Horror obsessives love scary movies all year round, but October is the perfect time for the uninitiated to see what they've been missing. (Or for diehards to rewatch their favorite freaky flicks.) Here's a primer for all the best horror films available now from the big three streaming services.
The only thing more frightening might be this mask.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Robert Rodriguez’s vampire roadhouse flick is a gem. Add it to your queue for Cheech’s pussy speech and Salma Hayek as a stripper. Actually watch it because the entire movie is an outrageous gorefest starring George Clooney with a neck tattoo.
Horror….in spaaaace. Laurence Fishburne, the dude from Jurassic Park and no one else you’d recognize investigate a ship that draws its crew to hell. It’s demented in the best kind of way.
Forever in the shadow of the original, Scream 2 was actually a much sharper movie. Get it? Because of the knives? It didn’t just poke fun at the genre itself—a key to Scream’s fame—it also featured Jamie Kennedy getting brutally killed on a live broadcast, a scene that is not to be missed.
Don’t let the subtitles deter you, Dead Snow is not high-brow. Not unless you consider nazi zombies invading a ski party weekend high-brow, that is. Turns out screaming in Norwegian because a zombie is eating you sounds a whole lot like screaming in English because a zombie is eating you. You barely notice the subtitles.
This modern Frankenstein story was the first time we heard of Hans Gruber (no relation to the Die Hard villain, sadly.) Horror-comedy needs more movies like this.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
We scoured all the streaming services and this was the only Freddy Krueger movie we found which is shocking because there were at least 80 of them made over the past three decades. Still, Elm Street and its resident dream invader needs to be here however we can get them.
The series seems to be going on forever but, in the original Hellraiser, horror gets weirdly entangled with S&M. It makes for...interesting results but it also introduced the world to the iconic Pinhead and for that we are truly grateful.
Strangers stuck in an elevator and one of them is the devil himself. It’s a great premise carried through moderately well by M. Night Shyamalan.
It’s not often a horror movie makes it into mainstream pop culture but when you make a movie about a mad scientist sewing people together, mouth to butt, you’re bound to be a phenomenon.
28 Days Later
The movie that made it cool for zombies to move fast, 28 Days Later brought brain-eating to Britain with nightmarish results.
Deep Blue Sea
Spoiler; Samuel L. Jackson gives a fantastic pump-up speech right in the middle of this movie about an underwater lab being ravaged by sharks and then immediately gets eaten by a shark. This movie is really crap—not always a bad thing in horror—but that scene makes it all worthwhile.
Mmmmmm, Natalie Dormer. Even when she's running for her life in a haunted forest, she's still so hot.
I Am Legend
Everyone agrees that Richard Matheson’s original book has the better ending but Will Smith’s last-man-in-NYC shtick is enough to give anyone a serious case of the heebie-jeebies.
John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars
Ice Cube, Jason Statham and Natasha Henstridge were all definitely snubbed for Oscar nominations in this horror...ummm...what’s the opposite of a masterpiece? Cube steals the show here with unforgettable lines like, “C’mon, you mindless motherfuckers!”
Before he was Coach, Craig T. Nelson got haunted in this horror classic about a family who moves in with a bunch of really pissed off ghosts.
Wes Craven Presents Dracula 2000
This bloodsucking flick serves two purposes. 1 - It reminds us why we still like Jonny Lee Miller and Gerard Butler. 2 - It answers the question of whether or not Vitamin C and Jennifer Esposito would be hot as vampires. They are.
Eli Roth is probably best known for Hostel but would never have been able to make that if he hadn’t succeeded with Cabin Fever first. Full of horror tropes and more gory than scary, it’s a blood-covered homage to movies that probably twisted Roth’s mind in the first place.
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Kevin Bacon thought this worm monster movie would hurt a career that Footloose helped launch. Little did he know it would actually help him reach a new audience that, until that point, mostly hated him for Footloose.
Giant monsters descend on NYC. The shaky cam almost nauseated us enough to hate this movie. The fact that Silicon Valley’s own Erlich Bachman (TJ Miller) is the one holding the camera the entire movie totally redeems it.
Period pieces are already creepy. Period pieces that are intentionally psychological horror movies are even creepier. We didn’t know what we got ourselves into when we saw The Others in theaters but we left knowing that Nicole Kidman can pull off scary as well as she can pull of sexy.
On release, The Faculty boasted an all-star teenage cast. In retrospect, it’s a good ol’ fashioned, high school horror romp that’s surprisingly rewatchable thanks to that same cast. Who doesn’t want to see Usher or Jordana Brewster go full pod-person?
Roman Polanski’s classic about a woman carrying Satan’s spawn. If you haven’t seen this movie, watch it now. If you have, watch it again.
Good to see some Stephen King on this list, finally. We have zero use for the 2013 remake as long as the original 1976 version is available to stream, pig’s blood and all.