The air smells like pumpkin spice, and the shelves of home goods stores are filled with skeletons. That can only mean one thing: it's officially spooky season, so it's time to start planning your horror watchlist for the fall. And if you're interested in seeing the world through your horror viewing, you've come to the right place.
Many of September's big releases are taking us abroad, with Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) playing a game in Mexico in Saw X, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) solving a spectral mystery in Italy in A Haunting in Venice, and both Valek (Bonnie Aarons) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) visiting France in The Nun II and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon respectively (imagine that crossover, though).
But that's only scratching the surface. Earn a few more stamps in your horror passport with these 14 international horror releases coming to US screens in September.
The latest horror film from Knives and Skin director Jennifer Reeder, Perpetrator, arrived on Shudder and in select theatres on September 1.
Kiah McKirnan stars as reckless teen Jonny Baptiste in the US-French co-production. On her 18th birthday, Johnny experiences a radical metamorphosis as a result of a family spell. Now mythically feral, she's ready to hunt down the Peptetrator when several girls go missing at her new school. Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) also stars in Perpetrator, which you can read more about in FANGORIA Vol 2 Issue #20.
Zombie Town (Canada)
Looking for a horror flick you can watch with your kids in the build-up to Halloween? Director Peter Lepeniotis has you covered with Zombie Town, playing in theatres as of September 1.
An adaptation of the 2012 R.L. Stine novel of the same name, Zombie Town reunites Saturday Night Live and Nothing But Trouble co-stars Dan Akroyd and Chevy Chase. The film follows two teens (Madi Monroe and Marlon Kazadi) who uncover a movie made by infamous filmmaker Len Craver (Akroyd). But watching the exclusive reel has dire consequences for their town. Shot in Ontario, Zombie Town also stars Canada's own Henry Czerny, recently seen in Scream VI.
Beaten to Death (Australia)
Australian horror is known for its stark brutality, and based on the title alone, you can probably guess that Beaten to Death lives up to that legacy. If you'd like to find out for yourself, you'll be glad to hear that the film opened in select theatres on September 1.
Directed by Sam Curtain, Beaten to Death comes to us from Welcome Villain Films, the studio behind Malum. The plot concerns a man named Jack (Thomas Roach) who, after making a desperate choice, is led down a path that leaves him beaten, bruised, and stranded in the middle of nowhere. Jack must go to extreme lengths to survive as he encounters one deranged local after another.
Don't Look Away (Canada)
Who doesn't love a killer mannequin? Well, the characters in Don't Look Away probably aren't the biggest fans, considering that one is trying to kill them in director Michael Bafaro's new film.
Looking like a cross between It Follows and that Doctor Who monster that made us all scared of statues, Don't Look Away sees a gang of criminals unintentionally unleashing a deadly supernatural force onto the world. Once you see it, you can't look away… not if you value your life, that is. But if you do want to take a peek, Don't Look Away kicked off its theatrical run on September 1.
The Hanged Girl (Austalia)
Also known as The Haunting at Saint Joseph's, Aussie horror The Hanged Girl sees a quaint guesthouse becoming a site of unimaginable horror. And no, it's not because of bedbugs.
The trouble starts when Lily (Tal Hymans) and fiance Kit (Alec Snow) head out for one last holiday with their med school friends before moving abroad. But they should have checked the reviews before booking, because their chosen lodging may have been the site of a sacrifice centuries before. Jon Cohen wrote and directed The Hanged Girl, and you can catch it on digital platforms from September 5.
Blood Flower (Malaysia)
Iqbal (Idan Aedan), a 16-year-old apprentice faith healer and exorcist, is tormented by visions of the dead and spirits from other dimensions in director Dain Said's Blood Flower (aka Harum Malam). The teen has tried to put his abilities behind him, but it's never that easy, is it? When he accidentally unleashes a vengeful spirit, Iqbal is forced to confront his powers if he wants to save his friends and family.
Blood Flower taps into Malay folklore to conjure its spirits and scares. Summon it on Shudder September 8.
Good Boy (Norway)
Do you have dating apps on your phone? You might want to delete them after seeing writer-director Viljar Bøe's Good Boy.
In the Scandie horror film, Sigrid (Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen) heads home with a guy who seems charming, handsome, and normal. There's just one problem: his human roommate acts like his pet dog. Like, all the time.
Listen, we're not here to kink shame. People pay good money for realistic dog costumes. But there's definitely something sinister happening in this household, and you can find out what when Good Boy hits theatres and digital platforms on September 8.
My Animal (Canada)
Speaking of animals, horror-romance My Animal is set to take a bite out of theatres on September 8 before its digital release on September 15.
Directed by Jacqueline Castel, My Animal explores the secret tryst between outcast goalie Heather (Bobbi Salvör Menuez) and alluring but tormented figure skater Jonny (Bodies Bodies Bodies' Amandla Stenberg). As their relationship deepens, Heather is forced to grapple with not only her hidden sexuality, but also the (literal) animal within.
September is set to be a great month for fans of super bloody horror—because writer-director Karim Ouelhaj's Megalomaniac is coming to select theatres on September 8.
Megalomaniac focuses on Martha (Eline Schumacher) and Félix (Benjamin Ramon), the offspring of the Butcher of Mons, a real-life Belgian serial killer who has never been caught. Unstable Martha lives vicariously through social media, but Félix has taken on an altogether more troubling hobby: continuing his father's killings.
Prefer to watch your gory films at home? No problem: the French-language film is getting a VOD release on September 26. In the meantime, check out our exclusive Megalomaniac trailer.
The Latent Image (UK)
Inspiration proves deadly in queer British horror film The Latent Image, which centers around a thriller writer, Ben (Joshua Tonks), who retreats to an isolated cabin to work on his next book. When a wounded man (Jay Clift) breaks into the cabin one night, Ben finds inspiration for his novel's antagonist. But while his character can't hurt him, the real-life drifter certainly can.
Alexander McGregor Birrell directed The Latent Image and co-wrote the script with Tonks. Catch it on DVD or on-demand from September 12.
El Conde (Chile)
Director Pablo Larraín reimagines Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (played by Jaime Vadell) as a 250-year-old vampire who's ready to die in El Conde (The Count).
"Using black comedy, we want to observe, understand, and analyze the events that have occurred in Chile and the world in the last 50 years," Larraín says of the horror satire, which he co-wrote with Guillermo Calderón. El Conde nips at Netflix's neck on September 15.
The Curse of Willow Song (Canada)
After making a splash at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival, writer-director Karen Lam's black-and-white horror The Curse of Willow Song is finally arriving on DVD and digital platforms on September 26.
Valerie Tian (Jennifer's Body) plays the titular Willow Song, a recovering addict and parolee struggling to get back on her feet. After finding herself in a concrete wasteland, Willow's nightmares start to become real. Drawing inspiration from Japanese horror films, The Curse of Willow Song looks as trippy as it does beautiful, and we're intrigued.
Gangnam Zombie (South Korea)
Seoul's upscale Gangnam district becomes infested with the undead in Gangnam Zombie, directed by Lee Soo-sung. The citizens' only hope? An elite former taekwondo athlete.
Fans of the disbanded K-pop group T-ara may be especially interested in Gangnam Zombie, which stars singer Park Ji-yeon. The film is getting a digital and Blu-ray release from Well Go USA Entertainment on September 26.
Closing out the month, writer-director Kjersti Helen Rasmussen's Nightmare brings bad dreams to Shudder on September 29.
Mona (Eili Harboe) is an expectant mother who has just moved into a big apartment in an old building with her boyfriend, Robby (Herman Tømmeraas). It isn't long before she begins experiencing intense night terrors that only worsen when the newborn baby next door suddenly dies, leaving Mona convinced that a demon is coming for her unborn child.
That's all for September! Enjoy your round-the-world terror trip, and be sure to stop by next month for an all-new international horror itinerary. And check out our fall watchlist for upcoming domestic and international horror.