The most famous adaptation of Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier's Gothic romance, is the Oscar-winning Alfred Hitchcock classic starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. How can Ben Wheatley's new version possibly compete? Well, one answer is to have Kristin Scott Thomas as the formidable Mrs Danvers, a stroke of casting genius which is enough to justify the film's existence. Another answer, which Wheatley gave at the 2019 London Film Festival, is "going back to the book and trying to get closer to the actual story... You think you know it and you just don't." Lily James stars as the innocent young woman who is swept off her feet by a handsome English widower (Armie Hammer) in Monte Carlo. But when she marries him and moves into his Cornwall mansion, she is haunted by the reputation of the previous Mrs de Winter.
On Netflix from 21 October
Andrea Riseborough stars as an assassin who can telepathically control other people's bodies and get them to do the killing for her. Her latest job is to bump off an IT tycoon (Sean Bean) and his daughter (Tuppence Middleton) by possessing the daughter's fiance (Christopher Abbott). When Possessor premiered at the Sundance Festival in January, David Ehrlich of IndieWire called it "unnervingly good", adding, "90 minutes of Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott engaging in ultra-gory psychic warfare over control of the latter's body is more satisfying than what most of the current best picture nominees have to offer".
Released on 2 October in the US and 9 October in Canada
Over the Moon
One of the first cartoons to be financed by Netflix, and one of the first cartoons to be co-produced by American and Chinese studios, Over the Moon is a musical inspired by the legend of moon goddess Chang'e. When a 12-year-old girl (Cathy Yang) hears the legend from her parents, she builds a rocket ship so that she (and her pet rabbit) can visit her. The director, Glen Keane, has talked about the film's painstakingly authentic depiction of Chinese family life, although he had an American fairy tale in mind, too. "So much of the story in Over the Moon is like Wizard of Oz," he explained to Animation Magazine, "and believing that Dorothy goes up in the tornado and visits Oz. Our main character is going to the Moon to meet a moon goddess, and just like Dorothy, she has to go through this experience to be able to deal with the problems she is facing at home."
On Netflix from 23 October
Liam Neeson plays Tom, a retired bank robber who promises to return his ill-gotten gains in exchange for a reduced prison sentence so that he can settle down with the woman he loves (Kate Walsh). But the two FBI agents (Jai Courtney and Anthony Ramos) assigned to retrieve the money decide to steal it instead and frame Tom for murder. Unfortunately for them, he is a "former Marine, demolitions expert" with a very particular set of skills, hence the explosions, car chases, and shoot-outs. What's not to like?
Released on 14 October in France, 15 October in Portugal and 16 October in the US