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Netflix is a truly wonderful service. It has plenty of movies on offer to suit any taste, whether that be for obscure arthouse movies or massive blockbusters. With Halloween approaching fast, you’re probably wondering how you can entertain yourself and potentially your family, especially if you’re not going trick-or-treating this year. The good news is that there are plenty of Halloween movies on Netflix you can check out, and there should be more than enough to sustain you right through the festive period. Here are our favourite Halloween-friendly films to check out on Netflix right now.
Ivan Reitman’s rather foul-mouthed comedy may not be as child-friendly as you remember, but it’s still one of the best Halloween movies out there, whatever age bracket you belong to. The central foursome of Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Hudson are stellar to watch, and the plot – which isn’t necessarily the star of the show – serves as a great vehicle for some brilliant and memorable gags. The sequel suffered from diminishing returns, but the original Ghostbusters remains a chilling, hilarious classic.
Fans of H.P. Lovecraft’s work (but definitely not kids!) should apply here. Alex Garland, who was such a brilliant helmsman for the psychological thriller Ex Machina, here directs a story that isn’t quite an adaptation of Lovecraft’s famous The Colour Out of Space, but certainly copies some of its homework. Natalie Portman must venture into an area known only as the Shimmer, in which animals and plants mutate, in order to discover the truth behind the unnatural presence responsible for its appearance.
The Woman In Black
Would you believe Daniel Radcliffe’s terrifying excursion into a very definitely haunted manor has a 12A certificate from the BBFC? When we watched it, we were scared witless, and we’re grown adults (last we checked, anyway). You’d better make sure you and your family have nerves of steel if you attempt this one. It’s a classic Hammer horror tale about a young lawyer who travels to a house and finds much, much more than he bargained for there.
Shockingly, The Descent didn’t manage to earn itself a 12A certificate. This one’s a strong 18 for “strong bloody horror”, and it’s hard to disagree with that assessment. What begins as a relatively straightforward spelunking thriller certainly doesn’t end up that way, and The Descent subsequently presents 90-ish minutes of one of the most tense and claustrophobic experiences we’ve ever had with a movie. The ending – the real one, that is, not the cheap cinematic one – is excellent, too.
The Blair Witch Project
Shudder. The Blair Witch Project is undeniably one of the best Halloween movies on Netflix. It’s not set at Halloween, but it is absolutely terrifying, and what else is the holiday about, after all? Don’t let the naysayers talk you down; The Blair Witch Project has aged brilliantly, and although it’s definitely the progenitor of a now-tired genre (the “found footage” horror genre), it executes its central premise much better than any of its descendants manage to.
This underrated Tim Burton movie might be a little closer to the spirit of what we understand Halloween to be. It’s not an overt chiller; rather, it’s a characteristically creepy, well-animated Burton vehicle for regular collaborators Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. The animation is characteristically spectacular, but Burton’s tale contains real emotion, too; there’s a beating heart beneath all the corpse paint and mummy bandage wrap.
The Cabin in the Woods
Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Connolly shine in this almost-a-parody horror movie about a group of friends travelling to a (you guessed it) cabin in the woods. Naturally, things don’t go according to plan, but this isn’t the movie you think it is; instead, it’s a whip-smart satire of the way we consume horror movies and what we get from it, as well as how we can get desensitised to what’s happening on screen. Unfairly overlooked, The Cabin in the Woods is a great horror-comedy.
This classic Jim Henson movie might not immediately occur to you as one of the best Halloween movies on Netflix, but it’s well worth a rewatch. Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah must venture into a kingdom of goblins in order to rescue her brother, and along the way, she’ll meet a cast of misfits and weirdos headed up by none other than the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie. Labyrinth’s musical numbers and breathless invention render it the perfect Halloween get-together movie.
Sandra Bullock is excellent in this sensory-deprivation horror movie, which would make a fantastic double bill with the brilliant A Quiet Place (which is unfortunately not available on Netflix). The world of Bird Box is haunted by entities that kill you if you look at them, which means that when venturing out into the world, everyone must wear a blindfold. In a way, that’s the perfect elevator pitch; no more information is needed in order to enjoy the thrills and atmosphere of this movie.
No list of the best Halloween movies on Netflix would be complete without Guillermo del Toro. Unfortunately, some of del Toro’s best work – Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, The Shape of Water – is unavailable to watch on Netflix, but we do have this rather intriguing 2015 chiller to tide us over. Don’t expect jumpscares and creature horror here; Crimson Peak is a heaving sigh of a horror movie, a ghost story perhaps better described as a gothic romance than an out-and-out scarefest. Still, it’s del Toro, so it’s brilliant.
These are our favourite horror movies on Netflix right now. Have we missed any? What are your favourites?
Do you have kids? See our list for the best Halloween Movies for kids.