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Opening in Orlando: Hell Fest, Little Women and more



THIS WEEK: Hell Fest It sounds like a cool death metal revival you might drive to Melbourne to attend, but it's actually a quickie horror flick about a sneaky killer who uses Halloween as a cover to start offing the guests at a spooky amusement park. On second thought, forget what I said about Melbourne: This is a scenario all of your friends who are scareactors at Halloween Horror Nights are going to wish was reality about two weeks from now, as soon as they've taken enough drunken punches for another year. (R)

Little Women The terrific 1994 Winona Ryder/Claire Danes version of Little Women is all I'm ever going to need. And if I were in the market for another stab at the material, it sure wouldn't be a modern-day reimagining like this one. And it probably wouldn't have Lea Thompson as its name star. And it definitely wouldn't be distributed by the unstoppable Pure Flix Entertainment, the disseminator of Christian-Taliban "family" films that has now gunked up America's screens with three releases in the past month alone. Seriously, Jesus: If you're actually real, prove it and put a stop to this once and for all. (PG-13)

Night School Tiffany Haddish reteams with her Girls Trip director, Malcolm D. Lee, to play a night school teacher who has to put up with a class full of losers desperate to get their GED. And who's Class Clown No. 1? Kevin Hart, of course, because that's one federal law Trump hasn't yet been able to repeal. (PG-13) Smallfoot SAK Comedy Lab legend Clare Sera co-wrote this animated comedy, in which a group of Yeti have their first encounter with a human. Six months into production, the studio decreed that the movie should be a musical – which generally seems like the sort of thing you want to plan for from the outset. But director and co-writer Karey Kirkpatrick was also a co-author of the hit 2015 Broadway musical Something Rotten, so he's clearly no novice when it comes to this stuff. He also directed Over the Hedge, which was the unheralded best animated film of 2006. Throw in that hometown love for Clare, and I'm actually sort of pulling for this thing. I know, go figure. (PG)

Also playing:

Assassination Nation A small town is turned upside down by an epidemic of data theft, and it's up to a group of teenage girls to restore the peace. You know, as they do. (R)

Life Itself This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman is taking a critical beating for this ensemble drama, which explores the connections between a bunch of couples of various generations and on two continents. "Mawkish" and "overwrought" are two adjectives that have been thrown around; gee, how did they ever decide Mandy Patinkin would fit right in? (R)

Moses and the Ten Commandments: The Movie And do we need yet another retelling of this scriptural fantasia? Hey, at least they didn't fuck up Little Women, because that's a good book. (PG-13; playing at Universal Cinemark at CityWalk)

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