From a Cabinet of Curiosities to a vaguely haunted village, this week is teeming with ooky spooky horror titles in the lead up to Halloween. Of course, those who aren’t in the holiday spirit have plenty of options too, including a complex new sci-fi series from the team behind Westworld and a tough but touching romance. There’s lots to watch and lots to enjoy, so get reading and get streaming!
What to watch on Netflix
From producer Reese Witherspoon and one of the writers behind shows like Little Fires Everywhere and When They See Us comes a tale of whirlwind Italian romance and a personal renaissance. From Scratch stars Zoe Saldaña as Amy, a woman seeking to reinvent herself and foster her artistic passions in Florence, Italy. The last thing she expects is to fall in love, but before she knows it, she’s heading back to the US with a Sicilian chef named Lino in tow. What starts as a sunbaked spark of romance turns into a more complicated long-term relationship, as the couple wrestles with immigration, a scary diagnosis, and overbearing families. From Scratch premieres Friday, October 21st.
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities
Could any Halloween be truly complete without some input from modern monster movie maestro Guillermo del Toro? Of course not! Luckily, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities has any horror lover worth their mettle covered. This anthology sees eight stories curated by the filmmaker, each with a different writer and director, as well as a bevy of stars spread across the series. Dan Stevens stars in one episode directed by festival favorite Ana Lily Amirpour, while The Babadook team of Essie Davis and Jennifer Kent reunite for another. Del Toro will introduce each episode, making for some spooky storytelling. Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities premieres Tuesday, October 25th.
What to watch on Hulu
This chilling new horror film is an 85-minute exercise in unease. The movie focuses on a woman named Laura, who returns to her remote hometown following a drug overdose. She’s been invited by her estranged mother (Kate Dickie), who welcomes her back to the village. To Laura, though, it seems as though she never left — many things have stayed the same, including her cold, secretive mother. Mother-daughter family trauma, creepy neighbors in a strangely secluded community, and a central mystery power the movie, making for a uniquely spooky viewing experience. Matriarch premieres on Friday, October 21st.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
From the team behind Westworld comes The Peripheral, a new mind-bending sci-fi series. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Flynne, a young woman in the not-too-distant future who works alongside her brother (Jack Reynor) beta testing various video games and simulations in order to take care of their ailing mother. When a new technology comes their way, Flynne is shocked by how realistic the “Peripheral” is. Naturally, there’s more to this game than meets the eye, and soon enough what Flynne does in the simulation ends up having very real consequences. The Peripheral premieres Friday, October 21st.
Few courtroom dramas can claim as much historical significance as Argentina, 1985. The film centers on the tense Trial of the Juntas, a suit brought against the military dictatorship that perpetrated Argentina’s Dirty War and caused the forced disappearance and death of countless civilians. It’s a serious, heavy topic, but one that the film treats with compassion, focusing on the persistence of the lawyers at the head of the prosecution and the strength of survivors willing to tell their stories. It’s a stirring historical drama, one that may very well land in awards conversations later this year. Argentina, 1985 will be available to stream starting Friday, October 21st.
What to watch on HBO Max
If you’re looking for a weird horror throwback, then The Hunger should certainly suit your tastes. The film follows a killer love triangle between a doctor who studies sleep and aging (Susan Sarandon) and a pair of vampires (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie). Blood isn’t the only thing these vamps lust after, making this movie a much more risqué foray into the vampire subgenre. The film has become a cult classic since its ‘80s debut, so be sure to catch it before time is up. The Hunger will be available to stream until the end of the month.
What to watch on Apple TV+
Raymond & Ray
Sometimes, family fun consists of bonding with your half-brother at your estranged father’s funeral. At least, that’s what Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor do in Raymond and Ray. This offbeat dramedy sees them play off of each other as well as the lingering shadow of their late, twisted father (who named both boys Raymond just mess with them, and that’s just the start). As the two men figure out their place in the world and in their own family, a comedy of errors persists as the funeral home: they meet their father’s final fling, encounter several more siblings, and have to fulfill an absurd final wish. Raymond & Ray premieres Friday, October 21st.
What to Watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.