31 Horror Movies Streaming On Netflix For Every Day Of October

Tiger House

[youtube id=”JIXYf1bya0o” width=”600″ height=”350″]

An underrated home invasion gem you may not have heard of about a girl who sneaks into her boyfriend’s house only to be trapped when her his family is under attack.

Dark Signal

[youtube id=”xxp9OfSzPrw” width=”600″ height=”350″]

A killer movie about a group of women who realize they’re the targets.

Curve

[youtube id=”O7bR983B_LI” width=”600″ height=”350″]

If you liked Julliane Hough in Safe Haven but you kind of wished it was a horror movie instead…

Taking Lives

[youtube id=”Nfoa6QKe4e0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Technically a thriller, not a horror movie, but there’s a moment in this movie that haunts me every time I turn out the lights and get into bed without checking underneath first.

Come Back to Me

[youtube id=”e5Vw_K9HX8o” width=”600″ height=”350″]

A movie not many have heard of but with a genuinely good twist ending.

Children of the Corn

[youtube id=”Qs6z1D4gVp4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

This franchise gets a lot of grief, the but the original is still scary after all these years. Up the ante by reading the Stephen King short story and then watching.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

[youtube id=”OfpSXI8_UpY” width=”600″ height=”350″]

The unnerving horror classic. Watch if you have not seen.

The Sixth Sense

[youtube id=”VG9AGf66tXM” width=”600″ height=”350″]

If you’re like me, you didn’t think to rewatch this one since it came out almost 20 years ago because you already know the big ending. This suspenseful thriller is worth a rewatch, however, and it’s scares hold up.

Sleepy Hollow

[youtube id=”R6O4Himch7g” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Nothing like a nice murder mystery starring Johnny Depp.

It Follows

[youtube id=”Ymoh5SIqgtw” width=”600″ height=”350″]

One of the best horror films of the last decade.

Hush

[youtube id=”Q_P8WCbhC6s” width=”600″ height=”350″]

If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re missing out. It’s a new twist on a classic serial killer slasher movie.

V/H/S

[youtube id=”MmLh4NUu6E4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

A fresh feeling horror anthology of very scary stories. There are two other movies in the V/H/S series that are streaming, so you could make it a trilogy night!

The Invitation

[youtube id=”9C_h4eipyCQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

It was hard to see where this one was going to go, but the twist was upsetting and worth it. A group of old friends meet for a dinner party, but the host has a proposition not everyone will want to get on board with…

13 Cameras

[youtube id=”iBS74AmwmeI” width=”600″ height=”350″]

The man in this is terrifying. Don’t watch this alone if you’re a renter.

The Girl in the Photographs

[youtube id=”8QJie9p9-jU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Wes Craven executive produced this slash film about a killer who takes photographs of his victims.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

[youtube id=”wr6N_hZyBCk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Worth adding to your watch list for when you need a break from horror, or to have something on hand you can watch with your family and still stay in the Halloween spirit.

Intruder

[youtube id=”Eyzu4wb9zv0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

During a weekend storm a young woman isn’t as alone in her apartment as she thinks.

Sharknado

[youtube id=”M-pXDoe5a0E” width=”600″ height=”350″]

They’ve made five of these films, it’s just good campy fun.

The Astronaut’s Wife

[youtube id=”pu_TmXgGEG8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

A sci-fi thriller with genuinely scary moments, for a lighter night.

Kristy

[youtube id=”OZK6ZiiOUuk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

A girl at her deserted college campus is terrorized by masked madmen over a holiday weekend.

Honeymoon

[youtube id=”OrSh2CHmEW4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

A genuinely creepy flick about a couple honeymooning at a remote cabin.

The Rezort

[youtube id=”Hdos6JaXcBo” width=”600″ height=”350″]

A dystopian future in which people go on “big game” hunting trips to zombie infested reserves.

The Houses October Built

[youtube id=”Yedl4lY9VgM” width=”600″ height=”350″]

A perfect Halloween movie that follows a camera crew investigating the absolute scariest haunted houses.

Creep

[youtube id=”hYx5R6kbJTQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

A beloved sleeper hit that’s getting a sequel next year.

The Craft

[youtube id=”DoM4OXQVCcE” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Has a few scary moments if you’re afraid of snakes, but mostly worth the watch for the wardrobe inspiration.

Preservation

[youtube id=”9XcEo7aL67I” width=”600″ height=”350″]

I’ve never heard anyone else talk about this movie, but it genuinely scared me. A small group on a camping trip run into some bad news strangers.

Beyond the Gates

[youtube id=”rATNxKg5puE” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Two brothers clean up their dad’s stuff after he goes missing and find a mysterious VHS that may explain where he went.

Be Afraid

[youtube id=”o22FovwnDM0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

A man’s insomnia coincides with supernatural beings interacting with his son.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

[youtube id=”2OKXd2j6Fmo” width=”600″ height=”350″]

The beginning of Leatherface.

The Holidays

[youtube id=”Bc4NJKDxV4Y” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Only a true horror fan would appreciate an anthology that helps you put a dark spin on every holiday.

Perfect Stranger

[youtube id=”nXHxd3wDzL4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

More of a thriller than a horror film, but dark and unsettling all the same.

What If 2016 Got Dropped As A Horror Movie…

This year has been pretty fucking horrifying. Dozens of our favorite celebrities died; a gorilla was shot dead in front of children at the zoo; and a former professional wrestling star was elected president.

If all of this sounds like the worst nightmare ever, you’re completely right. That’s why it makes perfect sense that 2016 should be made into a horror film. The YouTube channel Friend Dog Studios had that thought in mind when published a fictional movie trailer based on the year’s events. It looks almost as terrifying as living through the real thing and leaves room for the ultimate plot twist—things could get so much worse in next year’s sequel.

[youtube id=”Z04M6NhkIKk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

The Best Horror Movies Streaming on Netflix This Fall

It’s a telling admission of how Netflix views genre audiences when you can look at the list of new programming on the streaming service in October and quickly see that it includes no significant new horror movies. It doesn’t mean that Netflix isn’t going to promote its horror films in October, because they will. What it means is that Netflix doesn’t see “horror fans” as a specific market it has any interest in trying to reach. In the eyes of  Netflix  executives, horror films are just something that the “regular audience” turns to once each year, in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

On some level, they’re of course correct. Viewership of and interest in horror cinema peaks every year in this month, which is of course why we chose to update our ranking of the best horror movies on Netflix at the beginning of October as well. Looking at our traffic numbers, the connection between October and horror-driven content is clear. But still, it’s disappointing that Netflix just doesn’t care about genre fans, or doesn’t find them profitable enough to court. Because that’s what they’re tacitly saying to their audience when October rolls around and the only horror films they’re adding to the service are trash such as The Uninvited (2009) or Queen of the Damned (2002)—neither of which will make this list. Perhaps I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House will make the list when added on Oct. 28, but no one outside of Toronto International Film Festival audiences have even seen it yet. The lack of interest in catering to a genre audience is exactly why horror-centric streaming services such as AMC’s Shudder have become viable alternatives—check out our ranking of Shudder’s horror movies here.

As we’ve covered before in these rankings, when it comes to horror, Netflix is very lacking in classics and franchise staples. Don’t expect to find any Halloween or Friday the 13th entries, or a single one of George Romero’s zombie classics—not even Night of the Living Dead, which is free in the public domain for them to exhibit. What they can claim, though, is a decent number of more recent, solid indie horror pictures such as The Babadook, Starry Eyes or The Canal. It’s not fabulous, but there are some great movies here, if you know which ones to watch.

Thus, we invite you to use this list as a guide. The lowest-ranked films are of the “fun-bad” variety—flawed, but easily enjoyable for one reason or another. The highest-ranked films are obviously classics. Check them out, and let me know about any great horror films currently on Netflix that you think deserved a spot on the list.

1. The Exorcist
Year: 1973
Director: William Friedkin
The Exorcist is a bit of a safe pick, but I wrestled with the idea of whether there was any horror film currently streaming on Netflix better, more influential or just plain scarier than this movie, and there’s simply not. The film radiates an aura of dread—it feels somehow unclean and canted, even before all of the possession scenes begin. Segments like the “demon face” flash on the screen for an eighth of a second, disorienting the viewer and giving you a sense that you can never, ever let your guard down. It worms its way under your skin and then stays there forever. The film constantly wears down any sense of hope that both the audience and the characters might have, making you feel as if there’s no way that this priest, not particularly strong in his own faith, is going to be able to save the possessed little girl. Even his eventual “victory” is a very hollow thing, as later explored by author William Peter Blatty in The Exorcist III. Watching it is an ordeal, even after having seen it multiple times before, and it’s a testament to the nightmarish quality of its perversions that the scenes never lose their impact on repeat viewings.The Exorcist is a great film by any definition.

2. Jaws
Year: 1975
Director: Steven Spielberg
Once again, allow me to remind you that our criteria for which films appear on this list is which genres Netflix chooses to sort these movies into. With that said: Is Jaws a horror film? For those who worry that it’s “not safe to go back in the water,” then most certainly it is. But regardless of how you’d classify it, there’s no denying that Jaws is anything but brilliant, one of Spielberg’s great populist triumphs, alongside the likes of Jurassic Park and E.T., but leaner and less polished-looking than either, which actually works in its favor. Much has been made over the years of how Jaws as a film really benefits from the technical issues that plagued its making—the story originally called for more scenes featuring the mechanical shark “Bruce,” but the constantly malfunctioning animatronic forced the director to cut back, which ended up maximizing each appearance’s impact. The first time that Roy Scheider sees the literal “jaws” of the beast while absentmindedly throwing chum into the water is one of the great, scream-inducing moments in cinema history, and it’s a shock that has literally never been matched in any other shark movie since … likewise with the death of Quint, whose mad scramble to avoid those gnashing teeth is the kind of thing that created its very own sub-genre of children’s nightmares. Ultimately, Jaws is made into a great film via memorable characters, but it’s made into a scary film by novelty and perfect execution.

3. Re-Animator
Year: 1985
Director: Stuart Gordon
Ironically, the most entertaining take on H.P. Lovecraft is the least “Lovecrafty.” Stuart Gordon established himself as cinema’s leading Lovecraft adaptor with a juicy take on the story “Herbert West, Re-Animator,” about a student who concocts a disturbingly flawed means of reviving the dead. Re-Animatormore closely resembles a zombie film than Lovecraft’s signature brand of occult sci-fi, but it boasts masterful suspense scenes, great jokes and Barbara Crampton as a smart, totally hot love interest. Jeffrey Combs is brilliant, establishing himself as the Anthony Perkins of his generation as West, a hilariously insolent and reckless genius whom he played in two Re-Animatorsequels. The actor even played Lovecraft in the anthology film Necronomicon. The film is a near-perfect crystallization of best aspects of ’80s horror, from its delight in perversion to its awesome practical effects.

4. The Babadook
Year: 2014
Director: Jennifer Kent
Between It Follows and The Babadook, the last year or so has been a strong one for indie horror films breaking free from their trappings to enter the public consciousness. Between the two,The Babadook is perhaps less purely entertaining but makes up for that with cerebral scares and complex emotion. It’s an astoundingly well-realized first feature film for director Jennifer Kent, and one that actually manages to deal with a type of relationship we haven’t seen that often in a horror film. Motherhood in cinema tends to invariably be portrayed in a sort of “unconditional love,” way, which isn’t necessarily true to life, and The Babadook preys upon any shred of doubt there might be. Its child actor, Noah Wiseman, is key in pushing the buttons of actress Essie Davis, pushing her closer and closer to the brink, even as they’re threatened by a supernatural horror. The film’s beautiful art direction approximates a crooked, twisted fairytale, with dreamlike sequences that never quite reveal what is true and what might be a hallucination. The characters of The Babadook ultimately undergo quite a lot of suffering, and not just because they’re being chased by a monster.

5. Starry Eyes
Year: 2014
Director: Kevin Kölsch
Starry Eyes might be the most difficult film on this entire list to watch. Not necessarily because it will frighten you, although it will. But this is a harrowing film experience. It’s an ordeal, in the same way the protagonist’s journey is an ordeal and a transformation. At the beginning, you think you have a pretty decent idea of the surface-level points it’s trying to make, “Hollywood against Hollywood” bitterness and cynicism about fame and the film industry’s pettiness. But it’s so much more destructive and subversive than that. Our protagonist, Sarah, is a tragic figure, and this is a “horror tragedy,” if such a thing exists, made worse by the fact that she brings it all onto herself, fueled by deep-seated inadequacy and a crushing lack of self-identity. Her ambition turns her into a monster because she has nothing else. Her life is so devoid of meaning that doing the unthinkable has no downside. It’s a horrific self-destruction that leads into a orgy of truly grotesque violence, but there’s no joy or titillation in any of the ways it’s depicted. No one is going to describe Starry Eyes as “fun” or light viewing, and no one is going to laugh at the deaths. You don’t show this thing at a party—you dwell on it in the depth of night while self-identifying with its horrors. Its themes of abandonment of the self make it one of the most disturbing and well-crafted horrors I’ve seen in quite a while.

6. Stake Land
Year: 2010
Director: Jim Mickle
Jim Mickle is the best young horror director to get left out of most discussions on the best young horror directors, and I’m not sure why that is. From his debut work Mulberry Street (not on Netflix streaming), he’s been one of the leading auteurs of low-budget horror that still strives for ambitious ideas, and Stake Land is all about ambition rather than exploitation. Lord knows how many cheapo zombie movies have been made in the last decade, but Mickle throws a first wrench into convention by changing up the monster, essentially making a post-apocalypse zombie film, except with vampires. But Stake Land’s greatest achievement is inarguably its wonderful design and evocative landscapes—I’ve never seen a low-budget “post-apocalypse” film that can stand up to more expensive productions the way this one can. It’s a genius work of minimalism, to be able to suggest such a fleshed-out universe, where small pockets of humanity survive in barricaded cities and barter for goods with the teeth of dead vampires. Our characters and story are extremely simple—a veteran hunter and young protege traveling across the wasteland looking for safe refuge—but it’s exactly what the film needs to be. It’s a realistic, sober-minded film that looks great, boasts solid performances and accomplishes so much with so little.

7. Hellraiser
Year: 1987
Director: Clive Barker
The head villain/eventual hero (there’s a sickening number of terrible Hellraiser sequels) behind Clive Barker’s Hellraiserfranchise is the Cenobite Pinhead, sent from the pits of his own personal hell dimension to drag you down into the depths with him. Where he tortures you. For eternity. All because you opened a fancy Rubik’s Cube. Pinhead has zero remorse, looking you dead in the eye as he delivers a deadpan promise to “tear your soul apart.” Oh yeah, and they’re indestructible. Personally, it turned me off to puzzle boxes forever. As in his fiction, Barker’s obsessions with the duality of pain and pleasure are on full display in the film version of Hellraiser, an icky story of sick love and obsession.

8. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Year: 2010
Director: Eli Craig
Let’s face it, hillbillies and their ilk have been getting the short end of the pitchfork in movies since the strains of banjo music faded in 1972’s Deliverance. And whether due to radiation (The Hills Have Eyes) or just good old determined inbreeding (Wrong Turn and so, so many films you’re better off not knowing about), the yokel-prone in film have really enjoyed slaughtering innocent families on vacation, travelers deficient in basic map usage skills, and, best of all, sexually active college students just looking for a good time. But fear not, members of Hillbillies for Inclusion, Consideration & Kindness in Screenplays (HICKS)—writer/director Eli Craig has your hairy, unloofahed back. His film, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, answers the simple question: What if those hillbillies are just socially awkward fellows sprucing up a vacation home and the young college kids in question are just prone to repeatedly jumping to incorrect, often fatal, conclusions? ThinkFinal Destination meets the Darwin Awards in a film that is extremely funny and big-hearted but also doesn’t skimp on the violence.

9. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Year: 1920
Director: Robert Wiene
Good luck understanding the concept of German Expressionism without seeing The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at least once. The quintessential work of an entire cinematic style, it was described by Roger Ebert as the “first true horror film,” although a modern viewing is understandably unlikely to elicit chills. Still, in the same vein as Nosferatu, its fantastical visual palette is instantly iconic and sticks in the memory forever. Buildings are canted in impossible angles and light plays strange tricks—are those shadows real, or painted directly onto the set? The story revolves around a mad hypnotist who uses a troubled sleepwalker as his personal assassin, forcing him to exterminate his enemies at night. The astonishingly creative and free-thinking designs have had an indelible influence on every fantasy landscape depicted in the near-100 years since. You simply can’t claim an appreciation for the roots of cinema without seeing the film.

10. The Canal
Year: 2014
Director: Ivan Kavanagh
This indie Irish horror film announces Ivan Kavanagh as a serious talent and remarkably skilled director—I watched it for the first time recently and it blew all my expectations away. Nominally a “ghost story” of sorts about a man who discovers a century old grisly crime that occurred in his house, it is actually much more of a psychologically intense minefield—the sort of film that Polanski would have made, if he was shooting a ghost story. Combining elements that remind one of The Shining’s superb sound design with the the red-and-blue color palette of a film by Dario Argento, it is impeccably put together and beautiful to look at. The story, unfortunately, gets just a little bit too literal and wraps things up a bit neatly in the last 15 minutes, but the movie crafts an extremely effective web of dread and genuine fear through its entire runtime. Here’s hoping that we see another horror film from Kavanagh very soon.

11. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Year: 1994
Director: Wes Craven
By 1994, 10 years had passed since the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Wes Craven had watched a cavalcade of directors run wild with Freddy Krueger in both good (Dream Warriors) and terrible (Final Nightmare) sequels. When he decided to return to the series, the horror visionary therefore came up with a very “proto-Scream” idea—he set the film in the “real world,” casting himself, Robert Englund and the original film’s “final girl,” Heather Langenkamp, as themselves—movie industry people making yet another Freddy sequel. Except this time, the malevolent spirit of Freddy—or perhaps the idea of Freddy, starts jumping out into the real world. It’s a concept that perfectly encapsulates the idea of memetics and how it’s applied today on the Internet in particular. The actual horror scenes can’t quite match up to the best stuff in parts 1 and 3, but unfortunately those films aren’t on Netflix. What New Nightmare does do really well is rein in the cartoonishness that the series had drifted into in order to make Freddy more clever (and frightening) once again. By approaching it from a new angle, Craven was able to reclaim some of Nightmare’s tarnished dignity.

12. Pontypool
Year: 2008
Director: Bruce McDonald
A quick plot summary of Pontypool makes it sound like just a rehash of Orson Welles’ 1938 The War of the Worlds broadcast with zombies in the place of aliens, and although it’s certainly more than a little bit indebted to that work, that would be giving the film far too little credit. The movie instead draws thematic inspiration from the words of its radio broadcast and recasts the zombie disease as verbal, a product of mindless repetition and meaningless phrases in the English language. Pontypool’s clever script is superbly acted, and the film manages to take the zombie genre in a different direction without going the route of ironic deconstruction. In the end, they’re not truly “zombies,” but our insistence upon the term is part of the point the movie is trying to make. It’s a horror film where the horror is the shallowness of modern society.

13. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead
Year: 2014
Director: Kiah Roche-Turner
It’s nearly impossible to discuss Wyrmwood without making the immediate and obvious Mad Max comparisons. Like George Miller’s seminal genre classic, this film arrives from a young Australian director with no shortage of style, but in addition to its car-focused post-apocalyptic leanings, the movie also features several other welcome twists on the zombie formula. You’d be forgiven for expecting yet another “gritty,” low-budget zombie film without any real ambition, but each minute propelsWyrmwood forward into unexpected territory, from the discovery that zombie blood can be used to power vehicles to the second-half revelations revolving around the character of Brooke and the development of latent psychic powers. The movie is many things at once: Scary without being dour, emotional without feeling pompous and gory without completely descending into the violent slapstick of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive or Bad Taste. It features surprisingly compelling characters and develops them without relying on exposition—Brooke becomes one of the biggest stars of the film despite being a bound and gagged captive for almost an hour. In general,Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is the kind of genre idea that many directors could have tackled, but few could have pulled off so stylishly or entertainingly on this kind of budget.

14. We Are What We Are
Year: 2013
Director: Jim Mickle
Jim Mickle’s remake of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name is a brooding, tense blend of thriller and horror, the story of a seemingly normal (if stuffy) rural family that harbors a dark secret of religious observances based around yearly acts of cannibalism. When a family member dies and the long-held tradition is threatened, allegiances come into question, familial ties crumble and the younger generation faces an extremely difficult decision in potentially breaking away from the customs that have bound the family together for many generations. It’s part crime story, part grisly, gutsy horror, and features Michael Parks in a role that is about 100 times better than what he was sentenced to do in Kevin Smith’s Tusk. In particular, the conclusion and final 20-30 minutes of We Are What We Are is shocking in both its brutality and emotional impact. It’s a supremely intimate case study of family dysfunction driven by the changing times and impracticality of archaic, sustaining traditions.

15. The Host
Year: 2006
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Before he was breaking out internationally with tight action films such as Snowpiercer, this South Korean monster movie was Bong Joon-ho’s big work and calling card. Astoundingly successful at the box office in his home country, it straddles several genre lines between sci-fi, family drama and horror, but there’s plenty of scary stuff with the monster menacing little kids in particular. Props to the designers on one of the more unique movie monsters of the last few decades—the creature in this film looks sort of like a giant tadpole with teeth and legs, which is way more awesome than it sounds. The real heart of the film is a superb performance by Song Kang-ho (also in Snowpiercer) as a seemingly slow-witted father trying to hold his family together during the disaster. That’s a pretty common role to be playing in a horror film, but the performances and family dynamic in general truly are the key factor that help elevate The Host far above most of its ilk. It’s not a coincidence that it became one of the most successful Korean films of all time.

16. Creep
Year: 2014
Director: Patrick Brice
Creep is a somewhat predictable but cheerfully demented little indie horror film, the directorial debut by Brice, who also released this year’s The Overnight. Starring the ever-prolific Mark Duplass, it’s a character study of two men—naive videographer and not-so-secretly psychotic recluse, the latter of which hires the former to come document his life out in a cabin in the woods. It leans entirely on its performances, which are excellent. Duplass, who can be charming and kooky in something like Safety Not Guaranteed, shines here as the deranged lunatic who forces himself into the protagonist’s life and haunts his every waking moment. The early moments of back-and-forth between the pair crackle with a sort of awkward intensity. Anyone genre-savvy will no doubt see where it’s going, but it’s a well-crafted ride that succeeds on the strength of chemistry between its two principal leads in a way that reminds me of the scenes between Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina.

17. Here Comes the Devil
Year: 2012
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
This indie Mexican horror film from a couple years back hasn’t been seen quite enough yet, and deserves a wider audience for its legitimate shocks and hopeless tone of evil that corrupts innocence in daily life. It suffers just a bit from its low-budget video look, and there’s an almost ridiculous amount of sometimes gratuitous nudity, but the story is simple, effective and downright chilling in its best moments. When a pair of parents on vacation allow their two pre-teen children to go exploring on cursed ground, the children come back … different. Full of not-at-all subtle sexual imagery, Here Comes the Devilhas very little regard for anyone’s idea of what might be taboo. It leans into and gathers strength from its own perversion in scenes that approximate reality before throwing the audience headlong into a world of insanity when things take a turn for the supernatural. It’s a genuinely creepy flick on multiple levels.

18. Late Phases
Year: 2014
Director: Adrian Garcia Bogliano
Late Phases is a limited but kind of brilliant take on the werewolf movie, featuring a truly outstanding performance by screenwriter-turned-actor Nick Damici (from Stake Land) as an elderly, blind Vietnam veteran who moves to a retiree community currently being menaced by a lycanthrope. After beginning with a bang, it unfolds slowly, developing the strained relationship between the protagonist and his son, the difficulties presented by his blindness and the search for the werewolf’s identity. The characterization of the embittered protagonist is very well developed, and the film shines with lots of the “little things”—great sound design, great dialog, well-cast minor roles. It even features a pretty awesome werewolf transformation scene that, if not quite in American Werewolf in London territory, is one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while. The actual werewolf costumes, it must be noted, look just a little bit ridiculous—like a man in a wolf-bat hybrid suit, and nowhere near as good as say, Dog Soldiers—but the blood effects are top notch. It’s far above most indie horror films in terms of performances, though, and even tugs at the heartstrings a bit with some effective drama. If werewolves are your movie monster of choice, it has to vault up your must-see list.

19. The Nightmare
Year: 2015
Director: Rodney Asher
In my own personal estimation, this is one of the most frightening movies on Netflix right now, and one of the most unsettling documentaries I’ve ever seen. Yes, it’s a documentary, from Rodney Asher, director of the similarly horror-themed doc Room 237. The simple structure of this documentary involves in-depth interviews with eight people who all suffer from some form of sleep paralysis as they describe the horrifying visions they encounter on a nightly basis. It’s equal parts tragic and chilling to hear how the condition has made their nighttime hours into a living hell, and legitimately frightening to watch those scenes reenacted. On the other hand, the documentary is frustrating at times for not asking or answering what seem like fairly obvious questions, i.e. does medication aid with these sleep paralysis episodes? Have any of the subjects of the documentary ever been studied in an overnight sleep study? Etc. Personally, this is a fear I’ve always dreaded experiencing, so if you’re anything like me, you’ll agree with the subject who describes the terror as “the kind of horror that is worse than movies.” If you’re going to watch this documentary, you don’t want to do it before falling asleep.

20. Hush
Year: 2016
Director: Mike Flanagan
Mike Flanagan’s Oculus was a pleasantly ambitious surprise for horror fans when it landed a wide distribution release in 2013, so looking at his new Netflix-exclusive Hush, one sort of wonders if he’s taking a step back by directing a fairly classical home invasion thriller with limited cast and locations. There are, however, just enough twists on this especially trope-laden subgenre, starting with our heroine, who is deaf. That one disability, coupled with her remote residence in the woods, makes for a uniquely frightening handicap in repelling the masked intruder who comes calling. Unavoidably evoking The Strangers and Funny Games in particular, Hush nevertheless carves out its own spot in the niche. Our lead is an unusually intelligent, resourceful (but realistic) protagonist for this sort of setting, and her reactions to each new horror ring with truth. The stakes and tension rise in a palpable, organic way that has no need to resort to further gimmickry or a third act twist. It’s simply a battle for survival, featuring a character who is impressively well developed, considering that she never “speaks” a word.

21. The Sacrament
Year: 2013
Director: Ti West
Unlike his friend and peer in horror filmmaking Adam Wingard, Ti West’s last few features have seemed to reach for a more cerebral scary movie experience. The Innkeepers (not on Netflix streaming) took the “ghost story” and put it in a perspective of very real-seeming, average Joes, and The Sacrament sort of approaches the idea of living within a Jim Jones-style cult in the same way. I’ve described some horror films on the list with words like “fun,” but there’s nothing fun at all in The Sacrament—it’s an ultra-sober, all-too-realistic imagining of a scenario that has played out in the real world on many occasions. The main criticism against it is that it’s veryslow and meandering in the path it takes to reveal the darkness within, but for the savvy viewer who’s willing to put in the time for characterization, it only makes the eventual pay-off a bit more effective. The portrayal by actor Gene Jones in particular as the mesmerizing cult leader “Father” is one of the more chilling single performances in a horror movie in recent memory—eye-catching enough that Tarantino decided to cast the guy in The Hateful Eight. I doubt that’s a coincidence.

22. From Dusk Till Dawn
Year: 1996
Director: Robert Rodriguez
I can’t help but wonder, watching From Dusk Till Dawn, what the film might have looked like if Robert Rodriguez wrote it as well, rather than Quentin Tarantino. Would the Mexican vampire element have been introduced before the halfway mark? Probably. But there’s Tarantino for you, not content to tell one story—instead, he delivers what almost becomes two entirely separate movies starring the same characters. In the first half we get a crime dramedy about a pair of sociopathic brothers on the lam, taking hostages down the Mexico. When they finally get there, the switch flips and it turns into a gory vampire western. Both halves are entertaining in their own way, although genre purists who went in expecting a vampire film were probably perplexed by the lead-in to the payoff. That payoff is satisfyingly pulpy, though, and there’s a certain pleasure in going back to see the earlier era of George Clooney, when he thought the idea of fighting Mexican vampires seemed like a good career move.

23. Cujo
Year: 1983
Director: Lewis Teague
Cujo is a very modest, intimate horror film, as sad as it is potentially frightening. There’s something really tragic in the degradation of Cujo the St. Bernard after he contracts rabies, the way his eyes and mental state begin to crumble in the face of the disease. He’s made into a monster, but it’s an unwilling transformation from his normally friendly state, a stripping away of non-sentient good-naturedness—one might call it a metaphor for the corrupting power of evil in society. It’s well-structured to lead itself to a long, tense stand-off between a mother, her young son and the dog, as they sit trapped in their car in the broiling heat, trying to make a decision between heatstroke or the vicious dog waiting for them outside. As if it needs to be said, you shouldn’t watch this if you’ve ever had any doubts about the loyalties of the family pooch, as it will only exacerbate them.

24. Dead Snow
Year: 2009
Director: Tommy Wirkola
You’d be surprised just how many nazi zombie movies there truly are out there—it’s a subtype of the zombie film that was first made in the ’70s with films like Shock Waves and has never stopped being made since, but the highest profile version from recent years was Dead Snow and its ridiculous sequel from last year, Red vs. Dead. The first Dead Snow, though no masterwork, is the better film because it at least partially tries to hit the horror audience instead of abandoning it for full-on horror-comedy camp. A group of students camp out in a remote, snowy cabin in Norway and unwittingly revive a regiment of Nazi zombies by appropriating their Nazi gold—pretty standard stuff for the genre. The attempts at humor and characterization are so-so, but the FX and action work are top-notch for an indie feature, with great costuming for the zombies and lots of explosive bloodletting. Go in with low expectations and just enjoy the blood ’n’ guts.

25. Children of the Corn
Year: 1984
Director: Fritz Kiersch
It’s not often that the adults should be the ones afraid to watch a horror movie with kids, but it would be hard not to look at kids differently after 1984’s Children of the Corn, one of the higher-profile entries in horror’s “kids kill all the adults” subgenre. The film focuses on a cult in a fictional Gatlin, Neb., lead by child preacher Isaac, who is convinced by an entity called He Who Walks Behind the Rows that all adults over 18 should get the ax. We see Burt and Vicky (played by Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) struggle to escape the small town after driving through and hitting a young, dying boy with their car. There’s plenty of slasher scares and creepy visuals, but like any good horror movie, it’s a commentary on us as a society. And like Lord of the Flies before it, this Stephen King-based story looks toward our kids to point out the oddities of our culture, including an obsession with religion. With that said, the performances are cheesy as hell—from both the adults and children.

26. Last Shift
Year: 2014
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Last Shift doesn’t really aspire to much, other than to be cheap and to hit all the notes the director believes it’s supposed to hit. Essentially a one-woman, one-location show, it follows a rookie police officer on her first day on the job, working the overnight shift in an old police station that is about to be shuttered. Unfortunately for her, the various atrocities and bits of violence committed at the location over the years have made this station somewhere between “paranormal hotspot” and “portal to hell dimension.” We’re given some minor exposition about a cult who met a grisly end around the premises, but the majority of the film is simply a procession of well-worn tropes, as our heroine wanders the office, makes terrible choices and observes spooky phenomena. One can at least say that Last Shift looks quite nice for its budget, and there are a handful of effective jump scares sprinkled throughout, but it has a definite air of “bargain bin” about it.

‘Blair Witch’ Tries To Live up To Original Films’ Success

Sequels or not, horror films have had an impressive year at the box office, and “Blair Witch” looks to continue the streak this weekend.

“Blair Witch” is a direct sequel to the 1999 modern classic “The Blair Witch Project,” which pulled in $248.6 million worldwide. That film was made for a meager $60,000. “Blair Witch,” like many of its horror flick counterparts, also carried a modest production budget. The film, made for $5 million, is expected to pull in $20.5 million in its debut, according to estimates from analysts at Box Office.

“‘The Blair Witch Project’ was one of the most successful independent movies of all time,” analysts at Box Office wrote. “Horror has had a bounce-back year in 2016, having the genre’s best year since 2010, but that also means that fans of the genre have had plenty to feast on.

“It’s doubtful that lightning can strike twice here. The original was a novelty, which is no longer the case, and the genre has been filled with very similar films in the 17 years that have passed. ‘Blair Witch’ might just be lost in the midst with fans looking to embrace fresher entries.”

It will be a tough for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s “Blair Witch” or any of the other films opening this weekend to soar above “Sully,” from Time Warner Inc.-owned Warner Bros. “Sully,” the Tom Hanks-led biopic directed by Clint Eastwood, is expected to top the box office and earn another $24 million, to push its gross to $73.1 million.

Also opening this weekend in a wide release is “Bridget Jones’s Baby.” The film is the third in a “Bridget Jones” franchise that has garnered $544.5 million worldwide. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” carried a $35 million production budget and is expected to reel in $14 million in its debut for Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, according to Box Office estimates. The film has enjoyed solid reviews so far, with an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Open Road will drop its political thriller “Snowden” into wide release as well. The Oliver Stone-directed film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role, cost $40 million to make and is expected to earn just $6 million at the box office.

“With the presidential election right around the corner and with politics and surveillance on Americans’ minds, perhaps the film’s mid-September release date — usually a time of comparatively lower grosses — could actually play to the movie’s advantage,” Box Office analysts wrote.

Last but not least, Pure Flix’s documentary “Hillsong — Let Hope Rise,” which follows Australian Christian band Hillsong United, is set to debut in a modest wide release — just 815 theaters. Pure Flix, a fairly new distributor, has yet to release a film that’s gone on to gross more than $21 million at the box office, but the analysts at Box Office note religious films have enjoyed mounting success recently. With a $10 million budget attached to it, “Hillsong — Let Hope Rise” is expected to earn $2.5 million.

The top 10 films at the box office this weekend are expected to total $82.5 million, which would be a 14% drop from the $96.1 million generated the same weekend last year, when “The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials” topped the box office.

Samara Gives Her Curse a Modern Upgrade in Terrifying ‘Rings’ Trailer

If you thought the advent of mobile technology and the fact that the VHS is officially dead would put a stop to Samara’s terror, you were way wrong. Paramount dropped off the new trailer for Rings, the third entry in the American Ring franchise, on Wednesday morning, and it would appear that the distribution of that pesky tape is now easier than ever. Thanks, technology!

Rings is directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez, the same guy behind the 2008 meteorite doom classic Before the Fall. Though initial whisperings of the third Ring film suggested Gutiérrez’s take on the franchise would be a prequel, the director eventually clarified on Twitter that Rings was a traditional sequel and would be set in the present.

The sequel is billed as a “new chapter” in the beloved horror franchise, centered on a young woman who sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend after he becomes obsessed with the subculture surrounding that goddamn tape. The characters then discover there’s actually a movie within the movie, which we hope gives the film enough flexibility to go full-on meta.

Rings stars Laura Wiggins (The Tomorrow People), Aimee Teagarden (Friday Night Lights), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Lizzie Brocheré (The Strain), Matilda Lutz, and more. The upgraded scares, presumably of a higher quality than those found in The Ring Two, kick off on Oct. 28.

[youtube id=”WOH3ORdVmk8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Netflix And Kill: 20 Awesome Horror Movies To Watch On Valentine’s Day

Some couples love curling up together on the couch for a romantic night in with a feelgood rom-com. Others prefer buckets of blood, monsters under the bed, and the screams of the innocent (or not so innocent.) Here are 20 streaming horror flicks you can watch on Netflix right now with your bloody Valentine.

HORNS

Ig Perrish is having a bad day. After being accused of the brutal rape and murder of his long-term girlfriend, he wakes up with a hellish hangover and a set of horns growing out of his head. Also, anyone he comes into contact with — including friends and family — begin to tell him their deepest, darkest secrets. Yeah, pretty bad day.

INNER DEMONS

If “Intervention” and “The Blair Witch Project” made mad passionate love and had a baby, this would be it. Is Carson, a former straight-A student gone wrong, simply a young woman going through a goth-druggie phase — or is something far more sinister at play?

THE NIGHTMARE

This is technically a documentary but it’s very well done and extremely scary. It dives into the phenomenon known as “sleep paralysis” and how it affects its sufferers. (As a longtime victim of sleep paralysis, I can concur that this film is on-point.)

DEVIL

Based on a story by horror great M. Night Shyamalan, a group of wrong-doers are trapped together in a malfunctioning elevator and turned against each other one by one. Oh, did I mention one of them is Satan?

THE BABADOOK

One of the best horror films to come out in recent years, the tale of widowed mother Amelia and her disturbed son Sam will both terrify you and also convince you that perhaps childfree is the way to be.

V/H/S

Six films, six forms of terror. A standout segment is “Amateur Night”, a pack of friends out on the prowl for some strange. Lily, however, is a little stranger than they’d bargained for. “I like you!”

MR. JONES

Scott and Penny put their lives on hold to make a nature documentary in the secluded wilderness. Things go bad when the project doesn’t turn out as well as they’d hoped, and they go even worse when they come across the works of mysterious, elusive artist Mr. Jones.

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE

The Parkers are a very close family. Because what draws a family closer together than a terrible, horrible secret? Ancient traditions and isolation make this film a chilling experience indeed.

WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE

Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where we get both Robert Englund AND Freddy Kreuger? This delightfully meta movie explores the idea that the actors who portray characters in the “Nightmare On Elm Street” saga are haunted IRL by the monster they thought existed only on the screen.

CREEP

Light some candles, run a bath, and enjoy tubby time with Josef as Aaron films his daily life for posterity. Or is that really what’s going on? I can’t wait for you to meet Peachfuzz.

DARK SKIES

The suburbs become a haven of horror when the Barrett family begins to experience strange occurrences. Animal attacks, odd messages, and spontaneous nosebleeds are actually the least of their worries.

THE HOLE (2001)

Liz, Mike, Geoff, and Frankie decide to blow off a school field trip and spend their free time partying in an abandoned fallout shelter. However, their brilliant plan soon goes belly-up when the door won’t open and they realize no one is coming for them. This might be considered more of a thriller than a horror flick but it’s pretty dark and features Kiera Knightly in her debut breakout role.

BANSHEE CHAPTER

Loosely based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, this film was produced by Zachary Quinto (my strong-browed love) and features Buffalo Bill as a Hunter S. Thompson-esque delight. Mystery drugs, the government, aliens… just like Stefan’s favorite clubs, it’s got it all.

DEAD SILENCE

James Wan’s work has a signature style without coming off as repetitive. After the unexplained death of his wife, Jamie Ashen returns to his childhood home to find out why he was anonymously sent a ventriloquist’s dummy named “Billy.” Billy leads him to the dark legend of Mary Shaw and what happens when she makes you scream…

THE HAUNTING (1999)

A loose remake of the 1963 original (and the Shirley Jackson novel), this film follows a group of people attending what they believe is a sleep study — but turns out to be something far more terrifying. It’s fairly star-studded, featuring Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Owen Wilson.

THE FACULTY

Travel back to high school with this late-90s gem. Josh Hartnett and pals go on a super spooky romp while trying to avoid becoming alien food, all set to an alt-grunge soundtrack that will make you miss when Garbage was popular.

STONEHEARST ASYLUM

At Stonehearst Asylum, cruel procedures and “cures” have been replaced by kindness and freedom. But is all as it seems? With Ben Kingsley, Kate Beckinsale, and Michael Caine starring, this movie is chock full of talented Brits and scary bits.

HONEYMOON

This one is perfect for the romantic night in! After their marriage, Bea and Paul go on their honeymoon set in a rustic cabin. And everything is wonderful! Just kidding, this is a list of horror movies and you know everything goes straight to hell.

THE SHINING

I shouldn’t have to explain why you need to watch this masterpiece. Join the Torrance family at the Overlook Hotel, sit back, and enjoy. After all, you’ve always been there.

Here Is The Schedule For This Year’s ‘Fear Fest’ On AMC

Every year we’re treated to a few weeks of horror classics running nightly on AMC’s Fear Fest — which is great because that’s a channel included in most people’s cable package. Plan some cheap date nights at home (just add caramel apples or a pumpkin to carve!) with this year’s schedule. There’s multiple viewing times for almost all the movies so you can be sure to catch all your favorites! (The times listed are in Eastern time and the 1AM and later slots are technically the next day, but I listed them as part of the night for all my night owls who will be watching continuously).

Thursday, 10/22

3:00 PM: House of Wax
5:30 PM: The Last House on the Left
8:00 PM: The Amityville Horror
10:30 PM: Amityville II: The Possession
1:00 AM: Amityville 3D
3:00 AM: Candyman: Farewell to Flesh

Friday, 10/23

9:00 AM: Amityville 3D
11:00 AM: Jason X
1:00 PM: Scream 2
3:30 PM: Scream 4
6:00 PM: Child’s Play
8:00 PM: Seed of Chucky
10:00 PM: Child’s Play
12:00 AM: Seed of Chucky
2:00 AM: Shaun of the Dead

Saturday, 10/24

7:00 AM: Day of the Dead
9:00 AM: Resident Evil
11:00 AM: Resident Evil: Apocalypse
1:00 PM: Tremors
3:00 PM: Child’s Play
5:00 PM: Seed of Chucky
7:00 PM: Leprechaun
9:00 PM: Leprechaun 2
11:00 PM: Leprechaun 3
1:00 AM: Leprechaun 4 In Space

Sunday, 10/25

6:00 AM: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
8:00 AM: House of Wax
10:30 AM: Jeepers Creepers 2
12:30 PM: Friday the 13th
2:30 PM: Nightmare on Elm Street
4:30 PM: Freddy Vs. Jason
6:30 PM — rest of the night: The Walking Dead

Monday, 10/26

9:00 AM: Scream 4
11:30 AM: The Last House on the Left
2:00 PM: Halloween II
4:30 PM: Constantine
7:00 PM: Predator
9:30 PM: Predator 2
1:00 AM: Nightmare on Elm Street
3:00 AM: Freddy Vs. Jason

Tuesday, 10/27

9:00 AM: Freddy Vs. Jason
11:00 AM: Resident Evil: Extinction
1:00 PM: Constantine
3:30 PM: Predator
6:00 PM: Friday the 13th
8:00 PM: Friday the 13th, Part 2
10:00 PM: Friday the 13th, Part III
12:00 AM: Friday the 13th, The Final Chapter
2:00 AM: Friday the 13th, A New Beginning
4:00 AM: Friday the 13th Part VI, Jason Lives

Wednesday, 10/28

9:00 AM: Friday the 13th Part VII, New Blood
11:00 AM: Friday the 13th Part VIII, Jason Takes Manhattan
1:00 PM: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
3:00 PM: Jason X
5:00 PM: Friday the 13th
7:00 PM: Halloween
9:00 PM: Halloween II
11:00 PM: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
1:00 AM: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
3:00 AM: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Thursday, 10/29

10:00 AM: Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
12:00 PM: Halloween: Resurrection
2:00 PM: Halloween
4:00 PM: Halloween II
6:00 PM: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
8:00 PM: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
10:00 PM: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
12:00 AM: Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
2:00 AM: Halloween: Resurrection
4:00 AM: Halloween

Friday, 10/30

10:00 AM: Halloween II
12:00 PM: Halloween III: The Season of the Witch
2:00 PM: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
4:00 PM: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
6:00 PM: Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
8:00 PM: Halloween: Resurrection
10:00 PM: Halloween

Saturday, 10/31 ***HALLOWEEN***

4:30 AM: Halloween II
6:30 AM: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
8:30 AM: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
10:30 AM: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
12:30 AM: Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
2:30 PM: Halloween: Resurrection
4:30 PM: Halloween
6:30 PM: Halloween II
8:30 PM: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
10:30 PM: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
12:30 AM: Halloween
1:30 AM: Halloween II
3:30 AM: The Last House on the Left

25 Netflix Horror Movies Worth Watching in October

Welcome to Halloween season. Maybe your neck of the woods is experiencing the first touch of lousy weather you’ve had since the spring. Maybe you’re staying in all weekend to drink spiked cider and eat candy. Maybe you found this article in January and just want to watch horror movies without having to do anything more exhausting than pointing and clicking.

Congratulations, boys and ghouls. We’ve looked at what horror movies are available on Netflix for you to watch right now, and picked our favorites. There’s no ranking here, it’s just an assortment of our favorites for you to kill a chilly October night with.

We have impeccable taste. You can trust us. Why think when we can do that for you?

You’re Next

The home invasion movie has been done to death. Yet, You’re Next still feels wildly original and fresh, because it breaks every rule in the horror movie playbook.

This Adam Wingard film dispenses with all pretense when a family reunion in the country is immediately shattered by mysterious killers wearing animal masks. They just don’t stalk this large, but dwindling family; they massacre them in groups. Previously, it is only when everyone breaks off on their own that the terror truly can begin. You’re Next dispenses with that genre fallacy and most others. Nobody is safe, and the end is so mean spirited that you’ll want to stand up and cheer.

The House of the Devil

Generally speaking, they don’t make them like they used to. Except of course when they do. Ti West’s The House of the Devil is a wickedly tense throwback to low budget 1970s and early ‘80s horror—it returns to an era before everyone had to get sliced and diced in jump scares by the lake.

In this film, Jocelin Donahue is Samantha, a college student and the girl next door. Samantha desperately wants enough money to afford her own apartment, so she takes a cryptic babysitting job where she is not allowed to see the kids in a big spooky mansion on the same night as a lunar eclipse.

House of the Devil is a case study in how to build tension, because there is almost no gore and even fewer jump scares. Instead, the movie taps into the old, grueling sense of anticipation. You keep waiting for something bad to happen until you’re ready to scream out of anxiety. The actual ending is not quite as satisfying as the build-up but this movie’s grasp on classic horror and the satanic suburban panic of the 1980s makes it a satisfyingly brutal experience.

From Dusk Till Dawn

And here we have what is quite possibly the most quotable film on this list, although certainly not the best. The pairing of Robert Rodriguez (director) and Quentin Tarantino (writer) made for an insane, two-pronged Grindhouse-style extravaganza. It’s a low-rent heist aftermath movie for its first half and then it shifts gears into insane survival horror for the second.

From Dusk Till Dawn is the only movie you’re going to watch this month that features Tom Savini wielding a gun on his crotch, and Fred Williamson killing vampires alongside George Clooney and Harvey Keitel. It’s unlikely you haven’t seen this one, but even if you have, there’s always a good time to be had at the Titty Twister.

Re-Animator

A loose adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s short story “Herbert West-Reanimator,” this 1985 gem is responsible for some of the weirdest scenes ever committed to film. Horror and sci-fi icon Jeffery Combs gives his most memorable performance as Herbert West, a mad genius able to resurrect the dead…sort of. Mostly funny, sometimes scary and always weird, Re-Animator is a true classic. Wait until you get to the part where the severed head…never mind, you’ll see.

Writer-director Stuart Gordon would go on from Re-Animator to craft many other cult favorites such as From Beyond, Robot Jox, and Castle Freak. In short, Re-Animatoris horror royalty. If you’re a horror fan, watch it again. If you’re new to the genre, here is one of the most enjoyable places to start.

Sleepy Hollow

As much a comedy as a horror film, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow should always be on the table when discussing October viewing options. Unlike the TV show of the same name, this demented reimagining of Washington Irving’s classic short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” never forgets the selling point is to have them rolling in the aisles. And more than a few heads do just that.

As a film with the most varied and imaginative uses of decapitation, Sleepy Hollowcuts a bloody path across Upstate New York. In fact, despite its American setting, we might as well confess what Sleepy Hollow really is: a modern day Hammer horror movie.

Burton incorporates all of his favorite tropes here. The intentionally stuffy faux-British acting (even though all the characters are of Dutch descent); the exaggerated and formal clothing; more than a few heaving bosoms; and lots and lots of gore.

This film is so perfectly macabre and gleefully grotesque that you might even be forgiven for not noticing at first glance how dryly funny and deadpan a place Sleepy Hollow tends to be.

Rosemary’s Baby

If you don’t know the ending yet for Rosemary’s Baby, let me promise you that it will scare the Hell out of you. Even if you do know it, this movie will not be any less than petrifying, lingering long after credits roll for any couple. Made before “jump scares” became ubiquitous with American horror in 1968, Roman Polanski presents a mystery film suffocating with dread and unspoken tension. Rosemary (Mia Farrow) is the happy homebody for her self-centered thespian husband (John Cassavetes) when they move into an Upper West Side apartment with the nicest neighbors.

Plus, their building has history too, like a Devil worshipping warlock who was beaten to death by a mob at the turn of the century. It also has a lovely basement perfect for summoning demons for a little midnight rape. This movie is meant to be savored and slowly unpacked, and when you find the newborn sleeping underneath all those blankets—you’ll wish you never laid eyes on it or this movie. Isn’t that the point of horror?

Let the Right One In

Is this the finest vampire movie of the last decade? Probably. While some might be more familiar with the English language remake, Let Me In (which is also quite good), there’s no denying the ice cold, skin crawl of the original. Eerily quiet at times, stangely romantic, and with at least one completely out of left field laugh, Let The Right One Ingives you more than you ever knew you wanted out of the vampire genre.

What’s more, the most horrific moments deal less with vampirism and more with the lengths that Eli’s adult “handler” goes to to protect her (and himself) from identification. That ending should make you profoundly uncomfortable too.

The Babadook

When Stephen King once discussed his inspiration for writing The Shining, he recalled the time he discovered his young son had destroyed story notes in his office. “I could kill him,” King mused of his mindset in that moment. Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook likewise finds the darker side of parenting with the scariest film of 2014.

A horror movie that is ostensibly about what happens when a single, low-income mother discovers that her child’s nightmare boogeyman is real, there is genuinely realterror here that comes beating from the darker side of her “Babadook” heart. While a loving son, there is no denying that the film’s young Samuel is a “problem child,” and through supernatural possession his mama has found a grim solution of sorts. When William Friedkin calls it the most terrifying horror movie he’s seen, you’re doing something right.

Oculus

Another scary movie from 2014, Oculus also holds the title of being one of the most tragic in recent memory. Starring geek favorite Karen Gillan with a convincing American accent, this horror film plays like a particularly grim opera when two estranged siblings are reunited as adults after a decade’s distance.

Apparently on an ugly night 10 years ago, Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) killed his father to defend himself and his sister. However, Tim insisted that an evil mirror forced his father’s hand. For his honesty, Tim was locked up in a psychiatric ward while older sister Kaylie (Gillan) waited on the outside. As an adult, Tim knows that he was simply coping with a traumatic situation… but Kaylie suspects that some things are evil simply on their own. Including a mirror that can distort your perception of reality.

On the day Tim gets out, Kaylie reveals she has acquired the mirror that they once both believed took their parents’ souls. And now she wants to prove her theory right by destroying it. But the mirror has other plans for the wayward children. And they’re deliriously cruel.

Honeymoon

You probably have had that moment: the one where you’re not sure if you can truly understand what your partner is thinking. Well, the greatly underappreciatedHoneymoon takes that sensation and amplifies it a thousand-fold for incredibly icky, body horror results.

Essentially flipping the script from Rosemary’s Baby, Harry Treadaway and Rose Leslie (of Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones fame, respectively) are visiting the bride’s family lake house as a honeymoon retreat. They weren’t planning on going outside much anyway. However, perhaps they should, as things get a bit tense once Treadaway’s Paul finds Bea (Leslie) walking naked in the woods at night, completely catatonic at first. After that things get weird.

Even if you have a rough idea where Honeymoon is going from that point on, the slow burn will still eventually get under your skin. As the husband realizes he has no idea what’s going on in his wife’s pretty head, you start to second guess even your best theories. And then things enter the realm of the truly fucked up for the finale.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas movie, not a Halloween movie. The 1993 movie is based on a poem by Tim Burton and directed by start-stop animation wizard Henry Selick. The music was written by Danny Elfman, who sings the part of Jack Skellington. Chris Sarandon (Dog Day Afternoon, Fright Night) does the speaking voice. Catherine O’Hara (After Hours, Best In Show) plays Sally, the rag doll created to keep William Hickey’s mad scientist company, but who loves Jack. Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee plays a trick or treater loyal to the Boogie Man.

Skellington discovers a portal from Halloween Town to Christmas Town and decides to exchange gifts. The voices are wonderful. The songs are perennial. You can watch this with your kids when they are infants to get away from whatever kiddie shows they’re supposed to be watching. You become a kid again. It is that transformative.

Hellraiser

Of the first of three theatrical films that Clive Barker would direct himself, Hellraiserwould go on to warrant eight sequels and create one of the most notorious horror franchises of all time. That said, this isn’t about the sequels. Part of the beauty ofHellraiser is how little we actually know about what is going on. While later tales would explain the origins of Pinhead and his Cenobites, the first film leaves this up to interpretation.

Hellraiser focuses on the relationship between Julia and Frank, not on the Cenobites’ interference (well, not until the end anyway). The first film is not the broad battle against evil the later installments would be, but an incredibly unique haunted house story. A corrupt romance growing ever more so. Sex and violence mixed with blood and guts. With a budget of roughly $1 million, Barker is able to craft a tale far more interesting and disturbing than better funded projects, the sequels included. Pain and pleasure, indivisible.

Scream

Mixing horror and comedy is not necessarily an original notion, but few have done it better than this hilariously meta-slasher. The definitive horror flick of the 1990s, this kick-off to the Scream series proved that even that era’s scary movies had to be happily self-aware. But none were as funny—or menacing—as this first 1996 installment from Wes Craven.

Featuring the genre’s first completely self-sufficient and heroic survivor girl (Neve Campbell), Scream also boasts a slew of other firsts, including the film nerd (Jamie Kennedy) who’s seen this all before at the multiplex and video store. Not that it will necessarily help him to look behind the couch at the most crucial moments. Yet, the best aspect is still undeniably the movie’s first 10 minutes, which is a beautiful short of playful banter collapsing into nihilistic despair with a gutted Drew Barrymore gasping through a slit throat to her parents on the other end of a telephone call.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a fantastic little satire on the horror genre that, in a similar fashion to Scream, is packed with laughs, gore, and a bit of a message. When a group of preppy college students head out to the backwoods for a camping trip, they stumble upon two good-natured good ol’ boys that they mistake for homicidal hillbillies.

Their quick, off-the-mark judgment of Tucker and Dale lead to these snobs getting themselves into sticky, often bloody, and hilariously over-the-top situations. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil rides a one-joke premise to successful heights and teaches audiences to not judge a book by its cover.

Scream 2

Scream, a movie based around the predictable patterns of ’80s slasher films, found itself in an amusing spot. With the blockbuster success of the film, obviously the studio wanted a sequel; the kind of decision that had diluted the genre in the first place. Though many felt this was a betrayal to Williamson and Craven’s original, the truth is that Williamson had begun working on it the same weekend he scripted the first film.

While not as strong as its predecessor, Scream 2‘s continued commentary on the genre is welcome, as is its often comedic dialogue and wacky twists. Nearly 20 years later, the film stands as a great period piece for the genre; it just bleeds ’90s. They even got Robert Rodriguez to shoot the fake movie within the movie, Stab. Though it exhibits a few plot holes and the twists can be hokey at times, Scream 2 is and was important to the continuing popularity of the slasher genre.

The Silence of the Lambs

Although Thomas Harris’ human monster, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, was introduced to moviegoers in Manhunter four years earlier (and ably portrayed by Brian Cox), it was this 1991 adaptation of Harris’ novel and Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar-winning personification of the demonic Lecter that turned him into a cultural icon. But Jonathan Demme’s Best Picture winner is about more than Hannibal the Cannibal: it’s about the evil that lurks not just behind the eyes of a thing like Lecter, but behind the closed doors of any modest home anywhere in the world.

It’s also about the mundane, everyday evil of sexual objectification, as experienced by every woman in the film, starting with FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster). It’s about all the different forms that evil can take, and for that alone it’s still an unsettling and superb hybrid of horror and police procedural.

American Psycho

Is Patrick Bateman an American Psycho because of his meticulous grooming, perpetual snobbery, and misogynistic treatment of women, or because of, oh say, that fetish for ax murdering? Maybe he’s just bug nuts simply for being a guy that thinks Phil Collins and Huey Lewis are the most talented songwriters of the ‘80s? It’s a tough call.

What’s not a tough call is saying that Christian Bale’s creepy tour de force performance as Bateman, and the shape Bale got in to portray the part, based on the character from Bret Easton Ellis’s novel of the same name, is as astonishing as it is unsettling. One part slasher and one part comedy of manners, American Psycho is a new American horror classic.

Night of the Living Dead

You wouldn’t have The Walking Dead and all the other zombie mayhem you’ve enjoyed over the years if it wasn’t for this little film, which was made for around $70,000 back in 1968 by Pittsburgh-based director George A. Romero and a gang of nine friends. The modern zombie genre all leads back to this film, and the best part is that the movie still has the power to terrify and unnerve, thanks to its handmade feel, its bleak atmosphere, and the low-budget esthetic which actually works in its favor.

It may not be as shocking as it was back in 1968, but it is still one of the landmarks of horror cinema.

The Crow

While we wouldn’t call this one a horror film per se, The Crow is definitely a twisted revenge tale with some very dark moments. Based on a celebrated comic book, the movie’s premise is a bit out there: a dead musician named Eric Draven is brought back from the dead by a supernatural crow so that he can avenge the rape and murder of his fiance. Draven sinks deeper into the seedy underworld of Detroit on Devil’s Night, taking out the thugs that ended his life in gruesome ways.

It is a real artistic gem, too, full of gothic spirit and an awesome soundtrack to boot. Brandon Lee, who tragically died in an accident during filming, gives an inspired performance as Draven.

The Devil’s Rejects

If you haven’t seen The Devil’s Rejects yet, do so immediately. We don’t care what you think about Rob Zombie’s other movies. Chances are we agree with you about most of them! But Zombie somehow made very special schlock in this exploitation throwback to ‘70s grindhouse horror movies. And we do mean grindhouse. There are no glaring winks or nudges.

The movie picks up after House of 1000 Corpses, Zombie’s debut film (and shall we say “homage” to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?). But this film is nothing like that one. Instead of following victims waiting to be tortured to death by a psychotic inbred family, it is the said inbred family of serial killers who have been victimized. Discovered and on the run, the film is a grotesque road trip movie that proves just as brutal as the Texas sun is on that paved street.

The movie dares you to root for monsters with no other real point of empathetic entry. Their victims are exactly that—passing bodies to be defiled. Yet, there is bizarre humanity to be found in this nightmare for three cult killers. And if you think they’re driving off into the sunset, you’ve got another bloody thing coming.

Ravenous

Cannibals get a bad rap. It’s nothing personal; they just need your energy to come closer to realizing their potential as mystic gods. That’s certainly the operating logic inRavenous, a delicious slice of juicy horror-comedy.

In one of the most unlikely of genre mash-ups, Ravenous starts out as a period piece not that far removed from Dances with Wolves when Capt. John Boyd (Guy Pearce) is assigned to a desolate outpost by the U.S. cavalry in the 19th century. And there, he will meet a drifter (Robert Carlyle) who brings tales of cannibalism and survival in the wilderness. But as they approach where the incident occurred, it turns out there was no survival at all.

As horror derived from a comedy of manners, this is the sweetest tasting movie about consuming human flesh you’re likely to ever come across.

Maniac

Normally, we do not condone putting remakes on lists. However, not all remakes reinvent nightmares so precisely as Maniac, a 2012 redo of a 1980s cult classic. Only now things are taken a shade creepier.

The story of a man who likes skinning women and turning them into fleshy mannequins, it’s already a nasty premise. But when the remake is shot almost entirely from a first person POV camera angle, so that you are visibly watching him slaughter and scalp these young women, some still alive as the flesh begins to peel… well voyeurism was taken to a whole new level.

Ironically casting Elijah Wood as the killer whose face we barely see, prepare to study Frodo’s hands a lot as he tackles this very gruesome and unglamorous role of a mass murderer. The effect is not subtle. You are being placed inside the shoes of a serial killer with the implicit acknowledgement that you on some level want to see and revel in the slaughter as much as that of our protagonist. It’s cinematic shaming in the horror genre at its best.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

In the Iranian ghost town of Bad City, there is a girl who walks alone at night. But if you should venture to speak with her, you might regret finding out why.

This wonderfully surreal film from Iranian-American director Ana Lily Amirpour should bridge differences with its implicitly lascivious nature. A young man who is forced to walk a depressing and desolate street because his father is a heroin addict finds himself enamored with a young woman whose black cape might be a shroud for all the corpses she leaves in her wake. It’s clever, occasionally romantic, and completely subversive of both real-life cultures and their vampiric alternatives. Celebrate the year’s good news by sinking your teeth into this holiday treat.

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

For some unfathomable reason, Netflix chose to remove the original Nightmare on Elm Street, by far the most atmospheric of the series, from its rolls on October 1st, the very day that kicks off horror movie season. While you could content yourself with the spectacularly homoerotic (but vastly inferior) Nightmare on Elm Street 2, you’re better off reflecting on the entire franchise with this documentary.

Never Sleep Again isn’t just a title. Make sure not to start this one too late in the evening, because it’s a whopping four hours long, which is to be expected since it has eight movies to cover (the 2010 remake is thankfully ignored). While we might be cheating just a little bit by including this, four hours detailing the genesis of horror’s most genuine supervillain is just too good to pass up in October.

Nosferatu

But if all else fails, rest assured nothing beats a classic. And that is exactly whatNosferatu is—the classic vampire film. As the unofficial 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this German Expressionist masterpiece was almost lost to the ages when the filmmakers (not unfairly) lost a copyright lawsuit with Stoker’s widow. As a result, most copies were destroyed. Yet a precious few survived, and now it can be viewed on Netflix of all things!

This definitive horror movie from F.W. Murnau might be a silent picture, but it is a haunting one where vampirism is used as a metaphor for plague and the Black Death sweeping across Europe. When Count Orlock comes to Berlin, he brings rivers of rats with him and the most repellent visage ever presented by a cinematic bloodsucker.

The sexy vampires would come later, starting with 1931’s more polished vision of Count Dracula as legendarily played by Bela Lugosi, but Max Schreck is buried under globs of makeup in Nosferatu and closer resembles an emaciated cadaver.

Murnau plays with shadow and light to create an intoxicating environment of fever dream repressions. But he also creates the most haunting cinematic image of a vampire yet put on screen. Check it out.

And Happy Halloween.

M. Night Shyamalan Creeps Into The Horror Genre with ‘The Visit’

Nana and Pop Pop seem like the perfect grandparents. They bake cookies, go for long walks and volunteer at a local psychiatric hospital. But after the sun goes down, things get weird in M Night Shyamalan’s latest horror movie, “The Visit.”

The film, out in theaters on Friday, follows teen siblings Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) as they are sent by their single mother to meet her estranged parents for the first time and stay with them for a week.

Shyamalan, 45, known for supernatural movies such as “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs,” channels his own teen filmmaker self into the precocious Becca, an aspiring documentarian who films everything during their visit, including the bizarre behavior of her grandparents as night falls.

The film was written, directed and produced by Shyamalan on a micro-budget of under $5-million (R68-million). He partnered with horror producer Jason Blum and Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures for distribution.

“I love constraints, both financially and creatively,” Shyamalan told Reuters. “Passive entertainment, where you do everything for the audience, is not what interests me. I want you to fill in gaps … the budget helps you think like that.”

The film has earned mixed reviews and is projected by BoxOffice.com to open with $17 million this weekend.

“The Visit” follows Shyamalan’s first foray into television as the executive producer of Fox’s 10-part summer sci-fi mystery thriller “Wayward Pines.”

The hit TV show, set in a town shrouded from the outside world, “directly affected ‘The Visit’ and how I shot it,” Shyamalan said, referring to the faster pace and smaller budgets of working in television.

“It really taught me what’s important and how to get the things out of the actors fast and really concentrate,” Shyamalan said. “What it did for me is tell me how lazy I had become as a filmmaker.”

“The Visit” marks the Philadelphia filmmaker’s return to the big screen after films that failed to spark up critics or box office, such as 2008’s supernatural “The Happening” and 2013’s sci-fi movie “After Earth.”

Shyamalan dismissed those lackluster performances and said he was focusing on bringing a refreshed self to movies and TV.

“The whole point is to make different movies, make genre-bending movies,” he said. “It’s all about ‘Wayward Pines’ and ‘The Visit’ right now, that’s where my tonality is right now, dark humor and mysterious.”

[youtube id=”qCsULFGldi8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

5 Horror Movies for Halloween Date Night

When you’ve finished trick or treating, raising demons with Ouija boards or dressing up as various ‘sexy’ versions of everything known to man, Halloween is the perfect time to catch up on some horror movies.

And as everyone knows, a good horror movie can be excellent for a relationship.

There is nothing better than eating junk while hiding behind a cushion and feeling like your heart is going to beat right out of your chest, with your girlfriend or boyfriend beside you, going through the same (or laughing at how much the film makes you jump).

It can lead to extra snuggles and what better excuse is there than to enjoy some serious make-out time when things get a bit on the crazy side?

Below are five romantic horror movies that will make for the perfect date night.

1. Cloverfield

Nothing is more swoon worthy than a guy willing to search for his girlfriend though a city being terrorised by a gigantic monster.

2. Drag Me To Hell

Foul-mouthed goats, massive amounts of bodily fluid and a meek lone officer that just wanted to do her job, but instead gets cursed by a button wielding scary gypsy.

Aw well, the sacrifice made in the name of love is nice.

Though if your partner offers you a button as a gift, word of warning, don’t take it.

3. 30 Days Of Night

Chock full of scary vampires who have never heard of a napkin, 30 Days Of Night is the ultimate reconciliation movie.

The love story between the estranged couple is sweet and endearing and it is amazing what a legion of blood thirsty undead can do for your relationship issues.

4. Shaun Of The Dead

This rom-zom-com is filled with funny and beautiful moments.

Shaun may be a disappointing boyfriend to start with but he more than redeems himself.

Nothing says I love you like a cricket bat to a zombie’s head and a rescue mission that ends in a trip to the pub to get a pint while you wait for the whole zombie apocalypse thing to blow over.

5. Zombieland

You’d be mistaken for thinking that the whole love story in this film was between the awkward Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and cunning Wichita (Emma Stone).

The real love story is between Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and the ‘golden sponge cake with a creamy filling’ – the Twinkie.

It is a story of endless searching, wanting and needing, with a very satisfyingly delicious ending.