Halloween Streaming Recommendations 2022

Halloween is rapidly approaching, which means many cinephiles & genre nerds out there are currently planning to cram in as many scary movies as they can over the next month. In that spirit, here’s a horror movie recommendation for every day in October from the Swampflix crew. Each title was positively reviewed on the blog or podcast in the past year and is currently available on a substantial streaming service. Hopefully this helps anyone looking to add some titles to their annual horror binge. Happy hauntings!

Oct 1: Scream (1996)

“Having since caught up with virtually all of its reference points in the two decades since I first saw this film as a child, the namedrops now play like adorably clever winks to the camera. In the mid-90s, however, that list was a doorway to a world of horrors I would take mental note of for future trips to the video store. It was essential.” Currently streaming on Showtime.

Oct 2: Ginger Snaps (2000)

“There are plenty coming-of-age horrors in which a teen girl’s earliest experiences with menstruation & sexual desire escalate into bloodlust & supernatural mayhem: Carrie, Teeth, Raw, Jennifer’s Body, etc. This one just holds a special place in my heart for being the first I happened to see, so it’s always my first reference point when I see the pattern repeated.” Currently streaming on Shudder, Peacock, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 3: The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976)

“A misandrist horror classic! Plenty of 1970s women-on-the-verge psych thrillers out there where shit-heel men drive women to madness, but few are this committed to their psychosexual terror or bloody revenge.” Currently streaming on Shudder, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 4: White of the Eye (1987)

“A knockoff giallo that gets lost in the American desert for a while, then emerges as a sun-dazed erotic thriller. Incredible, unwieldy stuff.” Currently streaming on Shudder, The Criterion Channel, for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 5: Demon Seed (1978)

“Belongs to a very special subcategory of classic horror: I saw it parodied on The Simpsons long before I saw the movie itself. I put this one off longer than most, since the premise is so sleazy, but thankfully it’s less focused on the physical act of impregnation than I feared and instead finds a kind of wretched transcendence through retro computer graphics.” Currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 6: Hatching (2022)

“A great entry in the Puberty as Monstrous Transformation canon, along with titles like Ginger Snaps, Jennifer’s Body, Teeth, Carrie, etc. Stands out in that crowd by adding an extra layer about mothers living vicariously through their daughters in unhealthy ways. Also achieves a lot on what appears to be a limited budget, leaning into its cheapness to create the kind of plastic world you’d expect to find in a music box.” Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 7: Scream 2 (1997)

“It’s easy to downplay the first Scream as a Greatest Hits collection of slasher tropes, so it’s super smart for its sequel to replay exact scenes from it as the tropiest, slasheriest slasher of all time. Every clip from and reference to Stab is brilliant.” Currently streaming on Showtime.

Oct 8: Cronos (1993)

“There’s an extremely 90s-specific visual warmth to this that makes it instantly familiar, recalling cultural touchstones as varied as Tales from the Crypt & Wishbone. I definitely saw it once before in the post-victory glow of Pan’s Labyrinth, but it plays like something I watched hundreds of times on VHS, or heard repeated nightly as a freaky bedtime story.” Currently streaming on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

Oct 9: Wishmaster (1997)

“Very much enjoyed this as a child who was technically too young to see it, and glad to see it mostly holds up as a dumb-fun practical gore showcase. Its quality & sensibilities are pretty standard for trashy novelty horrors of its era, but its “Careful what you wish for” evil genie setup allows its imagination to run wild from kill to kill instead of being limited to one kind of monster. Makes total sense as a Wes Craven production, since the nightmare logic of the Elm Street kills works the same way.” Currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi and Pluto TV.

Oct 10: The Lawnmower Man (1992)

“Had a lot of fun with this but it really pushed the outer limits of how much bullshit I’m willing to put up with to indulge in the precious Outdated Vintage Tech goofballery I love to see in killer-computer genre movies. Turns out the answer is ‘way too much’.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla.

Oct 11: Monkey Shines (1988)

“Romero’s killer helper monkey-movie crawled so The Lawnmower Man could transcend time & space.” Currently streaming on Shudder, Showtime, for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 12: Willard (2003)

“My favorite thing about the original Willard is how uncomfortably relatable I found Willard as a character; my favorite thing about this remake is how much Crispin Glover is an absolute freak.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy.

Oct 13: Scream 3 (2000)

“A Corman cameo??? Hell yeah. Parker Posey as comedic relief?? Right on. Jay and Silent Bob? Oh, oh no.

Just as much of a mixed bag as the second one, but it’s easy to enjoy the nesting doll effect of the Stab series as this chugs along.” Currently streaming on Showtime.

Oct 14: Deadstream (2022)

“This was a constantly surprising delight, getting huge laughs out of supernaturally torturing a YouTuber smartass with a sub-Ryan Reynolds sense of humor. It effectively does for Blair Witch what Host did for Unfriended, borrowing its basic outline to stage a chaotic assemblage of over-the-top, technically impressive scare gags.” Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 15: Malignant (2021)

“Feels like 2021’s The Empty Man: a seemingly well-behaved mainstream horror that takes some wild creative stabs in its go-for-broke third act; both earning instant cult prestige as ‘hidden gems’ despite their robust budgets, thanks to the dysfunction of COVID era distribution. I personally found The Empty Man the more rewarding experience of that pair, but you gotta appreciate these big-budget crowd-bafflers whenever you can find them.” Currently streaming on HBO Max.

Oct 16: The Seventh Curse (1986)

“I normally don’t vibe with Indiana Jones-style international swashbuckling at all, but this Hong Kong action mind-melter hits the exact level of bonkers mayhem I need to get past that genre bias. Overflowing with imagination, irreverence, explosive brutality, and shameless copyright violations in every scene. Far preferable to any actual Indiana Jones film, even if it would not exist without their influence.” Currently streaming on for free (with ads) on Crackle & Plex.

Oct 17: Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)

“Presented as an alien-invasion creature feature, but really more of an anything-goes descent into chaos in which “the whole world’s gone insane” (mostly as an anti-war metaphor). One of those constantly surprising low-budget novelties where it feels like absolutely anything can happen at any time, while most of the actual imagery between the special effects shots is just a handful of characters debating a plan of action in a single room.” Currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Oct 18: Mad God (2022)

“Both a for-its-own-sake immersion in scatological mayhem & an oddly touching reflection on the creative process, the indifference of time, and the cruelty of everything. It’s meticulously designed to either delight or irritate, so count me among the awed freaks who never wanted the nightmare to end.” Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 19: Viy (1967)

“The five-minute stretch that makes good on its long-teased witchcraft & devilry—boosted by an importation of Silent Era special effects into a 1960s filmmaking aesthetics—should leave an intense impression on your psyche that overpowers any minor qualms with its build-up. This is a quick, oddly lighthearted folk-horror curio with a fascinating historical context and an eagerness to wow the audience in its tension-relieving climax.” Currently streaming on Shudder, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 20: Lisa and the Devil (1973)

“Besides the gorgeous, lustrous cinematography, I will forever treasure this as the only film I know of with a haunted European villa and a haunted plane. I would 1000% watch Lisa descend further into madness in a surreal plane-centric sequel.” Currently streaming on Shudder, or for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy.

Oct 21: The Wailing (2016)

“Expands the rage-virus horror of 28 Days Later into opposing directions of operatic crescendo & goofball slapstick, refusing to be tethered to any one specific meaning or tone and finding abject terror in that ambiguity. An ideal vision of what mainstream horror would routinely look & feel like in a better world.” Currently streaming on Shudder, Peacock, for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy & Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 22: The Medium (2021)

“In the abstract, a found-footage update to The Exorcist for the 2020s sounds like it would be tedious at best, but this manages to feel freshly upsetting & emotionally engaged while never drifting outside those genre boundaries. Big-scale blockbuster horror on a scrappy indie budget.” Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 23: Scream 4 (2011)

“A good argument that this series only thrives with breathing room. The first is still the best, with at least two decades of slasher tradition to catalog and pull apart. 2 & 3 felt thin & rushed by comparison, then this one snaps the whole thing back into shape with another full decade of horror trends to riff on.” Currently streaming on Paramount+, Starz, for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 24: All Cheerleaders Die (2013)

“A delightfully vapid, shockingly cruel horror comedy about undead cheerleaders seeking supernatural revenge on their school’s misogynist football team. Much, much better than its reputation & promotional material suggest, but maybe still dead last on the list of films of its ilk worth prioritizing before you get to it: Heathers, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Ginger Snaps, The Craft, Jennifer’s Body, Sugar & Spice, Jawbreaker, Teeth, Buffy, etc.” Currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 25: A Cat in the Brain (1990)

“Really fun, chaotic self-reflection on how the brutality of the horror genre is often flippantly overlooked by cheap-thrill seekers but still takes a toll on our psyches (of which I’m just as guilty as Fulci). Feels like a crude precursor to what Wes Craven would soon be working through in A New Nightmare & Scream, except that it doubles as a Greatest Hits montage of Fulci’s recycled gore gags.” Currently streaming on for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 26: The Visitor (1979)

“The greatest sports movie of all time, by which I mean it only briefly pretends to be interested in basketball before indulging in a chaotic mix of aliens, killer birds, and Satanic blood cults (with a little gymnastics & ice-dancing tossed in for balance).” Currently streaming on Shudder, Peacock, for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy & Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 27: Lifeforce (1985)

“It would have been more than enough for the soul-sucking nudist space vampires to turn Earthlings into exploding dust zombies & blood sacks, but what really made me fall in love is how they start the process by hypnotizing their victims with intense horniness. I’m always a sucker for supernatural erotic menace, so 5 stars; instant fav.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 28: Return of the Living Dead (1985)

“I need to stop thinking of Dan O’Bannon as the nerd who wrote Alien and start thinking of him as the absolute madman who somehow made Return of the Living Dead & Lifeforce in the same year; two deranged gems I should’ve sought out a lot sooner.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 29: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)

“Besides its obvious charms as a ribald horror comedy about witchcraft & titties, it’s also an expert demonstration of kayfabe in action. Elvira never breaks character, gets billed “as herself”, and continues to work her job as a B-horror hostess even as she gets tangled up in a one-woman war against small-minded small towners.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime, for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 30: Scream (2022)

Stab has become a cultural phenomenon in Scream‘s world, and that world has now entered the era of The Snyder Cut, wherein groups of fanboys feel that the media belongs to them, so they want to course correct back to the ‘original concept; by enacting a new series of murders in Woodsboro to inspire the Stab franchise to return to its roots. It’s not as clever as ‘movies made us do it,’ but it’s just as cohesive.” Currently streaming on Showtime.

Oct 31: WNUF Halloween Special (2013) & The Great Satan (2019) Double Feature

WNUF Halloween Special does a great job in remaining authentic to local 1980s TV broadcasts, but smartly sets its spooky news show in a fantasy world where only a couple commercials are miserably repeated every ad break instead of all of them.

The Great Satan doubles as both an unrelenting flood of metal-as-fuck vintage ephemera and as a sickening overview of Christian America’s moral rot, especially in the Satanic Panic era. If you can stomach a little edgelord pranksterism, it’s wonderfully fucked up.

Together, they make the perfect Halloween Night VHS nostalgia mind-melter.

WNUF Halloween Special is currently streaming on Shudder, and The Great Satan is currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi.

-The Swampflix Crew

Halloween Streaming Recommendations 2021

Halloween is rapidly approaching, which means many cinephiles & genre nerds out there are currently planning to cram in as many scary movies as they can over the next month. In that spirit, here’s a horror movie recommendation for every day in October from the Swampflix crew. Each title was positively reviewed on the blog or podcast in the past year and is currently available on a substantial streaming service. Hopefully this helps anyone looking to add some titles to their annual horror binge. Happy hauntings!

Oct 1: Season of the Witch (1973)

“Influenced by second-wave feminism, Romero made a fantastic film about a dissatisfied housewife who dabbles in the occult, and he did it all with a budget of about $100,000 (it was originally $250,000 before his funding dropped). […] The first spell she casts is a love spell that results in her having a tryst with her daughter’s lover. It’s so scandalous! As she dives deeper into the occult, she has progressively intense dreams about someone in a rubber demon mask breaking into her home. The dream later becomes infused with her reality, leading to a shocking act that I won’t spoil in this review.”  Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy or free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 2: Parents (1989)

“One of those 1980s grotesqueries that takes satirical aim at the Everything Is Dandy manicured surface of 1950s Leave It To Beaver suburbia.  Bob Balaban directs the hell out of this pop art horror comedy, landing it somewhere between Blue Velvet & Pee-wee’s Playhouse. It also fits snugly in one of my favorite genres: the R-rated children’s film.  A delightful, unsettling novelty.”  Currently streaming on Amazon Prime or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 3: The Stuff (1985)

“I’ve watched the classic trailer for this one so many times on VHS & DVD rentals of other schlock over the years that I felt like I had seen it before, but it was entirely new to me. It’s no Q: The Winged Serpent but there’s still plenty overlap with the Larry Cohen Gimmickry and Michael Moriarty Acting Choices that make Q so delectable.  Tons of goopy, cynical fun.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla or free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 4: Lucky (2021)

“A high-concept home invasion horror about a woman who’s cyclically attacked by the same masked killer night after night after night.  This works best as a darkly funny act of audience gaslighting and a surprisingly flexible metaphor about gender politics. Recalls the matter-of-fact absurdism of time-loop thrillers like Timecrimes & Triangle, with a lot of potential to build the same gradual cult following if it finds the right audience.”  Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 5: Saint Maud (2021)

“Spoke both to my unquenchable thirst for the grotesque as a horror nerd and my unending guilt-horniness-guilt cycle as a lapsed Catholic.   I appreciated even more the second time for what it actually is (an intensely weird character study) instead if what I wanted it to be (a menacingly erotic sparring match between Maud and her patient).  Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 6: The Haunting (1963)

“A masterpiece.  Impressively smart, funny, and direct about even its touchiest themes (lesbian desire, generational depression, suicidal ideation) while consistently creepy throughout.  It’s also gorgeous!  The camera is incredibly active considering it was shot in early Panavision.  Loved it far more than expected, considering how often this same material has been adapted.”  Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 7: Daughters of Darkness (1971)

“Highly stylized Euro sleaze about young newlyweds who are seduced & corrupted by bisexual vampires on their honeymoon.  The main villain is named Elizabeth Báthory but she’s played like a breathy, half-asleep Marlene Dietrich, and I love her.  The whole thing is just effortlessly sexy and cool all around.  Lurid in every sense of the word but somehow still patient & low-key.”  Currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 8: The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)

“Some great images & a consistently sleazy vibe wrestling with a super confusing plot that falls apart the second you think about it too long?  That’s a giallo.”  Currently streaming on Shudder or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 9: Madhouse (1981)

“Gorgeous, uneven schlock about a woman who’s hunted & tormented by her disfigured twin sister in the week leading up to their birthday.  The escaped-mental-patient plot is clearly a riff on the Halloween template, but its style feels much more like an American take on giallo than it does a first-wave slasher.  Cheap, delirious mayhem with equally frequent flashes of embarrassing broad comedy & impressive visual craft.”  Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy or free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 10: StageFright: Aquarius (1987)

“The director of the play-within-the-movie, a possible jab at Argento, is fully invested in his artistic vision … but that vision proves to be completely malleable if it sells a few extra tickets. There’s also a moment in which the director is confronted by the killer wielding a chainsaw and just throws a woman directly into the path of the blades, which, as someone whose knowledge of Argento is … extensive, seems like a pretty good jab at the older filmmaker’s less-than-modern take on gender dynamics.”  Currently streaming on Shudder or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 11: Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971)

“Loving giallo movies means loving digging through piles of the same-old-same-old to find the gems hiding among the tedium.  This one is one of the glorious payoffs that makes the hunt worthwhile.  It starts with a man awake but paralyzed in a morgue having to piece together how he got there before he’s buried alive.  The answers to that mystery are familiar, but told in a sober, coherent way that’s rare in the genre.  And it looks characteristically great in its Technicolor indulgences in the moments when it feels like flexing.  A highlight of the genre, but one I hadn’t heard of until I saw its disc on sale.”  Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 12: The Power (2021)

“A British body-possession horror about a religious zealot nurse with a mysterious past and a deeply damaged relationship with sexuality; the stylish debut feature from a young woman filmmaker, clocking in under 90min.  And somehow I’m not describing Saint Maud???  This actually might work especially well for people who wish Saint Maud was more of a straightforward horror film.  For me, they’re about equally great, but this one’s definitely a lot more immediately satisfying in delivering the genre goods and thematic sense of purpose.”  Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 13: The Vigil (2021)

“A pretty standard haunted house horror in its broadest terms, but it crams a lot of unexpected details into its Orthodox Judaism context: cult-deprogramming, Evil Internet tech, found footage video cassettes, body horror, demons, etc.  Reminded me most of the movies Demon (2015) & The Power (2021), and mostly holds its own among them in its mood & scares.”  Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 14: The Descent (2005)

“One of those warrior transformation horrors where a traumatized woman emerges from absolute hell stronger, crazed, and doomed.  Also super effective as a creature feature creepout but I like that it took its time arriving there, getting you invested in the characters before immersing them in mayhem.”  Currently streaming on Amazon Prime or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 15: The Toll (2021)

“Like a malevolent fae, The Toll Man traps wayward travelers who have the scent of death if they should be unlucky enough to find their way onto his road; someone with suicidal ideation or bound for an accident is then diverted into his realm so that he can extract his toll: death.  This has the potential to be more goofy than scary (The Bye Bye Man, anyone?), but in spite of its possible pitfalls, this one manages to work.”  Currently streaming for free (with ads) on The Roku Channel.

Oct 16: Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020)

“It’s 10% Phenomena by way of the aesthetic of the European forest and the house in which the mutants are sheltered by their mother, a solid 40% Friday the 13th per its teenage-camping-trip narrative, 20% Scream via the discussion of the “rules” of horror films, 15% C.H.U.D., 8% Housebound, 2% Fargo, and 3% X-Files black goo episode for some reason.” Currently streaming on Netflix.

Oct 17: Pumpkinhead (1988)

“Honestly more of a Great Monster than a Great Movie, but the creature design is so cool and the budget is so bare that it’s easy to forgive a lot of its shortcomings.”  Currently streaming on Amazon Prime and Shudder.

Oct 18: Impetigore (2020)

“An Indonesian ghost story about the lingering evils of communal betrayal & inherited wealth (and horrific violence against children in particular, it should be said).  This walks a difficult balance of being gradually, severely fucked up without rubbing your face in its Extreme Gore moments.  Handsomely staged, efficiently creepy beyond the shock of its imagery, and complicated enough in its mythology that it’s not just a simple morality play.”  Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 19: In the Earth (2021)

“This is the exact psychedelic folk horror I was expecting it to be, except with an entire slasher about an axe-wielding maniac piled on top just to push it into full-on excess.  Impressively strange, upsetting stuff considering its limited scope & budget.”  Currently streaming on Hulu or for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy.

Oct 20: The Empty Man (2020)

“A dispatch from an alternate dimension where The Bye Bye Man was somehow an impressively ambitious work of art.  Considering its 2018 setting and its blatant riffing on Slender Man lore, it was likely even intended to be a contemporary of that mainstream-horror embarrassment, despite it being quietly dumped into pandemic-era theaters years later.  Feels refreshing to see a robustly budgeted studio horror take wild creative stabs instead of settling for routine PG-13 tedium, like trying to recapture the 1970s in the late 2010s.”  Currently streaming on HBO Max.

Oct 21: Possessor (2020)

“Apparently Brandon Cronenberg took note of the often-repeated observation that Andrea Riseborough loses herself in roles to the point of being unrecognizable, and built an entire fucked up sci-fi horror about the loss of Identity around it.  A damn good one too.”  Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 22: His House (2020)

“This bold debut feature from screenwriter and director Remi Weekes tackles topics of grief, disenfranchisement, loss, immigration, disconnection, and the things we keep while other things are left behind. There’s so much unspoken but powerfully present in the interactions between Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku as, respectively, Bol and Rial Majur.  There’s something so palpable in Bol’s desire to disappear into this new community, joining in with the old men singing songs to their futbol heroes and blending in by purchasing an exact duplicate of the outfit on in-store advertising.  By the time he’s literally trying to burn everything that ties himself and his wife to their past, it’s impossible to predict where the film will go next.  Even the most artistic horror film rarely transcends into something truly beautiful, but His House does all of this and more.”  Currently streaming on Netflix.

Oct 23: The Wolf House (2020)

“A nightmare experiment in stop-motion animation that filters atrocities committed by exiled-Nazi communes in Chile through a loose, haunting fairy tale narrative. It’s completely fucked, difficult to fully comprehend, and I think I loved it.”  Currently streaming on Shudder, The Criterion Channel, for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy, or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 24: Cube (1997)

“A high-concept Canuxploitation cheapie with such a clear central gimmick that I’ve been comparing other movies to it for years (Circle, Escape Room, The Platform, etc) without ever actually watching it until now.”  Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy & Hoopla or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 25: Castle Freak (1995)

“For most audiences this would be an inessential novelty, but I’m honestly super embarrassed I’ve never seen this Full Moon-produced Stuart Gordon flick before, especially since Dolls is my personal favorite Gordon (by which I mean I’m more of a Charles Band fan, have pity on me).  Outside its creature scenes the movie is only a C-, but the actual castle freak is an easy A+, and since I watched it after midnight I have no patience to do the math on that grading based on its castle-freak-to-no-castle-freak screentime ratio.”  Currently streaming on Shudder or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 26: Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994)

“A cute e-girl demon runs away from home (Hell) to torment sinners on Earth as a vigilante superhero, and accidentally falls in love along the way. Sleazy yet goofily childish in a way only Charles Band/Full Moon productions can be.”  Currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi.

Oct 27: Shadow in the Cloud (2021)

“A total blast.  80 minutes of delicious, delirious pulp, settling halfway between a creature feature and a radio play.  Not for nothing, it’s also the first time I’ve ever been enthusiastically positive on a Chloë Grace Moretz performance.”  Currently streaming on Hulu or for free (with ads) on Kanopy & Hoopla.

Oct 28: Godzilla vs Hedorah (1973)

“Remains my favorite Godzilla film (at least among the relatively small percentage I’ve seen) and generally one of my all-time favs regardless of genre.  Proto-Hausu psychedelia emerging from a fiercely anti-pollution creature feature.  Perfection.”  Currently streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

Oct 29: Monster Brawl (2011)

“This might be the absolute worst movie that I wholeheartedly love. That’s because it mimics the structure & rhythms of a wrestling Pay-Per-View instead of a traditional Movie, which requires the audience to adjust their expectations to the payoffs of that format.  Everything I love & loathe about pro wrestling is present here: the over-the-top characters, the exaggerated cartoon violence, the infuriating marginalization of women outside the ring to Bikini Babe status, all of it.  It’s a pure joy to see (generic versions of) the famous monsters that I also love plugged into that template, especially when the announcers underline the absurdity of the scenario with inane statements like “For the first time in professional sports, folks, we’re witnessing the dead rising from their graves to attack Frankenstein.”  Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) or free (with ads) on Hoopla.

Oct 30: Psycho Goreman (2021)

“The movie I desperately wanted to see made when I was ten years old, by which I mean it’s R-rated Power Rangers.  Can’t say that novelty lands as sweetly in my thirties, especially since the Random! humor is so corny & poisonously self-aware.  All of the practical gore is aces, though, and I really hope kids who are technically too young to watch it sneak it past their parents. Tested my patience for cutesy irony, but could birth a lot of lifelong horror nerds so overall a net good.”  Currently streaming on Shudder or for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla.

Oct 31: Hack-o-Lantern (1988)

“Bargain bin 80s trash that’s half slasher/half variety show: featuring strip teases, belly dances, hair metal music videos, curbside stand-up routines, and amateur Satanic rituals to help pad out the runtime between its kill-by-numbers plotting. Wonderful programming if you’re looking for something vapid that’s set on Halloween night.”  Currently streaming on Shudder or for free (with ads) on Tubi.

-The Swampflix Crew

Halloween Report 2020: Best of the Swampflix Horror Tag

Halloween is rapidly approaching, which means many cinephiles & genre nerds out there are currently planning to cram in as many scary movies as they can over the next month. In that spirit, here’s a horror movie recommendation for every day in October from the Swampflix crew. Each title was positively reviewed on the blog or podcast in the past year and is currently available on a substantial streaming service. Hopefully this helps anyone looking to add some titles to their annual horror binge. Happy hauntings!

Oct 1: The X from Outer Space (1967)

“Between its adorable miniature space rockets, its goofball bird monster, and its willingness to pause any conflict for a jazzy soiree, this one’s overall tone is decidedly Cute. It only makes vague gestures towards the Horrors of the Atomic Age that usually concern the kaiju genre, while it mostly busies itself by having a swinging good time.” Currently streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.

Oct 2: Lily C.A.T. (1987)

“Weirdly, I’m not sure if Alien superfans would be the first audience I would recommend this to, unless their favorite detail from the original film happens to be Ripley’s relationship with her cat. This cheap DTV animation never had a chance to stack up to the original in a direct comparison, nor does it really attempt to. This film’s built-in audience is more likely nerds who salivate at the idea of any horror-themed anime or, more to my own alignment, weirdo genre enthusiasts who salivate over ludicrous killer-cat creature features like Cat People ’82, Sleepwalkers, and Night of a Thousand Cats. Surely, there’s some significant overlap between those two camps who will find its shapeshifting-feline-tentacle-monster genre thrills exactly to their tastes. If nothing else, it’s a very specific niche that strikes a tone no other Alien knockoff ever could—animated or no.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime and for free (with ads) on TubiTV.

Oct 3: The Platform (2020)

“This is an incredibly nasty slice of schlock with a deviously wicked sense of humor; it’s also a politically engaged provocation that’s obsessed with understanding & undermining the systemic power imbalances that keep us all stuck in place and at each other’s throats. It’s a perfect film to watch in these increasingly bizarre, dysfunctional helltimes where it seems like those very systems are crumbling before our eyes. It feels like there might be a chance that we’ll all soon break out of our own arbitrarily cruel rut and tear this prison down any day now – as long as we don’t eat each other alive before we achieve that solidarity.” Currently streaming on Netflix.

Oct 4: Vivarium (2020)

“A cartoon exaggeration of the long-simmering frustrations & resentments that accompany even the most successful of romantic partnerships. Gawks at the traditional, decades-long monogamous marriage as if it were a sideshow attraction at the county fair, amused but disgusted by the freakish unnatural behavior we’re all supposed to aspire to.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Oct 5: Viy (1967)

“The five-minute stretch that makes good on its long-teased witchcraft & devilry—boosted by an importation of Silent Era special effects into a 1960s filmmaking aesthetics—should leave an intense impression on your psyche that overpowers any minor qualms with its build-up. This is a quick, oddly lighthearted folk-horror curio with a fascinating historical context and an eagerness to wow the audience in its tension-relieving climax. That’s more than enough to melt my own horror-hungry heart, but your own mileage may vary.” Currently streaming on Shudder and for free (with ads) on TubiTV.

Oct 6: The Head Hunter (2019)

“Of course, audiences would generally prefer to see the offscreen battles than the daily preparatory chores & bloody cleanup aftermath we get instead, and the monster slayings themselves do essentially amount to an [IMAGINE A BIGGER BUDGET HERE] insert. Personally, I found this setup to be an impressive device in low-budget filmmaking shrewdness. It knows it can’t convincingly stage battle scenes on its limited production scale, so it makes up for it by leaning into what it can do well: grotesque creature designs & a nihilistic mood.” Currently streaming on Shudder and for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla.

Oct 7: Blood Quantum (2020)

“The real selling point is the way it finds yet another new application for the zombie apocalypse as a literary metaphor, which is quite a feat considering how many times that well has been returned to over the decades. Whether or not a new metaphor alone is enough to draw you back into the genre is up to you, as the film entirely plays it straight as a genre entry elsewhere. You have to be onboard for some of the same-old same-old to appreciate those new textures.” Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 8: Sea Fever (2020)

“I was genuinely chilled, especially once it hit a heated debate about the personal sacrifice of quarantining yourself for the greater, communal good. It was nice to see a scientist positioned as the hero in that debate for once, something I took time to note even while squirming in discomforting resonance at the thought of the film’s invisible, lethal enemy within.” Currently streaming on Hulu and for free (with a library membership on Hoopla.

Oct 9: Extra Ordinary (2020)

“Traffics in grotesque, horrific scenarios involving demonic possessions, domestic abuse, and paranormal sex fluids, but the characters who navigate them are so quietly sweet that you hardly notice how harsh or over-the-top the whole thing feels from afar.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Kanopy & Hoopla.

Oct 10: The Housemaid (1960)

“I absolutely loved this movie. It kept me on the edge of my seat for its entirety, and I was surprised to see how far it pushed the envelope. I was in complete shock by how dark certain parts of the film were, and that’s a film quality that I will always have mad respect for.” Currently streaming on The Criterion Channel

Oct 11: Zombi Child (2020)

“A from-the-ground-up renovation of the zombie film. Directly reckons with the racist, colonialist history of onscreen zombie lore, and pushes through that decades-old barrier to draw from the untapped potential of its roots in legitimate Vodou religious practices.” Currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Oct 12: The Lodge (2020)

“It’s unfortunately predictable, but it wears its horror influence on its sleeve, and there are no bad performances, with McHugh and Keough providing a strong backbone when the strength of the narrative atrophies a little.” Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 13: The Invisible Man (2020)

“It’s like a reinterpretation of Batman where billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne using his extraordinarily expensive gadgetry to beat up jobless street criminals is framed as a horrifying act – which is to say it’s a realistic, politically engaged interpretation.” Currently streaming on HBO Max.

Oct 14: Housebound (2015)

“Funny how this film’s humor now feels so familiar to a Taika Waititi brand of low-key absurdism but felt like a total anomaly five years ago.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla (or with ads on TubiTV).

Oct 15: I Was a Teenage Serial Killer (1993)

“As the title suggests by calling back to 1950s B-pictures like I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, there’s a playful sense of humor to this misandrist bloodbath. For instance, there’s a sickly-sweet dating montage our protagonist shares with a fellow serial killer while they cutely bond over cannibalism & genital mutilation. There’s also a seething, long-simmering sense of anger behind that playful façade, however, which mostly spills out in a final monologue where the teenage serial killer explains her motives to her last would-be victim. It’s the same anger that fueled most of the zines & records of the riot grrrl movement, a communal feminist frustration that rarely made it to the screen in any genuine form.” Currently streaming (with ads) on TubiTV.

Oct 16: Prom Night (1980)

“Between the gruesome kills and the dance floor glam of the disco prom, this eventually emerges from its formulaic slasher chrysalis to become its own beautiful specimen of cheap-o grime. Its earliest stretch is guaranteed to test the patience of audiences generally bored with by-the-numbers slasher ritual, but I find that sturdy plot template can be exceptionally useful in providing structure for over-the-top aesthetic & tonal choices like, say, a Disco Madness theme.” Currently streaming on Shudder or for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla & Kanopy.

Oct 17: Bloody Birthday (1981)

“If you cut the killer children angle out of the film entirely, this picture would be unmistakable as a cheap-o Halloween knockoff. Swapping out the looming presence of Michael Myers with a small cult of toe-headed rascals is a pretty substantial deviation from the Halloween slasher template, however, offering the Village of the Damned formula an interesting new subgenre avenue to explore. It’s an unholy marriage of two horror sensibilities that likely shouldn’t mix, and that explosive combination makes for a wickedly fun time.” Currently streaming on Shudder or free (with ads) on TubiTV.

Oct 18: The Pool (2020)

“Fun, upsetting trash that’s eager to push its limited scenario to its furthest extremes, alternating between slapstick gags & vicious cruelty without much notice. Weirdly, there’s also a thematic undertone that suggests it might be Pro-Life propaganda.” Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 19: The Tingler (1959)

“William Castle’s playfulness extends beyond his imagination for attention-grabbing gimmickry to push schlocky premises into the realm of vividly graphic, surreal art. I have not been giving him the respect he’s owed for that willingness to experiment with the boundaries of cinema myself, and The Tingler’s a perfect example of these experiments’ dual extremes as silly novelty & high art.” Currently streaming for free (with a library membership) on Hoopla (or free with ads on TubiTV).

Oct 20: Host (2020)

“It’s unlikely that we’ll see another feature film this year that so directly, accurately captures what life is like right now, and I’m honestly not shocked that my beloved Online Horror subgenre was the engine that got us there. It’s perfectly suited for that kind of of-the-moment documentation, with plenty of other entertaining payoffs besides.” Currently streaming on Shudder.

Oct 21: Wounds (2019)

“An unpredictable creep-out overflowing with genuinely disturbing nightmare imagery and a lived-experience familiarity with what it means to be a charming drunk who works the graveyard shift at the neighborhood bar. Its tale of emotional & spiritual rot for a hunky, barely-functioning alcoholic on the New Orleans bar scene is so true to life that I have an exact bartender in mind who the story could be based on (although he’s a dead ringer for Lee Pace, not Armie Hammer). ” Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 22: Angst (1983)

“An impressively upsetting mood, offering no reprieve from the suffocating psyche of its narrator – a nastily hollow man who kills because he wants to kill. There’s something about that total lack of motivation that efficiently chills my blood, maybe because it’s more reflective of real-life cruelty & violence than the class war callousness that usually commands the home invasion genre (usually with a much duller aesthetic palate as well).” Currently streaming on Shudder, Amazon Prime, and free (with a library membership) on Kanopy.

Oct 23: Luz (2019)

“As the story’s various competing fractions combine into one sharp-edged mosaic, the film achieves a deranged, sweaty, deliriously horny nightmare that all demonic possession media strives for, but few titles ever achieve.” Currently streaming on Shudder and free (with ads) on Crackle.

Oct 24: Color Out of Space (2020)

“The prologue before the meteor crash is a little creaky & awkward, recalling the tone of a VHS-era fantasy movie that never quite earned the forgiving lens of cult classic status. Once the horror of the Evil Color fully heats up, however, this movie is genuinely just as disturbing as anything Stanley accomplished in Hardware – if not more so.” Currently streaming on Shudder and free (with a library membership) on Hoopla.

Oct 25: Violence Voyager (2019)

“Feels as if it were made entirely by one loner-creep in some far-off basement, as if he were racing to publish his work before being raided by the authorities for crimes against society & good taste. It’s the rare work of modern outsider filmmaking that feels genuinely dangerous, with all the excitement & unease that descriptor implies.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Oct 26: The Faculty (1998)

“Like Terry Quinn’s iconic performance as the archetypal Stepfather or Corbin Bersen’s skin-crawling performance as the archetypal Dentist, Robert Patrick transforms the broad concept of the high school sports Coach into a classic movie monster abomination on the level of Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, or The Wolfman. It would have robbed the film of some of its other post-Scream late-90s charms and transformed the endeavor into something much more thoroughly horrifying, but I think they could have easily reworked the entire premise to be about that one monstrous villain alone – under the title The Coach. His performance is that scary, and the real-life terror of sports coaches runs psychologically deep for many horror nerds.” Currently streaming free (with ads) on Vudu.

Oct 27: Wrinkles the Clown (2019)

“If you don’t mind being openly lied to/manipulated by a ‘documentary’ (think Exit Through the Gift Shop), it’s really fun. Lots of eerie commentary about what urban legends look & feel like among modern children online (and incidentally about psychological child abuse). It’s everything I wanted out of that so-so Slenderman doc on HBO a few years back.” Currently streaming on Hulu.

Oct 28: Doctor Sleep (2019)

“This film never feels its length, and the muted public reaction and mediocre box office returns are a personal disappointment; this film was never going to surpass The Shining, but it’s not far behind, and Flanagan was right to mix the original film’s solemn meditative qualities with occasional frenetic setpieces. In a lifetime of watching movies, I’ve never been so invested or felt so much tension in my spine when watching a scene of a man eight years sober struggle to not take a drink, even in Kubrick’s opus; it’s powerful movie-making at its best, and I can’t recommend it more highly.” Currently streaming on HBO Max

Oct 29: Queen of the Damned (2002)

“Still not convinced that the world ‘needed’ a nu-metal sequel to Interview with the Vampire, nor am I convinced that this is in any way a Good movie. By the time Aaliyah massacres an entire goth bar of vamp baddies with surreally cheap CGI hellfire I kinda warmed up to it as a novelty, though. Nothing wrong with enjoying a korny movie from time to time, and this might be the korniest.” Currently streaming free (with a library membership) on Hoopla.

Oct 30: Messiah of Evil (1973)

“You can approximate a nearly exact equation of what genre pieces were assembled to create its effect; it plays like a post-Romero attempt at adapting ‘Shadows over Innsmouth’ as an American giallo. However, you can’t quite put your finger on how these familiar pieces add up to such an eerie, disorienting experience. T hat’s just pure black movie magic, the goal all formulaic horrors should strive for but few ever achieve.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Oct 31: Phantasm (1979)

“This ‘Let’s put on a show!’ communal enthusiasm & D.I.Y. approximation of nightmare-logic surrealism is the exact kind of thing I’m always looking for in low-budget genre films. Its trajectory of starting with familiar regional slather locations like suburban cul-de-sacs, dive bars, and graveyards before launching into a fully immersive nightmare realm of its own design is a perfect encapsulation of how it somehow turned low-budget scraps into cult classic gold in the real world as well.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

-The Swampflix Crew