The Halloween season is finally here, and that means we’ve got a whole slew of new movies and television to watch — spooktacular or otherwise. Whether you’re following along with our yearly countdown calendar or looking for the best horror movies on Netflix or other streaming services, we’ve got you covered. Aside from those, there’s a ton of exciting new films arriving on streaming this month.
Disappointed about the delay of Dune: Part Two? Yeah, us too. At the very least, we can still watch the first installment of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic now that it’s streaming on Netflix. Jordan Peele’s Get Out is on Netflix, too, just in time for the holiday, along with the first three Scream movies now streaming on Max.
Let’s dive in and see what this month has in store!
Genre: Sci-fi epic
Run time: 2h 35m
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac
Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi opera about clashing noble houses vying for control of the universe’s most coveted resource is an extraordinary cinematic spectacle and the best adaptation of the series to date.
Set in the distant future, the film follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the scion of a powerful empire who, along with his father, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), is sent to live on the desert planet Arrakis to oversee the production and distribution of rare psychoactive spice. When the Atreides’ lifelong nemeses, the Harkonnens, led by the vicious Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), ambush the family and lay siege to their army, Paul and his mother must flee the carnage and take refuge in the desert, where he discovers his role in a far grander destiny.
A massive critical and commercial success upon its release, the sequel to Dune was one of the most anticipated releases of 2023 before it was pushed back to next year due to the WGA strike and the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. If you’re as bummed about the delay of Dune: Part Two as I am, now’s the perfect opportunity to rewatch the first film in anticipation for the sequel’s premiere in March. —Toussaint Egan
New on Netflix
Genre: Psychological horror
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
What could possibly be said about Jordan Peele’s acclaimed directorial debut that hasn’t been said already? Get Out was a revelation when it was released in 2017, reinventing Peele’s reputation from a successful comedian into a modern maestro of horror and delivering Daniel Kaluuya his breakthrough role into stardom.
The film follows the story of Chris (Kaluuya), a young Black man and talented photographer who drives with his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), to visit her parents at their home in upstate New York. Upon arriving, Chris realizes there’s more to this visit than meets the eye, as he’s thrust into a deadly situation that has him fighting not only for his freedom, but his very life. A horrifying twist on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by way of The Stepford Wives, Get Out feels just as witty, inventive, and revelatory in 2023 as it did when it first premiered. It’s easily one of the best horror movies of the 2010s, and an auspicious debut for one of the most talented filmmakers of his generation. —TE
New on Hulu
Genre: Horror thriller
Run time: 1h 39m
Director: Park Chan-wook
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman
Park Chan-wook is in the top tier of living filmmakers for me, so of course I’m fond of even the “minor” works in his catalog. Stoker, his only English-language movie to date, is an eerie, atmospheric psychological thriller that’s a perfect fit for people who want to participate in spooky season without getting too scared.
It’s India Stoker’s (Mia Wasikowska) 18th birthday. Her father (Dermot Mulroney) has died, and her mother (Nicole Kidman) has welcomed his younger brother (Matthew Goode) into their home. What follows is a Hitchcockian gothic fairy tale filled with sensory delight. The score is pitch-perfect in the eerie atmosphere it provides, and Park never fails to deliver memorable images.
Oh, and fun fact: The movie was written by Wentworth Miller, of Prison Break/CW-verse fame, under a pseudonym. —Pete Volk
New on Max
Year: 1996 (Scream); 1997 (Scream 2); 2000 (Scream 3)
Genre: Slasher horror
Run time: 1h 51m (Scream); 2h (Scream 2); 1h 56m (Scream 3)
Director: Wes Craven
Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox
The Scream franchise is one of the most consistent, especially for horror. The first three are must-watches (the fourth, streaming on Peacock, also rules), and whether it’s for the first time or the 15th, they’re essential October viewing.
Even if you haven’t watched the franchise, you’re likely familiar with Scream’s meta nature, engaging directly with the tropes and expectations of the horror genre. It’s frankly remarkable that all that works without being cloying or annoying, but it’s a testament to the genius of Wes Craven, who went from directing some of the scariest movies of the 1970s and ’80s to interrogating the genre from within this series.
It takes a master of a genre to be able to parody it effectively. It’s true diegetically and metatextually in Scream: The call is coming from inside the house. —PV
New on Prime Video
Genre: Horror thriller
Run time: 1h 27m
Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark
Crawl is a perfectly constructed slice of sub-90-minute thrills. A collegiate swimmer (Kaya Scodelario) goes home to check on her dad (Barry Pepper) after hearing that a big hurricane is coming their way. When she gets there, she finds her dad unconscious, the house floods, and she is surrounded by alligators. She must use her athletic skills, her wits, and every ounce of courage possible to get her, her dad, and the family dog out of there alive.
A master class in tension from director Alexandre Aja (Piranha 3D), Crawl is the kind of economical thriller we don’t get as often anymore. Scodelario shines as the determined swimmer Haley Keller, and the movie’s combination of practical effects and convincing VFX makes this one an immersive, taut, fun time at the movies. —PV