Halloween always feels like it's just around the corner. After all, it is a season many people eagerly anticipate. It's filled with candy, costumes, and most importantly, plenty of Halloween-themed entertainment. There are horror movies, as well as a whole host of other movies with horror-adjacent ideas. Now that we're in the digital age, many movies can be viewed without leaving your house, which is life-changing.
In fact, there is an excellent assortment of Halloween movies available to stream on Netflix. Some of these movies are designed to give you nightmares, others are a little tamer. Whatever you're into, Netflix likely has something that will leave you anticipating Halloween even more than you already were.
Horror has always been a fairly self-aware genre, but that self-awareness reached its apex with Scream. The movie follows a killer who stalks a suburban high school. What makes Scream unique is the idea that its characters, and especially its killer, has seen other horror movies. As a result, they know what tropes they should be playing into.
Even though Scream proves to be funnier than most horror movies, the movie still delivers on pure scares too — that's what makes it so good. It's the perfect combination of laughs and terror, and it's that combination that keeps you thoroughly engaged throughout.
Silence of the Lambs is both a thriller and a horror movie, but it's most terrifying moments will leave you shaking. The movie also excels in almost every other regard. It's incredibly well-acted and it features some pretty gnarly murders — which is always a plus.
Stories about serial killers are rarely pleasant, but Silence of the Lambs manages to tell one that feels thoroughly compelling from start to finish. It's a great movie to watch at any time of the year, but especially around Halloween. It's got more than enough thrills to get you in the spirit of the season and is an all-round great flick.
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The Final Destination movies are, at their core, pretty silly movies. They take a serious idea — the inevitability of death — and make it into a dumb yet thrilling experience. After a group of friends escapes a dangerous tragedy, each of them is killed off one-by-one in a bizarre and usually complicated way.
These movies are far from high art, but it's pretty easy to get caught up watching them. If you're not careful, you might find yourself invested in how the events unfold. Still, there are worse things than watching a group of people try and fail to escape death for two hours.
There are only a couple of basic horror movie tropes, and one of the oldest is definitely the idea of demonic possession. In Insidious, that concept is played with when a couple's child falls into a coma and becomes a vessel for a variety of ghosts who want to inhabit his body.
It's a thrilling movie that's really about the relationships between children and their parents. The film was successful enough to spawn a couple of sequels, and it's one of two movies directed by James Wan to make an appearance on this list. He certainly knows his way around an effective horror movie.
Carrie may seem like a tame teen movie, but it's not a film to be trifled with. Telling the story of a socially withdrawn young girl who faces tormenting at school and at home, the movie is much more disturbing than it sounds on paper. It delves into the supernatural and plays like an extended, violent revenge fantasy where the used and abused finally gets the chance to strikeout.
Scary movies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but if you need a reminder that you should be nice to the people around you, look no further than Carrie. Remember — when you're not nice, the consequences can be severe.
Sometimes, it's nice to mix a little action with horror. If that's the mood you're in, The Mummy is probably a pretty good bet. It follows a group of treasure hunters in the 1920s who stumble upon an ancient tomb, inadvertently waking a mummy that they must then fight to defeat.
It's not a hugely complicated premise, but it's an effective one. The Mummy keeps you on the edge of your seat with smart writing and pretty consistent action. The movie never seems to lose its pace, and that's part of what makes it such a thoroughly engaging thrill ride.
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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was an enormous success when it was first released, and its reputation has only grown in the years since. The movie was part of a wave of gore-filled horror, one in which ghost stories were replaced by tales of horrific murder.
In Texas Chainsaw, a group of young people is taken out one-by-one by a chainsaw-wielding murderer wearing a mask of human skin. It's not subtle horror so much as it is a violent streak of terror. It's a movie soaked in blood and might be just what you need if you're looking for something that's incredibly violent and a little disturbed.
The horror genre really came into its own in the '70s, and by the early '80s, it was in full bloom. Poltergeist emerged from that wave and helped redefine what a horror movie could be. The movie follows an ordinary family that begins interacting with spirits who communicate with them through the TV.
Eventually, things take a turn for the worse, and the movie goes from a fairly light horror movie to a truly terrifying one. Sometimes, a simple ghost story is all you really need to send chills up your spine. In Poltergeist, the terror and thrills are more than enough to leave you shaking.
Zombieland is a horror-comedy. The movie follows a group of survivors amidst a zombie apocalypse who form a family unit over the course of the movie. The zombies are as terrifying as you might expect, but Zombieland works best as a comedy.
Think of it as a break from the scarier, heavier titles on this list. You don't have to worry about whether or not you'll be able to sleep after you watch Zombieland. Instead, you can just think about what a great cast they managed to assemble for the movie.
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The Invitation is a tight thriller about being invited to a truly terrible dinner party. The first half of the movie is character-driven, but that only makes the tension of the second half feel even more extreme. If you're a young, wealthy professional, The Invitation is probably something akin to your very worst nightmare.
The idea of a dinner party gone wrong is not all that original, but the horrifying events at the center of The Invitation still offer a uniquely wild ride. There aren't many movies where you feel both connected to the characters and totally thrilled from the word go, but The Invitation is definitely one of them.
Hush is a thrilling movie in a remarkably condensed package. It follows a deaf writer who lives a solitary life in the woods and must fight for her life when a masked killer shows up at her door. The movie's premise is remarkably simple and is executed to perfection.
Hush balances on the line between thriller and horror and offers plenty of shocks and surprises along the way. What's even more, the movie is remarkably short, which makes it perfect if you're in the mood for some quick entertainment. Sometimes, short movies are the best kind because they don't overstay their welcome.
Gremlins is both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie, our two favorite genres! The movie tells the story of a boy whose pet turns into a devil that causes a great deal of unrest in his small town.
Gremlins is not really a horror movie, but it does feature plenty of gnarly looking creatures. It's from an era of movies that focuses on small-town life and the problems of young kids. It may not be the best movie if you want scares, but it's a good deal of fun.
Truth or Dare may seem more like shock than great horror, but the idea behind the movie is actually a pretty interesting one. It imagines a world where the childhood game comes to life and there are deadly consequences for failing to play.
The idea of a simple game of "truth or dare" taken to its extreme is fairly compelling, and it's complemented by plenty of creepy details. This is a horror movie, plain and simple, and it's one that will leave you deeply unsettled if you're not prepared for what it has in store for you as a viewer.
Sometimes, there's no need to bring ghosts or the supernatural into a movie to make it terrifying — the people are more than enough. That's definitely true in The Perfection , which tells the story of a troubled but prodigiously gifted musician who is forced to deal with a rival student who threatens to take her place.
The movie is a twisted tale, filled with more than a few surprises and quite a bit of gore. Thankfully, the performances from Logan Browning and Allison Williams are more than enough to carry you through to the film's somewhat shocking ending.
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M. Night Shyamalan is well-known at this point for the twists at the center of his films, but when The Sixth Sense was released, that wasn't yet the case. The movie stunned audiences when it first came out and eventually became an enormous hint. It tells the story of a child psychologist who works with a young boy who believes he can see dead people.
The movie is unsettling more often than it's actually scary, but in the moments where it wants to be outright terrifying, it builds tension perfectly. The Sixth Sense will likely always be M. Night's most famous movie, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
For most of the run time of The Village, the movie is not particularly scary. It's set in a small village sometime during the 19th century, and the horror doesn't really hit until creatures start invading and attacking the village. From then on, the plot gets a little more intense and it's safe to say that, given that this film is also from M. Night Shyamalan, the movie sees a number of twists and turns.
The Village is consistently fun to watch, and it also features some great performances, particularly from William Hurt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The two actors are more than enough reason to watch.
The Conjuring has spawned a number of successful sequels and spin-offs, but there's something to be said about the first movie's contained horror. The film follows a pair of married paranormal investigators as they deal with the haunting of a normal family.
The movie isn't out to reinvent the genre or anything, but that's part of what makes it so appealing. It's a pretty standard horror movie and it uses the conventions of the genre to its advantage. Sometimes, you just want some good old-fashioned horror, and that's exactly what The Conjuring will give you.
The Witch is a terrifying movie that's also full of insanely specific period details. The movie tells the story of a Puritan family that is too devoutly religious for the Puritans, which is really saying something. They're exiled from the community and forced to live alone on the land.
Once isolated, the family is terrorized by witches and plagued by suspicions. It's a devilish movie that works best as an old folk tale. From moment to moment, however, it's one of the most terrifying films you can watch to get ready for spooky season.
Coraline is like a horror movie filtered through the perspective of a child. It follows Coraline, a young girl who discovers a mirror dimension in her new home that takes her to a world that she initially thinks is better than her own.
The character designs and animation in Coraline are fairly creepy on their own, but they're complemented by a compelling and occasionally unsettling story. It's kid-friendly, of course, but that doesn't mean it's not a perfect watch for Halloween lovers of any age. Coraline is the perfect movie for anyone who likes the idea of scary movies but wants to avoid nightmares.
Over the course of Cloverfield, each main character in the story meets a gruesome death. It's not the cheeriest movie to put on for Halloween, but it's undoubtedly one of the most thrilling. The movie follows a group of New Yorkers who panic as their city is invaded by an alien force.
The movie is a chronicle of what it might actually feel like to live through an alien invasion. As a result, the movie's characters spend much of the flick confused and terrified. In some ways, not knowing is infinitely more terrifying than the realities that may be just around the corner.
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