As Halloween fast approaches, several highly anticipated new horror movies are set to hit both the theatrical and VOD circuits between now and October 31st. Acclaimed genre filmmakers such as James Wan, Edgar Wright, David Gordon Green, Patrick Brice, Scott Cooper, and more have intriguing new horror tales to go with a solid mixture of international arthouse fare, broad Netflix originals, and everything in between.
From eerie haunted houses, creepy creature features, and anthological period pieces, to unnerving psychological thrillers, time travel chillers, and the return of sinister slasher Michael Myers, this Halloween has plenty of cinematic treats in store.
10 Malignant – Available now on HBOMax
Fresh to theaters and HBO Max is James Wan’s Malignant, the acclaimed new gory horror salvo from one of the genre’s most successful directors. The film follows Madison (Annabelle Wallis), a young mother-to-be who begins having horrifying waking nightmares in her home following an unspeakable family tragedy.
Praised for its central performance by Wallis, the immense amount of graphic carnage, and Wan’s preternatural understanding of how to pull the audiences’ emotional strings like a puppeteer as he creates a seesaw of tension and suspense, Malignant is as infectiously evil as its namesake. It’s currently Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 74% rating.
9 There’s Someone Inside Your House – Releases October 6 on Netflix
Debuting on Netflix on October 6, 2021 is There’s Someone Inside Your House, a sadistic high-school slasher film from well-established horror director Patrick Brice (Creep, Room 104). Based on the novel of the same name by Stephanie Perkins, the film tracks a masked killer stalking the senior class of Osborne High, only to be met with resistance by a marginalized group of outcasts.
What makes this story interesting is how the killer intends to expose the students’ deep-dark secrets before ending their lives, making for a subversive, unpredictable, and genre-defying story that Brice often enjoys telling.
8 V/H/S/94 – Releases October 6 on Shudder
One of the more underrated horror anthology series of the past decade includes V/H/S, created by David Bruckner and Simon Barrett. Both men return for the upcoming 4th franchise entry, V/H/S/94, set to bow exclusively on Shudder on October 6. Set in 1994, the film concerns a police S.W.A.T. unit uncovering a cult conspiracy recorded on a grainy old videotape.
The main draw of the film, aside from the promising premise and well-established brand name, is the collection of daring directing talent at the helm. Chapters will be guided by Barrett (Seance), Chloe Okuno (Slut), Ryan Prows (Lowlife), Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin), and Timo Tjahanto, the latter of which directed the scariest franchise chapter to date in V/H/S/2‘s “Safe Haven.”
7 Lamb – Releases October 8 in Theatres
A24 continues its run of prestigious elevated horror titles in the vein of The Witch, Hereditary, The Lighthouse, and more with Lamb, a deeply disturbing indie horror arthouse film from Iceland. Already drawing rave reviews, the film stars Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, a couple unable to bear children, who adopt a baby lamb and treat it as if it were their newborn child.
The major disruption to the law and order of nature comes with severe consequences as the couple wades their way through the anxieties of parenthood, leading to a freakishly jaw-dropping finale. The minimalist mood piece is as daringly original a horror movie as A24 has ever distributed.
6 Demigod – Releases October 15 On Demand
Germany’s ominous Black Forest is the setting of Demigod, the new folk horror outing from writer/director Miles Doleac (The Dinner Party) due on October 15. The story concerns Robin (Rachel Nichols), a woman who returns to her birthplace at the sinister site following her grandfather’s death in search of answers.
Aside from the foreboding forest setting, the film boasts an unsettling mixture of ancient head-hunting rituals and scary sacrificial customs with a personal story of a modern-day woman uncovering her cryptic past. With cult-favorite scream queen Rachel Nichols (P2, Inside) taking center stage, Demigod is worth bowing to when it opens this October.
5 Halloween Kills – Releases October 15 in Theatres
The main cinematic attraction this October is Halloween Kills, the promising middle chapter of David Gordon Green’s reinvigorated franchise trilogy. Iconic scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis is back as the badass final girl Laurie Strode to thwart Michael Myers’ (Nick Castle) murderous marauding through Haddonfield, Illinois. For fans of the franchise, the most exciting part just might be the return of Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), who hasn’t appeared since Halloween 6 (Paul Rudd).
In addition to a superb ensemble, Halloween Kills vows to deliver what every improved horror sequel is praised for, namely more gore, a higher death toll, and a credible middle-arc story that sets up a genuinely thrilling series finale.
4 The Night House – Releases October 19 on Demand
In addition to penning V/H/S/94, David Bruckner’s third directorial effort The Night House will open to the public on October 19. After proving his filmmaking skills in The Signal and The Ritual, Bruckner’s latest looks to be a deeply disquieting tale of a widow (Rebecca Hall) uncovering her deceased husband’s darkest secrets.
The deliberately-paced, slow-burn horror film is already drawing rave reviews for Hall’s central turn, the brooding atmosphere of rural upstate New York, the tonal tension Bruckner is able to sustain, and the chillingly ambiguous finale.
3 Venom: Let There Be Carnage – Releases October 1 in Theatres
While technically billed as an action-thriller, a subtitle like Let There Be Carnage promises a level of horrific mayhem and grisly violence to sate even the most craven horror fan. It also refers to the iconic character set to be played by Woody Harrelson. Coupled with the popularity of the title characters and the extremely freaky monster-action seen in the trailers, Venom 2 is an absolute appointment viewing this October.
Moreover, the film is directed by Andy Serkis, an unsung acting hero who has proven his versatile filmmaking skills with Breathe, The Ruin of Empires, and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. What Serkis can do with Venom (Tom Hardy) is a really exciting prospect.
2 Antlers – Releases October 29 in Theatres
Hanging on the back wall for quite some time, Scott Cooper’s cryptic creature feature Antlers finally mounts its way into theaters right in time for Halloween. Set in rural Oregon, the film concerns a schoolteacher (Keri Russell) and her law enforcement brother (Jesse Plemons) who encounter a student with an eerie atavistic secret.
Beyond the two excellent leads, isolated locale, and directorial acumen of Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace), the script by Nick Antosca (Brand New Cherry Flavor, The Act) promises a surreal unpredictability and nightmarish experience for even the most hardened horror heads to appreciate.
1 Last Night In Soho – Releases October 29 in Theatres
Acclaimed filmmaker Edgar Wright returns to the horror realm since his breakout zombie-comedy Shaun of the Dead became an adored cult classic. He does so with Last Night in Soho, a balefully bizarre Bavaesque trip to the fashion world of 1960s London.
Drawing early raves for Wright’s innovative vision, subversive playfulness with various genres, fast-paced editing rhythms, and above all, the movie’s abject scariness as Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) is whisked through time and interacts with upstart singer Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy), Last Night in Soho is an ideal cinematic destination come this Halloween.
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