Summer is still in swing, but we’re edging ever closer to the Halloween season. Or has the Halloween season already begun? If the packed slate is any indication, it might be underway.
August brings home 2022 horror releases, cult gems, and a ton of brand new titles heading straight to streaming.
Here are ten noteworthy horror titles available for streaming in August 2022 on some of the most popular streaming services, along with when/where you can watch them.
The Devil’s Backbone – HBO Max
Directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, this period haunter is set during the Spanish Civil War. Recently orphaned, young Carlos is taken to an orphanage in the middle of nowhere and finds that it’s full of dark secrets. The key to unlocking them, of course, is through its ghosts. Like all of del Toro’s films, The Devil’s Backbone isn’t a straightforward horror film, but rather it uses horror to bolster a more poignant tale that’ll give you all the feels. This orphanage is steeped in betrayal and tragedy. Its ghost delivers a few scares, but mostly it’ll break your heart.
Evil Dead (2013) – Prime Video
A practical effects-heavy remake that honors the original in every way while carving up a new generation of fans. Jane Levy stars as Mia, the antagonist turned heroine deserving of her own spinoff franchise. Lou Taylor Pucci’s Eric is also a standout as the bookish teacher responsible for unleashing demonic forces upon his group of friends simply trying to get their friend off drugs. Poor Eric takes a beating here. Alvarez’s film is lean, mean, and oh so freaking gory. It rains down blood in the finale, in a torrential downpour no less. With Evil Dead Rise looming somewhere on the horizon, now feels like a great time to revisit Evil Dead.
The Scorpion King – Peacock
One of the most surprising references (and jokes) in Jordan Peele’s Nope was The Mummy spinoff prequel The Scorpion King. Wouldn’t you know it? You can now find it available to stream in August on Peacock. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as the titular character, a desert warrior rebelling against an evil army destroying his land. Chuck Russell (The Blob, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) directs.
Prey – Hulu, August 5
Set in the Great Plains in 1719, Prey introduces Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche woman uninterested in fulfilling the domestic role her tribe expects of her. Naru wants to hunt, like her brother and respected hunter Taabe (Dakota Beavers). She misses her initial chance to prove her skills in a rite of passage when she notices something amiss across the ridge. Naru realizes it brings a significant and unknown threat and sets out to test her mettle and protect her tribe. Prey takes its cues from 1987’s Predator in terms of simplicity and bloody action-horror. Its cultural specificity and period setting lend a sweeping period epic feel and introduce emotional stakes through its memorable characters.
Freeway– Shudder, August 8
Little Red Riding Hood gets a modern and unexpected makeover. Reese Witherspoon plays Vanessa, a teen on the run after her mom and stepfather are arrested on prostitution and drug charges. On the way to her grandmother’s house, she crosses paths with the film’s version of the Big Bad Wolf, serial killer Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland). An over-the-top satire, this version of the fairytale isn’t conventional horror, but it blurs the lines with its brutality. As if serial killing isn’t enough, Bob is a violent pedophile. Emphasis on violence. Witherspoon and Sutherland turn out fantastic performances here.
Day Shift – Netflix, August 12
Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg are teaming up to slay vampires this summer in Netflix’s new horror comedy. Foxx stars as a blue-collar, hardworking dad who wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted daughter. Of course, his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international union of hunters.
The Innocents – Shudder, August 18
The Innocents is a provocative look at the fine razor line between good and evil and the darker side of innocence. Four compelling performances ground the disturbing horror, adding complex emotions and morality to fuel the tension. Writer/Director Eskil Vogt crafts a stunning portrayal of childhood morality with a tale of four children discovering supernatural abilities over a summer. Vogt twists the knife further by setting it under the bright Nordic sun; the terror these kids commit happens right under the adults’ noses, often in plain sight, with no one the wiser. The emotional authenticity heightens the horror, creating one of the most viscerally disturbing depictions of childhood in recent memory.
Orphan: First Kill – Paramount+, August 19
Esther is back! Isabelle Fuhrman is reprising the role of Esther, this time in a prequel exploring her first targets after escaping an Estonian psychiatric facility. Esther assumes the identity of a wealthy family’s missing daughter, and things go awry quickly. William Brent Bell (The Boy) takes over as director. Rossif Sutherland and Julia Stiles star alongside Isabelle Fuhrman.
Watcher – Shudder, August 26
American Julia (Maika Monroe) is left almost entirely on her own to adjust to a new country and culture, and it’s made even harder by the language barrier. Alone all day and increasingly at night, Julia stares out the window and notices an eerie face staring back. That feeling of being watched transforms into full-blown paranoia. But is someone following Julia, or is it a byproduct of loneliness and culture shock? Chloe Okuno’s ability to create eerie unease from an uncomplicated premise impresses. It’s a measured, moody psychodrama that allows Okuno to wear her influences on her sleeves, making them her own, until one bloody and satisfying finale.
If you need another gory romp perfect for the midnight crowd, then Pussycake is for you. In the film, a struggling all-girl rock band kicks off a new tour, hoping to rekindle their popularity. However, things are off to a bad start when they show up to their first gig to find the town deserted. After they catch the attention of horrors from beyond our reality, the band realizes that being forgotten by their fans is the least of their problems. Expect chaotic energy, monsters, and a lot of blood and guts.