(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: Halloween is so close I can *taste* and wow, it tastes rank. How else would rotten zombie flesh, newt eyes, and intestinal slasher trophies tickle your taste buds? There’s no deception there, but sometimes when seeking spooky October cinema, we’re tricked by unassuming titles or treated to hidden gems. In the spirit of finding something more palatable for y’alls seasonal parties, Chris and myself are going to spotlight some tricky winners and horrific treats to watch.

Chris: October feels like it’s flown by, but I hope you’ve been enjoying it, boils and ghouls. As Halloween approaches, Matt and I have put together a list of cinematic tricks and treats sweeter than any candy apple and chewier than a handful of candy corn. So put on your full Dracula costume, grab your rubber skeleton mask, and get ready to scream your face off! 

Uncanny Annie

Now Streaming on Hulu

Matt: Into The Dark has been a hit-or-miss bag of tricks and treats itself, but October’s Uncanny Annie is a fun festive delight. You can read my full review already posted here on SlashFilm, but in summation, Paul Davis finds a way to subvert normal Halloween architectures while still overseeing darkened entertainment. Play spectator to Annie’s board game of doom, as players are forced to answer “Truth” questions or take part in “Mischief” dares – and refusal means DEATH. Think deadly Jumanji with Grim Reapers and final execution over jungle imprisonment. Solid slumber party creepiness worth your streaming time.

Chris: I have not enjoyed any of the Into The Dark segments. Will I enjoy this one if I watch it? We’ll see! 

The Mutilator

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Buddy Cooper’s hilarious trick within The Mutilator is a first-act fake out that sells something completely different than the gruesome slasher marketed. As the film hits opening credits, students prepare for a beachside vacation during the fall. Then it happens – “Fall Break” reads the title card. Cue Peter Yellen’s 80s sitcomy original theme, and horror fans can only scratch their heads at the silliness being put forth (supposedly a grindhouse classic). Bodies start piling up and we eventually discover how The Mutilator earns its reputation, but don’t get me wrong. It’s poorly edited, poorly acted, poorly filmed – and I can’t wait to watch Cooper’s vicious laugher twenty more times.

Chris: I haven’t seen this, but I misread the name above as Bradley Cooper for a second and got very confused. 

The Taking Of Deborah Logan

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Adam Robitel has been candid about how Netflix saved The Taking Of Deborah Logan, given Millenium Entertainment’s burial after a notably poor test screening. Consider this a treat, because without streaming resurgence, Robitel’s mockumentary nightmare might have been forever buried under bargain bin piles. I can’t heap enough praise on Deborah Logan herself, Jill Larson, who portrays an Alzheimer’s patient afflicted by something vastly more sinister and unholy. Plus, that gifable snack sequence you’ll all seen – even more despicable in the film’s context. No tricks here, only lights-off terror to unwrap

Chris: I just rewatched this recently – it holds up. It’s super creepy, and uses the found footage trope well. And yes, that snack sequence Matt mentions is aces. 

Head Count 

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Dial up another treat, as one of my favorite Overlook Film Festival titles barely got the release it deserves. Head Count – a Joshua Tree creepypasta tale – hit select theaters, but more horror fans need to be discussing Elle Callahan’s name. Now on Netflix, I’m hoping subscribers discover this vexing vacation of shapeshifters and optical tricks. It’s the kind of engaging cinema that has you counting heads, scouring every background detail just to try and stay one step ahead of Callahan’s storytelling. Math is dumb, but Head Count’s usage of numerical nastiness is sinister statistics I can get behind.

Chris: I was at the Overlook Film Festival with Matt, but I don’t remember seeing this. To be fair, most of the Overlook is a haze, because it’s held in New Orleans, aka the city where you can carry fishbowls full of liquor out onto the street. 

Dolls

Now Streaming on Tubi

Matt: I played a trick on myself by not seeing Dolls for so long. In no way did I know this was a Stuart Gordon/Charles Band collaboration, or that it starts out with a gigantic killer teddy bear sequence. A fellow film critic finally sat me down for the cheesy 80s doll “puppeteering” and overacting that awaited, which was just delightful. It fits the promise of a Gordon/Band hookup, and for good measure, Brian Yuzna’s name is *also* listed in the producing credits. If that’s not a good enough telltale for the zany tone that awaits, go brush up on your Gordon, Band, and Yuzna. Every party needs a jokester in the mix!

Chris: Oh hell yeah, Dolls! I love this cheesy nonsense. 

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