It’s finally October which means it’s almost Halloween! AKA the time of year that I start main-lining horror movies more than usual. For the last few weeks I’ve watched about 3-4 movies a day, so here’s a list of some of my favorite horror movies from six of the top streaming apps!
House Of Wax
Yes, I mean the 2005 remake with Paris Hilton. I don’t remember this one making much of an impression on me when I first saw it years ago, but that definitely changed with a recent rewatch. Genuinely scary with some scenes that are sure to linger in your mind, this is easily one of my favorite horror films from the mid 2000’s.
This might actually be my favorite Wes Craven movie that’s not Scream. I’m a sucker for any movie with werewolves, and this one has been a staple of my annual Halloween viewing since I made my friends watch it at a sleepover in high school. This one is light on the gore and body horror for a werewolf film, so it works as a good palate cleanser between some of the heavier watches on this list.
The Invisible Man
Leigh Whannell did not disappoint with this classic remake. An extremely interesting and updated take on the original premise, this movie had me glued from the very beginning. I thought the portrayal of the abusive relationship and the toll it takes was really well-done, and made the payoff at the end even more thrilling. We love to see a bad guy get what’s coming to them.
Basically Alien but at the bottom of the ocean and more Lovecraftian. Kristen Stewart is absolutely giving her best Ripley in this one, and I’d watch this film alone for her peroxide blond buzz cut (it’s a really, really good look for her). Sitting at around 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, this one’s a bit of a love it or hate it kind of movie, and I’m firmly in the love it category.
I absolutely loved this movie. I knew I was going to like this movie based on the specific blend of horror and comedy, but I wasn’t expecting it to have some emotional moments and themes that really resonated. The entire cast was really amazing, though I can’t decide if Vince Vaughn or Kathryn Newton stole the show more.
Queen Of The Damned
Between the y2k goth fashion, the soundtrack (featuring Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, and Aaliyah, this movie is about as 2002 as it gets. I grew up watching this one with my sisters, so it holds a bit of a nostalgic place in my heart. Though it can be a bit cheesy at times, this movie is the perfect blend of campy and sexy that I want from a vampire flick.
Little Monsters features Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergarten teacher who has to deal with a zombie outbreak while on a field trip with her class and an incompetent chaperone.This movie is funny and surprisingly sweet while maintaining action and scares along the way. Though similar to Shaun of the Dead in both tone and character development, Little Monsters manages to create a story that’s both touching and terrifying in its own right.
This movie is absolutely batshit. I mean that as both a warning and a recommendation. I don’t think Nicholas Cage said a single word in this entire movie, and it’s still one of his most intriguing performances. It’s definitely bad, but also a wild ride that you kind of have to watch.
This one fucked me UP. Masterfully blending dread and tension, this movie had me beyond stressed out. I love a film that plays with reality and our perception of it, especially as someone who constantly second guesses my own thoughts and perceptions.
So I’m 10 years late to the party on this one, but Jesus Christ does it more than live up to the hype. I would gladly lobotomize myself to be able to watch this movie for the first time again. Featuring my new favorite final girl, this one is brutal in the best kind of way.
One of my absolute favorite del Toro movies. This one would be worth it for the design and cinematography alone, but as always with del Toro, the story is brilliant as well. Crimson Peak is the lush gothic ghost story of your dreams.
This has the same director as Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, so it should come as no surprise that The Babysitter is full of campy goodness. The cast is committed, resulting in some great and hilarious performances from Samara Weaving, Robbie Amell, and Bella Thorne. Definitely on the lighter side, this one’s an enjoyable crowd-pleaser that’ll be fun to watch with friends.
Another of my favorite final girls, Kate Siegel absolutely delivers in Hush. A home invasion movie with an intriguing twist on the premise, this one had me on the edge of my seat. I’ve liked a lot of his work, but Hush is still my favorite entry in Mike Flanagan’s filmography.
Who doesn’t love French cannibals with family issues? Masterful in every sense of the word, Raw is a must see for any horror fan. This one actually made me cover my eyes and look away a few times, and that doesn’t happen often.
This British film is one of my favorite entries in the folk-horror genre from the last few years. A guys-trip-gone-wrong with some Blair Witch energy, this movie did an amazing job of building up the tension for the final sequence. The Ritual is also technically impressive and features some stunning editing with one of the best creature designs I’ve ever seen.
The Descent is a brutal survival movie featuring maybe the worst girls’ trip ever. If you’ve ever wondered just how bad a cave diving adventure can go, here’s your answer! The fact that it’s set in my home state just made it all the more terrifying to me when it first came out.
Hell House LLC
Hell House LLC is maybe the best combination of mockumentary/found footage I’ve ever seen. I was honestly surprised at how many times this movie had me genuinely scared.A bit of a slow build at the start, the wait for the final payoff is more than worth it.
This one is brutal. A home invasion within a home invasion, The Collector features one of my favorite types of protagonist – the bad boy who’s actually a good guy. He’s also just as clever as the trap-happy villain, which is another favorite trope of mine.
Young Frankenstein is easily the most comedic of all the horror-comedies on this list. My favorite of Mel Brooks’ movies, Young Frankenstein is as much a love letter to the old Universal monster movies as it is a spoof on the genre. This one is another must-see, mostly because it’s hilarious.
House On Haunted Hill
Yay, a Vincent Price movie! From 1959, House on Haunted Hill is the oldest entry on our list, so you can expect it to be a bit cheesy. I find the cheese in this movie to be on the charming side of silly, unlike the 1999 remake which is just bad.
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Hands down my favorite musical. The songs in this movie are either not very good or absolute bangers, there’s nothing mid here. Repo! has it all: a hot grave-robbing narrator, Spy Kids’ Alexa Vega and Giles from Buffy as father and daughter, a Joan Jett guitar solo, comic book style flashbacks for exposition, and Paris Hilton’s entire closet (yes I mean that literally). What more could you possibly want?
Ginger Snaps is easily one of the best werewolf movies out there, and if anyone says otherwise they’re just plain wrong. At heart this is a story about codependent sisters together against the world, terrified to grow apart even as it happens anyway. It’s also very obviously the blueprint for Jennifery’s Body, so why not make it a double feature of feminist horror!
It’s actually been years since I watched this one, but it left quite an impression. Obviously. I saw this movie at a sleepover with my older sister and her friends when I was 12. I have not seen it since, but I also have not forgotten it, and that was a while ago. Still one of the most brutal movies I’ve seen, High Tension sparked my interest in foreign horror (and foreign films in general).
I don’t want to say too much about this one so you can get the full effect. A masterful psychological thriller, this is the film that really made me a Karyn Kusama stan. It’s tense, uncomfortable, and shocking; do yourself a favor and go in as unspoiled as you can.
The Final Girls
The Final Girls is a very meta take on the slasher genre with a great ensemble cast featuring Taissa Farmiga, Alia Shawkat, and Nina Dobrev. Campy, funny, and touching in turn, it’s an all-around good time. This one would be another fun group watch either together or virtually!
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
“Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, Horror Noire traces the untold history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre.” Adapted from the book by Robin Means Coleman, this documentary is a must see for anyone interested in critical analysis of the horror genre. This doc is endlessly fascinating and deeply informative while boasting a wide array of well-known names as the interviewees.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre OR Halloween
This entry can be a double feature or a choose-your-own-adventure. You’ve probably either already seen these movies, or been told to watch them countless times. They more than live up to the hype though, and both of these seminal classics are still more than worth the watch 40+ years later. I think it’s especially fun to look at these films as the blueprints that they are and try to watch for the impact they had on the horror industry for years to come.
Train to Busan
I’m a sucker for a zombie movie with a heart. Instead of the bleak every-man-for-himself mood of most apocalyptic films, Train to Busan instead explores themes of community and helping each other as the only way to stay human. It’s not often that a horror film leaves me in tears, but the last few minutes of this film had me ugly sobbing and I mean that as the highest compliment possible.
I put off watching this one for a while because I’m a little iffy on body horror, but now I wish I’d watched it sooner. Featuring another impeccable performance from Katherine Isabel (aka Ginger from Ginger Snaps), I’d consider this one to be a must-see for any horror fan. This movie has a lot more going on than I was anticipating, and I can’t wait to rewatch it an ungodly number of times.
Another favorite found footage film! If you’ve ever wanted to see what would happen if the guys from Ghost Adventures were in a horror film, this is the movie for you. An obvious parody of ghost hunting shows, Grave Encounters is funny until it absolutely isn’t. This is still one of my favorite final acts.