The season we’ve all been patiently waiting for is nearly upon us, dear readers: fall! With Labor Day right around the corner, it’s only a matter of time until the days get much shorter, the leaves change colors, and the spooky season kicks off, and this autumn, we have one helluva great lineup of horror and sci-fi (as well as a few genre-adjacent) movies coming out that should keep everyone more than busy.
Since it can be quite an undertaking to keep up with everything hitting both the big and small screens (especially this fall—WOW), this writer has put together a preview of all the cinematic treats genre fans should have on their radars this September, October, and November.
SICK FOR TOYS (Directed by David Del Rio) – On VOD September 4th
Starring: Camille Montgomery, Jon Paul Burkhart, David Gunning, Justin Xavier, Melanie Thompson, Katie Wallace, Levi Ashlyn, Paul T. Taylor and Morgana Shaw
Synopsis: Roy is the nice guy who finishes last. Sick of his current situation, he accepts an invitation to have Christmas dinner with the beautiful and strangely alluring Emilia. Once at dinner, Roy realizes that Emilia and her oddball brother (Edward) are not what they seem.
MARA (Directed by Clive Tonge) – In Theaters & On VOD September 7th
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Javier Botet and Mitch Eakins
Synopsis: From a producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes this shock-filled descent into fear. After a man is seemingly strangled in his bed, criminal psychologist Kate Fuller (Olga Kurylenko) interviews the sole witness, the victim’s eight-year-old daughter, Sophie. When asked to identify the killer, Sophie says, “Mara.” As Kate digs into the case, she unearths a community of people who claim to be tormented by a shadowy menace, a centuries-old demon who kills her victims as they sleep.
THE NUN (Directed by Corin Hardy) – In Theaters September 7th
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Jonny Coyne, and Charlotte Hope
Synopsis: A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
THE BASEMENT (Directed by Brian M. Conley & Nathan Ives) – On VOD September 14th
Starring: Mischa Barton, Jackson Davis, Cayleb Long, Tracie Thoms, Bailey Anne Borders and Sarah Nicklin
Synopsis: Craig is abducted and wakes up in a basement. His captor, Bill, is a twisted serial killer who wishes to reenact his own capture, with Craig playing the part of Bill and Bill playing everyone else. As Bill tortures Craig, he cycles through a number of personas, all while Craig tries desperately to find a way into Bill's pathology in order to save himself.
DON’T LEAVE HOME (Directed by Michael Tully) – In Theaters & On VOD September 14th
Starring: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, David McSavage, and Karrie Cox
Synopsis: After recently unveiling her new sculptural exhibit on Irish urban legends, artist Melanie Thomas is contacted by Father Alistair Burke, a reclusive Irish priest who, legend has it, once painted the portrait of a young girl who later disappeared on the very day her image vanished from the painting. Now, summoned by Burke and his cohort to the Irish countryside for a special art commission, Melanie eagerly accepts the offer, never stopping to consider that some urban legends might be true.
I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW (Directed by Reed Morano) – In LA/NY Theaters on September 14th; In Theaters Nationwide on September 21st
Starring: Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning
Synopsis: Del (Peter Dinklage) is alone in the world. After the human race is wiped out, he lives in his small, empty town, content in his solitude and the utopia he’s methodically created for himself — until he is discovered by Grace (Elle Fanning), an interloper whose history and motives are obscure. Worse yet, she wants to stay.
LIZZIE (Directed by Craig William Macneill) – In Theaters September 14th
Starring: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare and Jeff Perry
Synopsis: Academy Award® nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry, “Big Love”) stars as Lizzie Borden, the notorious woman at the heart of one of the most enduring mysteries in American history. After a lifetime of loneliness, Lizzie finds a kindred spirit in housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) and their secret intimacy sparks an unthinkable act. Director Craig William Macneill (The Boy (2015), “Channel Zero: Candle Cove”) explores the days leading up to the savage crimes in a dark tale of repression, exploitation and thwarted dreams.
LOST CHILD (Directed by Ramaa Mosley) – In Theaters September 14th; On VOD September 18th
Starring: Leven Rambin, Taylor John Smith, Jim Parrack, and Landon Edwards
Synopsis: LOST CHILD, written/directed by Ramaa Mosley (THE BRASS TEAPOT) along with producer/writer Tim Macy, stars HUNGER GAMES and True Detective alum Leven Rambin and follows an army veteran, Fern, who returns home in order to look for her brother, only to discover an abandoned boy lurking in the woods behind her childhood home. After taking in the boy, she searches for clues to his identity, and discovers the local folklore about a malevolent, life-draining spirit that comes in the form of a child.
MANDY (Directed by Panos Cosmatos) – In Theaters September 14th – (ICYMI, read our review.)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache and Richard Brake
Synopsis: Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.
THE PREDATOR (Directed by Shane Black) – In Theaters September 14th
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, and Yvonne Strahovski
Synopsis: From the outer reaches of space to the backwoods of southern Georgia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. And only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.
A SIMPLE FAVOR (Directed by Paul Feig) – In Theaters September 14th
Starring: Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding, Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart and Rupert Friend
Synopsis: A SIMPLE FAVOR, directed by Paul Feig, centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily's (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily's husband Sean (Henry Golding) in this stylish thriller filled with twists and betrayals, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge.
ASSASSINATION NATION (Directed by Sam Levinson) – In Theaters September 21st – (ICYMI, read our review.)
Starring: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Anika Noni Rose, Colman Domingo, Maude Apatow, Bill Skarsgård, Joel McHale and Bella Thorne
Synopsis: High school senior Lily and her group of friends live in a haze of texts, posts, selfies and chats just like the rest of the world. So, when an anonymous hacker starts posting details from the private lives of everyone in their small town, the result is absolute madness leaving Lily and her friends questioning whether they'll live through the night.
THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (Directed by Eli Roth) – In Theaters September 21st
Starring: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic and Kyle MacLachlan
Synopsis: In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett star in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, from Amblin Entertainment. The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town’s sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.
HELL FEST (Directed by Gregory Plotkin) – In Theaters September 28th
Starring: Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Christian James, Roby Attal, Matt Mercurio and Tony Todd
Synopsis: A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.
HOLD THE DARK (Directed by Jeremy Saulnier) – On Netflix September 28th
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, and
Julian Black Antelope
Synopsis: Retired naturalist and wolf expert Russell Core (JEFFREY WRIGHT) journeys to the edge of civilization in northern Alaska at the pleading of Medora Slone (RILEY KEOUGH), a young mother whose son was killed by a pack of wolves. As Core attempts to help Medora track down the wolves who took her son, a strange and dangerous relationship develops between the two lonely souls. But when Medora's husband Vernon (ALEXANDER SKARSGARD) returns home from the Iraq War, the news of his child's death ignites a violent chain of events. As local cop, Donald Marium (JAMES BADGE DALE), races to stop Vernon’s vengeful rampage, Core is forced on a perilous odyssey into the heart of darkness.
AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS (Directed by Johnny Kevorkian) – In Theaters October 5th
Starring: Sam Gittins, Neerja Naik, David Bradley, and Grant Masters
Synopsis: It's Christmas Day and the Milgram family wake to find a mysterious black substance surrounding their house. Something monumental is clearly happening right outside their door, but what exactly - an industrial accident, a terrorist attack, nuclear war? Descending into terrified arguments, they turn on the television, desperate for any information. On screen, a message glows ominously: 'Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions'. As the television exerts an ever more sinister grip, their paranoia escalates into bloody carnage.
VENOM (Directed by Ruben Fleischer) – In Theaters October 5th
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, and Jenny Slate
Synopsis: When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego "Venom" to save his life.
HEAVY TRIP (Directed by Juuso Laatio & Jukka Vidgren) – In Theaters October 5th & On VOD October 12th – (ICYMI, read our review.)
Starring: Torstein Bjørklund, Antti Heikkinen, Ville Hilska, and Johannes Holopainen
Synopsis: Turo (25) is trying to overcome his fears by leading the most unknown heavy metal band in Finland, Impaled Rektum, to the hottest metal festival of Norway. The journey includes heavy metal, grave robbing, Viking heaven and an armed conflict between Finland and Norway.
APOSTLE (Directed by Gareth Evans) – On Netflix October 12th
Starring: Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins and Michael Sheen
Synopsis: London, 1905. Prodigal son Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) has returned home, only to learn that his sister is being held for ransom by a religious cult. Determined to get her back at any cost, Thomas travels to the idyllic island where the cult lives under the leadership of the charismatic Prophet Malcolm (Michael Sheen). As Thomas infiltrates the island's community, he learns that the corruption of mainland society that they claim to reject has infested the cult's ranks nonetheless - and uncovers a secret far more evil than he could have imagined. Written and directed by Gareth Evans (THE RAID), APOSTLE is a harrowing occult fable where the only thing more horrifying than madness is the sinister reality behind it.
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN (Directed by Ari Sandel) – In Theaters October 12th
Starring: Madison Iseman, Ben O’Brien, Caleel Harris, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ken Jeong, and Chris Parnell
Synopsis: Halloween comes to life in a brand-new comedy adventure based on R.L. Stine's 400-million-selling series of books. The film is directed by Ari Sandel, written by Rob Lieber, and produced by Deborah Forte and Neal H. Moritz.
HALLOWEEN (2018) (Directed by David Gordon Green) – In Theaters October 19th
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Virginia Gardner, Nick Castle, and Will Patton
Synopsis: Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
THE FOG 4K (Directed by John Carpenter) – In Theaters October 26th
Starring: Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hal Holbrook, Janet Leigh, Nancy Loomis and Charles Cyphers
Synopsis: Carpenter’s first post-Halloween venture into the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired, apocalyptic vein that he would continue to mine in films like The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987), THE FOG depicts the seaside California town of Antonio Bay in the grips of an ancient curse and a creeping mist. Drenched in malevolent atmosphere and packing an ensemble cast that includes Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook and the mother-daughter duo of Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis, this is the director at his ingenious, chilling best, servicing a contemporary taste for gore while simultaneously evoking the spirit of Val Lewton.
KILLER KATE (Directed by Elliot Feld) – In Theaters & On VOD October 26th
Starring: Danielle Burgess, Tiffany Shepis, and Alexandra Feld
Synopsis: Estranged sisters - Kate and Angie - haven’t spoken since Angie went to college and left Kate to care for their ailing father. In a show of reconciliation, several years after moving out, Angie invites Kate to her bachelorette party held at a remote house booked on a home-sharing app. The women are unaware that by booking this house, they’re walking into a trap set in motion by a disturbed family of amateur killers who are out for blood to right a cosmic wrong. They soon become unwitting participants in a savage and often ridiculous life-or-death struggle that pits family against family, and past against present.
SUSPIRIA (Directed by Luca Guadagnino) – In NY/LA October 26th & In Theaters Nationwide November 2nd
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Lutz Ebersdorf, Jessica Harper and Chloë Grace Moretz
Synopsis: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe's artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (Ebersdorf). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
THE SNARLING (Directed by Pablo Raybould) – On VOD November TBD
Starring: Laurence Saunders, Chris Simmons, and Ben Manning
Synopsis: A sleepy English village is invaded by the cast and crew of a new zombie horror film, but the horror turns real when someone or something starts tearing villagers, cast and crew to shreds.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB (Directed by Fede Alvarez) – In Theaters November 9th
Starring: Claire Foy, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Stephen Merchant
Synopsis: Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.
OVERLORD (Directed by Julius Avery) – In Theaters November 9th
Starring: Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbæk, Bokeem Woodbine, and Iain De Caestecker
Synopsis: The story of two American soldiers behind enemy lines on D Day.
ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE (Directed by John McPhail) – In Theaters November 30th – (ICYMI, read our review.)
Starring: Ella Hunt, Mark Benton, Paul Kaye, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Ben Wiggins and Marli Siu
Synopsis: When a zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - Anna and her high school friends have to fight, sing and slash their way to survival with a fast-spreading undead horde in relentless pursuit. Teaming up with her best friend John, Anna and her crew fight their way through zombified snowmen, a manic bachelor party and high school hormones to try and save family and faculty alike. But they soon discover that no one is truly safe in this new world and the only people they can truly rely on are each other.