Halloween is around the corner, which means the annual scary film dump-a-thon is on. But don’t fear: These frightening treats will do the trick.
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By Erik Piepenburg
Stream it on Shudder.
My pick for the scariest movie of the year is Chloe Okuno’s nerve-shredding feature debut about a young woman who swears she’s being watched and stalked by a man in an apartment building across from hers.
The setting is Bucharest, where Julia (Maika Monroe, so good) has moved with her husband, Francis (Karl Glusman), after he gets a promotion. A killer is on the loose, so it makes sense that Julia has her suspicions about the creep she sees standing at a window seemingly observing her, the same guy she thinks followed her around a supermarket. Is she right? Or paranoid?
Boldly feminist and intensely chilling, “Watcher” is a Halloween movie for people who think they don’t like horror but want to give a really scary and (mostly) gore-free horror movie a shot. (Watch it during the day if you’re antsy.) Okuno dishes out the heebie-jeebies with ruthless precision — watching is like being on a roller-coaster incline and seeing the tracks ahead splinter. Be warned: You may never look at grocery bags the same way again.
Stream it on Hulu.
Laura (Andrea Riseborough) lives with her husband and teenage son on a quiet street in a small town in Northern Ireland. There’s a new family next door: Marie, her husband and their young daughter, Megan, who reminds Laura of her own little girl, who died in a car crash.
When Marie fails to pick Megan up from school one day, Laura gives her a ride home. But on the way, Megan (Niamh Dornan) asks Laura if she remembers a cemetery — a bizarre question, one of many to come, that makes Laura start to wonder if Megan might be her own daughter reincarnated. Laura loses her grip on reality as she obsesses about who or what is possessing Megan, until a final, jolting twist torpedoes reality.
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