Lace your boots up, people, because this month is as good as it gets for horror. October brings with it a few of the most-talked about genre movies of the year as Netflix drops their cult-horror shocker Apostle and both Halloween and Suspiria land in theaters later this month. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll also see the release of a handful of indie films that should fit right in with this Halloween season. But before we get started, here’s what I watched in September:
Mandy (review): It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen Mandy and I’m still trying to process the insanity of it all. It’s a bloody, outrageous, brain-melter that kicks plenty of demonic ass. See it. Experience it.
Don’t Leave Home (review): A disappointing would-be arthouse horror drama that doesn’t quite connect the dots due to a confusing and flimsy narrative that takes too long to reach outside of the box.
Summer of 84 (review): A weak follow-up to Turbo Kid, RKSS’ take on suburban horror never does anything interesting with its characters (or villain), leaving it without much of an identity.
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Cast: September D’Angelo, Kelsey Andries, Angelique Berry
A young woman obsessed with horror subjects herself to hours of grueling torment inside an extreme haunt in an attempt to confront her fears and conquer the tragic past that haunts her.
Director: Can Evrenol
Cast: Clémentine Poidatz, David Sakurai, Alicia Kapudag
On a snowy eve, Little Holly’s sister and father are killed by her frantic mother. Years later, Holly is married, lonely, and her life is soon about take a turn for the ultra weird, when she visits “Umbrella of Love and Mind”.
The Book of Birdie (VOD)
Director: Elizabeth E. Schuch
Cast: Suzan Crowley, Kymberly Mellen, Kathryn Browning
Introverted Birdie is sent to live in a quaint and isolated convent by her concerned grandmother, in an attempt to change her sobering outlook on life. But left to her own devices she develops a heightened obsession with blood, which seems all too willing to flow from her body, and reoccurring visions and hallucinations that pull her in every direction. Sometimes whimsical and sometimes gory, Birdie passively questions – is she a saint or is she cursed?
Director: Michael Peterson
Cast: Michael Ironside, Munro Chambers, Luca Villacis
Alone, and targeted on an isolated farm, 12 year old Henry finds himself at the center of a maelstrom of terror, and a dark family legacy, when his secretive grandfather dies suddenly in the night.
Director: Gareth Evans
Cast: Kristine Froseth, Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton
A man attempts to rescue his sister who’s been kidnapped by a religious cult.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Theaters)
Director: Ari Sandel
Cast: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Ken Jeong
Halloween comes to life in a comedy adventure based on R.L. Stine’s 400-million-selling series of books.
I Still See You (VOD)
Director: Scott Speer
Cast: Bella Thorne, Dermot Mulroney, Amy Price-Francis
Set nine years after an apocalyptic event that killed millions and left the world inhabited by ghosts.
The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)
Creator: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Mckenna Grace, Carla Gugino, Michiel Huisman
A modern re-imagining of Shirley Jackson’s iconic novel, The Haunting of Hill House explores a group of siblings who, as children, grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country. Now adults, and forced back together in the face of tragedy, the family must finally confront the ghosts of their past — some of which still lurk in their minds while others may actually be stalking the shadows of Hill House.
Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak
Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
Killer Kate! (VOD)
Director: Elliot Feld
Cast: Alexandra Feld, Danielle Burgess, Amaris Davidson
Kate attends her estranged sister’s bachelorette party at the request of their dying father. The weekend, held at a remote cabin booked on a home sharing app, turns into a savage life-or-death struggle that pits family against family, and past against present.
The Dark (VOD)
Director: Justin P. Lange, Klemens Hufnagl
Cast: Nadia Alexander, Toby Nichols, Karl Markovics
An undead teenage girl befriends a blind boy that she meets in a forest she haunts and hunts in. Both have been victims of unimaginable abuse, and each finds solace in the other. There may be a chance of light at the end of their tunnel, but it will come with a body count.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)
Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Cast: Richard Coyle, Lucy Davis, Tati Gabrielle
As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Based on the Archie comic.
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth
A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
What you shouldn’t miss:
As noted above, October’s must-sees are an easy choice that belong to Apostle, Halloween, and Suspiria.
- Two words: The Raid. Gareth Evans, director of one of modern cinema’s great action franchises, returns with a film firmly planted in the horror genre. If you need any further convincing (you shouldn’t), just watch the trailer below.
- By now, with two early screenings under its belt, you should not be surprised to learn that David Gordon Green’s Halloween is the real deal, and understandably, one you shouldn’t miss. Being a proper sequel to the original and ignoring the rest of the franchise was certainly a bold (and correct) choice, and it’s one that appears to have paid off.
- This quasi-remake of Dario Argento’s all-timer was met with a ton of backlash (unsurprisingly), but with a great mind like Luca Guadagnino helming the project I always felt that people were being a bit too harsh—he has more than earned the benefit of the doubt if you ask me. And regardless, early reviews for Suspiria have been overwhelmingly positive, praising it as a bold and absolutely bonkers take on the classic that’s very much it’s own, unique beast of a movie. I’m for it. All day.
What you should take a chance on:
This is one of those months where you outta take a chance on all of these because they all sound pretty damn good. For the sake of this segment, however, I’m going with Housewife and The Haunting of Hill House.
- The only thing I know about Housewife is that it’s directed by Can Evrenol, the absolute madman behind Baskin. If you haven’t seen Baskin, it’s a hellish movie with some supremely fucked up imagery and a villain that rivals Pinhead. While it lacked storywise, it most definitely sores when it comes to world-building and I’m very curious to see what he’s come up with in Housewife.
- On top of an already great trailer, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House has been receiving some fantastic early reviews, so it’s certainly worth taking a look at—plus Mike Flanagan’s previous work for Netflix (Gerald’s Game) turned out pretty great.
Which film are you looking forward to the most?
This is a very hard choice, but I have to go with Suspiria because it sounds exactly like my brand of weird.