Movies Not to Miss: January 2018

Casey Lee

Which of these are you going to watch?

The new year starts with Hollywood growing cold on the release front, but that leaves much room for titles from other countries to fill in the gaps.

As a result, the first month of 2018 starts with strong variety. From high-level animation, indie dramas, gripping horror to Oscar baits, there are even a few Asian titles in between if you need something new.

So start your year strong with these movies not to miss for January 2018!

Insidious: The Last Key

The hauntings from the Further continues with the fourth installment but chronologically the second of the "Insidious" series. Following the events of "Insidious Chapter 3", parapsychologist Elise Rainier is off to investigate a house from the town of Five Keys that she is all too familiar with; her family house where she used to live. Lin Shaye reprises her role as Elise Rainier, this time confronting her demons by entering deeper into the Further as written by creator Leigh Whannell, with new director Adam Robitel whose previous works include "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension", and "The Taking of Deborah Logan" bringing out old and new fears.

General Release Date: 4 January

Darkest Hour

As Germany begins its invasion of Europe, Winston Churchill has to decide the fate of the United Kingdom on whether to negotiate with Hitler or be the one to bring his nation to war. 2017 certainly had its fair share of World War II films with "Dunkirk", and one centered on the famed British prime minister starring Brian Cox in "Churchill", but we haven't seen the best that 2017 had to offer till 2018. After a disastrous outing when trying to cash in on a Peter Pan origin story, director Joe Wright is looking to make a prime return with what he does best in the "Darkest Hour". The main highlight here is Gary Oldman who takes the leading role as Churchill. Talks of this being Oldman's ticket to his first Oscar has only been fuelled by his nomination at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild makes this a legitimate performance to look out for.

General Release Date: 4 January

Along with the Gods

While saving lives, firefighter Kim Ja Hong finds himself preparing to stand 7 trials in 49 days for the afterlife that he deserved, guided by grim reapers and appointed legal defenders to ensure that he goes through reincarnation. After going quiet since 2013's "Mr. Go", director Kim Yong-hwa makes a huge return with his adaptation of Joo Ho-min's webcomic for his largest VFX-driven outing. Once again made through collaboration between China and South Korea, "Along with the Gods" stars Cha Tae-hyun as the paragon soul, followed by Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyan-gi as his spiritual guardians as they travel through trials and tribulations. This is the first of a two-parter, with the second installment expected later in 2018.

General Release Date: 11 January

Downsizing

Bored with his current life, Paul Safranek decides to perform an irreversible procedure that would shrink him down to 5 inches and live in a new downsized community. The premise of Downsizing sounds like someone was trying to scale "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" up to a commentary on the state of the world's population. However, when it is co-written and directed by Alexander Payne, it is more of a personal character study in the vein of his "Nebraska" and "The Descendants" that uses an otherwise outlandish setting by Payne's standards. For such a character-driven story, the cast plays an important role to carry them out. Coming off from a suburbia as a disgruntled office worker, those vibes would do good for Matt Damon as the lead, and Kristen Wiig as his wife. Also found in the neighbourhood is Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, and Hong Cau, who has recently been nominated for a Golden Globe, and a whole slew of surprising cameos.

General Release Date: 11 January

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

After the events of "The Scorch Trials", the Gladers are now determined to free their friends captured by WCKD in their base of operations; the Last City. But as Thomas leads his band deeper into the city, he begins to question whether he should save his friends or the entirety or humanity from the Flare. Originally set to follow closely after 2015's "The Scorch Trials", this adaptation of the third book in the "Maze Runner" series hit a road bump when Dylan O'Brien was hospitalised during production. Now coming back to close the final chapter on the book, "The Death Cure" has upped the ante from a young adult adaptation to a full blown action thriller under the direction of Wes Ball. This could the end of the young adult era as the last known young adult novel series being adapted, and a worthy send-off this will do.

General Release Date: 25 January