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Frighteningly good movies to stream on Halloween

2020 has been plenty scary enough – but if you’re looking for something a little less real to keep you up at night, Showmax has a monster Halloween line-up full of things that go bump in the night… 


Us

Kenyan Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther, 12 Years A Slave) stars as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children.

But their idyllic summer getaway turns to chaos when their doppelgängers begin to terrorise them.

Directed by Jordan Peele, Us was appeared in numerous Best of the Year lists for 2019.

The horror has a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who listed it at #1 on their list of the best-reviewed horror movies of all times and #2 behind Black Panther on their list of The 100 Best Black Movies Of The 21st Century.


Hereditary 

When Ellen passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel increasingly terrifying secrets about her life. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

Hereditary stars Oscar nominee Toni Collette and Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), as well as Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne.

It has 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics call it “a harrowing, uncommonly unsettling horror film whose cold touch lingers long beyond the closing credits.”


The Addams Family

In the 2019 reboot, the world’s kookiest family is coming to town and this poor little New Jersey suburb has no idea what’s about to hit it.

When Wednesday Addams befriends the daughter of reality TV host Margaux Needler, who’s hell-bent on building the perfect planned community, the Addams family find themselves way out of their league when it comes to “assimilation.”

The all-star voice cast is led by Charlize Theron as Morticia Addams with Chloë Grace Moretz as Wednesday. The Addams Family is rated 10-12 PGVH.


Rage 

In Rage, a group of school-leavers descends on a tiny coastal town for a celebration of their freedom. Roxy, Sihle, Kyle, Leon, Tamsyn and Neo party on the beach and drink themselves silly every night.

The townsfolk, Hermien and her son Albert, are welcoming – too welcoming …

Rage is directed by Jaco Bouwer, and stars Nicole Fortuin alongside The Girl From St Agnes stars Jane de Wet and Tristan de Beer and others. Rage was hailed by Channel24 as “quite stunning and brilliantly filmed”.

Other local horrors on Showmax include Beer Adrianse’s Parable and Darrell Roodt’s Siembamba/The Lullaby, which both picked up international awards, and Jerome Pikwane’s The Tokoloshe, which opened the 2018 Durban International Film Festival.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 

From the dark imaginations of Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro comes Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on the iconic book series.

It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind but the small town of Mill Valley seems far removed from the unrest in the cities.

For generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large there. In their mansion on the edge of town, Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time – stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home…


Child’s Play

Chucky’s back. Even better, he’s now a smart home assistant, and voiced by Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker in Star Wars).

From the producers of It, Child’s Play cleverly updates the 80s horror icon for the Internet of Things era – and as RogertEbert.com says, the result is “nastier, more playful, and just as good if not better than the original film.”


Ma

Octavia Spencer kicks her Oscar-winning actress mould to the curb and stomps on it in this bonkers horror flick, with a little help from her best friend and former housemate, BAFTA-nominated writer/director Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train), who hand-picked the stereotype-smashing role at her request.

Ma centres on a group of teens who luck out when middle-aged single Sue Ann (aka Ma) offers them her basement to hang out and party in. But just as it seems things couldn’t get sweeter, they begin to suspect there’s something a little off about Ma…

“Audiences will walk out with that good chiropractor feeling,” says San Francisco Chronicle, “the one that says, ‘Yes, I have been manipulated. I have been nothing but manipulated and pounded on for the last 90 minutes. And it was a very satisfying thing.’”


Pet Sematary 

Dr Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, move to rural Maine with their two young children. When their daughter Ellie discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home, Louis is quick to put her at ease.

But these woods belong to something else. Something that brings things back from the dead.

This 2019 adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars Oscar nominee John Lithgow (The Crown, 3rd Rock from the Sun), Jason Clarke (John Connor in Terminator Genisys), and Amy Seimetz (Eleven’s aunt Becky in Stranger Things), with Jeté Laurence (Sneaky Pete) as Ellie.


Crawl

If the storm doesn’t get you, the alligators will…

Following a Category 5 hurricane, competitive swimmer Haley and her estranged father, Dave, find themselves trapped in the flooded basement of their run-down house, where every shadow conceals the waiting jaws of a brutal apex predator.

This excellent schlock creature-feature horror is a 2020 nominee for both Best Horror Film at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards and Best Wide Release Film at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, and scored 83% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Overlord

From Emmy-winning super-producer J.J. Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek), Overlord follows a group of American paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.

As the soldiers approach their target, they soon begin to realise that there’s more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.

Making their way to an underground lab, the outnumbered men stumble upon a sinister experiment that forces them into a vicious battle against an army of the undead.

Overlord has an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus says, “Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, and part all-out genre gorefest, Overlord offers A-level fun for B-movie fans of multiple persuasions.”


Hellboy

It takes a brave director to take over a dearly loved franchise over from Guillermo del Toro.

Enter Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, The Descent). He’s brought in an all-star cast as backup, including Golden Globe nominee David Harbour (Stranger Things) in the title role; Milla Jovovich as Nimue, The Blood Queen; and the likes of Golden Globe winner Ian McShane (John Wick) and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways).

Anything based on Mike Mignola’s graphic novels will always be worth watching for us, but just be warned: this one got more love from the Razzie Awards than critics…


The House With a Clock in its Walls

Ten-year-old orphan Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his strange uncle in a creaky old house whose walls contain a mysterious tick-tocking magic. When Lewis accidentally disturbs the dead, the sleepy town comes alive with dark witchery.

Based on John Bellairs’ children’s book, The House With A Clock In Its Walls stars Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Golden Globe nominee Jack Black, as well as Golden Globe winner Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks).

It’s the first younger-audience film from gore maestro Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), who’s called it a “starter horror movie.”  Slate calls it “a bullseye… perfectly balanced between funny and scary.”


The Purge 

In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity – including murder – becomes legal.

The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend help. It’s one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment.

On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger breaks into their gated community.

The #1 box office hit spawned another three movies, The Purge: Anarchy(2014) , The Purge: Election Year (2016), and he First Purge (2018) – all of which are available on Showmax .


Check out even more Halloween options in the Hallow-Scream Collection of scary movies and series. Watch all this and more on Showmax from R49 per month »

MTN subscribers can get Showmax Mobile plus 1GB for just R49 per month. That’s 10 hours to stream your favourite series, movies, kids’ shows and more. Find out more »

This article was published in partnership with Showmax.

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Frighteningly good movies to stream on Halloween