(Welcome to The Weekly Watchlist, a feature where we program everything you need to stream this week. In this edition: "Yellowjackets" season 2 is buzzworthy, but so are these horror hidden gems — plus a new classic mystery series.)
The Series: "Yellowjackets" season 2
Where You Can Stream It: Showtime Anytime, or with the Showtime add-on for your streamer of choice
The Pitch: This excellent genre-bending thriller follows two timelines: in 1996, a girls' high school soccer team crash lands in the wilderness and must fend for themselves in a forest that seems to hold a sinister power over them. In the present day, four survivors of the crash, long since returned to society, begin to feel the ripple effects of their past choices. Also: there may or may not have been some cannibalism going on in those woods. The show's second season picks up with the teen Yellowjackets facing a harsh winter, while their adult counterparts are drawn back into the mystical pull of a fellow survivor with cult leader appeal.
Why It's Essential Viewing: "Yellowjackets" was all the buzz last year, and for good reason: it is part teen drama, part survival thriller, part folk thriller, and part pitch-black comedy. Together, it's a recipe for one of the most compelling shows on television, and season 2 easily tops the first in every way. The show heralds back to fantastic mystery box series of the past (see below), but roots itself firmly in unique, fully three-dimensional characters (played by a stellar cast) who are worth rooting for. If season 1 teed up a variety of mysteries, season 2 isn't shy about solving some of them, crafting a propulsive and ever-more-intense storyline for the teen survivors and their older selves alike.
"Yellowjackets" season 2 premieres March 24 on streaming and March 26 on network TV. A new episode will drop every Friday for subscribers and every Sunday on cable.
The Movie: "Resurrection"
Where You Can Stream It: Shudder
The Pitch: This Rebecca Hall-led psychological thriller, a hit at Sundance 2022, is about as dark as they come. Hall plays Margaret, a tightly wound businesswoman whose tidy life with daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman) is thrown into disarray when a man from her past, David (Tim Roth), suddenly reappears. David is a frightening figure, all gleaming teeth and barely-composed menace, but Margaret's rattled paranoia is so strong that much of the movie makes it easy to believe that her fears may be in her head. She thinks David did something horrifying years ago, and his return is an unbearable threat to her family. The film holds its cards close to its chest for much of its run time, but when it finally reveals the truth about David and Margaret's past, it's one of the most unnerving horror monologues of all time.
Why It's Essential Viewing: "Yellowjackets" and "Resurrection" share more than a few themes: from mothers who would do anything for their children to cult-like influences that are hard to shake to a willingness to look taboos in the face, the two titles often play in the same horrifying sandbox. "Resurrection," like "Yellowjackets," also understands that some traumas don't dull over time, but simply get tucked away somewhere in the mind, only to be reawakened with the same level of intensity decades later. Mostly, though, "Resurrection" is an unforgettable film, thanks both to the dark vulnerability of Hall's performance and the uncomfortable liminal space in which it ultimately leaves us.
The Series: "Lost"
Where You Can Stream It: Hulu, Freevee
The Pitch: In this classic, stylish, character-driven mystery series, a plane full of disparate people crash lands on a desert island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. The group, which features an array of characters including an alcoholic surgeon, a married Korean couple, a heroin-addicted rockstar, and an escaped fugitive, have a lot more to worry about than simply surviving the elements. "Lost" is a metaphysics-heavy series (thanks, Damon Lindelof!) that quickly turns its island into its own inescapable, topsy-turvy world where polar bears roam, strange enemies lurk, and a mysterious hatch leads to an apocalyptic secret. That's all just in season 1. By the end of its run, "Lost" manages to tell a wildly ambitious, beautifully messy story about the depths of human connection -– and, yes, time travel.
Why It's Essential Viewing: In the years since "Lost" came and went, the television landscape has seen the premiere (and usually-hasty cancellation) of dozens of shows that pull from its mystery box format. But what so few of them understand –- and what fellow genre-blending crash survival show "Yellowjackets" does –- is that nobody cares about a show's mysteries if its characters, story, and formal elements aren't also great. Like "Yellowjackets," "Lost" nails not just the type of serialized TV that keeps viewers coming back, but also the sort of emotionally gripping drama that makes characters feel like people we really care about. "Lost" is most remembered for its cliffhangers, twists, and misunderstood ending, but it's actually the show's love for people -– and its yearning search for answers to life's biggest questions -– that make it as beloved as it is today.
The Movie: "Pyewacket"
Where You Can Stream It: AMC+
The Pitch: Leah (Nicole Muñoz) is mad at her mom. A quintessential Goth girl feeling displaced after her father's death and her family's move to the woods, Leah responds to a fight with her mother (Laurie Holden) by performing an occult ritual wishing her dead. It's normal Hot Topic teen stuff until suddenly, it's not. Adam MacDonald's Canadian horror flick "Pyewacket" came out the same year as "Hereditary," and I think it's just as scary, making equally terrifying use of shadowy ceilings and creepy corners as Leah and her mother's new woodsy home comes under attack. A combination of folk horror and family drama, "Pyewacket" is also a compelling and truthful look at the gnawing anxiety and dangerous impulsiveness that often accompany the too-big emotions of adolescence.
Why It's Essential Viewing: "Pyewacket" is straight-up scary. With its palpable sense of dread and regret, nightmare fuel imagery, and deep vein of (negative) emotion, it's one of the most unsettling movies I've ever seen. That makes it a great match for "Yellowjackets" season 2, which tilts more fully into horror than the season before it. And while "Yellowjackets" certainly differs in its plot, both stories feature teen girls who blend magical thinking, superstition, and occult influences to wield real power over the people in their lives. Plus, both stories know that few things are scarier than a thick, dark forest, a void in nature that feels like it could eat you alive. Come for the teen girl folk horror crossover, stay for the images that will be seared into the back of your eyelids when you go to sleep tonight.
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The post The Weekly Watchlist: Yellowjackets Season 2 Brings The Teen Girl Horror appeared first on /Film.