EW Must List: Sunday's VMAs, new Frank Ocean, and more
Summer 2016 has delivered on scares thus far. As director and producer, respectively, James Wan scored a one-two punch with The Conjuring 2 and Lights Out, while The Purge: Election Year continued its parent franchise’s tried-and-true brand of disturbing genre action. Still, we’ve yet to see anything quite like Don’t Breathe. Fede Alvarez’s terrifying tale, which premiered at South by Southwest in March, follows a group of friends who break into a blind man’s house with the intent to steal his fortune. What they initially assume will be a simple heist soon devolves into a harrowing ordeal, as their would-be victim proves to be a threat bigger than they could have imagined. Packed with genuine suspense and shocking twists, Don’t Breathe is sure to leave you breathless, just as its title suggests.
Don’t Breathe hits theaters Aug. 26.
Rachel Weisz shows off her Oscar-winning acting chops in Joshua Marston’s third feature film, Complete Unknown. As he did with 2004’s Maria Full of Grace, Marston hones in on one woman’s lonely (and sometimes dangerous) journey toward self-acceptance, one that involves taking on multiple identities (magician’s assistant, biologist, hipster) as she hops from one country to the next over the course of 15 years. With Complete Unknown, Marston crafts an entrancing tale that’s part searing romantic drama, part mystifying head-scratcher (in the best way possible).
Complete Unknown opens Aug. 26 in limited release.
Blonde by Frank Ocean
The wait was torturous, but Frank Ocean made it worthwhile in the end.
After teasing fans of Blonde‘s existence for well over three years, Ocean finally dropped his highly-anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Channel Orange, the debut album which won the singer a Grammy and sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Blonde sees Ocean returning to his signature brand of melancholy R&B, softly crooning over minimal tracks like “White Ferrari” and “Godspeed,” picking up the pace on subtly funky tracks like “Pink + White” and “Nights.” Though it lands at the tail end of the season, Blonde cements itself as one of the best albums of the summer — if not the entire year — so far.
Blonde is now available on Apple Music.
2016 MTV Video Music Awards
While the nominees have been announced (Beyoncé and Adele lead!), little is known about the ceremony itself, meaning the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards are (probably) planning some big surprises for Sunday night. With Rihanna set to receive the Video Vanguard Award and scheduled performances from Britney Spears (her first at the show since 2007), Nick Jonas, and Ty Dolla $ign, it’s already shaping up to be one of the hottest VMAs in recent memory. Still, rumors continue to swirl (will Lady Gaga take the stage for a surprise performance?) around the New York City-based event, keeping everyone (including us) on our toes heading into the live broadcast.
The 2016 VMAs air Sunday, Aug. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.
Narcos, Season 2
It’s been almost a full year since Narcos first became a sleeper hit on Netflix’s streaming platform, with 10 pulse-pounding episodes following the tumultuous life of Pablo Escobar — famed Colombian drug lord at the head of the Medellín Cartel. Now, the gritty drama returns for a second season, focusing on Escobar’s thrilling escape from prison and subsequent evasion of the Colombian authorities.
Narcos‘ second season streams in full beginning Sept. 2 on Netflix.