What to watch on Netflix in October 2021

With an abundance of thrillers, hoards of zombies and some pacy, action-packed adventures, October is sure to be an 'edge-of-the-seat' month.

If you woke up this morning wondering where on earth September disappeared to, you’re not alone — it seems to have passed with all the rapidity of Frankie Dettori winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and most of us are left blinking and bewildered in its wake. But never fear, gents; October may have raced around (bringing rainy days and chilly nights with it), but Netflix has some stellar offerings to make the transition into fully-fledged autumn that much easier.

It’s a chilling month: not just weatherwise, but entertainmentwise, too. That’s to be expected, of course — they don’t call October the Hallowe’en month for nothing — so if you’ve been waiting to get your teeth into some truly edge-of-the-seat, face-behind-the-hands viewing, Netflix can deliver the goods for you this month. We’ve got action, adventure and some spooky, creepy offerings (plus one delightfully wholesome documentary, just to keep things interesting). Get that corn popping, and get stuck in.

Body of Lies, October 1st

If Ridley Scott’s involved, you know it’s going to be good. If Leonardo di Caprio, Russell Crowe and Mark Strong join the party, you know it’s going to be the sort of film you’ll want to watch over and over again (which, given this particular film’s 2008 release, we assume you already have). If you’ve somehow managed to go the 13 years of the film’s existence without watching it, you’re in for a treat: it’s a spy thriller (in true Scott form) in which both the CIA and the Jordanian Intelligence pull out all the stops in pursuit of a terrorist.

The Amazing Spider-Man, October 1st

Since we like to be specific, we feel duty-bound to point out that there are actually three Spider-Man films hitting Netflix this month — the other two being Toby Maguire’s inaugural 2002 outing in the role (in the more simply named Spider-man), and the 2014 Amazing sequel. But if you’re only going to watch one arachnid iteration this October, we’d recommend this 2012 edition: it’s Andrew Garfield’s triumphant debut in the role, and it’s just the thing for some pacy, adrenaline-filled Hallowe’en viewing.

Shutter Island, October 1st

diCaprio seems to be popping up multiple times in this curation; but, then, he’s not a world-famous iconic actor for nothing. If you were a fan of Inception (and we assume you were), you’ll love this pacy thriller rife with edge-of-the-seat moments. Viewers can expect to follow diCaprio’s detective character as he investigates a remote, island-based psychiatric facility — but if you thought you were staying one step ahead of the curve, the gobsmacking twist at the end will ensure you question everything you thought you knew to be true.

The Guilty, October 1st

We’re well aboard the thriller train now, so we may as well continue; this Netflix Original film sees Jake Gyllenhaal taking on the role of a police call dispatcher facing the toughest challenge he’s ever known in his career thus far. It’s not so much a creepy psychological drama as it is an exceptionally fast-paced, nail-biting emotional rollercoaster — mostly because all the action takes place over a single morning. Trust us when we say: this is one you won’t want to miss.

Fight Club, October 1st

If you tell us you’ve never seen it, we won’t believe you. The 1999 classic (because it is, now, a classic) is directed by Hollywood icon David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt as a soap salesman (yes, really) and Edward Norton as a distinctly disenchanted office worker. The two set up an underground fight club; and the rest really is history. (Oh, and Helena Bonham-Carter’s in it, too — and since everything she touches turns to on-screen gold, her performance in itself is reason enough to watch the film.)

Saving Private Ryan, October 1st

We seem to be on a roll with classic, world-famous films that every modern man around is sure to have seen; and this particular iconic piece of cinema could well be the best of the bunch. We’ve no doubt it needs no introduction, but just in case: the epic war drama is directed by Steven Spielberg (of course), and stars Tom Hanks (who else?) and Matt Damon (naturally) among a star-studded cast. It’s centred during the Normandy beach invasion of World War II, and sees a Captain (played by Hanks) and his squad searching desperately for a paratrooper (played by Damon). It doesn’t shy away from the horrors of war — but it’s an unequivocal must-watch.

Dawn of the Dead, October 1st

Zack Snyder was the name on everyone’s lips earlier this year, when Army of the Dead triumphantly landed on the streaming platform; and the world-famous director has built up this noteworthy reputation for a reason. Dawn of the Dead is the reason his name is uttered in hushed tones in zombie circles (or in any circles, really): his much-lauded 2004 Hollywood debut tracks the fates of a group of survivors seeking refuge in a shopping mall during a zombie apocalypse, and it’s just as brilliant as you’d expect from a director who’s gone from strength to strength ever since.

Simply Raymond Blanc, October 3rd

At last: a wholesome, lighthearted foray into the (relatively) relaxing world of culinary delights. Gastronomy certainly comes with its fair share of trials, travails and stresses — but compared to the antics of diCaprio, Garfield and Gyllenhaal, this insight into the Michelin-starred chef’s secret recipes is sure to bring some much-needed relief to your Netflix screens this month (and it should inspire you to up your game when it comes to autumnal cooking, too).

The Lighthouse, October 8th

And we’re back to the thrillers (but what is October if not a spooky month; and what is a thriller without a cosy, autumnal evening setup?). This time, Robert Pattinson and William Dafoe take centre stage (or should that be centre screen?) as two lighthouse keepers who become stranded on a remote island when a tumultuous storm descends. One of the film’s major selling points is that it’s all shot in black and white; giving a rarified beauty to a film rife with tension, fear and unease.

Army of Thieves, October 29th

We’ve mentioned zombies once already; but in the month of Hallowe’en, it seems only right to give them ample showtime. If you enjoyed the aforementioned Army of the Dead, then we’ve no doubt you’ve got the release date for its prequel, Army of Thieves, pencilled in your diaries already. Directed by (and starring) Matthias Schweighöfer and produced by both Zack and Deborah Snyder, among others, it takes place six years before the original; and follows the adventures of safecracker Ludwig Dieter (played by Schweighöfer), during the early stages of the zombie outbreak. Essentially, it’s compulsory Hallowe’en viewing.

Planning to watch your thriller in perfect comfort? Here’s why it pays to invest in luxury men’s slippers

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