This week’s streaming debuts amp up the fear factor with ‘Appendage,’ ‘Nightmare,’ ‘Nowhere’ and more

Plus: a series set in an amusement park haunted by the ghosts of dead teens. Nope, not a local documentary.

Hulu premieres "Appendage," a grotesque body horror film written and directed by Anna Zlokovic, on Monday.
Hulu premieres "Appendage," a grotesque body horror film written and directed by Anna Zlokovic, on Monday. still image courtesy of Hulu

(NOTE: All release dates remain subject to change while the strikes continue. But at least now we know Drew Barrymore has wallpaper on her ceiling.)

Premieres Wednesday:

All the Same … or Not — Disney is being close-lipped about what happens in Season 2 of the Brazilian series that shows a teenager balancing her own relationship with her mother’s new marriage. So until I hear otherwise, I’m assuming it has something to do with Alex Murdaugh. (Disney+)

Encounters — A globetrotting four-part docuseries examines strange phenomena that may be the work of extraterrestrial visitors. Or you could go with the smart money and say it’s Banksy. (Netflix)

Love in Fairhope — Reese Witherspoon is one of the executive producers of a reality series that focuses on the women of a small Alabama town. The setup is that the place is so tiny that everybody knows everything about everybody else — which doesn’t seem to make room for many dramatic revelations. I dunno, maybe one of ‘em is a Skrull? (Hulu)

L-Pop — In a series that bridges the nations, a Mexican girl puts together her own K-pop group to win a trip to her favorite music’s very own Mecca, South Korea. Jesus, streaming has gone so all-in on that country that they’re practically its tourism board now. Can’t wait for Disney’s Wonderful World of Residual-Free Contracts. (Disney+)

Street Flow 2 — The 2019 French flick Street Flow followed a Mali teen who had to choose between joining a gang and pursuing a career as a lawyer. In the sequel, he’ll have to face the determining factor in his decision: Who has the better billboards? (Netflix)

Vasco Rossi: Living It — A five-episode docuseries travels down memory lane with Italian rock star Rossi, who recounts the highlights and lowlights of his 46-year career as one of the most significant cultural figures in his home country. Let’s be honest: This could have all been made up by the CIA and you’d be none the wiser. (Netflix)

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar — Benedict Cumberbatch and Ralph Fiennes headline a 39-minute short about a wealthy man who yearns to win at gambling — by any means necessary. Warning No. 1: Wes Anderson adapts a Roald Dahl story. Warning No. 2: Contains no stop-motion foxes. (Netflix)

Znachor — The Poles are reportedly in a tizzy over this remake of one of their most beloved stories, the inspiring tale of a surgeon who retains his skills even after being beaten into complete memory loss. How can this new version hope to top the iconic 1982 movie, they wonder? Well, it probably helps if you’ve been beaten into complete memory loss. (Netflix)

Premieres Thursday:

Castlevania: Nocturne — The latest entry in the franchise is an animated prequel series set during the French revolution, with vampires posing an extra complication to the violent social upheaval. Honestly, I’d be tempted to turn the whole country over to them if it stopped Russell Crowe from singing. (Netflix)

The Darkness Within la Luz del Mundo — Victims have their say against Mexican megachurch pastor Naasón Joaquín García, who is said to have committed 26 counts of human trafficking and related abuses. I know the strikes have made streamers reliant on foreign content, but we’re even outsourcing our sex crimes now? (Netflix)

Dino Pops — New episodes further our scaly pals’ mission to teach your kids true facts about their long-ago existence — with the “help” of anachronisms like racecars and basketball courts. Ah, makes me long for The Holy Land Experience and that gorgeous mural of Fred Flintstone welcoming Jesus to his bowling team. (Peacock)

The Kardashians — The big question here is whether Season 4’s production schedule was accelerated enough to incorporate Kourtney’s recent “urgent fetal surgery,” which necessitated hubby Travis Barker’s temporary departure from the touring road. If not, we’ll have to wait for Season 5 to witness that whole crisis — and the subsequent launch of Barker’s musical side project, Urgent Fetal Surgery. (Hulu)

Love Is in the Air — Australian singer and sometime actor Delta Goodrem plays a seaplane pilot who ends up falling for the very guy who’s been tasked with putting her out of business. See, capitalism is magic! The next time a boss tells you he’s going to have to downsize, just plant one on him and see what happens! (Netflix)

Starstruck — Season 3 catches up with ordinary girl Jessie (Rose Matafeo) two years after she broke up with her movie-star boyfriend. And it seems she’s moved on to nothing in particular, beyond watching her friends cultivate their own happy and productive relationships. Gosh, at least Amber Heard has another movie coming out. (Max)

Premieres Friday:

Disney Launchpad Season 2 — Puerto Rican ice cream recipes, Compton martial artists and ghosts both malevolent and benevolent are among the subjects of Disney’s second program of shorts by filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Hey, if they play their cards right, maybe one day they’ll get to make full-length Disney features. And then people on social media can tell them they’re destroying the brand. (Disney+)

Do Not Disturb — Turkish triple threat Cem Yilmaz wrote, directed and stars in this comedy that depicts the first night on the job for a hotel worker who has to deal with a bunch of wacky guests. From what I understand, the movie syncs up perfectly with the last half hour of Sid and Nancy. (Netflix)

Flora and Son — Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bono’s daughter, Eve Hewson, are the stars of a musical comedy about a mother who tries to keep her mischievous son on the straight and narrow by signing him up for guitar lessons with a past-his-prime musician. Because if there’s one person who’s going to steer your kid away from trouble, it’s an embittered guitar teacher. They’re like scoutmasters. With hangovers. (Apple TV+)

Gen V — Even though The Boys Season 4 wrapped filming some time ago, we won’t be seeing it until the strikes have ended. To tide us over, here’s a spinoff series set in Vought International’s very own academy for young superheroes in training, where they get to indulge all the psychopathic violence and sexual perversion that might one day land them spots in The Seven. And here you thought Professor X had a lot to answer for just because he enabled Halle Berry. (Prime Video)

The Great British Baking Show — U.K. TV host Alison Hammond joins the show for what Netflix calls Collection 11, but which the Brits refer to as Series 14. Because they’re on metric! (Netflix)

Nightmare — A young couple’s plans to have a baby are complicated when the wife becomes convinced that their new apartment building is inhabited by an unholy force that wants the child for its own. Listen, if it’ll keep the rent below 2K a month, I really think they can come to a deal. (Shudder)

Nowhere — From Spain comes a dystopian nightmare in which a pregnant woman who’s just escaped a dictatorship gives birth while floating in a shipping container in the middle of the ocean. I can’t decide if this one wants to make us forget Titanic, Cast Away or just the idea that life could hold joy for any of us at any juncture whatsoever. (Netflix)

Power Rangers: Cosmic Fury — The Rangers venture into deep space to take on Lord Zedd in the show’s honest-to-goodness 30th season. Unless I’m mistaken, the last time I heard the phrase “30 seasons,” it was a curse of crop failure somebody was throwing around in the Bible. (Netflix)

Reptile — In a crime thriller that’s straight from the Toronto International Film Festival, Benicio Del Toro goes on the hunt for the killer of a real estate agent. Raves IndieWire: “Wants to be a David Fincher procedural with Steven Soderbergh’s paranoia, but it is a merely fangless homage without suspense, logic, or shame.” But really, what good are those three things when you’re already past your wedding night? (Netflix)

Premieres Sunday:

Crazy Fun Park — Australia sends us a comedy series set in an amusement park that’s haunted by the ghosts of dead teens. Or as we know it up here, “International Drive.” (Hulu)

Toy Story Funday Football — The Jacksonville Jaguars/Atlanta Falcons game is re-created in real time as an animated romp set in Andy’s room, with Buzz, Woody and the gang cheering from the sidelines. At press time, the Jets were exploring the possibility of rendering their next game as Private Pyle’s suicide scene from Full Metal Jacket. (Disney+ and ESPN+)

Premieres Monday:

Appendage — Director Anna Zlokovic adapts her 2021 short into a feature-length body-horror parable, giving lots of breathing room to the story of a woman whose insecurities begin to take the form of a superfluous body growth. Sounds like what I’ve always imagined David Cronenberg could do with a Clearasil commercial. (Hulu)

Fright Krewe — Director Eli Roth teams up with DreamWorks to make an animated series about teenage outcasts who have to overcome their differences to save New Orleans from evil forces. I never would have foreseen the guy who made Hostel becoming the next R.L. Stine, but then again, I didn’t see Vivek Ramaswamy coming either. (Hulu and Peacock)

Premieres Tuesday:

Make Me Scream — Tempestt Bledsoe of The Cosby Show and Darryl M. Bell of A Different World lead Jaleel “Urkel” White and a bunch of other celebs through a terrifying maze, with the promise of a championship medal if they can keep from screaming. When you think about it, there’s nothing better than depending on Bill Cosby for a paycheck to teach you how to hold your tongue. (Prime Video)

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