Halloween Horror: Where the Best Movies Are Screaming, er, Streaming

Do you like scary movies? Streaming services have you covered.

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For those who embrace the scary side of October, the streaming services have really come through in a big way in 2021. The propagation of popular channels and the specificity that some of them allow has resulted in a massive selection of newer films and scary classics within reach of your remote. Here’s a look at some of what the big players have to offer.

SHUDDER

It’s only fair to start with Shudder, that most excellent horror streaming service. With a wide selection, channels broken down into specific genres, and collections curated around beloved directors (like Dario Argento), Shudder can play as both a haven for the devout and a great introduction to people curious about horror films. They also have a healthy selection of original series and genre documentaries. Part of their appeal is careful attention to classics (like the original Halloween and Carrie) as well as newer films (The Endless) and originals (the fiendishly clever Host). They also have a wide range of foreign films, like Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead and the major Korean zombies-on-a-train hit, Train to Busan.

Halloween trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Movieclips Classic Trailers)

Films include:

  • Carrie (1976)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • City of the Living Dead (1980)
  • All Hail Argento!: A collection that includes Tenebrae (1982) and Phenomena (1985), among others
  • The House of the Devil (2009)
  • Train to Busan (2016)
  • The Endless (2017)
  • Mandy (2018)
  • Host (2020)

NETFLIX

In addition to being the biggest streaming service, Netflix puts a lot of effort into developing quality horror programming. Their relationship with director Mike Flanagan has resulted in a group of top-notch horror mini-series. The latest, Midnight Mass, arrived to rave reviews in September. Other Flanagan minis include The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. But Flanagan isn’t the only big gun; with Stranger Things and others, Netflix has a deep original supernatural bench and a commitment to original horror films, like Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.

Army of the Dead trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Netflix)

Films include:

  • Scream (1996)
  • Underworld (2003)
  • The Mist (2007)
  • The Strangers (2008)
  • The Conjuring 1 and 2 (2013 and 2016)
  • The Ritual (2017)
  • Hell Fest (2018)
  • Malevolent (2018)
  • Vampires vs. The Bronx (2020)
  • Army of the Dead (2021)
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021)
  • No One Gets Out Alive (2021)

PRIME VIDEO

Amazon’s Prime Video has an enormous selection of films of all kinds, but a number of them are behind a rental pay wall. Fortunately, a good-sized amount are freely available with the service (which, as of press time, these films are). Prime is also good about giving a home to buzzed-about films like The Lighthouse and Midsommer.

Midsommar trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by A24)

Films include:

  • Phantasm (Remastered) (1979)
  • The Fog (1980)
  • Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)
  • Hatchet (2006)
  • The Host (2006)
  • The Ruins (2008)
  • The Lords of Salem (2012)
  • Vivarium (2019)
  • Midsommer (2019)
  • The Lighthouse (2019)

DISNEY+

If you’re looking for kid-friendly fare, of course Disney+ will have it. The service has a number of shows grouped under their Halloween Collection, and a Specials label for Halloween episodes featuring characters like the gang from Toy Story and the Lego Star Wars universe. The site also has a feature containing all of the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes from The Simpsons. Many classic Disney Channel and The Disney Sunday Movie offerings have been added, as have classic shorts with icons like Donald Duck.

The Nightmare Before Christmas trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Movieclips Classic Trailers)

Films include:

  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
  • Mr. Boogedy (1986)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993)
  • The Halloweentown series (1998-2004)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  • Spooky Buddies (2011)
  • Frankenweenie (2012)
  • Maleficent (2014)

HULU

HULU has upped their game with a mix of classics, recent hits, indies, and originals. Their selection includes the first of the recent Halloween series and cult-classic-on-arrival Willy’s Wonderland. Adding on other pay channels in HULU, like Starz, opens up a bigger selection.

IT (2017) trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Movieclips Trailers)

Films include:

  • IT (1990)
  • The Visit (2015)
  • Lights Out (2016)
  • IT (2017)
  • Halloween (2018)
  • The Final Girls (2018)
  • The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
  • Crawl (2019)
  • Bad Hair (2020)
  • Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

HBO Max

HBO Max came to play. By pulling together offerings from its various channels’ home video lines and international film library, HBO Max has put together a substantial and deep bench of recent to classic films. With film history classics like Tod Browning’s Freaks to breakthroughs like David Lynch’s Eraserhead, their selection includes critically acclaimed fare, huge hits, overlooked gems, and franchise players. And it has this year’s divisive new classic, Malignant, as the bloody cherry on top.

Malignant trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Films include:

  • Freaks (1932)
  • Ugetsu (1953)
  • Kwaidan (1964)
  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • Eraserhead (1977)
  • The Amityville Horror (1979)
  • The Brood (1979)
  • The Hunger (1979)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • The Evil Dead (1981)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (1984-present)
  • Event Horizon (1997)
  • Final Destination series (2000-2011)
  • 28 Days Later (2002)
  • Trick ’r Treat (2007)
  • IT (2017)
  • The Invisible Man (2019)
  • Freaky (2020)
  • Malignant (2021)

PEACOCK

Peacock has happily branded their Halloween and horror offerings as “Peacocktober.” In addition to various recent and classic acquisitions, the service’s ties to Universal means that they have a ton of horror history on their hands. If you want to find the classic Universal Monsters (Karloff’s Frankenstein monster, Lugosi’s Dracula, Chaney Jr.’s Wolf Man), you’re in the right place.

30 Days of Night trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Movieclips Classic Trailers)

Films include:

  • Universal Classic Monsters collection (20 films, 1931 and on)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • Phantasm (1979)
  • Friday the 13th franchise (1980-present)
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  • Gremlins (1984)
  • Child’s Play franchise (1988-present)
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
  • Saw franchise (2004-present)
  • 30 Days of Night (2007)
  • The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
  • It Follows (2014)

PARAMOUNT+

Paramount+ boasts a significant hit from earlier this year with the big sequel A Quite Place 2. It also has some genre classics, like White Zombie, and a certified cult classic with Francis Ford Coppola’s feature film directorial debut, Dementia 13.

A Quiet Place trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Paramount Pictures)

Films include:

  • White Zombie (1932)
  • The Devil Bat (1940)
  • Dementia 13 (1963)
  • The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
  • Species franchise (1995-2007)
  • World War Z (2013)
  • Mother (2017)
  • Annihilation (2018)
  • Overlord (2018)
  • A Quiet Place 1 & 2 (2018 and 2021)

APPLE TV+

The home of Ted Lasso has no horror movies, but it does offer a few series that slot into the genre. Lisey’s Story stars Julianne Moore and is based on the Stephen King novel, while Servant comes from The Sixth Sense’s M. Night Shyamalan. Calls features an all-star cast in a modern take on the . . .yes, radio drama. You have to hear it. Literally.

Servant trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Apple TV)

Shows include:

  • Servant (2019-present)
  • Lisey’s Story (2021)
  • Calls (2021)

TUBI

Free-with-ads streamer TUBI has quite a lot to offer if you dig through its selections. It has some sequels you won’t find elsewhere (like The Descent 2) and it’s open to independent films, like the beloved online scary clown movie Terrifier.

The Descent trailer (Uploaded to YouTube by Movieclips Classic Trailers)

Films include:

  • Candyman (1992)
  • Identity (2003)
  • The Descent & The Descent 2 (2005 and 2009)
  • Terrifier (2016)

One final note: If you don’t see something that you were looking for, we recommend checking on Decider.com or ReelGood.com to find a film’s streaming availability.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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