Every October, I put together a big schedule of horror films to watch, focusing mostly on ones I haven’t seen before. The schedule, a mix of theatrical screenings and home viewings, is published for posterity and for the sake of anyone who might like to join me.
I’ll often use this month as an opportunity to catch up on a franchise, and this year, for reasons surpassing understanding, the new, tenth installment of the Saw series has prompted me to watch every single one of its predecessors. I haven’t especially enjoyed the few I’ve seen before, but maybe this perverse immersion therapy will help me understand the cynical series’ enduring popularity.
Otherwise, the list is made up of some recent films of critical acclaim, a handful of picks from 1994 to start filling out my conspicuously shallow personal horror inventory from that year, some selections from Criterion Channel’s seasonal collections (’90s Horror, Art-House Horror, High School Horror, Hopping Vampires of Hong Kong, Pre-Code Horror), and various other odds and ends, including some of my old favorites at the end of the month.
As always, I haven’t seen most of these films before, so don’t take them as recommendations per se, but none of them were included frivolously. If you decide to watch any, I hope you enjoy. Have a horrific month!
The Boogey Man
Through the reflection in the mirror, a girl witnesses her mother’s boyfriend’s murder.
The Angry Red Planet
One of only two survivors from a Martian expedition is so traumatized she doesn’t remember the circumstances of the trip.
Massacre at Central High
A high-school transfer student pushed to the edge by a trio of brutal bullies resorts to murder to reclaim the school from oppression.
Huesera: The Bone Woman
Valeria has long dreamed about becoming a mother. After learning that she’s pregnant, she expects to feel happy, yet something’s off.
In a remote military outpost in the 19th Century, Captain John Boyd and his regiment embark on a rescue mission which takes a dark turn when they are ambushed by a sadistic cannibal.
In the Mouth of Madness
An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.
The planned reburial of a town elder goes awry as the corpse resurrects into a hopping, bloodthirsty vampire, targeting everyone responsible for digging the grave. A Taoist Priest and his two disciples attempt to stop the terror.
Twilight Zone: The Movie
Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling’s landmark television series.
A police psychologist suspects her former lover of serial murders on the Tokyo subway.
A group of teenagers are mysteriously invited to a skiing workshop in the mountains. There are eleven of them, but the camp supervisors insist that there should be only ten, and that one of them is an intruder.
Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, and soon discover they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.
A detective and his team must rescue eight people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.
Jigsaw abducts a doctor in order to keep himself alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen named Jeff through a brutal test.
Despite Jigsaw’s death, and in order to save the lives of two of his colleagues, Lieutenant Rigg is forced to take part in a new game, which promises to test him to the limit.
Following Jigsaw’s grisly demise, Mark Hoffman is commended as a hero, but Agent Strahm is suspicious, and delves into Hoffman’s past. Meanwhile, another group of people are put through a series of gruesome tests.
Agent Strahm is dead, and FBI agent Erickson draws nearer to Hoffman. Meanwhile, a pair of insurance executives find themselves in another game set by Jigsaw.
As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.
A sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable.
A group of online chatroom friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.
James and Em Foster are enjoying an all-inclusive beach vacation in the fictional island of La Tolqa, when a fatal accident exposes the resort’s perverse subculture of hedonistic tourism, reckless violence and surreal horrors.
A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies.
Wake in Fright
After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent.
Teens in a small conservative town are turned into evil demons thanks to the music of the titular heavy metal band.
Rock ’n’ Roll Nightmare
At a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a hopeful hair-metal band seeking inspiration to record their upcoming new LP will soon find themselves in a furious confrontation against the Prince of Darkness himself.
A young man’s mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.
A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.