How to watch 31 days of horror in October

Sam Ashurst

With the nights getting darker and Halloween fast approaching, there’s no better time to enjoy the greatest genre of them all, horror.

So, we’ve put down our bloody axe, removed our creepy clown mask, and compiled a guide to enjoying one fresh horror story every day in October – whether it’s new to streaming, DVD or cinemas.

‘Tis the season to be spooky!

1 October

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later – Amazon Prime

Start the season right with the last truly great Halloween movie, which also happens to be the first time Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the series after a long break (don’t worry, we’ll also be recommending the new Halloween movie when it’s out). New to Amazon streaming today, along with a couple more Halloween flicks – Curse Of Michael Myers – and another we’ll discuss in more depth in a bit.

2 October

Lights Out – Amazon Prime

Not only is Lights Out a fun horror flick, it’ll also give you a glimpse at how Shazam director David Sandberg got his start – it was his first feature, adapting his scary short of the same name.

3 October

Venom – cinema

After a couple of days streaming, get yourself to the cinema to see Tom Hardy’s supervillain flick, which has a whole load of horror movie influences (the best way to adapt a comic character that’s essentially a monster from space).

4 October

Scream 2 – Amazon Prime

New to streaming, the surprisingly solid Scream 2 might not quite match the original, but it’s still good fun. The plot’s a bit slight – our final girl from the first film becomes targeted by a copycat killer – but there’s some entertaining meta stuff about sequels in there to keep you entertained.

5 October

Final Destination – Amazon Prime

Truly original, the Final Destination series pits death himself against a bunch of teenagers who survive an accident that should have killed them. Inventive murders, lots of tension and genuinely likeable leads will keep you hooked until the end credits, or death – whichever comes first.

6 October

Scream 3 – Amazon Prime

The third installment in the horror series was also perhaps the most meta: Our heroine Sidney (Neve Campbell) comes out of her totally understandable exile when a new Ghostface starts killing people on the set of ‘Stab 3,’ the fictional sequel in the movie-franchise-within-a-movie-franchise.

Frightening in a whole new way following the revelations about Harvey Weinstein – Scream 3 features a producer character who sexually assaults actresses in exchange for movie roles. He does it in a spookily similar way to the accusations that have hit Weinstein – and it gets weirder, the film was released by Dimension, a company owned by the Weinsteins at the time. Harvey’s credited as an exec producer on the film. In a series known for its winking in-jokes, this one’s just odd.

7 October

Halloween: Resurrection – Amazon Prime

Okay, so this one’s terrible – but bad horror movies are as much of an October tradition as good ones, and this is especially intriguing ahead of Blumhouse’s reboot, in that it features Jamie Lee Curtis’ onscreen death (something that’s totally ignored, along with the rest of the sequels, in the new movie).

8 October

Hereditary – DVD, Blu-ray & steelbook

Arguably the horror sensation of 2018, Hereditary shocked audiences and critics alike earlier this year, and it lands on DVD today, just in time for the scary season.

9 October

Final Destination 5 – Amazon Prime

Death targets a bunch of coworkers who survive a road accident on the way to a corporate retreat. Working as a standalone film, it doesn’t massively matter that Amazon have only made the first film and the fifth in the franchise available to stream. And this one has some of the series’ best deaths.

10 October

Halloween – Cinema

The original – and still the best – Halloween movie is getting an anniversary 4K re-release at the cinema from today and you should make the trip to see it on the biggest screen, with the loudest sound system, possible. Four decades old and it’s still as scary / brilliant as the day it was first released.

11 October

Saw: The Final Chapter – Netflix

Okay, so it wasn’t actually the final chapter (Jigsaw came seven years later), but ‘Final Chapters’ that come before further sequels are a bit of a horror tradition. You’ll almost certainly appreciate this new-to-streaming flick more if you binge the first six movies first (especially the original), but with the Saw franchise working almost like a Netflix series in terms of continuity, that’s no hardship.

12 October

Mandy – cinema

It’s being described as ‘the cult film of the decade’ and Nic Cage’s new movie is definitely one of the weirdest horror experiences you’ll have all year. Watching it on the big screen is pretty much essential if you want the full psychedelic experience, but if you don’t get around to it, it’s being released on DVD on October 29th. But however you see Mandy, you must see it.

13 October

The Haunting of Hill House – Netflix

This cinematic series is part of a great weekend of horror on Netflix (just wait until you see what we’ve got for you tomorrow). Directed by the brilliant Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Gerald’s Game), this ghostly show has been described as the ‘first great horror TV series’ which is insanely high praise.

14 October

Apostle – Netflix

Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen clash in Apostle (Netflix)

Crossing folk horror with epic fight sequences, The Raid director Gareth Evans’ latest movie explodes onto Netflix this weekend. It’s about Dan Stevens’ Thomas Richardson, a man who goes undercover in a creepy cult to find out what happened to his missing sister, and uncovers horrific secrets. It’s bound to be what everyone’s talking about at work on Monday.

15 October

Red Dragon – Netflix

This big budget remake of Michael Mann’s Manhunter features Anthony Hopkins reprising his Hannibal Lecter role from The Silence Of The Lambs. He’s joined by an incredible cast – Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman – making it well worth your Halloween time.

16 October

Hannibal – Netflix

This Silence of the Lambs sequel doesn’t come close to the original’s brilliance, but it’s still a fascinating revisit of an iconic movie monster. Add in Gary Oldman’s chilling villain Mason Verger and director Ridley Scott’s eye for an image, and there are worse ways to spend a Tuesday night.

17 October

Malevolent – Netflix

Not much is known about this Netflix original – outside of the fact it concerns a sibling team of paranormal investigators who pretend to look for ghosts, who are shocked to discover spooks are real. Still, with a cracking cast – headed up by the stunning Florence Pugh – we’re happy to add it to your Halloween list.

18 October

Kill List – Amazon Prime

Cult director Ben Wheatley’s breakthrough film is essentially Pulp Fiction meets The Wicker Man, as a pair of hitmen find themselves drawn into a mysterious (and very creepy) conspiracy. Tension is maintained throughout, building to an unforgettable climax.

19 October

Halloween – cinema

After all the festival hype, Blumhouse’s Halloween reboot has finally arrived in UK cinemas. Was it worth the wait? There’s only one with to find out – pick up your pumpkin and get yourself to your local multiplex.

20 October

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween – cinema

If you want to get your kids into the Halloween spirit, take them to the latest Goosebumps movie. It hasn’t screened for press yet, so we have no idea if it’s any good, but the original was a fun guilty pleasure, and it’s not as though you can sneak your kids into the new Blumhouse.

21 October

Donkey Punch – Amazon Prime

This dark British horror film was apparently inspired by everything from Rosemary’s Baby, to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead to John Carpenter. We can’t say what it’s about without going NSFW, but let’s just say it involves a sex act that goes horrifically wrong and leave it at that.

22 October

Attack The Block – Amazon Prime

A sci-fi horror flick that isn’t afraid to go dark and scary, this one didn’t just launch the directorial career of Joe Cornish, it featured early cinematic roles for John Boyega and Jodie Whitaker (aka Finn from Star Wars and the Doctor from Doctor Who) as a mugger and victim who are forced to team up when the earth’s invaded by alien monsters.

23 October

The Conjuring – Amazon Prime

The Conjuring universe began here – with James Wan’s original haunt-show still the best of the series. It follows paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren as they’re summoned to the home of Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) Perron, who are experiencing some (very) scary supernatural encounters.

24 October

Night of the Living Dead – Select cinemas

A half-century ago, the living dead had their night, but for decades the inexorable dread of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead has been seen only in murky, fuzzy versions.

Starting on Wednesday, 24 October, Night of the Living Dead returns to cinemas across UK and Ireland in a newly restored and remastered version to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The zombie classic will be accompanied by a new behind-the-scenes look at the making of this iconic film.

25 October

Lore (season 2) – Amazon Prime

From an executive producer of The Walking Dead and an executive producer of The Exorcist, the new season of the popular anthology series will explore real-life scary and disturbing tales that give rise to modern-day myths and legends. Lore reveals how horror legends – including vampires, werewolves and body snatchers – are rooted in truth.

26 October

Evil Dead – cinema

It’s remembered by some as a comedy, but Evil Dead’s laughs didn’t come until the second film – with the first containing some of the most disturbing moments in cinema history. So, be warned, if you decide to go see it on the big screen as part of your October celebrations, don’t expect a lot of chuckles. But do expect shivers.

27 October

Possum – cinema

One of the darkest movies on this list, the directorial debut of Garth Merenghi himself (Matthew Holness) is the bleak tale of a puppeteer who isn’t sure if he killed a teenage boy. Featuring the scariest puppet this side of Annabelle (it basically looks like the offspring of a mannequin and a spider) Possum will haunt your dreams long into November.

28 October

Beetlejuice – cinema

After an intense couple of days, take the edge off with the 30th anniversary re-release of Tim Burton’s brilliant horror comedy about a couple of ghosts who hire a demon to scare a family out of their former home. You’ve probably seen it already, but possibly never on the big screen with a laughing audience.

29 October

The First Purge – DVD

How did America decide to make all crime legal for one night? Prequel The First Purge, out on DVD today, reveals all – with a pretty significant influence from the early films of John Carpenter.

30 October

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Netflix

Forget the original series, this is set in the same universe as Riverdale, and looks genuinely eerie – with an American Horror Story style tone in a series about a teenage witch’s journey into darkness.

31 October

Slaughterhouse Rulez – cinema

Will it be a treat, or a trick? We’re not sure – the trailer makes it look like it could be half Attack The Block and half St Trinians, it really could go either way. But it’s the only new horror film in cinemas today, so for those of you who traditionally head to the pictures on Halloween, it’s basically your only option. Fingers crossed it’s good.

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