October is here and with it, thoughts of Halloween and horror. There’s never a better time to indulge in some serious Netflix time, watching classic monster movies or modern gore-fest films (although every true fan knows that horror is a year-round hobby).
There’s no better way to prepare for the spookiest holiday than to sit back and watch Netflix, which carries an impressive array of horror from a number of different eras.
We may have most of the month to go before it’s time to go trick-or-treating, so until then, here are 13 Horror Movies To Watch Before Halloween (because 13 is a spooooooooky number).
If you haven’t already seen this ’70s classic, it’s a Halloween must-watch! Carrie is an unpopular and naïve teenager, whose reaction to her first period makes her the target of high school ridicule. Continuing the movie tradition of playing horrible pranks on people at a school dance, Carrie is horrifically humiliated at prom… and responds by lashing out with incredible telekinetic rage.
In the style of classic horror, there’s quite a bit of build up before we get to all the death and mayhem, but it’s well worth the wait. There’s even a twist ending for first-time watchers. This quintessential horror with its gratuitous boobs and famous blood-drenched scenes is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino star as bank robbers in this amazing 90s vampire flick (when vampires were still scary, not sparkly).
Headed to Mexico with their loot like good criminals, the duo find themselves holed up in a cantina along with their various hostages. Here, they are captivated by the gorgeous Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), and end up staying just a little too late… only to discover that the bar is actually a vampire den, and they have to survive until the sun comes up.
If you thought that leprechauns were just adorable little Irish elves with a thing for marshmallow cereal, this movie will ruin that (sorry!). Proving once again that you should never move to a new place, ever, Leprechaun tells the story of a father and daughter who discover that their new house has a small problem in the basement: a 600 year old murderous leprechaun.
This little monster was trapped there after the original home owner stole his gold, and now he’s been accidentally released. Now that he is out, he still wants that gold back, and he’ll do anything to get it, including slaughtering anyone who gets in the way. Cue lots of death, mayhem, and an incredibly young Jennifer Aniston screaming.
A film that is still spawning sequels, Hellraiser is the gruesome tale of a cheating wife, her husband, her half-dead lover who has returned from the dead (and happens to be the husband’s brother), and a race of S&M demons called Cenobites from a portal to hell.
A film that doesn’t stop at warning you never to move house (especially if you know the previous owner, and he mysteriously disappeared), but also never to buy souvenirs (especially not puzzle boxes). Some truly gory moments of torture are perfectly balanced with a little horror humor, and the result is a surprisingly enjoyable horror flick for fans of the supernaturally creepy.
Also Available on Netflix: Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, Hellraiser V: Inferno, Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker, Hellraiser VII: Deader, Hellraiser: Hellworld and Hellraiser: Revelations.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Unfortunately, the first five Halloween movies aren’t currently available on Netflix, but a Halloween-themed movie list just wouldn’t be complete without the sequels that are streamable. In this sixth installation of the franchise, set years after the psychotic killer Michael Myers has been vanquished, he returns from the dead to try and kill again.
Expect the usual masked creepiness and jump scares. There’s a lot going on in this one, including cult-rape, rebellious teens who want to have Halloween parties again (will they never learn?), a family attempting to break the curse on Myers’ home, and our original hero Tommy (a young Paul Rudd!), who may have figured out the secret to it all…
This cult classic is as hilarious as it is creepy, so it’s perfect if you want a Halloween film that won’t give you nightmares. Based on a story by HP Lovecraft, it centers on two young med students who become obsessed with bringing people back from the dead. Jeffrey Combs steals the show as the sinister Herbert West, and his disturbing portrayal of the med student will give you nightmares.
However, the film as a whole falls squarely in the cult-classic category, rather than being truly frightening, and the terrible special effects may be more likely to make you laugh than scream. Including a creepy basement lab, a zombie cat and a lot of neon-green ooze, Re-Animator is the perfect campy twist on the undead.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Yet another reason never to move to a new home, Rosemary’s Baby begins as a young couple take on a new apartment, despite being warned that the building has been connected with Satanism, witchcraft and cannibalism in the past. In an increasingly creepy series of events, Rosemary becomes pregnant, but obsessed with fear over the safety of her baby and the activities of her new neighbors (and her increasingly distant husband).
Don’t expect too many deaths in this classic, as it’s one to play on the fear of everyone out to get you, rather than being tortured, Saw-style. A film for those who prefer their horror thrilling and supernatural, rather than dripping with blood and guts, this will get inside your head and leave you shuddering.
The Monster Squad (1987)
Why watch a movie about just one classic monster, when you could watch all of them together? The Monster Squad brings together Dracula, The Swamp Thing, The Wolf Man, The Gill Man, The Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster as they plot to take over the world, but have to go through a group of misfit kids to do it.
There’s plenty of classic supernatural mischief in this one, and some good old fashioned monsters from a time where humans weren’t the most terrifying thing in horror. A hilarious horror comedy, this Goonies-take-on-Dracula style flick is the perfect family-friendly classic for Halloween.
The Addams Family (1991)
Enjoy some quality time with the first family of Halloween! Another kid-friendly option, The Addams Family brings Charles Addams’ wonderfully macabre cartoons to life. The film starts with the head of the family, Gomez, mourning his long-lost brother, and a lawyer with money problems suggesting an age-old con to take advantage of this to steal the family treasure.
Quotable quips abound as the family loses their home and tries to integrate into “normal” society, but don’t worry, there’s a darkly happy ending waiting. There’s no gore to be found here, but plenty of gloriously gothic humor and spooky moments.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Horror movies aren’t often nominated for Oscars, but The Silence of the Lambs managed to scoop five, and if that’s not a reason to watch, I don’t know what is. Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins star in this horror-thriller about an FBI agent and a cannibal psychologist.
Truly disturbing and masterfully directed, The Silence of the Lambs has become a pop-culture staple; references to Clarice, the pit and the lotion (on the baby) appearing in everything from The Simpsons to How I Met Your Mother. If you are a big fan of NBC’s Hannibal (yet still haven’t seen this classic!), it’s time to enjoy the film that started it all…
Children of the Corn (1984)
What would Halloween be without some live-action adaptations from the stories of the master of horror; Stephen King? Children of the Corn follows a young couple as they wander into a small town inhabited only by children.
On their way to a new home and job (just in case the idea that new homes are a terrible idea wasn’t quite clear in this list), they discover that the reason behind this is a bizarre cult that requires the ritual slaughter of everyone over eighteen to ensure a bountiful harvest. Being, obviously, over eighteen, it turns into a fight for their lives as they try to escape some of the creepiest children on the silver screen.
The film that recalls the glory days of the slasher genre, Scream plays on horror movie clichés as a high school student is terrorized by the death of everyone she knows. This murder-mystery style horror centers around a cloaked killer with the infamous “scream mask”, and doesn’t shy away from satirizing classic tropes of the genre.
Directed by the incredibly talented Wes Craven, this is a nostalgic slasher flick perfect for anyone who wants a combination of blood-splatter and a whodunit. Even better if you were a teenager in the 90s, because you get to remember when it first took horror by storm (not to mention some of your favorite 90s actors! Skeet Ulrich, anyone?)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
Unfortunately, the original Nightmare on Elm Street was pulled from Netflix at the beginning of this month (Why, Netflix? Why would you do that?!), but the ’85 sequel is still worth a watch. Five years after iconic monster Freddy Krueger tormented the children of Elm Street, he’s back to torture a new family who moved into Nancy’s home. (Again, never move to a new home!)
This time, Freddy wants to possess the body of their teenage son to wreak havoc outside of the land of dreams, and the boy’s girlfriend must try to stop him. Halloween just isn’t Halloween without a little Freddy Kreuger!
Also Available on Netflix: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
Are there any other horror flicks on Netflix worth watching? Let us know in the comments!