Halloween is just around the corner, and one of the best parts of America’s scariest holiday is scaring yourself silly with the best Halloween movies. Whether you’re a hard-core horror buff looking for the terrifying fright-fests out there, a fan of suspense looking to indulge in some old school ghost stories, or a parent who wants to introduce their kids to all-ages scares, Netflix has a wide range of the perfect Halloween movies to put yourself in the mood for ghosts and goblins. Here at Netflix Update, we’ve put together a list of the 10 scariest Halloween movies on Netflix, with something for everyone.
What Is Netflix?
Netflix is the hottest entertainment spot on the internet. A one-size-fits-all entertainment website, Netflix charges a flat fee of under $10 a month for access to its streaming service. Once you’re signed in, you have unlimited access to thousands of popular Hollywood movies, full seasons of countless complete and ongoing television shows, and a host of original content that is only available on Netflix.
Netflix has some of the hottest original television and movies, including acclaimed hits like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things — the latter of which gives most Halloween movies a run for its money in the scares department.
Still want more entertainment at your fingertips? Netflix offers a supplemental service to order DVDs through the mail for $8 a month. This service grants access to popular Hollywood movies far before they are made available on any streaming service. Just sign up, sign in, and a world of entertainment for every demographic is at your fingertips.
Traits of the Scariest Movies
Most of us love good creepy Halloween movies, but what makes a movie genuinely scary? There are dozens of horror movies, and many fall flat in the scares department. Those that succeed will usually have several key factors in common that make them stand out, such as:
- Fear of Death — Anything around the inevitability of death will trigger primal fears
- Darkness — Nothing is scarier than what you can’t see
- Creepy creatures — Any movie with a lot of snakes, rats, spiders, or bugs will terrify anyone with a revulsion towards these critters
- Classic haunted locations — We’ve seen enough movies to know to be scared of old houses, graveyards, or creepy basements
- Frightening faces — The greatest movie monsters often have a face not even a mother could love
- Building tension — The scariest movies don’t show the monster right away. They let you fret before the big scares come
- Music and sound — The score and sound effects are key to setting the tension before the real horror begins
- Fear of the Unknown — Any movie where the threat is something mysterious, unknown, and otherworldly will confuse and frighten
10 Scariest Halloween Movies on Netflix
Now you’re ready to get watching. Netflix is home to dozens of ideal Halloween movies, but it takes some work to find the best of the best. We’ve done that work for you and picked the 10 scariest Halloween movies currently available on Netflix.
The Conjuring (2013)
Looking for a modern take on the classic ghost story? You won’t do better than James Wan’s franchise-launching haunted house thriller. Starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring focuses on the real-life 1971 haunting in Rhode Island that inspired The Amityville Horror.
Featuring a masterful use of tension, jump scares, and classic haunted house effects, The Conjuring was highly successful and spawned a sequel, The Conjuring 2, and a new spin-off, The Nun, is scheduled for release in fall 2018. Now is a perfect time to see how it all began.
When strange things start to happen at the Lambert house, one of the children, Dalton, falls into a deep coma without explanation. We find out that Dalton isn’t really in a coma, he’s in a place called the Further.
Living people don’t belong in the Further.
If his parents don’t get him out in time, he will be lost forever to the evil spirits who dwell there. They call upon the help of Elise, an expert in traveling to the Further. The thing is, Elise isn’t the only person who can travel there and it’s not the first time she’s helped this family.
Be prepared for twists you won’t expect and for your skin to crawl. You’ll see shadows out of the corners of your eyes because this movie will convince you that there’s another realm just beyond this one.
And if you go there, not only might you never come back, if you do — you just might bring something back with you.
Based on the classic children’s horror novel by Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick’s stop-motion animated thriller is considered one of the all-time best children’s horror movies. After Coraline Jones moves to a small town in Oregon with her busy parents, she begins to feel neglected by them. When she is gifted a mysterious doll that uncannily resembles her, she’s lured toward a strange door to another world.
There, she finds doppelgangers of everyone she knows, identical except for the buttons over their eyes. This Other Mother and Other Father give her the attention she wants – but soon she finds that they want her to stay forever. Although Coraline is definitely too intense for young kids, it’s one of the best Halloween movies to introduces hardier kids into the world of horror. Coraline was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2010 Academy Awards.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Who doesn’t remember iconic line “I see dead people” from M. Night Shyamalan’s breakout suspense film? Bruce Willis stars as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who is hired by a single mother (Toni Colette) to help her disturbed son Cole (Haley Joel Osment).
As Malcolm helps Cole explore his gift and put lost spirits to rest, he struggles with the aftereffects of a brutal shooting. More a mystery than a horror movie, it is one of the most successful and acclaimed ghost stories of all time, nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t let anyone spoil the shocking last-minute twist.
“Hello Sydney” will have a whole new meaning once you’ve seen Ghostface in this slasher film. You see, horror movies have rules. There are certain things that happen in a certain order. And if they’re not happening on the big screen, well, somebody’s got to bring it to real life — right?
With an all-star cast including Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and Courteney Cox, you know it’s got to be good. And nothing is better than the original. The best thing about Scream is that you won’t figure out who the killer is until the end, keeping the suspense at a maximum.
Will it make you Scream?
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
A family of seven moves into a spooky fixer upper that the parents are just going to stay in long enough to flip and make a little money. What could go wrong? But right from the beginning you realize that the house is much more than it seems and the family is ripped apart.
Growing up in a haunted house is bound to have a lifelong effect on even the strongest. And, sure, The Haunting of Hill House has it’s share of jumpscares, but that’s not at all what makes it a must see.
What makes it a must-see this Halloween is that the story about the hauntings and the family are not what you expect. And when it’s over, you’ll still be trying to wrap your head around what happened.
Be prepared to watch this season more than once. Each time you watch it, you’ll be terrified and surprised a little more. The Haunting of Hill House is a story masterpiece that’s rare to see in horror films these days.
As Above So Below (2014)
An archiologist, not unlike Indiana Jones, has been in search of treasure. This quest has led her to the catacombs that lie underneath Paris. The treasure she’s after is none other than the philosopher’s stone. And if you know any Harry Potter at all, you know what that means. The stone is the secret to immortality, discovered by French alchemist, Nicolas Flamel.
As you can imagine, the philosopher’s stone won’t be easy to get and there will be consequences for all who try. As Above So Below takes you on a journey with the characters through their darkest times. And it teaches you that there is meaning to all things.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
A Netflix original horror film based on the novel by Stephen King, Gerald’s Game is a tense, surreal psychological thriller. Staring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, it begins with a couple on a romantic getaway to an isolated lake house.
The husband convinces the wife to engage in some bondage play to spice up their love life, but after a tense argument, he dies suddenly of a heart attack — and the wife finds herself handcuffed to the bed, unable to reach the key, and miles away from any help.
The film follows her as she begins to lose her mind from hunger, thirst, and isolation. How far is she willing to go to survive?
The Nightmare (2015)
It’s rare that a documentary can approach the scare factor of a traditional horror movie, but then there’s Rodney Ascher’s 2015 film. Focusing on the real life disorder of sleep paralysis, Ascher (a past sufferer himself) reached out to support groups and message boards to find people to tell their story. What followed was horrifying tales of people who wake up and find themselves unable to move, trapped in bed as they see otherworldly beings lurking around them. With recreations of these disturbing visions, The Nightmare may actually be scarier than horror movies – because it’s all real. Don’t watch it right before going to sleep.
The Reaping (2007)
Directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Hilary Swank and Idris Elba, this supernatural thriller follows a pair of journalists investigating claims of miracles. When Swank’s character, a former missionary, receives a message from an old friend in Louisiana, they return to her hometown to investigate what seems like a series of biblical plagues descending on the small town.
As the terrified townspeople scapegoat a local girl who they believe to be a child of the devil, the two investigators battle to solve the mystery in time to save her life. The plagues besetting the town escalate until a horrifying conspiracy is revealed, with a disturbing twist ending.
This Halloween, you don’t need to go out to a movie theater to catch the newest horror movie. Just log into your Netflix account, cue up any one of these ten films, and prepare to be scared. Netflix has the perfect Halloween movies to set the mood for a fun and terrifying night.