What to stream: ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Muppets Haunted Mansion’ on Disney+, ‘One of Us Is Lying’ on Peacock, plus Halloween picks

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  

Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff akaBlack Widow (2021, PG-13) in the first solo film for the Marvel hero. Set between the “Civil War” and “Infinity War” films, it’s a superhero adventure as a conspiracy thriller that sends Natasha looking for answers in her origins in Russia’s super soldier program and in the family she left behind. Florence Pugh plays the sister, a fellow spy, David Harbour their father, a disgraced Soviet superhero in his own right, and Rachel Weisz their mother. Australian-born filmmaker Cate Shortland directs. The prequel is the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Previously a premium rental, it now streams for subscribers. (Disney+)

In the teen thriller One of Us Is Lying: Season 1 (TV-MA), one of five high school students in detention is murdered and the four survivors all had motive and opportunity. This murder mystery twist on “The Breakfast Club” is based on the best-selling novel by Karen M. McManus. Three episodes available with new episodes arriving in batches over the next two Thursdays. (Peacock)

The hard-hitting, award-winning documentary Jacinta (2021, TV-14), shot over three years, delves into the brutal reality of addiction as it follows a 26-year-old single mother and recovering drug addict as she tries to break the cycle that has gripped her own mother. (Hulu)

Episodes of the new season of Saturday Night Live (TV-14) debut simultaneously on Peacock and the next day on Hulu

News: There are a lot of free, ad-supported streaming services debuting. Here’s one just made for the season. Kino Cult launches with hundreds of hours of horror and cult movie programming. Available through most streaming devices. More information at http://www.kinocult.com.

Halloween Highlights

The Great Gonzo takes the lead in Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021, TV-PG), a musical comedy with the Muppets as ghosts and a human guest cast including Will Arnett, Yvette Nicole Brown, Darren Criss, and Taraji P. Henson. (Disney+)

Netflix begins its Halloween originals with There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021, TV-MA), about a masked killer targeting high school kids and a group of misfits racing to discover his identity. For younger audiences there’s the interactive film Escape The Undertaker (2021, TV-PG) featuring WWE Superstars The Undertaker and The New Day and animated series A Tale Dark & Grimm: Season 1 (TV-Y7) based on the book series by Adam Gidwitz. (Netflix)

Two new original features from Blumhouse debut on Amazon: Madres (2021, not rated), about a Mexican-American couple expecting their first child facing strange symptoms and terrifying visions, and The Manor (2021, not rated) starring Barbara Hershey and Bruce Davison and set in a nursing home under assault by a supernatural force. (Amazon Prime)

Classic picks: rewind to the golden age of American horror with the original Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi (Peacock), “The Mummy” (1932) with Boris Karloff (Peacock and Criterion Channel), “The Invisible Man” (1933) with Claude Rains (Peacock and Criterion Channel), the magnificent Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) with Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester (Peacock and Criterion Channel), and The Wolf Man (1941) with Lon Chaney Jr. (Criterion Channel).

Cult picks: the Spanish-language version of Dracula (1931), shot at night on the same sets, is sexier than the original. Streams on Criterion Channel along with perverse Island of Lost Souls (1932) starring Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi and Edgar G. Ulmer’s The Black Cat (1934) with Karloff and Lugosi. (Criterion Channel)

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Tim Blake Nelson is Old Henry (not rated) in the lean western about a widower farmer whose hidden past resurfaces when his farm comes under siege. Tracy Adkins and Stephen Dorff costar. It’s on Premium VOD. Also new:

  • LeBron James joins forces with Bugs Bunny and other animated characters in the comedy Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021, PG), also on DVD and at Redbox;
  • horror movie sequel Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021, PG-13), also on DVD and at Redbox;
  • crime drama South of Heaven (2021, not rated) with Jason Sudekis and Evangeline Lilly, on Premium VOD available same day as theaters.

Netflix

Young adult sitcom Pretty Smart: Season 1 (TV-14) stars former Disney Channel stars Emily Osment and Gregg Sulin.

True stories: Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (2019, TV-14) profiles the great American singer and the Oscar-nominated RBG (2018, PG) celebrates the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

True crime: Bad Sport: Season 1 (TV-MA) spotlights six notorious collisions of sports and crime.

Foodie fun: Baking Impossible: Season 1 (TV-PG) is yet another new baking competition series.

Streaming TV: On My Block: Season 4 (TV-MA) brings the young adult drama set in South Central L.A. to a close. Also new is The Blacklist: Season 8 (TV-14) with James Spader.

International TV: the limited series The Billion Dollar Code (Germany, TV-MA, with subtitles) dramatizes the true story of two German developers who sued Google for patent infringement. Also new is the telenovella mystery thriller The Five Juanas: Season 1 (Mexico, TV-MA, with subtitles).

Kid stuff: Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (Japan, 2021, TV-Y7) is another feature-length installment in the animated franchise.

Stand-up: Dave Chappelle: The Closer (TV-MA)

Amazon Prime Video

Justin Bieber: Our World (2021, PG) offers a backstage pass to the concert set on a Beverly Hills rooftop on New Year’s Eve 2020.

Lansky (2021, R) stars Harvey Keitel as notorious mobster Meyer Lansky who confesses his secrets to a journalist (Sam Worthington) in the last years of his life.

Hulu

Baker’s Dozen: Season 1 (not rated) joins the baking competition show landscape.

Castle: Complete Series (TV-14) presents all eight seasons of the playful TV crime procedural starring Nathan Fillion as a celebrity mystery novelist who tags along with a young homicide detective (Stana Katic) and helps solve mysteries.

HBO Max

The documentary 15 Minutes of Shame (TV-MA) delves into the culture of public shaming and cyber harassment, from the victims to the bullies and everyone in between.

John Benjamin Hickey is an American travel writer in Tel Aviv in the romantic drama Sublet (2020, TV-MA).

Nichols and May: Take Two (1996, TV-PG) and Mike Nichols (2016, TV-MA) are documentaries made for “American Masters” two decades apart.

AMC+

The complete Doctor Who: Season 12 (2020, PG-13), starring Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor, streams on AMC+.

V/H/S/94 (2021, TV-MA), the fourth film in the “found footage” horror anthology series, debuts direct to streaming. (AMC+ and Shudder)

Paramount+

The documentary Madame X (2021, not rated) takes viewers behind the scenes of Madonna’s latest tour.

Apple TV+

A twenty-something young man (Eugenio Derbez) who gets his dream job as a cabana boy at a hot resort in Acapulco: Season 1 (TV-14), a new bilingual comedy series.

Also new is the animated series Get Rolling with Otis: Season 1 (TV-Y), based on the children’s book series by Loren Long.

IMDbTV

The final eight episodes of the first season of Leverage: Redemption are now streaming free with ads.

The Criterion Channel

Starring Kirk Douglas” collects twenty films from the golden age movie star, including the film noir masterpiece Out of the Past (1947) with Robert Mitchum, Hollywood melodrama The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) with Lana Turner, and Lust for Life (1956) with Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh. Also new:

  • subversive teen horror Jennifer’s Body (2009, R) from director Karyn Kusama and writer Diablo Cody;
  • social satire Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970, R) with Carrie Snodgress and Richard Benjamin.

The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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