It’s finally October, which means it’s time to celebrate the best time of the year: Halloween! It also means every streaming service is bringing their best spooky movies to please all kinds of horror-fiends, and it’s no different for Netflix. While Netflix is bringing some chills and thrills on the series front with The Midnight Club and Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, on the movie end of the business, the streaming giant is sparing no ghosts to get us scared. To help you navigate Spooky Season, we’ve prepared a handy list of the seven best original movies coming to Netflix in October. This month, we have a new Stephen King adaptation, family-friendly horror movies, and nerve-wracking thrillers. Some new releases are also connected to some very real historical horror for those who don’t really want to celebrate Halloween.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
When it’s available: October 5
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone explore the unlikely friendship between a poor teenager (Jaeden Martell) and an elderly billionaire (Donald Sutherland). Once Mr. Harrigan’s sight starts to abandon him, he hires the young Craig to read him books three times per week. The arrangement lasts years, while the billionaire teaches the kid to be ruthless with his enemies, and the teenager, in turn, makes the old man discovers the wonders of smartphone technology. What could be a simple coming-of-age story takes a dark turn once Mr. Harrigan dies. Craig, however, remains connected to his old friend through their smartphones, which now can apparently communicate between the living world and what hides behind the veil. Netflix already has a few successful King adaptations in their original catalog, including Gerald’s Game and 1922, and Mr. Harrigan promises to be another scary tale from the master of horror.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow
When it’s available: October 14
People looking to enjoy Halloween spirit but unwilling to get scared will be well-served with The Curse of Bridge Hollow. The movie follows a skeptical science teacher (Marlon Wayans) who has his world turned upside down once his daughter (Priah Ferguson) accidentally summons evil spirits on All Hallow’s Eve. The spirits possess Halloween decorations and bring chaos into town, leading the father and daughter to join forces and find a way to get rid of the evil that now haunts their lives. While The Curse of Bridge Hollow is definitely a horror movie, it leans heavily into comedy, making it the perfect Halloween release to watch with your scaredy cat family members.
The School for Good and Evil
When it’s available: October 19
Another Netflix original release for the whole family is The School for Good and Evil, based on the beloved books series by Soman Chainani. The story takes place in the titular institution, where fairy tales are born, and where young humans are trained to be either heroes or villains in the stories we tell our children. Unfortunately for best friends Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie), they will be forced to enlist on opposite sides of the school, with one set to become a heroine and the other a villain. With a star-studded cast and a blockbuster budget, The School for Good and Evil is one of the biggest Netflix releases for October. And should the movie prove successful, the streaming giant has five other books by Chainani they can adapt.
When it’s available: October 21
Developed by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, Descendent is a documentary that has nothing to do with Halloween. It is, nevertheless, filled with terrors. Following the members of Africatown, a small community in Alabama, Descendent explores the personal stories of descendants of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to come to America. The documentary dives into the painful history of slavery in the United States while discussing how heritage is a powerful tool to shape people’s lives.
The Good Nurse
When it’s available: October 26
Based on the true-crime book of the same name by Charles Graeber, The Good Nurse stars Jessica Chastain as a nurse who starts to grow suspicious of one of her colleagues (Eddie Redmayne) once several patients in her hospital begin to die under mysterious circumstances. The thriller follows the investigation that leads to the discovery of the heinous crimes of Charlie Cullen, a serial killer who killed about 300 patients during the 16 years he worked as a nurse. Cullen remains one of the most heinous serial killers in the history of the United States, especially since, in his twisted worldview, he believed to be freeing his victims from pain. The thriller will expose the uncomfortable true story, making this one of the best original movies to hit Netflix this October.
All Quiet on the Western Front
When it’s available: October 28
Do you know what’s scary? War. That’s what makes Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war book All Quiet on the Western Front so relevant nowadays, even though it was first published in 1929. The book was already adapted into a film in 1930 and 1979, and now it’s time for Netflix to present the gripping story of a German soldier in the final years of World War I. By telling the story through the eyes of a German soldier, All Quiet on the Western Front shows how there are no clear villains and heroes on the battlefield and that every soldier is trapped in the same nightmarish situation. Those looking to take a break from horror movies will find that this war drama is well worth watching.
Wendell & Wild
When it’s available: October 28
To close October on a high note comes Wendell & Wild, an animated horror wonder from the minds of stop-motion legend Henry Selick and master of frights Jordan Peele. The movie follows the story of Kat Elliot (voiced by Lyric Ross), a teenage Goth girl who is forced to face her demons. Literally. Wendell (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (voiced by Jordan Peele) are living in the girl’s head, and if she ever wants to lead a normal life, he must uncover the why and how she can get rid of them. Wendell & Wild is nothing short of stunning, and we are all very excited to see Selick leading a stop-motion film for the first time since the release of Coraline.