The fall season is upon us and so too are the many delights that come with it. Colorful leaves, cooler weather, apple picking, corn mazes, and of course pumpkin spiced everything. (Seriously. If you can imagine it, then somebody probably makes a pumpkin spice version of it.) But for those of us who smile dementedly every time a hockey mask-sporting maniac picks off another sex-crazed camp counselor in bloody fashion, this time of the year is our Mardi Gras. And part of the fun of being a horror fanatic during this time of the year is soaking in all the new gory goodness hitting our television and movie screens. That said, not every fall is chock-full of fresh frights. A couple of more recent fall schedules were disappointingly bare bones. Fortunately, that isn’t the case this year. 2021 has plenty to offer fans of the gushy goodness. In fact, there is so much to look forward to this fall that I am sure at least one of these petrifying projects hasn’t yet found its way onto your radar. But don’t you fret because we have our ear to the gory grind and want to make sure you know what to expect this year so that you can engorge your bloodthirsty, bloodshot eyeballs in as much of this stuff as humanly possible. Without further ado, the following list of movies and television series is presented in the order in which they are releasing/airing as well as the platform you can catch it on. I hope you find this helpful!
Eli Roth’s History of Horror, Season 3 (Oct. 1) [AMC]
Horror fans are a passionate people and they love discussing their favorite genre almost as much as they do watching it. This can lead to some pretty interesting and even compelling conversations, at least from the outside. Eli Roth’s History of Horror examines the origins of the everlasting genre from the inside, that is to say from the perspective of the folks who actually make it. It’s a well-produced, unabashed lovefest for all things freaky and a must-watch for anybody who considers themselves a fan.
VHS ’94 (Oct. 6) [Shudder]
After years of wondering whether or not it’s actually going to happen, horror streamer Shudder and horror new outlet Bloody Disgusting are teaming up to bring us the fourth installment in the anthology horror movie franchise. While 2016’s VHS: Viral left much to be desired, ’94 is looking to freshen things up by stepping back in time and bringing in fresh talent as well as some filmmakers who delivered some of the more memorable shorts from the series’ more celebrated past.
Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life (Oct. 8) [discovery+]
Eli Roth has been a busy boy because just one week after the premiere of the third season of History of Horror, another spooky show is set to debut, this too boasting the filmmaker’s name in the title, à la Alfred Hitchcock. Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life looks to “highlight the haunting untold stories of victims of the paranormal as they try to unpack the unexplainable causes of their emotional (and sometimes physical) trauma. Taking an entirely new approach to storytelling, the series goes beyond the initial terrifying contact with the unknown. Every unique show aims to reveal the ravaged relationships, lost livelihoods and obliterated sense of self that has plagued the main subject since their first confrontation with a ghost, demon, dark entity or poltergeist. Equal parts horrific and evocative, A Ghost Ruined My Life exposes audiences to the real-life stories of people dragged through hell and back as they struggle to rebuild their shattered lives.”
Lamb (Oct. 8) [A24]
The award for Most Bizarre movie on this list easily goes to Lamb. A24 of course is no stranger to strange stories. In fact, they’ve sort of built their brand on the singular, artistic visions from very talented filmmakers. Lamb seems to be hinting at a late-game creature feature with dire consequences. Then there’s Noomi Rapace, who is low-key one of the most reliable actresses doing their thing today. All the way around, this looks like one wild ride.
Chucky (Oct. 12) [Syfy Channel & USA Network]
In the current golden age of Hollywood remakes and reboots, it’s impressive – unbelievable, even – that the original Chucky canon that Don Mancini started with 1988’s Child’s Play has last over three decades (the 2019 remake being its own venture from Universal Pictures). The upcoming Syfy series, simply titled Chucky, is looking to keep the story of everybody’s favorite killer doll going into the new decade. What’s more, critically acclaimed producer and writer of Channel Zero, Nick Antosca, is joining Mancini and his team to bring to show to life. And of course Brad Dourif is returning to voice the slasher icon. This exciting fusion of old and new talent is reason to check the show out this October.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Oct. 15) [Amazon Video]
I’m going to be honest with you, the first trailer for the upcoming I Know What You Did Last Summer series was underwhelming to say the least. It looks more interested in sex and sensationalism than in telling its genuinely creepy story, one which Scream creator Kevin Williamson originated and went on to become a cult classic. Then there’s the fact that Williamson isn’t involved in the upcoming project, not even as an executive producer, a credit which more often than not signals a creator’s lack of involvement and serves as a big name meant only to draw in audiences who may be on the fence. While the stars aren’t exactly lining up for this show to be good, I can’t deny that the premise, at least on paper, could be a good fit for the television format.
Day of the Dead (Oct. 15) [Syfy Channel]
Following in the muddy, bloody footsteps of Chucky and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Syfy is tackling a genre favorite, George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead, with a series adaptation. According to Syfy themselves, that’s where the similarities end because this Day of the Dead will tell a completely original story with all new characters. Not much is known currently about what exactly said story will entail, but I am always down for new takes on classic stories. Especially when they involve zombies!
Slumber Party Massacre (Oct. 16) [Syfy Channel]
The very next day following the premier of their Day of the Dead show, Syfy will premiere their modern spin on Slumber Party Massacre, the brutal cult favorite slasher from the 1980s. As you might expect from contemporary remakes of older exploitation flicks, this Slumber Party looks to have dialed back the exploitation of its teenage female protagonists. Hopefully they haven’t also pulled back on all the gory goodness!
Behind the Monsters (Oct. 26) [Shudder]
Taking a more analytical approach to horror, Behind the Monsters will be diving deep into the genre’s most iconic antagonists. The Shudder exclusive series will feature interviews with horror experts and the writers, directors and actors from the original films that made these monsters the stuff of movie legend. The show will air new episodes every week with the premiere dropping on October 26. Season one will focus on Candyman, Chucky, Jason, Michael, Freddy and Pinhead.
Antlers (Oct. 29) [Searchlight Pictures]
It almost doesn’t feel real. Antlers has tantalized horror fans ever since the first trailer for this flick dropped two years ago. Since then, the marketing crew over at Searchlight has done an impressive job of keeping up interest for this anticipated creature feature. Although, I don’t imagine that is too difficult when your Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is involved.
Last Night in Soho (Oct. 29) [Focus Features]
A new movie from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright will always shoot the the top of my most anticipated films of the year. And despite his pretty prolific filmography, never has he tackled the psychological thriller. It has been a pleasure to watch the young Brit blossom into one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. Plus his new flick boasts two of the strongest young actresses on the scene in Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin (Oct. 29) [Paramount Plus]
The first three Paranormal Activity films together form one of the strongest horror trilogies of the last fifteen years. The next two films, while not as strong, still did enough to keep interest in the franchise alive. Then came Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, which the less said about, the better. Hopefully Next of Kin can rekindle that original spirit and terror that made the first few films such classics. With Underwater and The Signal director William Eubank behind the camera for this one, things so far are shaping up for the better.
Dexter: New Blood (Nov. 7) [Showtime]
Personally, this is probably the project on this list that I am most looking forward to. It’s probably also the biggest profile one of this bunch. I enjoyed a majority of the original eight seasons of Dexter. It provided plenty of shocking twists and turns as well as some of the most memorable performances in any television series to date. Not to mention the season eight finale was legitimately one of the most abysmal series finales of all time. It will be nice to see Dexter pick up the knife yet again and that last episode can become a distant memory, maybe even just another stepping stone to an even more impactful turn for the show.
What do you make of our list of upcoming horror projects that probably flew under most horror fans’ radars? Are you looking forward to any in particular? Which projects are on your list but for some reason did not make the cut here? Sound off in the comments section below and let us and the rest of the horror loving community know your thoughts!