Film News South Africa

What's hot at the box office this October

There's some thrilling and captivating entertainment for everyone to escape into during October in South African cinemas and streaming platforms.
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6 October

Now, nearly 50 years since the blockbuster’s theatrical launch, The Exorcist: Believer marks a new beginning that takes audiences into the darkest heart of inexplicable evil.

Since the death of his pregnant wife in a Haitian earthquake 13 years ago, Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr) has raised their daughter, Angela (Lidya Jewett) on his own. But when Angela and her friend Katherine (Olivia O’neill) disappear in the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened to them, it unleashes a chain of events that will force Victor to confront the nadir of evil and, in his terror and desperation, seek out the only person alive who has witnessed anything like it before: Chris MacNeil.

Based on the best-selling book by William Peter Blatty, it is directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay by Peter Sattler (Camp X-Ray) and David Gordon Green, from a story by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills) and Danny Mcbride (Halloween trilogy) and David Gordon Green.

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Following the success on the big screen of 2021’s Paw Patrol: The Movie, Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie brings everyone’s favourite pups back to cinemas nationwide with new and mightier super-suits, vehicles, and fun adventures.

When a magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City, it gives the Paw Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into The Mighty Pups! For Skye, the smallest member of the team, the new powers are a dream come true. But things take a turn for the worse when the pups’ archrival, Mayor Humdinger, breaks out of jail and teams up with Victoria Vance, a meteor-obsessed mad scientist, to steal the pups’ superpowers and turn themselves into supervillains.

With the fate of Adventure City hanging in the balance, The Mighty Pups must stop Humdinger and Vance before it’s too late, and Skye will learn that even the smallest pups can make the biggest difference.

12 October

Oscar nominees, Cannes winners, and other thought-provoking films from Europe will be on show during the celebratory 10th edition of the European Film Festival in South Africa between 12 to 22 October this year. The festival will showcase a select curation of 16 new films in cinemas in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with a limited special programme in Durban.

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The Festival opens with the African–European film Goodbye Julia at Ster-Kinekor’s The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 12 October, and screens on 21 October at Gateway in Durban and 22 October at The Labia, Cape Town.

13 October

In 57 Seconds, blogger Franklin Fausti (Josh Hutcherson) thwarts an attack against Anton Burrell (Morgan Freeman), a visionary tech guru he has been given a chance to interview. He finds a ring that Burrell dropped and discovers that it gives its wearer the ability to travel 57 seconds into the past. With Burrell’s help, Franklin decides to use it to take revenge against the pharmaceutical company that was responsible for his sister’s death.

This science fiction thriller is directed by Rusty Cundieff, written by Cundieff and Macon Blair, and starring Josh Hutcherson and Morgan Freeman. It is based on the story Lucifer by E.C. Tubb.

The cultural phenomenon continues, giving fans the opportunity to immerse themselves in this once-in-a-lifetime concert film experience, offering a breathtaking, cinematic view of the global, award-winning music icon that is Taylor Swift. The highly anticipated film follows her remarkable journey. The music sensation wrote on her Instagram page: “The tour isn’t the only thing we’re taking worldwide…"

Taylor Swift’s’ The Eras Tour will have screenings on the following dates: 13, 14 and 15 October in IMAX, Cine Prestige and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas, and then in Ster-Kinekor cinemas from 19–21 October, 26–29 October, and from 2–5 November 2023.

20 October

Killers Of The Flower Moon is based on a shameful episode in American history, wouldn’t fit the traditional mold. Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Eric Roth’s adaptation of David Grann’s best-selling book started out with a different hero: Thomas Bruce White Sr., the heroic Texas Ranger and FBI agent who solved the Osage murder case.

At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight. The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted, and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder.

Based on a true story and told through the improbable romance of Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone), Killers of the Flower Moon is an epic Western crime saga, where real love crosses paths with unspeakable betrayal. Also starring Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons.

Cat Person is a razor-sharp exploration of the gender divide, the quagmire of navigating modern dating and the dangerous projections we make in our minds about the person at the other end of our phones. College sophomore Margot (Emilia Jones) studies anthropology but has a lot to learn about humankind.

When she meets the older Robert (Nicholas Braun) at the movie theatre where she works, they strike up an awkward rapport and she gives him her number. They commence a flirtatious back and forth over text and Margot is pleased that Robert seems responsive and witty. She uncovers that IRL Robert doesn’t live up to the Robert she has been flirting with over texts.

Susanna Fogel directs this genre-bending thriller about the horrors of dating in the 21st Century, adapted by Michelle Ashford from the acclaimed 2017 New Yorker short story by Kristen Roupenian.

21 October

David Harewood (Homeland) and Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) play feuding political rivals in James Graham’s (Sherwood) multiple-award-winning new drama Best Of Enemies. In 1968 America, as two men fight to become the next president, all eyes are on the battle between two others: the cunningly conservative William F. Buckley Jr., and the unruly liberal Gore Vidal.

During a new nightly television format, they debate the moral landscape of a shattered nation. As beliefs are challenged and slurs slung, a new frontier in American politics is opening and television news is about to be transformed forever.

Jeremy Herrin (All My Sons) directs James Graham’s blistering political thriller, filmed live in London’s West End. Dates of Screenings in South Africa: 21, 22, 25 and 26 October.

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27 October

The terrifying horror game phenomenon becomes a blood-chilling cinematic event. Five Nights At Freddy’s follows Mike (Josh Hutcherson) a troubled young man caring for his 10-year-old sister Abby (Piper Rubio), and haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother more than a decade before.

Recently fired and desperate for work so that he can keep custody of Abby, Mike agrees to take a position as a night security guard at an abandoned theme restaurant: Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. But Mike soon discovers that nothing at Freddy’s is what it seems. With the aid of Vanessa Shelly, a local police officer (Elizabeth Lail), Mike’s nights at Freddy’s will lead him into unexplainable encounters with the supernatural and drag him into the black heart of an unspeakable nightmare. It is directed by Emma Tammi, based on the video game series Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Trolls Band Together features Trolls’ signature psychedelic joy-bomb of new and classic pop hits, get ready for an action-packed, all-star, rainbow-colored family reunion like no other in the new chapter of DreamWorks Animation’s blockbuster musical franchise.

After two films of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers.

When Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains, Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity.

In Freelance, ex-special forces operative Mason Pettits (John Cena) is stuck in a dead-end desk job when he’s reluctantly recruited by former military buddy Sebastian Earle (Christian Slater) to take on a simple freelance gig providing security for washed-up journalist Claire Wellington (Alison Brie). He begrudgingly escorts Claire on assignment to interview the ruthless—but impeccably dressed—dictator, Juan Venegas (Juan Pablo Raba), when a military coup breaks out just as she’s about to get the scoop of a lifetime.

Now, the unlikely trio must figure out how to survive the jungle AND each other in order to make it out alive! From Pierre Morel, the dynamic director of Taken and Peppermint, Freelance is written by Jacob Lentz and also stars Alice Eve, Martin Csokas, Julianne Arrieta and Sebastian Eslava.

Recommended viewing on the streaming platforms

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Netflix: A couple must face the true price of success and the unnerving limits of ambition in Fairplay (6 Oct). The Fall Of The House Of Usher is a contemporary horror series based on multiple works by Edgar Allan Poe (12 Oct). A soil scientist’s trek through the woodlands to find a missing colleague turns terrifying as he discovers an unexpected dark side to Mother Nature in In The Earth (Oct 16). Elite’s season 7 streams from 20 October and tackles mental health and how most of us neglect it out of fear or ignorance. Life on Our Planet (25 Oct) is the story of life’s epic battle to conquer and survive on planet Earth. Emily Blunt stars in Pain Hustlers as a blue-collar single mom who has just lost her job and is at the end of her rope. A chance meeting with pharmaceutical sales her on an upwards trajectory economically but dubious path ethically as she becomes entangled in a dangerous racketeering scheme (27 Oct).

Showmax: In The Visitor (12 Oct), a man discovers an old portrait of a man who looks like him, leading him down a rabbit hole to discover his identity. Boetie Boer takes us inside the mind of a monster in the most disturbing true-crime series that explores Stewart ‘Boetie Boer’ Wilken killing spree in Gqeberha in 1990 (18 Oct). Cocaine Bear is inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it (19 Oct). In Plane, pilot Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island, only to find that surviving the landing was just the beginning (23 Oct). In the aftermath of a scandal, the first lady of a megachurch tries to help her pastor-husband rebuild the congregation in Honk For Jesus (26 Oct).

Disney Plus: In Haunted Mansion, a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters (7 Oct). Still reeling from the tragic death of their mother, a teenage girl and her younger sister find themselves plagued by a sadistic presence in their house in The Boogeyman (11 Oct) and struggle to get their grieving father to pay attention before it’s too late. Goosebumps follows a group of five high schoolers as they embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three decades earlier of a teen named Harold Biddle – while also unearthing dark secrets from their parents’ past (13 Oct). The Lions of Sicily is a family saga filled with love, family, success, wars and revolutions, which takes place in Sicily from 1800 until the Proclamation of the Kingdom in Italy in 1861 (25 Oct).

Read more about the latest and upcoming films.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit
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