Here’s your HIFF Halloween viewing playlist

We love horror at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) and have shown our fair share  over the years in sections aptly titled Extreme Asia, Dark Wave, and now, HIFF Extreme. We’ve presented the U.S. premieres of JU-ON: THE GRUDGE and SHUTTER and delved into French extremity like HAUTE TENSION (High Tension) just to name a few. With Halloween this week, the HIFF programming team went back to the archives and chose these five films that are great primers to get you prepped for All Hallow’s Eve. The following films are available for streaming and on-demand in North America.

Australia, 2014, Director: Jennifer Kent
A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children’s book. The directorial first feature from Jennifer Kent in a brilliant debut that showcased a new voice in Australian horror. Streaming for free on Tubi and Pluto; Available for rent and purchase on all digital platforms 


Canada, 2019, Director: Jeff Barnaby
The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’kmaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague. It’s Indigenous DAWN OF THE DEAD, but where your blood quantum makes you immune to the disease, but not zombie bites! Sadly, writer-director Jeff Barnaby passed away earlier this year. Released in 2019, this film co-stars a pre-RESERVOIR DOGS Devery Jacobs. Streaming on Shudder; Available for rent and purchase on all digital platforms


Japan, 2016, Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
After having narrowly escaped an attempt on his life at the hands of a psychopath, detective inspector Takakura quits active service in the police force and takes up a position as a university lecturer in criminal psychology. But his desire to get to the bottom of criminals’ motives remains, and he does not hesitate long when former colleague Nogami asks him to reopen an old case. Kiyoshi Kurosawa returns to the genre that made him globally famous (CURE, PULSE) and intertwines the police procedural with a domestic drama, creating one heck of a chicken skin story. Streaming free on Kanopy and Pluto; Available for rent and purchase on all digital platforms


USA, 2009, Director: Ti West
In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger. One of Ti West’s earlier films, who would go on to directing X and PEARL, this film harkens back to ’70s slashers, and co-stars a post-Mumblecore, pre-BARBIE Greta Gerwig. With a creepy turn by Tom Noonan, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is a lot of fun. Streaming for free on Pluto and Redbox; Available for rent and purchase on all digital platforms


2017, Taiwan, Director: Giddens Ko
A bullied boy and his tormentors discover a creature while doing school-mandated community service. Claiming her for their own, the group of kids keep the creature captive, revealing the monster within themselves as her ferocious sister scours the city in search of her missing sibling.  Streaming on Shudder; Available for rent and purchase on all digital platforms


Indonesia, 2017, Director: Joko Anwar
When a famous singer dies from a mysterious illness, her family feels her presence linger, and a horrifying saga begins. Rini and her siblings care for their sick mother in the countryside, but after the matriarch passes away, evil entities terrorize and even possess the family. To protect her little brothers, Rini traces back the roots of the evil and learns the horrifying truth. Director Joko Anwar has become the go-to horror maestro of Indonesia, solidified with this sleeper hit that spawned an even more successful sequel. Streaming on Shudder; Available for rent and purchase on all digital platforms

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