Abigail new movies April

New movies to watch in April

Vampire-child horror movie Abigail, Dev Patel’s action-packed Monkey Man, Jay Baruchel and Emily Hampshire in Caitlin Cronenberg’s feature debut Humane and more.

Of all the new movies to watch in April, none is as epic as Alex Garland’s Civil War (April 12). Set in the near future as the United States is on the brink of a new Civil War, the three-hour film follows war journalists covering the event and features an all-star cast, including Kirsten Dunst, Nick Offerman and Jesse Plemons. This post-Jan. 6 film is a continuation with Garland’s obsession with the zeitgeist, explored in series like Devs and movies like Ex-Machina. (Read our Civil War review here.)

Two other films that radically capture “the moment we live in” are Radu Jude’s Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World (April 19) and Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast (April 19). The critically acclaimed festival hits are anything but stuffy arthouse films;  instead, they’re odes to the chaotic, digital landscape of 2024 living. Though drastically different, they complement each other beautifully, and are absolutely essential viewing on the big screen. (Read our review of Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World here, and read our interview with Bertrand Bonnello about The Beast here.)

Dev Patel stars in and makes his directorial debut with Monkey Man (April 5), an action-thriller about an anonymous young man who unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless. Brimming with over-the-top violence and visceral hand to hand combat, reviews from SXSW call this an early contender for action film of the year. 

Monkey Man New movies April
Monkey Man (New movies to watch in April)

Another action flick hitting the big screen this month is Boy Kills World (April 26). The film premiered at TIFF’s Midnight Madness last year to middling reviews, but they’ve recast the narrator with H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers, Archer), which will surely inject some life into it. Bill Skarsgård stars as the deaf-mute “boy” who has been trained by a mysterious shaman to be an instrument of death in an oppressive dystopian future state filled with violence and inequality.

For some springtime spookies, look no further than Abigail (April 19), a horror thriller starring Melissa Barrera (Scream) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) about a group of criminals who kidnap the ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure. They retreat to an isolated mansion, unaware they’re locked inside with no normal little girl. (Abigail is, incidentally, the last film or TV credit for the late Angus Cloud.) Caitlin Cronenberg (David’s daughter) makes her feature debut with the sci-fi horror thriller, Humane (April 26). Set in the wake of an environmental collapse that has forced humanity to shed 20% of its population, a family dinner erupts into chaos when a father’s plan to enlist in the government’s new euthanasia program goes horribly awry. The film stars two homegrown heroes, Jay Baruchel and Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek), as well as Peter Gallagher.

Humane new movies April
Humane (New movies to watch in April)

One of the best movies screened at festivals last year, La Chimera (April 5), finally gets a Montreal release. Josh O’Connor (The Crown) stars as a grave robber recently released from prison, searching the Italian countryside for his lover. A strange and bewildering film that is magical and beautiful. (Read our review of La Chimera here.)

The great Ken Loach returns with another socially conscious drama, The Old Oak (April 12). The film focuses on the future for the last remaining pub in a northeast English village where people are leaving as the mines are closed. Houses are cheap and available, thus making it an ideal location for Syrian refugees. Loach is one of the most politically active and engaged leftist filmmakers we have right now, and this is essential viewing. 

The Old Oak (New movies to watch in April)

For a more liberal approach to politics, director duo Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (Intouchables) return with Une année difficile (April 12). The satirical comedy is about two swindlers, deep in debt, who infiltrate a group of climate activists when they are attracted to the free food and drinks they are offered. The film stars Pio Marmaï, Jonathan Cohen, Noémie Merlant and Mathieu Amalric. 

One of Quebec’s greatest living filmmakers, Robert Morin (Infiltration and Requiem pour un beau sans-cœur), returns to the big screen with Festin boréal (April 5), an experimental documentary about the life after death of a moose killed by a hunter. 

The legendary Louise Archambault releases her film Irena’s Vow (Apr 19). It follows the life of Polish nurse Irene Gut Opdyke, who was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations medal for showing remarkable courage in her attempt to save Polish Jews during World War II.

From April 12 to 21, Cinéma du Parc is hosting the 12th edition of the Latino Film Festival (FCLM). This year’s edition features screenings of critically acclaimed films that have been rarely (if ever) screened in Montreal, including Trenque Lauquen, Pictures of Ghosts, Samsara and The Klezmer Project. ■

For Montreal cinema showtimes, please click here.

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of Cult MTL.

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