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8 New Highly Rated Scary Movies to Watch this Halloween

The That Shelf team enjoys watching scary movies all year long. But there’s a special place in our hearts for fall’s spooky season.

To celebrate Halloween this year, we’ve put together a list of 2020’s most enjoyable horror-themed movies. Our latest collection of terrifying treasures includes zombies hordes, a vengeful mad scientist, and a hilarious ghost whisperer.

Halloween Watch List: 8 Scary 2020 Movies

08 – VFW (81% RT Score)
Directed By Joe Begos
In Theaters: Feb 14, 2020, Limited
On Disc/Streaming: Feb 14, 2020
Read the review here.

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VFW is a good old-fashioned siege movie. It calls back to cult classics like John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn.

The plot is as simple as it gets: A bunch of old-ass war veterans are trapped in a bar while under attack from a gang of blood-thirsty punks who think the vets have their drugs. VFW is guaranteed to get your heart racing with its gritty premise, non-stop thrills, and over-the-top violence. This film makes a perfect midnight movie.

07 – Get Duked! (86% RT Score)
Directed By Ninian Doff
Streaming on Amazon Prime.

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The best way to describe Ninian Doff’s horror-comedy is flat-out bonkers. Get Duked! follows a group of city kids hiking across the Scottish Highlands who discover they’re being targeted by ruthless hunters.

Get Duked! puts Doff squarely on my filmmakers to watch list. The movie’s distinctive style and joyfully manic energy make it one of the most pleasurable watches of 2020. While I wouldn’t call Get Duked! a stone-cold classic, don’t be surprised to hear it compared to movies like Hot Fuzz and Attack the Block.

06 – Blood Quantum (90% RT Score)
Directed By Jeff Barnaby
In Theaters: Apr 28, 2020
Read the review here.

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Blood Quantum reaches all the gory highs one expects from the zombie genre, and it does so while slipping in a critical message. The plot sees a zombie virus ravage the Earth’s population except for the Mi’kmaq community in the town of Red Crow.

Blood Quantum is a blood-soaked social commentary about rage, fatherhood, and the scourge of colonialism. But all the while, the film embraces its pulpy genre roots — the story includes an ultra-badass sword-wielding grandpa. This inventive horror thrill-ride hammers home the message that festering emotional wounds are as dangerous as any zombie bite.

05 – The Invisible Man (91% RT Score)
Directed By Leigh Whannell
In Theaters: Feb 28, 2020 Wide
Read the review here.

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The Invisible Man is the Ringo Starr of Universal’s movie monster stable (Dracula, The Wolfman, The Frankenstein Monster, The Mummy, Mr. Hyde). So it’s no surprise that nobody was itching for an Invisible Man reboot. But leave it to horror maestro Leigh Whannell to turn the modern-day Invisible Man into a genuinely menacing concept.

Whannell is the mastermind behind popular horror series like Saw and Insidious, and he also directed the 2018 horror-sci-fi gem, Upgrade. Whannell’s work on The Invisible Man shows that he has levelled-up his director skills. As That Shelf writer Rachel West puts it in her review, “Never before has the empty corner or a room or vacant doorway held so much terror.”

04 – Impetigore IMPETIGORE (91% RT Score)
Directed By Joko Anwar
In Theatres: October 17, 2019 (Indonesia)
Read the review here.

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Joko Anwar is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. The man has a gift for crafting atmospheric genre movies that hit you on the most visceral level. If you’re a horror fan who hasn’t seen Satan’s Slaves, go check it out right now.

Impetigore is one wild ride. The film is about a young woman who is being pursued by an evil cult. It’s the sort of movie that makes your skin crawl and just keeps gnawing at you until the final credits roll (and probably long after). Only watch this creepy AF horror flick if you’re feeling incredibly brave. Impetigore is a gruesome descent into the mind of a horror auteur.

03 – Vampires vs. the Bronx (95% RT Score)
Directed By Osmany Rodriguez (as Oz Rodriguez)
Streaming on Netflix.

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First off, Vampires vs. the Bronx is not a long-overdue follow-up to Wes Craven’s camptastic 1995 horror-comedy, Vampire in Brooklyn – a twisted part of me wishes it was, though.

Fortunately, VVTB is a much more cohesive and all-around enjoyable film. The movie sees an adolescent band of nerds from the Bronx square off against a true force of evil: gentrification. It just so happens that the soulless bloodsuckers driving businesses out of the neighbourhood aren’t privileged hipsters; it’s the undead.

This vampire flick skews towards a younger audience, which may alienate the hardcore horror crowd. But fans of more family-friendly ‘80s horror movies like Poltergeist and The Monster Squad will feel right at home.

02 – Extra Ordinary (98% RT Score)
Directed By Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman
In Theaters: Mar 6, 2020, Limited
Read the review here.

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Extra Ordinary isn’t the type of creepy movie that will keep you up at night, unless thinking about it causes hysterical laughing fits. You can enjoy this ghoulish comedy with people who won’t watch scary, grotesque, or violent movies.

Look, horror is a broad genre. Slasher flicks, psychological thrillers, and monster movies all get their place in the horror pantheon. So, let’s not look down on supernatural comedies like What We Do in the Shadows and Ghostbusters – real talk, Ghostbusters’ haunted fridge scene gave 7-year-old me a severe complex about late-night snacking.

Extra Ordinary is an extremely enjoyable horror-comedy full of sharp writing, ridiculous jokes, and charming characters. Definitely go out of your way to watch this one.

01 – Host (100% RT Score)
Directed By Rob Savage
Currently streaming on Shudder.
Read the review here.

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It’s easy to botch a found footage film. The genre is littered with ultra-low budget films that come off as amateurish. But when executed with talent and flair, found footage movies create some of cinema’s most electrifying viewing experiences.

Host is a timely commentary on life in quarantine, which somehow finds a way to up society’s off-the-charts collective anxiety. The plot sees a group of quarantining friends meet up on a Zoom call to hold a séance. Naturally, everything goes south, and they find themselves menaced by a demonic presence.

This hair-raising horror-thriller delivers some of the year’s best scares. Unlike some of the broader horror titles on this list, all Host director wants to do is mess you up, badly. This lean, mean horror flick may only clock in at 57-minutes, but that’s more than enough nightmare fuel to ruin your sleep for weeks to come. Don’t watch this movie alone.

Most Excited For:

Spiral, The Green Knight, Candyman, The Witches, Come Play

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