If Halloween bums you out, spend the night cuddled up with one of these movies (trying not to cry).
If you hate Halloween as much as I do, you’ll spend the evening hiding in the basement watching horror movies while the rest of your family cheerfully hands out candy to the neighborhood street rats. Truth is folks, we’ve gotten away from the true spirit of the holiday-which is, in fact, spirits, death, the dead, and the dying-so spending the night neck-deep in movie blood sounds perfect to me.
With that in mind, here are 17 great horror movies available to stream on Netflix this very instant. They do remove films often, so your mileage may vary as time passes.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) — This classic is scary if you are afraid of becoming an emotionless drone who goes onto lead your regular life. I fail to understand why the hero, played by Kevin McCarthy, puts up a fight! I’d give up love and happiness in order to not ever feel loneliness and sadness! “You’re next,” he keeps telling us. I hope so, Kevin, I hope so.
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968) — “This is no dream, this is really happening!” murmurs poor Rosemary as the devil has his way with her. The resulting pregnancy is not a fun time, but the real monster here is her selfish husband. Well, the real monster is also the devil. There are two real monsters.
- Carrie (1976) — They’re all gonna laugh at you…if you’ve never seen this classic. Don’t bother with the new one since you’ve got this one available, although Julianne Moore was a solid Carrie’s Mom, that crazy, suspicious, helicopter parent. Although, to be fair, it does seem like she called it.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) — If, in the intervening 20-some years, you forgot that sometimes your entire town gets replaced by podfolks, here’s a second Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Now with all-new (70s-era) special effects and Leonard Nimoy!
- Re-Animator (1985) — There are three or four scenes in this movie that would never get made today–and that’s a shame (or, honestly, probably for the best).
- Evil Dead 2 (1987) — This feels like a director’s movie–like Sam Raimi went out and made exactly the movie he wanted to make. It takes The Evil Dead, cuts the fluff, concentrates the sauce, and layers on a hearty helping of Bruce Campbell punching himself in the face. It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s stitched together with creative camera work, and it doesn’t leave you feeling like you just witnessed real-life humans die.
- From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) — If this feels like two separate movies, that’s because it almost is. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez direct the two halves of this George Clooney vs. vampires flick. If their brand of gratuitous gore is up your alley, then by all means, stream this sucker.
- Scream (1996) — What’s scary is that we all thought it was so scary. TWO KILLERS!! Sorry, kids born later on, that’s a real spoiler for you. Still, Scream brings an intense amount of nostalgia and, arguably, was one of the most important horror movies of the 1990s.
- Event Horizon (1997) — Combining my love of space travel with my fear of accidentally stumbling upon a portal to hell itself, this film still gives nightmares about Sam Neill. There’s also a scene of a suit-less spacewalk, which turns out to be totally possible.
- Funny Games (1997, German) — An alternate tag line for Funny Games was “Whoa, someone actually recommended that you watch this? Do they hate you? Cool beans!” (It was the 90s). If you don’t feel terrible enough afterward, there’s a shot-for-shot English remake starring Naomi Watts.
- The Blair Witch Project (1999) — One of the greatest hoaxes of the 1990s, this groundbreaking film and its accompanying documentaries scared a lot of people into believing this was an actual firsthand account of several young people and their trip to the woods. Although the snot was real, the witch is not. But the film still holds up well today.
- The Host (2006, Korean) — One of my most recommended movies to people who I later realize I want to maintain a relationship with and hope they don’t totally hate the movie because then I will hate them a little. It’s not for everyone, but it should be. This creature feature is both suspenseful and super funny in a genius Korean way.
- Let the Right One In (2008, Swedish) — Poignant, sometimes a little gross, freezing cold, yet oddly heartwarming! A little boy and his vampire pal are joined at the neck–JK, not the neck. She wouldn’t do that to him. Random strangers, sure. But wouldn’t we all?
- Dead Snow (2009, Norwegian) — You like teens camping in a secluded cabin? You like zombies? You like…Nazis? Well you’re gonna love Dead Snow, it’s got all three in various permutations. Worth it for the premise alone.
- The House of the Devil (2009) — Never will you feel more fear from a movie in which almost nothing happens–because, as we all know, the most terrifying thing about nothing is…everything.
- You’re Next (2011) — Surprisingly well-balanced with just the right amounts of gore; jump-scares; and well-timed, well-written dialogue–super rare for a movie made in the last couple of years. This one feels vaguely Ti West-y (who directed The House of the Devil above), and that’s a good thing.
- Cabin in the Woods (2012) — Anything Joss Whedon writes and directs has an 80% chance of being an exceptionally good time. This part-satire, part-generator of actual fear plays with many tropes without getting too silly. The frequency of genius moments will astound you, but you may want to punch the stoner in the face. Also: Chris Hemsworth is there.