It's that time of year again, when you're perusing all the cheap fancy dress costumes on Amazon, binging all sorts of horror movies, playing John Carpenter's iconic Halloween theme on repeat, eating your body weight in candy, shutting the curtains, and ignoring the doorbell. But if you're unsure about what to watch on Halloween night, don't worry - we've got you covered.
If you're after plenty of tricks and treats, we've compiled a list of great horror films that you can stream right now on Netflix. And just like any bucket of candy, we've made sure there's a great mix - so whether you love dark woods, psychotic parents, ancient demigods, man-eating sharks or a certain man in a white mask, here are the best movies to watch this Halloween on Netflix...
Starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen, 2020's Run is a nail-biting thriller that feels like an obsessive fan's love letter to Stephen King's Misery. Bound in a wheelchair and plagued with many other life-threatening illnesses, Chloe lives with her mother Diane. But when Chloe starts to question all the medication her mother has been feeding her since birth, some sinister secrets start to surface, forcing Chloe into a fight for survival against the one person she thought she could trust.
You won't recognize Stranger Things' Joe Keery in this found footage-style horror in which a budding YouTuber desperately tries to get more hits on his low-key channel, by brutally murdering his rideshare customers. If you're looking for horror that has its tongue firmly in its cheek, while also casting a satirical lens over our obsession with social media, you'll have quite the ride with Spree. Keery is both and hilarious and frightening, as this 'new-age' 'American Psycho'.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's seemingly cliché-ridden and trope-tastic 2012 movie has all the right ingredients for a horror - they're just not what you think. Placing itself firmly in a standard bloodbath setting, The Cabin in the Woods is anything but your average horror. If you think Scream was the perfect meta-slasher, just wait until you find out what's really hiding beneath this cabin. Chris Hemsworth stars in this unique horror whose twist will leave you slack-jawed.
James Wan's Insidious loses far too much attention to the likes of The Conjuring and its countless spin-offs. Starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, this neat little horror revolves around a family who are suddenly haunted by terrifying shapes both day and night. Luckily, help arrives in the form of paranormal investigators. The catch? It's not their house that's haunted - it's their son. With a solid understanding of our worst nightmares, Insidious is the perfect Halloween movie.
John Carpenter's classic 1978 film gave birth to not only 12 sequels, including Halloween: Kills which is now out in theaters, but the slasher genre itself. Perhaps the greatest thing about the original film is its simplicity - before any of the sequels, it was nothing but Myers, his mask, and his penchant for hunting babysitters. If you're going to watch any film this Halloween, make it this one. It might not have aged well, but the essence of evil on-screen lives forever.
Ethan Hawke stars in this 2012 horror which makes Insidious look about as scary as The Haunted Mansion. Hawke plays a has-been crime writer, who moves his family to a house that was formerly a murder scene, where something 'sinister' is at play. Sinister is the kind of film that will leave you feeling genuinely frightened. And it's not even the main villain - it's the 'home-made' videos Hawke's novelist uncovers in his new house, and the film's surreal, nightmarish score.
Arguably one of the best horror-thrillers on Netflix, Hush stars Katy Siegel (The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass) as a deaf woman who lives alone in the cabin in the woods. How's that for an elevator pitch? Throw in a psychotic murderer who takes full advantage of the fact his next victim can't hear his every move, and there's really no surprise that director Mike Flanagan is the genius behind this (he also directed those two shows and is Siegel's real-life husband).
The Reef (2010)
A shark film might not be the obvious choice at Halloween, but Australian horror-thriller The Reef might just be the genre's answer to The Blair Witch Project. It's not found footage, but unlike the iconic horror, it is based on a real-life event, in which four people who are forced to swim across the open ocean when their yacht sinks, are hunted by a relentless, man-eating great white shark. And the shark isn't their only problem - the ocean is far more unforgiving than any forest.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Speaking of the devil - or witch - this 1999 found-footage movie is yet another that gave birth to an entire subgenre. Back in the days when the Internet was new, the marketing for this film had cinemagoers convinced what they were watching was real. It isn't, of course, but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel totally authentic in its execution. Watching Heather, Mike and Josh get lost and hunted in the Black Hills while investigating a local legend, really is the stuff of nightmares.
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The Descent (2007)
There's nothing like a spot of potholing in a foreign country to deal with one's grief, and that's exactly what Sarah and her friends do in Neil Marshall's visceral horror. Taking inspiration from Ridley Scott's Alien, The Descent plunges its cast - and viewers - into a near-featureless black void, where claustrophobia is the least of your concerns, when humanoid predators emerge, the remnants of early man, who have evolved to live - and feed - in this inescapable cave system.
You really can't go wrong with any of these horrors, and there's a bit of everything. From meta, tongue-in-cheek horrors like The Cabin in the Woods and Spree, to classics like Halloween and The Blair Witch Project, and everything in between from creature features to haunted house movies, you won't find any other list with as many trick and treats as this one.