Thriller movies dominate US Autumn season

Thrillers, horrors and dramas are set to dominate Autumn movie season in the United States.

Daniel Craig plays James Bond in Skyfall. Picture: AFP

LOS ANGELES -Autumn brings colder weather across the Northern Hemisphere and Hollywood's major studios will usher into theatres cool action thrillers, chilly horror movies and some dramatic Oscar hopefuls looking for a head start on awards season.

"Early Autumn can often be a little bit of a lull at the movies, but it can also be a time when real quality films can take advantage of a quiet marketplace and really stand out," Entertainment Weekly writer Dave Karger said.

The season kicks into high gear on September 21, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena playing Los Angeles police battling a ruthless drug cartel in End of Watch, from writer/director David Ayer.

Ayer, whose previous LA cop flick, Training Day, earned Denzel Washington a best actor Oscar, said the film shows "what it's like to work the streets in a way very few films have ever shown," pulling back the curtain on the cops' lives, personal and professional.

"It's not your typical Hollywood movie. It's very grounded, very real - almost a pseudo documentary. You'll walk out of this movie wanting to hug a cop," he said.

Guns continue to blaze on September 28 when Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play the same person - only 30-years apart - in the time-travel flick Looper about assassins killing targets sent back from the future.

Liam Neeson is back as the CIA-trained, overly protective father in Taken 2 (October 5) when the kidnappers who swiped his daughter in the first Taken movie return for revenge.

The best-selling Alex Cross crime novels get a reboot with Tyler Perry taking the lead role previously inhabited by Morgan Freeman in Alex Cross (Oct 19).

This time, the detective psychologist takes on a hitman played by Matthew Fox.

On October 12, crime takes a comedic edge in Seven Psychopaths, about a screenwriter (Colin Farrell) who gets involved in the Los Angeles underworld when his dog-snatching friend (Sam Rockwell) makes the mistake of kidnapping a Shih Tzu belonging to a crime boss (Woody Harrelson).

The season ends with a bang as the highly anticipated Skyfall comes out on November 9, amid a celebration of 50 years of Bond movies.

This time around, Daniel Craig takes his third turn as 007 with Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes at the helm of the movie and Javier Bardem as the villain, Silva.

HALLOWEEN

Autumn is long on horror as the studios play to fears ahead of Halloween. On September 21, Jennifer Lawrence finds herself haunted in The House at the End of the Street.

On October 5, a ghostly entity threatens Ethan Hawke and his family in Sinister.

If that's not enough haunted house-themed flicks, the hugely popular franchise Paranormal Activity 4 returns on October 19.

For family frights, animated Hotel Transylvania (September 28) stars Adam Sandler as a hotelier to non-humans whose world turns upside down when an overexcited human shows up.

And Tim Burton brings his usual ghoulish charm to the screen with the stop-motion animated Frankenweenie (October 5) about a young boy who resurrects his late dog, Sparky.