The best movies leaving Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Max at the end of October 2023
October is coming to a close, and with it, Halloween season ends. Fret not, though — there are still a few days left, and fall continues around the corner. And there are plenty of great movies leaving streaming services to catch up with before you say goodbye to spooky season.
To fit the season, we’ve picked out some horror movies leaving streaming platforms — a stellar found-footage movie, an all-time classic franchise starter, and a TV reboot that improves on a vampire classic. But if you’re not a horror buff, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered, too. Dark City is the perfect vibe for this time of year, and it remains a criminally underseen cult classic. Be the change, etc., etc.
Here’s what you should watch this weekend before these titles leave their streaming services.
Director: Alex ProyasCast: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer ConnellyLeaving: Oct. 31 on Criterion Channel
The late ’90s was a peak era for cerebral science fiction movies that probed at the concept of simulation theory, a hypothesis that speculated that everything that humans know and experience, from the physicality of our own bodies to the validity of our beliefs and the security of our institutions, is all just one big artificial simulation running inside a computer that houses the universe. Alex Proyas beat the Wachowskis to the punch with his neo-noir sci-fi film Dark City, which came out a year before The Matrix. And while it may not command the same level of fervent fandom (let alone sequels) as that film, Proyas’ movie is still a fascinating and thoroughly entertaining experience in its own right.
The film opens with John Murdoch, a troubled amnesiac, awakening in a bathtub with no memory of how he got there. Stumbling onto the scene of a murder, he escapes just in the nick of time before the authorities arrive to arrest him. Wandering through a mysterious city cast under a perpetual pall of darkness, John embarks on a mission in search for clues and answers to his forgotten life, a search that puts him in the crosshairs of a shadowy sect of psychics who seem to hold unquestioned power over this city and all of its inhabitants.
Dark City is absolutely a must-see for anyone who counts themselves a fan of grungy noir aesthetics and cerebral sci-fi weirdness. Kiefer Sutherland delivers a fantastic left-field performance as a nervous, put-upon scientist who knows too much, and Jennifer Connelly is absolutely stunning in her role as John’s wife, a jazz club singer whose own life is turned upside down by this strange series of events. If you’re looking for a beautifully shot work of mind-bending fiction, give Dark City a shot. —TE
Watch on Netflix
Director: Michael MannCast: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett SmithLeaving: Oct. 31
Tom Cruise delivers one of the most unique (and terrifying) performances of his career as the steely-eyed contract killer in Collateral. Hired to commit a series of murders around LA in a single night, he pays an unwitting cabbie named Max (Jamie Foxx) to chauffeur him around the city.
Collateral’s nocturnal lighting and brilliant cinematography courtesy of Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron combine to make for one of the most hypnotic and memorable portraits of LA’s metropolitan sprawl ever committed to film. It’s hard to choose a favorite Michael Mann movie, but for all these reasons and more, Collateral sits firmly in my personal top five ranking of the director’s best. —TE
Watch on Max
Interview with the Vampire
Creator: Rolin JonesCast: Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson, Eric BogosianLeaving: Oct. 31
I’m cheating a little bit, because this is a show. But it’s our list and we make the rules, and here’s a new rule: The Interview with the Vampire show is leagues better than the movie, and you should watch it while it’s on Max.
Interview with the Vampire is one of a group of AMC shows that have had a brief stay on Max, and with all respect to the great Gangs of London and Dark Winds, it might be the best of the bunch.
If you’re a fan of Hannibal, you’ll like this. A very queer, very bloody adaptation, the show takes the queer subtext of the book and makes it text. That’s not the only significant departure from the source material, moving the time period forward and transforming the character of Louis from a white plantation owner into a mixed-race pimp. It features a trio of terrific performance in Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson, and Eric Bogosian, and sharp writing from playwright Rolin Jones, the show’s creator. It’s one of the best shows of recent years — watch it in preparation for the eventual release of season 2. —PV
Watch on Hulu
Evil Dead (2013)
Director: Fede ÁlvarezCast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor PucciLeaving: Oct. 31
With only a handful of films under his name, Fede Álvarez has already asserted himself as one of the most exciting new voices in horror. If you want to know why the director was tapped to direct the next entry of the Alien franchise, look no further than his 2013 remake of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series — a gory and twisted take that eschews the tongue-in-cheek horror-comedy of the original in favor of a scene of a possessed woman splitting her tongue down the middle with a knife.
Álvarez’s Evil Dead is an intensely violent and gory movie filled with genuinely bone-chilling kills and bracing imagery. I really can’t stress this enough: If you can’t stomach the sight of such horrors as a person getting stabbed with hypodermic needles, do not watch this movie. For anyone else, have at it. —TE
Watch on Prime
Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco PlazaCast: Manuela Velasco, Ferrán Terraza, Jorge-Yamam SerranoLeaving: Oct. 31
An absolute must-watch in the found-footage genre, [REC] is short and terrifying movie filled to the brim with tension and scares. It follows a small TV news crew in Barcelona embedded with a local fire department and who gets sent to an apartment complex undergoing a mysterious disaster.
[REC] came out right in the middle of a run of zombie movies in the mid-2000s, and it might be the best of the bunch from that era, right along with George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead (hard to beat the master). It’s also one of the smartest uses of the found-footage device, bringing out all the tension and dread you could ever want from a movie like this before ramping up into pure chaos as the monsters are truly unleashed. —PV
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