Filmmakers seem intent on making your skin crawl with this week's new DVD and Blu-ray releases, via a viral pandemic in "Contagion," demonic tooth fairies in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," fresh-water man-eaters in "Shark Night," and Sarah Jessica Parker in "I Don't Know How She Does It" (sorry, Sarah).
To balance out the ick factor, the popular 1999 coming-of-age teen comedy "She's All That" makes its Blu-ray debut.
The week's full break down below in our newly formatted "Queue It Up" column.
Box Office: $76 million
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Rating: 84% Fresh
Storyline: Director Steven Soderbergh assembles a huge ensemble cast (including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard) in this medical disaster film about a deadly viral outbreak that kills within days and quickly spreads throughout the world. The movie follows several civilians and medical professionals that struggle to survive the pandemic and ride it out for a cure as society falls apart.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "'Contagion': How a Virus Changes the World;" the BD adds the exclusives "False Comfort Zone: The Reality of 'Contagion'" and "The 'Contagion' Detectives."
We Say: It makes complete sense that "Fishsticks" Paltrow would be the woman to unleash a civilization-destroying plague in this nightmarish movie for Generation Purell that will have you giving the hairy eyeball to anyone that so much as sneezes in your vicinity. All of the actors do an excellent job of conveying a sense of panic and desperation, but the movie feels very cold and procedural—like you are watching a documentary about what would go down during a worldwide pandemic instead of becoming emotionally invested in any of the characters. (Editor's Note: The NextMovie staff generally disagrees; "Contagion" ranked #24 on our list of the year's 25 best movies).
Also Check Out: Our Totally Sick 'Contagion' Blu-ray Giveaway
'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'
Box Office: $24 million
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Rating: 59% Rotten
Storyline: This Guillermo del Toro-produced remake of the 1973 TV movie of the same name stars Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes as a couple that moves into and renovates a sprawling Gothic mansion in Rhode Island with a sinister history. When Pearce's troubled young daughter (Bailee Madison) moves in, she unwittingly awakens a troop of malevolent goblin-like tooth fairies that have been sealed in an ash pit be in the basement.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a behind-the-scenes featurette about the story, as well as making-of featurettes about the mansion and the creatures; the BD adds a conceptual art gallery.
We Say: Some of you can still only see Holmes as Joey Potter even though "Dawson's Creek" ended its run eight years ago, but if you can get beyond that and accept her as a thirtysomething stepmother then you might get behind this creepy bedtime story that features some impressive CGI creature design and a convincing performance by Madison as a little girl who realizes that the monsters under the bed are all too real.
Also Check Out: Katie Holmes and Guillermo del Toro Try to Spook You
'I Don't Know How She Does It'
Box Office: $10 million
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Rating: 17% Rotten
Storyline: Sarah Jessica Parker plays a Boston-based finance executive trying to balance her busy work schedule and life at home with hubby Greg Kinnear and their two young children. Christina Hendricks, Pierce Bronsan, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers and Olivia Munn co-star in this romantic comedy directed by Douglas McGrath.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "A Conversation With Best-Selling Author Allison Pearson."
We Say: Instead of being titled "I Don't Know How She Does It," this tiresome rom-com should have been called "I Don't Know Why They Made It," since it features woefully outdated stereotypes about working moms. Hey, we get it—holding an executive position and juggling parental duties is exasperating albeit your choice, but watching light entertainment about the subject shouldn't be.
Box Office: $19 million
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Rating: 15% Rotten
Storyline: A group of college friends (including Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan and "American Idol" contestant Katharine McPhee) spend a weekend at a Louisiana lake house only to become victims of heretofore-unheard-of fresh-water shark attacks that are the end result of a sick plan by greedy hicks.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "Shark Attack! Kill Machine!" and "Ellis' Island;" the BD adds a "Survival Guide" and the presumptuous "Fake Sharks, Real Scares."
We Say: "Snakes on a Plane" director David R. Ellis is certainly not Steven Spielberg, who made a generation of people terrified to go into the water with the PG-rated "Jaws." "Shark Night" has the requisite pretty young people with swimwear-ready bods and a propensity for doing stupid things in the water, but the fatal decision to make this a PG-13 affair means that viewers are subjected to a lot of shaky-cam effects and red stuff in the water instead of ripped-off body parts and gratuitous nudity à la the R-rated "Piranha 3D." Even though the soggy "Shark Night" got a 3-D release in theaters, there is no concurrent Blu-ray 3-D release unlike the fishtastic "Piranha 3D."
Also Check Out: Our 'Shark Night' Giveaway Doesn't Bite
Blu-ray Pick of the Week: 'She's All That'
Box Office: $63 million
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Rating: 39% Rotten
Storyline: High school hottie Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) bets he can turn any girl into a prom queen after he gets dumped by his girlfriend (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). Zack targets school nerd Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook) as the unwitting target and unexpectedly falls for her after he gets to know her. When Laney discovers the truth behind the bet, Zack must win back her affections.
Extras! Laugh-out-loud commentary by director Robert Iscove, a theatrical trailer and the Sixpence None the Richer music video of "Kiss Me."
We Say: "She's All That" was sort of the "Pretty in Pink" for the '90s and featured a huge cast of familiar faces, including Paul Walker, Anna Paquin, Matthew Lillard, Kieran Culkin, Usher and Lil' Kim. Although most critics didn't embrace it like they did the John Hughes classic, "She's All That" won a bunch of Young Hollywood and Teen Choice awards and effectively captured the awkwardness and hellish drama that is high school.
Also New This Week:
"Pearl Jam Twenty"