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Halloween 2020 viewing guide: The scariest shows and films coming this Spooktober

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·11-min read
'Hubie Halloween', 'Saint Maud', 'The Invisible Man' and 'The Haunting of Bly Manor'. (Credit: Netflix/Studiocanal/Universal)
'Hubie Halloween', 'Saint Maud', 'The Invisible Man' and 'The Haunting of Bly Manor'. (Credit: Netflix/Studiocanal/Universal)

It’s the scariest time of the year and so, as ever, movie studios and streaming platforms are plunging their hands into the darkest corners of their catalogues to uncover the most terrifying films and TV shows they can unveil to the world.

With the majority of UK cinemas now open, there are a handful of new horror films scaring their way through multiplexes, including the terrific British effort Saint Maud. On the streaming side, Netflix has pressed the Mike Flanagan button for The Haunting of Bly Manor, as well as another take on Rebecca and the none-more-horrifying prospect of an Adam Sandler comedy.

Read more: Best horror films of 2019

Here’s what you’ll be able to find on the big screen and on the major streaming services...

Vampires vs. The Bronx — 2 October (Netflix)

Comedy-horror is often a lot of fun, and this one sounds like a worthy addition to that canon. Directed by Osmany Rodriguez, it follows a group of teenagers defending their neighbourhood in the titular New York borough from an invading horde of bloodsuckers.

'Vampires vs. the Bronx'. (Credit: Netflix)
'Vampires vs. the Bronx'. (Credit: Netflix)

The Walking Dead: World Beyond — 2 October (Amazon)

As the main series of The Walking Dead moves towards its conclusion, spin-offs keep popping up at quite a rate of knots. World Beyond is the latest, set in Nebraska a decade after the zombie apocalypse. It focuses on a group of teenagers who are the first to come of age in a world ravaged by death, danger and bloodshed.

I Spit On Your Grave: The Complete Collection — 5 October (Blu)

One of the most notorious rape-revenge franchises ever is available in a brand new Blu-ray box set, including the original 1978 shocker, the 2010 remake and all of the sequels. There’s six hours of all-new bonus material for fans, as well as the new feature-length documentary Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave.

Welcome To The Blumhouse — 6/13 October (Amazon)

'Welcome to the Blumhouse'. (Credit: Amazon)
'Welcome to the Blumhouse'. (Credit: Amazon)

Having dominated cinematic horror for the last few years, Blumhouse is now targeting the streaming landscape with eight feature-length scary stories in the strand. Four of them will arrive in time for Halloween. Experimental treatment tale Black Box and criminal cover-up story The Lie will arrive on 6 October, with romance-turned-nightmare Evil Eye and music student story Nocturne showing up a week later.

Hubie Halloween — 7 October (Netflix)

As if to test that previous paragraph, Adam Sandler is making a comedy-horror film. After briefly flirting with critical acclaim as the lead of Uncut Gems, Sandler is continuing his ongoing comedy partnership with Netflix. He plays a Halloween obsessive who makes sure those in his hometown celebrate safely, but discovers that something genuinely horrifying might be happening.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (series) — 9 October (Netflix)

Mike Flanagan is returning to the world of Haunting of Hill House for an entirely new tale with entirely new characters — though some of the actors are back in different roles. The loose source material is The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, which is not only one of the most memorable horror stories ever written, but the source for The Innocents — possibly the best British horror movie ever made. The bar is high, but Flanagan loves to exceed expectations.

Watch: Oliver Jackson-Cohen talks about The Haunting of Bly Manor

Saint Maud — 9 October (cinemas)

Spine-chilling British horror in which Morfydd Clark plays a nurse and recently converted Christian, who becomes embroiled in increasingly dark internal struggles while serving as carer for a dancer with a terminal illness.

Watch: Trailer for Saint Maud

Resident Evil franchise – 10 October (Amazon)

Running across 14 years and six films, this blood-soaked zombie franchise delighted movie audiences as well as those who were fans of the survival horror game upon which the films are based. Milla Jovovich is not due to return to star in the new Netflix series, but fans can experience her glory days again in time for Halloween.

Beyond the Door — 12 October (Blu)

Courtesy of Arrow Video, this demonic possession pregnancy tale is coming to Blu-ray in the UK. It’s a strange 1970s riff on The Exorcist from director Ovidio G. Assonitis and it’s arriving in its fully uncut form.

The Witches: Collectors Edition — 12 October (Blu)

Nic Roeg scared an entire generation of kids to death, with his squelchy take on the story that is arguably Roald Dahl’s most horrifying work. That movie is now arriving on UK Blu-ray for the first time in a very handsome set.

Watch: Robert Zemeckis is remaking The Witches

The Woman in Black — 12 October (Blu)

Nigel Kneale’s TV movie adaptation of the Susan Hill novel received renewed attention in the wake of the super-successful 2012 version, with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role. The original film is now getting a new Blu-ray unveiling.

Carmilla — 16 October (cinemas), 19 October (VOD)

A new take on a 19th century novella, this is a romantic horror movie about a young woman dealing with her burgeoning sexuality while in the care of her father and a strict governess. An accident on the roads near her home brings the title character into her life, changing things in a big way. The Crown actor Tobias Menzies is among the cast.

976-EVIL — 19 October (Blu)

The man behind Freddy Krueger — Robert Englund — stepped into the director’s chair for his high-tech horror. Or, at least, high-tech for the late 1980s. It follows a man who encounters a demonic force after using a “horrorscope” phone line. It’s on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

Eraserhead (Criterion Collection) — 19 October (Blu)

One of David Lynch’s most bizarre and chaotic movies is getting honoured with a spot in the coveted Criterion Collection. 40 years after it was first released, it remains an absurd monochrome nightmare that, once seen, is never forgotten.

Eraserhead, poster, Jack Nance, 1976. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Eraserhead, poster, Jack Nance, 1976. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

Gretel and Hansel — 19 October (DVD)

Released in the United States earlier this year, this is a twisted take on the classic fairytale of kids who encounter evil in the woods. Revisionist fairytale movies have produced some very interesting works in the last few years, so this could be one to watch.

Rebecca — 21 October (Netflix)

Daphne du Maurier’s classic Gothic mystery is back, 80 years after Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation won the Master of Suspense his only Oscar for Best Picture. This version is helmed by versatile Brit director Ben Wheatley and features Lily James as the new bride of Armie Hammer’s dashing Maxim de Winter, who is obviously still affected by the influence of his late ex-wife. Kristin Scott Thomas looks set to be truly terrifying as the chilling housekeeper Mrs Danvers.

Watch: Trailer for Ben Wheatley’s take on Rebecca

Brahms: The Boy 2 — 21 October (Amazon)

The sequel few new they needed, Brahms picks up on the origin story of the terrifying doll at the centre of the previous 2016 film. That movie’s director William Brent Bell and writer Stacey Menear both returned for this follow-up, in which a child uncovers the doll at their new house and becomes worryingly obsessed with it.

Cordelia — 23 October (cinemas)

Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Emma star Johnny Flynn play neighbours turned friends turned perhaps something more in this deeply unusual tale. Set predominantly in the characters’ odd, gloomy flats, it’s an atmospheric and ambiguous story about trauma, heavily inspired by other domestic horror films like Repulsion.

Johnny Flynn and Antonia Campbell-Hughes in 'Cordelia'. (Credit:  StudioPOW/Twickenham Studios)
Johnny Flynn and Antonia Campbell-Hughes in 'Cordelia'. (Credit: StudioPOW/Twickenham Studios)

Cadaver — 22 October (Netflix)

Netflix has found great success in bringing over foreign language horror movies, with works like Spanish sci-fi horror The Platform and French series Marianne. Their latest is the Norwegian Cadaver, which takes place in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. It follows a family who attend a charitable event, from which people start disappearing.

Antrum — 23 October (cinemas), 26 October (DVD/VOD)

Subtitled The Deadliest Film Ever Made, this is a dark mockumentary which tells the story of a fictional 1970s film that reportedly has horrible effects on those who see it. Reviews from the festival circuit have been mostly positive.

Dog Soldiers — 23 October (cinema re-release)

Before Neil Marshall made one of the most terrifying horror movies ever with The Descent, he made this tale of British troops taking on werewolves. It has nabbed itself a new 4K restoration in time for Halloween, with a brand-spanking new Blu-ray release coming later in the year.

The Grudge — 24 October (Sky Cinema/NOW TV)

J-Horror is back with this new English language version of the vengeful ghost story, directed by indie horror favourite Nicolas Pesce. Andrea Riseborough, John Cho and genre stalwart Lin Shaye were among the cast members for this one, which was released in cinemas in the halcyon days of January.

Watch: The trailer for The Grudge

The Lighthouse — 25 October (Sky Cinema/NOW TV)

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go mad in a lighthouse. In black and white. It’s an odd sell, but The Witch director Robert Eggers’s film is about as enjoyable a descent into sheer insanity as it’s possible to imagine. Not for the faint of heart.

Sputnik — 26 October (DVD)

This Russian horror got a limited theatrical release over the summer, but is now arriving in our homes in time for Halloween. After a cosmonaut crash lands on return from an early mission at the height of the Cold War, it becomes clear he might have brought something nasty back from space.

Sleepwalkers — 26 October (Blu)

It’s hard to go too far wrong with a Stephen King adaptation, and this one is getting a new Blu-ray release courtesy of Eureka Video. It follows a group of vampires who move from town to town in search of blood — specifically that of virtuous young women.

The Craft: Legacy — 28 October (cinemas)

With Scream set to return for a fifth movie in the near-future, 90s teen horrors starring Neve Campbell are seemingly hot property in Hollywood. A sequel for The Craft has been in the pipeline for many years and Blumhouse has fast-tracked this tale of young witches into cinemas just in time for Halloween.

Watch: The first trailer for The Craft: Legacy

Relic — 30 October (cinemas)

This critically lauded horror was released in the USA in the summer and will play as part of the BFI London Film Festival before it makes its way on to general release. It’s a complex, atmospheric horror about a family dealing with the effects of dementia.

His House — 30 October (Netflix)

October is also Black History Month in the UK and this new movie combines serious issues around the Black community, with horror. It tells the story of a refugee couple who arrive in the UK after escaping war-torn South Sudan, only to find a different evil in their new hometown. Sope Dirisu from Gangs of London stars, and Matt Smith is also in the cast.

His House: Sope Dirisu as Bol Majur, Wunmi Mosaku as Rial Majur. (Aidan Monaghan/NETFLIX © 2020)
His House: Sope Dirisu as Bol Majur, Wunmi Mosaku as Rial Majur. (Aidan Monaghan/NETFLIX © 2020)

Truth Seekers — 30 October (Amazon)

The biggest project to date to emerge from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s company Stolen Picture — did anybody see Slaughterhouse Rulez? — this original comedy-horror series focuses on a team of internet paranormal investigators. Frost plays Gus, who balances his investigating with a dull job at a broadband company, while Pegg portrays Gus’s broadband boss.

The Invisible Man — 30 October (Sky Cinema/NOW TV)

One of the most critically acclaimed horrors of recent years, Aussie director Leigh Whannell’s team-up with Blumhouse completely reimagines one of the most memorable Universal Monsters characters. This invisible man is the abusive ex of Elisabeth Moss’s protagonist, seemingly tormenting her from beyond the grave. But it’s not clear whether he’s really doing this, or whether it’s all in her mind.

Watch: Trailer for The Invisible Man

Spooky Collection — 24 October to 1 November (Sky Cinema/NOW TV)

With an eye on the family rather than those looking for blood and guts, Sky has unveiled a specially curated selection of horror favourites. Nic Roeg’s terrifying interpretation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches is there, along with numerous Scooby-Doo adventures, friendly ghost story Casper and Laika’s chilling stop-motion animation Coraline.

Halloween Collection — 24 October to 1 November (Sky Cinema/NOW TV)

Once the kids have gone to bed, Sky is also offering a selection of the best recent and classic horrors. Scottish zombie Christmas musical — yes, really — Anna and the Apocalypse is a welcome addition, along with classics like The Exorcist and more modern releases like Jordan Peele’s Us and Conjuring spin-off Annabelle Comes Home.

Other new Netflix additions in October: The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Friday the 13th (2009), Paranormal Activity 2/3/4/Ghost Dimension (2010-15), The Conjuring (2013), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), Corpse Bride (2005)