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Halloween movies are a thrilling watch year-round, but there’s no better time to enjoy them than when chillier temperatures settle in. Especially this year, with the like trick-or-treating, you might need something to transport you to fictional places where the horrifying stuff isn’t actually real. (We all cope differently, right?)changing the way we partake in classic Halloween activities
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Here are our top picks for the scariest, creepiest and sometimes silliest films to stream or watch on demand on platforms including Hulu, Netflix, <a website Plus, Amazon Prime Video, , and others. We’ve noted which of these films require higher-tier streaming subscriptions like , or a Showtime or Cinemax add-on.
Hulu started life as a joint venture between ABC, NBC and Fox. Since Disney (ABC’s parent) absorbed most of the Fox Entertainment properties, however, it’s been buying out its remaining partners and converting Hulu to more of a Disney Plus for adults. As such, you can watch the movies below with their full, R-rated gore intact. The baseline subscription includes commercials, and you can also bundle this with Disney’s other online properties, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.
(Available on Hulu Plus Live TV. Also available on Peacock.) We always appreciate a well-done horror comedy! You can catch the sequel, Zombieland Double Tap, on Starz.
Children of the Corn (1984)
(Also available on.) Something about murderous children in a cornfield just feels autumnal.
Let the Right One In (2008)
It’s a Swedish film about a little girl vampire. Are we selling it? It’s fantastic, trust us.
(Also available on Tubi.) We don’t particularly get this franchise, but Hellraiser viewing parties are a pretty common Halloween activity. You do you.
Pet Sematary (2019)
Quite frankly, this adaptation isn’t the greatest, but then again neither was the first one. Still it definitely has some chilling moments.
Paranormal Activity (2009)
(Available with Showtime add-on.) The first Paranormal Activity was pretty unnerving. It might be worth a revisit this Halloween.
Get Out (2017)
(Available on Hulu Plus Live TV starting Oct. 7.) We refuse to fact-check this, but Get Out is possibly the only Oscar winner on this list. That’s inaccurate. Ruth Gordon won an Oscar for Rosemary’s Baby. And The Silence of the Lambs won like 5 Academy Awards too. Are you happy? Get Out is fantastic though.
Our 8-year-old selves still believe deep down this is the greatest Halloween movie ever made. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, please, please return to making films.
The Host (2007)
This Korean creature feature is easily one of the best films on this list.
As far as haunted house movies go, this one is better than The Amityville Horror, but not quite as good as The Conjuring.
It Follows (2015)
(Available on Hulu Plus Live TV starting Oct. 8.) Once again we learn abstinence is the only way to prevent slow-moving nightmare monsters from trying to kill you. What a helpful PSA!
(Available on Hulu Plus Live TV.) This is the part where you stop reading the article and immediately go put on Ghostbusters. Don’t worry, this article isn’t going anywhere. We’ll wait.
(Available on Hulu Plus Live TV.) Rebecca’s mom really loves the Madea movies. And who are we to deny you options?
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
(Available on Hulu Plus Live TV.) On the one hand, it’s a pretty good remake. On the other hand, Zack Snyder directed it. Your call.
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
(Available with Cinemax add-on.) Don’t you want to finally understand what a “Jacob’s Ladder scenario” actually is?
Ever since Dead Snow came out, we are always 100% down for any movie with Nazi zombies.
(Available on Hulu plus Live TV. Also available on Spectrum.) It’s possible Rebecca has seen this film more than any other film on this list. Don’t judge!
(Available on Hulu with Cinemax add-on.) If you plan on watching Saw, we also recommend checking outwith screenwriter Leigh Whannell. He tells us about his 5-year-old’s bedtime story demands and let’s just say, twisted storytelling definitely runs in the family.
Netflix hardly needs an introduction, but the biggest streaming service out there remains a mixture of TV shows and movies, including content licensed from other studios and a growing stable of originals.
Little Evil (2017)
We probably didn’t need a family-friendly version of The Omen, but we enjoyed it nevertheless.
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The Witches (1990)
Anjelica Huston is majestic in this Roald Dahl adaptation.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Even if you’re not into super dark films, the storyline in this Guillermo del Toro masterpiece will be enough to win you over.
One of our favorites and Zelda Rubinstein’s performance is really just the cherry on top.
This is probably the most under-the-radar film on this list, but it’s absolutely worth your time.
The Ritual (2018)
Certain horror fans find themselves disappointed when the “big bad” turns out to be metaphorical. Don’t worry, this one has a satisfying “actual monster” payoff.
This movie is carried by Mark Duplass and his amazingly sinister face. A delightfully creepy watch.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)
(Also available on Spectrum.) Ghost movies are great for Halloween, right?
Already subscribe to HBO? You can <a website get HBO Max at no extra charge. Think of it as (wait for it) “HBO Plus” — everything on HBO, plus a bunch of additional back catalog and exclusives from Warner’s catalog, as well as some nice licensed exclusives like Doctor Who and the Studio Ghibli library.
Shark movie!!! Sorry, didn’t mean to get that excited. But we did see The Meg on opening weekend. Are you a “shark movie” person? No better time to find out!
The Others (2001)
Possibly the last time we found the ending to a horror film surprising.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
I (Rebecca) thought this movie was really scary when I was 13. It might still be scary. There’s really no way of knowing these things.
We all know the saying, “In space, no one can hear you scream,” but your neighbors will definitely be able to hear you scream while watching this on your couch.
It’s pretty rare with a horror masterpiece to stumble upon a masterpiece of a sequel, especially with a different director. Thanks, James Cameron!
John Landis doesn’t get enough credit for being able to blend horror and comedy.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
While The Shining is probably the favorite horror film of many and may not have needed a sequel, it’s one of the better Stephen King adaptations in recent years.
Ready or Not (2019)
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You know … for kids! It’s probably not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of “horror,” as nothing here eclipses PG-13 scares. But it also has the full libraries for everything from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and The Simpsons, to name just a few of the big content silos you’ll find here. As with Hulu, you can subscribe to this solo, or as a Disney/Hulu/ESPN bundle.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
A cult classic you can finally stream.
(Also available on Hulu Plus Live TV.) It’s really a Christmas movie, but also you should be watching it year-round.
This vibrant, touching film brings Day of the Dead to life in the most beautiful way.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but this is simply a Disney classic.
Feel-good and Halloween don’t always go hand in hand, but this nostalgic Halloween classic always warms our witchy little hearts.
As if trusting her new beau wasn’t hard enough already.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Peacock is NBCUniversal’s recently launched streaming app that includes several free movies and TV shows. Paying customers can unlock the platform’s full library of content, and can also pay a little more to go ad-free.
You should really watch/rewatch them all, but the third film does have the most Halloween-y vibe.
You can’t get more classic than Frankenstein!
The Purge (2013)
We love a good dystopian film.
Another for the classics fans.
Screenshot by Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET
This ad-supported network offers a range of free TV shows and movies. It’s available on devices including Roku and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on Android and iOS. You won’t need an account to watch content, but creating one enables you to save favorites and resume playback when switching between devices.
Is it really Halloween if you haven’t watched a creepy Tim Burton film?
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
A cannibal villain is as horrifying as it gets.
Train to Busan (2016)
Not exactly sure if a flick about a viral outbreak is something you want to watch right now, but if it is, you’re in luck.
Existing Showtime cable subscribers can access all of its content on the Showtime Anytime app on most major app platforms. But you can also get it as a straight streaming app for a monthly fee. (Disclosure: Showtime and CNET are owned by the same parent company, ViacomCBS.)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
(Also available on Netflix.) This is one of our favorite films to watch on Halloween. Hannibal Lecter is a magnificent villain.
If you don’t barf while watching the shaking cameras, it’s a pretty good creature feature.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
This would pair well with The Omen for a Halloween double feature.
The Witch (2016)
We’re going to throw this out there: More films should be set in the 1600s. Provided they’re as good as The Witch.