The 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

5. Suspiria

It can be difficult to hear news of one’s favourite films being remade, given the disastrous results of numerous examples in the past. Dario Argento’s 1977 is a much-loved giallo horror masterpiece, a vividly coloured masterpiece with a stunningly hypnotic soundtrack which remains a Halloween favourite to this day.

The director helming the new version, Luca Guadagnino has made sure to ensure audiences know that he’s not trying to match Argento’s iconic picture; rather, his Suspiria will be a personal film, exploring the story in different directions and for other reasons. The idea of a remake in the sparsest of senses – using the source material as mere inspiration to found a new vision – is commendable and the results will be fascinating.

The cast assembled is certainly stronger than in 1977, with Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson playing the key roles. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has been trusted to match the screeching intensity of Goblin’s astounding soundtrack.

In a nice touch, Jessica Harper, the lead actor of the original, will make a small appearance as a different character. Guadagnino is taking on this challenge immediately after the success of his coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name (2017); he’s clearly not a director to rest on his laurels.


4. The House That Jack Built

After the downright punishing Nymphomaniac (2013), Lars von Trier isn’t ready to explore outside his comfort zone like others just yet; his latest has been described by the man himself as celebrating the idea that life is evil and soulless. The House That Jack Built will tell the story of an intelligent man’s development over the course of twelve years into a serial killer; think Boyhood (2014) for the depressed and broken. Matt Dillon has been chosen to play the title role, a curiosity given his relative lack of strong roles in recent times.

Von Trier is always a provocateur so the film is sure to be gruesome in its detail and content. It certainly won’t just use the horror of the murders to scare the audience; it feels like the auteur trying to determine just what makes a person resort to killing, and such a life. There have also been hints that this could be his final film, and if true, there should be no expectation that The House That Jack Built will falter after a consistent career creating intensely challenging and masterful material.


3. Isle Of Dogs

Returning to the winning territory of Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), Wes Anderson will be hoping his new Isle of Dogs will receive the same acclaim. In 2009, Anderson was coming off the back of The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), two of his weaker films; this time his latest animation entry is following perhaps his finest film to date, Grand Budapest Hotel, meaning the pressure isn’t as intense on the director.

Early signs are, however, very good. The starring voice cast is enticingly strong, even for Anderson and his regular troupe of performers: Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Courtney B. Vance, and Scarlett Johansson are just some of the new names to join.

The story is set in a Japan of the future, where dogs have been quarantined on an island to stop the spread of a disease. Five of these dogs then help a local boy, Atari, look for his dog, Spots. Anderson has stated that the film was strongly influenced by Akira Kurosawa; a stop-motion film about dogs inspired by the Japanese master filmmaker cannot help but intrigue.


2. Annihilation

Annihilation - Alex Garland

It’s always thrilling to witness the emergence of a talented genre filmmaker, and this is the feeling with Alex Garland. He’s following the intelligent science-fiction of Ex Machina (2015) with another entry in the same territory with Annihilation.

The former used his own screenplay but his latest utilises strong source material in Jeff VanderMeer’s novel: in it a biologist journeys into an environmental disaster zone with three other scientists after her husband returns unexpectedly from a previous expedition greviously injured. There are notable shades of Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979) in Annihilation, not bad science-fiction films to share similarities.

The film appears to be well-casted too. Natalie Portman leads as the biologist on the 2nd expedition; Jennifer Jason Leigh gets another chance to shine after her starring role in The Hateful Eight in 2015. Annihilation sees Garland backed by a significantly bigger budget than Ex Machina, something that he’ll hopefully reap the rewards of. If the film is indeed a success, there will be the opportunity for more, as Annihilation forms just the first novel in VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy (Paramount Pictures have bought the rights to the whole series).


1. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

It will come as an immense relief to fans of Terry Gilliam (and certainly to the man himself) that his long-gestating adaptation of the Spanish novel Don Quixote is set to finally make it to screens this year.

A passion project if ever there was one, Gilliam has been trying to get his film made for nearly two decades. In many respects, the director mirrors the titular hero of the source novel: a noble man so intent on undoing the wrongs of the world and bringing justice to proceedings that he valiantly attempted to make his film eight separate times in 18 years before realising his dream, in the worst example of development hell ever encountered. It’s been, clearly, quite the quest. Adam Driver heads up this final iteration, a strong choice considering his ever-growing star and shining charisma.

The screenplay is quirky, too, not surprising from the director responsible for Brazil (1985) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009): an ad executive is transported back in time to 17th century Spain, becoming squire to Don Quixote. There will be much goodwill, naturally, for Gilliam and this film, and one can only hope that the results are spectacular after so much wait.

Honorable Mentions:

Black Panther (Ryan Coogler), The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent), A Wrinkle In Time (Ava DuVernay), Radegund (Terrence Malick), Where’d You Go Bernadette? (Richard Linklater)