The weather's getting colder, orange and black are everywhere, and everyone's debating whether candy corn is delicious or literal devil's food. It can only mean one thing: It's Halloween – and it just wouldn't be spooky season without watching a scary movie or seven.
If none of the big screen scares are giving you goosebumps, you can find plenty of the chills, blood spills, ghouls, ghosts, slashers, jumps and bumps in the night you're looking for on the small screen, scaring you senseless from the comfort of your own couch. But which ones are good? And where can you find them across the 471 streaming services that now exist?
To help, here are 100 good spooky movies to watch this Halloween, gathering together some of the best horror movies currently available across the major streaming platforms – from gory greats to kid-friendly freakiness, creepy classics to today's finest terrors, horror comedies to terrors that'll rattle your soul. Some are funny. Some are freaky. Some are for the family. And some about murderous robo-dolls with killer dance moves. But they're all outstanding excuses to lose sleep and quadruple check the door locks this Halloween season.
Here are 100 good spooky movies worth a
scream stream this Halloween.
(Bonus tip: If you really want to binge on boos this holiday weekend, check out Shudder, a streaming service dedicated entirely to horror and suspense. I didn't include them here because, well, it'd probably take up the entire list since horror is all they do – but if you're really craving chills, there are few places better to peruse.)
"Cam": A camgirl (Madeline Brewer, "The Handmaid's Tale") makes an alarming discovery on her profile. No, not an especially creepy guy – a mysterious twin that's taken her place and wants to ruin her life. A perfectly creepy choice for these tech-dependent times.
"Gerald’s Game": A sexy escape turns scary when a woman (Carla Gugino) is stuck handcuffed to a bed after her husband suddenly dies of a heart attack, leaving her trapped and alone ... or maybe not THAT alone. Modern horror movie maestro Mike Flanagan teams up with Stephen King novel for this Netflix original that's impressively creepy (and awfully cringe-inducing for those particularly attached to their hands).
"Get Out": When Jordan Peele made his move from comedy to creepiness, he sure made his mark. His debut horror hit – about a Black man on an increasingly creepy visit his white girlfriend's family – was a box office smash and even got acclaim from the Academy, winning a rare horror Oscar in the process. And you know what? It deserves all the flowers it received, blending cutting horror with a dash of comedy and just plain crowd-pleasing entertainment.
"The Haunting of Hill House": What's that you say? This is a horror mini-series, not a movie? You're right! Also: I don't care! Whether it's a movie or TV series, Mike Flanagan (this guy again!) and his eerie adaptation of the celebrated haunted house story certainly deserve a spot on your spooky streaming to-do list.
"His House": Modestly one of the best movies of 2020, this small Netflix Original horror gem delivers an incredibly powerful and twisty story about a refugee couple trying to start a new life in Britain while coping with terrors of their journey as well as coping with the terrors living in the walls of their new flat.
"It Follows": Sex has always been a dangerous activity in horror movies, but never quite as literally as in this immensely intense hit indie horror winner about a teenage girl who suddenly finds herself on the run from a slow-moving, shape-shifting and contagious menace passed on by a bad date.
"Jaws": Not that anyone's planning on going to a beach at the end of October, but you'll DEFINITELY nix any plans for a swim after watching this iconic and still wildly entertaining horror blockbuster horror from Steven Spielberg. And for something truly terrifying – albeit for a very different reason – several of the sequels are on Netflix too.
"Ouija: Origin of Evil": Here's potentially the biggest shock of all the entries on this list: The sequel to the miserable "Ouija" movie is actually astonishingly good, a creepy origin tale that's got plenty of terror as well as a surprising amount of character and feeling. Who could've pulled off this miracle – oh, Mike Flanagan, of course.
"The Strangers": A gem amongst modern horror movies, this 2008 low-key but high-intensity freakout stars Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a regular couple staying in for the night when they get visited by three masked strangers passing the time by playing murder games. Truly a nightmarishly real horror movie as the killers creep slowly and quietly into the frame, closer and closer to our leads. It's the spooky season good stuff.
"Under the Shadow": This spooky Iranian horror/thriller is a truly hidden gem on the Big Red Streaming Monolith, but don't miss this scary story of a mother and daughter hiding in their apartment from the revolution and war ongoing outside only to discover a mysterious presence menacing them from the inside.
"Unfriended": I know you're probably tired of looking at video calls on computer screens, but make an exception for this lean, mean techno horror thriller about a bunch of teens who get picked off one by one during a Skype call gone supernaturally wrong.
"Us": What sophomore slump? "Get Out" genius Jordan Peele's follow-up – about a family attacked by their mysterious twins – is just as much an impecccable combination of haunting horror imagery, masterful craft with both laughs and scares, and smart, incisive social commentary as his Oscar-winning debut.
"28 Weeks Later": This zombie movie sequel may not have been as much of a genre-changing breakthrough as its predecessor – but it's still a remarkably intense horror thriller, following Britain as it attempts to rebuild after the Rage virus burned through its society. But what's past quickly becomes present in this mean, lean, tensely vivid update (with performances from future stars Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner and Imogen Poots).
"Alien": One of the greats of science fiction, Ridley Scott's "haunted house in space" thriller hasn't lost any of its eerily grandiose presence, impressively nightmarish design or coldly spine-chilling craft.
"The Autopsy of Jane Doe": Brian Cox ("Succession") and Emile Hirsch star in this sly, creepy, slow burn of a horror thriller about two coroners who find there's something suspicious about their latest mysterious cadaver. I mean, any movie that takes place almost entirely in a morgue has to be at least a little creepy.
"Barbarian": I feel very confident in saying that, if you haven't seen this surprise 2022 hit about a young woman on an AirBnb stay that takes a few turns, you'll have no idea where it's going to take you next. Funny and freaky simultaneously, book a stay at "Barbarian" this spooky season.
"Escape Room": Eager to check out an escape room? You'll be significantly less eager after this surprisingly entertaining and creatively creepy "Saw"-lite horror flick about a band of strangers brought to a special escape room. What makes it special? Its ability to murder its players, of course!
"Monster House": Before he went off to make "Community" on TV, writer Dan Harmon helped create this animated haunted house adventure about a trio of kids trying to defeat a creepy house that's also a monster.
"The Night": Vague name but an actually quite good horror movie from the current decade, about two parents bunkering down in a hotel after a night out – only for the hotel to transform into a house of terrors as the evening gets darker with no dawn in sight. Understated but with some really strong shivers.
"No One Will Save You": This brand new home invasion thriller is low on dialogue – literally, I believe there's one sentence of dialogue the entire running time – but high on creative chills and surprisingly epic sprawl, following a young woman (a captivating Kaitlyn Dever) whose lonely life gets uncomfortably crowded when aliens come by for a visit.
"Prey": The first "Predator" movie is good – and now, after a few decades lost in the dark (quite literally, in the case of "AVP:R"), the latest "Predator" movie is good, following a young Native American warrior who discovers an invisible, neon-bleeding intergalactic demon hunting in their midst. It's a bloody good time – especially once the Predator meets some other invaders of the French-Canadian variety – that's unlike anything else in the franchise. Or many other franchises, for that matter.
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show": If you somehow can't make it to the historic and hysterical traditional screening at Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre, binge this ultimate cult classic – about a couple who get stuck in a diabolical house filled with monsters and musical numbers – at home thanks to Hulu. At home on the couch, there's no excuse to not sing along!
"Se7en": Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman chase down a serial killer punishing sins in elaborately grim and gruesome fashion in this still-thrilling slick '90s hit, courtesy of David Fincher. It's so good, we as a nation allowed the movie to replace the letter V with a seven in the title.
"American Psycho": A blisteringly satirical tale of psychotic cutthroat greed in the '80s that turns literally cutthroat thanks to its cold-as-frostbite (and just as deadly) lead Patrick Bateman, played by a deranged, dead-eyed Christian Bale in one of his breakthrough performances.
"The Birds": You know you can't make a list of scary movie selections without the The Master of Suspense – and even though "The Birds" doesn't hold up quite as well as some of Alfred Hitchcock's other legendary work, it's still an eerie experience that makes the mundane menacing – and makes the most of its potentially ridiculous scenario.
"Black Christmas": Already in the Christmas spirit? Well let's see what this horrifying holiday classic – directed by Bob Clark, who amusingly also directed "A Christmas Story" – can do about that, slaying a number of sorority girls just trying to celebrate the festive season and catching the eye of an unknown killer.
"The Bride of Frankenstein": Peacock has the original "Frankenstein," and that's a flashback worth a freaky Friday night for sure – but I'll save this spot for the sequel, which adds an iconic lightning-haired leading lady to its mix of science-induced horrors.
"Candyman": Sure, there's the new sequel from Jordan Peele and director Nia DaCosta ("Little Woods") from 2021, but you can do better with this cult horror hit about a murderous legend who kills you if you say his name five times in a mirror.
"Dawn of the Dead": George A. Romero's mall-set zombie triumph remains king, but Zack Snyder's feature film debut is still a speedy, violent and scary sprint through the original concept – and (*whispers*) still Snyder's best movie.
"Frenzy": One of Alfred Hitchcock's final films is also one of his most underappreciated – and scuzziest for that matter, a grimy and grim thriller about a London man wrongly accused of being a serial strangler.
"The House of the Devil": Ti West's slow-burn horror trip about a babysitter taking a job with a family that keeps getting stranger and stranger may look and feel like an old-school buried gem, but it's actually just over a decade old! West's throwback thriller looks and feels authentic to its influences while summoning its own fresh scares.
"The Invisible Man": The classic horror story villain got a remarkably tense and immaculately crafted refresh just in 2020, starring Elisabeth Moss as a young woman trying to escape her abusive and controlling boyfriend who also may or may not be able to turn invisible.
"The Invitation": "A group of friends gather for a wine night" is practically already a premise for a horror movie if you hate hosting. But this outstanding 2016 psychological thriller takes the tension to another level when ... well, I don't want to spoil the surprises. Just watch this tremendous movie.
"Jurassic Park": Dinosaurs! They're awesome. But they're much more awesome now that they're all extinct and not able to violently hunt and murder us for sustenance. And if you need convincing on that point, here's the shriek-inducing iconic Spielberg blockbuster "Jurassic Park."
"The Mist": Stephen King's novella about a town suddenly imprisoned by a thick mysterious fog – and the vicious creatures hiding within – comes to life in this 2007 Frank Darabont thriller, complete with a savage finale that'll haunt you even more than the mist monsters. (Though they're really freaky and unsettling as well.)
"Night of the Living Dead": George A. Romero's black-and-white socially conscious zombie classic, about disparate people attempting to fight off the undead while also fighting each other, is as essential as it was when it first came out and shocked audiences back in 1968.
"The People Under the Stairs": Wes Craven's created some of the genre's most indeliable devils – but this one, about a young boy who discovers horrors hiding under his landlord's stairs, is one of most effective and most underrated efforts.
"Phantasm": On its face, "Phantasm" doesn't sound all that strange – a young boy discovers a strange evil lurking his small town – but Don Coscarelli's cult favorite freakout is actually one of the more odd horror films that have made their way into canon. There's a flying silver knife ball! It's otherworldly and great!
"Psycho": Oh hey, it's more Alfred Hitchcock – this time in the form of probably his most famous thriller, the movie that made showers terrifying and shocked audiences, then and still now. Watch the master with some of his best work – and then stock up on deodorant because you probably won't be showering much afterward.
"Slither": Before he made massive crowd-pleasing blockbusters with chatty raccoons, Troma-bred writer-director James Gunn made this gooey, gross and hilariously nasty horror comedy about a small town that gets invaded by hungry alien slugs.
"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre": Rev up some old-school nastiness with Tobe Hooper's iconic 1974 horror classic about a band of friends who come upon a mask-wearing murderous weirdo and his favorite yardwork tool. There's been plenty of sequels and reboots, but the original still can't be beat for raw, unvarnished terror.
"The Thing": John Carpenter's ice-cold horror thriller about a bunch of arctic scientists suddenly finding themselves bunking with an uninvited body-snatching alien was a masterpiece then – and is still a masterpiece now, complete with great memorable performances, iconic tension, a smart screenplay that gets under your skin and some of the most ingeniously gnarly special effects one can find. Maybe let the dog sleep outside the bedroom after this one ...
"Train to Busan": We've got your next favorite foreign language hit right here with "Train to Busan," a horror-thriller about a bunch of train passengers trying to fend off zombies on their trip. And you thought YOUR commute sucks!
"Videodrome": Master of body horror David Cronenberg nastily plugs his audience into a TV nightmare with this shiver-inducing story about a TV exec who finds a television entertainment that's bizarre – and possibly murderous. Maybe a movie you don't want to watch streaming on your screen at home ... or maybe that just makes it freakier.
"Zombieland": Zombie apocalypses: not known for being a fun time. But that's not the case in this bloody and bawdy horror comedy about a nebbish guy (Jesse Eisenberg) teaming up with a redneck (Woody Harrelson) and two sisters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) to survive the zombie apocalypse – and hopefully find a Twinkie.
"A Nightmare on Elm Street": One of the most genius concepts for a horror movie ever imagined – a monster who kills you in your dreams, forcing his victims to stay awake or die – is still outstanding nightmare fuel in one of the most iconic slashers in film history.
"Annabelle: Creation": Of all the "Conjuring" movie spin-offs and sequels, this 2017 entry – following the origins of the famous possessed doll – is the best of the bunch, a very entertaining haunted house thrill ride with plenty of spooks and scares.
"Beetlejuice": Michael Keaton stars as Beetlejuice, the loud and twisted undead unspirit summoned by fellow undead couple Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis after an obnoxious couple moves into their old house in one of Tim Burton's early breakout successes. Fun fact: He originally wanted to cast Sammy Davis Jr. as ... uh oh, sorry, I already said it twice.
"The Brood": A series of gruesome slayings sends a man to visit his ex-wife under a psychologist's care, wondering if she knows more about the cases than one might imagine, in one of David Cronenberg's lesser known body horror gems.
"The Cabin in the Woods": A trip to a cabin in the woods goes bad for an attractive batch of friends. Sounds like a story you've probably heard before – but never quite like this in this hilarious meta-deconstruction of horror tropes.
"Carnival of Souls": An inspiration to uneasy movies ever since its release in the early '60s, "Carnival of Souls" – about a woman who starts a new life after a car accident but finds herself pulled toward a creepy carnival nevertheless – puts the audience in that horror movie dream state, where reality and nightmare blend into one and something's tickling your brain to tell you the world isn't right. You know: horror movie perfection!
"The Conjuring": Impeccably crafted old school haunts become a new hit in this 2013 horror blockbuster about two exorcists and ghost hunters who try to help a family menaced by a whole house filled with annoying and angry demons. And if that's not enough, there's also an evil doll playing mean tricks on innocent people. Jeez, form an orderly queue, devils ...
"Constantine": Sure, it's a comic book movie and maybe not jump scary, but this wildly underrated and under-appreciated comic book thriller about Keanu Reeves battling incognito demons with holy relics is very much worth a watch and worth the nightmares concocted by its ominous hellspawn and imagery. It's clever, creative, creepy, cool AND it has Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare as the Angel Gabriel and Satan, respectively.
"The Descent": Are you scared of the dark? "The Descent" is the movie for you. Are you claustrophobic and afraid of tight spaces? "The Descent" is the movie for you. Are you afraid of creepy, drippy, unpredictable caves? "The Descent" is the movie for you. Are you afraid of evil people-eating monsters? "The Descent" is the movie for you. Are you afraid of blood? "The Descent" is the movie for you. In general, if you want to be scared, "The Descent" is for you.
"Diabolique": Two women have the ultimate plan to get rid of the awful headmaster controlling their lives: murder. There's just one problem: His dead body has disappeared. This influential French horror favorite is well over half a century old, but still holds up as a solid mystery shocker.
"Eraserhead": Idiosyncratic writer-director David Lynch made an unforgettable splash with his debut surreal nightmare about a man trying to make his way through a terrifyingly Kafka-esque world of horrors.
"Eyes Without a Face": You may not have heard of this French horror icon, but you've almost certainly seen its title character's face – or lack thereof – since it's one of the more quietly unsettling images on screen. The rest of the film is just as unnerving, as the lead discovers the disturbing behavior her doctor father has done trying to fix the disfigurement he caused.
"Friday the 13th": One of the most iconic slasher flicks of all time, the original "Friday the 13th" follows a bunch of rowdy and raunchy summer campers having to battle a masked murderer (but not hockey-masked!) who disapproves of their youthful exuberance. What a party pooper.
"Hereditary": Director Ari Aster made quite an impression with his chilling, critically lauded hit indie horror film about a grieving mother (a great Toni Collette) who begins to notice strange things happening around her family. A tense melodrama mixes with eerie horror in this chill-inducing winner.
"House": How crazy could a haunted house movie simply called "House" be, you ask? The most crazy. Bugnuts. Bizonkers. This 1977 cult favorite has earned a reputation as one of the giddiestly strange horror comedies ever made – and it does not disappoint in the brain-breaking lunacy department. Case in point: A character turns into a pile of bananas. But actually.
"Insidious": Before there was "The Conjuring," there was "Insidious," an equally freaky throwback-style horror flick with old-school style haunts given new (undead) life by director James Wan, telling a story about a family whose son falls into a menacing ghost-induced spectral coma.
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers": Most horror remakes are a bad idea. This is one of the exceptions, taking the timeless premise of the 1950s original – aliens are taking over humans, invading their minds and emotions without leaving a trace – and all the fear it implies, and updating the ideas and craft for the late '70s.
"It": Forget the mess of a sequel and stick with the smash hit first movie, following a band of misfit kids as they fend off a fear-eating (not to mention kid-eating) clown.
"Malignant": This kooky James Wan ("The Conjuring") project didn't make much of a dent at the box office, but for those who saw it, they discovered a new automatic horror cult classic. Kind of creepy, kind of campy, all entertaining – if you're looking for a devious Halloween delight this season, keep this film in the back of your mind.
"Poltergeist": Whether it was Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg who directed it, whoever did the job did some great iconic work in this classic '80s chill ride about a family who discovers their new home is a ghastly haven for ghosts. An iconic haunted house tale that mixes supernatural wonder with otherworldly terror.
"Predator": Is it an action franchise or a horror franchise? Considering it involves humans getting their spines and skulls ripped out of their body by an interstellar bounty hunter with a crab face, we're gonna confidently go with the latter. No matter if you're craving scares or 'splosions, "Predator" fits the bill.
"Scanners": You know that GIF with the guy on TV with the violently exploding head? This one right here? Turns out there's a whole movie around it – and it's really, really good, as you'd expect with body-horror master David Cronenberg telling a story of battling psychics.
"Scream": No, not the new ones (they're fine!) but the original '90s Wes Craven game-changer that brought meta into the slasher madness and, in the process, rejuvenated the genre with clever commentary, smart twists and – of course – genuinely scary moments that'll make all audiences ... well, it's right there in the title.
"The Shining": No big deal, it's only the best horror movie ever made, a hauntingly crafted and chillingly alien descent into madness starring one of the most frightening performances put on a screen as well as one of the most authentically frightened. It's just so freaking good, even all these decades later.
"Signs": A lot of people have mocked M. Night Shyamalan's crop circle creepout over the years – but "Signs" still delivers the immaculately crafted spine-tingles with an affecting human story to go with the extraterrestrial bumps and jumps.
"The Silence of the Lambs": Feast on all the Halloween candy you didn't hand out this year with everyone's favorite dinner guest in this delicious Oscar-winning serial killer saga. (And for more streaming cannibal fun, check out "Hannibal" the TV show on Hulu. So gorgeously gory – and all somehow on broadcast television!)
"Sisters": Brian De Palma loved Alfred Hitchcock so it's no wonder he pays him such homage through his career – including one of his earliest thrillers, a stylish and spine-tingling murder mystery about a woman trying to solve the murder she believes she saw across the way and the formerly conjoined sisters who may have done it.
"Sleepy Hollow": An under-appreciated spooky scary tale from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (back when that combination was exciting, not exhausting), "Sleepy Hollow" is a wildly gorgeous and gory take on the legendary Halloween tale of the headless horseman.
"Trick 'r Treat": Buried upon its release but uncovered by scare fans, this cult favorite horror anthology – featuring four creepy Halloween-set tales – is definitely more treat than trick for those looking for streaming frights this weekend.
"Under the Skin": One of the finest movies of the past decade, "Under the Skin" is a fully eerie sci-fi drama about an alien creature in the form of Scarlett Johansson roaming Irish streets and hunting young men. Scary, haunting, elusive and gorgeous, it's unlike much else you've seen.
"The Witch": If bonus dread is what you're looking for during these strange times, try out this excellent horror-filled blast to the past – the 17th century, to be exact, as a family of religious settlers (including Anya Taylor-Joy, in a star-making turn) is menaced by a mysterious witch from the nearby woods.
"You're Next": A rich family gathering goes wrong when masked intruders start picking off people and forcing them to defend for themselves in this grimly funny horror comedy.
"Hocus Pocus": Remember when Disney made weird original movies? This kid-friendly cult favorite, about some teens having to fight off three goofy resurrected witches, has exploded in popularity over the past decade ... so of course they made a sequel with significantly less fun and freedom about it.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas": The movie that lanuched a thousand Hot Topic hoodies, Henry Selick's (no, not Tim Burton's) stop-motion animation cult phenomenon is both a Halloween favorite and a Christmas favorite, telling the tale of holiday creatures learning – and maybe trying to invade – each other's worlds.
"Return to Oz": Kids movies don't come much creepier than this "Wizard of Oz" sequel about Dorothy escaping a mental health asylum and electroshock therapy by heading back to the world of Oz, which has been invaded by menacing monsters called wheelers and a princess who steals people's heads. And you thought the Wicked Witch was scary ...
Amazon Prime Video
"Child’s Play": It's not as much of a classic as the original, but this remake – featuring Luke Skywalker himself as the voice of its Chucky stand-in, Buddi – is still a pretty clever and often gnarly take on its killer doll tale, skipping the supernatural angle for a horror story about our tech obsession.
"Children of the Corn": Kids these days, always hiding in cornfields and murdering all of the adults in their town in the hopes of a good corn harvest. Not a fan, I tell you! (But I am a fan of this '80s Stephen King horror hit.)
"Deep Blue Sea": This goofy and good-time of a shark attack movie about some very dumb scientists making super-sharks (because ... something involving Alzheimer's?) is a spooky season must-watch simply for Samuel L. Jackson's iconic and inspirational speech scene.
"Dracula": Prime Video actually offers quite the supply of classic monster movies, including the original "Invisible Man" and "The Mummy." But Dracula, featuring the timeless Bela Lugosi, might be the best of the bunch.
"Hellraiser": It may have a ton of very bad, no good sequels, but horror icon Clive Barker's original "Hellraiser" is still a surreal, unsettling and bloody thrill about some people who accidentally resurrect a pin-covered demon monster and his equally nasty buddies from the underworld with the help of a Pandora's box. You'd be a mean supernatural hellbeast too if your skull was covered in pins!
"House on Haunted Hill": Director William Castle was one of the great horror hucksters of cinema, a man as excellent at selling scares as he was capturing them on screen – and he never did the latter better than in this '50s creepout about a couple (led by the unforgettable Vincent Price) paying guests $10,000 to stay in their haunted mansion. Pro tip: $10,000 isn't worth much if you don't get out alive!
"Let the Right One In": This creepy Swedish import takes a new angle on the overdone vampire subgenre, telling the story of a lonely little boy who befriends a young blood-thirsty vampire who's moved in next door. It's an atmospheric dread-inducer with one killer finale.
"Mama": Before he stepped in to direct "It" and create one of the most successful horror movies of all time (we don't speak of the sequel), Andy Muschietti made his name with this solid gothic-infused spook-fest starring Jessica Chastain as a mom trying to keep her kids away from a possessive spirit.
"Megan": This techno-horror satire went viral earlier this year – but it actually merits its internet fame, telling the story of a friendly robot companion that quickly turns killer. The movie delivers some mean scares (even if it's PG-13) while being both as silly as you want it to be and a little smarter than it needs to be.
"The Neon Demon": A most slick and fashionable thriller about a young model (Elle Fanning) who becomes a star in Los Angeles only to be devoured by the industry and her rivals. Do I mean that literally? Watch the movie and find out!
"Saint Maud": Unfortunately buried in the release confusion of the pandemic, this creepy and chilling indie horror gem – following a young nurse who falls into a religious madness trying to save her ward – can now be comfortably found on Prime Video.
"A Quiet Place": Shhhhhhh! The sequel is good too, but you should make sure to start with the original tiptoeingly tense hit, about a family trying to survive monsters that are attracted to sound, on Paramount+ as we speak. Or, uh, whisper. Who knew Jim from "The Office" had such a dark streak?
"The Addams Family": They're creepy, and they're kooky – and in 1991, they became live action with a star-studded cast (Raul Julia! Anjelica Huston! Christopher Lloyd! Christina Ricci!) bringing the famed Halloween-themed cartoon to the big screen in fun, freaky style. And as an added bonus, "Addams Family Values" is on this streaming service too!
"Annihilation": Alex Garland's "Men" was a bummer from last year – but that just means you should revisit his previous movie, this outstanding 2018 sci-fi brain-melter about a crew of scientists (Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and more) exploring a strange and dangerous yet hypnotically beautiful alien space called The Shimmer. My second favorite movie of 2018, if that counts for anything, as well as my least favorite cinematic bear!
"The Blair Witch Project": Don't hold it against this cultural phenomenon that most of the found footage horror movies that came after it were nightmares – and not in the way we wanted. "The Blair Witch Project" still holds up as remarkably tense, simply effective, eerily authentic, lo-fi nightmare fuel as three filmmakers venture into a nearby forest – if only they could find the way out.
"Crawl": French extreme horror master and shlock supreme Alexandre Aja ("Piranha 3-D") goes from tiny man-eating fish to anonther, slightly larger man-munching aquatic monster with this tight, tense thriller about a girl trapped in a crumbling house with a bunch of angry alligators. And in case that wasn't enough, there's a hurricane outside. Man, when it rains, it pours – literally.
"Marathon Man": In case you didn't hate going to the dentist enough, there's this iconic, and still tremendously intense, paranoid thriller about a lowly grad student (Dustin Hoffman) who stumbles into the path of a cold, cruel former Nazi doctor (Laurence Olivier) who thinks he holds the clue to his missed diamonds.
"The Ring": We may not use video tapes anymore, but Gore Verbinski's horror remake hit sure still is crawl-under-your-skin scary. It's definitely worth a revisit – and then be sure to pass along the recommendation within seven days. Just to be safe.
"Smile": What could be creepy about a smile? Answer: EVERYTHING. This surprise smash hit from last year follows a young woman haunted by a creepy smile everywhere she goes – a teeth-bearing plague that turns out to have a haunted history. It's a mean little "Ring"-like riff that should get horror fans grinning.
"War of the Worlds": Thanks to Tom Cruise's couch-hopping ... peculiarities, audiences and critics weren't entirely kind to Steven Spielberg's apocalyptic adaptation – but time and distance has been far kinder. Watch it now, and find a immaculately crafted (that Spielberg, good at his job), spine-chilling look at a world in terrifying chaos. Just maybe shut it on mute whenever the son is on screen – we were right about that part back in 2005.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.