The Halloween season is upon us and the theaters are filled with horror movies. Some of them are original works, such as the Nicholas Cage vehicle Mandy and The Super, which stars Val Kilmer. Some are continuations of classic franchises, such as the new Halloween and The Nun. There's also some family-friendly spooky movies such as Goosebumps 2 and The House With a Clock In Its Walls.
Of course there's far more horror in store this Halloween than just the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Numerous art-house theaters are hosting screenings of classic horror films, ranging from the Universal Monster Movies to the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Hammer Studios. And it wouldn't be Halloween without the annual screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, making it well worth the effort to see what your local independent theaters might have planned for Halloween this year.
Related: The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
What follows is a run-down of some of the films that horror aficionados might find in theaters this Halloween. While largely focusing upon new theatrical releases in the United States, we've also included a few films that are being released direct to video or various streaming services. So if you're stuck at home handing out candy on Halloween Night or would prefer to get your chills at home than in a crowded theater, there are still some new thrillers you can seek out.
- This Page: New Horror Movies In Theaters This Halloween
- Page 2: New Horror Movies On VOD This Halloween
A direct sequel to the original 1978 Halloween, the 2018 Halloween is a reboot that ignores all of the earlier films in the franchise after the first. The focus of the film lies on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the survivor of Michael Myers' original Halloween night rampage four decades earlier. Left paranoid and incapable of moving on with her life, Strode is the only one who is prepared when Michael Myers escapes during a routine prison transfer. As the nightmare begins again, it falls to Strode, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) to do what the police cannot.
The film has proven to be a critical hit, even among traditional film critics who don't usually approve of horror movies. Halloween's reviews have praised the film for defying the usual cliches regarding the portrayal of women in slasher-horror movies. Curtis' performance, in particular, has been widely acclaimed.
Halloween has also proven a financial success, having the second-highest opening for an October release in history. It has also become the most profitable of all the films in the Halloween franchise. For the week around Halloween, the film will also be available in some venues in a limited IMAX release.
Suspiria (Limited Release Oct 26, Wide Nov 2)
Inspired by the 1977 horror movie of the same name by Dario Argento, Suspiria centers upon the hidden darkness that lies in the heart of a world-renowned dance troupe. The company's artistic director, a young American dancer and a grieving therapist will all find themselves drawn into a living nightmare. But will they ever be able to wake up?
Directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film has been long-hyped thanks to its cast - which includes the likes of Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz - and the filmmakers' claim it's not a literal remake; Guadagnino said he was drawing upon the idea of the original film and that the new Suspiria was "inspired by the same story, but it goes in different directions."
Given that the original Suspiria is considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time, it was probably a wise decision for Guadagnino to not try and completely recreate it. Certainly, the reviews suggest he's succeeded in making something fresh. If you're in New York or Los Angeles, you can check out Suspiria on its limited release the weekend before Halloween. The film goes into wide release on November 2.
Nicholas Cage is famous for his manic performances but many have said that his role in Mandy is his wildest one yet. The movie stars Cage as Red Miller - a "broken and haunted man" who turns to violence to avenge the love of his life (the titular Mandy) after she is brutally murdered by a crazed religious sect. Those who like their horror bloody and over-the-top will likely love Mandy, if only because Cage reportedly modeled his character on Jason from the Friday the 13th and one scene features Cage and another man engaged in a duel with chainsaws.
The latest film in The Conjuring franchise, The Nun may have been out for well over a month but it can still be found in some wide-release theaters. Set in 1952, the prequel focuses upon supernatural investigator Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and novice nun Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) as they travel to the Abbey of St. Carta in Romania to investigate the apparent suicide of a nun and rumors that the Abbey is haunted by some dark presence. It spoils little to say that the rumors are true and that a battle between good and evil ensues.
While reviews from critics were mixed, the movie was an undisputed hit with audiences, who flocked to see the film again and again. This has made The Nun the most profitable of the films in The Conjuring franchise. It has also quietly made The Conjuring universe into one of Warner Bros. most consistently profitable properties relative to its cost.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
Based on the classic children's novel of the same name by John Bellairs, The House With a Clock in Its Walls is just the film for a family outing this Halloween weekend. The plot centers upon the recently orphaned Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro), who goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black). Lewis discovers that Uncle Jonathan is a warlock and is soon learning the mystic arts from him and his neighbor, a good witch named Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett). Lewis also discovers that his uncle's home contains a magical clock that is trying to bring about the end of the world.
While not a huge financial or critical success, the film did make back over double its $42 million budget. It also pleased fans of the original Lewis Barnavelt books, of which John Bellairs wrote a dozen. It remains to be seen if Universal Studios will produce a sequel based on the next book in the series, The Figure in the Shadows, but the ending leaves things wide open for another adaptation.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is another family-friendly horror movie with a literary bent. Based upon the popular series of horror novels for children by R.L. Stein, the sequel sees Jack Black returning in the role of the beloved author. His role is greatly reduced compared to the original film, however, and Black does not reprise his role voicing the franchise's villain, the evil ventriloquist figure Slappy.
While some critics have said this sequel is not as innovative as the original, Goosebumps 2 does manage to be far scarier than the first film. Many have also praised the production design, which was overseen by Rusty Smith - the same production designer responsible for last year's surprise horror hit Get Out. It may not be perfect, but fans of the original books will find Goosebumps 2 to be entertaining.
Page 2 of 2: New Horror Movies On VOD This Halloween
- The Nun (2018) release date: Sep 07, 2018
- Mandy (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018
- The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018) release date: Sep 21, 2018
- Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 12, 2018
- Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018
- Suspiria (2018) release date: Nov 02, 2018