With the longest month to ever exist finally behind us, it’s time to look ahead to see what’s on the horror docket for February 2024. The year's shortest month is thoroughly stacked with a raft of must-see horrors on the best streaming services, including hits from way back along with a handful of newer additions to the spooky canon.
Shudder's offerings include Cemetery Man, which has been absent on US streaming platforms for years, and Daniel Isn't Real, a thoroughly nightmarish yarn from 2019. If it's more recent outings, then turn to Prime Video, where slashers are where it's at, with last year's autumnal creepfest Dark Harvest making an appearance alongside '90s legacy sequel Halloween H20. Meanwhile, Netflix gets the great X, just in time for its threequel, MaXXXine, to hit theaters soon. What are you waiting for? Dive in and scare yourself silly.
The Descent (2005)
When: February 1
Where to stream it: Hulu/Prime Video (US), Britbox (UK), rent or buy (AU)
Now approaching its 20th anniversary, The Descent has lost none of its bite. Neil Marshall never bettered this survivalist thriller that follows a group of friends who venture to a subterranean cavern system for a fun weekend of bonding, frolics, and spelunking. Naturally, everything goes to hell when the women learn the cave they've entered is uncharted, and perhaps for good reason, too. The ensemble is what sells the hell out of this. There are sterling turns from all of the cast, who grapple with interpersonal relationship issues that only add to the horror on display. And when the scares arrive, you'll be clutching the nearest pile of rope to hide behind. Stunning effects work and a risky ending make this one of the best horror movies of the 2000s.
Halloween H20 (1998)
When: February 1
Where to stream it: Prime Video (US), Sky/Now TV (UK), Stan (AU)
Halloween H20’s original subtitle from a Kevin Williamson-penned treatment remains a more apt description of the legacy sequel’s intent: The Revenge of Laurie Strode. Is this the perfect Halloween movie? No. There is only one of those. But it’s the best to revisit Curtis’ iconic final girl, a genuinely affecting tale of trauma, decades before that became a go-to crutch for modern "elevated horror". Set twenty years after the events of the original encounter, H20 picks up with Laurie working under an assumed name as a principal at a private school where her son John (Josh Hartnett's first role) also attends. The school empties for the weekend – bar a select few teens, of course – and Michael returns to bloody his knife. While Williamson doesn't receive a screenplay credit, the Scream writer's mitts are all over the dialogue and the chase sequences.
Hell Night (1981)
When: February 1
Where to stream it: Shudder (US), Shudder (UK), Tubi (AU)
With Hollywood keen to cash in on Friday the 13th's success, 1981 saw dozens of slashers hit the big screen. But by churning out hack n'slash pics before audiences grew weary some were unfairly lost in the mix including this brilliantly gothic campfest. Director Tom DiSimone assembles a movie full of horror homages that revolves around a group of coed pledges who are tasked with staying the night at a reportedly haunted mansion as part of a hazing ritual. While plenty of its bigger twists and turns will be spotted a mile off by aficionados, that doesn't detract from how fun this oddball pic truly is. It's a slasher but with gothic, period moments that contribute to its off-kilter moodscape. The Exorcist's Linda Blair leads the clutch of young adults as Marti, in a role that earned her a Razzie nom she didn't deserve, because she delivers a brilliant turn.
When: February 1
Where to stream it: Netflix (AU, US), rent or buy (UK)
Ahead of the release of Ti West’s trilogy closer Maxxxine, why not catch up with the one that started it all? This modernized riff on 1970s exploitation flicks carries a solid cast who relish in the wild genre swings the plot takes. Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, and Brittany Snow lead the ensemble as a group of adult film actors shooting a porno in the deep south. Their location shoot finds them confronted by a couple of unusual characters who take umbrage with their youth. What's most exciting about X is that not only is it fresh, entertaining and packed with terrific kills, it kickstarted a new franchise that just looks better with each instalment. (The sequel, Pearl, is available on Paramount Plus/Showtime in the US, Sky/Now TV in the UK, and Netflix/Binge in Australia.)
Cemetery Man (1994)
When: February 2
Where to stream it: Shudder (US), Prime Video (UK), not available Australia
Dubbed one of the best Italian films of the 1990s by Martin Scorsese, Cemetery Man, (also known as Dellamorte Dellamore) doubles as one of the last Italian zombie movies. But it's more than that; it's equal parts philosophical ramble, undead romance and bizarro gore flick. Weirdly unavailable for a long time on streaming, this Michele Soavi cult classic hits Shudder in the US, where it's sure to dominate the social media discussion. Rupert Everett stars as Francesco Dellamorte, a cemetery custodian tasked with killing its residents who have a pesky habit of returning from beyond the grave. Alas, when he falls in love with the widow of a new tenant, things get complicated.
Daniel Isn't Real (2019)
When: February 2
Where to stream it: Prime Video/Starz (US), Shudder (UK), rent or buy (AU)
Psychedelic madness that's got to be seen to be believed. Think Fight Club crossed with Drop Dead Fred with a hint of American Psycho and you're in the vicinity of Adam Egypt Mortimer's Daniel Isn't Real. Miles Robbins stars as Luke, a college kid whose troubled past forces him to conjure his childhood imaginary friend. Unfortunately, Daniel is an asshole. More than that, he's responsible for almost killing Luke's mom years earlier and appears to be picking up where he left off. Patrick Schwarzenegger is truly horrifying as Daniel, a meathead manipulator with a penchant for startling brutality. This kaleidoscopic hellscape made flesh demands to be seen.
Dark Harvest (2023)
When: February 2 (AU, UK), February 16 (US)
Where to stream it: Prime Video (AU, UK, US)
Stuck on a shelf for years after production wraps tends to be the death knell for many a movie. What's weird is that Dark Harvest was subject to that same treatment, like a secret the studio sought to hide, but the truth is this straight-to-video seasonal slasher is an unexpected delight. 30 Days of Night director David Slade adapts Norman Partridge's sublime novel (seriously, read it) to winning effect. The story takes place in a town whose young men are forced to participate in an annual ritual called the "Run" where every Halloween they must stop a supernatural figure called Sawtooth Jack from reaching the church. The creature design is top-notch and there's genuine scares to be had, perhaps most of all from its final twist at the climax.
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Gem Seddon is a Seattle-based freelance entertainment writer with bylines at Vulture, Digital Spy, TechRadar, GamesRadar+, Total Film, What to Watch, and Certified Forgotten. Librarian by day, scribbler by night, Gem loves 90-minute movies, time travel romance, single-camera comedy shows, all things queer, all things horror, and queer horror. Alien and Scream are tied as her all-time favourite movie. She won't stop raving about Better Things.