Find all of my Halloween/horror media recommendations here. A note on the links: I’ve tried to provide reliable links to wherever these are streaming, especially if they’re on (free) library-powered streaming sites Kanopy or Hoopla, but of course, you’ll have to do your best based on which services you subscribe to. TubiTV links mean commercials.
10 Great Scary Movies and Shows
- For me, horror film as art gets no better than Stanley Kubrick’s beautifully brooding film The Shining. Stream on HBOMax, or for rent on Amazon.
- Werner Herzong’s excellent 1979 remake of the 1922 German classic Nosferatu is really, really good. In the US it was titled Nosferatu the Vampyre. Beautifully shot, and super creepy acting by Klaus Kinski. Kanopy link. Amazon link. Free with commercials TubiTV link. Both an English-language and German version were made, but I would assume all the links above are for the English one.
- John Carpenter’s masterpiece of suspense and special effects, The Thing (1982), isn’t exactly a Halloween movie (like, say, Halloween [SPL DVD]), but it’s an incredibly good flick and will give you chills. Rent on Amazon, or stream with a paid Peacock subscription. DVD from Seattle library too for you locals.
- Probably the most acclaimed zombie flick is George Romero’s consumerist critique Dawn of the Dead (YouTube, rent from AMC, or stream with AMC+). It’s got everything you want in a zombie movie: action, gore, and nihilism followed by the struggle of the human spirit against overwhelming odds. Day of the Dead (Kanopy, Freevee w/ ads, bootlegged VHS TubiTV…) the 1980s 3rd installment and my personal favorite of the ‘trilogy’, and Night of the Living Dead (TubiTV, ) the original 1968 black and white film that started it all, are also excellent. The 1990 remake-ish of Night of the Living Dead by gore-ful director Tom Savini is apparently also good, but I haven’t seen it yet.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre is reputed to be one of the scariest films ever made, and if my highschool memory serves, I agree! (Netflix.) It’s probably also the reason you get chased through the exit of every commercially-produced haunted house with a chainsaw…
brainszombies? Try the 28 Days Later (Hulu, Disney+ (?), rent on Amazon.)
- Most folks have heard of the ‘found footage’ Blair Witch Project (Hulu, Amazon Prime, PlutoTV w/ ads.) I enjoyed it, but I recommend another found footage film from 2013, Willow Creek (Kanopy, Freevee w/ ads), about a couple that go on a camping trip looking for bigfoot.
- Be a part of the action: Netflix original series Black Mirror did something called Bandersnatch, a very clever ‘choose your own adventure’ movie where you get to control key decision points in the action. Very well done, as well as suspenseful.
- On a lighter note, the Simpson’s entire Treehouse of Horror catalogue is great, and all on Disney+. I especially like the first several seasons of it, including #1 which features a fun telling of Poe’s ‘The Raven’.
- Continue laughing as the boys of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MT3K) roast one of the worst films ever made, Manos: The Hands of Fate. It’s about teenagers and satanic sacrifice, and it’s hilariously terrible.
- David Cronenberg’s debut Shivers.
- Buckets of blood in 1985 Re-Animator on Kanopy.
- Italian film Suspiria on Kanopy.