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Best Movies & TV Shows on HBO Max This Weekend (October 8-9, 2022)

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October is the month of spooks and spirits, and HBO Max is prepared to deliver. To get in the spirit, HBO Max has created a “House of Halloween” collection that subscribers can explore until the end of October, and there’s even a tarot card feature that selects new movies every day based on what type of mood subscribers are in.

Other than Halloween specials, there are other new additions to HBO Max this week. Pennyworth returns with a third season to continue Alfred Pennyworth’s origin story with the Waynes, and Eraser: Reborn keeps the action going years later after its predecessor. With all this and more, check out CBR’s recommendations for the movies and television shows to watch on HBO Max this weekend.

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Pennyworth Season 3 Explores the Legacy of Batman’s Butler

Alfred Pennyworth has always been the mentor and, at times, the sidekick everyone wants in their life. No matter who portrays him — whether it be the wise Michael Caine, the cool and improved Andy Serkis or the grounded caretaker Sean Pertwee — Alfred is the one character besides Bruce Wayne no one ever wants to see hurt or killed. This is all to say why he’s deserving of his own television series: Pennyworth. The Epix series, which recently moved to HBO Max ahead of its third season, portrays a younger version of Pertwee’s Alfred Pennyworth on Gotham in the early 1960s. Finally, fans get the Alfred backstory they so dearly need.

Season 3 of Pennyworth, subtitled “The Origins of Batman’s Butler,” is bringing more Batman lore to the story. It’s been a controversial name so far, as one of the downsides of Gotham was that later seasons turned the series into a more Batman-centric story — a possible issue Pennyworth might be experiencing. Pennyworth will continue Alfred’s journey five years after the events of Season 2, which also saw Thomas and Martha Wayne (Bruce Wayne’s parents) having their first child — a baby girl. But there are more Waynes out there, apparently. Thomas’ father, Patrick Wayne, will be joining the series, but how he fits into the series has yet to be seen.

Folklore Season 2 Introduces More Horror Mythos

Another series coming to HBO Max this week is Season 2 of Folklore. The series is an anthology that explores a different Asian superstition or folkloric myth from a different country in each episode. The previous season was praised by critics and fans, who adored the mixture of stories, and Season 2 is only trying to up its own game. The second season is said to be upping the fear factor and keeping the format of different folklore stories in each episode. It’s the perfect series to catch up on until Halloween and is like six different movies all in one season.

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Unwind With the Action Flick Reboot Eraser: Reborn

New to HBO Max this week is a reboot of the 1996 action film Eraser, which originally starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. Acting as the next installment in the franchise, Eraser: Reborn follows US Marshal Mason Pollard who specializes in “erasing” high-risk witnesses by faking their deaths. On one particular case, Pollard realizes he’s been set up by his own team who are looking to “erase” him permanently. Despite mixed reviews from critics, it’s an action-packed film to turn your mind off when the weekend rolls around and some serious relaxation needs to take place.

James Wan Does It Again With Malignant

James Wan is known to be one of the most experimental horror directors (and occasional superhero director) today. His past work with the Saw and Insidious deductibles, more The Conjuring Universe has made him one of the most sought-after horror directors in modern entertainment. Malignant is considered a horror film based on its formula alone, but it also has some fun action that makes it less creepy. So for those who are a little less inclined to watch scary this October, this movie is a good gateway into the horror genre.

Malignant opens with the story of a child named Gabriel, who is being treated in a hospital. He’s able to control electricity and broadcast his thoughts via the speakers but uses his powers to kill several staff members. He’s considered a lost cause by the doctors after the event. The story picks up 27 years later with Madison Lake-Mitchell, a woman who has visions of people being murdered. Without getting into spoilers, the film provides unique twists that join the stories together, even if the ending does leave things a bit ambiguous.

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The Shining Returns in the Sequel Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep was one of the most ambitious movies of 2019. How could anyone try to uphold The Shining legacy, much less improve on it? It’s a daunting thought that would steer any screenwriter or director away, but Mike Flanagan (The Haunting anthology series, Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club) was up for the challenge. While Doctor Sleep is no The Shining, it does stand on its own as a worthy sequel to the classic horror film. This could be owed to Flanagan, who is known for delivering real horror and terror in films without relying on gimmicks and jumpscares. Even Stephen King, author of the novel Doctor Sleep, has praised him on his directing style. It only made sense that Flanagan would be the perfect fit to tackle a story about childhood trauma and alcoholism, all while trying to make a sequel to The Shining that would satisfy fans.

Doctor Sleep may have been a sleeper hit that didn’t do so well at the box office, but it has earned its reputation as one of the greater Stephen King adaptations. Doctor Sleep follows Danny Torrance (now known as Dan) several decades after the events of The Shining, where he uses his psychic abilities to comfort dying patients who nicknamed him “Doctor Sleep.” He comes across a cult named the True Knot, which requires “steam,” a psychic essence that is obtained from torturing and killing those who have these psychic abilities. Dan must finally confront the past he’s been so desperate to hide away, closing out his arc one last time.