The best Halloween horror movies and specials to watch in 2022

Is there something higher than Halloween season?

Sure, right here at Polygon we cowl horror year-round. We have our rolling lists of the best horror movies you possibly can watch at residence and the best horror movies on Netflix which can be up to date each month of the yr.

But even for year-round horror followers, Halloween is a particular time of yr.

For the previous two years, Polygon has put collectively a Halloween Countdown calendar, providing a Halloween-friendly film or TV present obtainable to watch at residence on daily basis of October. We’re delighted to carry that again as soon as once more, with 31 spooky picks to maintain the temper going all month lengthy.

Every day for the complete month of October, we’ll add a brand new suggestion to this Countdown and inform you the place you possibly can watch it. So curl up on the sofa, dim the lights, and seize some popcorn for a terrifying and entertaining host of Halloween surprises.

Oct. 1: Audition (1999)

Image: Arrow Films

In Audition, Takashi Miike’s 1999 psychological horror-thriller, love is a consensual fiction. Years after shedding his spouse to a terminal sickness, widower Shigeharu Aoyama is urged by his son to get again out in the world and discover somebody. Aoyama agrees to a proposal by his buddy, a movie producer, to participate in an audition for a nonexistent movie in order to discover a potential bride from the candidates. His search in the end leads him to Asami Yamazaki, an attractive former ballerina with a murky previous.

As Aoyama grows nearer to his new love curiosity, he finds himself caught deeper and deeper in an online of intrigue that threatens to tear him aside emotionally, psychologically, and sure — even bodily. There is one thing darkish inside Asami, sure, however there’s a latent darkness within Aoyama too, arguably even darker. The solely distinction is that Asami has embraced that darkness and made it her personal.

Miike’s movie holds its playing cards comparatively shut to its chest for many of its run time, unspooling its tightly wound thriller like garrote wire earlier than peeling again its pores and skin of meet-cute artifice to reveal a pulsing mass of horrors roiling beneath. The movie descends right into a macabre fugue state of assumptions, misdirections, and cinematic sleights of hand, with desires that really feel virtually actual set towards a actuality too terrifying to be something however. In the tip, although, these are simply phrases. Only ache will be trusted. —Toussaint Egan

Audition is out there to stream on Arrow Video and Hi-Yah!, at no cost with advertisements on Tubi, and at no cost on Kanopy with a library card. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy on Vudu and Apple.

Oct. 2: The Vanishing (1988)

A sinister looking man with a goatee smiles at another man against a pitch black backdrop in The Vanishing.

Image: The Criterion Collection

It’s not a horror film, per se, and but Stanley Kubrick stated that The Vanishing was essentially the most scary movie he had ever seen. This Dutch thriller from 1988 — usually referred to by its unique title Spoorloos, in order not to confuse it with an inferior 1993 American remake by the identical director, George Sluizer — performs it cool, like a easy lacking particular person case. Rex and Saskia are a younger couple road-tripping by France. They are taking a break at a service station when Saskia abruptly, and utterly, disappears.

Initially, the horror of the scenario is in the banality of it: the sensation that it may occur at any time, to anybody. Sluizer underlines this with the matter-of-fact realism of his location taking pictures. Then, barely greater than 20 minutes in, he wrong-foots the viewers with an abrupt shift: We are following Raymond, a contented French household man who seems to be rehearsing a kidnapping. The thriller of what occurred to Saskia appears already to be solved. What subsequent?

The method the movie — based mostly very carefully on Tim Krabbé’s novella The Golden Egg — skips so shortly previous the anticipated construction of a thriller thriller ought to sap pressure, however in truth it builds an virtually philosophical unease. As Raymond, performed with a chilling brightness by Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, walks us by the “how” of his crime, the “why” turns into a gnawing, rather more troubling query. We skip ahead three years and discover Rex obsessive about discovering out what occurred to his misplaced love. When a solution is obtainable, we share his starvation for it utterly, and comply with him to what may be essentially the most plainly horrifying ending of any movie, ever. This is a minimal masterpiece of existential dread. —Oli Welsh

The Vanishing is out there to stream on The Criterion Channel, or for digital rental or buy on Apple and Amazon.

Oct. 3: Rampant (2018)

A prince in fancy white 17th century Korean garb stabs a screaming zombie right through the stomach in Rampant.

Image: Well Go USA Entertainment

One of the nice joys of horror is the array of subgenres it provides, and the subgenres inside subgenres that spool out of that. Take the monster film, as an example. It’s a subgenre of horror by itself, and inside it you have got the vampire film, the werewolf film, and the zombie film, simply to identify a couple of. And then you possibly can dive even deeper and discover one thing like Rampant, which mixes the zombie subgenre with an unlikely pairing: the historic court docket drama interval piece.

The film takes place through the seventeenth century, beneath the Joseon dynasty in Korea. The film is stuffed with political intrigue: The protagonist is an boastful younger prince known as again residence after his brother’s loss of life solely to discover political machinations already in progress when he arrives. The court docket is struggling to determine how to take care of the close by Qing dynasty in China (the place our protagonist grew up), with totally different factions forming.

And then there are the zombies. Yes, a zombie outbreak arrives, recalibrating the significance of this royal battle for some (however not all) of its gamers. Our protagonist discovers this on his method residence, and makes an attempt to persuade his father (and his father’s advisors) to do one thing about it. That leads to some breathtakingly brutal swordplay motion in a pitch-perfect style mashup for the ages. –Pete Volk

Rampant is out there to stream on Hi-Yah!, FuboTV, and Viki, or at no cost with advertisements on Tubi, Crackle, Plex, Pluto TV, and Freevee. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy on Amazon, Apple, Vudu, and Google Play.

Oct. 4: Seconds (1966)

A man with wrappings over his face wears a suit and stands in front of a light. Two men stand around him, one wearing a doctor’s coat and the other pointing at him.

Image: Paramount Pictures

Werewolves, vampires, zombies, and aliens don’t have anything on the unstoppable technique of growing older. All of us will become older, life will get exponentially troublesome, and the one particular person ready for us on the end line is Death. John Frankenheimer constructed Seconds round such midlife terrors, granting New York banking exec Arthur Hamilton the chance to pretend his personal loss of life, reconstruct his physique in the type of Rock Hudson, and transfer to sunny Southern California as a scorching, youthful dude named Tony Wilson. Like a small animal tramped beneath the sunlamp of the Santa Barbara solar, we see Hudson spiral by paranoia and remorse, replete with bare grape mashing and alcohol-fueled breakdowns. Needless to say, the grass isn’t greener, and the one factor scarier than getting previous is staying younger.

The movie met boos at Cannes and puzzled critics who have been accustomed to main man Rock Hudson being simply that — a conventional main man. But the movie has aged properly, pun absolutely supposed. James Wong Howe’s cinematography, nominated for an Academy Award, holds the viewer inches from Hudson’s face, bends actuality by a fish-eye lens, and by some means makes lovely younger our bodies into nauseating bundles of limbs and flesh. And Hudson, now indifferent from his Personal Brand for many viewers beneath the age of 70, undercuts his Hollywood attractiveness with a humble efficiency of a person in full collapse. —Chris Plante

Seconds is out there to stream at no cost with advertisements on Pluto TV, or at no cost with a library card on Kanopy. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy on Amazon, Apple TV, and Google Play.

Oct. 5: Bride of Chucky (1998)

The Chucky doll dual wields pistols and looks past the camera in Bride of Chucky.

Image: Universal Pictures

The fourth film of the wickedly humorous Child’s Play franchise takes the killer doll collection in an thrilling new route. Bride of Chucky ditches Andy, the younger boy adopted by the murderous Chucky doll in the primary three movies, and as a substitute follows two clueless youngsters (Katherine Heigl and Nick Stabile) who unwittingly take two murderous dolls on a street journey and begin to suspect one another when the our bodies begin dropping.

The sinister inversion of the teenager street journey film could be enjoyable sufficient, however it’s the addition of Jennifer Tilly that actually makes Bride of Chucky sing. For the uninitiated in the Child’s Play universe: The Chucky doll is possessed by the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif). Tilly performs Ray’s former lover and confederate, Tiffany, who brings the doll again to life and turns into a murderous doll herself.

The result’s two {couples} road-tripping collectively however unable to talk with one another. Heigl and Stabile’s Jade and Jesse are your typical youths in love — nonetheless getting to know one another and not absolutely trusting but — whereas Chucky and Tiffany’s bickering and delicate manipulations make this a joyous and twisted enjoyable time. Add in some breathtaking imagery from director Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason) and cinematographer Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Killer) and you have got a franchise sequel properly price your time. —PV

Bride of Chucky is out there to stream on Peacock. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy on Amazon, Apple TV, and Google Play.

Oct. 6: Dead Ringers (1988)

Jeremy Irons as Beverly and Elliot Mantle in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. One Jeremy Irons wears a red t-shirt and a bloody towel, while the other wears a suit.

Image: twentieth Century Fox

Visually, 1988’s Dead Ringers have to be certainly one of David Cronenberg’s tamest movies — excluding one extraordinarily disturbing dream sequence round midway by, and one grisly however out-of-focus lengthy shot on the finish. Otherwise, this can be a movie composed of speaking heads in pristine, orderly areas, and varnished in Eighties designer opulence: tearooms, working theaters, penthouses. His regular physique horror is extra implied in the gleaming, twisted contours of medical implements than truly proven. Yet it may be his most devastating movie.

Jeremy Irons performs an identical twin gynecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle, who run a profitable fertility clinic in Toronto. Beverly, quiet and delicate, tends to the observe and the sufferers whereas the urbane Elliot climbs the medical institution ladder. They reside collectively and typically fake to be one another, so shy Beverly can benefit from the fruits of Elliot’s womanizing. But their symbiotic relationship begins to fray and peel when Beverly falls in love with Claire (Geneviève Bujold), an actress and affected person who can’t bear youngsters as a result of she has three chambers in her womb.

Beneath Dead Ringers’ glassy floor, feeling runs deep and chilly. The intense psychodrama that develops between the three characters — however principally between the dual brothers — builds to a conclusion that’s each appalling and shifting. At the movie’s coronary heart are the unimaginable performances given by Irons and captured by Cronenberg with cautious, unshowy craftsmanship. Without leaning too closely on figuring out make-up or tics, Irons not solely innately distinguishes Bev and Ellie, however builds an intimacy between them that’s as tender as it’s eerie. It’s like watching one particular person tear themselves in two and then clumsily attempt to seal the wound. Dead Ringers is the stuff of tragedy in addition to horror. —OW

Dead Ringers is out there to stream on HBO Max. It can also be obtainable at no cost with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy, or for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon and Apple TV.

Oct. 7: The Keep (1983)

A muscular golem-like creature with red glowing eyes and mouth stands at the mouth of an underground passage filled with an eerie light.

Image: Paramount Pictures

Michael Mann has a status as a slick, streetbound auteur. Films like Thief, Heat, and Collateral embrace the metropolis as a labyrinth, and crime as a psychological check. The Keep, his 1983 bounce to extra blockbuster fare, is absolutely nothing like these movies — apart from an extreme quantity of temper.

Set in 1941 Romania, across the time the Nazis invade the Soviet Union, the movie finds a German battalion stumbling upon a mysterious construction dubbed “The Keep.” Two savvy troopers hope to loot what they suppose is treasure inside. Instead, their heist unleashes Radu Molasar, a golem-like destroyer of worlds. Whoops!

When members of the infantry begin winding up useless, a vile SS commander (performed with ruthlessness by Gabriel Byrne) reveals up to determine what the heck is occurring. Naturally, he begins killing folks, too. Mann slides between extra stark drama that one would possibly count on from a movie plunging headfirst into World War II geopolitics, whereas throwing supernatural curveballs that guarantee each nook of the story feels haunted. Eventually, Scott Glenn reveals up as a protector of the native village, which is being tortured by each Nazis and Radu Molasar, and the race is on to put an finish to it.

Backed by Tangerine Dream’s ecclesiastic synth rating and staged in a few of the most lovely, light-streaked stone units ever made (can a Romanian temple be a liminal area?), The Keep is, little doubt, B-movie schlock. But in the arms of a grasp like Mann, it’s given the clever haze of a nightmare. —Matt Patches

The Keep is out there to stream on The Criterion Channel, and at no cost with advertisements on Pluto TV. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon and Apple TV.

Oct. 8: Samurai Jack — Episode XXXV: Jack and the Haunted House

Samurai Jack, wearing white, faces off against a monstrous smoke monster with white eyes in Samurai Jack.

Image: Warner Bros. Animation

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack is a collection that accommodates multitudes. The premise of the present, regarding a samurai prince who’s transported right into a dystopian future by his nemesis, a tyrannical shape-shifting demon, and pressured to trek throughout an odd and alien new world in seek for a method again residence, is one which afforded a wealth of storytelling alternatives that ranged from epic and comical to somber and horrifying. Episode 35, “Jack and the Haunted House,” matches squarely in the latter class.

While touring alone one evening, Jack occurs upon somewhat woman crying in a forest. Chasing after her in an effort to console her, he finds himself drawn to a mysterious home whose malevolent power plagues him with beginning visions of an evil pressure preying upon helpless household. Jack’s drive to rescue the woman and her household from mortal peril nonetheless threatens to ensnare himself in the clutches of a spirit who thrives on reworking the home into an unimaginable labyrinth from which there isn’t any escape.

“Jack and the Haunted House” is an particularly spectacular episode, not only for its express horror-centric premise, however for its depiction of the demon itself — a writhing mass of darkish tendrils that coalesce right into a ukiyo-e-style dragon with a leering jaw and piercing eyes. It’s a implausible episode that strikes a eager steadiness between unnerving terror and the extra action-focused emphasis of the collection as a complete. —TE

Samurai Jack is out there to stream on HBO Max. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon and Apple TV.

Oct. 9: Steven Universe — Chille Tid

A blue person with blue hair cries out of their eyes and mouth in the Steven Universe episode Chille Tid

Image: Cartoon Network

Steven Universe is not any stranger to horror, and notably physique horror. A Crystal Gem’s physique is the manifestation of their Gem — which itself is immutable — permitting them to shape-shift at will. It’s a part of what makes the present lovely; the Gem characters are all canonically nonbinary and can select the physique and gender expression that fits them. It additionally offers the present fertile floor to do terrifying issues, like depict the consequence of Gem “experiments” that produce disgusting, roiling plenty of animated disembodied limbs.

In this vein, “Chille Tid” offers kid-accessible visible language to critical ideas like energy, consent, codependency, and martyrdom. The episode focuses on fusion, which up till this level has been depicted as extremely lovely. Fusion permits two Gems to morph collectively to create a bigger Gem with the character of their relationship. And the present treats this act with pleasure and reverence, constructing a lot storytelling across the energy of loving others. It additionally teaches the lesson that coercing one other Gem into fusion is a deep breach of belief. (And by the best way, in Gem World tradition, fusing with a unique sort of Gem is a big taboo — one other little bit of incisive real-world commentary from Steven Universe.)

In “Chille Tid,” Lapis, a depressed and extremely highly effective Crystal Gem, fuses with Jasper, a mercenary despatched to destroy the Crystal Gems on Earth. The fusion is repugnant. Lapis martyrs herself — shackling herself to an abuser and sinking them into the ocean. You can see the massive character they create preventing towards water-created handcuffs that spring from the ocean. This is just made worse when you understand Lapis’ backstory: She solely just lately escaped imprisonment from an enchanted mirror. It’s a deeply scary episode, particularly for kids’s tv, but in addition as an grownup — in case you have ever escaped an abuser, you understand the sensation too properly. The imagery is unforgettable as a result of it’s actual.

For these of you who fear, Lapis does break away. And she does ultimately reside in a renovated barn with Peridot, ensuing in one of many best fanons of the present. —Nicole Clark

Steven Universe is out there to stream on HBO Max and Hulu. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon.

Oct. 10: The Last Winter

A person next to a snowmobile investigates a box with red text written on it in the icy tundra in The Last Winter.

Image: Antidote Films

Larry Fessenden’s underseen 2006 horror masterpiece The Last Winter was method forward of the climate-horror wave that the remainder of the world is just simply catching up on. The film follows a hodgepodge combine of presidency officers, scientists, and researchers despatched to the freezing wilderness of Alaska in hopes of discovering oil. The workforce is most involved with digging right into a wildlife reserve, and whereas the federal government’s liaison, Ed Pollack (performed with menacing cruelty and almost-cartoon ranges of evil by Ron Perlman) is gung-ho about drilling, a couple of of the scientists aren’t so certain. After a number of warnings not to, the group digs into the ice and disrupts long-dormant spirits, inflicting, after all, all hell to break free.

Fessenden’s film is notable not only for how nice and watchable (and scary) it’s by itself phrases, but in addition for the way successfully it synthesizes so lots of the biggest horror subgenres into one story. It’s one of many best local weather change horror movies, one of many best native-spirits-and-disturbed-land movies, a implausible addition to the traditional horror canon of the arctic expedition gone horribly mistaken, and even matches properly subsequent to different government-creep-in-way-over-their-head movies like Aliens.

But for all its time spent tapping into horror historical past, The Last Winter’s best function is how unsettlingly it presents its personal theme. As far because the film is worried, humanity is basically a parasite to the pure world, and every thing that goes mistaken is the world merely preventing again to defend itself. Plenty of movies present visions of the tip of civilization, however few apart from The Last Winter make it appear to be the one cheap choice. —Austen Goslin

The Last Winter is out there for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon and Apple TV.

Oct. 11: Near Dark

Bill Paxton, wearing a leather jacket and dark sunglasses, smiles with blood all over his face and body in Near Dark.

Image: F/M

“Can I have a bite?”

A horny vampire western positively oozing with “cool,” there isn’t any different film like Near Dark. Kathryn Bigelow’s outstanding solo directorial debut began a superb streak, main proper into Blue Steel, Point Break, and Strange Days.

Bigelow needed to make a Western, however studios weren’t precisely champing on the bit to fund these in the Eighties. So she and co-writer Eric Red set out to mix the Western with one other style practically as previous as cinema itself: the vampire film. The current successes of Fright Night and The Lost Boys didn’t harm, both.

Near Dark has implausible motion set-pieces — a barroom brawl and a shootout in a bungalow stand out in specific for his or her pressure constructing and use of sunshine, respectively. It’s additionally darkly humorous, and stuffed with biting dramatic irony (a vampire giving a hickey to an unsuspecting neck, some acute early wordplay the place your information that this can be a vampire film adjustments every thing).

The costumes are pitch-perfect, and the make-up is uncontrolled (the consequences to create the phantasm of burning pores and skin are merely astounding). But I can solely go thus far with out speaking about Bill Paxton. Paxton, who performs the out-of-control vampire Severen, is a pressure of nature in Near Dark. He is an electrical presence at each flip, equal elements menacing and attractive, and is essentially the most memorable a part of a particularly memorable film. —PV

Near Dark is out there to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Oct. 12: Tetsuo: The Iron Man

A man is consumed by metal, with only his eyes, nose and mouth peering out, in Tetsuo: The Iron Man.

Image: Kaijyu Theater

There are plenty of inventive methods to describe Shinya Tsukamoto’s 1989 body-horror masterpiece: “cult classic,” “visionary,” “incredibly fucked up,” to identify a couple of. The description I’ve roughly settled on is “transhumanist body-horror supervillain love story.”

The first quarter-hour of Tetsuo hit like an adrenaline increase shot straight to the occipital lobe, chronicling the story of a salaryman and his girlfriend who unintentionally run over a mysterious eccentric with a body-morphing “metal fetish.” Later, upon realizing they’ve each been contaminated with identical affliction, the couple probes on the newfound bodily, psychological, and sexual dimensions of their weird situation, all whereas their sufferer turned adversary plots his revenge from the shadows.

Tsukamoto’s magnum opus is horrifying, sexy, and endlessly unique, continuously reinventing itself with frenzied stop-motion montage and cackling quick-cut audio cues that maintain the viewer on the fringe of their seat. Chu Ishikawa’s rating feels just like the religious antecedent to digital music acts like Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, with its droning industrial clamor and burst-fire drum loops searing into your eardrums like acid consuming away at sheet steel.

While a pure precursor to modern movies like Julia Ducournau’s Titane and David Cronenberg’s Crash, you’ll quickly sufficient uncover — even after greater than three a long time and two sequels — there nonetheless hasn’t been anything fairly prefer it since. If you don’t have the abdomen for sadomasochistic body-modding or gore, it’s completely high quality to give this one a cross. If you do occur to give it an opportunity, although, you’ll be handled to a visceral and unforgettable expertise. –TE

Tetsuo: The Iron Man is out there to stream on The Criterion Channel and Shudder, or at no cost with a library card on Kanopy. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy by way of Apple TV.

Oct. 13: Rigor Mortis

An undead person has coins chained to his face in Rigor Mortis

Image: Fortissimo Films

Describing this Hong Kong vampire film is a particularly sophisticated course of. On its floor, Rigor Mortis is a vampire/demon/ghost motion film. But while you dig somewhat deeper, it’s additionally a mini time capsule and a tribute to the supernatural horror cinema of Hong Kong’s previous.

The film follows a person who arrives at an enormous concrete condo constructing that appears to be haunted by each spirit you possibly can think about. He’s a past-his-prime actor and intends to take his personal life. When he tries, twin spirits try to possess his physique, however then they’re stopped by a retired vampire hunter who now runs the condo’s restaurant. What else would a vampire hunter do when there are not any vampires left?

This complete sequence solely covers the film’s first 10 or so minutes, and is an ideal setup for the particular model of realizing, in-on-the-joke supernatural motion ever current in Rigor Mortis — which after all does ultimately contain a vampire. It’s the sort of early-2010s film the place the complete setting is grey, simply so the manufacturing has an excuse to paint it purple when the fights come. All of this will sound ridiculous (and it positively is), however by some means Rigor Mortis manages to strike the right steadiness of a so-serious-it’s-silly tone and modulates between the 2 moods with ease. It pivots from scenes of individuals trapping spirits in wardrobes to somebody desperately attempting to carry out a religious ritual to resurrect their liked one, giving sufficient gravity to every that they will all come off as honest.

As entertaining as Rigor Mortis is, it additionally has a secret. While not needed to getting the film, it does add one other stage of enjoyment. See, the protagonist is known as Chin Siu-ho, which is additionally the identify of the actor who’s enjoying him, who additionally occurred to be the star of the legendary Hong Kong horror collection Mr. Vampire. In different phrases, it’s a film a few real-world retired actor/martial artist who as soon as performed a vampire hunter, now meets a fictional retired vampire hunter, and then joins in on the vampire searching yet one more time. –AG

Rigor Mortis is out there to stream on Peacock and Hi-Yah!, at no cost with advertisements on Plex and Tubi, or for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon and Apple TV.

Oct. 14: Witchfinder General

Vincent Price with curly grey hair in and old-fashioned outfit with pronounced buttons in Witchfinder General.

Image: Tigon British Film Productions

Vincent Price is an icon of horror whose camp but commanding presence outlined so lots of the lurid, theatrical British and American horror movies of the Sixties and ’70s. His 1968 star automobile Witchfinder General appears to be like prefer it’s going to be a type of movies, however beware. This is a bitter, realist, historic sort of horror, and each the movie and Price’s efficiency are lethal critical.

Witchfinder General was tailored from a novel, and loosely based mostly on the exploits of a historic character: Matthew Hopkins, an English witch hunter who claimed, falsely, to have been awarded the title of “witchfinder general” by Parliament. During the English Civil War of the 1640s, a time of paranoia and lawlessness, Hopkins rampaged freely across the East Anglian countryside, sending over 100 folks to the gallows on suspicion of witchcraft.

Although it performs quick and free with the historic file, this grim, low-budget thriller doesn’t truck with the supernatural. It’s all concerning the evil of man. Price, in certainly one of his iciest performances, performs Hopkins as a manipulative fascist and sadist; in a method, a sort of serial killer. When he targets a kindly priest and the priest’s niece Sara (Hilary Dwyer), he’s pitted towards the niece’s betrothed, a valiant Roundhead soldier (Ian Ogilvy).

But there’s nothing heroic concerning the wrestle in this movie, which, enjoying out in an eerily becalmed nation panorama, feels determined and suffocated. Dwyer unleashes a few of cinema’s most unnerving and memorable screams over the awful ultimate scenes. Director Michael Reeves was simply 24 when he made Witchfinder General, and died of an overdose shortly after its launch: a tragic early finish to a promising profession that has solely added to the mystique of this unsparing film. –OW

Witchfinder General is out there to stream at no cost with a library card on Hoopla. Enterprising readers can even discover the entire thing on YouTube.

Oct. 15: The Hunger

David Bowie looks old in The Hunger, wearing a hat and big glasses ahead of shuttered blinds.

Image: Peerford

How many different vampire movies open with a subterranean goth nightclub scene set to Bauhaus’ “Bela Legosi’s Dead” that includes David Bowie, the Thin White Duke himself?

The late Tony Scott’s 1983 vampire horror movie stars Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie as Miriam and John Blaylock, two vampires dwelling in New York who spend their time in relative leisure, enjoying the cello in their darkened mansion by day and stalking their prey at evening.

As John inexplicably finds his vitality and youth sapped away regardless of his immortal physique, he seeks out solutions and assist in the type of Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), a gerontologist learning results of various blood sorts on the method of growing older. It’s not lengthy, nonetheless, that Miriam, who first sired John 200 years in the past, units her sights on claiming Roberts as the newest in her lengthy line of lovers.

Shot with icy blue shade grading and lighting juxtaposed with cavernous shadows shot inside John and Miriam’s luxurious New York penthouse, The Hunger is an absolute feast for the senses. Bowie delivers a characteristically phenomenal efficiency as John, equal elements charming and aloof in his temporary but memorable on-screen presence, and Deneuve is a sultry and tragic antagonist in her efficiency as Miriam. Sarandon offers an equally charming efficiency as a scientist who yearns for immortality in the type of fame and recognition solely to discover it in the bodily and religious type of vampiric longevity. If you’re searching for a horror movie as terrifying as it’s attractive, look no additional than Scott’s horror traditional. –TE

The Hunger is out there to stream on HBO Max and Watch TCM. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon, Apple TV, Vudu, and Google Play.

Oct. 16: Carnival of Souls

A man peers into a car window as a woman looks on from the driver’s seat. The image is in black and white.

Image: Harcourt Productions

At a lean 78 minutes, the 1962 thoughts sport Carnival of Souls has no time to waste on scene-setting or character-building: It opens two seconds earlier than the motion begins, with a drag race that shortly goes mistaken, plunging one of many rivals right into a murky river. When one of many automotive’s passengers, Mary (Candace Hilligoss), improbably emerges from the water a full three hours later, it’s clear that one thing’s off about her, however it takes author John Clifford and indie director Herk Harvey the remainder of the movie’s unnerving run time to absolutely reveal what’s actually happening.

Compared to fashionable horror, Carnival of Souls is missing in massive scares and gory terror, however it grew to become a cult hit (and a serious affect on horror administrators like George A. Romero) for a cause: Harvey has a robust command of eerie tone and unsettling imagery. A creepy organ rating, an escalating sense of one thing simply not proper, and a way of deep dread all dangle over the movie, casting a dreamy spell as Mary staggers by her subsequent life. Harvey himself reveals up in the movie as an eerie presence, stalking Mary with ill-omened intent.

Hilligoss’ large, haunted eyes and general sense of fragility make her a memorable protagonist, however the true star of Carnival of Souls will be the deserted Saltair Pavilion in Salt Lake City, Utah, the place Harvey units a lot of the motion. He paid $50 for the rights to shoot in the disintegrating, remoted previous spa, a setting that appears prefer it has its personal ghosts and its personal nightmarish backstory. Carnival of Souls is classic cult horror, however it stands up immediately as a memorable expertise, and the trek by that nightmare pavilion is a giant cause it’s endured. —Tasha Robinson

Carnival of Souls is out there to stream on HBO Max, Paramount Plus, The Criterion Channel, and Prime Video, at no cost with a library card on Hoopla, or at no cost with advertisements on Vudu and Tubi.

Oct. 17 – Don’t Look Now

Donald Sutherland screams in grief while holding a lifeless figure in a red raincoat by a lake in Don’t Look Now

Image: D.L.N. Ventures Partnership

Horror movies are sometimes automobiles for creators to give perception into massive, sophisticated matters like faith, hope, loss of life, and even concern itself. But not often has any horror film met the topic of grief as head-on as Don’t Look Now does, or managed to sort out the problem in such a profound and unhappy method.

This 1973 horror traditional from director Nicolas Roeg follows a pair who transfer to Venice after their daughter tragically drowns (sure, Venice town filled with canals; sure, it’s a unhealthy thought). From there, the couple meets a pair of older girls, certainly one of whom claims to have psychic powers and insists that the couple’s daughter continues to be alive, which concurrently heals and hurts the couple’s shortly fraying relationship.

To assist promote the overwhelming weight that grief can placed on an individual and the best way it will possibly reshape their world, Roeg turns Venice’s infinite alleyways, bridges, and water into one thing like a dreamscape, folding them in on one another and creating huge distances out of every canal. The metropolis feels directly claustrophobic and miles extensive, completely reflecting the confusion, and utter dismay of the characters and creating an environment of pressure that’s not often achieved in a film with as few direct and overt scares as this one. But that’s the sort of film Don’t Look Now is, one that can sit with you want quiet grief for years to come, with out ever making you bounce out of your seat. –AG

Don’t Look Now is out there to stream on Prime Video, at no cost with advertisements on Pluto TV, or at no cost with a library card on Kanopy. It can also be obtainable for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.

Oct. 18 – The Faculty

A many tentacled monster rises out of a school pool while two young people look on in The Faculty

Image: Dimension Films

Before you see a single picture, The Faculty kicks off with the blood-pumping guitar riff that opens The Offspring’s “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” It’s the movie’s promise to you: This is a film about teenagers in hassle. And it’s going to fucking rock.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez from a narrative by David Wechter and Bruce Kimmel and with rewrites from late-’90s slasher king Kevin Williamson, The Faculty is the under-sung pinnacle of youngster horror’s period of self-awareness.

In The Faculty, an Ohio highschool turns into hell for its college students when alien parasites infect the college school, turning them into murderous hosts that conspire to infect a bunch of scholars at first, and then the entire city. As the parasites unfold and get extra highly effective, the chances of survival quickly dwindle — and a Breakfast Club-esque motley crew bands collectively to defeat the invaders.

Part of the enjoyable of The Faculty is in its style pastiche: The film is a winking mashup of sci-fi horror classics like The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, whereas becoming in neatly with contemporaries like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer (each written by Kevin Williamson). Another half is its astonishing solid of early-career stars: The Fast & Furious franchise’s Jordana Brewster seems, as does Jon Stewart, Famke Janssen, Elijah Wood, and Usher himself. With a crisp script that strikes at an unimaginable clip and splendidly gross-but-not-too-gross sensible results, The Faculty is a goddamn rollercoaster of a movie, an excellent horror film for individuals who need some scares for certain, however are principally down for a good time with a film. –Joshua Rivera

The Faculty is out there to stream on HBO Max, or for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.

Oct. 19 – Unfriended: Dark Web

A young man with bloodshot eyes pleads with the camera, as a woman is barely visible in the bottom right insert of another camera.

Image: Blumhouse Productions

In the yr of our lord 2022, there’s completely no cause anybody wants to really feel pressured to be part of one other video name, and solely barely much less cause for somebody to really feel completely glued to a pc window. Unfriended: Dark Web is the psychopathic exception to each these guidelines, a horror film informed strictly from the desktop of Matias (Colin Woodell). During the course of his Skype name together with his pals (this was pre-pandemic, if the app selection offers you pause), their evening collectively descends into terror as the unique homeowners of his laptop computer come a-callin’.

Though Dark Web is a sequel to 2015’s Unfriended, the 2 are unrelated, and, in my opinion, the pitch-black bleakness of Dark Web makes it the higher spooky month watch. Here the darkish net is simply as otherworldly as any supernatural presence, and the movie by no means lets up because it descends into digital chaos. There’s one thing to Dark Web concerning the ease with which our on-line life can bleed (actually) into our actual lives, and how we’re all simpler marks than we’d count on. But for individuals who similar to to see a bunch of children get taken out one after the other, it’s additionally simply straightforwardly that. Like with The Thing, there’s an enchantment to watching folks methodically attempt a number of cheap steps to get themselves out of hassle.

But this being a horror film, there’s solely a lot you are able to do. To get caught in the net of Unfriended 2 is to truly let your self reside out a slasher film that’s darker than simply one other Zoom invite: a thriller based mostly in the world we truly reside in, or a minimum of the darkish underbelly beneath it. After Unfriended: Dark Web, that additional Zoom invite won’t appear to be the worst name in the world. But in case your laptop computer background by no means absolutely feels safe once more — properly, you possibly can all the time go exterior. —Zosha Millman

Unfriended: Dark Web is out there to stream on Peacock, or for digital rental or buy by way of Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.


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