31 Days of Halloween: The Ultimate October Movie Marathon

It’s essential, whether you’re young or old, to gather around the TV and indulge in some spooky movies once October rolls around. Some people (including yours truly) love Halloween so much that they make it a yearly tradition to watch a movie every day in anticipation of our favorite holiday. Thankfully, the hit-horror podcast “Nightmare on Film Street” hosted by Jonathan Dehaan and Kimberley Elizabeth has released their annual “31 Days of Halloween Horror Challenge.” This guide makes it easier for horror fans to curate their month-long watchlist. If you’re not as familiar with the genre or are unsure where to begin, allow this horrorhound to give you a few recommendations for this October.

The Faculty (1998)

Courtesy of Dimension Films.

Before Robert Rodriguez entertained your children with his series of “Spy Kids” movies or directing episodes of “The Mandalorian,” he was making some unique genre-bending horror films. 1996’s “From Dusk Till Dawn” was a collaborative effort with Quentin Tarantino and saw George Clooney fighting a strip club full of vampires. However, his 1998 sci-fi thriller “The Faculty” is much more fitting of the day two category, Guilty Pleasures. With a cast of 90s mainstays like Elijah Wood, Robert Patrick, Famke Janssen and Josh Hartnett, this film works as a beautifully cheesy time capsule of the decade. It’s “The Breakfast Club” meets “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” and it’s glorious. The effects may be dated, and the writing is pretty formulaic, but the cast is having a blast, and in return, so are we as an audience. 

“The Faculty” is available to stream on HBO Max and Hulu.

X (2022)

Courtesy of A24.

While Ti West’s “Pearl” might not be streaming this October, you still have the opportunity to check out the film’s sequel “X.” Ti West kicks off his trilogy with Mia Goth in this loving tribute to adult films and 70s horror films like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” When a group of amateur filmmakers set out to make the greatest adult film ever created, they find themselves in a living nightmare. The farm which they’re using as the backdrop of their film belongs to an elderly couple who have their own plans for the film. Apart from the gorgeous cinematography and violent kills, the number one reason you should check out “X” this October is for the magnificent dual performance of Mia Goth. Without giving too much away, the performance is more than just showing off some impressive make-up and thematically makes “X” much more than your run-of-the-mill slasher.

“X” is available to rent on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.

Halloween Ends (2022)

Courtesy of Blumhouse.

Another new release for the list, it’s clear that with day fourteen labeled as “Michael Myers,” you’re expected to check out the final installment in the long-running “Halloween” franchise. While “Halloween Kills” was a divisive middle chapter in this new trilogy, “Ends” promises to be a satisfying conclusion for the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). The trailers have shown very little, but it looks to be the surviving Strode women making their final stand against The Boogeyman that has been terrorizing Haddonfield for almost 50 years. If you can’t make it to the theater for this outing, “Halloween Ends” will take a page from its predecessor and stream the same day on Peacock.

“Halloween Ends” will be released in theaters on Oct. 14.

Lake Mungo (2008)

Courtesy of Arclight Films.

I knew that “Lake Mungo” would be an essential part of this year’s marathon, the only problem is that the film fits so many of the provided categories. However, no category fits better than “Scariest Scene”. “Lake Mungo” is a slow-burn mockumentary that tells the story of a grieving family dealing with a supposed supernatural entity. The scene in question is the only jumpscare in the whole film, but the scare in concept is so existentially terrifying that it will stick with you for days on end. “Lake Mungo” is truly one of the most haunting films you’ll ever see and is a must-see for any horror fan.

“Luke Mungo” is available to rent on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

I mean, what else could it be? Even if you’re not following along with these guidelines, it wouldn’t be Halloween without the Sanderson Sisters. While the quality of the long-awaited follow-up is yet to be determined, the original will always be a seasonal classic. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen this one and are making sure to catch its almost daily showings on TV. “Hocus Pocus” is now just as essential to Halloween as candy and costumes.

“Hocus Pocus” is available to stream on Disney+.

Courtesy of Nightmare on Film Street.

Below you can find my recommendations for the rest of October, the number corresponding with the themed day:

  1. What We Do in the Shadows
  2. The Faculty
  3. As Above, So Below
  4. The Loved Ones
  5. Thirteen Ghosts
  6. Ready or Not
  7. The Evil Dead
  8. V/H/S/ 2
  9. X
  10. Coraline
  11. The Houses October Built
  12. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
  13. Night of the Creeps
  14. Halloween Kills
  15. Ghostbusters” (1984)
  16. Aquarius” (1987)
  17. Shaun of the Dead
  18. Halloweentown
  19. Horror of Dracula
  20. Fright Night” (1985)
  21. Trick ‘r Treat
  22. Host” (2020)
  23. Fear Street Part One: 1994
  24. Hell House LLC.
  25. Psycho” (1960)
  26. Halloween” (1978)
  27. Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
  28. Lake Mungo
  29. Scream” (1996)
  30. House on Haunted Hill” (1959)
  31. Hocus Pocus

By Adam Beam

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