It’s always the right time to watch horror movies, but it just feels better at Halloween. October is made for warm drinks, cozy sweaters, and jump scares. And there is no shortage of classic films (and shows!) to dig into during this time of the year. But that means the new stuff can often be overlooked — which is a shame because this year in particular featured a handful of interesting additions to the spooky season canon, from family-friendly stop-motion to much more disturbing horror anthologies. Here are six recent releases across Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus to watch after the trick-or-treating is done.
Though it’s only coming out just now, Wendell & Wild still manages to feel like a classic piece of the spooky canon of [Henry] Selick films that many of us grew up loving, one that will become part of the Halloween rotation for years to come.
Cabinet of Curiosities is definitely something that will appeal to fans of del Toro’s work. But it also expands beyond those horizons with a collection of very different takes on horror. It’s what I imagine wandering around Bleak House would be like: a glimpse into del Toro’s mind through the work that inspires him.
The Midnight Club… is clearly part of this [Mike Flanagan] anthology series but differentiates itself by playing like a collection of fireside ghost stories. It’s a little uneven, but when it works, it channels the best parts of [The Haunting of] Hill House.
There’s quite a bit to admire about Hellraiser, particularly for those interested in testing their own limitations with consuming disturbing works of art. But in its efforts to be as beautiful as it is macabre, Hellraiser sometimes becomes almost too potent of a grotesquerie, which to be fair, may be either a feature or a bug depending on what kinda stuff you’re into.
Streaming services like Disney Plus open up the possibilities for stuff that’s a lot weirder, and we’ve already seen some of that in the form of What If…?, I Am Grootand Star Wars: Visions. Werewolf by Night expands that experimental spirit to the world of live-action. It’s kind of like a Marvel movie crossed with Tales From the Cryptand it does something that the more recent blockbusters have often failed at: it makes me want more.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone might not be quite as memorable as some of [Stephen] King’s more iconic stories. It’s hard to imagine it penetrating the public consciousness like Carrie or It. But it’s also a great showcase for some of the writer’s less-celebrated strengths: namely, building strong relationships between characters and imbuing everyday objects or moments with a newfound sense of dread. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone might not terrify you in the moment, but it made me jump the next time I heard my phone ring.