Demons, killer sloths, analog terror: The 13 best new horror movies to stream this Halloween

Jen Yamato | (TNS) Los Angeles Times

Fire up the Ghoul Log and get ready to scare yourself silly: Spooky season has arrived.

This year has seen no shortage of horror as Hollywood dug deeper into the fright business, reanimating the “Saw,” “Scream” “Evil Dead” and “The Exorcist” franchises while indie chillers like “Talk to Me” and the microbudget “Skinamarink” helped fuel the fear. (Wanna feel old? “M3GAN” came out nine months ago.)

Now, in time for Halloween, there’s a candy cornucopia of new horror fare at your fingertips.

Hungry for shows to binge? Mike Flanagan’s gothic “The Fall of the House of Usher” (Netflix), R.L. Stine adaptation “Goosebumps” (Disney+ and Hulu) and “Living for the Dead” (Hulu), in which queer ghost hunters visit haunted places for narrator-producer Kristen Stewart, are among a new crop of horror and thriller series.

But if you’re just a ghoul, standing in front of your screen, thirsting for a good old-fashioned scary movie to watch, you’re in luck: This Halloween, there’s something for every kind of horror lover to discover. Skin-crawling supernatural scares, bloodthirsty creatures both hilarious and haunting, and scream-worthy horror icons in the making are just the start.

Read on for the 13 best new horror films to stream and where to find them.

‘When Evil Lurks’

Running time: 1:39

Rating: Not rated

Streaming: Shudder

A grotesque evil is festering in the countryside where brothers Pedro (Ezequiel Rodriguez) and Jaime (Demián Salomon) live, but the moment they think they’ve disposed of it is when the real nightmare begins in “When Evil Lurks.” Writer-director Demián Rugna (“Terrified”) serves up some of the best jolts of the year in this Argentinian gem that cranks up the dread and takes no prisoners as its rural terrors unfold. Lauded by some as the scariest horror movie of 2023, its viscerally effective set pieces will set your nerves on edge, but it’s Rugna’s commitment to leaving no one in his bleak world safe that makes it one of the best new titles genre streamer Shudder has on tap this month beginning Oct. 27.

‘Dark Harvest’

Running time: 1:33

Rating: R (for strong horror violence and gore, language throughout and brief drug use)

Streaming: Rent/buy on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu

Of all the intriguingly odd bits “Dark Harvest” throws into its genre blender — a heightened 1960s Americana setting, a contest with a cash prize, the Pumpkinhead-esque creature that emerges to hunt and be hunted once a year in a “Purge“-like frenzy — the weirdest is that it all somehow works. Credit genre vet David Slade (“30 Days of Night,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”), directing a Michael Gilio script adapted from Norman Partridge’s 2006 novel, for crafting a stylized, splattery fantasy tale that feels at once like the hazy memory of a B-movie VHS you stumbled on as a kid and also a new horror franchise in the making. Luke Kirby, Jeremy Davies and “Twilight” alum Elizabeth Reaser bring heft to a cast that also features newcomers Casey Likes and E’myri Crutchfield as teens trying to escape their town’s darkest secrets. But it’s the razor-fingered creature that crawls out of the cornfields with a belly full of candy and a putrid gourd for a head that’s the star of the show.

Literally anything on Criterion right now

Streaming: Criterion Channel

This one’s a bit of a cheat, but you’re welcome in advance: Run, don’t walk, to the Criterion Channel for arguably the best curated streaming horror offerings this season. In the 14-film “’90s Horror” collection, find cult gems like Frank Henenlotter’s “Frankenhooker” (1990), Eric Red’s “Body Parts” (1991), Ernest R. Dickerson’s “Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight” (1995) and Michael Tolkin’s “The Rapture” (1991). More delights await in the 30-film “Art House Horror” slate of genre classics spanning nearly a century, from the 1922 Swedish silent witchcraft pic “Häxan” and Carl Th. Dreyer’s nightmarish 1932 film “Vampyr” to Kaneto Shindo’s “Onibaba” (1964) and “Kuroneko” (1968) and Nobuhiko Obayashi’s trippy fantasia “Hausu.” And find rare offerings in the 13-title collection of “Pre-Code Horror,” from Tod Browning’s 1932 classic “Freaks” to Michael Curtiz’s 1933 film “Mystery of the Wax Museum,” long thought lost and restored in 2019 to behold in its two-color Technicolor glory.

‘The Oldest View’

Running time: 46 minutes

Rating: Not rated

Streaming: YouTube

The most-talked-about new horror film of the season isn’t in theaters or on a streamer, but on YouTube. Which is why you should turn off the lights and get lost in the viral CG nightmare “The Oldest View,” the latest cinematic brain-melter from 18-year-old prodigy Kane Parsons. Last year, his liminal creepypasta horrorscape “The Backrooms” racked up more than 53 million views and earned the attention of A24 and James Wan’s production company Atomic Monster, with whom the director and VFX whiz is now making a feature version. “The Oldest View” is so far told in three parts, the latest of which (“The Rolling Giant“) runs 46 minutes and notched 1.2 million views in just two weeks. (Watch Parts 1 and 2 here.)

In it, a YouTuber descends into the inexplicable underground staircase he found in the middle of a remote park, leading to somewhere eerily familiar yet utterly, terribly wrong. As for what happens next, suffice to say Parsons has built another uncanny immersive analog nightmare that drags you in deeper with each impossible second — and confirms his rep as a major talent to watch.


Running time: 1:56

Rating: Not rated

Streaming: Shudder, AMC+

Another “V/H/S” (six feature-length entries have been unleashed since the horror anthology franchise debuted in 2012), another stab at mining the found-footage genre for new angles. The conceit here still feels a tad random; the last two took place in 1994 and 1999 and now here we are in 1985, a setting best exemplified by David Bruckner‘s entry “Total Copy,” a standalone wraparound mimicking a TV documentary taped off the nightly news concerning a mysterious child and a doomed scientific experiment. Bright spots include Gigi Saul Guerrero‘s kinetic “God of Death,” in which practical charms and true-event inspiration collide in a sobering tether to real history, and Mike P. Nelson’s two-fer shorts “No Wake” and “Ambrosia,” which throw back to totally ’80s summer slashers and home videos only to upend expectations. Natasha Kermani’s VR-gone wrong “TKNOGD” and Scott Derrickson‘s gruesome serial-killer short round out the affair, even as plodding pacing and a lack of cohesion too often make this sequel more chore than delight. Hit “play” and see which bits rattle your bones.

‘Sister Death’

Running time: 1:30

Rating: Not rated

Streaming: Netflix

Spanish supernatural horror “Sister Death” is to the 2017 Ouija-board frightmare “Veronica” as “The Nun” is to “The Conjuring 2“: a prequel that rewinds decades to locate insidious evils in the seemingly safe confines of the church. Director Paco Plaza tells the origin story of the titular nun, a pivotal figure in “Verónica” (also on Netflix) whom we meet as a young novitiate in a Spain still reeling from the civil war as she arrives at a new convent to teach girls. Plaza conjures chilling scenes of creeping dread out of shadow play and religious iconography, torment writ large in star Aria Bedmar’s expressive face, as “Sister Death” escalates toward an ending that brings its historical setting into focus. Less lore-building expansion than character piece, it could stand on its own without the prequel ties and still be one of the more compelling supernatural-psychological horror films of late.

‘No One Will Save You’

Running time: 1:33

Rating: PG-13 (for violent content and terror)

Streaming: Hulu

Her mother may be dearly departed, but Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever) is fine, perfectly fine, spending her days sewing and building model-toy home replicas of her idyllic little town as she writes letters to her BFF, Maude. Right? Well, maybe not. Maybe there’s a reason no one seems to want to talk to her, or give her a hand when telekinetic aliens keep trying to invade her house at night, forcing her to fight for her life. Writer-director Brian Duffield’s “No One Will Save You” dares to veer from the well-trod paths of the alien-abduction subgenre while engineering smashing set pieces, even if a mostly dialogue-free gimmick means a lot of heavy sighing by the tenacious Dever. It’s also one of the only science-fiction-horror films (among a glut of slashers and supernatural scares) this year, and earned endorsements from Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King.

Lizzy Caplan in the movie “Cobweb.” (Vlad Cioplea/Lionsgate/TNS)


Running time: 1:28

Rating: R

Streaming: Hulu; rent buy on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu

The No. 1 reason to watch “Cobweb,” from first-time director Samuel Bodin? An unhinged Lizzy Caplan, giving it her “Mommie Dearest” best. (Plus, it’s set during Halloween.) Caplan teeters on a knife’s edge as Carol, mother to Peter (Woody Norman), a bullied 8-year-old who befriends the voice he starts hearing from behind his bedroom wall one night. With Cleopatra Coleman as Peter’s sympathetic teacher and Antony Starr as his scary daddy Mark, “Cobweb” spins familiar frights and a reveal you might see coming a mile away. But, again: Lizzy Caplan baking demented cupcakes. Lizzy Caplan massacreing poor, unsuspecting pumpkins. Lizzy Caplan whispering, “We’re doing this because we love you,” as she locks you — I mean, her son — in the basement. These are the morsels of delight everyone deserves on Halloween.

‘Night of the Hunted’

Running time: 1:35

Rating: Not rated

Streaming: Shudder

A woman is cornered by an unknown sniper inside a remote gas station in the middle of the night in the latest from Franck Khalfoun (“P2,” “Maniac”). But how Alice (Camille Rowe) adapts is far more interesting than the reasons why her preachy tormentor (Stasa Stanic), who berates her with pseudo-conservative, toxic-masculine nonsense over a walkie talkie during the ordeal, is perched atop a nearby billboard with her in his sights. Produced by Khalfoun’s sometimes collaborator Alexandre Aja, this English-language remake of David R.L.’s “Night of the Rat” (2015) works best when Alice starts raiding the shelves for convenience products to MacGyver into tools of survival. Watch it as a genre exercise in single-location horror.

‘Totally Killer’

Running time: 1:45

Rating: R (for bloody violence, language, sexual material, and teen drug/alcohol use)

Streaming: Amazon Prime

Horror comedy that actually works is woefully rare, so enjoy the tongue-in-cheek ride “Totally Killer” takes you on. Kiernan Shipka understands the assignment as Jamie, a sardonic Gen Z teen who time-travels back to the ’80s to stop the masked killer set to slay her parents’ high school social circle. It’s a rare horror outing for Nahnatchka Khan (“Fresh Off the Boat”), directing from a script by David Matalon, Sasha Perl-Raver and Jen D’Angelo that balances teen slasher riffs with head-spinning sci-fi lore that owes a debt (and pays repeated homage) to “Back to the Future.” And yes, this Blumhouse Television/Amazon Studios collab takes place in the days before Oct. 31, making it another actual Halloween movie to get you in a festive mood.


Running time: 1:33

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, bloody images and language)

Streaming: Hulu; rent/buy on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu

Did you miss this horror comedy about a killer sloth on the loose in a sorority house earlier this summer? Fear not, your chances to catch “Slotherhouse,” the deranged brainchild of writers Bradley Fowler and Cady Lanigan, directed by Matthew Goodhue, just multiplied with VOD streaming options and a Hulu debut. Just as ridiculous as its title promises — and, importantly, not trying to be anything but — this is the only movie you may ever see in which a raging three-toed sloth named Alpha, played with surprising range by an obvious puppet, stalks its coed prey on social media, steals a car and takes selfies with its terrified victims. Double-feature it with the public domain sleeper-slasher “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” which arrived on Peacock this month.

‘Suitable Flesh’

Running time: 1:39

Rating: Not rated

Streaming: VOD

Joe Lynch (“Mayhem”) directs Heather Graham in this body-swapping tale with a touch of cosmic horror that takes its pleasures in the hyper-stylized sensory spiral of Elizabeth Derby, a shrink on the brink after she’s seduced by a young client (a magnetic Judah Lewis). Developed for years as a project by the late, great master of horror Stuart Gordon with frequent collaborator Dennis Paoli (“From Beyond,” “Re-Animator”) and adapted by Paoli, “Suitable Flesh” updates H.P. Lovecraft’s 1937 short story “The Thing on the Doorstep” with a gender-flipped twist, gesturing at perusals of power play even if light on transgressive erotic thrills. Barbara Crampton (also a producer), Bruce Davison and Johnathan Schaech co-star.

‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’

Running time: 1:24

Rating: R (for horror violence, gore and language)

Streaming: Paramount+

Yes, they made another “Pet Sematary.” This one’s a mostly unnecessary prequel to the 2019 reboot, one that dives into the backstory of a major character from the films and Stephen King’s original novel: Jud Crandall. If that whets your appetite, give this 1969-set origin story a whirl to learn what made poor Jud (Jackson White), then an idealistic young dreamer keen to get the heck out of Ludlow, Maine, remain in a cursed town with supernatural burial grounds that corpses keep finding their way into. Despite a talented cast that includes genre fan catnip in David Duchovny and Pam Grier and a Vietnam War plot thread that diverges from the book, “Bloodlines” struggles to justify its narrative existence. On the other hand, we haven’t gotten many memorable new entries to the Stephen King Cinematic Universe in a minute. And sometimes meh is better than nothing at all.

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