V/H/S 2 (July 12)
Director: Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener
Cast: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L.C Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes
Criticwire Average: 21 critics gave it a B+ average.
Why is it a "Must See"? If last year’s found-footage, short film amalgamation “V/H/S” was enough to satiate your horror appetite, then the follow-up looks to surely provoke screams. “V/H/S/2,” although less impressive than the sequel’s original title “S-V/H/S,” continues the precursor’s formula of various gruesome, demented murders captured on tape. Foregoing the task of following a single plot in a specific horror subgenre, the “V/H/S” films incorporate a little something for every scary movie lover. The original included everything from a cabin in the woods to demonic possessions to a boyfriend-killing lesbian. Like the first, the follow-up features a slate of promising indie horror directors including “The Blair Witch Project" helmer Eduardo Sanchez, Gareth Evans (“The Raid”), Jason Eisener (“Hobo With a Shotgun”), and more. Following its Sundance premiere “V/H/S/2” was said to be even scarier than the first, taking the blood-squirting to another level and this time, it involves kids. Leave your little ones at home because “V/H/S/2” may leave even the bravest with gorey nightmares. [Erin Whitney]
Check out the film's trailer:
Venus and Serena (May 10)
Why is it a "Must See"? Fans of the tennis superstar sisters -- or anyone just interested in an incredible story about overcoming adversities -- should save the date for Maiken Baird and Michelle Major's doc "Venus and Serena," which is making its way to theaters this May after a successful run on the festival circuit. The film takes an honest look into the truly remarkable lives of the sisters and tennis legends, showing how they came to be and how they struggle to stay on top.
Violet and Daisy (June 7)
Why is it a "Must See"? Geoffrey Fletcher -- who won an Oscar for writing "Precious: Based o the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire" -- makes his directorial debut with this tale of a pair of teenage assassins (played by Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel), who find themselves with a target who isn't who they expected (James Gandolfini). Coming to theaters after a premiere at 2011's Toronto Film Festival, "Violet and Daisy" gives the assassin genre a nice dose of female energy. [Peter Knegt]
The film has yet to release a trailer.
The Way, Way Back (July 5)
Director: Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, AnnaSophia Robb, Amanda Peet, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, Liam James
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Criticwire Average: 15 critics gave it a B+ average.
Why is it a "Must See"? The biggest buy at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight has a lot riding on Jim Rash and Nat Faxon's directorial debut "The Way, Way Back." But the summer vacation family portrait should fit nicely as some midsummer counter-programming. The film follows 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) as he spends summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) and her overbearing boyfriend (Steve Carell) in a resort town. To escape the dysfunction of that scenario, Duncan takes a job offer from Owen (Sam Rockwell), the manager of the Water Wizz water park... And coming-of-age ensues. [Peter Knegt]
Check out the film's trailer: