Given that Halloween is just around the corner, we were expecting this weekend to offer up a veritable smorgasbord of horror-themed new movies and TV shows, but the likes of Netflix, Prime Video and Max have seemingly resisted the urge to get spooky.
That’s not to say there aren’t any scary stories to enjoy over the next few days, mind. Apple TV Plus, for instance, has The Enfield Poltergeist – the latest adaptation of the infamous 1970s haunting – while Five Nights at Freddy's makes its long-awaited debut on Peacock.
Below, you’ll find our pick of the best new movies and TV shows to watch on streaming services this weekend. Happy Halloween, folks!
Pain Hustlers (Netflix)
If you’re in the mood for a star-studded, satirical takedown of Big Pharma this weekend, look no further than Pain Hustlers on Netflix.
This new Netflix movie – which is loosely based on a 2018 New York Times article of the same name – comes from Harry Potter director David Yates and follows a high-school dropout (Emily Blunt) whose new job at a struggling pharmaceutical start-up takes a turn for the illegal.
Chris Evans also starts in Pain Hustlers, which critics have described as a “formulaic drama on a subject that has already been thoroughly explored by other, more serious-minded movies.” Ouch. Still, praise has been directed towards Emily Blunt’s “mesmerizing” performance as Liza, so perhaps this one could make our best Netflix movies list, after all.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
Life on Our Planet (Netflix)
Nothing comes close to a David Attenborough-narrated nature documentary, but Netflix has got the next best thing: a Morgan Freeman-narrated nature documentary.
From executive producer Steven Spielberg and the Emmy Award-winning team behind Our Planet – which, ironically, is narrated by David Attenborough – Life on Our Planet examines, well, life on our planet, from the prehistoric era to the Ice Age to the present day.
Set across eight episodes and four billion (!) years, this docuseries has been described as “natural history as you’ve never seen it before,” so anyone with even a passing interest in animals and evolution should tune in. Critics hated the CGI, mind you.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
The Enfield Poltergeist (Apple TV Plus)
Apple is the latest production company to take a stab at dramatizing the Enfield haunting, the infamous claim of supernatural activity which took place between 1977 and 1979 in Enfield, London (The Conjuring 2 is another recent example).
The difference, though, is that this four-part series combines fictional reenactments with original recordings allegedly taken from the house itself, which should add a whole new layer of creepy. Critics have called The Enfield Poltergeist “a clever and powerful piece of television,” albeit one that takes a while to get going.
Now available to stream on Apple TV Plus.
Five Nights at Freddy's (Peacock)
Joining The Enfield Poltergeist in this weekend’s Halloween-themed double bill is Five Nights at Freddy's on Peacock.
The first film adaptation of the 2014 video game of the same name, Five Nights at Freddy's centers on a decommissioned, circus-like pizza parlor whose creepy animatronic characters are not as lifeless as they seem. Josh Hutcherson, Matthew Lillard and Elizabeth Lail star.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the terror of Five Nights at Freddy's the video game translates all that well into Five Nights at Freddy's the film. Critics have called this one “about as scary as Barney the purple dinosaur,” but fans of the original story will surely find plenty of nostalgia to enjoy here.
Now available to stream on Peacock.
Fellow Travelers (Paramount Plus)
The long-awaited dramatization of Tomas Mallon's decades-spanning novel, Fellow Travelers, begins streaming on Paramount Plus this Sunday.
This love story-cum-political thriller charts the romance of two very different men who meet in McCarthy-era Washington. One (played by Matt Bomer) is a well-respected politician, the other (played by Jonathan Bailey) is a young man brimming with idealism, and this eight-part series follows the pair through the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, the drug-fuelled disco hedonism of the 1970s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.
Suffice to say, critics loved Fellow Travelers – it’s been described as “an epic gay love story that's as heart-wrenching as it is heartwarming” – so this one seems like a shoo-in for a spot on our list of the best Paramount Plus shows.
Available to stream on Paramount Plus from Sunday.
The Gilded Age season 2 (Max)
HBO’s acclaimed New York-set period drama, The Gilded Age, returns for its highly-anticipated second season on Max this weekend.
New episodes find the old-money van Rhijn sisters (played by Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon) once again struggling to come to terms with the popularity of new-money power couple the Russells (played by Carrie Coon and Morgan Spector), so it’s safe to expect more fork-tongued domestic drama.
The first episode of The Gilded Age season 2 will become available to stream on Max from Sunday evening (that’s Monday morning in the UK), with its remaining seven installments set to land weekly through December 17.
Available to stream on Max from Sunday.
Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles (Prime Video)
Okay, this is perhaps the niche-est recommendation we’ve ever made in our weekly streaming list, but if you happen to be a huge fan of Australian children's music group The Wiggles, then boy does Prime Video have a documentary for you this weekend.
Through decades of personal archive material and intimate access to their sell-out shows, Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles tells the story of how Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Greg Page and Jeff Fatt shot to fame as unlikely music and TV megastars.
Now available to stream on Prime Video.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.