Put away your swim trunks and start cranking some Earth, Wind, and Fire because September is upon us! It’s the time of year when the leaves change color, when the smell of fires linger in the air, when days become shorter, and grocery store shelves get stocked with bulk bags of Halloween candy. In other words, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” (Suck it, Christmas.)
With the arrival of fall, there comes a feeling, almost an obligation, to feast our eyes upon something spooky. After all, Halloween is just around the corner and that crisp chill in the air deserves to find a way to creep into your spine. So gather your friends, don your costumes, and get ready for September to offer evil clowns, Satanic rituals, mass murderers, and more!
Here are five horror films you absolutely need to watch this September:
‘IT: Chapter Two’ – September 6
Subgenre: “Can’t Sleep. Clown Will Eat Me.”
Official Synopsis: Seven kids banded together to defeat an ancient evil in the first half of the adaptation of Stephen King’s epic horror novel It, but it turns out they didn’t actually finish the job. Twenty-seven years later, the clown-faced demon Pennywise returns to terrorize the town of Derry, Maine — and the Losers Club reunites to put him down for good, if they can.
Why You Should Check It Out: The first It saw the Losers Club as children and, as such, their fears were manifestations of childish terrors. It Chapter Two sees the Losers Club as adults with all their adult fears the fodder from which Pennywise will draw his terrors. Trust me when I say that things are far more twisted in this sequel.
Andy Muschietti’s first It was a cultural phenomenon that no one saw coming. Generating over $700 million, the movie went on to become the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. This sequel is more than just the end of the Losers Club’s fight, it’s perhaps the most anticipated horror sequel in existence.
‘Satanic Panic’ – September 6
Subgenre: “Pizza Delivery Is A Helluva Job”
Official Synopsis: Sam’s first day as a pizza delivery driver is not going according to plan. At the end of a long day and not enough tips, her last delivery turns out to be for a group of Satanists looking for someone to sacrifice. Now in a fight for her life, Sam must fend off witches, evil spells and demonic creatures, all while trying to keep her body – and soul – intact.
Why You Should Check It Out: The Fangoria team brings a new entry to the comedy/horror subgenre with this witty, biting, gory, and hilarious tale about a pizza delivery girl who just wants her rightfully earned tip. Director Chelsea Stardust brings to life a story from Ted Geoghan (We Are Still Here, Mohawk) and Grady Hendrix (Paperbacks From Hell, Horrorstör) and everything comes together in a bloody, hysterical film that has become a festival darling. Satanic Panic is the perfect movie for a group of teenage girls about to kick off a slumber party. Just make sure your local sex toy shop isn’t selling any monstrous drill-dos or else there might be some very strange Halloween costume decisions this year…
‘Haunt’ – September 13
Subgenre: “Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood And I Took The One THAT DIDN’T HAVE A CREEPY HOUSE AT THE END OF IT”
Official Synopsis: On Halloween, a group of friends encounters an “extreme” haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some monsters are real.
Why You Should Check It Out: Who cares that it’s not October? Fall means Halloween season and that means haunted houses galore!
For those unaware, there are certain haunts that are classified as “extreme.” These are the kinds of places that make you sign a release form for a variety of reasons. It could be that the haunt features nudity or grislier than usual visuals, so they want to make sure you know what you’re getting into. For others, it might be that attendees will be interacted with physically. This could mean that the ghouls who stalk the hallways are allowed to grab you, lift you up, etc… They will also probably have a limit as to how far they can go. But then there are the places where all bets are off and nothing is sacred.
From the writers of A Quiet Place comes Haunt, a horror film that mashes an extreme haunt location with the stylings of a slasher. With great production value and a location that screams “Y’all are so f’ed right now,” this is prime content for the season!
‘3 From Hell’ – September 16
Subgenre: “You Can’t Keep A Good Murderous Trio Down”
Official Synopsis: First there was House of 1000 Corpses. Then there was The Devil’s Rejects. Now, Fathom Events and Saban Films bring Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell to theaters. Don’t miss the next blood-soaked chapter in the Firefly family trilogy.
Why You Should Check It Out: Rob Zombie’s Firefly films have become horror classics. Capturing the grimy feel of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the chaotic energy of Feast, Zombie’s films are pure heavy metal horror goodness. House of 1,000 Corpses was a tale of torture, of friends who wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Devil’s Rejects was an open road chase between the remaining Firefly family and the determined police. Who knows what route Zombie will take with 3 From Hell but, suffice it to say, it’s almost certainly going to be one of the most vicious and unrelenting horror titles of the year. Horror and Rob Zombie fans will definitely want to snag tickets to Fathom’s three-night special event.
‘Villains’ – September 20
Subgenre: “If Pennywise Ain’t For You But You Still Stan The Skarsgård Clan”
Official Synopsis: Mickey and Jules are lovers on the run, headed southbound for a fresh start in the Sunshine State. When their car dies after a gas station robbery, they break into a nearby house looking for a new set of wheels. What they find instead is a dark secret and a sweet-as-pie pair of homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out.
Why You Should Check It Out: Sometimes all you want is a movie to be unending amounts of fun. That’s precisely what Villains has to offer, opening with a splash and never letting up for even a minute. The chemistry between leads Bill Skarsgård and Maika Monroe is undeniable, their frequent tête-à-têtes absolutely delightful. Alternating between raucous and unsettling, Villains is the cinematic equivalent of a freight train that went off the rails. It’s one helluva ride and you best believe there’s a reason reviews have been almost universally positive.