Every year, it's like a movie-making tradition to release a slew of horrors and thrillers right around the fall season -- particularly the month of October. So why would this year be any different? Hollywood has been stepping up its game when it comes to the quality of films in this genre -- though they're not always Oscar-worthy, they're entertaining as hell.
We've listed the most interesting comedies and dramas to watch out for as part of our fall movie preview, and to wrap the series up with a nice, creepy bow, we present the seven best horrors and thrillers.
See also: Fall Movie Preview: Five Best Dramas
The Guest, September 17
Spoiler alert: Remember when we were all sad when Matthew Crawley met a horrific fate in Downton Abbey? Well, apparently he died so he could be reborn as this badass American war veteran who knows how to beat people up and use all sorts of guns. In The Guest, he plays a guest who stays at the house of an army buddy of his who lost his life in battle; "He wanted me to come check in on y'all," he says in the trailer. Aside from keeping a watchful eye on this family, there's plenty of violence that ensues and we're not entirely sure if he's a good guy or a bad guy. We can't say we don't mind this new incarnation (but we'll always miss Matthew).
Tusk, September 19
From the mind of writer, director, (and smodcaster), Kevin Smith, comes a tale so creepy, so terrifying, and yet so comical, it can only star Justin Long. With a mustache. That's Justin Long with a mustache. Long plays a podcaster who travels the world to speak with interesting people and ends up in Canada in the hands of a maniac who wants to turn him into a walrus. Though the premise sounds utterly ridiculous, it actually came to Smith while he was recording an episode of his podcast where he talked about reading a strange ad on Craigslist looking for someone to dress up as a walrus. Smith spoke about his inspiration for Tusk at last year's Supercon in Miami and even asked fans to tweet #WalrusYes if they wanted him to make the movie. One year later, we all got our wish. The scariest part of the trailer: when Long whispers into this phone frantically, "I don't want to die in Canada."
Annabelle, October 3
As if Chuckie didn't give us reason enough to hate life-sized dolls and be eternally creeped out by them, Annabelle should help hammer that final nail on the coffin. Acting as a somewhat prequel to The Conjuring where we first encountered this creepy doll named Annabelle, this horror flick tells the story of how she came to be. In what looks and sounds to be the 1950s, a nice-looking couple experiences an attack by a crazy woman dressed all in white with dark, long hair. Mia and John fight her off and she dies clutching a doll. A droplet of her blood falls on the doll, and cue the instant possession. Now we'll have to see if Mia and John can expel the demon from the doll. A little holy water and some fire usually does the trick.
Dracula Untold, October 10
Apparently, all the stories we know about Dracula appear to not be true. We're only joking, we (sadly) know vampires aren't real, but what is real is the historical man who inspired the tales. Vlad Tepes was a Romanian prince, and Dracula Untold aims to blend a little history with a whole lotta fiction. The film explores the history of Tepes and depicts him as a loving man who will do anything to protect his family and his village, even if that means sacrificing his soul, it seems. Dracula Untold is half scary story and half action/adventure fantasy. We're most looking forward to seeing this other side of the famed first vampire - and of course Luke Evans, we're always looking forward to looking at him for as long as we can.
The Two Faces of January, October 17
There are few things less thrilling than the story of a con artist. Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst prove that a couple who cons together, stay together. The two play a couple vacationing in Athens, Greece when a private investigator catches up to them. Things take a turn for the worse, and a tour guide sees something he probably shouldn't have. Our favorite Miami native, Oscar Isaac, plays the guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now, he's stuck running for his life -- or is he? We can't help but get the ominous inkling that maybe there's more to Isaac's character than meets the eye. It's con versus con in The Two Faces of January.
Ouija, October 24
General rule of thumb: anything involving an Ouija board is freaky as fuck. And, oddly enough, movies that deal with a group of kids who awaken an evil entity by playing with the board game never get old. Rather, it's intriguing to see how the story will be told from a fresh perspective. In the case of Ouija (no need to reach far for that title), a group of friends gather to use the board to communicate with their recently deceased friend. Naturally, strange things start to happen and they have to figure out how to stop the hauntings. The trailer looks eerie enough to get our attention and the release date has perfect timing. Maybe it's not the best idea to see this movie on Halloween night -- we're just saying.
Chuck Zlotnick/Open Road Films
Nightcrawler, October 31
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We all know it's hard out there for a pimp, but it's also hard out there for a journalist, too, okay? You're a hard working, ambitious young thing who just wants to break the news and cover it truthfully. But things ain't easy and you get desperate. So desperate you might even, say, have a small hand in creating the news you cover? That would be very, very bad (not to mention illegal). Someone should tell Jake Gyllenhaal that, because he's gone straight up cuckoo in Nightcrawler. Acting as a freelancer crime journalist, Gyllenhaal's character, Lou Bloom, aims to get to the scene of an accident first, film it, and sell his footage to the highest bidder. Sometimes crime scenes don't unravel in the most visually pleasing ways, so Bloom takes it upon himself to rearrange some body parts and maybe withhold some evidence here or there. It's going to be quite the thrilling ride indeed.
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