As summer turns to fall, the promise of new and returning series, Oscar-caliber films, and plenty of compelling entertainment await at home.
The many streaming services of choice offer no shortage of content to keep us occupied, whether we’re looking to be challenged, informed, delighted, or scared. We’ve rounded up all that’s coming to three of the most popular services — Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime — with some highlights you won’t want to miss.
Naturally, with it being October, we have quite a selection of horror. Here’s what’s worth checking out.
The new Disney+ series “The Right Stuff” takes off with a two-episode premiere that follows the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union of the 1950s and 60s. Based on the popular book by Tom Wolfe, which also inspired the 1983 film of the same name, this series views the saga in a reality TV lens, as fame and money clashed with ambition. A trailer offers plenty of drama and action, and Disney’s proven storytelling talent along with National Geographic’s stellar reputation make this a promising series.
Another new series on the service, also led by National Geographic, takes viewers to Chimp Haven — a beautiful, sprawling animal sanctuary in Louisiana. This six-part story is narrated by Jane Lynch and will follow the life and times of some of the sanctuary’s 300 chimp inhabitants. Disney and National Geographic have a history of producing quality, immersive animals documentaries (with a strong focus on mammals), so you can surely expect laughs, tears, joy, and tension as we bear witness to the lives of these remarkable creatures.
Based on a memoir of the true story about a resilient young student turned singer, “Clouds” tells the tale of Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus), who received a tragic diagnosis upon entering his senior year of high school. Learning he has bone cancer, Zach elects to chase his dreams with the time he has: He signs a record deal and embraces music, love, friendship, and family on this bittersweet journey. This is one that will definitely tug at the heartstrings.
The popularity of the Frozen franchise seemingly knows no bounds. In addition to a pair of wildly successful feature features, Disney has created an Olaf short that debuted in between those two films, as well as detailed, lengthy behind-the-scenes series about the creation of “Frozen 2.” Our favorite characters from Arendelle return again in the short film “Once Upon A Snowman” with an origin story for everyone’s favorite wintry companion.
The show that helped launch Disney+ almost a year ago makes its eagerly awaited return. “The Mandalorian” won over fans and critics with its creative storytelling, fascinating cast, and a complete lack of Skywalkers. And of course that The Child — Baby Yoda — was ridiculously cute. Season two looks to immerse audiences with new characters, emerging foes, and maybe a famed bounty hunter long thought dead. Tune in, for as we know, this is the way.
The final film of acclaimed director Jeff Nichols thematic trilogy that follows father-and-son relationships in the American South, “Mud” is an impressive drama featuring Mathew McConaughey and Michael Shannon. This beautiful coming-of-age drama follows two young friends who make a connection with a fugitive on the run. With a talented cast and steller filmmaking, “Mud” was a commercial and critical success with an unforgettable story.
October is a month of mythic beasts and frightful creatures, and that’s what Hulu’s new horror anthology “Monsterland” promises in full. This eight-episode series will dabble thematically in the fine line that divides men and monsters, and it promises mermaids, ghouls, and other strange entities. Expect more weirdness than straight-up horror, but there will be some gore and as well as deeply personal, and maybe disturbing, tales.
Horror fans, here’s where you can expect a lot of gore and to potentially be truly terrified. This Hulu original film is based on the short stories of author Clive Barker, who genre veterans will know and love from the nightmarish “Hellraiser.” While it’s a movie, “Monsterland” will feature three tales of terror that titillate those who want to be scared. Just how frightful it is waits to be seen, but the success of this venture could mean more adaptations to come.
It’s been a long time coming, but Bachelor nation is finally getting to see what happens to the new bachelorette, Clare Crawley. The reality dating show that stands above all others restarted filming this summer, and lots of excitement awaits. Of course, those who follow gossip and rumors know that something strange and unprecedented may happen this season, which we won’t spoil here. It could very well be, as Chris Harrison always says, “the most dramatic season in Bachelorette history.”
Now for something completely different. Any fans of old game shows will recognize “Card Sharks” and “Supermarket Sweep” instantly. Joel McHale returns as the host of this reimagined “Card Sharks” for its second season, while a new “Supermarket Sweep” debuts its third reimagining since it began in the 60s, now with host Leslie Jones.
This date also sees another game show debut its latest season, as “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” returns with host Jimmy Kimmel. While the second season, like the first, will feature celebrities playing for charity, this run of episodes will also bring on frontline workers and those adversely affected by COVID-19 as contestants. It’s a big day to test your trivia knowledge, card skills, and grocery shopping acumen.
This horror-comedy bowed at Sundance earlier this year and now finally makes its premiere on Hulu. This ambitious and absurd film offers social commentary on the Black hair experience — particularly for women and their weaves — and then turns it on its head. Indeed, a demonic weave plagues the characters in this 80s B-movie-style horror. The results and reception of this film by Justin Simien (“Dear White People”) are decidedly mixed, but “Bad Hair” is undoubtedly entertaining and unique.
These pair of horror films by rising auteur Ari Aster make up two of the scariest films of the past few years, and with Halloween approaching, they’re worth a terrifying double feature. “Hereditary” finds an evil presence plaguing a family that’s constantly confronting despair, while “Midsommar” follows a group of friends on a trip to a small Swedish commune that’s celebrating summer festival. Both involve some shocking, disturbing imagery, endless dread, and wild finishes that will leave you shook. You’ve been warned — and challenged.
Part horror, part comedy — and completely entertaining — this homage to and subversion of the wilderness horror story is wildly entertaining and savvy. This movie from a creative team that loves science fiction and genre storytelling took a bit of time to actually get a release (the star power of Chris Hemsworth helped). But once it did, it became an instant cult classic. It’s gory, funny, and scary, with an ending that’s bold and brilliant.
Adults may want to check out this tense, sexy, and engrossing film from the masterful Park Chan-wook. It tells the story of a poor, crafty young woman who gets hired as a handmaiden to a wealthy heiress with a plan to steal her money. Both of these characters, along with the heiress’s controlling uncle and the handmaiden’s co-conspirator, have their own secrets in this captivating tale. They are masterfully, carefully revealed in this sultry thriller.
This 2011 Spielberg-inspired film from J.J. Abrams that was made during the director’s ascent to science-fiction movie dominance (he’s done “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” since) is a beautiful blend of horror and adults who don’t listen or care. Set in a small town in 1979, bearing witness to a shocking train crash sets a series of thrilling events in motion for these youngsters who caught it on camera. It may not be original, but it’s a wonderful, exciting watch.
This horror anthology series from the studio that regularly churns out popular, chilling (and profitable) films takes to Prime with eight separate stories. The first four premiere in October, with “Black Box” and “The Lie” coming Oct. 6, and “Evil Eye” and “Nocturne” dropping the following week. With some diverse and creative minds in front of and behind the camera, these horror films are sure to unnerve, shock, and scare.
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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