The 9 Best Scary Movies Coming Out This Month
October isn't just pumpkin season—it's horror season. And Hollywood's delivering more than a few fright-filled films to satisfy our seasonal appetite for screaming at the top of our lungs in a public movie theater. This year, they've thought of everything, from converting creepy children's books to threesomes gone wrong to teens and zombies at a strip club to ruining Christmas in the suburbs. There's also one tried-and-true thriller that returns with a twist—the sixth and final Paranormal Activity is headed your way. Scroll down to see our list of the top movies to see, and find out which one will suit your appetite for fear.
A Christmas Horror Story (out now)
Best for: The holiday enthusiast
Four stories unfold in this suburbia tale: Three friends set out to uncover why two teens were found brutally murdered in a school basement; a cop takes his family to find a last-minute Christmas tree and brings home more than festive spirit; another family faces a demonic anti-Christmas devil; and even Santa finds himself fighting his elves after a virus turns them into zombies. The plot lines unfold simultaneously, keeping the thrill factor high from start to finish.
Knock Knock (out Oct. 9)
Best for: Date night
Evan (Keanu Reeves), a devoted husband and father, finds himself home alone working while his family hits the beach for the weekend. When he answers a knock at is door, he finds two young women stranded on their way to a party, and naively invites them in to warm up. His kind gesture proves regrettable in what turns to a dangerous game of seduction and blackmail as Evan tries to regain his home and save his life.
The Final Girls (out Oct. 9)
Best for: The horror movie hater
A reluctant visit to a screening of Camp Bloodbath, an '80s horror film starring protagonist Max’s (Taissa Farmiga) late mother (Malin Akerman), takes a turn when Max and her friends are sucked into the movie. Inside, they team with the camp’s crew of hormone-fueled counselors to battle the film’s killer, Billy Murphy. This film's meta and gimmicky take on horror is suitable for those still convinced monsters hide under the bed.
The Diabolical (out Oct. 16)
Best for: The sci-fi aficionado
This science fiction flick stars Ali Larter as Madison, a single mother of two children. The family moves into their home only to be tormented by an increasingly terrifying presence, one even paranormal experts are too afraid to face. When it becomes apparent the children will not be allowed to leave the home, Madison turns to her scientist boyfriend Nikolai (Arjun Gupta) to help her hunt it down.
Crimson Peak (out Oct. 16)
Best for: The history buff
Director Guillermo del Toro delivers a gothic horror set in the late 19th century with Crimson Peak. Mia Wasikowska stars as young author Edith Crushing, who marries Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and moves into the haunted Sharpe Mansion. Edith works to solve the mystery behind her new home, but may find that it is the humans she must fear the most. It's creepy and scary, but full of eye-candy: Charlie Hunnam and Jessica Chastain also star. Don't forget to look at the costumes, either—they're so beautiful and intricate that they inspired a window display at New York's Bergdorf Goodman.
Goosebumps (out Oct. 16)
Best for: The kids—and the kid in you
R.L. Stine's famous Goosebumps books come to life in this movie adaptation starring Jack Black as the storied author. The plot follows teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) as he moves to a small town and befriends his new neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush), Stine’s daughter. Stine keeps his old Goosebumps manuscripts, and the ghosts and monsters they contain, locked away in the house. They're all released when Zach accidentally opens one of Stine’s books, and it’s up to Hannah, Stine, and him to get the ghouls, Slappy the Dummy, the living lawn gnomes, and more back into the books.
The Last Witch Hunter (out Oct. 23)
Best for: The AHS: Coven fanatic
Witches are real in this action-packed movie, and everyone’s favorite butt-kicking action star, Vin Diesel, is humanity’s only hope. Diesel plays a lonely, immortal witch-hunter, Kaulder, who is tasked with stopping the covens of New York City from coming together to destroy the human race with the Black Death plague. In order to do so, however, he’ll have to join forces with an unexpected ally.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (out Oct. 23)
Best for: The possessed obsessed
For the Paranormal Activity franchise, the producers set out to deliver—and they do. In The Ghost Dimension, viewers will finally see the terrifying and mysterious behavior that has captivated audiences for years. This one follows a new family, the Fleeges, who find an old video camera in their new house only to soon discover the camera allows them to witness paranormal occurrences undetected by the human eye. When their daughter, Leila, become the target of these attacks, the family uses the camera to try to protect her from the evil being.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (out Oct. 30)
Best for: Anyone waiting for a Zombieland sequelA trio of lifelong friends and teenage Scouts excitedly sneak into a strip club on the eve of their last camp out. The club is empty save for a lone female figure dancing on the stage who turns out to be a zombie. They quickly learn that their entire town is under zombie attack, so the boys team up with a gun-wielding cocktail waitress to fight back in this hilarious, debauchery-filled comedy. Think lots of swearing, guts, and teenage antics.