It's October and things are getting spooooky! If you don't have time to filter through all the scary ass options to find something worth watching (and can't wait for our next Netflix round-up), we put together a list of our favorite spine-chilling movies of 2018 as reviewed by our team of Film & TV critics—and where you can watch them this season.
A Quiet Place (the one everybody loved this year)
Krasinski and Emily Blunt star in this fun, brawny horror flick that has a surprisingly sugary heart and an ingenious gimmick. The film begins well after the creatures’ conquest. A man, his pregnant partner, and their son and daughter live in silence on an isolated farm, every aspect of their existence adapted to minimize noise: sand-covered trails, sign language, light and smoke signals, even cloth game pieces. But despite their ingenuity, the family must take increasingly drastic measures to protect themselves even as the pre-adolescent daughter, who’s deaf, rebels against her father. JOULE ZELMAN
Hereditary (the other one everybody loved this year)
Hereditary is brilliant—the whole thing hums with cold electricity that’s guaranteed to unsettle your soul. Aster gracefully illustrates humanity’s ancient fear of predestined fate in a setting, and with a family unit, that feels deeply rooted in reality. CIARA DOLAN
Mandy (feat. bugfuck crazy Nicholas Cage)
...don’t worry, lovers of Cage and the excess he represents: Once the vengeance plot revs up, you get all the eye-bugging lunacy you’ve come for. There’s a chain-saw duel, a creature with a knife-penis, some spectacular beheadings and cranium-splittings, and a bouquet of nonsensical one-liners (“You’re a vicious snowflake,” “You RIPPED my SHIRT” “I AM YOUR GOD NOW!”). JOULE ZELMAN
See it this week before it leaves theaters, at Grand Cinema in Tacoma or SIFF Cinema Uptown, this week only.
Upgrade (an underrated sci-fi thriller with some action and body horror)
Upgrade becomes a sort of poor man’s RoboCop meets a basic cable Black Mirror with shades of The Crow (RoboCop 2: Cyber Cop!). Writer/director Leigh Whannell doesn’t have Paul Verhoeven’s gift for satire, but he does have a horror director’s facility for visceral gore and suspenseful compositions. VINCE MANCINI
The Terror (terror... in the snow!)
The Terror’s ability to impart palpable sensations of cabin fever and endless-winter madness is more knuckle-whitening than anything its characters might encounter out on the ice. NED LANNAMANN
Watch the series at AMC.com (free; cable subscription required), on Amazon or on iTunes ($24.99 for the full season), on Google Play ($18.99 for the full season), or on YouTube ($18.99 SD or $24.99 HD for the full season). Or, you can save your money and wait for its inevitable appearance on Hulu or Netflix.
The Endless (UFO death cult!)
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead’s mind-unspooling sci-fi thriller The Endless is one of those strange films that feels lightweight while flirting with cosmic ideas. The writer-directors play brothers, named, of course, Justin and Aaron, who escaped a UFO cult as teenagers. In adulthood, Justin is domineering and overprotective. But when the men receive a concerning videotape from the true believers at Camp Arcadia, Aaron demands that they drive back into the wild to find out what happened, and Justin reluctantly agrees. JOULE ZELMAN
Unsane (Steven Soderbergh's thriller, shot entirely on an iPhone)
It’s never quite clear how much we can trust Sawyer. Claire Foy does a remarkable job keeping us focused on her plight, even as she remains an almost entirely unreliable and unlikeable protagonist. While that element of Unsane rubs rough against the film’s subtext of a woman’s voice and story being ignored or doubted, it doesn’t take away from the film’s creeping, fascinating dread. ROBERT HAM
Annihilation (Alex Garland's sci-fi thriller... horror... mystery... thing)
Garland’s visual ingenuity is extraordinary. Vines and flowers and fungus sprout from the edges of the frame in pinks, purples, teals, and yellows; that the film wrings so much dread out of these ostensibly cheerful colors is among its many wonders. There are shots so beautiful that you’ll probably gasp in the theater; seconds later, there are things so revolting you’ll feel sick to your stomach. NED LANNAMANN
Annihilation is available to stream only on Epix (free with applicable cable membership). To see it on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or YouTube, you have to "buy" a copy, with prices starting at $14.99.