 16th in theaters nationwide.)

New to Streaming and VOD

The Trial of the Chicago 7

On the prestige film front, we have writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s new film… his sophomore directing effort, following 2017’s excellent Molly’s Game. It chronicles the often-bizarre six-month trial stemming from riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The stacked ensemble cast is led by Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman (who we’ll talk more about next week!), and also features Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, and Frank Langella. Of note, this was originally intended to be Paramount’s big Oscar contender for this year… but once COVID struck, and Paramount started selling all their movies to streaming services, this was taken to Netflix. (Premieres Friday, October 16th on Netflix.)

Love and Monsters

Speaking of Paramount movies sent to streaming, we have this sci-fi/romance hybrid, which Paramount is sending down the premium VOD route. Seven years after a “monsterpocalypse” forces everyone underground, a young man (Dylan O’Brien, from the Maze Runner movies) decides to go above-ground to get back to his high school sweetheart (Jessica Henwick), with the help of an expert hunter (Michael Rooker). Directed by Michael Matthews (Five Fingers for Marseilles), this was produced by Stranger Things’ Shawn Levy… and was also written by Brian Duffield, who wrote Netflix’s The Babysitter and Underwater, as well as last week’s Paramount VOD release Spontaneous. (Premieres Friday, October 16th on VOD services.)

The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting

Next up, we have this family comedy about a high school freshman who’s recruited into a secret society of babysitters who protect kids with special powers from monsters. Starring Tom Felton, Indya Moore, and Oona Laurence, this is directed by Rachel Talalay, who’s best known for the 1995 cult classic Tank Girl, as well as Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. (Premieres Thursday, October 15th on Netflix.)


Disney+’s newest original movie is this weepie from director Justin Baldoni, who last gave us 2019’s cystic fibrosis tearjerker Five Feet Apart. It’s based on the true story of Zach Sobiech, a Minnesota teenager who was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2012, and wrote a song about his cancer fight called “Clouds”, which went viral on YouTube. Starring Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Iseman, Neve Campbell, Tom Everett Scott, and Lil Rel Howery. (Premieres Friday, October 16th on Disney+.)

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Spike Lee directs this concert film version of Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s hit new Broadway show, which debuted last year (and which was just announced to return to Broadway in late 2021). (Premieres Saturday, October 17th on HBO and HBO Max.)


Full disclosure: I was hoping to cover this movie a few weeks ago, when it debuted in select theaters nationwide… but since Sioux Falls didn’t make the cut, I’ve instead saved it for this article. However, I especially want to note that this is Universal’s very first experiment in theatrical releases that have shortened VOD windows, as this will hit VOD just 21 days after its September 25th limited theatrical run. But enough about the release strategy… 🙂 This is the new comedy from writer/director Miranda July, about a family of thieves (Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins & Debra Winger) whose world begins to unravel when they welcome an outsider (Gina Rodriguez) in to their latest heist. (Premieres Friday, October 16th on VOD services.)

Evil Eye

Next, we have the two newest entries in Amazon’s “Welcome to the Blumhouse” horror series! In this movie, a mom becomes convinced her daughter’s new boyfriend has a dark connection to her own past. Also, for reasons I’m unsure about, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas is credited as an executive producer! (Premieres Tuesday, October 13th on Amazon Prime Video.)


The other “Welcome to the Blumhouse” movie this week is set at an elite arts academy, where a timid music student (Euphoria‘s Sydney Sweeney) begins to outshine her more outgoing twin sister (Madison Iseman, from the Jumanji movies) when she finds a notebook from a recently deceased classmate. (Premieres Tuesday, October 13th on Amazon Prime Video.)

The Mortuary Collection

Finally, we have this week’s Shudder premiere, a horror anthology about a young drifter who gets a job at the local mortuary, and is told a series of chilling tales about the town’s history by its eccentric mortician (Clancy Brown!). (Premieres Thursday, October 15th on Shudder.)

Returning to Theaters

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Disney’s series of Halloween theatrical re-releases continues this week with the 1993 holiday-blurring stop-motion animated classic… which I will forever emphasize was directed by Henry Selick, and *not* Tim Burton! 🙂 (Opens Friday, October 16th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 & XD, the Century East and the West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls.)

Halloween (2018)

Also returning to Cinemark theaters this week as part of their Halloween series: an actual Halloween movie! Specifically, this is the 2018 Blumhouse sequel from David Gordon Green & Danny McBride. It should be noted that, should COVID have not happened, this would be the weekend that we’d all be watching this movie’s direct sequel, Halloween Kills… so use this opportunity to prepare yourself for when it does come out in October 2021! (Opens Friday, October 16th in Cinemark theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and the Century East in Sioux Falls.)

The Shining: 40th Anniversary

Finally, we have a TCM/Fathom Events 40th anniversary presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 1980 horror movie! I was lucky enough to see the 4K restoration of The Shining in theaters last year right before Doctor Sleep came out. It was a wonderful experience… so don’t pass up this chance to see it on the big screen! Also, I should note that this recently came in at #2 on our Top 20 1980s Horror list earlier this month! So yeah… we recommend it! 🙂 (Playing Saturday, October 17th, Tuesday, October 20th and Thursday, October 22nd in select theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and the Century East in Sioux Falls.)

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • The Doorman (2020)
  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
  • Friday the 13th Collection: Deluxe Edition (1980-2009) (Scream Factory 16-disc box set)
  • District 9 (2009) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)

Older Movies New to Streaming


  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • In a Valley of Violence (2016) (premieres Friday, October 16th)
  • Unfriended (2015) (premieres Friday, October 16th)
  • ParaNorman (2012) (premieres Sunday, October 18th)
  • Carol (2015) (premieres Tuesday, October 20th)


  • Playing with Fire (2019) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • High Strung (2016) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • It Came from the Desert (2017) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • Life After Basketball (2019) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • Playing with Fire (2019) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • The Escort (2016) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • The Painted Bird (2019) (premieres Friday, October 16th)
  • Friend Request (2016) (premieres Sunday, October 18th)
  • Cyrano, My Love (2019) (premieres Wednesday, October 22nd)

Amazon Prime:

  • Playing with Fire (2019) (premieres Thursday, October 15th)
  • Cyrano, My Love (2019) (premieres Wednesday, October 22nd)


  • Sleep Tight (2011) (premieres Monday, October 19th)
  • Them (2006) (premieres Monday, October 19th)


  • No additional Disney+ movies this week. Sorry!

HBO Max:

  • No additional HBO Max movies this week. Sorry!

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, October 15th: Criterion Collection Edition #170: Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  • Friday, October 16th: Double Feature: Twisted Sister – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Sisters (1972)
  • Saturday, October 17th: Saturday Matinee – Buck Privates (1941)
  • Sunday, October 18th: Race, Sex & Cinema: The World of Marlon Riggs – Long Train Running: A History of the Oakland Blues (1981), Ethnic Notions (1986), Tongues United (1989), Affirmations (1990), Anthem (1991), Color Adjustment (1992), No Regret (1993), Black Is… Black Ain’t (1994), I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs (1996)
  • Sunday, October 18th: Inspired by Marlon Riggs – Walk for Me (2016), 100 Boyfriends Mixtape (2016), A Drop of Sun Under the Earth (2017), The Labyrinth 1.0 (2017), A Guide to Breathing Underwater (2018)
  • Monday, October 19th: Criterion Collection Edition #789 – Burroughs (1983)
  • Tuesday, October 20th: Short + Feature: Let’s Talk About Sex – Dirty (2020), Weekend (2011)
  • Wednesday, October 21st: Women Filmmakers of New World Pictures – The Student Nurses (1970), The Velvet Vampire (1971), Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Suburbia (1983)

The Shameless Plugs

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About the Author
Derrick Veurink has been consuming anything and everything movie-related since he was 5, and is an encyclopedic fount of random movie information. He is an avid physical media supporter, and sees nearly every major theatrical release. (Yes, even "Playmobil: The Movie".)
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