The Best Movies To Stream This Halloween, If You Dare

It's October, and everything is officially spooky. The aisles of CVS are draped with fake cobwebs. Pop-up stores with rows upon rows of costumes are revived like zombies for one month only, there to fulfill their part in the supply and demand chain. Grown adults are relishing their sole opportunity to play a very elaborate game of dress-up.

Halloween is also the only time of year when watching a scary movie feels almost obligatory. Luckily, scary movies come in degrees of intensity. If you're a wimp like me, you'll opt for Practical Magic — a romantic comedy about witches, featuring zero jump scares — and sleep restfully, without fear of monsters under the bed. Or, you can get some candy, and gather some friends, and go for something spookier.

Netflix has a whole host of movies perfect for the Halloween season, ranging from cheesy favorites to downright terrifying scream-fests. Unfortunately, we've all long graduated from the days of trick-or-treating. This Halloween, we'll have to settle for Netflix and chilling instead.

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The Village (2004)

Haven't had this legendary, but much maligned, M. Night Shyamalan movie spoiled for you yet? Then watch it before it is, because it's only a matter of time. For a quick primer: The Village is about people in the 19th-century town that are terrified of the creatures supposedly lurking in the forest.
Donnie Darko (2001)

Somewhere in the identical plains of suburban America, something strange is happening. Teenager Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is being followed by a life-size, terrifying rabbit. And he's about to be taken for a ride on Time's Arrow. The Halloween season best matches this cult classic's ominous tone.
The Babysitter (2017)

Sit back, and get ready for some good 'ol gory, campy fun. After staying up past his bedtime, Cole (Judah Lewis) finds that his attractive babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving) is the leader of a high school Satanic cult. After sacrificing a few virgins in Cole's living room, they're coming for Cole next. You'll find The Babysitter at the intersection of horror comedy and '80s slasher — a perfect kind of movie for Halloween.
Tales of Halloween (2015)

This anthology of short films will satisfy all of your spooky cravings, which crop up each Halloween. All of the stories are set in the same town, but each features a different supernatural threat. Want some slinking ghouls? Or vampires with their teeth bared? You want it, this amalgamation of urban legends and tall tales has go it.
The Addams Family (1991)

Some families are good at Christmas, with neatly wrapped presents sprawling around a perfectly trimmed tree. The culinary-oriented are good at Thanksgiving. But the eccentric, idiosyncratic Addams family would most certainly excel at the art of Halloween. In the movie, an imposter (Christopher Lloyd) claiming to be Fester, a long-lost Addams family member), attempts to swindle the Addams out of their fortune. While it's not an ostensibly Halloween-themed movie, the Addams and their mansion are certainly creepy. Plus, the movie is full of costume inspo.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Some consider this Tim Burton classic a Christmas movie, but it's definitely infused with the spirit of Halloween. After all, the main character's a suit-wearing skeleton named Jack "The Pumpkin King of Halloween" Skellington! Jack's a resident of Halloween Town (not to be confused with the other Disney classic, Halloween Town), who stumbles into nearby Christmas Town. He tries to recreate the holiday with his community of ghosts and ghouls, but something about Christmas gets lost in translation.
Practical Magic (1998)

Do yourself a favor and whizz right past this movie's Rotten Tomatoes score. Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman) are descended from a long line of witches, who have a family curse. The men they love will all, inevitably, perish. The only way to watch Practical Magic is with your own midnight margarita in hand, a version of the cocktail the sisters and their aunts (also witches) drink.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)

It wouldn't be Halloween without Ichabod Crane, the headless horsemen, and the legend of Sleepy Hollow. In this Tim Burton take on the classic tale, Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane, sent to a small New York town to investigate the recent decapitations of three townsfolk. With its misty graveyards, classic-era Depp, and elaborate Victorian costumes, this may be the most picturesque horror film ever.
Scary Movie 2 (2001)

Tired of real scary movies? Then watch the comedy that lambasts the tired tropes found in teen slashers and the like. Scary Movie 2 puts a ridiculous twist on The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and The Amityville Horror, among others.
The Corpse Bride (2005)

If a woman is going to be raised from the dead and crash a wedding, then it's going to happen on Halloween. Before the shy, endearingly awkward Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) can marry the wealthy Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson) and satisfy his parents' wishes, Emily (Helena Bonham Carter) rises from the dead, determined to marry him. When things don't go as Emily had planned, she drags Victor to the Land of the Dead. So begins a morbidly romantic, realm-spanning love story.
Coraline (2009)

No offense to the slashers and supernatural ghost stories on this list, but this stop-motion kids movie is definitely the scariest selection. What at first is the most thrilling discovery ever — Coraline's (Dakota Fanning) house has a portal to a parallel universe! — turns into something out of a nightmare. The residents of that parallel universe, who resemble her mother and father in almost every way, want to replace Coraline's eyes with buttons and steal her soul. Coraline's pervasive eeriness is unparalleled in any movie geared for adults.
The Babadook (2014)

For Amelia (Essie Davis), the very presence of her seven-year-old son, Sam (Noah Wiseman), is inextricably linked with tragedy. Her husband died in a car accident while driving her to the hospital to give birth. Now, she and Sam live a lonely life in a far-too-creaky, far-too-dark home. A mysterious children's book lands on their doorstep, and Sam becomes convinced that the monster from the book — the Babadook — is haunting them. Though at first Amelia dismisses his fears, she starts seeing visions of the tall, suit-clad monster herself.

Somehow, in the years after the movie's release, the internet worked its magic and turned the Babadook into a gay icon. Word on the Tumblr street is that he and Pennywise the Clown from It are reportedly dating.
The Houses October Built (2014)

You may want to reconsider visiting those gimmicky haunted houses which pop up in warehouses and fields during the month of October. Seizing the spirit of Halloween, the four protagonists of this movie take a road trip to visit the country's scariest haunted houses, and film it as they go. Yet there's something off with the actors in these houses. They take scaring a bit too — seriously. Told in the style of found footage films like The Blair Witch Project, this movie tracks what happens when the haunted houses are designed not just to scare, but to permanently traumatize.
It Follows (2015)

It Follows is an intelligent riff off the horror movie trope that states if a person has sex, he or she is doomed to die. When Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeks with her boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), she discovers she's inherited a sexually transmitted curse that dooms death to creep closer and closer towards her, unless she passes it on too.
Train to Busan (2016)

Snakes on a Plane officially has competition in the "deathly threat in confined spaces" horror subgenre. A man (Gong Yoo) and his daughter (Yu-mi Jung) board a train to Busan, South Korean. Unfortunately, a woman infected with a rapidly acting, zombie-turning virus has also boarded the train. If the father and daughter are going to make it to Busan, the only uninfected city left, they're going to have to figure out how these zombies work — and make some gruesome decisions.
The Invitation (2016)

Let's say a friend who you haven't heard from in years invites you, out of the blue, to her lavish house for a Halloween party. The lesson of The Invitation is, "Don't go."

Will (Logan Marshall-Green) is trying to keep the peace when he accepts his ex-wife Eden's (Tammy Blanchard) invitation, now that she and her new husband (Michiel Huisman) are back from a long stint in Mexico. They're hosting a reunion of their friend group at their beautiful California home. Will can't shake the sense that something is amiss with this party, but he's the only one — at least for a while.
Hush (2016)

You know that itching, aching sensation you get when you're afraid someone's looking over your shoulder? Living in a remote house in the forest, author Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) experiences that sensation – only it's for real. A masked killer (John Gallagher Jr.) appears in Maddie's house, shattering her isolation. The killer is fascinated by Maddie's deafness, and decides to engage her in a game of cat and mouse instead of killing her right away. She's a much more fierce opponent than he had predicted.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)

Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson) narrates this story from the dead, and it'll take some narrative twists and turns to explain how she ended up that way. When the movie begins, she's a 28-year-old nurse moving into a creaky mansion to care for a reclusive author, Iris (Paula Prentiss). A few apparition-sightings later, Lily becomes convinced that the house is haunted, and that the gruesome plots of Iris' novels are based in real life.
Holidays (2016)

The goal of this anthology movie is to forever cast the traditions of your favorite holidays in a creepy light. Each short tells a horror story around a specific holiday, including Halloween. Get ready for a not so jolly Christmas.
The Bar (2017)

The gruesome premise of this Spanish thriller is miles away from being supernatural. Instead, it's born of today's very real anxieties. After hearing gunshots, a group of Madrid natives find themselves trapped in a bar. A sniper in an unidentifiable location shoots anyone who dares to step outside. Get ready for some 21st century dread.
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