The horror genre can, at turns, provide a much-needed escape from the world we live in, as well as an opportunity to directly confront our anxieties about those very real ills. Throughout the month of September, new movies, TV shows, mini-series and video games are giving all of us horror fans something to look forward to, whether we’re having a great time or cowering on our couches… or both!
The nightmare begins now – right now! – with the September 1st VOD release of Followed, a supernatural thriller about a social media influencer who’ll do anything to boost their numbers, including staying at a haunted hotel! In the room where a serial killer once lived! This one takes place entirely on a computer screen, a la the hit films Searching and Host.
HBO Max debuts a new series on a much larger scale on September 3rd, a sci-fi thriller called Raised By Wolves, about a planet where androids raise the last human children and defend them from religious zealots. But maybe the androids aren’t as peaceful as they seem, and maybe they’re growing a little too human? Travis Fimmel and Amanda Collin star in a series written by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners), and produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), who also directs the first two installments.
One day later, on September 4, your horror options expand with I’m Thinking of Ending Things, a new psychological horror film from director Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa), about a young woman trapped on a farm with her boyfriend and his parents during a snowstorm, where the situation turns mind-bending. The film stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette and David Thewlis, and debuts on Netflix after a brief theatrical premiere. In her review at Bloody-Disgusting, Meagan Navarro says the film “will likely wreck you,” and is “triumphant in casting a spell of heartbreak and longing.”
Also on September 4, you can find the new horror-thriller The Owners in theaters, On Demand and on Digital! Maisie Williams from Doctor Who stars alongside Sylvester McCoy, also from Doctor Who, in a home invasion film about young thieves who break into the wrong house, and find themselves in a game of cat-and-mouse with the elderly owners!
Netflix has more horror offerings in the days that follow, with the South Korean zombie thriller #Alive debuting on September 8. The film takes place in a city that’s under quarantine, and follows a pair of survivors trying to isolate in an apartment that’s cut off from the outside world. Then, on September 10, McG returns with The Babysitter: Killer Queen, a sequel to his 2017 horror comedy, in which the survivors of the original attack find themselves once again hunted by satanic cultists. Judah Lewis, Emily Alyn Lind, Robbie Amell and Bella Thorne headline the cast.
Hey, remember VHS? Not the anthology horror movies, but the actual tapes? They once again become the source for untold horrors in the new horror film Rent-A-Pal, about a lonely man who finds a tape with a recording of a friendly person on it, played by Wil Wheaton. But this “Rent-A-Pal” isn’t free, and the cost may be too much to pay. Unless, of course, you’re in the audience, where the price to see Rent-A-Pal in theaters and On Demand will be comparatively reasonable when it premieres on September 11!
Over on HBO, September 14 arrives with The Third Day, an ambitious TV mini-series told in two parts over the course of six episodes. The first half, “Summer,” stars Jude Law as a man drawn to a mysterious island full of creepy traditions. The second half, “Winter,” stars Naomie Harris as a woman who arrives on the same island, who presumably also has some unpleasantness ahead of her. Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine and Emily Watson co-star.
Back in the streaming realm, September 16 brings the debut of The Devil All the Time, a new Netflix thriller starring Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Bill Skarsgard, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke and Mia Wasikowska, from acclaimed director Antonio Campos (Christine). The all-star film tells the story of the backwoods of Ohio, where creepy sheriffs and preachers descend on Holland’s character.
One day later, on September 17, Shudder debuts Spiral (not to be confused with Higuchinsky’s surreal cult classic Spiral, or the delayed sequel Spiral: From the Book of Saw). The film stars Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Ari Cohen as a same-sex couple who move to a small town with their teenaged daughter, only to find it’s a sinister place.
Make sure you mark September 18 down on your calendar! That’s the day that Antebellum finally debuts On Demand. Janelle Monáe stars as a woman enduring the shocking evils of slavery in the antebellum south, and also as a historian exploring those horrors in the present day. In Bloody-Disgusting’s review, Meagan Navarro says Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s film “creates terror from history” but “struggles against its lack of tension and heavy-handedness.”
But wait, there’s more! September 18 also brings with it the premiere of Alone in theaters and On Demand. The film, directed by John Hyams, stars Jules Wilcox as a woman traveling alone and the psychopath stalking her. In Bloody-Disgusting’s review, Meagan Navarro says the film “offers gorgeous violence featuring two competent leads,” but also that it’s “shackled by a familiar, barebones script.”
Also on September 18 (we told you it was a big one), the horror-thriller No Escape debuts in theaters and On Demand. The film tells the story of a social media influencer who’ll do anything to boost their numbers (which seems to be a popular plot point nowadays) and who travels to Moscow and becomes embroiled in a deadly game.
And if you’re looking for a complete 180 from all that terror, September 18 also sees the debut of the Netflix series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. The animated show tells the story of a group of teenagers who are trapped on Isla Nublar, who have to fight for their survival when dinosaurs escape. The series takes place during the events of the film Jurassic World.
Late September may be a teensy bit early to start playing Christmas carols, but it’s just the right time for the new thriller Let It Snow, making its debut On Demand September 22. The film stars Ivanna Sakhno (Pacific Rim: Uprising) as a snowboarder being hunted by a maniac on a snowmobile.
And although it’s been a slow month for horror video games, that all changes on September 29 with the release of the virtual reality experience The Walking Dead: Onslaught on PCVR and PSVR. The new story allows players to assume the role of Daryl, Michonne, Rick and Carol as they gather supplies and battle hordes of the undead!
Remember: All of these release dates are subject to change, especially in 2020!