October Previews: Streaming Releases

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

It’s October, which means the streamers are going horror crazy. Over on Amazon Prime, you can catch Welcome to Blumhouse – a series of all-new spooky films – while Netflix have the classy-looking The Haunting of Bly Manor. Inspired by Henry James’ classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, it comes from Mike Flanagan, who was last with us directing The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep. With many of Flanagan’s earlier Netflix show The Haunting of Hill House returning, the two series aren’t connected, but you can expect the same level of shocks and scares. E.T.’s Henry Thomas stars.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

Written and directed by The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin, this A-List ensemble drama tackles the infamous 1968 trial after anti-war riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. A huge cast – the stand-outs include Sacha Baron Cohen as anarchist stand-up Abbie Hoffman and Jeremy Strong as his buddy Jerry Rubin – it also benefits from Sorkin’s firecracker dialogue and direction to match. Some scenes, such as Black Panther Bobby Seale’s treatment at the trial, will both shock and resonate loudly in this year of BLM protests.

Time (Amazon Prime)

Time is the first feature by Garrett Bradley, who became the first black woman to win the directing prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. documentary category with this haunting black-and-white collage. At its centre is Fox Richardson, an entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother-of-six who has been campaigning for two decades to get her husband Robert released from a 60-year prison sentence for armed robbery. Made up of video diaries shot by Richardson over time, as well as present-day footage, it’s a towering monument to one woman’s strength and resolve.

Truth Seekers (Amazon Prime)

Just in time for Halloween, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s new eight-part comedy arrives, produced under their Stolen Picture banner. Frost plays Gus, a lonely guy whose dull job installing broadband acts as a cover for his real work – a paranormal investigator turned onto the supernatural by someone very close to him, who has since died. Pegg plays his boss Dave, and there are roles for The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt and the legendary Malcolm McDowell. Expect laughs alongside some Scooby Doo-style moments of horror.

All shows available from October 2020 onwards.

James Mottram