Spooky season has an array of must-watch films, ranging from nostalgic reels like The Evil Dead and The Silence of the Lambs to newer releases such as The Wretched and Us. Make a seasonal cocktail and add these frightening flicks (some of which have ties to Michigan) to your queue for a festive night in this Halloween.
The Wretched offers a classic boy-next-door story with a supernatural twist. Ben (Jonh-Paul Howard) is already struggling with his parents impending divorce when he takes on another challenge that may be equally life changing. He faces off against his suspicious neighbor, who is just a shell of herself as a centuries-old witch possesses her. Made by Detroit brothers Brett and Drew Pierce, The Wretched was released in May and quickly became the No. 1 theatrical film in North America for five weeks. The setting may look familiar to some Mitten State viewers too because filming took place exclusively in Northpointe, Michigan. The Wretched is available to watch with a subscription on Hulu Premium and to buy or rent on Vudu and Amazon Prime Video.
Written and directed by Jordan Peele, Us follows a family of four as they confront their demons — literally. Eventually, the family comes goes up against a team of demonic doppelgängers who know each of them and their weaknesses. Us was released in 2019, two years after Peele’s first horror film, Get Out. Us is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNow, and Vudu.
A home invasion sets the scene for Don’t Breathe. Robbers target a blind man’s home, but the man isn’t as helpless as they expected, turning the crime into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Don’t Breathe was co-produced by Royal Oak native Sam Raimi, who is known for creating The Evil Dead series. Don’t Breathe 2, also co-produced by Raimi, is expected to come out next year. Don’t Breathe is available with a subscription on Fubo and to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft, Google Play, Youtube, and Vudu.
The Evil Dead
Taking place in a classic cabin in the woods set-up, The Evil Dead follows a group of Michigan State students on an unforgettable vacation. The cabin is stocked with camping essentials and a mysterious basement that unearths a demonic tone in the Michigan forest. Audiences can check out the 2013 version of this horror staple — also, co-produced by Sam Raimi — on Fubo and AMC streaming with a subscription, or they can rent or buy the film on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft, Google Play, Youtube, and Vudu.
The Silence of the Lambs
Another nostalgic throwback movie is The Silence of the Lambs from 1991. In this film, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, an FBI cadet invites the help of a known serial killer to help catch another criminal who skins his targets. The unlikely match is the perfect recipe for a suspenseful story. Considered a horror classic, the movie is one of three films, including 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and 1934’s It Happened One Night, to win the five main Oscar Awards — Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Silence of the Lambs is available with a subscription on Netflix and Showtime and to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft, Google Play, Youtube, and Vudu.
In 2013’s It Follows, Jay (Maika Monroe), goes on a date with her boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary), both Oakland University students, and their outing takes a sudden sinister turn. Jay has to unfold the mystery and find out the true identity of her boyfriend. The story is set in Michigan, and filming took place here as well. Look out for shots of the Redford Theatre in Detroit, Clark’s Ice Cream and Yogurt in Berkley, High Lift Water Works Park in Detroit, Clawson High School, Northville Psychiatric Hospital, University of Detroit, the Packard Plant in Detroit, and Jaycee Park in Troy. It Follows is available with a subscription on SyFy streaming and Fubo and to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft, Google Play, Youtube, and Vudu.
For audiences who prefer spooky over suspenseful, Hocus Pocus is a classic family-friendly Halloween movie that’s still worth a watch. After moving to a new town, Max (Omri Katz) struggles to fit in, but then he makes a connection with the Sanderson sisters, a trio of witches from the 17th century who are played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. Want even more of the Sanderson sisters? Check out the Hocus Pocus virtual reunion on Oct. 30. Hocus Pocus is available with a subscription on Disney Plus, and you can rent or buy the film on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft, Google Play, Vudu, and FandangoNow.