Editor’s note: Being that is October I reached out to the the smartest person I know. The Mike knows more about horror movies than anyone. Follow him on twitter here. If you click the name of the title it will send you to YouTube, and you can watch a trailer of the film.
The end of October is upon us, which means the leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and everyone’s getting ready for Halloween. They’re picking out costumes, planning their parties, and looking for horror movies to set the mood for the season. If you’re a horror film fanatic – SPOILER ALERT: I am – you’ve been preparing for this for a long time, because you know it’s one of the best parts of the season.
If you’re not prepared yet, that’s OK. I’m here to help. If you have Netflix, you might not realize how many great horror movies are sitting there prepared to get you through the season. It can be hard to find the good ones on the streaming service, which is why I’m here to offer up 11 of my favorites. These films have been chosen to offer a full range of options for all your Halloween viewing moods, so I hope there’s something for everyone here.
Horror for the Film Historian – The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Netflix certainly has a problem with the selection of “classics” on its streaming service, which makes this psychological haunted house thriller one of the most pleasant outliers in their horror section. This British chiller does a fantastic job of providing the mood you’d expect from an old-school haunting, while adapting to the intellectual and psychosexual trends that had taken over horror in the late 1960s. A fine adaptation of Richard Matheson’s excellent novel, Hell House, this one’s perfect for mature viewers looking for an old-fashioned Halloween night.
Horror for the Twisted Brothers & Sisters of the 1980s – Hellraiser (1987)
One of the most famous horror films on Netflix, Hellraiser still stands tall as one of the most sadistic and punishing films of the genre. Most people recognize the iconic face of Doug Bradley’s Pinhead, but those that aren’t familiar with the film itself should be shocked by its unflinching approach to brutality and gore. It might not be the most enjoyable film to watch at times, but the feeling of relief when you realize you survived it is pretty invigorating.
Horror for the Action Movie Fan – Don’t Kill It (2016)
You like Dolph Lundgren, right? Of course you do. Even though he killed Apollo Creed, we still love him. He’s built like a tank, he’s got a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering, and he was He-Man when He-Man was cool. He also stars as a demon hunter in this ridiculously fun little movie, in which an evil force possesses a bunch of ordinary people and turns each of them into killing machine. The catch is that killing the possessed person releases the demon to take its next host, which sets up quite the conundrum for Dolph. Good thing he’s so smart and multi-talented.
Horror for the Indie-Loving Man Hater – Teeth (2007)
A teenage girl (Jess Weixler, who looks like she should be Meryl Streep’s daughter, but is not) who isn’t quite sure about her body learns she has a special gift in Teeth, which I hope is the only horror film that ever used the term “vagina dentata.” It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s not something the men who want to use this poor girl should take lightly. This one should make the women laugh and the men squirm, so feel free to plan this as a His and Hers double feature with Dolph and Don’t Kill It.
Horror for the Young Lovers Who Will (Probably) Make It – Honeymoon (2014)
Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie and Penny Dreadful’s Harry Treadaway are young lovers on their honeymoon at a secluded cabin, which is great until the young wife starts to change. This one gets intense pretty quickly, and the stars do a fantastic job of selling just how bizarre their situation becomes as the plot twists toward a dark conclusion. You’re going to want to turn the lights down and the sound up for this moody chiller. Hold on to each other tight, and hope this isn’t what your next romantic getaway becomes. (Warning: There are two horror movies named Honeymoon on Netflix, make sure you pick the one from 2014, not the one from 2015.)
Horror for the Comedy Fan Who Doesn’t Like Horror – Night of the Living Deb (2015)
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If you ever wanted to see what it would look like if Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt met The Walking Dead, we’ve got the perfect film for you. There are few scares, plenty of laughs, and enough zombies to make it still feel like a nice pick for Halloween. Sure, you’d be better off just renting Shaun of the Dead again, but this is a nice complimentary option in the zom-rom-com genre.
Horror for the Creepy Rural House Addict – We Are Still Here (2015)
If you like Italian Horror films of the ’70s and ’80s, this movie was made for you. If you’re not into that particular cinematic kink, you’re still in for a treat. This rural haunted house flick has a wonderful retro aesthetic, a beautiful musical score, and a lot of carnage. With winter right around the corner, its snowy countryside setting should feel pretty ominous too. Turn up the heat to offset the chills.
Horror for the Hip City Crowd Who Went To The Wrong Party – The Invitation (2015)
You really shouldn’t go to a party at an the home of an ex, and you probably shouldn’t stay around when a dude shows up that seems like he’s a cult leader. Those are facts of life, but thankfully they’re facts that characters in The Invitation ignored – which means we’re in for a crazy urban horror story. This is one of those movies that will have you feeling like anything could happen at any moment, and once things do get wild they build perfectly to an unforgettable final shot. If you’re afraid of people more than any supernatural force, this one’s for you.
Horror for Maximum Intensity – The Pact (2012)
Caity Lotz (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) stars as a woman who returns to her childhood home after her sister disappears and her mother dies. If that sounds like a bad combination, that’s because it is. What follows is a horror tale that balances on the line between the mystery of the supernatural and the terror of human depravity. At the center of the film you’ll find a seemingly ordinary coat closet – one that’s as imposing as any setting you’ll find in modern horror cinema.
Horror for When There Are No Rules – John Dies at the End (2012)
Don Coscarelli created one of the most surreal nightmares ever filmed with 1979’s Phantasm, returned to the spotlight with the delightfully charming Bubba Ho-Tep in 2002, and then made what might be his weirdest movie in 2012. Adapted from the deranged novel of the same name, John Dies At The End is an interdimensional bit of wacky comedic horror, full of vulgar jokes and trippy visuals. Don’t worry, it’s got a lot of heart too. If you want to have fun – and you think things like monsters made out of meat and crude jokes are fun – this is the movie for you.
Horror for Halloween Night – Tales of Halloween (2015)
Eleven horror filmmakers come together for ten short horror stories, all taking place on Halloween night. This anthology’s got killer kids, killer aliens, killer adults, killer pumpkins, and plenty of other kinds of killers too. It’s a bit of an uneven film, but it moves quickly and always seems to be grinning back at the viewer with it’s mischievous tone. If you want a series of R-rated campfire tales for Beggar’s Night, this one’s for you.