See what I did there? Pretty clever, eh? Anyhoo, tis the season to get scary so I felt like it was my job…NAY my responsibility to let everyone know the best scary movies to stream on some services that you probably already have. These are just a few of the horde of movies of said streaming services, mind you, but since I am an opinionated person I’ll give you all the hits from my personal selection. Since we just loooooove lists here at Free for All, so I’ll count ’em down for ya. Also, check the bottom of the post and I’ll give you some horror movies that are not nearly as good as advertised; it is Overrated October after all! So, without further ado, here…we…GO!
13. Scanners (Hulu)
This classic from the 1980’s was one of the first sci-fi horror movies. Some may think that this is severely dated and sorta cheesy…and they would be right. There are some good frights here, but the big sell is the amazing (and pretty famous) head explosion scene. Given that this was practical effects and not in any way associated with computers is all the more impressive. It’s worth the watch just for that.
12. American Psycho (Hulu)
Most people attribute true psychological breakdowns with Jack Nicholson’s Shining performance or even Heath Ledger’s Joker, but you cannot discount the stunning acting job from Christian Bale here. His truly terrifying performance put him on the map as an actor and solidified his rep as someone with massive range. It’s a scary movie but more in a “Crap, that can really happen!” kind of scary. Check it out…but you may to leave the lights on.
11. The Evil Dead 2 (Hulu)
Of the three original Evil Dead movies, this is the clear front runner. A lot of people enjoy Army of Darkness due to its camp and quotable lines but it wouldn’t even exist without what made this series, and Sam Raimi’s/Bruce Campbell’s careers, a cult hit. Sure, the first Evil Dead was much scarier and ED2 was more of a comedic remake of the first, but really sold the camp and over acting as intentional schlock. There are so many classic scenes in this movie, it’s hard pick out one that stands out. It’s good.
10. V/H/S (Netflix, Amazon Instant)
This anthology style found footage cult horror classic is a classic streaming success. A group of idiot teens break into a dead man’s house and start playing creepy VHS tapes with different scary scenario in each before something terrible (of course) happens to them. There are varying degrees of scariness here, but the original was successful enough to spawn two sequels in less than two years.
9. Tucker and Dale vs Evil (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant)
More comedy than scares, this flick is a fantastic tongue in cheek look at cheesy 80s horror movies. Tucker and Dale are both just simple, backwoods folks who rescue a girl from drowning. This girl, along with her her stupid college friends, assume that both Tucker and Dale (being the backwoods, crazed hillbillies that they appear to be) are homicidal maniacs that want to string them up. Of course, both Tucker and Dale are good people and nurse the girl back to health. The funniest moments come when the girl’s friends come to rescue her from her sadistic captors. It’s good fun.
8. Children of the Corn (Hulu, Netflix)
Adults beware: Isaac is on the hunt! This cult hit is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name and revolves around a town where children are the only residents…but that’s because they kill anyone that is 19 years of age or older. And in some seriously gruesome ways. The rationale behind all of this is a little out of left (corn) field but is deliciously King in his prime. This movie makes it a little nerve racking to be in a small town…or around kids…or around corn fields.
7. Grave Encounters (Netflix)
Yet another in a trend of found footage horror movies, this one gets it right almost from the start. A group of (dumb) film makers enter an abandoned insane asylum feel like it’s a good idea to investigate this reportedly “most haunted building on earth”. As expected, nothing goes right and these meat targets are running for their lives quickly. Some truly horrifying imagery, which are all the more scary in night vision, along with a ton of jump scares make this an easy choice for this list.
6. World War Z (Netflix, Amazon Instant)
I am typically not a fan of running style zombies, it’s even more dumb than zombies in general (…they’re dead! How could they possible run?), but World War Z is so well made that it didn’t even matter. An overall supremely well made movie, WWZ highlights what a good zombie movie should be: well acted, excruciatingly tense and with almost impossible odds. Check it out.
5. Halloween (Amazon Instant)
One of the older movies on the list and a classic movie in its own right, Halloween still holds up very well. This slasher flick, which typically gets overlooked (most people think of Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th when discussing this genre), has plenty of scares in it even by today’s standards. Michael Myers, starting out as just a non-eternal serial killer, is scary just standing there, but Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance sells it even more. The theme song alone is worth the price of admission.
4. An American Werewolf in London (Hulu)
I loooooove this movie. Werewolf movies in general are not all that scary, but American Werewolf was the opposite of the joke those movies have become lately. Filled with jump scares, gore and some truly amazing effects (not to mention some pretty funny moments) American Werewolf is classic for a reason. It is stunning to know that so many people haven’t seen this movie; if you have Hulu and a couple of hours you should definitely check this flick out.
3. The Cabin in the Woods (Netflix, Amazon Instant)
What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? Joss Whedon’s take on the horror genre and all of the absurdity that comes along with it is nothing short of genius. Never taking itself seriously, Cabin is filled with industry in jokes and never takes its tongue from its cheek. Several excellent acting jobs solidify this as top notch horror movie.
2. Event Horizon (Netflix, Amazon Instant)
You want to be cared this Halloween? Check out Event Horizon. This movie scared the crap out of me when I first saw it and still does today. Criminally under watched, Event Horizon is the story of a demonically possessed space ship…and is terrifying. Some great performances by Sam Neil and Lawrence Fishburne, along with one of the creepiest settings in all of movies. Some of the scenes kept me up at night for several days, especially that damn tape they find. Good lord.
1. Scream (Netflix, Amazon Instant)
The modern horror movie would not be what it is without Scream. Sure the series has declined severely over the years, but the original was not only scary but shined a light on what horror movies were prior to the modern era. Ghost Face is a modern day classic slasher and a new costume fave for teens. The opening scene where Drew Barrymore is hunted and slaughtered is a modern day classic for any genre and is worth the watch just for that. The scares, the gore and the fantastic twist ending make this the clear number one on this list. If you haven’t seen the original Scream…what are you waiting for?
Overrated October Selections
These are a selection of “scary” movies that people for some reason, none of which I get. I neither recommend these movies or anything about them, thus the omission of the streaming services that they are available on. If you like these movies, then our budding friendship is over…
This movie just isn’t scary. There’s plenty of gore and Pinhead is a cool enough looking villain, but I have no idea why it’s so beloved. You want a slasher flick? Watch Halloween or Scream. You want a demonic presence? Watch Event Horizon. Otherwise, pass on this.
4. Anything Paranormal Activity
There is nothing scary about these movies. Sure the first one ushered in the “Nanny Cam” horror movie subgenre (not to mention reaction videos), but in the end who cares?
3. The Blair Witch Project
Need a two hour horror movie where you never see the villain? Well, then this is the movie for you! A classic example of over hype, this movie is still one of the more profitable of all time. I guess there are more suckers out there than I thought…
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Now, don’t get me wrong…I loved the original. However, Leatherface (being a pretty frightening figure is his own right) has been rebooted and retooled so many times it’s hard to keep track. Also, there is noooooo way people can be that stupid, right? How can a three hundred pound psychopath with a chainsaw sneak up on someone???
1. Rosemary’s Baby
This movie is not only not scary, it sucks. Out loud. I’ve never been more disappointed in a movie than Rosemary’s Baby. This over-hyped critical darling is a snooze fest and has no redeemable value to whatsoever. For the love of (insert preferred deity here), please watch something else this Halloween. Unless you are very, very old or have a heart condition, then this movie is for you.