It’s officially Fall, and October begins this week. That means cramming even more horror into your regular viewing schedule in celebration of the year’s best holiday, Halloween.
While we’ll get around to piling on your watchlists with Halloween specific picks, this week, we’re easing into it with films inspired by or set around autumn. Movies that set the seasonal atmosphere through cooler weather, changing foliage, Fall associated iconography, and visuals that evoke that cozy feeling that Fall brings.
Curl up with a blanket and get ready for Halloween with these five horror movies available to stream this week.
1922 – Netflix
Writer/director Zak Hilditch adapted Stephen King’s 2010 novella, weaving a haunting tale of isolation, guilt, and comeuppance for a murder. Set at a rural farm in Nebraska, Wilfred (Thomas James) vehemently opposes his wife’s plan to sell the farm and move to the city. He enlists his teen son to aid in her murder, then dumps her body in a dry well to cover up the crime. As time passes, their actions prove to have shocking consequences. The sprawling cornfields, the season changes, and the chilling mood all scream autumn. And what’s more “Fall” than an icy tale of ghostly revenge?
Sleepy Hollow – Netflix
Fallen leaves, gnarled trees, and a constant roll of fog leave the small town of Sleepy Hollow steeped in the autumn air. That’s where police constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) winds up on an assignment to investigate a series of decapitations. The culprit, of course, is the legendary Headless Horseman. Based on Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Tim Burton’s Gothic tale is intertwined with Halloween and Fall. Look for new twists and updates to the iconic story, with a witchy take on the iconic headless foe.
The Amityville Horror (2005) – Prime Video
In November 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his family in Amityville, New York. One year later, George (Ryan Reynolds) and Kathy Lutz (Melissa George) move into the same house with their three children. To say something isn’t right with the bargain-priced estate would be a massive understatement. The Fall set movie brings the chills, giving a much livelier update to the story than the 1979 film; even if it doesn’t exactly do anything new, beyond the added scares. For an autumnal haunted house flick full of spooky specters, The Amityville Horror is an excellent mood-setter.
Dark Night of the Scarecrow – Prime Video, The Roku Channel, Tubi
Don’t let the simplicity of this made-for-TV movie fool you; Dark Night of the Scarecrow is compelling storytelling. Set in a small Southern town over the Halloween season, a mentally challenged man is wrongfully murdered for a crime he didn’t commit. When his murderers evade justice, a mysterious scarecrow systematically takes them out one by one. Halloween décor, scarecrows, farmland, and a fantastic performance by horror stalwart Larry Drake makes for one perfect Halloween season movie.
Scare Me – Shudder (Oct 1)
Fred (Josh Ruben) is an aspiring writer suffering from writer’s block. He rents a cabin in the Catskills as a writer’s retreat to get the creative juices flowing. Fred soon discovers that successful author Fanny (Aya Cash) is staying at a nearby cabin. A power outage inspires a competitive round of scary storytelling between the pair, but the horror from their tales seems to manifest as it grows more intense. Ruben makes his feature writing and directorial debut with this charming horror comedy, premiering on Shudder this Thursday. It’s a cozy little film that puts the art of storytelling front and center around the warmth of a fire on a stormy night. It’s oozing with autumnal spirit and manages to lob some wry criticisms at the creative industry, too.