Uh oh, it’s January! The month of sadness is here – because the sun is still going down too early and some of the worst movies wind up coming to theaters. Let me warn you, the selection is a little bleak this month. I have a choice few to share with you, along with some older recommendations to balance it all out.

Starting the month with horror feels right, and M3GAN covers all the bases. Starring Allison Williams (Get Out) as a successful roboticist, the movie follows her life after she adopts her niece, Cady. She creates a robot doll to keep Cady company, using advanced artificial intelligence. Said doll becomes increasingly protective of Cady, so, obviously, the doll is going to go bad and murder people … which is exactly what you’re there to see. The kills look inventive, and the trailer keeps showing the doll dancing in bizarre ways which are, at best, horrifyingly comical. Only time will tell if this will be a fun or cringeworthy ride when it comes out on Jan. 6. 

For your television fix, check out the highly anticipated The Last of Us. Based on the 2013 video game of the same name, this show looks to break the ever-persistent curse of video game adaptations being average at best, and flat out awful at worst. Starring Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones) and Bella Ramsey (also Game of Thrones), the story focuses on Joel and Ellie, a smuggler and a teenage girl, who must make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States. The video game was widely praised for its story and characters, so here’s hoping HBO can bring that to the screen with the same feelings and power. The series debuts on Jan. 15.

For a curveball, check out the anime Chainsaw Man. Based on the hit manga of the same name, the story is set in a world where devils are born from human fears, and a taskforce of Devil Hunters exists to take them down. The protagonist, Denji, gains the ability to transform into the titular Chainsaw Man, a guy with chainsaws for arms and a bonus one sprouting from his head. He quickly joins the taskforce to find more meaning in his mundane life. The animation is absolutely stunning and both the story and hero feel extremely fresh for an increasingly oversaturated market. Be warned, it is very violent. The twelve episode season one is available to stream on Hulu and Crunchyroll. 

If you’d like an animated blast from the past, check out Interstella 5555. A musical science fiction film from 2003, it is the visual companion to the electronic music duo Daft Punk’s second album, Discovery. The plot concerns the capture and rescue of an interstellar pop band and contains no dialogue and minimal sound effects, an almost unheard of novelty. The music and animation are the stars of the show, and everything still shines just as brightly as it did nearly twenty years ago. It’s currently streaming on the Roku Channel.

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