What to watch this weekend: New 'Scream,' final 'Hotel Transylvania,' Apple TV+'s 'Macbeth'

Brian Truitt

If you adore classic baddies, this weekend of new films has plenty, from the return of an iconic horror villain to mad king Denzel Washington.

Ghostface returns to scare a fresh batch of teenagers – plus Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette – in the much-anticipated fifth "Scream" movie. Old-school creatures factor in, and are pretty funny, in the fourth and final animated "Hotel Transylvania" installment, featuring the voices of Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg. Washington deals with witches and regicide in Joel Coen's expressionistic take on Shakespeare's "Macbeth," while Alyssa Milano plays a mystery writer/suburban sleuth in a new Netflix crime thriller.

Here's a guide to new movies that'll satisfy every cinematic taste, plus some noteworthy theatrical films making their debut on VOD platforms and streaming services: 

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Tara (Jenna Ortega) tries to fend off a home invasion by Ghostface in "Scream."

If you're forever a '90s horror fiend: 'Scream'

The latest installment of the meta-slasher franchise unleashes masked killer Ghostface again on the unsuspecting teen population of Woodsboro, and when her sister (Jenna Ortega) is attacked, Sam (Melissa Barrera) returns to her hometown – as does Sidney Prescott (Campbell), the original survivor. The effort is chock full of nasty kills, clever referential commentary and, like Wes Craven's 1996 original, a fresh crop of Hollywood talent, though it misses some of the winning goofiness of past episodes.

Where to watch: In theaters

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When Drac (voiced by Brian Hull, left) is accidentally turned human and Johnny (Andy Samberg) becomes a monster, they head to South America to find a rare crystal to fix the situation in "Hotel Transylvania: Transformania."

If your kid adores Drac and Co.: 'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania'

Adam Sandler's exited the animated franchise, but Samberg picks up the slack in the decently fun fourth and final movie. Drac (now voiced by Brian Hull) wants to retire from running his monster hotel and hand the keys to daughter Mavis (Gomez), though the involvement of his goofy normal son-in-law Johnny (Samberg) gives him pause. It leads to shenanigans involving a ray gun that turns Drac human and Johnny into a winged dragon creature as a tale about understanding unfolds on their way to fixing the situation.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

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Macbeth (Denzel Washington) and Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand) make a power play in "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

If thy heart diggeth Shakespeare the most: 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'

Washington is superb as the infamous title character in Joel Coen's stylish, black-and-white adaptation of the Bard's classic. The Oscar-winning actor deftly navigates a descent into madness involving his equally ambitious wife (Frances McDormand) and a plot to kill popular Scottish King Duncan (Brendan Gleeson). The real draw here, though, is British stage actress Kathryn Hunter, who plays the three witches laying down Macbeth's important prophecy with eerie brilliance.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV+

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"Brazen" (Jan. 13, Netflix): The thriller stars Alyssa Milano (with Sam Page) as a mystery writer and crime expert who returns to her family home in Washington, D.C., and becomes involved in the case when her estranged sister, a web-cam performer, is killed.

If you think Alyssa Milano's still the boss: 'Brazen'

Murder's afoot in this campy, Lifetime-y thriller starring Milano as Grace, a successful mystery author who returns to her hometown of Washington, D.C., to visit her estranged sister, schoolteacher/secret web-cam performer (Emilie Ullerup). When her sibling is found dead and Grace discovers her double life, she teams up with the hunky yet caring police detective (Sam Page) next door and even poses as a leather-clad dominatrix herself to find clues, suss out suspects and catch a serial killer.

Where to watch: Netflix

Renata de Lélis (left) and Eduardo Mendonça star as two people who've just met and have to lock down in an apartment when deadly clouds appear across the world in the Brazilian sci-fi drama "The Pink Cloud."

If you're still feeling kind of locked down: 'The Pink Cloud'

Believe it or not, this prescient Brazilian sci-fi drama about a toxic pink cloud trapping everyone indoors indefinitely was filmed before the pandemic. The narrative is all too familiar, but also singularly insightful as it follows a woman (Renata de Lélis) stuck in her apartment with a man (Eduardo Mendonça) she met just a day before. The two are faced with a deadly phenomenon that forces them into being a couple, complete with video chats with loved ones and differing opinions on how to best live their lives. 

Where to watch: In theaters

Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani, from left), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) are the immortal superbeings of Marvel's "Eternals."

Also streaming this weekend 

  • If you didn't catch it in theaters (and need a superhero fix), Marvel's all-star "Eternals" is finally on Disney+ so you can watch Angelina Jolie embrace her action-movie side again. (Stick around for some very intriguing end-credit scenes.)
  • Ben Affleck just scored a Screen Actors Guild nomination, so catch him playing a bartending father figure in director George Clooney's "The Tender Bar," which is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
  • Feel the need for a tearjerker? Directed by Denzel Washington and based on a true story, the romantic drama "A Journal for Jordan" (on Apple TV and other VOD platforms) stars Michael B. Jordan as soldier in Iraq who keeps a journal full of advice on life and love for his infant son back home.