No October is complete without a steady stream of horror flicks, and this month sees the return of not one, but three icons of the genre. Catch Jigsaw, Chucky, and Leatherface—not to mention the long-anticipated Amityville revival—when they wreak bloody havoc in theaters, on V.O.D., and on Netflix this Halloween season.
Based on Francis Coppola's film of the same name, Dementia 13 unfolds on a secluded estate whose owners are haunted by the spirit of a drowned family member. Between a creepy matriarch, a masked murderer, and house guests dropping like flies, the trailer's freaky You're Next vibes are enough to get us lining up for tickets. An added bonus: the film has a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 100%.
Cult of Chucky
Chucky returns this October in the seventh installment of the Child’s Play horror franchise. Cult of Chucky sees the demonic doll terrorize the patients of a mental institution after "Good Guy Dolls" are incorporated into their therapy treatments. Recurring characters like Andy Barclay and Tiffany Barclay—also known as the “Bride of Chucky”—join the fray to stop the tiny serial killer once and for all. This one released to V.O.D. on October 6, so playtime with Chucky is just .
Happy Death Day
Groundhog Day gets a slasher twist in Christopher Landon's (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) new film—except this time, we’re not running from insurance salesmen on the street, but a masked killer. The plot centers around Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a college student who seemingly has it all until she’s murdered at her birthday party. But instead of winding up six feet under, she awakens to find herself stuck in a time loop, where she must relive her "death day" until she tracks down her killer...So begins a terrifying race to stay sexy and not get murdered that you catch in theaters Friday the 13th.
Pitched as a prequel to the classic of hillbilly horror, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface opens nearly two decades before the original. In 1955, Leatherface—then simply known as Jed—is a young boy whose family seems to prefer chainsaw slaughter to Saturday night Scrabble tournaments. Years later, he’s separated from his unstable mother (The Conjuring’s Lilli Taylor) and admitted to a mental institution, where a whole lot of mayhem incites a whole lot of murder... Like every hero, every villain deserves his origin story—and Leatherface gets his due on October 20.
1922 is the latest Stephen King book to make the leap from page to screen. But unlike its most recent predecessor, It, the immediacy of the horror of Pennywise has been replaced by slow-burning, psychological scares. The trailer itself is like a ticking time bomb as it flashes to an unhappy farm family whose the patriarch, Wilfred James, confesses to the murder of his wife. In the tradition of Poe's Tell-Tale Heart, father and son are driven to the brink of madness by their guilt—and possibly by the malevolent ghost of the late Mrs. James. Rest assured that we'll be tuning in the minute it drops on Netflix on October 20.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Yorgos Lanthimos’s first film since The Lobster has caused quite a stir in the 2017 awards circuit. What little we know of the plot, we've gleaned from the trailers: A family's friendship with a disturbed boy has dire consequences—including the spread of an insidious disease that leaves its victims paralyzed. With widespread critical acclaim for its use of “pure psychological horror,” we can’t wait to see what twists and terrors are in store when the film hits the big screen on October 20.
Jigsaw (October 27)
Jigsaw, out October 27, promises to deliver the Saw franchise's signature torture porn. In this eighth installment of the series, suspicion arises when a string of murders bear uncanny resemblances to the crimes of the late Jigsaw killer. Of course, Jigsaw hasn’t actually been dead these past 10 years, and his game is far from over. If the trailer is anything to go by, the tricycling monster is up to his usual gory tricks: fueling your nightmares with needles, spikes, and any number of sharp objects squeezing, impaling, and slicing limbs they shouldn’t.
Amityville: The Awakening
Amityville: The Awakening isn’t unlike the ghosts that haunt its nominal house. Since the film was first announced in 2014, it has hovered in Hollywood limbo after repeated delays and release date pushbacks. Finally, it’s slated to stream on Google Play throughout the month (October 12-November 8) and will have a limited theatrical release on October 28.
Bella Thorne stars as Belle, whose family moves to a new house for the sake of her brother’s failing health. Paranormal chaos ensues, and it isn’t long before her brother’s supposedly incurable disease starts to fade away … Could it be, Belle wonders, that they’re living in the legendary Amityville house? Oh, Belle. If you read The Lineup, you’d know the answer to that.
Featured still from "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" via New Line Cinema