The best Halloween horror movies and specials to watch in 2022


Is there anything better than the Halloween season?

Sure, here at Polygon we cover horror all year round. We have our rolling lists of the best horror movies to watch at home and the best horror movies on Netflix that are updated every month of the year.

But even for year-round horror fans, Halloween is a special time of year.

For the past two years, Polygon has put together a Halloween Countdown calendar, featuring a Halloween-friendly movie or TV show that can be watched at home every day of October. We’re excited to bring that back again, with 31 spooky selections to keep you in the mood all month long.

Throughout October, we’ll be adding a new recommendation to this Countdown every day and telling you where to check it out. So curl up on the couch, dim the lights and grab some popcorn for a terrifying and entertaining array of Halloween surprises.

October 1: Audition (1999)

Image: Arrow Movies

In Audition, Takashi Miike’s 1999 psychological horror thriller, Love is a consensual fiction. Years after losing his wife to a terminal illness, widower Shigeharu Aoyama is urged by his son to go back out into the world and find someone. Aoyama agrees to a proposal from his friend, a film producer, to participate in an audition for a non-existent film to find a potential bride from the candidates. His search eventually leads him to Asami Yamazaki, a beautiful former ballerina with a dark past.

As Aoyama gets closer to his newfound love interest, he finds himself increasingly caught up in a web of intrigue that threatens to tear him apart emotionally, psychologically, and yes — even physically. There is something dark in Asami, yes, but there is also a latent darkness in Aoyama, maybe even darker. The only difference is that Asami has embraced that darkness and made it her own.

Miike’s film keeps its cards relatively close to his chest for most of its runtime, unraveling the tightly wound mystery like Garrote’s thread before peeling its skin from meet-cute artifices to reveal a pulsating mass of horrors that lie beneath. squirms. The film descends into a macabre state of assumptions, deception and cinematic magic tricks, with dreams that feel almost real against a reality too terrifying to be anything but. But in the end these are just words. Only pain can be trusted. —Toussaint Egan

Audition is available to stream on Arrow Video and Hi-Yah!, free with ads on Tubi and free on Kanopy with a library card. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on vudu and Apple.

October 2: The Disappearance (1988)

A sinister-looking man with a goatee smiles at another man against a pitch-black background in The Vanishing.

Image: The Criterion Collection

It’s not necessarily a horror movie, and yet Stanley Kubrick said so the disappearance was the most terrifying movie he had ever seen. This 1988 Dutch thriller—often referred to by the original title Spoorloos, so as not to confuse it with an inferior 1993 American remake by the same director, George Sluizer—plays it cool, like a simple missing person case. Rex and Saskia are a young couple on a road trip through France. They pause at a gas station when Saskia abruptly and completely disappears.

Initially, the horror of the situation lies in its banality: the feeling that it can happen at any time and to anyone. Sluizer underlines this with the sober realism of his location shots. Then, barely 20 minutes later, he puts the audience on the wrong track with an abrupt shift: we follow Raymond, a contented French family man who seems to be rehearsing a kidnapping. The mystery of what happened to Saskia seems already solved. What now?

The way the film – very closely based on Tim Krabbé’s novella The Golden Egg – jumps so quickly beyond the expected structure of a mystery thriller is supposed to sap the tension, but in fact it builds an almost philosophical unease. While Raymond, played with chilling clarity by Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, guides us through the “how” of his crime, the “why” becomes a nagging, far more disturbing question. We skip ahead three years and find that Rex is obsessed with figuring out what happened to his lost love. When an answer is offered, we fully share his hunger for it and follow him to what may be the most downright horrific ending to a movie ever. This is a minimal masterpiece of existential dread. —Oli Welsh

the disappearance is available to stream on The Criterion Channel, or for digital rental or purchase on Apple and Amazon.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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