Amazon Prime offers some great horror movie choices to fill a Halloween season marathon, and these are the best of the best. The big day draws near, in which both hardcore horror fans and those who only dabble in the darkness once a year gather together to celebrate the macabre. Halloween is to horror genre devotees what Christmas is to kids, and while parties are nice and all, another popular way to celebrate the creepiest of holidays is by kicking back and taking in a great scary movie. Or two, or three, or a dozen.
Every streaming service offers their own selection, and Amazon Prime is no different. The service features many terrific fright flicks, both old and new. Presented below are five such choices, representing a range of decades and sub-genres. One shouldn't be fooled by the numbers though, as these aren't ranked. They're all great films, and one can't go wrong with any.
5. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Directed by late genre master George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead created and established the zombie sub-genre as fans know it today. Before Romero's film, zombies weren't the recently risen dead, they didn't live to consume human flesh, and they didn't only die by destroying the brain. To put Night Of The Living Dead's influence in perspective, nearly every piece of zombie fiction since has borrowed heavily from it, including AMC juggernaut The Walking Dead. The film is also famous for having a black lead (Duane Jones), in an era where that was almost unheard of.
4. Pet Sematary (1989)
For about as long as there have been Stephen King books, there have been Stephen King movies. One of the most generally well-regarded of those adaptations is Pet Sematary, helmed by director Mary Lambert. With a script penned by King himself, the film follows the book quite closely, although not entirely. While supernatural forces drive the plot, the tale of Dr. Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) and his unfortunate family finds some of its most terrifying moments via a monster that's all too real and universal: the grief of losing a loved one.
3. Frailty (2002)
One of the more obscure entries on this list, Frailty is a complex, surprising film that most people probably haven't seen, but that deserves to be viewed by anyone who loves their horror more psychological and intimate than gory. Directed by and starring Bill Paxton, Frailty centers on young brothers Fenton (Matt O'Leary) and Adam Meiks (Jeremy Sumpter) after their father (Paxton) seemingly goes insane, believing he's been tasked by God with killing demons that have taken human form. Adam readily accepts his dad's mission, but Fenton isn't convinced. Can Fenton get through to his dad, and stop his "divine" rampage? Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe also star.
2. Stir of Echoes (1999)
Released in the same year as M. Night Shyamalan's blockbuster ghost movie The Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes found itself pushed aside by audiences at the time. Thankfully, director David Koepp's film has been rediscovered by many in the decades since. Based on a book by acclaimed author Richard Matheson, Stir of Echoes stars Kevin Bacon as Tom Witzky, a man who begins experiencing terrifying supernatural episodes after being hypnotized. Tom is nearly driven to complete madness, and Bacon's performance in the role is one of the best in his storied career.
1. Absentia (2011)
One of the most prominent filmmakers in horror today is Mike Flanagan, helmer of Netflix's recently released Haunting of Hill House series. Flanagan made his name in recent years by directing films like Oculus, Gerald's Game, and Hush, but his first feature was the emotionally harrowing 2011 indie Absentia. To reveal too much about the plot would be a disservice to new viewers, as the film is best experienced knowing as little as possible. Like Frailty, Absentia is a film that seeks to unnerve and unsettle viewers more than startle or gross them out.