MIDSOMMAR (2019) Stream on Amazon; rent on Google Play, Vudu or YouTube. Ari Aster made waves in 2018 with the release of his debut feature, “Hereditary.” A year later, he delivered another haunting watch, “Midsommar.” The protagonists, Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor), are on the verge of breaking up until a family tragedy brings them closer. Not close enough, that is, as Christian is emotionally detached while a grieving Dani clings onto him for comfort. Months later, Christian reluctantly invites Dani to join him and his friends at a festival in a remote Swedish village that occurs every 90 years. The group arrives at the sun-kissed landscape in awe, until they realize they have entered the terrain of a pagan cult. Needless to say, terror ensues. Aster tried to center the horror around Dani and Christian’s deteriorating relationship, yet critics have said their back story was not given enough weight to begin with. Aster’s real strength, Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The New York Times, “is the setup, that part when he lays out his characters, their worlds and the menace that closes on them like a claw.”
DRACULA Stream on Netflix. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the creators of “Sherlock,” joined forces yet again to write this new mini-series for BBC and Netflix. The show adapts Bram Stoker’s classic tale, telling the origin story of Count Dracula (Claes Bang of “The Square”) with a gory, modern twist. It debuted in Britain on Jan. 1 to positive reviews. The Guardian called it a “diabolic luxury” while The Sun said the occasional one-liner lends some fun to the grisly scenes.
THE AFTERMATH (2019) 8 p.m. on HBO; stream on HBO platforms. Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgard play grief-stricken lovers in this wartime romantic drama by the director James Kent (“Testament of Youth”). Rachael (Knightley) arrives in postwar Hamburg in 1946 to reunite with her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke), a British colonel in charge of rebuilding the city. The couple lost their son during the Blitz, and their marriage has been on thin ice ever since. They settle into a mansion requisitioned from Stephen (Skarsgard), a German widower. Rachael is seething when Lewis offers to share the space with Stephen and his daughter. But soon enough her animosity gives way to desire, and a love triangle unfolds under one roof. The film has been praised for its dazzling visuals, yet critics have said it lacks nuance and emotional depth.
SURVIVING R. KELLY: PART II: THE RECKONING 8 p.m. on Lifetime. “Surviving R. Kelly,” the documentary series that explored sexual abuse allegations against the R&B singer, comes to a close with this sequel. The final episode revisits the aftermath of Kelly being taken into federal custody and spotlights the families of two of his live-in girlfriends who largely defended him when the allegations surfaced.