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Scares, cards and a few our fathers for Friday

Dan Webster

Above: Annabelle Wallis stars in "Malignant," which is scheduled to open Friday. (Photo/Warner Bros.)

Though hot weather should last for the next few weeks, the days of summer are gradually waning. So is the abbreviated summer movie season that we just experienced.

As we move into the fall, and wait on release of the year’s final blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls, traditionally we are offered films that are more, mmmm, artistic?

Based on what appears to be opening on Friday, though, that isn’t yet the case – at least not completely. Paul Schrader makes sure of that.

Following are the films that, at this point, are on Friday’s release docket:

“Malignant”: Director James Wan (“Saw,” “Insidious,” “The Conjuring”) continues his obsession with fear-factor film by exploring a story about a young woman afflicted by visions of murders – that then actually happen. Oooooooh, scary.

James Marsh, South China Morning Post: “[The film is saved by] a frantic, blood-spattered climax of outrageous action and violence, propelled by a jaw-dropping revelation so ridiculously audacious it must be seen to be believed.”

“The Card Counter”: Oscar Isaac stars as an ex-military interrogator, afflicted by PTSD, who takes up gambling with a dual purpose – one, simply as a means of survival, two, as a means of revenge. Written and directed by the always intense afore-mentioned Paul Schrader.

Stephanie Zacharek, Time.com: “Even a not-great Schrader picture is still more interesting than some movies made by young, so-called geniuses. And ‘The Card Counter,’ intense and vital and hugely satisfying, is pretty great.”

“Show Me the Father”: Fathers are put in the forefront of this documentary film that stresses, in five different stories, their important role as both parents and spiritual guides.

No advance critics’ reviews are available, though you can find one moviegoer’s reaction by clicking here.

That’s it for now. I’ll update as necessary.

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