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The Horror Lineup

As we approach Halloween, a certain type of movie begins flooding theaters and streaming en masse. That’s right, it’s horror movie season. 

It’s not rare for horror films to be called average at best, but there was a standout star this month, as well as a yet unreleased one that’s expected to do well.

This year has already offered plenty for horror fans, such as Blumhouse’s “M3GAN” in January and new additions to the Scream, Insidious and Evil Dead franchises last spring. But some of the biggest names have waited for the appropriate season.

Saw X

Released by Lionsgate on Sept. 29, “Saw X” is the latest installment of the nearly 20-year-old franchise. For those who know nothing about the franchise, it revolves around a serial killer, John “Jigsaw” Kramer, who places people into elaborate life-or-death games in order to make them appreciate life. “Saw X” is the first of any Saw film to be deemed fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, receiving 80%, with the original Saw being second highest at 50%. By IMDB ratings, it’s the second-best of the series at a 7.1 out of 10. Only the original beats it, being at a 7.6.

It’s clear why “Saw X” has been rated so highly. For lack of better words, it’s an actual film. The franchise is iconic for the horrific, gory traps. They are less known for their cinematography, with the exception of the first film. “Saw X” takes what worked for its predecessors: the traps, beloved characters and a critique of humanity’s willingness to take advantage of others. 

It should be noted this would not make a great entry point for anyone looking to start the series. While it’s possible for the film’s plot to stand alone, much of the characterization and finer details would be lost without at least a basic understanding of the series thus far. While you don’t need to be a fanatic to enjoy the movie, you should at least know who Jigsaw and his apprentices are.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines

You can’t be a horror film set in Maine without a single reference to Stephen King. This year brings us a prequel to the 2019 reboot of “Pet Sematary.” The film passed one of the great hurdles of horror: being a well-received reboot. It did not, however, pass the second hurdle: having a well-received sequel. 

While looking to expand the reboot’s world building and having King credited as a writer, its reviews sit at 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 56% audience score and a 4.7 on IMDB.

The movie was released straight to streaming on Paramount+. 

The Exorcist: Believer

In an attempt to reboot a classic horror franchise, Blumhouse Productions’ “The Exorcist: Believer” released on Oct. 6 to less than stellar reviews. It currently sits at 22% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.1 on IMDB. It also has a 59% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

While bringing back the lead actress from 1973’s “The Exorcist” to play an older version of her character, reviews say the film does not live up to its namesake. But outside of the shoes it seeks to fill, reviews say it is, if nothing else, decent.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Blumhouse has been busy this season, with its second, highly anticipated, release coming out on Oct. 27. “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” based on the game franchise of the same name, is a movie eight years in the making.

For those unfamiliar with the series, it revolves around a nighttime security guard at an old Chuck-E-Cheese-esque pizzeria. This is no ordinary pizzeria, though, as it is haunted by the ghosts of five children who were murdered there years prior. The security guard, Mike, will have to survive the haunted animatronics, as well as the return of the children’s killer.

Starring big names like Josh Hutcherson and Matthew Lillard, the film is highly anticipated both for fans of the series and for those who just want a good horror movie.

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