It’s that time again. The horror lover’s Christmas has rolled around once more, leaving many of us craving a good horror flick to get the spooky vibes flowing. 2019 has a variety of ghoulish new movies to offer this Halloween, from wry zombie comedies to much more sinister, experimental fare.
Here’s our list of the top 13 movies to watch in cinemas or online that are sure to get you in the mood for Halloween this year.
The Addams Family (2019)
This CGI Addams Family reboot is the perfect choice if you have kids that want to celebrate Halloween, and will be nostalgic enough for any grown-ups that loved the live-action films.
Starring the voices of Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Finn Wolfhard, Chloë Grace Moretz and more, the family comedy horror breathes a new lease of life into everyone’s favourite spooky family.
With quirky character designs much closer to those of the original comics, the film details the family’s move to New Jersey as they struggle to adapt to life in the 21st century. The Addams Family is out now, having hit theatres on October 11th.
Zombieland 2: Double Tap (2019)
The much asked for and much awaited sequel to 2009’s incredibly popular zombie comedy Zombieland, Zombieland 2: Double Tap hit theatres on October 18th.
Zombie fighters Columbus, Wichita, Little Rock and Tallahassee are back in a sequel that takes place ten years after the events of the first film. Zombies have evolved over the years, and our heroes have become experts at slaying them.
The team move into the American heartland and must deal with their own personal problems while facing off against different zombie types, as well as other survivors.
It may not be a horror movie, but this psychological thriller offers a much darker retelling of the origin story of one of DC Comics’ most classic villains.
Joaquin Phoenix stars as what’s been described as the best on-screen depiction of the Joker since Heath Ledger. We follow struggling comedian Arthur Fleck as he wrestles with his mental health in a cruel and uncaring society, before his slow descent into a life of bloody crime.
The film is out now and has already cemented itself as a critical darling. Chilling and unsettling, Joker is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Batman’s Rogues Gallery or if you’re simply looking for some costume inspiration.
The Lighthouse (2019)
Directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch), The Lighthouse is an unconventional black and white horror that tells a tale of isolation and madness. The movie is set in 1890s New England and uses visuals and techniques reminiscent of the period.
Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as a pair of lonely lighthouse keepers, the film follows their adventures and friendship through the solitude of remote life on the sea. As well as the onset of cabin fever, hallucination and madness, the men have to contend with more supernatural elements making their way to the defenceless lighthouse.
The Lighthouse has already received rave reviews in the festival circuit, and is absolutely worth checking out if you enjoyed the suspense of The Witch. The Lighthouse is out now in the States, although UK moviegoers will have to wait until January 2020 to catch it.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
Based on Stephen King‘s novel of the same name, Doctor Sleep is the oft-overlooked sequel to The Shining. Set several decades after the events of The Shining, Doctor Sleep combines elements of the original 1977 novel with those of the old 1980 movie adaptation.
The film follows a now grown-up Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) as he struggles to deal with childhood trauma from his time at Overlook.
While he’s managed to find some peace in his adult years, that serenity is shattered when meets Abra, a teenager with psychic powers similar to his. Together they must fight against the merciless cult known as The True Knot, who feed off the psychic powers of children.
Doctor Sleep came to cinemas on the 30th of October (except in the US, where it will release on November 8th).
Girl on the Third Floor (2019)
Having previously racked up a host of positive reviews at London Frightfest, SXSW and BUFF, Girl on the Third Floor made its worldwide cinema debut on October 25th.
This film takes the ever-popular spooky house sub-genre of horror and runs with it, as protagonist and flawed husband Don, looking for a new start to life, purchases a run-down old house in Chicago.
Don sets about renovating the house, refusing any help from his wife. He soon learns from the neighbours that the house has a dark history, and it’s not long before he’s confronted by what still lurks within its walls.
Critics have praised the film for its command of the genre as well as its heavy use of practical effects.
The Dead Center (2019)
The Dead Center is a suspenseful thriller that goes to show how one’s sanity can be pushed to the very limit.
Shane Curruth (Primer, Upstream Color) stars as the troubled psychiatrist Daniel Forrester, who is drawn to help a catatonic patient in the emergency ward with no memory of the hour he came to the hospital. There’s one thing the patient will confess to, however: he’s already dead.
Things take a sinister turn when patients suddenly start dying, and Forrester begins to suspect there may be more to his new patient than he thought.
The Dead Center is out now, with a limited release in America.
Little Monsters (2019)
Although UK moviegoers won’t get to see it until November 15th, Little Monsters has already seen a limited release in the US and a digital release on Hulu, and will come to Australian cinemas on Halloween.
This tongue-in-cheek zombie comedy stars Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergarten teacher who teams up with a washed-up musician (Alexander England) and a children’s TV personality (Josh Gad) to protect a group of children on a field trip from a sudden zombie outbreak.
Little Monsters has already been a huge hit at Sundance Festival and critics have highly praised Nyong’o’s performance.
In the Tall Grass (2019)
Based on Stephen King and Joe Hill‘s 2012 novel of the same name, In the Tall Grass is a supernatural horror that’s available to watch now on Netflix.
On a journey to San Diego, siblings Becky and Cal hear the cries of a young boy coming from a field of tall grass. Venturing in to find him, they quickly discover that they are hopelessly lost, with no way out in sight.
Suddenly separated and cut off from the world around them, the siblings soon realise that they’re not alone in the grass, and that whoever else is in there with them isn’t exactly friendly.
Based on Nathan Ballingrud‘s novella The Visible Filth, Wounds is a gripping psychological horror starring Armie Hammer as a bartender whose life starts to unravel after a series of bizarre events. The film had its premiere at Sundance this January and is now available on Netflix (and Hulu in the US).
Hammer’s bartender Will lives relatively stress-free in New Orleans with his girlfriend (Dakota Johnson), until a violent brawl breaks out at his bar, which injures a patron and leaves a mysterious phone behind.
Will soon begins receiving unnerving texts and calls from the phone, leading him and his girlfriend to become embroiled in something dark that they don’t quite understand.
Rattlesnake is your classic ‘deal with the devil’ story, following a young mother reduced to desperation in order to save the life of her daughter.
Single mother Katrina (Carmen Ejogo) drives across the country to start a new life, when her car suddenly breaks down in the middle of the desert. Stranded, things take a turn for the worse when her daughter falls victim to a venomous rattlesnake bite.
While she eagerly accepts the help of the mysterious stranger who heals her daughter, she learns that this good deed has come at a price, and is tasked with repaying the act by killing someone before sundown. Rattlesnake released on Netflix on October 25th.
A slow-paced, atmospheric medical horror, Eli was released on Netflix this month. The film tells the story of the eponymous Eli, a young boy afflicted with a rare disease that causes him to be severely allergic to going outdoors.
Living an isolated life sealed away from the world, Eli and his parents’ desperation drive them to seek help from a doctor offering an experimental treatment.
Once at the facility, Eli quickly makes friends with a mysterious girl. However, once his excruciating treatment begins, he starts to see haunting visions that have him doubting exactly who he can trust.
Sam Worthington stars in the paranoia-drenched thriller Fractured, which follows Ray, a father trapped in an institution dedicated to convincing him that his memories aren’t real. On a family Thanksgiving road trip, an accident leaves Ray and his daughter injured. After passing out at the hospital, Ray awakens to find his family nowhere to be seen.
The hospital staff tell him his family never arrived with him – that his injury is making him hallucinate. Certain the doctors are lying to him, Ray embarks on a frantic search to find his family within the hospital’s walls.
Fractured enjoyed a positive response at this year’s Fantastic Fest and released on Netflix earlier this month.