February, the month of love, returns to us with pretty much no romantic films for its entire duration. Not to worry – there are still plenty of good movies to enjoy for a Valentine’s Day date, or just as a way to escape the cold for a little while.
Right out the gate, we have Knock at the Cabin. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the film sees a family of three vacationing at a remote cabin – only to be taken hostage by four strangers who tell the family they must sacrifice one of themselves to stop the apocalypse. As is true with most Shyamalan films, there will almost certainly be a twist that either amplifies or, as it has done in most of his recent outings, unravels the story to an accidental and unintentional comedy. Starring Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter) and Ben Aldridge (Spoiler Alert), we’ll find out if the story can hold up the insane premise when it releases on Feb. 3.
Next up is a trip to the Hundred Acre Wood, although not how you remember it, with Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey. A comedy slasher film, the story follows the iconic and lovable Winnie the Pooh and his pal Piglet on a murderous rampage after Christopher Robin abandons them for college. After Disney finally lost the exclusive rights to the character, writer and director Rhys Frake-Waterfield jumped on the chance to make a horror version of the beloved childhood icon. The trailer, to be honest, definitely makes it feel like the budget was extremely low and the movie was shot hastily – but it will surely be a unique viewing experience either way. If you want to see it in theaters, it’ll be there for one day only – Feb 15.
If you (somehow) need some more Marvel, check out Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The first film in Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (will it ever end?), the plot finds Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), pulled into the Quantum Realm. There, they must deal with a new enemy, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country). With plot elements from the Disney+ show Loki, as well as the other films, the MCU grows larger with every movie. The trailer has an unending sea of CGI and the typical remix of a popular song, but the story looks to take the characters to new heights when it hits theaters on Feb. 17.
Finally, from the vault, I present an animated film that came out in August 2022 and was one of my favorites from last year. Titled Inu-Oh, the Japanese animated musical film is a sight to behold. Set in 14th century Japan, the plot follows the budding friendship between Inu-Oh, a dancer born with unique physical characteristics, and Tomona, a blind musician. Although society largely shuns them, the two use their artistic skills to propel themselves to stardom. The film is beautifully animated, uniquely told, and absolutely worth your time. It’s streaming online now.