For obvious reasons, the Halloween we all know and love will look a bit different this year. Costume parties, Trick or Treating and the majority of haunted houses have been suspended, but since we’re all already wearing masks this season, let’s at least try to get into the spirit, shall we?!
Because All Hallow’s Eve, as I believe, is a night where frights are freed, victims bleed and bewitching, even haunting adventures lurk around every corner…guaranteed.
You see, Hallowe’en is the non-holiday of all Holidays. It’s when the Pumpkin King bursts into flames and rides his trojan horse into the night; when the witchy Sanderson Sisters seek a young virgin’s soul to consume for eternal youth; when the Boogeyman returns to stalk his babysitter prey; when a demonic, pumpkin-like Trick or Treater mercilessly punishes those who disobey the rules…
So if “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Hocus Pocus,” “Halloween” and “Trick R’ Treat” can give us a deliciously devilish taste of Halloween each year, let’s hope some of these new horror-based shows and movies can do the same.
Here’s our 2020 Halloween Scream Stream list:
(In alphabetical order)
- 50 STATES OF FRIGHT (SEASON 2)
When: Available Now (Sept. 28, 2020)
This Quibi original short series is directed by none other than Sam Raimi, a well-versed and seasoned director who’s had his fair share of experience in horror, including directing the iconic “Evil Dead” and “Evil Dead 2” films. Raimi is also known for directing all three “Spider-Man” films starring Toby MacGuire in the 2000s, but this new anthology series is said to have exposed Raimi’s original raw talent as he explores stories based on urban legends from different places in the United States. “50 States of Fright” takes viewers deeper into the horrors that lurk just beneath the surface. With Season 1 named “the most-viewed show on Quibi,” the obscure streaming service (which caters to viewers on-the-go with short 8-10 minute episodes of each show) has been steadily releasing episodes from Season 2 since its premiere in Septemeber; there’s plenty to catch up on! And the cast? As delicious as your favourite Halloween candy! “50 States of Fright” features appearances by Rachel Brosnahan, Rory Culkin, Taissa Farmiga from “American Horror Story” and Christina Ricci, to name a few!
- A BABYSITTER’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING
When: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
What’s Halloween without some babysitters?! “A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting” is a family-friendly (even kid-centric) Netflix original film about a high school freshman named Kelly Ferguson (played by Tamara Smar) who reluctantly agrees to babysit young Jacob Zellman (played by Ian Ho) on Halloween night, but the last thing she expects is to be recruited into an international secret society of babysitters who protect kids with special powers from monsters! Sounds whacky, in a good way, and the trailer complies! But what’s really enticing about this book-turned-movie is the effortless level of diversity. In a J.K. Rowling-riddled world, where beloved children’s authors turn into TERF (Trans Exclusionary Feminist) trolls, “A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting” is the perfect alternative for those of us who’d usually queue-up a “Harry Potter” movie this season. The Wizarding World has always been synonymous with Halloween, and since disgraced author, J.K. Rowling, continues to show her true anti-Trans colours, this could be a worthy replacement. It’s at least worth a watch, as it also stars the beloved Indya Moore from “POSE” on FX.
When: Available Now (Sept. 8, 2020)
#Alive is a 2020 South Korean zombie film directed by Cho Il-hyung and starring Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye. Based on the 2019 script “Alone” by Matt Naylor, who co-adapted his script with Cho Il-hyung, the story of “#ALIVE” is about a young Korean teen left alone during a zombie apocalypse. With spine-tingling action, this film is reminiscent of another very popular Korean zombie horror film, “Last Train To Busan,” but “#ALIVE” unfolds in an isolated-alone-in-your-apartment kind of way, which resonates almost too much with what’s currently going on in the world. A whole other subconscious tier of horror we weren’t ready for! And we doubt the film’s producers had any intention of tapping into. Add this one to your watchlist and don’t forget to turn on those subtitles!
When: Available Now (Sept. 18, 2020)
Where: VOD (For Rent Only)
“Antebellum” is somewhat of a sleeper horror. After gaining a lot of momentum with a suspenseful pre-Covid trailer at the end of 2019, this movie managed to ever-so-quietly flutter into the background, without a sound. Even upon its surprise VOD release in September, fans were surprised to learn it’s already available to rent! Well, guess what? It is! Starring Janelle Monáe in what critics have called “a thriller with a ‘Get Out’ vibe,” the Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz (Bush + Renz) directed film sees a modern-day Veronica Henley (Monáe) trapped in a 19th-century Southern slave plantation which forces her to confront the past, present and future before it’s too late! Having been atop many horror fans’ watchlists moving into 2020, “Antebellum” is a Halloween treat we might as well consume whole! Plus, who doesn’t LOVE Janelle Monáe?
- THE CRAFT LEGACY
When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Where: Amazon Prime
Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Craft: Legacy” is a supernatural horror film acting as a stand-alone sequel to the 1996 film, “The Craft.” Initially expected to hit theatres, Blumhouse decided to premiere the film on Amazon Prime, instead, giving all us Spooky Season lovers something to look forward to while movie theatres remain avoided or closed during the pandemic. Starring Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny, “The Craft: Legacy” trailer has divided fans online. The negative, positive and lacklustre reactions continue to pour out, but we’ll have to see it for ourselves. With a potential cameo from Fairuza Balk (who played the infamous Nancy Downs in the original), will you bewitching — I mean- be watching this October 27th?
- DRAGULA: RESURRECTION
When: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
The Boulet Brothers are going on a road trip! For those of you are unfamiliar with the Boulet Brothers, the best way to describe them is a pair of twin-like celebrity Drag monsters who host a squeamish Drag competition akin to “RuPaul’s Drag Race” called “Dragula.” Besides both being televised Drag competitions, however, the two reality shows barely resemble one another. With a “Dragula” Season 4 in the wings, the Boulet Brothers unleashed a ghoulish Halloween surprise – “Resurrection.” Described as a part-horror movie, part-documentary and part-reality competition, this two-hour Halloween special marks the first spin-off of the series and will see seven competitors from all three past seasons return to compete for $20, 000 and a guaranteed spot in Season 4. Let’s get spooky, uglies!
- THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR
When: Friday, October 9, 2020
The biggest and arguably the most-anticipated horror release this October is none other than “The Haunting of Bly Manor” on Netflix. The second season, which began with the impressionable and critically-acclaimed “The Haunting of Hill House” in 2018, returns two years later with an all-new haunted house story! Once again, Mike Flanagan directs the original anthology series, which will hopefully help this season formulate all the expected horror and drama that worked so well in the first season. This new story, however, follows Henry Wingrave (played by Henry Thomas) who hires a nanny to take care of his orphaned niece and nephew, and as horror will have it, supernatural shit hits the fan! With returning cast members like Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen and a riveting new trailer, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is sure to be on everyone’s watchlist this Halloween season! Boo!
- HUBIE HALLOWEEN
When: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
“Another Adam Sandler movie?” Yeah, we said the same thing, but we’re willing to give this Halloween-explosion of a comedy a chance! Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) thanklessly spends every Halloween making sure the residents of his hometown, Salem, celebrate safely and play by the rules. But this year, an escaped criminal and a mysterious new neighbour have Hubie on high alert! When people start disappearing, it’s up to Hubie to convince the police (Kevin James and Kenan Thompson) and the townsfolk that the monsters are real, and only he can stop them.! “Hubie Halloween” is described by Netflix as “a hilarious family film about an unlikely hero with an all-star cast including Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Noah Schnapp, Steve Buscemi and Maya Rudolph.” If spooky comedies are your thing – even if Adam Sandler isn’t – “Hubie Halloween” has the potential to reach annual viewing status! Time will tell…
When: Friday, October 30, 2020
Where: VOD (For Rent Only)
Originally set for an August 2020 theatrical release, Paramount Pictures postponed “Spell” before deciding to release it straight-to-VOD on All Hallow’s Eve…Eve. That’s right, get ready for a voodoo-tastic time on the eve of Halloween as the iconic Loretta Devine and the hot-like-fire Omari Hardwick star in this surprisingly late but equally anticipated new October horror film! In the vein of Stephen King’s “Misery and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” 2020’s “Spell” is about a man who encounters a sinister couple after surviving a plane crash. Not much else is known, but the film’s trailer looks equal parts amazing and terrifying! Plus, anything Loretta Devine is attached to is worth watching! After “Spell,” queue up he late 90s/early 2000s horror films “Urban Legend” and “Urban Legends: Final Cut” (both are now streaming for FREE on the CTV GO app in Canada) where Devine plays a college campus security guard during a killing spree based on, you guessed it, urban legends. Devine is also expected to reprise her role in an upcoming “Urban Legend” reboot, currently in pre-production.
- VAMPIRES VS. THE BRONX
When: Available Now (Oct. 2, 2020)
Comedy horror has grown to stand as a category of its own, and 2020’s “Vampires vs. The Bronx” is a Netflix original adding to said acclaim. Directed by Osmany Rodriguez and written by Osmany Rodriguez and Blaise Hemingway., this film follows a group of teenagers who are forced to protect their neighbourhood from gentrification… and vampires! And these aren’t just any old vampires! Mind you, they are very old, but we’re referring to their resemblance to other popular vamps from hit 90’s productions like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.” Starring the young but talented Jaden Michael and featuring cameos by industry heavyweights like Method Man and Kidd Red from”Saturday Night Live,” this movie is as camp as it gets! But it’s also smart, diverse and chock-full of laugh-out-loud gaggery! It’s the perfect spooky film for those of us who want to smoke lil’ Devil’s lettuce on Devil’s night.
- THE WITCHES
When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Where: HBO Max/Amazon Prime
It’s a Halloween miracle! Roald Dahl’s “The Witches,” the highly-anticipated but also slightly criticized remake of the adaptation of the book (confusing, we know) is coming straight to streaming for no extra cost! This is great news, but it’s almost unheard of, especially during the age of Covid-19, where anticipated blockbusters have been postponed, over and over and… over. Movie studios are literally playing cat and mouse with movie theatres, waiting in the wings in order to turn a profit off their big-budget motion pictures. Speaking of mice, that analogy fittingly fits the synopsis of “The Witches,” an obvious big-budget movie starring A-list Academy Award and Golden Globe winners Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock! We think it’s safe to say that almost everyone in the industry expected this movie to be postponed until Halloween 2021, but here we are with a surprise trailer and late October release date from Warner Bros. Studios! Fans of the original adaptation will remember Anjelica Houston’s role as the Grand High Witch, now played by Hathaway, and while we’re certain she will never fill Houston’s witchy shoes, Hathaway has really pulled all the stops in order to make this iconic role her own. Grab some candy, remove your wig, and enjoy the broom ride, witches!
With so many shows and movies hitting streaming services, we have a few honourable mentions should none of the above suit your horror needs:
- LOVECRAFT COUNTRY (SEASON 1)
When: Available Now (Season Finale – Oct. 18, 2020)
Based on Matt Ruff’s of the same name, “Lovecraft Country” follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he meets up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across a 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). Horror ensues in what can only be described as a rush of blood to the head. Powerful, unapologetic and as gory as can be, “Lovecraft Country” is turning heads and sparking conversations all across the internet.
- RATCHED (SEASON 1)
When: Available Now (Sept.18, 2020)
“Ratched” is a unique and suspenseful drama series by writer Ryan Murphy that tells the origin story of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched (adapted from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”). Nurse Ratched arrives in Northern California in 1947 to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. With appearances from “American Horror Story” alumni Finn Wittrock, as well as Cynthia Nixon and – wait for it – Sharon Stone – this series is smart, twisted and stacked with impressive talent, including Sophie Okonedo, who’s short but impounding role as Charlotte Wells will leave you speechless.