It’s finally October, and with that comes a whole range of horror-centric and genre-based offerings that have been made available on various streaming platforms, leading up to Halloween. In addition to those, you can also find troubled porn stars, morally bankrupt stockbrokers, and Christian Bale’s first outing as Bruce Wayne. We here at Screen Rant have analyzed the expanse of various movies and television series added this week, which includes many great titles, both contemporary and classic.
Without further ado, here’s a look at the best new films available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for the first week of October:
The Walking Dead: Season 5 (Netflix)
The latest season of the hit AMC series finds Rick Grimes and his band of survivors encountering many new friends and enemies, as they make their way from the unimaginable terrors of the Terminus group towards the Alexandria Safe Zone, still searching for solace and facing numerous threats along the way.
While the series continues to grow more and more popular each year, many critics considered this batch to be the best to date. Thankfully, Netflix has the made the latest season available now, giving you just enough time to binge-watch all 16 episodes before Season 6 premieres on October 11th.
Batman Begins (Netflix)
Another character who is always a popular costume choice around Halloween, director Christopher Nolan’s dark reinvention of the Caped Crusader breathed new life into comic book movies when it was released in 2005, and spawned a whole new trend in the sub-genre that exists to this day.
Taking on an interesting approach to the classic origin story, Batman Begins sees Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) channel the tragic death of his parents and his fear of bats into a symbol for justice and order in the corrupt expanse of Gotham City, as he faces such villains as The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe). As an example of a modern superhero film that hasn’t shown its age yet, it’s never a bad time to give this film a re-watch.
Boogie Nights (Netflix)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s second feature film helped put him on the map of the American independent scene in 1997, thanks to a raucous depiction of the late 1970s Los Angeles porn scene that fluctuates between deep-seated humor and dismal drama.
Boogie Nights chronicles the stardom of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), a young man with a very, uh, particular talent hanging between his legs, and how he becomes a “big bright shining star” too quickly for his own good. The ensemble cast, featuring the likes of Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman among many others, not to mention its reputation as a defining film of late ’90s cinema, makes it a fine addition for Netflix (and chill).
The Nightmare (Netflix)
Has any horror movie ever managed to scare you as much as your own dreams? Rodney Ascher’s The Nightmare banks on the terror of your own consciousness with this terrifying pseudo-documentary that’s more likely to remind viewers of John Carpenter than Ken Burns. After making waves with his 2012 documentary Room 237, which detailed various fan theories about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, director Rodney Ascher returns to the supernatural landscape with The Nightmare, which features a number of people being interviewed about their experiences with sleep paralysis and a strange connections between their dreamscapes.
Ascher heightens the feeling of terror by staging recreations of what each person describes, channeled through a mode of representation that is reminiscent of many 1980s era horror films, to the point where each segment grows more terrifying than the last. As one of the more recent films added to Netflix, it is absolutely worth a watch, purely for its combination of horror and documentary attributes, and shining light on a phenomenon rarely covered in other forms of media.
The Blair Witch Project (Hulu)
Considered one of the most successful and iconic independent films in the modern age, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s The Blair Witch Project as the amateur documentary of a group of college film students who attempt to uncover the mystery of a mysterious legend known as the Blair Witch in the forests of Maryland.
The film garnered praise for using a low-budget aesthetic to enforce a sense of extreme realism, not to mention an grassroots marketing campaign that convinced audiences of the false truth behind its titular figure. Directly responsible for the glut of found-footage films that flood the multiplex on an annual rate, it’s always worth revisiting this now-classic horror tale and the legacy it left behind.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Hulu)
Legendary director Martin Scorsese’s most debauched and vulgar film to date, The Wolf of Wall Street tells the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a New York City stockbroker whose firm engaged in several counts of misconduct and corruption, ultimately leading to his downfall.
What entails is a wild ride that starts with a bang and doesn’t let up for three hours, packed to the brim with the insane debauched behavior of the newly rich: from drug-fuelled pool parties to the infamous scene of Belfort and his disciple (Jonah Hill) ingesting Quaaludes. It may not have won DiCaprio his long deserved Oscar, but certainly gave the actor, and millions of viewers, one of the most unforgettable performances of his career.
World War Z (Hulu)
Director Marc Forster’s interesting take on the popular novel by Max Brooks, World War Z pits Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt against a zombie apocalypse that quickly manifests around the world.
The film is exceptional for taking on the familiar tropes of horror and supplanting them into the action/thriller genre, not to mention recontextualizing the common image of the zombie archetype into a fast-moving, nefarious characterization. What results is a fun, no holds barred adventure, with a sense of wit that you rarely ever see in blockbusters of this caliber.
You’re Next (Hulu)
One of the most surprising and entertaining horror films to come out in the past few years, You’re Next begins typical family reunion out in a rural vacation house, but it quickly turns deadly when a group of killers wearing animal masks target the homestead and everyone inside of it. In the tradition of humorous, self-referential horror films like Scream and The Cabin in the Woods, the carnage and jump scares are complemented with non-stop hilarity, as the rules and conventions of the slasher subgenre are turned on their head, leading to surprise after surprise.
Coming from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, who gave us last year’s equally entertaining The Guest, its easy to see that You’re Next has already become a staple for Halloween entertainment.
The Fly (Amazon Prime)
Standing as one of the masters of the horror genre, director David Cronenberg’s The Fly expands on his preoccupation with body transformation and psychology to tell the story of Dr. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), the inventor of a teleportation system who accidentally splices his own DNA with that of a housefly. A visceral and disturbing remake of a cheesy 1958 sci-fi film, Cronenberg reimagines Brundles transformation into a fly as a disturbing process that affects his mind as much as his body.
The metamorphosis of Brundle into a disturbing beast is some of the best makeup and practical FX work ever seen in film, and is accentuated through Goldblum’s wonderful performance. The Fly is the rare kind of horror film with lots of heart and intellect, and hasn’t aged a bit since its release nearly thirty years ago.
Vampires (Amazon Prime)
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a entry from one of the most predominant figures in the genre, that being John Carpenter, the man behind now-classic work such as The Thing, Escape from New York, and, of course, Halloween.
One of his more underrated films, Vampires merges the essence of the classic bloodsucker narrative with that of the Western, centering around a team of vampire hunters led by Jack Crow (James Woods), tasked with preventing an ancient relic from reaching the possession of Valek, a powerful entity considered to be the original vampire. Displaying the same vile and obscene narrative qualities as other titles Carpenter is best known for, and just as fun and ridiculous, Vampires is a great choice for those looking for a more unexpected piece of entertainment.
IS there anything else popping up on your favorite streaming service this week? Let us know!