Strap yourselves in. The next two months are going to be AWESOME.
When does the Halloween season officially begin? Is it when all the big stores start putting out their Halloween stuff? Maybe it’s when General Mills unleashes their Monster Cereals? If you’re asking me, the season officially kicks off proper in September, giving us two whole months to fully embrace the spirit of the season.
And between September 1st and October 31st of this year, oh boy do horror fans like ourselves have a whole lot to look forward to.
Whereas some years provide us with little to no new horror in the weeks leading up to Halloween, the 2017 season is jam packed with awesome, kicking off with a bang thanks to Andy Muschietti’s IT. Headed to the big screen on September 8, the new adaptation is one the most hotly-anticipated horror movies in many years, and all signs point to it doing Stephen King’s novel the terrifying justice it has long deserved. All signs also point to IT smashing box office records, which is needless to say going to be huge for horror.
Hitting the big screen just one week later, on September 15, is the mysterious mother!, the brand new horror film from the Oscar-nominated Darren Aronofksy. We know almost nothing about the film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, but it’s drawing favorable comparisons to Rosemary’s Baby and we can be pretty sure that we’re in good hands with Aronofsky at the helm. After all, the last horror film Aronofsky made, 2010’s Black Swan, was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards!
Another big source of big screen excitement this Halloween season is Jigsaw, the return of the Saw franchise that’s headed to theaters on October 27. It’s the eighth film in the series, and the first new Saw sequel in seven years. There was a time when Saw movies were a Halloween tradition, so it’s pretty exciting that the tradition is being restored so many years after the final nail was seemingly hammered into its coffin. How the hell is Jigsaw back? Personally, I can’t wait to find out.
On the small screen, a host of new horror movies look to potentially outshine this year’s theatrical offerings. First up, sequel The Houses October Built 2, arriving on September 22, should be the perfect film to get us all into the Halloween spirit. Like the first film, it looks to be a virtual visit to the most extreme of haunted attractions.
Also in September, Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil director Mike Flanagan’s Gerald’s Game will premiere on Netflix on Friday, September 29. The film is of course an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 suspense thriller, a novel that was previously considered to be unfilmable. King himself recently called Flanagan’s film “horrifying, hypnotic and terrific,” so it sounds like Flanagan has done right by the horror master with this one. Flanagan is himself becoming a master of horror, so new projects from him are always exciting.
Several of our favorite franchises are being revived this Halloween, including the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (Inside), Leatherface will hit DirecTV on September 21, followed by a proper VOD roll-out on October 20. This one is a prequel to Tobe Hooper’s original classic, telling the origin story of the Gunnar Hansen iteration of the hulking, chainsaw-wielding brute. You could argue that such a film is unnecessary, but hey, I’m always happy to have a horror icon back.
Speaking of which, everyone’s favorite killer doll is also coming back, with Don Mancini’s Cult of Chucky being released direct to home video on October 3 – along with the Unrated Blu-ray, DVD and Digital release, the complete 7-film Blu-ray collection is being released same day. The new film, a direct sequel to Curse of Chucky, sounds absolutely bonkers, and we’ve got a good feeling that Mancini is going to blow some minds with this one. The fact that he’s remained the franchise’s architect after all these years is a true gift to us all.
Oh and there’s also fourth franchise installment Victor Crowley, going on tour in October, and Happy Death Day, releasing Friday, October 13!
Of course, movies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this year’s Halloween season thrills and chills. In the world of television, “American Horror Story: Cult” premieres on FX September 5, the hit series’ seventh season exploring the horrors of a post-Trump America. Then, FOX’s “The Exorcist” returns for its second season on September 29, pitting Tomas and Marcus up against a brand new evil. On October 22, “The Walking Dead” kicks off all-out war with its eighth season.
Just in time for Halloween, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” premieres its entire second season on October 27. Halloween weekend binge party, anyone?
And let’s not forget “Fear the Walking Dead,“ returning for Season 3.5 on September 10, and “Channel Zero: No-End House,“ premiering September 20!
As for the third season of “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” we assume at this point that it’s been bumped to 2018. And that may be for the best, as the schedule is already so packed.
What are YOU most looking forward to this Halloween season?