October is officially the month for monsters, creeps, thrills, and scary Halloween movies. Here’s our list of 20 thematically appropriate films available to stream right now.
A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place was an unexpected surprise from John “Jim from the Office” Krasinski’s debut as director. It’s a tense post-apocalyptic horror-thriller, featuring a family trying to survive while hiding from blind aliens with acute hearing. They live in a silent world, because every noise can be deadly.
The film received several award nominations, and won SAG Award for Emily Blunt’s performance. A sequel was scheduled for release earlier this year, but was delayed to April 2021.
A Quiet Place can be streamed on Netflix.
Be My Cat: A Film for Anne
This English-language Romanian film starring, directed, produced, and written by Adrian Țofei, is a found footage psychological horror about an aspiring filmmaker obsessed with Anne Hathaway who goes to shocking extremes to convince her to star in his upcoming film.
Dread Central gave the movie 4 stars and wrote that “Be My Cat takes meta-filmmaking to mind-bending levels and plays out like an arthouse snuff film.” It has an 83% rating on Rottentomatoes.com. Stream it on Prime Video.
Looking at the potential horrors of online dating and hookup apps without being a safety lecture. It’s sitting on 100% approval on Rottentomatoes.com, with John Defore of The Hollywood Reporter also compared the film to Fatal Attraction, saying it was a “nightmare of modern dating”.
Bad Match can be streamed on Netflix.
The Florida-set alligator thriller Crawl is a fast, fun, and old-school survival film which Quentin Tarantino said might be his favourite film of 2019.
In our review, Floris Groenewald called it “a fun and traditional monster movie, where you have equal fun whether an alligator eats someone as when the heroes escape the beast.” Rottentomatoes.com has it on a “certified fresh” 83% rating. Stream it on Showmax.
Creep + Creep 2
Creep and its sequel feature Mark Duplass as an awkwardly creepy guy who hires a videographer for a day of filming a weird video diary. It successfully sidesteps the biggest found footage genre clichés and makes for fascinating viewing. The first film, “A smart, oddball take on found-footage horror,” according to rottentomatoes.com with a 89% rating, “is clever and well-acted enough to keep viewers on the edges of their seats.” Creep 2 sits on a 100% tomatometer, and “has everything that made the original work and more — more laughs, more awkwardness, more unsettling terror.” Not to mention at least one great Halloween costume!
Ari Aster’s 2018 debut feature as writer-director has a familiar setup, but runs a lot deeper than it might at first appear. It features an intense and often-praised performance by Toni Colette.
In our review, Morné Venter called it “so much more deeply shocking than many casual filmgoers will be prepared for and I think that it will unsettle and disturb a lot of people,” and “I doubt you will find a more satisfying horror experience in cinemas this year.” It’s sitting on a 89% Fresh rating on rottentomatoes.com.
Hereditary can be streamed on Showmax.
Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, whose credits include Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Gerald’s Game, and Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Haunting of Bly Manor, this film is a slasher with Kate Siegel as a deaf protagonist.
Rottentomatoes calls it “Certified fresh”, with a 93% rating basef on 40 reviews. Geoff Burkshire of Variety called it “one of the more inspired concoctions to emerge from the busy Blumhouse horror-thriller assembly line in recent years.”
Stream it on Netflix.
Overlord is an action-horror film taking place during the second world war, featuring a group of American soldiers on a top secret mission behind enemy lines, where they discover creepy Nazi experiments. It hold an approval rating of 81% on rottentomatoes, who calls it “Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, and part all-out genre gorefest, Overlord offers A-level fun for B-movie fans of multiple persuasions.”
In our review, Floris Groenewald called it “A relatively small-scale genre thriller, with a good, surprising screenplay in the hands of a less-experienced, but very capable director.”
Going old school with the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. Janet Leigh stars as Marion Crane, who’s on the run with some stolen money, and ends up at a creepy motel where everything isn’t as it seems. It features a very famous shower scene, and is often considered the first film in the slasher genre.
Stream it on Netflix.
After writer-director Jordan Peele’s feature film debut with Get Out, Us proved that he wasn’t a one-hit wonder. A family’s holiday trip is ruined when an identical family of almost-mute doppelgangers show up.
With some terrifying performances – especially from Lupita Nyong’o [Black Panther, 12 Years a Slave] – IGN called it “a very, very strange film. But that’s OK because it wouldn’t be a Jordan Peele joint if there wasn’t a little risk involved,” and “truly terrifying, poignant look at one American family that goes through hell at the hands of maniacal doppelgangers.”
It was nominated for three MTV Movie & TV Awards, four People’s Choice Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, and won one Bram Stoker Award, and one seven Saturn Award, and has a 93% approval rating on rottentomatoes.com. Stream it on Showmax.
Vampires vs The Bronx
One of the more Halloween-style films, despite not taking place in October. Vampires vs The Bronx is a horror comedy following a group of Bronx teenagers who are confronted with vampires taking over the neighbourhood. It holds a 95% approval rating on rottentomatoes, and Roger Moore of Movie Nation wrote: “Nobody should be making serious vampire or zombie movies at this stage of the horror cycle, so this riff on the genre absolutely fills the bill. And making it a commentary on gentrification? Inspired.”
It’s streaming on Netflix.
South African selection
Four South African films might be showing a boost in the genre, locally speaking, and proves that we aren’t afraid of a little supernatural in our Halloween offerings. After a family moves to an inherited farm and encounters a mysterious farmhand, possible sangoma-magic rears its head in 8 – streaming on Netflix. On Showmax, Parable features a conversion therapy camp where a preacher goes to extremes, Rage shows a matric vacation gone wrong, with teenagers picked off one by one is a small coastal village, and Night Drive shows a group of tourists left stranded during a night drive in a game reserve, but they soon realise that wild animals are the least of their fears.
Prime video’s “Welcome to the Blumhouse”
“Welcome to the Blumhouse” is a collection of four original horror movies made specifically for Amazon’s Prime Video, from the producers of films like Get Out, Split, and Paranormal Activity. These include The Lie, a psychological thriller about parents covering up their teenage daughter’s crime, Black Box, where a victim of an accident lost his wife and memories, Nocturne, about a piano student who’s abilitied mysteriously improve after finding a dead student’s notebook, and Evil Eye, where a mother and her daughter needs to come to terms with the daughter’s new boyfriend, who is suspected of being more than meets the eye.