Welcome back to the movie theater experience, everyone! At least, that’s the sentiment we’re feeling here at RT from the collective movie industry, which decided it was safe enough to kick off the summer movie season with a fairly robust calendar of releases in May. With that in mind, we thought it made sense to look ahead to the most anticipated movies of the month, which looks like an unusually horror-filled affair. Not only do we have sequels to A Quiet Place and the Saw franchise, but we also have Zack Snyder’s return to the zombie genre and a dark psychological thriller. Even the one Disney film on the list is about a classic villain who just wants to turn puppies into fur coats! In any case, it’s nice to feel some semblance of normalcy again, so read on for the full list of the Most Anticipated Movies in May 2021.
#1 pick by our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter fans; #1 on RT
In theaters on May 28
It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone that this long-awaited sequel to the surprise 2018 horror hit topped every single one of our fan polls and amassed the most Want-to-See votes on the site. It was originally scheduled to hit theaters over a full year ago, and it even topped our list back then, right before the widespread coronavirus lockdowns hit and it was pulled from the calendar. Emily Blunt reprises her role from the first film as a mother trying to keep her three children alive in a world overrun by terrible monsters attracted to sound; this time she meets up with other survivors, and we learn more about the past. Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou are among the new additions to the cast, and we just can’t wait to see the damn thing already.
#2 on RT and Instagram, #3 on Twitter, #4 on Facebook
In theaters on May 14
Not everyone is a fan of the Saw movies; we get that. But Spiral — aka Spiral: From the Book of Saw — feels just a little different, thanks to the involvement of stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. Billed as sort of an unofficial reboot of the franchise, the film follows a pair of detectives on the trail of a serial killer whose crime scenes are, shall we say, familiar. Don’t worry, we’ve been assured all the freaky traps and gory kills are still around, but Rock’s personal involvement in the development of the film guarantees this won’t exactly be your typical visit to torture town.
#2 on Facebook and Twitter, #3 on Instagram
Premiering on Netflix on May 21
Continuing on the horror trend — well, in a way, but we’ll get to that — is director Zack Snyder’s return to the zombie genre where he got his start. Though it bears no relation to Dawn of the Dead, Snyder’s directorial debut remake of the George Romero classic, Army of the Dead does feature a horde of zombies descending upon a ragtag group of survivors. Only thing is, these particular survivors happen to be a band of mercenaries who have intentionally entered zombie territory — an infested Las Vegas — in order to pull off a casino heist while the world’s attention is focused on the walking dead. In other words, this may fit more under Action than Horror, but either way, it could be a lot of fun.
#3 on Facebook, #4 on Instagram (tie), Twitter (tie), and RT
In theaters and available on Disney+ on May 28
Disney’s has taken two approaches to their live-action films based on classic animated features: straightforward remakes or fresh and unexpected spins on familiar stories. The Lion King and Aladdin would fit into the former category, while Maleficent and, now, Cruella fall into the latter. Emma Stone stars in this origin story for the villain of 101 Dalmatians, who famously spent that entire film looking to murder a litter of puppies for a new coat. The new film casts Cruella De Vil as an aspiring fashion designer in 1970s London with a flair for the dramatic and a touch of madness, and there are echoes of Todd Phillips’ Joker in the portrayal, so expect a wild ride.
#3 on RT, #4 pick on Twitter (tie), #5 pick on Facebook and Instagram
Premiering on Netflix on May 14
Lastly, this psychological thriller based on the novel of the same name centers on a reclusive woman who witnesses her friend and neighbor being murdered… or has she? The film boasts a pretty impressive pedigree — directed by Joe Wright, written by Tracy Letts, starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Brian Tyree Henry — but ran into some bad luck early on. Originally scheduled to open in 2019, the film was delayed for reshoots after poor test screenings, and then COVID-19 hit, and it was pulled from the calendar altogether until Netflix picked it up. Now it’s finally seeing the light of day, and we can only hope it was worth the wait.
Thumnail image by Jonny Cournoyer/©Paramount Pictures