Movies

15 sci-fi movies you need to watch before they leave Netflix in October

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October is always a spooky month for movie fans, and not just because that’s when all the best scary movies come out. Next month, we’re also losing some classic sci-fi, fantasy, and horror on Netflix.

Here are 15 movies worth watching (or re-watching) while you still can, from District 9 to The Silence of the Lambs.

15. Cult of Chucky - Leaving 10/2/20

Before Annabelle, Chucky was the doll who terrorized our nightmares. As the seventh installment in the Child’s Play franchise, Cult of Chucky brings back previous cast members and is perhaps one of the most horrifying (and entertaining) film of the bunch.

14. Truth or Dare - Leaving 10/2/20

One of the more visually interesting scary movies of the decade, it also claims some genuine feel-bad moments of true horror that would only make a cynic laugh. Even better, it's set during the Halloween season. Directed by Nick Simon, a faithful servant to the genre.

13. The Last Airbender - Leaving 10/7/20

Normally, I’d recommend watching anything but M. Night Shyamalan’s cursed adaptation of the American anime classic. But with Avatar fandom at an all time high and a Netflix live-action series in the works, it’s worth checking out this historic blunder while you still can.

12. The Green Hornet - Leaving 10/17/20

When the MCU was in its infancy, Seth Rogen spoofed superheroes in a reboot of this pulp hero. Though it didn't launch a franchise, Green Hornet gave us an underrated buddy comedy with Taiwanese mega-star Jay Chou. Director Michel Gondry's unusual visuals still make the movie pop.

11. Battle: Los Angeles - Leaving 10/26/20

After becoming Two-Face in The Dark Knight, Aaron Eckhart pivoted to battling aliens as a marine in Battle: Los Angeles. The film is overwrought with typical alien invasion story beats, but the action is pretty spectacular, and Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Peña are always a welcome sight.

10. Kristy - Leaving 10/30/20

The big reveal in Kristy, a college thriller in which a gang of tinfoil-masked killers hunts a student over Thanksgiving, arrives about 90 percent into it. And it's really interesting, world-building stuff. Until then, this cliched slasher flick is perfect for the peanut gallery.

9. Clash of the Titans - Leaving 10/31/20

No, it’s not the 1981 Ray Harryhausen version with stop-motion animation you watched when you had a substitute in history class, but there’s cheesy charm to spare in this 2010 riff on the landmarks of Greek myth. If you’re looking for silly fun to goof on, this is a great choice.

8. District 9 - Leaving 10/31/20

Neill Blomkamp’s examination of South African apartheid through the story of an alien underclass living in Johannesburg launched his career as one of the 21st century’s most interesting sci-fi directors, but District 9 is still his greatest work.

7. Grandmaster - Leaving 10/31/20

Though the story of kung fu master Ip Man had become a box office hit in a series by Donnie Yen, Hong Kong's Wong Kar-wai gave it Oscar season flourish in his own take on the fabled master. Before Shang-Chi, catch Tony Leung in one of his most gripping performances yet.

6-5. The NeverEnding Story 1 & 2

Leaving 10/31/20

It’s more than just a musical break in Stranger Things. This family fantasy duology is everything great about the '80s love for practical effects mixed with the always delightful “child gets swept on a magical adventure” subgenre that reached its height around this time.

4. The Silence of the Lambs - Leaving 10/31/20

Long before the true crime/serial killer became vogue in the late 2010s, The Silence of the Lambs told the gripping story of Clarice, an FBI trainee tasked with probing the psychotic mind of a cannibalistic serial killer named Hannibal Lector whose insights could stop another killer.

3. Sleepy Hollow - Leaving 10/31/20

Released at a time when it was still okay to like Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow (1999) is an underloved retelling of the Headless Horseman legend done in the emblematic of director Tim Burton’s campy, macabre style.

2. Spaceballs - Leaving 10/31/20

Winnebagos, raspberry jam, and "moichandising." Mel Brooks' Spaceballs is still sharp as it is just goofy decades later, even if the very specific '80s pop culture references will go over younger people's heads. Then again, combing the desert is funny no matter how old you are.

1. Zathura - Leaving 10/31/20

This 2005 sci-fi Jumanji spinoff is a wholesome space romp with nuanced young characters (Kristen Stewart and Josh Hutcherson) that allow it to rise above the bilge of typical all-ages fare. Some of the visual effects show a bit of rust 15 years later, but it holds up as a zippy adventure nonetheless.

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