Stay-At-Home Seven: October 26 to 31

Telly and streaming suggestions for the coming week

by Amber Wilkinson

Feels Good Man
Feels Good Man Photo: Kurt Keppeler and Christian Bruno
The Babadook, iPlayer

If you're looking for something give you chills ahead of Halloween, then Jennifer Kent's breakout debut horror should definitely do the trick. Her riff on parent and child psychological horror lifts its "monster" - the Babdook of the film's title - from a story book, so that her film delivers not just the story she crafts but the weight of dark fairy tales we all carry with us in our subconscious. The story begins some years after the fatal accident that claimed Samuel's dad as his mum, pregnant with him was being rushed to hospital. Grief swirls around the pair as her loss and his emotional problems feed on one another in increasingly disturbing ways. Carefully calibrating just the right level of unease, helped enormously by intense performances by Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman as the troubled mother and son, Kent allows the tension to build almost imperceptibly at first until reality is so skewed, the primal reigns supreme. Read our full review. Read our full review.

Pepe The Frog: Feels Good Man, BBC4, 10pm, Monday, October 26

With the US elections looming and the ongoing debate about the rise of the alt-right and social media influence, this is the perfect time to watch this eye-opening documentary from Arthur Jones. It charts the bizarre metamorphosis of the frog of the title, from a small, slacker comic book character to hateful internet meme - much to the surprise and then horror of his creator Matt Furie. Jones covers the background elements well, so that you don't have to bring prior knowledge of Pepe - or memes - to the film, and slickly carries us on this unlikely journey that saw Pepe first hop to MySpace (of all places) before going rogue courtesy of 4chan. As well as considering the power of memes, Jones' film also explores what the idea of intellectual property means in the modern interconnected world, as Furie finds it's harder to get Pepe back in his original pond than he could ever have imagined. Read our full review

Super 8, Film4, 6.50pm, Monday, October 26 and 6.45pm on Sunday October 31

The spirit of Spielberg - who executive produced - is strong in this teen-led mystery that sees a group of young would-be filmmakers' attempt to shoot a zombie movie go badly awry. When the kids (including Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths and Ellie Fanning) witness a train wreck and soon find themselves grappling with a monster on the loose. With its nostalgic nod to Spielberg's early films, strong characters and a keen eye for an action sequence, JJ Abrams' film ensures its B-movie staples rattle along at pace. Perfectly pitched at the 12A audience, the film also delivers sufficient horror to give the whole family a scare without going over the top. Read our full review.

Hell Drivers, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), 5.50pm, Friday, October 30

Andrew Robertson writes Tom Yately (Stanley Baker) is an ex-con caught up trying to scrape by. As a trucker in the 1950s his attempts to keep to the straight and narrow are sometimes not the shortest path. There's romance, racism, recklessness. Hell Drivers tells its story with efficient abandon. The cargo may be ballast but it's well balanced. A cast of not-yet-famous faces bring to life a tale of machismo and machinery. Machinations too, in a scheme involving 'getting' and 'quick' but not everyone will be rich. Near everyone involved would go on to higher heights. Unlike many shared early works this holds up well. It may at times look clumsy to modern viewers but this is robust film-making. Six decades and change have not slowed its pace, nor dulled its anger. Sorry We Missed You covers similar ground. Hell Drivers clatters along by putting its foot down. Catch it if you can. Read our full review.

The Second Best Marigold Hotel, Channel 4, 6.45pm, Saturday, October 31

Putting the words "second best" in the title of your film is always a bit of a risk, but John Madden pulls off a solid sequel thanks to his all-star cast and some immersive and colourful camerawork from Ben Smithard. We're back in India with the cantankerous Muriel (Maggie Smith) and the gang, as Evelyn (Judi Dench) embarks on a tentative relationship with the newly single Douglas (Bill Nighy) and hotel owner Sonny (Dev Patel) prepares for marriage to Sunaina (Tina Desai) as well as hotel expansion. Thanks to the characters all being established in the first film, the ensemble-driven plot is able to develop in unexpected ways, as the gang face up to their late-life chances with the clock of mortality ticking. Strong performances bring plenty of emotional heft, while Ol Parker's script also laces in a decent smattering of humorous one-liners. Read our full review.

The American, Sony Movies, 9pm, Tuesday, October 27

Portrait photographer Anton Corbijn proved his move into film with Ian Curtis biopic Control was no flash in the pan with this follow-up thriller about an assassin (George Clooney) who while searching for redemption finds himself on a collision course with his past. This pared-back tale sees the coolly ambiguous killer retreat to the mountains of Italy as those who want him dead begin closing in. Hinging on the intelligent and charismatic performance from Clooney in the central role, Corbijn crafts a stylish and moody meditation on loneliness and estrangement. Read our full review.

Sicario, Film4, 9pm, Thursday, October 29

If you prefer your thrillers to have a little less conversation and little more action, then this Cartel-driven outing from Denis Villeneuve should fit the bill. Emily Blunt stars as a steely FBI field agent, taking on the bad guys as well as good, old-fashioned sexism from her colleagues and who finds herself embroiled in violence in a bid to bring down a clan. Although the script is the first from Taylor Sheridan (Hell And High Water, Wind River), you wouldn't know it, as he marries a deeper consideration of corruption to a twisty plot and solid action sequences. Sheridan will be back in special ops territory with the upcoming Fast, directed by Accountant helmer Gavin O'Connor, which should be well worth looking out for. Read our full review.

This week's short selection is Marc Craste's BAFTA-winning melancholic debut Jo Jo In The Stars.

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