It’s spooky season! (Cue the video of the dancing pumpkin man.) Summer is now but a memory, and in its place is the autumnal vibe of October, filled with Pumpkin Spice Everything and colorful leaves (to put on Insta Stories, duh). Basic? More like brilliant! But the best part of this month is, of course, Halloween—and the horror movies that come along with it. If you’re a fan of scary movies, this is the season you’ve been waiting for all year long. If you’re not a fan of terrifying jump scares, then please go back to watching your rom-coms.
Several new thrilling films will hit theaters this October. Whether you’re down to see some fresh zombie apocalypses—because who doesn’t want to see Lupita Nyong’o own the undead?—or feel like being spooked by Robert Pattinson in an 1890s setting—more on that below—there’s a little bit of everything for horror cinephiles this month. Below, the five must-see scary movies coming in October.
Joker (October 4)
It’s one of the most anticipated roles of the year: Joaquin Phoenix stars as the infamous Gotham City villain, the Joker, in a new Batman spin-off. The movie follows a failed comedian, Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), who descends into madness and succumbs to Gotham City’s dark crime underbelly (in nightmare-worthy clown makeup, of course). The initial responses have been mixed: Some critics are declaring his performance Oscar-worthy, while others have viewed the film as too sympathetic a take on white terrorism. But one thing is for sure: His maniacal laugh could launch a thousand bad dreams.
Little Monsters (October 8)
This horror-comedy stars Lupita Nyong’o as a school teacher protecting a kindergarten field trip from a zombie outbreak. Think of it as Zombieland-esque in tone—slightly funny, slightly horrifying—but with an Oscar-winning actress at the forefront. Do we want to see her behead human-eating zombies with a shovel for two hours? Absolutely! (Nyong’o also seems to be on a horror kick, having just starred in Jordan Peele’s Us.) The film will have a limited release on October 8, then streams exclusively on Hulu on October 11.
The Lighthouse (October 18)
Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe (with unrecognizable accents), this black-and-white film tells the tale of two lighthouse keepers who are working on a remote New England island in the 1890s. The trailer is ominous and very mysterious, so per our guess, some things will go haywire. The horror movie is directed by Robert Eggers, who helmed terrifying period piece The Witch—so if that’s any indication, this is bound to be one wild ride.
Zombieland 2: Double Tap (October 18)
Fans of the first Zombieland are in for a treat: The zombie-killing gang featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin is back for a second installment. This time, the four survivors of a zombie outbreak face their undead foes again, and the creatures have evolved since the first movie. Some new survivors join along the way, including new cast members Rosario Dawson, Dan Aykroyd, Luke Wilson, and Zoey Deutch. Consider it the perfect horror flick for people who hate horror—it’s filled with more laughs than scares.
Girl on the Third Floor (October 25)
This artsy new horror-thriller from Travis Stevens is a take on the classic haunted house trope. Former pro wrestler Phillip “CM Punk” Brooks plays a man who is renovating a dilapidated house for his family. But when he begins, he realizes the house has plans of its own: Beyond the usual renovation troubles, it’s also filled with evil spirits. Now, does he run for the hills and simply put it up for sale? Of course not! Instead, he sticks around to see what creepy, violent attacks this ghost-infested house can bring to him. Buyer beware.
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Originally Appeared on Vogue