In the mood for some Halloween films? Me too! I love Halloween as much as I love using Netflix Instant and making lists, so I’ve compiled my favorite movies available for streaming, as of 2011. It’s a big list, with everything from goofy comedy gore to truly disturbing horror, and everything in between; check it out below.
This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive; it’s made up of films I actually liked, and would recommend to others.
Everything on this list should be available until at least November 1, but please let me know in the comments if something has gone away.
Last update: October 10, 2011.
- Trick ‘r’ Treat
A little-known gem. Three intertwining stories in a small town prove to be surprisingly, deeply creepy.
- Session 9
Psychological/suspenseful horror film in which a haunted asylum drives a team of cleaners mad.
- Little Shop of Horrors
Not strictly Halloween-y, but a great, campy, creepy musical nonetheless.
- Cannibal! The Musical
South Park writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in…a musical about cannibalism.
- Scream, Blacula, Scream!
Blaxploitation voodoo Dracula, with Pam Grier.
- The Fog
Zombie-ghost pirates terrorize a small town in this John Carpenter film. More John Carpenter horror: Prince of Darkness, Village of the Damned, In the Mouth of Madness and Masters of Horror: John Carpenter: Cigarette Burns.
- Dracula (1931)
The classic, starring Bela Lugosi.
- Ichi the Killer
The pinnacle of Japanese ‘horror porn’ or ‘gorno’. Brutal.
- Leprechaun 5: In the Hood
Can you believe shows like Firefly get canceled, while film series like Leprechaun get five iterations? Me neither. If you like the goofy horror creatures, there’s also Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Rumplestiltskin.
- An American Werewolf in London
This werewolf tale is so evocative, moody and funny, that it doesn’t really matter if the plot wanders a bit. Just sit back and enjoy the transformation scene.
A take on vampirism by Mexican genius director Guillermo del Toro, Cronos is great at any time of the year.
- From Dusk Til Dawn
George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez…and vampires.
- The Lost Boys
1980s does vampires – Kiefer Sutherland and the Coreys. Pretty creepy!
- Practical Magic
A gentler type of witchery, this is about two supernatural sisters (Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman) in Massachusetts who live in a beautiful old house and wear beautiful old clothes and do sometimes not-so-beautiful magic.
- Dark Shadows
Four seasons of the classic daily soap opera from the 60s, which eventually totaled 1,225 episodes. Full of mood and mystery, the show doesn’t introduce the supernatural stuff until about halfway through the first season.
- The Craft
Teen witches terrorize a high school and each other.
- The Evil Dead
Sam Raimi’s 1983 classic cult horror film stars Bruce Campell, a cabin and a bunch of zombies. Black humor, goofy gore.
- South Park Spook-Tacular!
All the Halloween eps of South Park in one title.
- Aaahh!! Real Monsters
One of the greatest Nickelodeon cartoons, this show is about a group of monster students. Funny, weird, creepy and gross (in a good way).
- Rocko’s Modern Life, Season 3 Episode 1
Another Nickelodeon great, about a wallabee and his surreal life. Just this one episode is themed after Halloween.
- Fat Albert’s Halloween Special
Hey hey hey, if your kids want to watch some Halloween cartoons, this is a good place to start. For kids, there’s also Barney: Halloween Party, Eloise’s Rawther Unusual Halloween, Thomas & Friends: Halloween Adventures and Children’s Favorites: Halloween Treats.
- Child’s Play
Definitely NOT for kids, this tale about a murderous doll is way creepy.
George Romero and Steven King team up for a horror anthology.
- Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Campy character Elvira causes chaos in her newly adopted hometown.
The classic Wes Craven sendup of old-school horror films stands on its own.
- Shutter Island
Suspenseful thriller about a marshal investigating a missing woman on an island asylum.
- Three … Extremes
Three of the greatest Asian horror directors make scary shorts – uncompromising and not for the faint of heart.
- Night of the Living Dead
The original zombie film from the master, George Romero. Still as creepy as ever, and a must-see.
- Day of the Dead (2008)
A remake of the third “of the Dead” films, set after the zombies have overrun the planet…only in this version, they sprint after you instead of slowly, inevitably shuffling.
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
1920s version of the Robert Louis Stevenson tale of twisted morality and terrifying humanity (or lack thereof).
The classic Murnau silent film telling of the story of Count Orlock, a vampire who arrives in Germany to feast upon human blood.
- Paranormal Activity
This low-budget mockumentary style film is the closest thing we’ve had to the Blair Witch Project in a long time. Best watched in a group with all the lights turned down.
Korean horror director Chan-wook Park’s take on vampires, with all the comedy, drama and violence that typify his work.
- Dead Snow
- Let the Right One In (or the remake, Let Me In)
A fantastically fresh take on the blood-sucking undead set in a small Swedish village.
- The Fly
Vincent Price’s brother gets splinched with a common housefly. Classic!
- The Exorcist
The ultimate horror movie, which set the bar for everything else that’s come since, and is rarely matched.
Want the Halloween mood without the scares? Try one of these documentaries:
- Starz Inside: Bloodsucking Cinema
- Starz Inside: Fantastic Flesh: The Art of Make-Up EFX
- Nightmares in Red, White and Blue
- Tales from the Script
- 1,000 Ways to Die
- American Scary
Suggestions, corrections, additions? Let me know in the comments.