As Halloween fast approaches, several highly anticipated new horror movies are set to hit both the theatrical and VOD circuits between now and October 31st. Acclaimed genre filmmakers such as James Wan, Edgar Wright, David Gordon Green, Patrick Brice, Scott Cooper, and more have intriguing new horror tales to go with a solid mixture of international arthouse fare, broad Netflix originals, and everything in between.
From eerie haunted houses, creepy creature features, and anthological period pieces to unnerving psychological thrillers and time travel chillers, this Halloween has plenty of cinematic streaming free movies in store.
Updated on October 9th, 2021 by Tanner Fox: As summer descends into autumn and windswept auburn leaves dance between carved jack-o-lanterns and tacky lawn decorations, horror becomes the hot topic among moviegoers. However, thanks to the various streaming services available, satisfactory scares abound and are no longer relegated to the theater.
With cerebral artistic pieces and reboots to dormant franchises alike set to hit Netflix, Paramount+, and Amazon Prime Video before October is out, there’s never been a better time to get immersed in all things horror.
Debuting on Netflix on October 6, 2021 is There’s Someone Inside Your House, a sadistic high-school slasher film from well-established horror director Patrick Brice (Creep, Room 104). Based on the novel of the same name by Stephanie Perkins, the film tracks a masked killer stalking the senior class of Osborne High only to be met with resistance by a marginalized group of outcasts.
What makes this story interesting is how the killer intends to expose the students’ deep-dark secrets before ending their lives, making for a subversive, unpredictable, and genre-defying story that Brice often enjoys telling.
One of the more underrated horror anthology series of the past decade includes V/H/S, created by David Bruckner and Simon Barrett. Both men return for the upcoming 4th franchise entry, V/H/S/94, set to bow exclusively on Shudder on October 6. Set in 1994, the film concerns a police S.W.A.T. unit uncovering a cult conspiracy recorded on a grainy old videotape.
The main draw of the film, aside from the promising premise and well-established brand name, is the collection of daring directing talent at the helm. Chapters will be guided by Barrett (Seance), Chloe Okuno (Slut), Ryan Prows (Lowlife), Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin), and Timo Tjahanto, the latter of which directed the scariest franchise chapter to date in V/H/S/2‘s “Safe Haven.”
Strange occurrences plague a Mexican-American family after they move to a quaint home in the California countryside, and an expectant mother must endure malignant horrors as her due date approaches. While it’s sure to introduce a few ideas of its own, director Ryan Zargoza’s Madres certainly seems to be taking a page or two from the Rosemary’s Baby playbook.
Set to debut on Amazon Prime Video on October 8, Madres looks be a sinister thrill ride comparable to other classic haunted house horrors.
One of a set of Blumhouse productions set to terrorize horror fans this October, The Manor is an upcoming offering from director Axelle Carolyn, who is perhaps best known for directing episodes of American Horror Story and The Haunting of Bly Manor.
After an elderly woman moves into a nursing home, she is accosted by supernatural entities. Unable to prove that what she experiences is real, she must figure out a way to validate her sanity and escape before she meets a grizzly fate. The Manor is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video on October 8.
An Argentinian psychological thriller set to boggle the minds of horror fans, Fever Dream is an adaptation of the short story Rescue Distance. Seemingly something out of the mind of horror auteur Ari Aster, the movie tells the tale of a fragmented family when a mother and son duo become the epicenter of unnatural happenings.
This may be a dense and intentionally difficult work, but viewers who love to dissect and interpret films will absolutely adore Fever Dream. Set to debut on Netflix on October 13, it may not be destined for widespread appeal, but it will almost certainly find a fascinated film niche.
Germany’s ominous Black Forest is the setting of Demigod, the new folk horror outing from writer/director Miles Doleac (The Dinner Party) due on October 15. The story concerns Robin (Rachel Nichols), a woman who returns to her birthplace at the sinister site following her grandfather’s death in search of answers.
Aside from the foreboding forest setting, the film boasts an unsettling mixture of ancient head-hunting rituals and scary sacrificial customs with a personal story of a modern-day woman uncovering her cryptic past. With cult-favorite scream queen Rachel Nichols (P2, Inside) taking center stage, Demigod is worth bowing to when it opens this October.
In addition to penning V/H/S/94, David Bruckner’s third directorial effort The Night House will open to the public on October 19. After proving his filmmaking skills in The Signal and The Ritual, Bruckner’s latest looks to be a deeply disquieting tale of a widow (Rebecca Hall) uncovering her deceased husband’s darkest secrets.
The deliberately-paced, slow-burn horror film is already drawing rave reviews for Hall’s central turn, the brooding atmosphere of rural upstate New York, the tonal tension Bruckner is able to sustain, and the chillingly ambiguous finale.
A Netflix exclusive set to debut on October 20, Night Teeth follows a hapless chauffer as he’s wrapped up in a blood-soaked supernatural thrill ride when the women he’s driving are revealed to be vampires.
Though it doesn’t appear to be an out-and-out horror movie, Night Teeth will certainly be able to satisfy those looking for the perfect Halloween thriller. Starring Sydney Sweeny and Megan Fox, it’s sure to catch the attention of Netflix subscribers.
Another Netflix exclusive, Hypnotic sees a woman suffering from general anxiety receive treatment from an enigmatic therapist. Unfortunately, he uses the suggestive powers of his practice to coax her into unconsciously performing strange and terrible acts. Now, she must get to the bottom of this strange plot before it’s too late.
Stylish and cerebral, Hypnotic promises to have viewers scratching their heads until the credits roll—and likely for some time after that. The film also looks to be a breath of fresh air when compared to many of the more traditional horror movies debuting this October.
Billed as a reboot of the popular found-footage series, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin removes the series from its Southern California roots, placing the preternatural panic in the heart of Amish country.
A woman begins filming a documentary about her newly-discovered biological relatives only to uncover sinister tidings in the otherwise tranquil rural setting. Helmed by William Eubank, who is best known for 2020’s Lovecraftian undertaking Underwater, Next of Kin is set to be a return to form for the relatively wayward franchise.