Boom, Bust, or Meh – October 2023

Welcome to Boom, Bust, or Meh, ladies and gentlemen! This is where we focus on five films released during the month and have some fun predicting their success! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores from each participating GUG film critic:

Boom: A film you’ll remember for the rest of the year.

Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.

Meh: A film that entertains during the moment, but has no lasting impact.

At the end of each month, each of the films will be arbitrarily judged and the critic’s ongoing tally will be updated (the score is written beside their name: correct predictions – incorrect predictions).

Let’s see what October has to offer after we look at last month’s results!

The Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our August predictions!

1. The Equalizer 3 – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 75%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%

IMDB Score: 7.1

Box Office

Production Budget: $70 million

Worldwide: $158 million

I’m surprised by the high scores. I thought it was bland, but it seems others found warmth in this fitting end to the trilogy.

2. The Nun II – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 52%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 73%

IMDB Score: 5.9

Box Office

Production Budget: $38 million

Worldwide: $231 million

Many found this film to be better than its predecessor, and a fine addition to the Conjuring franchise as a whole, however it still doesn’t add much to the wider genre.

3. The Inventor – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 76%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 59%

IMDB Score: 6.2

Box Office

Production Budget: $10 million

Worldwide: $304 thousand

Despite being an amusing and gorgeous film, some felt it overstayed its welcome and should have been a short.

4. A Haunting in Venice – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 76%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 77%

IMDB Score: 6.8

Box Office

Production Budget: $60 million

Worldwide: $89 million

Reviews are mixed with Kenneth Branagh’s latest take on Agatha Christie, with some saying the film is fun and exciting, while others thought it was a dull affair.

Our review!

5. The Expend4bles – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 12%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 70%

IMDB Score: 5.2

Box Office

Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $19 million

Critics found this outing to be boring, tasteless, and a waste of talent.

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (141-120).

Warning: This trailer is for a horror film displaying scenes of demonic possession.

The Exorcist: Believer

Rating: R

Release Date: October 6, 2023

Synopsis: When two girls disappear into the woods and return three days later with no memory of what happened to them, the father of one girl seeks out Chris MacNeil, who’s been forever altered by what happened to her daughter fifty years ago. (IMDB)

Director: David Gordon Green

Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr, Ann Dowd

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (141-120): Meh – The original film, The Exorcist, might be held in high regard, however the franchise’s sequels have struggled to attract the same amount of critical acclaim (except for a famous jump scare in The Exorcist III). This latest offering shows some promise, given that Ellen Burstyn has signed onto the project, and it’s also written by the same people who just delivered us the recent Halloween trilogy. Some viewers hated those films, but they did display a decent handle on presenting themes (granted, one of the writers also scripted the very average Firestarter remake). While it’s difficult to find a fresh, exciting take in the demonic possession subgenre (given there have already been several of them this year alone), provided The Exorcist: Believer goes the route of rounding out Chris MacNeil’s character journey, adding an extra layer to the story, then this should be a decent hit.

Warning This trailer contains course language.

The Burial

Rating: R

Release Date: October 6, 2023

Synopsis: Inspired by true events, a lawyer helps a funeral home owner save his family business from a corporate behemoth, exposing a complex web of race, power, and injustice. (IMDB)

Director: Maggie Betts

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tommy Lee Jones, Jurnee Smollett

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (141-120): BOOM! – Courtroom drama. Underdog story. The Burial can either be really cliché, or it contains that classic formula for success. Especially since it’s headed by Jamie Foxx. Many people are already predicting this to be an Oscar-worthy performance from the charismatic actor. They could be right—without his presence the story might not contain the flair it needs to stand out from the others in the genre. It looks like a tense yet entertaining film, and with its classic premise, there’s no real reason why this wouldn’t be a BOOM!

Foe

Rating: R

Release Date: October 6, 2023

Synopsis: Hen and Junior farm a secluded piece of land that has been in Junior’s family for generations, but their quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger shows up at their door with a startling proposal. (IMDB)

Director: Garth Davis

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal, Aaron Pierre

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (141-120): Meh – I want to say BOOM, but I’m cynical.

Garth Davis is a wonderful director. Lion was an Oscar nominated film about the touching true story of a man trying to find his long-lost parents. I’ve seen it a few times and still cannot make it to the end without bawling my eyes out. His follow up film, Mary Magdalene, completely took me by surprise—it’s one of the best films I’ve seen concerning the life of Jesus. It’s a slow-moving, subtle movie that really helped to flesh out and develop some of the other characters in that Biblical narrative, and helped me to appreciate their perspective, shedding light on other aspects of Scripture. But his films aren’t for everyone. Foe looks like it’s going to be an amazingly rich and deep love story set within a sci-fi scenario, and I can easily see critics adoring it. However, I can also see the general public calling it “slow” or “boring”, and otherwise not matching their taste. I predict it will actually be a fantastic film, but it’ll be ranked as a Meh as people generally aren’t fans of slow burns.

Killers of the Flower Moon

Rating: R

Release Date: October 20, 2023

Synopsis: Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover. (IMDB)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (141-120): BOOM! – Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio. Robert De Niro. All three Hollywood heavyweights would need to stumble for this film to fail. For all the talk there is regarding representation these days, there is still a giant lack of stories dedicated to Native Americans and First Nations people on the silver screen. People are keen for it.  Especially true stories, and Martin Scorsese is in his element here as this one has that underworld/gang violence vibe that this director has mastered before (and so have the lead actors). Although I feel Lily Gladstone will be the surprise standout here. This production feels comfortable in the expert hands of these artists, and while it won’t reach summer blockbuster heights, it’ll no doubt be a must-watch for viewers that are fans of the genre.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: October 27, 2023

Synopsis: A troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. During his first night on the job, he realizes that the night shift won’t be so easy to get through. Pretty soon he will unveil what actually happened at Freddy’s. (IMDB)

Director: Emma Tammi

Starring: Matthew Lillard, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (141-120): Bust – It’s finally here! This game adaptation has been a long time coming. There are so many Easter eggs in the latest trailer. But are there too many? More importantly, will there actually be five nights or will it really just take place over one? Who is insane enough to come back to work another shift!? As outlandish as this film’s premise will be, Five Nights at Freddy’s will no doubt be an absolute delight for fans. However, for everyone else, including critics, the plot might travel in too many directions due to fan service. The game’s lore runs deep, and the trailer hints to a decent chunk of it, which might make this relatively simple story feel unnecessarily convoluted for the uninitiated. For that reason, while it’ll please its core fanbase, this film will ultimately be classified as a bust.  

Thanks for reading this month’s edition! Let us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us next month for another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in October?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

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