The countdown to Halloween continues; this week’s streaming picks are dedicated to contemporary horror movies set on or around Halloween. These post-2000 treats embrace the Fall spirit or Halloween iconography, making for excellent seasonal viewing this time of year.
As always, here’s where you can stream them this week.
Anything for Jackson – AMC+, Shudder
Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings star as Audrey and Henry Walsh, a well-to-do couple mourning their young grandson’s tragic loss. Still deep in the denial stage of grief, they turn to Satanism. The couple kidnaps a pregnant woman for their ritual; they plan to transfer their grandson’s spirit into her unborn baby. The novice practitioners unwittingly bust open the doors to the spirit world, transforming their home into a house of horrors. The snowy setting screams winter, not Fall, but the home gets terrorized by ghosts, including one creepy, relentless trick-or-treater. Consider this one perfect for Halloween or the Holidays.
I Am Not a Serial Killer – AMC+
John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records) adheres to a strict therapy regimen and rules to ward off his sociopathic, homicidal impulses. His darker nature makes him deeply curious when a string of murders ensues in his small midwestern town, leaving behind traces of black goo. This adaptation of Dan Wells’ novel offers a unique blend of supernatural mystery and a sweet yet strange coming-of-age tale. While it doesn’t wholly embrace Halloween, the holiday does factor into the film’s events. Christopher Lloyd also stars.
Last Night in Soho – HBO Max
Last Night in Soho takes us back to London’s Soho district during the Swinging Sixties, with Thomasin McKenzie starring as a fashion designer who uncovers a murder from the past. The victim? Anya Taylor-Joy’s Sandie, a singer from the ’60s. Edgar Wright’s time-hopping psychological horror movie takes place over fashion school’s Fall term, which means Halloween plays a prominent role in at least one significant scare sequence. Expect lavish production design and great performances by its leads, with a tonal shift once the ghostly second half arrives.
The uncut edition of Jeff Lieberman’s (Squirm, Blue Sunshine, Just Before Dawn) cult hit makes its way to streaming just in time for Halloween. Dougie is a boy obsessed with a video game that has him playing as Satan’s helper. While out trick or treating, he comes across someone in costume arranging a dead body, assumes the costumed person is Satan, and asks Satan to send his sister’s boyfriend to Hell. He then becomes the unwitting pawn of a serial killer. It’s a dark horror comedy with a body count.
You Are Not My Mother – Hulu
Writer/Director Kate Dolan’s Irish folkloric horror takes place around Halloween. It follows a teen whose mother goes missing, returning home later without explanation and with altered behavior. What came home might not be her mother but a Changeling. Dolan’s folk horror movie favors psychological chills with a fraught mother/daughter relationship and atmospheric dread over jump scares. Carolyn Bracken delivers an unsettling performance, and Dolan embraces the Halloween setting.
Bonus: Barbarian – HBO Max (October 25)
A non-Halloween bonus: Zach Cregger’s sleeper hit may not occur on or near Halloween, but it’s the precise type of thrilling horror you want to watch over Halloween anyway. Tess (Georgina Campbell) arrives at her Detroit rental late at night during a torrential downpour. When a man, Keith (Bill Skarsgård), answers the door, the strangers realize the place has been double booked. Tess, out of options, agrees to share the space but remains guarded. As Keith soothes her apprehension, Tess realizes the danger has just begun.
There’s no predicting the wild ride; it’ll leave you breathless.