What to stream: Getting ready for spooky season

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This may come as a shock, but it’s October this week, which means for some, it’s pumpkin spice season, while for others, it’s the start of spooky season. Though Halloween just might not be the same this year, there are many ways to celebrate safely at home. So light that autumnal candle, grab that pumpkin spice latte and cue up some of these scary streaming TV and movies to put you in the mood.

Dropping Friday on Hulu is “Monsterland,” a new horror anthology series based on the book “North American Lake Monsters: Stories” by Nathan Ballingrud. The series was created by writer Mary Laws, who co-wrote “The Neon Demon” (stream it now on Amazon Prime), in addition to working as a writer and producer on the Emmy-winning “Succession” (stream both seasons on HBO), and AMC’s “Preacher” (watch all four seasons on Hulu).

Laws has lined up quite the slate of talent for each episode, which play like standalone, hour-long horror films. The first episode, “Port Fourchon, LA” starring Kaitlyn Dever, written by Laws and directed by “Black Mirror” and “Castle Rock” director Anne Sewitsky, is genuinely terrifying. Other episodes are directed by such rising stars as Kevin Phillips (“Super Dark Times,” watch it on Netflix), Nicolas Pesce (“The Eyes of My Mother” on Magnolia Selects, and “Piercing,” $3.99 digital rental), Desiree Akhavan (“The Miseducation of Cameron Post” on Kanopy) and many more. Each blends the supernatural with a grounded reality, creating a sense of horror that arise from the real-world circumstances that allow for these monsters to surface.

If “Monsterland” whets your taste for more spooky stuff, check out the streaming service Shudder, which I’ve mentioned a few times, especially their fantastically scary Zoom horror movie “Host.” Shudder is a streaming service dedicated to horror films old and new, international and domestic. The curation is impeccable, and the platform boasts a number of original horror series, films, and documentaries. They also have a live option, streaming films from their library so you are less likely to get lost in the scroll.

In other exciting horror streaming news, cult imprint Arrow Video will be launching their own streaming platform in North America on Thursday. The independent distribution company is known for their restorations and rereleases of classic cult/horror films, and they’ll be bringing that eye for curation and restoration to their streaming platform, which launches with favorite titles such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Hellraiser” and “Hellbound: Hellraiser II,” “Ringu” (the original Japanese film that was remade into “The Ring”) and “The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast,” 12 films from the man known as “The Grandfather of Gore.” If you’ve never seen any of his films, revel in the astonishingly red and squishy special effects. There are also a few themed “seasons” lined up for October, including “Edgar Wright Selects,” “Tooled Up” and “Midnight Movies.”

Arrow will launch on all platforms Thursday. Check it out for the month of October with a 30-day free trial ($4.99 per month after that), and catch up on every slasher, giallo film and cult horror classic you’ve never seen.

With the plethora of horror content hitting this week, you’ll be ready to ring in the spooky season in no time.


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