With Netflix’s announcement of new programming coming to the streaming giant in October, there was predictably added a slew of teen slasher movies appropriate for falling asleep to after a Halloween party. For anyone looking for cinema that’s more unsettling than spooky, a half-dozen new titles should serve them well.
Eyes Wide Shut (Available October 1, not for download)
The story of a New York doctor played by Tom Cruise and his art curator wife played by Nicole Kidman, remains an arresting, tense story of bizarre domestic psychology in action. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1999, the story of Cruise’s Willam Hartford and his trip to a sex party in the most elite part of Manhattan, Netflix likely included this in October’s slate of new films because it ticks the boxes for a certain type of douchey Halloween costume. Never the less, the film is as magnetic as ever.
Donnie Darko (Available October 11, downloadable)
Jake Gyllenhaal’s breakout role touches is the story of a teen who sees a man in an evil-looking rabbit costume who convinces him to commit bizarre crimes, after a plane crashes in his neighborhood. The 2001 movie never lets on if Gyllenhaal’s character is merely seeing things his mind has imagined or if they’re actually there, but only he can see them. In a lot of ways, Darko feels like a relic of the early aughts, but its psychological themes have made it a cult favorite.
88 Minutes (Available October 1, downloadable)
The 2007 movie starring Al Pacino as a forensic psychiatrist isn’t as much a film about psychiatry but a boiling thriller wherein Pacino’s character gets a phone call saying he has 88 minutes to live, on the very night a serial killer he helped put away is scheduled to be executed. The film’s also a bit of a high-RPM procedural, as Pacino’s character must investigate possible suspects.x
Veronica (Available October 1, downloadable)
This 2017 Spanish-language film is the story of a reclusive psychologist long out of practice who takes on a new patient named Veronica, a young woman who through a series of sessions describes various childhood trauma. The black-and-white film is the truest to psychology out of this list of six.
Kingdom of Us (Available October 13, downloadable)
This Netflix original documentary tells the story of a family in Britain that tries to stitch together its emotional fabric, ripped apart by the suicide of their father. Put together by Lucy Cohen, the film spans three years and features interviews with children who are working through their trauma and regret. This up-close look at the psychology of grief, from a scientific point of view, looks to be just as fascinating as the film should be emotionally wrenching.
The Hateful Eight (Available October 25, downloadable)
Quentin Tarantino’s winter western isn’t overtly a psychological film, but you can’t help but wonder what’s going through the heads of each of the eight characters trapped inside a cabin during a blizzard as suspicion and ulterior motives propel the often funny, incredibly violent, movie forward.