We may be well into the lead-up to Halloween, but it’s clear movie fans aren’t looking just for scares. In fact, our top vote-getter for the month of October is not, in fact, a horror film but an epic, nearly three-and-a-half-hour-long Western crime drama. Sure, it’s got the pedigree of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio behind it, but still, it garnered more enthusiasm than a new Exorcist movie and a long-awaited horror video game adaptation, among others. Read on for the most anticipated movies opening in October 2023!
#1 on Facebook, Instagram, and X; #2 on YouTube
Release Date: October 20
October brings us a collaboration between writer-director Martin Scorsese and two of his most celebrated stars, namely Robert De Niro (in his 10th Scorsese film) and Leonardo DiCaprio (in his sixth Scorsese film). That’s pretty much all you need to know to understand why it tops our list this month. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the film is based on true events and looks epic and period-perfect — who would expect anything less? Consider this a potentially strong contender for end-of-year awards.
On a decidedly less serious note, our second most popular title of the month is a long-in-development adaptation of a popular video game franchise about animatronic robots at a family restaurant that come to life and terrorize unsuspecting security guards. That’s pretty much all you need to know to understand the basic appeal of the movie, which caters to longtime fans of the games even as it provides a few tongue-in-cheek thrills for moviegoers looking for a fun ride.
#2 on Facebook, #3 on Instagram, X (tied), and YouTube
Release Date: October 6
Taking a page from other recent horror franchises that have gone back to their roots, The Exorcist gets a fresh reboot courtesy of the guy who did it for Halloween (David Gordon Green) and one of its original stars (Ellen Burstyn). That’s pretty much all you need to know to understand the cautious optimism aimed at the film, though the trailer did help alleviate a lot of doubts for a big chunk of the fanbase who felt Green’s Halloween trilogy offered diminishing returns.
#4 on Instagram and YouTube, #5 on Facebook
Release Date: October 6 on Prime Video
The rest of the October films that weren’t Flowers of the Killer Moon, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and The Exorcist: Believer were pretty much relegated to fighting for scraps at the bottom of our social media polls, but one of them managed to lead the pack. If you’ve ever wondered what we might get if we mixed Back to the Future with Halloween, this is your answer (and yes, there’s an explicit BttF reference right there in the trailer). It’s a goofy, profane, self-aware horror-comedy about a girl who travels back to 1987 to try to save her mother’s friends from being slaughtered by a masked killer. That’s pretty much all you need to know to figure out whether or not this movie is for you, but if you’re in doubt, consider that you don’t have to leave your living room to watch it.
#5 on Instagram, X, and YouTube
Release Date: October 6
We had a tie at the bottom of our list this month, and the two films are two very different experiences. First up, we have Foe, a psychological sci-fi thriller starring Academy Award nominees Saoirse and Paul Mescal and based on the eponymous novel by Iain Reid, who also wrote the similarly mind-bending I’m Thinking of Ending Things. That’s pretty much all you need to know if you want to go into the film completely cold, but if you need a bit more to go on, we’ll just say it bears a striking resemblance to an episode in the most recent season of Black Mirror.
#3 on X
Release Date: October 13
And lastly, we have the big-screen presentation of Taylor Swift’s massive pop culture-defining — and still ongoing — Eras Tour, which finds the ubiquitous pop star delving into her entire catalog over the course of three magical hours. That’s pretty much all you need to know if you were one of the unfortunate Swifties who weren’t able to score a ticket to the live show, which not only dominated the news cycle but also broke sales records, boosted economies, and even prompted congressional inquiries into the way tickets were sold. You may not be able to see her in person, but at least you’ll get to see her literally larger than life in theaters.
Thumbnail by ©Paramount Pictures