For most Halloween enthusiasts, the month of October is all about the spooky holiday. Among the new movies and TV shows on HBO in October 2019 are plenty of options to conjure up the Halloween spirit for a scary movie night, and, no, they're not all terrifying. Those who consider themselves to be particularly faint of heart, however, can choose from the premium network's latest options of non-creepy favorites — past and present — as well as some brand-new releases all month long.
Horror movie fanatics will have truly spine-tingling options like The Conjuring 2. Given the film's claim of being based on a real-life haunting, you may or may not want to leave the lights on at your own peril though. For those who like to balance out their screams with a few laughs as well, HBO is also offering dark comedies like Happy Death Day and its sequel Happy Death Day 2U. Adding to the list of chilling movies: Season of the Witch, Upgrade, and Academy Award-winning dark psychological thriller, Black Swan.
If you're just searching for some cinematic Halloween costume ideas, HBO is also premiering a bunch of superhero movies and shows, many adapted from the world of DC Comics. Those include, Green Lantern, the new Watchmen TV series, as well as Judge Dredd, Sky High, and Glass. Anyone looking to go a different route may also want to take notes from Moulin Rouge!, which will also become available in Oct., as the musical film actually won the 2002 Oscar for Best Costume Design.
There's much more to choose from across genres, though, and all are generally available for subscribers to stream as soon as they air on HBO. Check out the full October list and synopses below.
'A Handful of Dust' (1988) — Oct. 1
Based on Evelyn Waugh's 1934 novel of the same name, the British drama, which stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Anjelica Huston, and Judi Dench, chronicles the aftermath of an upper-class English couple's failed marriage following the wife's affair and a tragic family death.
'Black Swan' (2010) — Oct. 1
Natalie Portman won a Best Actress Academy Award in 2011 for her portrayal of Nina, a seasoned ballerina driven to the point of obsession in the psychological thriller. Black Swan, which also counted Best Picture among its 5 total Oscar nominations, pits Nina against Mila Kunis' Lily, a newcomer vying for a role in the New York City Ballet company's production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
'Bounce' (2000) — Oct. 1
In the romantic drama, advertising exec Buddy (Ben Affleck) cheats death after selling his airline ticket for a flight that ends in a fatal crash to another traveler (Tony Goldwyn). A year after the tragedy, Buddy tracks down the man's widow (Gwyneth Paltrow), with whom he ultimately falls in love. He's then faced with the dilemma of admitting he was indirectly responsible for her husband's death.
'The Fourth Kind' (2009) — Oct. 1
The sci-fi thriller centers on a series of mysterious, unsolved disappearances in and around Nome, Alaska. Starring Milla Jovovich as psychologist and hypnotist Dr. Abigail Tyler, The Fourth Kind examines the possibility that Dr. Tyler has found evidence of alien abductions.
'Diego Maradona' — Oct. 1
HBO's original documentary draws from more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from retired Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona’s personal archives, decades-old news footage, and interviews with historians and journalists. The film focuses on the time period following the footballer's 1984 switch from FC Barcelona to the S.S.C. Napoli team, with whom he won the 1988–89 UEFA Cup.
'George of the Jungle' (1997) — Oct. 1
In the comedic Tarzan spoof, the titular George (Brendan Fraser) grows up in the African jungle isolated from humans, following a plane crash when he was a baby. After rescuing explorer Ursula (Leslie Mann) from a lion, the pair forms a deep connection and travels back to civilization in San Francisco. George (who frequently crashes into trees while swinging from vines) must return to the jungle with Ursula, however, to rescue a captured gorilla friend.
'Green Lantern' (Extended Version) (2011) — Oct. 1
Ryan Reynolds stars as cocky test pilot Hal Jordan, who becomes the first human to join the Green Lantern Corps in the superhero film based on the DC Comics character. A magical ring gives him the superpowers he needs to take on the villainous Parallax, who threatens the universe's balance of power.
'Gulliver's Travels' (2010) — Oct. 1
In the comedy-fantasy adventure movie, mailroom worker Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) finds himself transported to a magical land of tiny people. The modern-day take on Jonathan Swift's 18th-century novel tasks Black's Gulliver with using his size to aid the natives of Lilliput in defending their homeland from rival invaders.
'Happy Death Day' (2017) — Oct. 1
College student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) repeatedly wakes up to relive the day she's murdered by a masked character in the dark comedy horror movie. To break the cycle of the Groundhog Day-style scenario, Tree must attempt to find her killer and stop her death.
'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' (2001) — Oct. 1
Adapted from the off-Broadway production, the cult classic musical dramedy follows Hedwig Robinson (John Cameron Mitchell), a transgender German rock singer living in Kansas after a botched sex-change operation. As Hedwig explores her gender identity, she also must deal with a backstabbing collaborator — all while on the quest to find stardom and love.
'I.Q.' (1994) — Oct. 1
The late Walter Matthau plays Albert Einstein, the uncle of brilliant Princeton doctoral student Catherine Boyd (Meg Ryan) in the romantic comedy. After a regular mechanic (Tim Robbins) falls in love with Catherine, Uncle Albert helps the young man pass as a physicist to impress his niece and woo her away from her uptight professor fiancé (Stephen Fry).
'The Indian in the Cupboard' (1995) — Oct. 1
On his ninth birthday, Omri (Hal Scardino) receives a magical cupboard that he discovers can bring his toy figures to life after he locks them inside. After a Native America warrior warrior named Little Bear (Litefoot) is wounded in a battle, Omri learns the real-life implications of his actions in the family-friendly movie based on Lynne Reid Banks' fantasy children's books.
'It's Kind of a Funny Story' (2010) — Oct. 1
In the dramedy, 16-year-old Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) attempts to check himself into a mental-health clinic, but instead ends up having to spend his time with adults, including Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), who becomes a mentor of sorts. Craig also falls in love with a fellow teen named Noelle (Emma Roberts), whom he hopes will help him get over an old crush.
'Judge Dredd' (1995) — Oct. 1
After Sylvester Stallone's titular Street Judge is framed for murder by his own half-brother in the year 2080, he must clear his name in the dystopian sci-fi action film. Based on a comic book character of the same name, Judge Dredd doles out punishment as his official role of judge, jury, and executioner dictates.
'Kiss of Death' (1995) — Oct. 1
CSI: Miami star David Caruso plays ex-con Jimmy Kilmartin, who gets roped into a car heist that lands him back in prison. A district attorney (Stanley Tucci) offers him a deal for his freedom, however, if he'll go undercover to take down murderous crime lord Little Junior Brown (Nicolas Cage).
'Madagascar' (2005) — Oct. 1
DreamWorks' computer animated movie revolves around Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo, all whom must adapt to life in the Madagascar wild after escaping from the Central Park Zoo. The kids' movie features the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
'Men of Honor' (2000) — Oct. 1
Inspired by the true story of the first African American master diver in the United States Navy, Men of Honor follows Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding Jr.) as he overcomes arduous diving training and racism, namely at the hands of racist Master Chief Billy Sunday (Robert De Niro). Despite attempts to sabotage his success, Brashear is determined to show the strength of his spirit.
'Moulin Rouge!' (2001) — Oct. 1
In Baz Luhrmann's Oscar-nominated musical dramedy, Nicole Kidman stars as Satine, a famed performer at Paris' Moulin Rouge in the late 1800s. Although the failing club's manager has promised her to a duke in exchange for financing his next production, Satine falls in love with a broke writer (Ewan McGregor). The love triangle causes much drama amidst over-the-top musical numbers.
'The Object of My Affection' (1998) — Oct. 1
Following a breakup with his boyfriend, Paul Rudd's George moves in with his best friend Nina (Jennifer Aniston) in the romantic dramedy. After Nina realizes she's pregnant with her ex's baby, she and George decide to raise the baby together. The situation grows complicated, however, when Nina starts to develop romantic feelings for her gay best friend.
'Open Range' (2003) — Oct. 1
The western film centers on three men as they drive cattle across the countryside. After one of the farmhands fails to return from a trip into a secluded village to buy some necessities, the other two men (Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner) must go rescue him — and get revenge on his captors.
'Season of the Witch' (2011) — Oct. 1
After returning from the Crusades, two knights, Behman (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) find their homeland ravaged by the Black Plague in the fantasy adventure. Church elders accuse a young girl (The Crown's Claire Foy) of being a witch who caused the destruction and task Behman and Felson with transporting her to a remote abbey so that monks can eliminate her supposed powers.
'Sky High' (2005) — Oct. 1
The PG fantasy comedy takes place at a teen superhero school in the sky where Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is pursued by a classmate named Gwen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). After learning that his parents (played by Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston) may have a history with Gwen's family, he must question her motives, however.
'The 33' (2015) — Oct. 1
The 33 is based on a real 2010 mining accident in Chile when 33 workers were trapped inside the San José Mine for more than two months. The film, which stars Antonio Banderas as trapped miner Mario Sepúlveda, documents that group's struggle to survive as well as the rescue effort ensuing above group.
'Three Fugitives' (1989) — Oct. 1
The crime comedy stars Nick Nolte as reformed former bank robber Lucas, who finds himself held hostage during a bank heist by inexperienced criminal and family man Ned (Martin Short). Given Lucas' history, however, a detective (played by Alan Ruck) assumes that he's in on the robbery, rather than being in the wrong place in the wrong time.
'War of the Worlds' (2005) — Oct. 1
In Steven Spielberg's sci-fi action flick based on H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, Tom Cruise plays a dockworker tasked with protecting his children (Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin) as they seek refuge from an invasion of aliens who are intent upon destroying Earth.
'24/7 College Football: Florida Gators' — Oct. 2
Narrated by actor Liev Schreiber, the four-part HBO all-access series follows the challenges leading up to game day for four college football teams: Florida Gators (Oct. 2), Penn State Nittany Lions (Oct. 9), Arizona State Sun Devils (Oct. 16), and Washington State Cougars (Oct. 23).
'Kany Garcia: Soy Yo En Vivo' — Oct. 4
Three-time Latin Grammy winner and two-time Grammy nominee Kany García performs such hits as "Soy Yo," "Para Siempre," "Banana Papaya," and many more tracks from her 2018 Soy Yo album. The acoustic-pop singer-songwriter's HBO music special was filmed during a live concert at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in Feb. 2019.
'Cold Pursuit' (2019) — Oct. 5
Cold Pursuit is a genre mash-up of a dark comedy action thriller that follows snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) out for revenge after a drug cartel murders his son. Nels' quest for justice unwittingly spawns a kidnapping, a turf war, and a series of deadly misunderstandings.
'Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh' — Oct. 5
Comedian Gary Gulman discusses his struggles with depression (aka "depresh") after entering remission (aka "remish") in the Judd Apatow-produced HBO comedy special, which was taped at Brooklyn's Roulette Intermedium in June. Gulman said in a statement that he hopes his comedic take will "help others feel more comfortable, less afraid, and most importantly, less alone.”
'Upgrade' (2018) — Oct. 8
After a mugging leaves a man named Grey Trace paralyzed (and his wife dead), a billionaire investor offers him an AI implant called STEM that allows him to walk again. Grey later discovers that he also has superhuman strength which he uses to seek revenge on his and his wife's assailants in the action horror flick.
'Torn Apart: Separated at the Border' — Oct. 10
The documentary short, which was directed by Oscar and Emmy winner Ellen Goosenberg Kent, chronicles the saga of two mothers who were separated from their children after seeking asylum in the United States. "The film illuminates the laborious journey migrant families — including many women and children escaping violence and abuse — make to reach the U.S., only to be detained indefinitely and have their children transported to facilities hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away," according to HBO.
'Happy Death Day 2U' (2019) — Oct. 12
In the sequel to 2017's Happy Death Day, Jessica Rothe reprises her role as college student Tree, who, again, awakes to find herself in an alternate universe where all her loved ones are different versions of themselves. Like the original, she must repeatedly die at the hands of a masked killer and relive versions of the same day in an attempt to save herself and her friends.
'Liberty: Mother of Exiles' — Oct. 17
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg explores the history of New York City's iconic Statue of Liberty landmark in the documentary. An immigrant herself, DVF (aka the "godmother" of the Statue of Liberty Museum) highlights what Lady Liberty means to people around the world — and how it impacted her own family history.
'Glass' (2019) — Oct. 19
The M. Night Shyamalan-directed superhero thriller is a crossover sequel to two of his previous films: 2000's Unbreakable and 2016's Split. The epic showdown between Bruce Willis' David Dunn and James McAvoy's Beast, ultimately leads them to Samuel L. Jackson (aka Mr. Glass) who holds vital secrets about both men.
'Watchmen,' Series Premiere — Oct. 20
The nine-episode DC Comics superhero drama series is "set in an alternate history where "superheroes" are treated as outlaws," per HBO. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the Watchmen cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
'Catherine the Great,' Limited Series Premiere — Oct. 21
Oscar-winner Helen Mirren stars in the miniseries as 18th century Russian empress Catherine the Great. The four-part historical drama takes place near the end of Catherine's reign and includes her affair with Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke), as well as how their influence shaped modern-day Russia.
'The Conjuring 2' (2016) — Oct. 21
Set in 1977, the supernatural horror movie follows paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) as they attempt to get to the bottom of a suspected demonic possession of a young girl in north London. In the sequel to 2013's The Conjuring, Ed and Lorraine (who are based on a real-life couple), also become the target of the evil spirit's reign of terror.
'Saudi Women's Driving School' — Oct. 24
Women in Saudi Arabia were legally allowed to drive for the first time in 2018. This documentary, which was filmed at The Saudi Driving School in the capital city of Riyadh, includes interviews and verité footage of Saudi women adapting to a new lifestyle as they express their hopes for greater gender equality.
'Greta' (2018) — Oct. 26
Having recently lost her mother, a young woman named Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) strikes up a friendship with an eccentric French piano teacher named Greta (Isabelle Huppert) in the dramatic thriller. When widow Greta starts to become unhinged and obsessive, however, Frances must fight to end the toxic relationship.
'Mrs. Fletcher,' Limited Series Premiere — Oct. 27
Kathryn Hahn stars in the comedy series' title role as a divorcée and empty-nest mother, who adopts an alter ego to experience a sexual awakening of sorts. Meanwhile, her college freshman son Brendan (Jackson White) experiences his own coming-of-age issues, in the adaptation of Tom Perrotta's 2017 novel.
'Any One Of Us' — Oct. 29
The documentary shows pro mountain biker Paul Basagoitia’s recovery after suffering a spinal cord injury during a 2015 competition. During his journey from the hospital to rehab and back home, Basagoitia recorded personal videos which help to tell the story of his highs and lows in the film.
'The Bronx, USA' — Oct. 30
To make a generational comparison, the documentary features members of producer George Shapiro’s graduating class of 1949 as well as students from 2017’s graduating class at DeWitt Clinton High School. Among those interviewed in the exploration of the Bronx's socio-cultural history: Robert Klein, Gen. Colin Powell, Melissa Manchester, Chazz Palminteri, Alan Alda, Melle Mel, Carl Reiner, and Rob Reiner.
Here's the full list of what's coming in October:
A Handful of Dust (1988)
Black Swan (2010)
The Fourth Kind (2009)
George of the Jungle (1997)
Green Lantern (Extended Version) (2011)
Gulliver’s Travels (2010)
Happy Death Day (2017)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)
It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
Judge Dredd (1995)
Kiss of Death (1995)
Men of Honor (2000)
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
The Object of My Affection (1998)
Open Range (2003)
Season of the Witch (2011)
Sky High (2005)
The 33 (2015)
Three Fugitives (1989)
War of the Worlds (2005)
24/7 College Football: Florida Gators
Kany Garcia: Soy Yo En Vivo
Cold Pursuit (2019)
Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh
Torn Apart: Separated at the Border, HBO Documentary Films
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
Liberty: Mother of Exiles
Watchmen, Series Premiere
Catherine the Great, Limited Series Premiere
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Saudi Women’s Driving School
Mrs. Fletcher, Limited Series Premiere
Silicon Valley, Season 6 Premiere
Any One Of Us
The Bronx, USA
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