For horror fans, October is the biggest month of the year. Halloween might fall right at the end, but the 30 days preceding it are a time where many gorehounds put aside all the other movies in their collection and focus entirely on zombies, ghosts, witches, vampires, and masked killers. But horror is such big business these days that a single month is barely enough to contain the sheer amount of great movies and shows hitting theaters, screens, and streaming services. As a result, the roll-out now takes place across the entirety of the fall.
The Stephen King sequel It: Chapter 2 is currently breaking records in theaters, and there are no fewer than four further King adaptations to come over the next three months. There are also a number of long-awaited scary sequels, including Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell and Zombieland: Double Tap.
But horror is the one genre where original movies can do just as well as sequels, adaptations, and remakes too. So there are some intriguing new titles, including movies dealing with the terrors of modern technology, uproarious zombie comedies, tense and violent thrillers, and some very weird excursions into madness.
On the small screen, two of the biggest horror shows of the past decade–The Walking Dead and American Horror Story–return for their latest seasons. There’s also the TV version of the much-loved anthology movie Creepshow, the second season of the King-inspired Castle Rock, and the intriguing new series Evil. So although Halloween is still over a month away, horror season really has started. Here’s our guide to the best, goriest, and scariest movies and shows arriving this fall…
1. 3 From Hell
Theatrical, September 16/Digital, October 14
It’s fair to say that musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie’s directing career has been a divisive one to date, with movies such as Lords of Salem, 31, and the Halloween remakes really splitting critics and fans. However, many agree that 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects is his strongest movie, so expectations are high for the belated follow-up, 3 From Hell. It reunites the three main characters from that film–Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley), and Vera-Ellen “Baby” Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie). These murderous, degenerate lunatics were last seen facing a barrage of police gunfire at the end of The Devil’s Rejects, so how exactly they survived remains to be seen; all we know is that Zombie says 3 From Hell will be “different” to its predecessor. Nevertheless, it will still hopefully feature the same unwholesome mix of violence, gore, sleaze, and dark humor that made Devil’s Rejects such a cult favorite.
2. American Horror Story: 1984
FX, September 18
The anthology series American Horror Story reaches its ninth season, and shows no signs of flagging. As the title suggests, AHS: 1984 pays homage to slasher films from the 1980s, and the plot is exactly what you’d expect–a group of partying teens head to a summer camp, where they are picked off by an escaped maniac. In the hands of creator Ryan Murphy, it looks like gloriously campy fun, with a cast that includes Emma Roberts, Cody Fern, Gus Kenworthy, Billie Lourd, Matthew Morrison, Angelica Ross, DeRon Horton, and Zach Villa.
Shudder, September 26
This much-anticipated horror anthology series is based on the classic 1982 movie of the same name, which was written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero. Special effects guru Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) is the series producer and showrunner, and while Romero is no longer with us, both King and his son Joe Hill are involved on the writing side. There will be 12 new ghoulishly entertaining stories, which will pay homage to classic 1950s horror comics, released weekly by streaming service Shudder across six episodes. It’s perfect October viewing. Read GameSpot’s review of the first episode here.
CBS, September 26
Mike Colter only got to star in two seasons of the Marvel Netflix show Luke Cage, but fans will want to check out his upcoming supernatural drama Evil. It’s the latest series from Robert and Michelle King, who previously created The Good Wife, and stars Colter as a trainee priest who teams up with a skeptical female psychologist to investigate cases of possession, miracles, and other seemingly unexplainable phenomena. It’s a great premise, and is one of the fall’s most intriguing new shows.
5. The Furies
Shudder, October 3
From the classic Wake in Fright to more recent shockers like Wolf Creek and The Loved Ones, Australia has a grand tradition of gruelling terror. The Furies is the latest Aussie shocker, and it hits Shudder in October. It’s another spin on the familiar set-up that started with The Most Dangerous Game in the 1930s, and was used more recently with the controversial (and so far unreleased) The Hunt, in which innocent victims are hunted down for sport. In this case, kidnapped women must fight off mutant psychos in the Outback, while sick viewers watch their ordeal online.
6. In the Tall Grass
Netflix, October 4
The Stephen King adaptations keep on coming. This fall delivers several King movies and shows, and In The Tall Grass is one of the most intriguing. It’s a version of the novella by King and his son Joe Hill, in which a brother and sister find themselves trapped in–you guessed it–a field of tall grass. Director Vincenzo Natali is an experienced horror and sci-fi filmmaker, with the likes of Cube, Splice, and episodes of Hannibal and Westworld on his resumé, so expect some suitably eerie Halloween viewing.
7. The Walking Dead Season 10
AMC, October 6
The long-running zombie drama reaches its tenth year. While the show has lost a few of its big names recently–Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan are gone, and this will be Danai Gurira’s final season–there is still plenty to be excited about. Season 9 was one of the strongest for some time, and fans won’t want to miss the resolution of the gripping, bloody Whisperers storyline. And with the second spin-off show due next year, AMC clearly have major interest in keeping the main show as fresh and exciting as possible.
8. Zombieland: Double Tap
Theatrical, October 11
Although the zombie comedy Zombieland was a critical and commercial success, it’s taken nearly a decade for the sequel to happen. Since then lead actors Jesse Eisenberg and in particular Oscar-winning Emma Stone have become major stars, while the movie’s writers–Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese–have scored major success with the Deadpool movies. But all are returning for the sequel, as are director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) and co-stars Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin. The hilarious trailer suggests the movie will be every bit as funny, gory, silly, and heartfelt as the original.
9. Little Monsters
Hulu, October 11
The sequel Zombieland isn’t the only zombie comedy arriving on October 11. Little Monsters is an undead comedy which features Black Panther and Us star Lupita Nyong’o as a schoolteacher who must protect her class during the onset of a zombie apocalypse. It also features Gosh Gad (Frozen) as a bungling kids entertainer and the trailer suggests the film doesn’t take itself remotely seriously. It’s a Hulu original, so will have a one day theatrical release before hitting the service the next day.
10. The Drone
Digital, October 15
The threat of modern technology has long been a favorite subject for horror filmmakers. The Drone is a darkly funny chiller in which a domestic drone is possessed by a vengeful serial killer, who sets about causing bloody mayhem when he targets a pair of newly-weds. The movies has some similarities to this year’s Child’s Play remake, in particular the way the drone takes control of various household electrical objects. But director Jordan Rubin’s previous work–which includes Zombeavers and Shudder’s recent Critters reboot series–has proved that he’s not someone who takes his horror that seriously.
11. The Lighthouse
Theatrical, October 18
One of the most acclaimed movies at the recent Cannes Film Festival, The Lighthouse is director Robert Eggers’ follow-up to the highly acclaimed The Witch. It’s a dark, scary period tale, filmed in black and white, starring Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson as 19th century lighthouse keepers. Anyone who saw The Witch will know how good Eggers’ is at creating an atmosphere of pure dread; read GameSpot’s review here.
12. Castle Rock Season 2
Hulu, October 23
The excellent JJ Abrams-produced Castle Rock returns for Season 2 in October. The show is set in the fictional town used in many Stephen King stories, and weaves multiple characters and storylines taken from the author’s work into its narrative. This season tells an entirely new story, and focuses on the terrifying Annie Wilkes, from King’s classic novel Misery, who ends up in the town.
Theatrical, October 25
The Drone isn’t the only horror movie this fall to use fear of modern tech–Countdown features an evil app that, when installed, shows exactly how many days the user has left alive.This sort of gimmicky horror always sounds ridiculous on paper, but from from The Ring to Final Destination, it’s frequently proven to be an audience-pleaser, so, erm, count us in. Check out the trailer here.
Netflix, October 25
This Netflix chiller sounds it’ll be a big snake movie along the lines of Anaconda, but it’s actually a far less over-the-top proposition. The story involves a woman called Katrina who is driving across the country with her daughter; when their inevitably car breaks down in the middle of the desert, Katrina’s kid is bitten by a poisonous snake. A mysterious woman offers to help her–but at a brutal cost. Director Zak Hilditch previously helmed that impressive Stephen King adaptation 1922, and this looks like an intense and gripping ride.
15. Doctor Sleep
Theatrical, November 8
With movies like Gerard’s Game and Oculus under his belt, Mike Flanagan was already one of horror’s best young filmmakers when he co-wrote and directed last year’s highly acclaimed Netflix hit The Haunting of Hill House. The success of Hill House has raised his profile even further, and expectations are high for his next movie, Doctor Sleep. It’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 sequel to his classic The Shining, and stars Ewan McGregor as the adult version of the earlier novel’s young, psychic protagonist Danny Torrance. In this new story, Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers to his and must protect her from a sinister cult who are targeting children with similar gifts.
Source: Game Spot Mashup