The 7 Movies to See in October 2010

October has at least one Oscar contender and a whole bunch of horror films to choose from, so what will it be? FilmJabber has the answers in our guide to the movies to see in October 2010. Two of the movies are now playing in theaters, and the rest are coming soon – so have your calendars ready to pencil them in.

Without further ado, here are the seven movies you must absolutely see in October 2010:

7. Monsters – October 29, 2010 (Limited)

A no-name cast stars in this sci-fi thriller (horror?) film set six years after a NASA probe crashed into northern Mexico, unleashing pathogens that led to the emergence of large “creatures.” As a result, the northern half of Mexico has been quarantined by the U.S. and Mexican militaries. In Monsters, an American journalist agrees to escort a shaken tourist back home to the states – through the quarantine zone.

Our take:In the vein of Cloverfield and District 9, Monsters looks to deliver with a unique premise on a low budget. The movie looks pretty amazing, but it’s disconcerting that the picture isn’t receiving the marketing push or buzz necessary for it to become this year’s surprise hit. Based on the trailer, Monsters looks pretty amazing.

6. Paranormal Activity 2 – October 22, 2010

Following last year’s mysterious events, a family moves into a house and begins to hear and see things that make them suspect the house is haunted. At first the family members think it’s neat, but they soon realize that the force that is tormenting them – especially the baby – may be more sinister than any normal ghost.

Our take: Despite being a surprise box office phenomenon and one of the scariest movies ever made (it gave me nightmares), the announcement that Paranormal Activity 2 was being developed for release just a year wasn’t greeted too favorably. Paranormal Activity was lightning in a bottle, and just like Blair Witch Project, it couldn’t be easily repeated. Unlike the Blair Witch sequel, however, Paranormal Activity 2 simply offers more of the same. It may not be original, but if it’s even half as scary, it’ll be worth it.

5. Red – October 15, 2010 (Limited)

Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker, among others, star in Red, an action-comedy about a group of retired CIA spies who discover they’ve been branded for elimination. In response, they team up once more to infiltrate the CIA and expose who is behind the betrayal.

Our take: Though I’m absolutely sick of seeing the previews – Red is advertised at nearly every movie I go to – I’m looking forward to Red. The cast is great, the action looks fun and the script amusingly entertaining. There have been several team-based action-comedies this year (The Losers, The A-Team and The Expendables), but Red by far has the most trustworthy cast – and the potential to be a blast.

4. It’s Kind of a Funny Story – October 8, 2010 (LA/NY)

16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is stressed out from the demands of being a teenager, so he checks himself into a mental health clinic. But the youth ward is closed, so he is forced to spend a mandatory five days in the adult ward (with the real crazies). He quickly bonds with fellow patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) and potential love interest Noelle (Emma Roberts).

Our take: Galifianakis is at the peak of his career right now, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story is the perfect project to stretch his abilities a bit while still staying true to why people like him so much. It looks funny, clever and sweet, and based on fellow reviewer Nathan, the movie is pretty good, not always consistent but still worth seeing. Check back this week for Nathan’s review.

3. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – October 27, 2010 (Limited)

If you want to see Rooney Mara and David Fincher at work this month, you’ll have to see The Social Network. But you don’t and shouldn’t wait for the American remakes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies (which star Mara), as the third and final original is released in limited theaters this month. Critically acclaimed and a box office behometh, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest has Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) hospitalized after the dramatic events in the previous film and Mikael (Michael Nyqvist) searching for the reason why Lisbeth has been treated so harshly by Swedish authorities.

Our take: Though I’m looking forward to what Fincher does with the trilogy, it’s frustrating that such a well made, modern franchise is getting such a limited run here in the States simply because it’s in a different language. Having only seen Dragon Tattoo, which was fantastic, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest deserves a better fate than what it’s received.

2. Let Me In – Now in theaters

An alienated 12-year old boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road) is constantly bullied by his classmates. Left to his own devices, he takes a liking to new neighbor Abby (Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass), who hesitantly returns his affection. But Abby, as he discovers, is a blood-thirsty vampire who is much older than she seems.

Our take: The original 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In is a classic, and while Let Me In may be an unnecessary remake, it is a well-made one. The scenes are well crafted and the child leads are excellent. The story is like Twilight, only good, and here the vampires aren’t happy, cuddly, sparkly creatures. A must-see horror film this October.

1. The Social Network – Now in theaters

The Social Network is the dramatized portrayal of the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Er, co-founder. Based on a book written from the perspective of other co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who was “betrayed” by Zuckerberg and subsequently sued the young billionaire for $600 million, The Social Network presents a critical but intriguing portrayal of the reclusive man as he creates the website that would reshape the social environment of the Internet – and the way people interact.

Our take: The Town may have kicked off awards season, but The Social Network is the first true legitimate contender. Directed by David Fincher, written by Aaron Sorkin and featuring excellent performances by Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield (the new Spider-Man), Justin Timberlake (playing the founder of Napster) and Rooney Mara (the new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), The Social Network is at once a modern-day business thriller and cutthroat character study. Disturbing, amazing and also sad, The Social Network is not one to see in October – it is a must-see of the year.

And no, Saw 3D is not on the list. Why? Because history has proven that even if not all of the Saw movies suck (which they do), the franchise ran out of ideas a long, long, long time ago.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Top 10 Movie Lists