By Kevin Slane
Welcome to Boston.com’s weekly streaming guide. Each week, we recommend five must-watch movies and TV shows available on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, and more.
Many recommendations are for new shows, while others are for under-the-radar releases you might have missed or classics that are about to depart a streaming service at the end of the month.
Have a new favorite movie or show you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments, or email [email protected] Looking for even more great streaming options? Check out previous editions of our must-watch list here.
We’re going with an all-Halloween streaming guide this week. While Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” doesn’t actually take place around the spooky holiday, its gothic visuals and poltergeist-themed plot ensure it will be screened for many Octobers to come. Starring Michael Keaton as the titular malevolent ghoul, “Beetlejuice” begins with a recently deceased couple, played by Alec Baldwin and Wareham native Geena Davis, discovering that they are indeed dead. Things quickly go awry when the couple hires Betelgeuse, a “bio-exorcist,” to rid their Connecticut home of its new, alive owners. While the couple struggles to scare off the snooty sculptor (Catherine O’Hara, “Home Alone”) and her nebbish husband (Jeffrey Jones, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), they take a liking to the couple’s daughter (Winona Ryder), who is the only human able to see them. For those who want more Burton in October, “Edward Scissorhands” is also streaming on Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and with ads on YouTube.
How to watch: “Beetlejuice” is streaming on HBO Max.
Can “Gremlins” really be considered a horror film? After all, it’s likely that some of its biggest scares came at the expense of very young kids who went to theaters expecting a cuddly family film thanks to a deceptive marketing campaign — one that was largely responsible for the creation of the PG-13 rating two months later. However you classify it, “Gremlins” is a prime piece of ’80s entertainment, telling the story of a young child whose cute mogwai turns into a horde of horrible gremlins overnight. Joe Dante turns a fun-house mirror back at the audience, turning the gremlins into a grotesque but familiar version of the American id. You’ll never eat after midnight again.
How to watch: “Gremlins” is streaming on HBO Max.
The Salem Witch Trials get all the press when it comes to matters of Puritanical hysteria and the occult. In New Hampshire native Robert Eggers’ “The Witch,” set in an unnamed New England town 60 years before the 1692 Salem scare, evil forces have beset a Puritan family exiled during a religious dispute. After a witch steals their newborn baby, members of the family begin to point fingers at each other for bringing “bad spirits” to the farm, with most of the blame being heaped on teenage Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”). “The Witch” doesn’t have as many jump-scares as your average horror movie, but Eggers nevertheless conjures a terrifying, atmospheric film that sets Taylor-Joy on a path to stardom.
How to watch: “The Witch” is streaming on HBO Max.
Fans of Anne Rice’s hugely successful (and influential) vampire novel may notice a few changes in AMC’s new series. For one, Louis de Pointe du Lac is no longer a plantation owner, but a Black brothel owner. For another, the homoerotic undertones between Louis and the blood-sucking Lestat have been brought to the forefront in the form of a full-fledged romantic relationship. These and other updates to Rice’s plot by showrunner Rolin Jones ( “Perry Mason,” “Weeds”) work exceedingly well. Tapping the same Southern Gothic, campy energy of HBO’s “True Blood,” “Interview” is a marked improvement over the 1994 Brad Pitt-Tom Cruise adaptation thus far.
How to watch: “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire” is streaming on AMC+, with new episodes airing Sundays at 10 p.m on AMC.
Since the 1980s, the “Child’s Play” series has shown a willingness to step outside itself and mess with its own lore in a way that many other properties struggle to do. Season 1 of “Chucky” gave viewers plenty of laughs and screams — sometimes in equal measure — as Brad Dourif (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) continued to maim and terrify the townsfolk of Hackensack, New Jersey, as the murderous doll he has played now for 35 years. Unlike a 90-minute Chucky film, the episodic nature of the series (which returned for a second season this month) allows viewers to learn more about the teenagers fighting to stay alive, and beneath all the doll murders is a surprisingly engaging coming-of-age show.
How to watch: “Chucky” is streaming on Peacock, with new episodes airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on USA and Syfy.
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com
Be civil. Be kind.
©2022 Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
Stay up to date with everything Boston. Receive the latest news and breaking updates, straight from our newsroom to your inbox.