This article is also available in print: Quaker Campus, Volume 19 – Issue 4, dated Oct. 28, 2021, on the Whittier College campus.
I hope you have Netflix readied up for Halloween!
Throughout the month of October, and bleeding into the beginning of November, Netflix has queued up a number of horror-themed movies and series, ranging from true crime documentaries to pure thrillers. In order of least to most interesting, just based on their trailers, here are some new and upcoming media that you can add to your Netflix list to get you in the Halloween spirit.
When a Stranger Calls
You might have seen this 2006 horror film already; if not, you can probably count seeing Scream as seeing When a Stranger Calls; Scream is just missing the babysitting aspect. Honestly, When a Stranger Calls doesn’t look great, and it’s a very clear rip-off of Scream, but it could still be interesting to watch. I always enjoy a horror movie that I can rip into; plus, if you’re binge-watching actually scary movies, and need a little comedy break, When a Stranger Calls seems like a great film for that. It is not coming to Netflix until Nov. 1, so it is, unfortunately, not going to be available for Halloween night, but, if you wait until midnight on Oct. 31, you can take a break from the horror and flip this film on!
First up is a detective film that portrays the unfortunate reality of when the hunt for a killer turns obsessive. Officer Robert, Operation Hyacinth’s main character, is brutal in the interrogation room, turns his back on violence, and takes matters into his own hands rather than consult a team of investigators. The trailer does not reveal much, which could be either a good thing or a bad thing — that either means there is not much to the film, or that it did not give everything away, for once. The movie is Polish, and I can’t say I’ve ever knowingly consumed any Polish media, so I’m particularly interested in getting to know about Poland a bit through this film. It has been available to watch since Oct. 13, with a runtime of just under two hours; chances are, if you like the rogue detective trope, you’ll like this film.
The Unlikely Murderer
We’re taking a little stroll to Sweden for a dramatized version of the 1986 murder of Prime Minister Oloff Palme, and the man that may have gotten away with this crime. The Unlikely Murderer is a ‘limited series’ that will be available on Netflix come Nov. 5. It certainly seems like your next ‘Zodiac Killer’ or ‘Jack the Ripper’ remake, and the trailer hints at a pretty well-produced series. True crime fans, don’t forget this one!
Revenge stories are nothing new, even ones that focus on women’s revenge. We all know about Kill Bill, and Promising Young Woman got all the hype last year. What makes My Name unique is the main character’s particularly murderous drive as she hunts down the man that killed her father right in front of her eyes. In the trailer, Yoon Jiwoo says to someone (who we do not see), “I gave up my future and my name to catch the killer!” The series is set in Korea, which has been slow on the uptake of depicting powerful women in media, so this series plays a huge part in Korean feminism. It looks well-produced and very action-packed. Plus, in any detective-focused story, we can expect a plot twist (if the line “your father was killed by a cop” in the first 30 seconds of the trailer wasn’t enough), so there’s definitely something to look forward to. The first season is available to watch, with eight episodes falling just under an hour each.
The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea
It is time for more true crime! Netflix’s description for The Raincoat Killer reads: “In the early 2000s, Yoo Young-chul hammered his victims to death and cast fear across Seoul. This docuseries recounts the hunt for a prolific killer.” Chilling, honestly; this is relatively recent history, and a very brutal one, at that. The trailer shows real clips from crime scenes, chilling remakes of kidnappings and murders, and shaken detectives and witnesses talking about how many victims there could be (hundreds) and graphic recounts of murder scenes (flesh and blood on bathroom ceilings, for example). I’ve personally never heard of this case before seeing the trailer, but, as a true crime fanatic, I can’t wait to sit down and watch this docuseries. The first season has been available since Oct. 22; if you’re also interested in true crime, check it out! It definitely seems like a particularly chilling case.
Do you like hot women and vampires? On Oct. 20, Netflix released Night Teeth, which is, precisely, about hot women who are vampires, dragging around an unsuspecting driver and making him work for them. I can easily see this becoming a guilty pleasure movie of mine, hence why I placed it above even the true crime documentaries and dramatizations on this list. Honestly, it just looks like a lot of fun to watch, and like another break from actual horror movies — but a better break than When a Stranger Calls. Keep this one in mind if you plan on binge-watching horror movies this Halloween!
On Oct. 27, Netflix dropped a brand new mind game film, and it looks horrifying. A woman puts her trust in a hypnotic doctor who psychologically tortures her, forcing her into an . . . alternate dimension, maybe? She is certainly stuck in her own mind, and he has control over it. From the trailer alone, it is difficult to tell when she is in her normal world, and when she is under his control — and that’s thrilling. I’m certain it will be just as difficult to tell in the film. If you’re into mind game horror, reminiscent of films like Get Out and Saw, check out Hypnotic, with a runtime of an hour and a half!
Incident in a Ghostland
Maybe you’ve seen this film before, considering it was released initially in 2018, but it’s coming to Netflix on Halloween! The trailers for this film are intense, depicting two sisters being perpetually tortured, and reviews from horror fans are raving, saying it’s one of the best films they’ve seen. Netflix made a good choice, deciding to bring it to their platform on Oct. 31; what a way to get us all spooked up for the night! If you’re looking for something to watch Halloween night, Incident in a Ghostland could be your pick!
I’m surprised by the lack of up-and-coming ghost or demon stories, since that’s what we usually associate with Halloween films and shows. However, I’m personally a bigger fan of true crime and psychological horror, so I’m excited to sit down and watch these new releases. Hopefully, you find a gem in this list, and enjoy your Halloween with Netflix!
Featured Image Courtesy of Netflix Junkie.