This week's trio of new streaming releases include the acclaimed indie horror "The Lodge" starring up-and-comer (and Elvis Presley's granddaughter) Riley Keough; the PG-13 thriller "Gretel and Hansel"; and the much sunnier, family-friendly "Arctic Dogs" premiering on Netflix.
'The Lodge' (New to Own)
Shot in 2018, debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, and released to theaters early this year, the well-reviewed and chilly psychological horror film "The Lodge" stars Riley Keough as a young woman with a highly troubled past. Her father was the leader of a religious cult that committed mass suicide.Her boyfriend's wife, a devout Catholic, also killed herself after the couple's extended separation.
Now, she's on a Christmas vacation with her beau and his teen son and young daughter at a remote cabin. After the father is called away to take care of a work obligation, Keough's tortured character, who has trouble connecting with the kids, starts to experience more and more strange occurrences. Is her reality truly starting to crumble? Or is it all an elaborate hoax played by the kids? Discerning horror fans will want to check this movie and find out.
'Gretel and Hansel' (New to Rent)
Like "The Lodge," "Gretel and Hansel" arrived in theaters earlier this year and has at its heart two young characters having to deal with an unbalanced adult in their midst. Here, the characters are based on the German folklore story, but since the sister is more prominent, Gretel is first billed in the title.
Gretel and Hansel are still cast off from their home, and find refuge with a seemingly kind elder lady, whose motives turn out to be less than pure. The older woman turns out to be a witch who's already lured other children to her lair. The story of the siblings is ultimately a dark coming-of-age tale, and the film received praise for its foreboding visuals and the acting, especially Sophia Lillis (the teen heroine of the "It" movie series) as Gretel.
'Arctic Dogs' (Netflix Premiere)
In case you're looking for something warmer and cuddlier to watch than the kids-in-peril thrillers above, the ice-bound but sunny family tale "Arctic Dogs" could be the best new-to-streaming video option. Now available as a Netflix Premiere, and on PVOD platforms, it's the wild animated story of Swifty the Arctic Fox (voiced by Jeremy Renner).
Swifty dreams of escaping the mailroom of the Arctic Blast Delivery Service to become a courier and Top Dog. In his race to become the speediest of them all, he inadvertently uncovers a plot by the villainous Otto Von Walrus (voiced by John Cleese) to melt the Arctic and rule the world. It's up to Swifty and his all-star gang of friends – Lemmy the Albatross (voiced by James Franco), Jade Fox (voiced by Heidi Klum), his boss Magda (voiced by Anjelica Huston) and others – to save the day and the Earth.