Shared from Collider.com
Haunted Houses are up and running, there’s a pumpkin patch on every corner, and the debate over whether candy corn is actually good is raging once again. Halloween season is in full swing! What better way to get in the spooky spirit than with a good movie, whether its a seasonal classic, a new horror gem, or a family favorite that just screams fall vibes.
Fortunately, Netflix has a pretty strong selection of Halloween favorites this year no matter what you’re looking for, and we’ve narrowed down the list to the best, scariest, and downright fun movies in the bunch. So grab the candy corn (if that’s your thing), fire up some apple cider, and settle in for the best Halloween movies you can watch on Netflix right now.
RELATED: For more streaming options be sure to check out our guides for the Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now, Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now, Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now, Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now, Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now and Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now.
Tales of Halloween
Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet
Cast: Adrienne Barbeau, Huner Smit, Caroline Williams, Clare Kramer, Greg Grunberg, Barry Bostwick, Tiffany Shepis, Trent Haaga, Alex Essoe, Lin Shaye, Marc Senter, Pollyanna McIntosh, Kier Gilchrist, Dana Gould, James Duval, Graham Skipper, Adam Green, Sam Witwer, Kristina Klebe, Pat Healy
We’re living in a golden age of horror anthology films. Digital filmmaking technology has made them cheaper and easier than ever and communities of horror filmmakers keep coming together to stretch their genre muscles between features. Tales of Halloween is one such example, and its one of the best, though like all anthologies it has hits and misses and there’s inevitably some unfair comparison to Trick ‘r Treat, which has the advantage of being the singular vision of one filmmaker, orchestrated into an interwoven film. But Tales of Halloween is a delightful R-rated romp in the All Hallow’s spirit, featuring ten short horror stories set on Halloween night. My personal favorite is Neil Marshall‘s man-eating pumpkin creature feature Bad Seed, but Tales of Halloween is loaded with holiday thrills from top to tail. — Haleigh Foutch
This post first appeared in our Best Horror Movies of the Decade So Far article.
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Writer: David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe
The breakout horror hit of the year, It Follows boasts one of the most extraordinarily clever concepts for a horror film in ages. The story centers on Jay (Maika Monroe), a sweet high school girl who finds herself caught in a deadly bind after she contracts a sexually-transmitted death sentence after giving into her adolescent lust one night. Jay hasn’t caught an STD, but something much worse; a ghoulish apparition that stalks her wherever she goes, ever close behind. It follows. When “it” reaches her, she will die…horribly. She can give it to someone else by sleeping with them, but if it kills them, it will move back to her, and so on, right up the line of everyone who’s ever caught it. David Robert Mitchell’s concept is brilliant, and while the script fumbles at moments, his execution of that concept is gorgeous. The film is shot with a hazy dreamlike aesthetic that’s strengthened by Disasterpeace’s alternately ethereal and ominous score. Playing on our innate fears of intimacy and mortality, It Follows excels at a sensation of creeping unease; a relentless dread and paranoia that will…well, follow you for days. – Haleigh Foutch
This post previously appeared in our LAIKA Movies Ranked article.
Director: Henry Selick
Writers: Henry Selick, Neil Gaiman
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane
Easily the most terrifying of LAIKA’s films to date, Coraline also remains the studio’s most financially successful. That’s thanks in part to the beloved source material, Gaiman’s story about a little girl who discovers a parallel world to her own in which the inhabitants are an ideal version of her friends, family, and neighbors in her own world, despite the fact that their eyes have been replaced by buttons. Additionally, Coraline owes some of its success to writer/director Henry Selick‘s signature style and artistry.
LAIKA certainly likes to revisit their chosen type of protagonist, but perhaps Coraline (Dakota Fanning) herself is actually the studio’s muse, a character they found success with and have attempted to replicate over the years. With just a little help from her crazy cast of friends and creatures, Coraline is able to defeat the spider-like Other Mother and free both her parents and the souls of previously capture children, by liberating and returning their eyes, of course…
Though beautifully animated and with a style all its own, Coraline stands as a fantastic example of what was possible with stop-motion animation nearly a decade ago. However, those technological limitations also keep Coraline from being the best that LAIKA has to offer, though just barely. — Dave Trumbore
It’s been a long wait for David Bruckner’s first feature film, but fortunately, it was worth it. The filmmaker behind standout segments in Signal and V/H/S made his feature debut this year with The Ritual, a Netflix original that digs into the well of shame and regret to mine piercing, distinctly adult terrors. Oh, and there’s a great monster too. The Ritual follows four friends into the woods, where they venture out mourn the death of a dear friend, but once they’re there, a spindly, scarcely seen creature haunts them every step of the way. Bruckner takes his time building the terror, offering brief glimpses at their monstrous stalker and using the natural camouflage of the forest to his advantage in staging his scares, and between the chilling looks at the creature, he takes his time fleshing out the trauma shared by these old friends and the conflicts that would threaten to tear them apart even if they weren’t being hunted by a supernatural force. The end result is a mature, understated horror movie that slowly settles in under your skin with plenty of spooky folklore vibes that feel right at home in the Halloween season. — Haleigh Foutch
The Sixth Sense
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writers: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg, Mischa Barton
You probably already know the twist in The Sixth Sense, but even if you saw through Shyamalan’s smokescreen, this thriller’s worth a repeat watch. After writing/directing a pair of dramedies, Shyamalan made the genre switch to horror with this film, one that put his career on a whole new trajectory. For a time, even Shyamalan’s most devoted fans had a hard time arguing that The Sixth Sensewasn’t the writer/director’s best effort, but recent years have shown that Shyamalan isn’t just a one-twist pony. Go back to the beginning of the M. Night Cinemaverse with this 1999 classic. – Dave Trumbore
This post originally appeared in our Best Horror Movies of 2016 article.
Director: Hong-jin Na
Writer: Hong-jin Na
Cast: Jun Kunimura, Jung-min Hwang, Do-won Kwak, Woo-hee Chun, Hwan-hee Kim, Jin Heo, So-yeon Jang
Watching The Waling is a bit like catching sight of something humanity was never meant to see. It’s peeking behind a rickety curtain that was left intentionally askew and immediately wishing you never saw through the cracks. The Wailing centers on Do-Wan Kwak‘s everyman detective Jong-Goo who is drawn into the nasty realm of demons and spirits when his job leads him to a string of horrifying murders, each committed by a dazed perpetrator fallen ill with a severe rash. When he wakes up to find his daughter in the same condition, his life rapidly spins out of control as he desperately tries to uncover the source of the scourge in a deeply unsettling walk through hell on earth that tackles racism, religion, and regionalism without ever becoming a sermon instead of a spook show. Director Hong-Jin Na keeps the pace pounding and the surprises coming (including one of the best on-screen uses of lightning of all time) and he’s seemingly incapable of backing down from the grim or the grisly.I won’t lie, The Wailing is also pretty confusing on a first watch, especially to a Western viewer, but like a mirror of the film itself, investigation into its meaning only seems to draw out further horrors. — Haleigh Foutch
This entry previously appeared in our Best Horror Movies of the 80s, Ranked.
Clive Barker’s name has become synonymous with the horror genre, just as his first feature-length film Hellraiser has become a symbol for leather-wearing, sadomasochistic, pain-worshippers. Both descriptors are fitting, though there’s so much more to Barker’s original 1987 film than mere fetishism. There’s a deep mythology here, a rather original one that started with Barker’s novella “The Hellbound Heart” and was carried on in numerous sequel films, comic books, novels, video games, and more.
And it all started with Hellraiser, a film that explores the linked sensations of pain and pleasure on a number of levels. The main players are Larry Cotton and his second wife Julia, who cheated on him with his brother Frank shortly after they were married. This sets up one of the most bizarre yet rich mythologies in cinema history: Julia’s obsession with Frank continues well after his death and is rejuvenated when Frank himself is resurrected. However, Frank needs fresh blood to return to his full health, blood that Julia is happy to supply by luring men back to Frank’s abandoned childhood home and sacrificing them.
And yet, as horrible as this is, it’s mundane compared to the arrival of the Cenobites, beings from another dimension obsessed with carnal experiences elucidating the extremes of pain and pleasure. Their design and presence is fantastic in the truest sense of the word and the practical effects on display here are just as terrifying today as they were in 1987. If you haven’t seen the original or any of the sequels, Hellraiser is the perfect place to start. If you’re not careful, this movie will tear your soul apart. – Dave Trumbore
I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House doesn’t have much in the way of story, but what it lacks in narrative, it makes up in atmospheric chills and slow-burn dread. That said, if you like your horror with propulsive action, move right along to the next entry because this one’s definitely a slow burn. The payoff is the sensation that you’re watching some immersive, slippery nightmare unfold on screen.
Writer-director Oz Perkins never gets flashy or too-clever with his tale. Instead, he sets a simple table with elegance. Told in dulcet, almost whispered voiceovers by Ruth Wilson’s hospice nurse, Lily, the film makes two things clear from the start — ghosts are real, and Lily is about to become one of them. As always, Wilson is enchanting on screen and her terror is always convincing. Pensive and patient, the movie is more about mortality than ghosts (though it’s got one or two chilling visual gags up its sleeve), and the unavoidable fact that death waits, unrelenting, for us all. — Haleigh Foutch
This post originally appeared in our 75 Best Horror Movies of All-Time article.
Director: Jennifer Kent
Writer: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
The Babadook is already a horror classic. The Babadook boasts one of the most memorable villains in recent history with a striking look, chilling bellow and his own catchy nursery rhyme to boot. But what makes The Babadook exceptional is that it isn’t just some evil entity that needs to be vanquished. It’s a villain that haunts and torments with purpose, exploring how victims deal with their own inner demons.
Director Jennifer Kent put herself on the map with this one, showing off a profound ability to blend reality with a fairytale-like feel through top-notch performances, stunning sets and exceptional shot selection. First you’ll get swept up in the atmosphere, then the sheer terror will take hold and finally the thoughtful, twisted conclusion will ensure that you really can’t get rid of the Babadook, even after the credits roll. – Perri Nemiroff
Train to Busan
This post originally appeared in our 21 Best Zombie Movies of All Time article.
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writers: Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon
Cast: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Su-an Kim, Eui-sung Kim, Woo-sik Choi, Sohee
After the zombie genre got a big boost in the early aughts, the living dead thrived on serialized television but they died off in cinemas for a while. Train to Busan is a proper return to form for the genre, an old-fashioned zombie drama with heart and soul, a simple but clever set-up and some scary af zombies. The film follows a father and his young daughter on a terrifying train ride that sends them speeding through a zombie outbreak in South Korea, trapped inside increasingly infected compartments of the passenger train. Filled with characters you root for — and some you love to root against — Train to Busan is packed with zombie action that uses the tight quarters to thrilling effect, traveling through the cars of the train with a series of imaginative set-pieces that put the physicality of these contorted, fast-moving zombies to great effect. After watching the living survive among the dead for years on the silver screen, it’s damn well time for someone to give the undead their bite back and Train to Busan is just the ticket. — Haleigh Foutch
This post originally appeared in our Best Horror Movies of 2017 So Far article.
Director: Julia Ducournau
Writer: Julia Ducournau
Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
Raw made quite a splash when it debuted at TIFF last year to reports of fainting moviegoers, but the enduring legacy of Julia Ducournau’s coming-of-age cannibal film will prove much more than that of a gross-out gore flick. It’s bloody, to be sure, and Ducournau has a gift for framing queasy violence so that you think you’re seeing much more than you are, but what makes Raw exceptional is the fascinating and complex tale of conformity, sisterhood, and inherited tradition told through the story of a virginal vegetarian who discovers a craving for flesh, and the pleasures thereof, after enduring the brutal hazing rituals of her veterinary school. Sensual, scary, and weirdly sexy, Raw will test your stomach, but there’s a lot more to chew on than pure carnage. — Haleigh Foutch
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers
The Shining remains one of the most terrifying films ever made. There’s something haunting and demented within these frames, and indeed the production of one of Stanley Kubrick‘s masterpieces has been covered in depth. The unending takes, the mind tricks (poor Shelley Duvall). But you can’t deny the fact that Kubrick’s exacting nature paid off, and in the end he crafted an iconic piece of cinematic history; a masterful chronicle of madness. It’s not exactly a Halloween movie, but the claustrophobic setting and slow burn tension certainly do a number on the nerves. — Adam Chitwood
Stephen King’s Children of the Corn
This post originally appeared on our Best Horror Movies on Netflix article.
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Writers: Stephen King (short story), George Goldsmith (screenplay)
Cast: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains
Definitely not the best adaptation of his work, but one of the oldest, Stephen King’s Children of the Corn brings the 1977 short story to life. First published in “Penthouse” and then included in the “Night Shift” collection, Children of the Corncentered on a bickering couple on a road trip to California for a vacation. Their journey takes an unfortunate side track into the Nebraska town of Gatlin where a gruesome and bizarre cult of extremely devout children do not take kindly to outsiders, especially adults.
While this movie starts out as a faithful adaptation of King’s work, it quickly turns into a more traditional heroic story than the short story intended; purists of King’s writing will likely find the movie infuriating. However, it remains as a great example of the “creepy children” that King’s work has become known for, and of the cultural touchstones of Malachi, Isaac, and He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Yeah, you’re probably going to laugh when you see a bunch of corn stuffed into a car’s engine block “disabling” it or when the hero plays a game of “How Many 5th Graders Can You Take in a Fight?” but it’s a classic nonetheless. – Dave Trumbore
Writer and Director: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw
Directorial debuts don’t get much better than what Robert Eggers pulled off with The Witch, an immersive, atmospheric exercise in the existential dread of the fanatically devout. Eggers never caters to the lowest common denominator. Instead, he demands that you sit up and pay attention — and he makes sure you damn well do by mashing up some baby remains with a mortar and pestle, on screen, right out of the gate. Admittedly, the ye olde language can be a bit of a challenge, but once you adjust, Eggers sucks you in with a holistic vision of historical terrors and the lurid attraction of a sinister life, well lived. After all, what is the point of being pure if you get nothing but pain for it? The Witch is alternately languid and bursting at the seams with kinetic frenzy, and that keeps you ever on your toes and the devil’s pernicious presence spreads through a rigidly puritan family, unhindered by their devotion. Eggers vision is matched by the talent of his cast, especially the career-making turns from the young leads Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw, making for the rare horror film that doesn’t just shock and scare, but burrows into your mind and sits there to rot. Would you like to live deliciously? Well you see, the thing is, I’m afraid I might. — Haleigh Foutch