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What to stream this Halloween

As Halloween approaches, Daily Info's resident movie buff has scoured the various streaming platforms available and picked a handful on each that are perfect for those horror marathons.

Something Old

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

As the darker nights settle in, now is the perfect time to revisit some spooky gems. And whatever flavour of horror you like, there will be something out there for you, from bloody slashers to chilly ghost stories.

Netflix

Netflix tends to favour more modern films but nestled on their service are a few horror classics. Having received a belated sequel earlier this year, now is the perfect time to return to Candyman. A fascinating blend of slasher, urban folk tale, ghost story and gothic romance, there are few horrors quite like it. Another 90s gem to be found on this service is The Blair Witch Project, which has one of the great finales in the genre.

More recent classics can be found in the form of potholing nightmare The Descent and Iran-set spookfest Under the Shadow. And for those with a sense of humour there’s the knowing silliness of Bride of Chucky (the fourth Child’s Play but you don’t need to be too familiar with the franchise to enjoy) and Addams Family Values, one of the great sequels and a delightful satire of America.

Amazon Prime

It may be one of the least user friendly of the services on offer but the film selection on Prime is sprawling if you know how to search it. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is a must-watch silent movie, a surrealist descent into madness and Paranormal Activity redefined the found footage subgenre forever. And they may not quite be classics, but you’ll have a good time with the nature-based horrors of Tremors and Open Water.

Now

Sky’s platform is certainly the most expensive of the bunch but might have the best selection of Good Movies. Two of these are Alfred Hithcock gems with the proto-slasher Psycho (and is there are more famous death sequence in cinema?) and the still-unnerving The Birds. Speaking of psychopathic, there’s also American Psycho, which is debatably a horror but certain to be a hypnotically horrifying watch.

The 80s is a decade often seen as the peak of horror cinema, and on Now you can find two of the best from this era, in the form of John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London (perhaps the best form this particular monster has taken) and John Carpenter’s The Fog (a delightful ghost story).

Arrow

Arrow Video are famed in genre circles for their wonderful Blu Rays of cult releases and now their streaming service brings many of these to your living room. The likes of Hellraiser, Phantasm and Deep Red are all likely to become newfound favourites. But the two best horror classics on the service are the silent cinema masterpiece of Nosferatu, and the found footage nightmare that is Rec.

Disney

It feels strange to place Disney on this list and while their horror picks are more limited they do have a few films worth your time. Aliens is a contender for the best sequel ever made and is certainly a thrill ride. The Omen (plus sequels of varying quality), The Fly and The Rocky Horror Picture Show are worth a watch any time of the year, with something there for everyone. And 28 Days Later goes from an unnervingly quiet opening through to a thrilling finale as it reinvents the zombie film in front of you (and the sequel is also pretty decent).

Shudder

One final platform worth considering for the month of October is the horror specific Shudder. It Follows and Let the Right One In are on the classier end of the genre’s spectrum, whilst Basket Case (plus sequels) is it at its most deliciously culty. And you may not have heard of Summer of 84 and Lake Mungo but both are exceptional, one an 80s-set gem that mixes Rear Window and Stranger Things, while the other is one of the most heart-wrenching ghost stories out there.

Something New

Us

And for those who are looking for a more recent release can find plenty to choose from, no matter which streaming platform you own.

Netflix

One of the big releases of 2021 is an adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street, which tells a thrilling story over three films and would be the perfect entry point for budding horror fans. It sits alongside two of the best horrors from last year, nautical nightmare The Lighthouse and the utterly compelling His House, as well as two intriguing new releases in the form of There’s Something Inside Your House and No One Gets Out Alive.

Amazon Prime

With the breadth of movies on Prime there really is something for everyone. Peninsula, the sequel to Train to Busan, is sillier then some would like but it will fill a certain squid-shaped hole many viewers will now have. Jordan Peele’s latest, Us, is an enjoyably ambitious slice of hokum, whilst Escape Room is a fun thrill ride that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

On the classier end of things is Saint Maud, which was the best horror of last year for many, whilst The Green Knight isn’t strictly a straight horror but certainly draws from the genre.

Now

Now’s offering is certainly diverse with the exceptional Doctor Sleep (sequel to The Shining) and The Invisible Man (a propulsive and timely reimagining of a classic Universal Monster) joining the likes of The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (in fact the eighth film in The Conjuring Universe). And for those who want to keep their horror grounded there are the woodland-set duo of Alone and Hunter Hunter, where the monsters are distinctly human.

Arrow

Many of the recent releases on Arrow are their own and so will be found in few other places. There are reinventions of a pair of subgenres in the form of A Ghost Waits and Zombie For Sale, as well as Swedish space-bound terror in Aniara. And a double absolutely worth your time are The Stylist and Daniel Isn’t Real, which are both stylish explorations of the human psyche.

Disney

Disney have a few new horrors under their Star banner. Clive Barker fans can finally dive into an adaptation of the Books of Blood, whilst anyone excited for the next installment of Scream should check out the directors’ previous work, Ready or Not, which is a violent hoot of a meet-the-in-laws horror. There's also the recent (kind-of) ghost story of The Night House with a stand out performance from Rebecca Hall. And The Empty Man is an urban folk tale at its best, a big, sprawling tale of a new legend being crafted in an American city.

Shudder

The V/H/S series has made a surprise comeback with the delightful installment (V/H/S/94), a Shudder exclusive that will thrill and chill in equal measures. The platform also had a hit with Zoom-based shenanigans in Host (written and shot during the first lockdown) and the genuinely unnerving Caveat (as unreadable as it is likely to frighten).

They sit alongside some of the best recent new releases, with Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor living up to his family’s name when it comes to body horror, the madness-in-the-woods spookfest Sator and Vicious Fun (which certainly lives up to its name) all well worth seeking out this Autumn.

Something a little different

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror

But maybe you're in the mood for something a little different this Halloween? A documentary or a new TV obsession. Maybe you're looking for something more suitable for a younger audience. If so Daily Info has you covered with these suggestions:

Netflix

Netflix is also home to a number of films that while not straight horrors, will certainly thrill and chill as the winter months set in. The Nightingale is a wrenchingly difficult film to get through (and one point perhaps it’ll be too much for some viewers) but rewards with thrilling set pieces and powerful exploration of our colonial past. Hush is a thriller that emulates the world of its deaf and mute protagonist and shows what a colossal talent Mike Flannagan was to become. And The Lure is not like any film you will have seen before – a Polish musical about a pair of mermaids who seek love and also humans to dine on.

Amazon Prime

For those who want a longer commitment, Amazon has a trio of horror shows worth getting addicted to. Preacher is a comic book adaptation packed with bravado and great performances, whilst The Exorcist is a fascinating take on one of the most famous horrors ever produced. But Hannibal is the best of the bunch, reshaping the Hannibal Lecter series, with a star-making turn from Mads Mikkelsen at its centre.

Now

For many horror fans Frightfest is their Christmas, and Now has made itself the home for many of the best films from here. Three of the best are the viral outbreak chiller Sea Fever, which hints at Lovecraftian nightmares before settling on something more human, The Wretched, a very good modern US occult tale, and 12 Hour Shift, which is lean, mean and very funny.

Arrow

Asian Extreme Cinema is well represented on Arrow. Audition shifts its style and tone throughout, starting as a curious rom com before morphing into a film you’ll struggle to get a footing with. Battle Royale is often-emulated and rarely-matched, whilst Oldboy is a jaw dropping watch, right up until that reveal. And of course it wouldn’t represent Asian cinema without a few 90s ghost stories, with Pulse and Ringu the best of the bunch.

Disney

But maybe you want something for the children this October. Disney Plus has the classic 90s pick of Hocus Pocus as well as the just released Muppets Haunted Mansion (which should set you up nicely for a dive back through their back catalogue). Plus the Treehouse of Horror episodes from The Simpsons are great entry points for young audiences meeting Horror for the first time.

Shudder

For those curious to learn more about the genre, Shudder is home to some exceptional documentaries. Cursed Films offers a series of episodes giving insights into some of the most infamous behind-the-scenes stories. Horror Noire is a fascinating look at the African American experience of horror, as a viewer, creative and participant of the stories told. And In Search of Darkness (parts 1 & 2) offers over 8 hours of a wallow through the 80s (which will give you a long list of films to seek out).

And finally… the Halloween franchise

Halloween

With the release of the 12th installment many of you may want to dive into the world of the Halloween franchise. And luckily the first five can be found on Netflix. The original (also on Now) is a masterpiece and probably the best slasher ever made, the sequel home to a mediocre first half and an exceptional second. The third is one of the strangest sequels ever made, with nothing to do with the masked killer of the installment. But it is genuinely brilliant, with an incredible finale. But we'd recommend perhaps stopping there, as the fourth is fine, if a tad tired by that point, whilst the fifth is one of the worst installments in the whole series!


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