2019 most anticipated films.

Chris von Hoffmann
11 min readJan 5, 2019

Now that 2018 has come to a close (a year that seems to come and go like lightning), it’s now time to indulge in the new year. With a new year comes new films in which critics and audiences alike will either flock to the movie theaters, stream on their digital outlets, or most likely pirate them on some illegal streaming service (seriously please stop doing this).

I absolutely can’t wait for audiences to shit their pants over films that are just slightly above “Not Terrible” considering the number of terrible films coming out these days… I can’t wait for audiences to continuously claim each new television show to be “The Greatest TV show ever” on their social media… I can’t wait for that one film where everyone expected to be total garbage based on its marketing to then be completely surprised when it’s actually a breakout hit. As Joe Pesci quotes in the sadly forgotten 2010 Taylor Hackford brothel drama Love Ranch… “Same shit. Different flies.”

Here we go 2019.

THE BEACH BUM written and directed by Harmony Korine

Even though this film literally looks like Spring Breakers 2 considering the lighting, tone, and backdrop… I’m equally jacked for this as I was back in 2013 when Spring Breakers was coming out. I understand Harmony is certainly not the best writer and is much more focused on the visuals and overall feel and characters that inhabit his stories however that doesn’t bother me at all. Films are visual mediums and it’s nice to see an auteur like Korine embracing that to the max. It’s refreshing actually. If you want to focus on nothing but the narrative, READ A BOOK. Remember those?

Will this film work for everyone? Absolutely not. Korine’s films never do. Though what I do know is that it’s going to be an awesome starring vehicle for McConaughey and it’s such a delight to see Martin Lawrence back on the big screen. Especially in a film as bat shit bizarre as I know this will be. I can’t wait to see this at the theatres with a bunch of unsuspecting audience members who think they’re going to see a formulaic dramedy.

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS directed by Michael Dougherty and written by Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields & Max Borenstein

I’m not exactly sure why I’m so jacked to see this film. These gigantic fantasy adventure films are becoming less and less my cup of tea in the last several years. I’m not a big fan of the director at all, I was very underwhelmed by the 2014 Godzilla, I can’t stand Millie Bobbie Brown, the list goes on. I feel like it’s mainly marketing. The trailer blew me away and I must have watched it a dozen times. Though that sort of scares me because I did the exact same thing with the Gareth Edwards Godzilla trailer as well and then the film let me down enormously. Mainly because they killed Bryan Cranston within 20 minutes. Aaron Taylor Johnson didn’t stand a chance to carry a neanderthal of a motion picture like that, come on.

I think aside from the trailers, what gets me very excited about this film is that it’s a precursor to the Adam Wingard Kong VS. Godzilla film coming out in 2020. Wingard, I’m a fan of so if anything it’s my obligation to see this film in order to click with the Wingard installment. I understand these might not be the most intelligent reasons in wanting to run to the cinema to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters but by having moderate expectations, I’m sure it’ll blow my head off upon viewing. Bring on May 31st!

TOY STORY 4 directed by Josh Cooley and written by Will McCormack & Stephany Folsom

I’m part super thrilled for this, part incredibly worried. I’m thrilled because it’s another Toy Story film and the previous three were absolutely brilliant in every way. I’m worried because the previous three were absolutely brilliant in every way and it was for my money the perfect and greatest trilogy ever committed to screen. I’m not exactly sure where the fourth installment is going to take us however the marketing thus far has been hilariously clever and also very minimal (in a good way).

I’m remaining very optimistic considering the gap between Toy Story 2 and 3 were 11 years and everyone (including myself) were very skeptical of the third installment, nervous that it was going to damage the legacy. IT DID NOT. Toy Story 3 was a marvelous conclusion to a beautiful series of stories. If they left it at that, it would’ve been perfect. Now that we have a fourth coming to theatres, they’re probably going to have to make a fifth because who ends on four?

Regardless, I’m remaining super excited for this though ever since John Lasseter got Me Too’d, I feel there might be some bad blood behind the scenes of this. POSITIVITY!!!

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK directed by Andre Ovredal and written by John August, Marcus Dunstan, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Patrick Melton & Guillermo Del Toro

Andre Ovredal is rapidly becoming one of my favorite genre directors ever since seeing The Autopsy of Jane Doe at Beyond Fest back in 2016 (which ended up becoming my favorite film that year). So when I heard that he became the man behind the camera for this adaptation, I jumped up and down like a little school girl.

These books were hugely part of my childhood and scared the living shit out of me growing up as I’m sure they did for many other children. I remember going into my attic late at night to read these books to spook myself. There was a genuine disturbing feel to the stories. Very mean spirited and haunting. As if the person writing/illustrating the stories (courtesy of Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell) did not care much for the human soul. They were abrasive, chilling, and very unkind. All the things I find fascinating in horror.

It seems like they’re taking the Goosebumps route with this cinematic adaptation where it centers on a group of kids who must face off against their own fears. Similar to the 2015 Goosebumps film. For a TV show, they can touch on every single story, however for a feature film they need to find another way. I just hope this film delivers on the intensity that the books had which considering who’s behind it… I really don’t think that’ll be a problem.

IT: CHAPTER TWO directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman

I was absolutely shocked by how entertained I was by the first IT back in 2017. It’s very hard to hold my attention from beginning to end these days and considering the first one was over two hours, that’s very impressive. I was never a fan of the 1990 mini-series. I feel like they were definitely some very visually arresting and genuinely haunting moments during the “Kids” section however the “Adults” section just played out like a daytime soap opera that my Mother used to watch on her lunch breaks. It was just unbearable which was sort of the issue with a lot of the older Stephen King film adaptations. The acting in a lot of them was just so melodramatic on so many levels that it sort of took the piss out of the whole thing.

Since the cast that’s already been lined up for this film is quite impressive, I already know that it’ll completely surpass the original “Adults” section. Also having the same director attached helps hugely. I just hope that he is choosing to up his game with this one because a story revolving around youngsters and the loss of innocence is much more exciting to watch than a bunch of depressed adults reflecting on the past.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD written and directed by Quentin Tarantino

I’ve had a very love/hate relationship with Quentin Tarantino ever since Death Proof. In my opinion, Kill Bill Vol. 1 is his finest work. I feel like it was the first (and still only) film of his where everything just clicked. It was oddly very disciplined, had a great balance of action and dialogue, tremendous cinematography, sharp editing, etc. All of it worked for me. Which perhaps it was so disciplined because he was forced to. Considering Vol. 2 was around the corner. Either way, it’s still to this day my favorite film of his.

I feel like the writer/director has become more and more of a parody of himself over the years and has yet to truly impress me since 2003. I remember seeing Django Unchained at the DGA back in 2012 and was shocked at how much everyone around me were loving it when there were clearly very evident issues with the film. I feel audiences just see his films now out of obligation (including myself) and just willy nilly give them positive reviews because it’s QT (NOT including myself). It’s like they don’t even properly watch his films anymore. I remember when The Hateful Eight came out and someone on social media called it a masterpiece and that’s when I realized we’re in big trouble here.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood however is the most intrigued I’ve been for one of his films in quite a while. Mainly because it’s something different. It’s about people trying to make it in show business. That’s the purest sort of story from his since True Romance. QT is always fun when he satirizes what he loves most. The industry. Since this is the 9th and second to last film of his before he retires, he seems like he really wants to go out with a bang. The number of actors in this film would make you think that he literally just cast the entire city of Hollywood in one film. Which honestly doesn’t seem too far from the truth.

Anyway, I really hope QT redeems himself with this and doesn’t get too carried away with his fanboy claptrap nonsense. However at the end of the day… that fanboy claptrap is what made him rich and famous so why wouldn’t he? We’ll have to find out on August 9th.

P.S.: Margot Robbie playing Sharon Tate? NOPE.

Other films that I’m intrigued by but not chomping at the bit just yet.

Us written and directed by Jordan Peele

With the exception of a terrific opening scene, Get Out in my opinion was simply just an above-average tonally confused typical Blumhouse jerk off fest which was way too self-satisfied and clever for its own good. Trying so hard to be “weird.” I’m intrigued by the Us trailer and to see the film mainly because Tim Heidecker is in it. Anything that guy takes part in, it must have some merit to it. I’m staying optimistic about this one.

CHILD’S PLAY directed by Lars Klevberg and written by Tyler Burton Smith

I feel like they’ve been talking about rebooting this film for as long as they were in development hell for Freddy VS. Jason. FOREVER. We’ve yet to see a trailer for this film and I’m keeping high hopes for it considering I was never a huge fan of the original film (Child’s Play 2 all the way). My only issue with this is the casting of Aubrey Plaza playing the Mother? How do you go from lovable Catherine Hicks to quite possibly the most irritating female screen presence since Alison Pill to play a heartwarming Mother? Doesn’t quite compute.

PET SEMATARY directed by Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer and written by Jeff Buhler & David Kajganich

My expectations are pretty much whatever at this point. I love the original (despite the ham-fisted performances), however, I’m an even bigger fan of the 1992 sequel. I just loved the thrashing youth angle that film took. This remake has been in development for quite some time and since we’ve been getting this massive Stephen King resurgence lately, it makes complete sense for Paramount to finally get the ball rolling and release this. Oddly enough I got to pitch for this back in the summer of 2017 when the original director dropped out. I’m slightly bitter but what the hell. I think the guys who are behind the camera with this will do a fine job. Hopefully. The trailer looked like a pretty mediocre straight to video movie but usually, if the trailers are bad, the film will most likely be solid. The casting seems to be pretty up to snuff as well so I’m praying!

JOKER directed by Todd Phillips and written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver

I literally know nothing about this film. I haven’t cared to watch any of its marketing. Has it had any? Didn’t really watch the screen tests. I haven’t been following it at all. All I know is that it’s coming out this year. What really intrigues me is who is in front and behind the camera. That’s literally the only reason I want to see it. Not because I’m some hardcore Joker fan cause I’m not. It’s because Joaquin Phoenix is one of the greatest actors of his generation and Todd Phillips’ style can be very fun to watch. So with that strange combination, we’ll certainly get something at the very least interesting to experience.

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE written and directed by David Robert Mitchell

Whenever a film gets a release pushed back (especially after a big Cannes premiere), it’s a red flag. Whenever a film gets a release pushed back a second time… YIKES. I doubt it’s as bad as its infamous second pushed back release claims it to be though I am slightly skeptical. This is David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to 2014’s It Follows. It Follows seem to wow horror fans and critics alike and went on to gross a decent profit against a $2MM budget. However I myself never quite got aboard that hype train. I thought the film had a great opening scene but never quite lived up to what that opening scene promised. With the exception of a couple of chilling moments scattered throughout, it was a blue balls experience. A lot of set up, no pay off (except for the opening of course).

I’m pulling for this film… through its 140 minute run time already is getting me angry. Listen “auteur directors.” (Damien Chazelle, I’m talking to you too here). Just because you have some critical and commercial success, does not mean you can just go ahead and make overly long movies. You’re not Paul Thomas Anderson. If you make a bad short movie, you can be easily forgiven. However, Michael Cimino has proved that if you make a bad LONG movie, you might as well run for the hills cause audiences will be gunning for you.



Chris von Hoffmann

Check out my movies Devil's Workshop (amazonprime), Monster Party (amcplus), Drifter (tubi), Phobias (“Ephebiphobia” hulu).