L-R: Blade Runner 2049, The Mountain Between Us, It

Image: Warner Bros. / 20th Century Fox

Our 2017 fall movie preview is running all this week. We’ve covered what to watch if you love superheroes, awards season, or smiling. Today: What to watch to feel bad (in a good way).

Yes, we go to the movies to have a good time. But what “a good time” means can vary an awful lot. Sometimes, it’s straightforward: you want to be wowed by spectacle, or laugh ’til your sides hurt, or sink into an escapist fantasy. 

Other times, though, you want to feel kind of bad. You fork over money hoping to cry your eyes out, or scream in terror, or cringe ’til your face hurts. Here’s what to watch if you want to feel bad …

… because your coulrophobia is kicking in: It (September 8)

For anyone who 1) wants to be scared and 2) is freaked out by clowns, It is the obvious choice. Stephen King’s 1986 novel, and the 1990 miniseries it inspired, have sparked many a case of coulrophobia over the decades. Now it’s Bill Skarsgård’s turn to put his own stamp on Pennywise, the ultimate creepy clown, for a new generation – and the buzz is that he’ll do just fine keeping you up at night.

… because you’re creeped the fuck out: mother! (September 15)

If you were haunted by the nightmarish spiral of Requiem for a Dream, or unnerved by the lurid fever dream of Black Swan, you know director Darren Aronofsky can be damn creepy when he wants to be. His latest stars Jennifer Lawrence (his real-life girlfriend) as the young, pregnant wife of an older man (Javier Bardem). When uninvited guests appear at their door, their already-fragile relationship threatens to shatter altogether. Why? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out. 

… about the coming robot uprising: Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)

We don’t know if Deckard is a replicant, we don’t know if the replicants will win this time, and we don’t know if we want the replicants to win this time. But we predict it’ll be a dark ride either way, with the fate of humanity itself hanging in the balance. In fact, don’t take our word for it: Wallace (Jared Leto) says in the trailer that “humanity cannot survive” and that replicants are “the future.” Uh-oh. Sounds like Ryan Gosling’s K and Harrison Ford’s Deckard have their work cut out for them.

… and swoon at the same time: The Mountain Between Us (October 6)

It’s not quite Titanic, but The Mountain Between Us does star Kate Winslet as a woman who meets and falls for a handsome man (Idris Elba this time) while on a trip that goes disastrously, dangerously wrong, spelling possible doom for both. 

… and cringe a whole lot: The Square (October 27)

Terry Notary in The Square.

Terry Notary in The Square.

Come for the razor-sharp satire of the art world, stay for the uncomfortable exploration of what it means to be a community in an inherently unfair world: what we do to help or hurt each other and why, when we trust each other or don’t, what we owe each other as humans. Like Ruben Östlund’s last film, Force Majeure, this is one to watch with your friends so that you can argue about it afterwards. 

… in that “laugh so you don’t cry” way: Last Flag Flying (November 17)

Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne star as old war buddies reuniting after years apart, so you know fun times are ahead. But the reason they’re reuniting is that one of their sons has been killed in combat, so you know you’re probably gonna cry. Especially since Last Flag Flying is helmed by Richard Linklater, who’s proven with Boyhood and the Before trilogy that he handles the bittersweet passage of time better than just about anyone.

All week, we’ll be running our 2017 fall movie preview. Come back every day to find out what to watch if … 

Monday:… you can’t get enough of superheroes
Tuesday: … the Oscars are your Super Bowl  
Wednesday: … you want to feel good  
Thursday: … you want to feel bad  
Friday: … you just want to see the best of the best

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