This one went a little under the radar, and that’s to be expected from M. Night Shyamalan, whose twist-filled movies reward going in fresh, but his latest, “Knock at The Cabin,” is among 2023’s first queer-themed film releases, and worth noting. Based on Paul Tremblay’s 2018 horror novel, “The Cabin at the End of the World,” it stars gay actors Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge (“Spoiler Alert”) as a couple who rent a secluded cabin in the woods with their young daughter (Kristen Cui). And if you’ve ever seen a movie about anyone in a cabin the woods, you know what’s in store. Of course, since this a Shyamalan film, you also might not. Strangers arrive, among them Dave Bautista (“Glass Onion”) and Harry Potter alum Rupert Grint, who hold the family hostage for a very strange reason, forcing them to fight back. Once you’ve caught up on “Tar” and the other queer-themed Oscar hopefuls, you can satisfy your scary movie needs when this opens in early February.
Hurricane Bianca whips up a third storm
If you’ve been following drag artist Bianca Del Rio’s “Hurricane Bianca” film franchise — and you are or you’re not living well — you’ll be happy to learn that another one is on the way. On the heels of “Hurricane Bianca” and “Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate” comes “Hurricane Bianca: The Roots of All Evil,” due to shoot in early 2023. Written and directed by “Hurricane” vet Matt Kugelman, the story will follow Bianca as she drives her homophobic-fast-food-chain-owning mother out of business (and we assume chicken sandwiches are somehow involved).
Casting is still underway but so far the supporting team includes Willam Belli (“A Star is Born”), Rachel Dratch (“Wine Country”) and fellow drag superstar Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. We know that the answer to drag queen haters is more drag queens, and if it also involves a “Dynasty”-style family feud, that’s even better. Look forward to this one sometime later in the year.
One to Watch: ‘Willow’ star Erin Kellyman
Queer actor Erin Kellyman plays Jade, the knight-in-training on the Disney+ fantasy series “Willow,” where she’s been given a will-they-or-won’t-they lesbian storyline (answer: yeah, they will). Now the up-and-comer is co-starring in the latest film from acclaimed director Steve McQueen. It’s called “Blitz,” it’s a World War II drama, and that’s that on plot details so far. But Kellyman joins a solid cast: Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”), Stephen Graham (“The Irishman”), Harris Dickinson (“Triangle of Sadness”), Kathy Burke (“Absolutely Fabulous”) and UK music legend Paul Weller, known for his bands The Jam and The Style Council. Shooting is underway so keep this one – and Kellyman (there can never be enough queers in the cinema) – on your radar for later in the year.
Will 2023 be the year we get Aubrey Plaza in ‘Olga Dies Dreaming’?
Xochitl Gonzalez’s debut novel, “Olga Dies Dreaming,” was a literary highlight of 2022, and before it was even published, back in 2021, Hulu ordered a series based on the book. Of course, these things take time and so we wait patiently for the Aubrey Plaza-starring project to come to that streaming platform. It’s the story of Olga (Plaza) and Prieto (Ramon Rodriguez, “The One and Only Ivan”), two Puerto Rican siblings in Brooklyn who face family challenges and difficult truths about their past, set during the days just before 2017’s Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. And the supporting cast — Jesse Williams, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Liza Colon-Zayas (“The Bear”) — packs a punch. We follow Aubrey Plaza anywhere she goes (especially if we get a sequel to “Happiest Season” where she and Kristen Stewart finally get together) but we’re especially enjoying her dramatic turns of late, so this one is at the top of our watch list.
Romeo San Vicente knows his “Evil Dead” lore enough to always book a hotel.