Spooky season may have arrived in earnest, but at the movies, October isn't actually shaping up to be a wall-to-wall horrorfest. There are a few noteworthy horror films hitting theaters over the next few weeks — namely, the latest The Exorcist sequel, which returns Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn to the franchise after 50 years. However, this month's box office offers up more austere thrills and ruminative dramas than blood-curdling scares. In addition to the latest efforts from Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated auteurs Martin Scorsese and David Fincher, respectively, October boasts what could be the biggest concert movie of all time and the French thriller that took home the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Below, check out A.frame's full guide to all of the new films being released this October.

The Exorcist: Believer

After spending the last half decade helming the rebooted Halloween trilogy, director David Gordon Green is resurrecting another iconic horror property for a new trilogy of The Exorcist films. Designed as a direct sequel to the Oscar-winning 1973 original, Believer centers on the parents of two possessed girls who seek out Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn, reprising her role for the first time) for help. In addition to Burstyn, the film also stars Leslie Odom Jr., Jennifer Nettles, Lidya Jewett, Olivia Marcum, and Ann Dowd.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 6


The latest from filmmaker Garth Davis, the director of 2016's Oscar-nominated Lion and 2018's Mary Magdalene, is a sci-fi chamber piece about a married couple, Junior and Hen (Oscar nominees Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan), whose quiet, secluded farm life is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious stranger (Aaron Pierre). Foe is based on Iain Reid's 2018 novel of the same name, which the author adapted with Davis.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 6

The Royal Hotel

This social thriller is writer-director Kitty Green's follow-up to her acclaimed 2020 drama, The Assistant. The film follows a pair of young female backpackers (played by Green's The Assistant star Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick) to the Australian Outback, where their vacation adventure becomes increasingly unruly. The Royal Heart, which co-stars Toby Wallace and Hugo Weaving, premiered during this year's Telluride Film Festival before screening at TIFF.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 6

Strange Way of Life

Ethan Hawke (a four-time Oscar nominee) and Pedro Pascal star as lovelorn gunslingers who reunite after 25 years in the newest offering from Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar. The 31-minute Western melodrama, which co-stars rising Spanish actors Jason Fernández, George Steane and Manu Ríos, along with rising Portuguese actor José Condessa, is only Almodóvar's second English-language project to date. Strange Way of Life opens in theaters following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 6

Anatomy of a Fall

The winner of this year's Palme d'Or is a family drama-turned-courtroom thriller about a writer (played by Sandra Hüller) suspected of murdering her husband when the latter falls to his death under mysterious circumstances. The only witness is their blind, 11-year-old son. Anatomy of a Fall hails from writer-director Justine Triet, who penned the screenplay with her partner, the filmmaker Arthur Harari.

Watch it: In select theaters Oct. 13

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

Arriving mere months after the pop star wrapped up the U.S. leg of her world tour, Taylor Swift brings The Eras Tour to theaters nationwide with a concert movie directed by Sam Wrench (Billie Eilish Live at the O2 and Brandi Carlile: In the Canyon Haze Live). The movie features footage from three of Swift's six performances at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California, with a nearly 3-hour runtime that should satisfy even the most die-hard Swifties. Friendship bracelets not included.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 13

Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese's follow-up to 2019's The Irishman, this sweeping Western crime drama adapts journalist David Grann's nonfiction book of the same name as a toxic love story between Osage native Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone) and Ernest Burkhart (Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio), set against the backdrop of the Reign of Terror that took place in Oklahoma in the 1920s. Killers of the Flower Moon also stars two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro, Oscar nominee Jesse Plemons, and newly-minted Oscar winner Brendan Fraser.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 20

The Killer

Michael Fassbender (a two-time Oscar nominee for 12 Years a Slave and Steve Jobs) plays the eponymous assassin in this long-time passion project for three-time Oscar-nominated director David Fincher. Based on a French graphic novel by Luc Jacamon and Alexis "Matz" Nolent, The Killer sees Fassbender's hitman going to war with his employers and himself, with a cast that includes Charles Parnell, Arliss Howard, Sophie Charlotte, and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton.

Watch it: In theaters Oct. 27, streaming on Netflix Nov. 10

Pain Hustlers

Directed by veteran Harry Potter helmer David Yates, this dark dramedy follows a single mother and a pharmaceutical sales rep who try to get rich fast at a failing start-up and unwittingly helps kickstart the opioid epidemic. Pain Hustlers, which had its debut at TIFF, is headlined by Emily Blunt and Chris Evans, with a supporting cast that includes Catherine O'Hara and Andy García.

Watch it: In select theaters Oct. 20, streaming on Netflix Oct. 27

Five Nights at Freddy's

Based on the popular video game franchise, Five Nights at Freddy's stars Josh Hutcherson as a night guard at an abandoned Chuck E. Cheese-esque restaurant who discovers that its animatronic mascots habitually murder anyone who stays in the building after midnight. The Blumhouse horror flick is directed by Emma Tammi (2018's The Wind) and boasts practical animatronics made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Watch it: In theaters and streaming on Peacock Oct. 27

Also out in October: The Burial (in theaters Oct. 6, on Prime Video Oct. 13), Cat Person (in theaters Oct. 6), Dicks: The Musical (in select theaters Oct. 6, nationwide Oct. 20), Fair Play (in select theaters now, on Netflix Oct. 6), Mercy Road (in select theaters Oct. 6), She Came to Me (in theaters Oct. 6), Totally Killer (on Prime Video Oct. 6), In the Fire (in theaters and on digital Oct. 13), Nyad (in select theaters Oct. 20, streaming on Netflix Nov. 3), The Pigeon Tunnel (in select theaters and on Apple TV+ Oct. 20), Freelance (in theaters Oct. 27), The Holdovers (in select theaters on Oct. 27, nationwide Nov. 10).