Multiple times per week, our TV and film experts will list the most important ten streaming selections for you to pop into your queues. We’re not strictly operating upon reviews or accrued streaming clicks (although yes, we’ve scoured the streaming site charts) but, instead, upon those selections that are really worth noticing amid the churning sea of content. There’s a lot out there, after all, and your time is valuable.
10: TIE. Hellraiser (Hulu movie)
Never open mysteriously ancient (or anciently mysterious) boxes. That’s one of the major lessons from this franchise, which now receives a gender-bending spin with the Hell Priest played by Jamie Clayton as directed by David Bruckner. The Cenobites are back, so get ready for all manner of gory death while reflecting upon exactly how inconceivable it would be for anyone to dress as the iconic Pinhead for Halloween. That spirit is what this week’s entire list is about, and maybe you’ll receive some better costume ideas along the way (or simply go as your Chef of choice from The Bear).
10: TIE. Shantaram (Apple TV+ series)
“Chaos ruled the day” is what Charlie Hunnam told us about filming the adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts book. That tome was a semi-autobiographical story about a bank robber and addict who fled an Australian prison and traveled to a new life in India. He picks up with Shubham Sarif’s charismatic Prabhu character, and the rest is history. Much like the spirit of FX’s Justified, Hunnam’s Lin will be hard pressed to get out of Bombay alive, and although Lin aims to stay out of trouble and keep to himself, an enigmatic woman might change that goal.
9. Friend of the Family (Peacock series)
Jake Lacy will freak the hell out of you in this inspired-by-true-events story about Robert Berchtold, a pedophile and kidnapper who weasels his way into the neighboring Broberg family and grooms to his little black heart’s content. Anna Paquin and Colin Hanks also co-star, and although the story is empathetic to the parents of the abused child, it’s clear that a lot of factors contributed to the family’s weakened defenses. This allowed a predator to descend, and consider yourself heavily trigger warned when it comes to this disturbing miniseries.
8. Werewolf by Night (Marvel special on Disney+)
The MCU feels oddly disjointed these days with shows flying everywhere, and it’s hard to keep up when something feels like it’s missing, structurally, after the first few Disney+ series. Maybe the multiverse wasn’t such a great idea? Well, at least there are different tones afoot these days. In the wake of Moon Knight, the MCU isn’t afraid to get dark and truly weird, and Gael García Bernal stars in what’s essentially a little Halloween treat for fans. He portrays Jack Russell, an on-his-face monster hunter who’s got another agenda while attending a monster hunter convention.
7. Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power (Amazon Prime series)
The season finale of this epic fantasy extravaganza will lead to a second season, no doubt about it. Jeff Bezos loves his baby and has funneled so much money into the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth, which is not only gorgeous but renders a different set of stories than fans got to see in the Peter Jackson films. Trolls freaked while calling this a “woke” take, but young Galadriel ain’t listening.
6. Interview With The Vampire (AMC series streaming on AMC+)
On very rare occasions, a reboot can be better than the original, and that’s what happened with this series that’s actually better than the 1990s movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst. Jacob Anderson (best known as Grey Worm from Game of Thrones) brings us a historically relevant update on Louis while Sam Reid swaggers in as Lestat de Lioncourt. Their relationship is now decloseted, and Bailey Bass delivers a more emotionally tragic Claudia that we’ve known before now. Anne Rice fans have to love what’s happening at AMC these days since we’ll soon see Alexandra Daddario starring as a witchy heir in The Mayfair Witches.
5. Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix series) and Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes (Netflix docuseries)
People cannot give up their obsession with serial killers, and these two gruesome-twin offerings involve both a Ryan Murphy series (which is somehow now the second most-watched Netflix series of all time, after about a month since release) starring Evan Peters. He’s too convincing in this role, and even though the show’s a dramatization about the prolific cannibal, it’s no less disturbing to watch because plenty of the show’s events did happen. In addition, Joe Berlinger (who previously directed Zac Efron as a dramatized Ted Bundy) takes the documentary approach to Bundy’s prosecution. Lock those windows and doors, people.
4. Halloween Ends (Universal movie streaming on Peacock)
Mike Myers is back, and this should be the last time that this happens, right? The ending of this franchise is solid although not too stunning as Jamie Lee Curtis takes Laurie Strode for one last whirl as she tries to shut down her horrible brother and his homicidal urges. David Gordon Green will soon move on to The Exorcist franchise for Blumhouse, so he’s here to tie up loose ends in what’s essentially a meat-and-potatoes branch of the horror genre.
3. The Watcher (Netflix series)
Ryan Murphy is (already) back to deal out a star-studded (led by Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannivale) cast revolving around the Broaddus family. The quartet moves into a fabulous home and then starts receiving horrible letters from some person calling themselves “The Watcher,” who claims to be tasked with watching over that plot of real estate. Speaking of which, Jennifer Coolidge portrays the realtor who may or may not have known about this issue before the sale, and the cast is rounded out by the likes of Margo Martindale, Richard Kind, and Mia Farrow.
2. Luckiest Girl Alive (Netflix movie)
This movie should have carried a trigger warning, given that it deals in traumatic subject matter involving rape and a mass shooting. Mila Kunis stars as the ax-tongued protagonist who’s trying to pull her sh*t together as based upon Jessica Knoll’s bestselling novel. Scoot McNairy portrays her high-school teacher who is thankfully as wholesome as can be, and Finn Whitlock picks up the role of handsome and wealthy fiancé. The film’s somewhat difficult to stomach, although that hasn’t stopped the viewership numbers from skyrocketing.
1. House of the Dragon (HBO series on HBO Max)
We haven’t yet recovered from last week’s events, including a shocking change of appearance and a gasp-inducing beheading that takes us into the penultimate episode of this first season. As well, the crown prince of drama participated in last week’s best and funniest exchange, and although we know that the House of Targaryen will not last forever, HBO sure is entertaining us with the ill-fated ride. RIP King Viserys I, you undoubtedly didn’t want to see what was coming to Westeros anyway.