As the coronavirus-forced lockdown continues, movie studios have realized releasing new titles directly for consumers to stream and rent at home may continue to be necessary. Upcoming releases on subscription platforms and VOD range from horror films for stay-at-home Halloween to family movies for the holiday season.
While a handful of high-profile films still plan to premiere in theaters, there is a wealth of content to choose from on home viewing platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus or Apple Plus. Many more titles are available through virtual cinemas and on rental/purchase platforms such as iTunes.
October is particularly loaded with spooky new movies, including horror titles “Books of Blood” on Hulu, “Scare me” on Shudder and “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” on Netflix. Premiering Oct. 21, Netflix’s romantic drama “Rebecca” centers on a newlywed who is faced with the legacy of her husband’s late wife.
Secretly produced during the pandemic, Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” sequel will also join the streaming race ahead of the election on Amazon Prime. Pixar Animation Studios has also announced that its upcoming animated feature, “Soul,” will debut exclusively on Disney Plus on Dec. 25.
Read Variety’s list of much-anticipated films coming to streaming and on-demand through the rest of 2020 below.
“Scare Me” (Oct. 1, Shudder) – During a power outage on a camping trip in the New York mountains, two strangers Fanny (Aya Cash) and Fred (Josh Ruben) find that their scary stories manifest in real life.
“Dick Johnson is Dead” (Oct. 2, Netflix) – In Kirsten Johnson’s semi-documentary, her her father acts out his impending death in comedic ways to cope with the inevitable.
“2067” (Oct. 2, in theaters and on-demand) – Climate change forces humans to live on synthetic oxygen. But a message from the future leads one man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to be brought into danger as he attempts to save humankind.
“Vampires vs. The Bronx” (Oct. 2, Netflix) – Teenagers in the Bronx defend themselves from an invasion of vampires in the upcoming comedic horror film. It is directed by Osmany Rodriguez, who also serves as a writer alongside Blaise Hemingway.
“Black Box” (Oct. 6, Amazon) – A car accident leaves Nolan (Mamoudou Athie) without his memory and kills his wife. To recover some of what was lost, he engages in experimental treatments.
“Save Yourselves!” (Oct. 6, on-demand) – Releasing in theaters Oct. 2, “Save Yourselves!” stars John Reynolds and Sunita Mani as a Brooklyn couple who disconnect from the world for a week. While they’re in an isolated cabin, they are unaware the Earth is under attack.
“The Phenomenon” (Oct. 6, on-demand) – Unidentified flying objects are the focus of director James Fox’s documentary. It also discusses government programs and shares testimonies from military officials.
“Books of Blood” (Oct. 7, Hulu) – The film, based on Clive Barker’s popular horror anthology of the same name and starring Brit Robertson, depicts a quest into unexplored territory through three stories jumbled together in space and time.
“The 40-Year-Old Version” (Oct. 9, Netflix) – The comedy film follows Radha Blank, a struggling artist facing nonstop rejections from the theater community. When her play is finally greenlit, she faces new challenges, getting asked to compromise her voice for career success.
“Evil Eye” (Oct. 13, Amazon) – Directed by brothers Elan and Rajeev Dassani, the film’s plot falls upon a mother convinced that a man who tried to kill her decades ago is now reincarnated in her daughter’s boyfriend.
“Nocturne” (Oct. 13, Amazon) – A young pianist lives in her sister’s shadow, jealous of the success and attention her older sibling receives. To get a leg up on her competition, she makes a faustian deal to sacrifice part of herself for the talent needed to win.
“A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” (Oct. 15, Netflix) – A babysitter embarks on a journey to save a child kidnapped by monsters. The movie stars Tom Felton, Indya Moore and Oona Laurence.
“Alone” (Oct. 16, on-demand) – the 2020 film centers on a man (Tyler Posey) trapped in his apartment when it is overrun by “screamers,” people afflicted with a zombie-like illness. Left alone, he struggles to survive.
“Love and Monsters” (Oct. 16, on-demand) – Dylan O’Brien stars in a post-apocalyptic adventure romantic comedy about a man who must traverse a deadly landscape to reconnect with a lost love.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Oct. 16, Netflix) – Based on the true story of seven people arrested after protests around the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the drama was released in select theaters on Sept. 25.
“American Utopia” (Oct. 17, HBO Max) Spike Lee directs the filmed version of David Byrne’s popular Broadway musical that incorporates the Talking Heads’ frontman’s music from across his career.
“Tar” (Oct. 2 theaters, Oct. 20 on-demand) – The upcoming horror film weaves a tale about a creature living in Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits and the co-workers who struggle to survive an encounter with it. “Tar” is directed by Aaron Wolf.
“The Mothman Legacy” (Oct. 20, on-demand) – The upcoming documentary follows the 1960s sightings of the urban mythological creature called Mothman. It also explores the possibility that the myth dates back further than the first claimed sighting.
“Rebecca” (Oct. 21, Netflix) – The romantic drama is an adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic novel, following a young newlywed who journeys to her husband’s estate and is faced with the shadow of his late wife’s legacy.
“The Witches” (Oct. 22, HBO Max) Robert Zemeckis re-imagines Roald Dahl’s classic dark fantasy comedy with Anne Hathaway starring.
“On the Rocks” (Oct. 23, Apple TV Plus) Sofia Coppola’s comedy stars Bill Murray and Rashida Jones in the story of a New York mother who teams up with her rakish father to follow her husband (Marlon Wayans.)
“Bad Hair” (Oct. 23, Hulu) – A horror comedy by Justin Simien, “Bad Hair” tells the story of a woman (Elle Lorraine) whose new weave, which she gets to help her entertainment career, seems to act of its own accord.
“The Place of No Words” (Oct. 23, on-demand) – One family ventures through a shared fantasy as a child learns to confront the concept of death when his father fights a terminal illness. Mark Webber, Teresa Palmer and their son Bodhi Palmer star in the film.
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (October 23, Amazon Prime Video) – Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” sequel will join the streaming race this fall. Secretly filmed during the pandemic, the follow-up is subtitled “Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”
“Over the Moon” (Oct. 23, Netflix) – The animated musical follows a young girl who builds a rocket ship in search of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e. The cast includes Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Sandra Oh, Ken Jeong, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho and John Cho.
“His House” (Oct. 30, Netflix) – A couple escapes the war in South Sudan, only to find that their new English town has secret evils within. The mystery thriller stars Sope Dirisul and Wunmi Mosaku.
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Nov. 13, Netflix) – The musical adventure, featuring tunes from John Legend, follows toymaker and inventor Jeronicus Jangle (voiced by Forest Whitaker) and his trusted apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) who steals Jangle’s most prized creation. The craftsman’s granddaughter discovers the long-forgotten invention and heals old wounds.
“The Princess Switch: Switched Again” (Nov. 19, Netflix) – Vanessa Hudgens stars as three characters in the sequel to “The Princess Switch.” She reprises her roles as Duchess Margaret and look-alike Stacy, but now also plays another look-alike named Fiona, who attempts to foil the duo’s plans.
“Run” (Nov. 20, Hulu) – From the creators of “Searching,” the eerie thriller stars Sarah Paulson as a disturbed mother who navigates her relationship with her captive daughter.
“Hillbilly Elegy” (Nov. 24, Netflix) – The American dream is explored in this drama, based on the memoir by J.D. Vance. A law student returns home and confronts his upbringing in an Appalachian family.
“Happiest Season” (Nov. 25, Hulu) – Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis star in the romantic comedy that explores love, family and acceptance. The film, a rare mainstream holiday movie centering on two women in love, also costars Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen.
“Mank” (Dec. 4, Netflix) – Lily Collins, Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman star in a biographical drama following the life of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his tumultuous production of “Citizen Kane.”
“The Prom” (Dec. 11, Netflix) Ryan Murphy’s movie is based on the Broadway musical about a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom, and the theater luminaries who show up to support her including Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. Kerry Washington and Keegan-Michael Key co-star.
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Dec. 18. Netflix) – Chadwick Boseman gives his final film performance in this adaptation of August Wilson’s 1984 play about a 1920s blues singer living in Chicago, played by Viola Davis.
“Greenland” (Dec. 18, on-demand) – In Gerard Butler’s latest thriller, scientists discover that fragments of a comet will hit the Earth and likely cause the extinction of humanity. The only hope for survivors is to take shelter in Greenland.
“Coming 2 America” (Dec. 18, Amazon) – In the long-awaited sequel to the Eddie Murphy classic, Prince Akeem is set to become king of the fictional country of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son he never knew about in America — a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle. To honor the former king’s dying wish to groom his grandson as the crown prince, Akeem and Semmi set off to America.
“Shortcut” (Dec. 22, on-demand) – A creature traps five classmates on a bus in this upcoming horror film directed by Alessio Liguori.
“Soul” (Dec. 25, Disney Plus) – From Pixar Animation Studios, the existential cartoon follows a middle-school band teacher (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who dreams of being a jazz performer. But before his big break, he gets in an accident that causes his soul to be separated from his body. He must team up with 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) to return his soul back to his body on Earth before it’s too late.
“The Midnight Sky” (December, Netflix) – George Clooney stars in and directs the sci-fi drama about a scientist who attempts to inform a space crew of the Earth’s catastrophic destruction.