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Screaming online: 24 hours of horror films to grab from the Internet for Halloween

Here are 17 chillers you can watch over the Internet this Halloween.

Halloween is the time to feast on sugary, fattening candy as well as bloody, also fattening movies. Philadelphia's Exhumed Films has one of the nation’s best marathons, with their annual 24-Hour Horror-thon (which went down last weekend). But you can potentially do your own from home, using nothing but the Internet as your video store — even if you’re at the mercy at the sometimes meager stock that lives online. Let’s say you decided to do your own day-long binge watch using the big three streaming services: Netflix Instant, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Your 24 hours (with meals sneaked in the handful of minutes between films) could look like this:

12:00 p.m.: ‘Carrie’ (1976)
Netflix Instant
Let’s start with some easy comfort food — not that comforting, of course. Brian De Palma’s commercial breakthrough is still the Stephen King stab to beat — a disarming mix of the deeply empathetic and lurid/pervy. And thanks to the constantly on De Palma, it’s electric even before Sissy Spacek’s wallflower wreaks telekinetic havoc in fun split-screen.

1:45 p.m.: ‘White Zombie’ (1932)
Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime

Thanks to pesky rights issues, the number of old horror movies up for streaming on the big three are virtually nonexistent. The closest you can get is this atmospheric Pre-Code number, with a goateed Bela Lugosi lording over a Haitian plantation of zombified slaves. Though sometimes cited as the first full-length zombie movie, it’s the old kind, which is to say they don’t nibble on flesh. That was a George Romero invention, still 36 years off.

3:00 p.m.: ‘Shivers’ (1975)
Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime

David Cronenberg’s first full-on horror film is his most unhinged, set in a swanky yuppie apartment complex/fortress that gets infected with a virus that turns denizens into sex-crazed monsters. It’s a battle of the sexual revolution of the ’60s vs. the coming mega-capitalism of the ’80s — though it can also be enjoyed as a straight-up gorefest, albeit one tied to Cronenberg’s obsession with “biological rebellion.”

4:30 p.m.: ‘Chickamauga’ (1962)
YouTube

This short film is such a rarity that the only way you’ll find it is on a murky video transfer on YouTube. But it’s worth it: Another moody Ambrose Bierce adaptation by Robert Enrico, the guy who made the celebrated film of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” it follows a patriotic boy who wanders into a forest and sees dead soldiers come back to life. Even viewed on a scratchy copy, it will haunt your dreams.

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5:00 pm.: ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968)
Netflix Instant

The longest film on this list is also one of the great slow burns in cinema, with Mia Farrow gradually realizing all may not be right with her coming infant — while contending with some of the most abrasive New York City neighbors imaginable (chiefly a shrieking Ruth Gordon). Roman Polanski keeps his cameras tight on Farrow, drawing out her plight as a metaphor for the isolation and fear that comes with pregnancy.

7:15 p.m.: ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge’ (1985)
Netflix Instant

It took a few movies for this series to realize its monster should be the kind that flings quips and does wacky deaths. The first two are straight-up creepers, this one focusing on a guy who might be possessed by Freddy Krueger — and, thanks to a dalliance with his gym teacher (Marshall Bell), might even be exploring his sexuality.

8:45 p.m.: ‘Eyes Without a Face’ (1960)
Hulu

In this alternately clinical and dreamy French freak-out fest, a mad scientist (Pierre Brasseur) kidnaps young women so he may steal their faces and literally put them on his daughter (Edith Scob), whose own was horribly disfigured in an accident. The centerpiece is a highly realistic surgery sequence that will probably make you want to claw your own face off.

10:15 p.m.: ‘Frankenhooker’ (1990)
Hulu

Bill Murray was a very vocal fan of this horror-comedy, but do you really need anything more than the title “Frankenhooker” to make you excited for a film called “Frankenhooker”? “Basket Case” maven Frank Henenlotter follows a scientist — whose wife was killed in a freak lawnmower accident — trying to bring her back in the bodies of multiple hookers. There’s also something called “supercrack.”

11:45 p.m.: ‘Pieces’ (1982)
Hulu

Oh man, this movie. A sleazy Spanish slasher — about a psycho chopping up bodies to create a human jigsaw puzzle (!!) — it is, on top of being unbelievably, cartoonishly, peerlessly gory, also a laugh riot. Behold the absolutely out-of-nowhere kung fu scene, the part where a woman screams “Bastards!” at the top of her lungs three or four times in a row and the ending that makes not a lick of sense. Like Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” this is a masterpiece.

1:14 a.m. ‘Premonition Following an Evil Deed’ (1995)
Hulu

This is one-minute long, and here’s why you’re watching it: It might be the creepiest thing David Lynch ever made. Shot with the world’s first film camera — for the anthology film “Lumiere & Company,” which celebrated cinema’s centennial — it’s a series of disconnected, old-timey-looking images that go from quaint suburbia to some hellish realm and back again. Whatever story there is to be found is purely subliminal; the only thing it’s trying to do is unsettle. You’ll be terrified and have no idea why.

1:15 a.m.: ‘House on Haunted Hill’ (1959)
Netflix Instant, Amazon Prime and Hulu

Much like old monster movies, Vincent Price films are thin on the streaming ground. One of his better efforts is on there —his first film with gimmick producer William Castle (who also handled, sans gimmicks, “Rosemary’s Baby”). You can’t recreate the in-theaters tricks (in this case a flying skeleton), but it’s still a fun chamber piece/boo-fest, with Price trapping assorted desperate types (among them Elisha Cook Jr.) inside a spooky Frank Lloyd Wright mansion for a night of murder.

2:30 a.m.: ‘The Baby’ (1973)
Netflix Instant

So you’ve been watching movies for 14 ½ hours — good time to whip out the truly nutty stuff. Rediscovered a few years ago, this campy shocker finds a nice social worker happening upon a mother who has raised her son to believe he’s still a baby. His age: 21.

4:00 a.m.: ‘V/H/S/2’ (2013): ‘Save Haven’ episode (starts around 40 minute mark)
Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime

Anthology horror films tend to be spotty, which is odd given how the scariest stories are usually the shortest. Buried in the middle of the second fake found footage frightfest is a real doozy, with a camera crew infiltrating a cult’s compound, only to find an assortment of beasties. Co-directed by “The Raid”’s Gareth Evans, it keeps topping itself, busting out one insanity then piling on something even crazier.

4:30 a.m.: ‘Bay of Blood’ (1971)
Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime
Now you’re 16 ½ hours in; good luck trying to follow this hilariously byzantine Italian “giallo” from legend Mario Bava. Otherwise known as “Twitch of the Death Nerve,” it’s like “Slacker” but with murder, tracing one gory dispatch to another, and building to a truly decent punchline.

6:00 a.m.: ‘House’ (1977)
Hulu

Not to be confused with the 1986 American horror film with William Katt, this is the goofy, OTT, basically insane Japanese one that was rediscovered not long ago, with a group of girls heading off to a house for some silly f/x-riddled deaths. Honestly, this is even more entertaining before they get to the house, when it’s just a steady stream of inexplicably weird shots and editing decisions.

7:30 a.m.: ‘The House by the Cemetery’ (1982)
Hulu

Serial Italian shocker Lucio Fulci is known for his unbelievably nasty — and largely incomprehensible — gorefests, like “The Beyond,” “The New York Ripper” and “Zombie” (the one with a shark vs. zombie fight). This one opens with a stab to the head and gets more unpleasant from there. It’ll be fun to watch over cereal.

9:00 a.m.: ‘The Blob’ (1958)
Hulu

Now that you’ve seen grotesque dismemberments and flesh torn like latex, time to go back to a more innocent time, when people were merely dissolved by goo. A low budget production filmed in the Philadelphia burbs, this not only gave the world a new monster (one sadly underutilized by the movies since), but also young Steve McQueen, lending gravity and movie star presence to a cheap production.

10:25 a.m.: ‘Day of the Dead’ (1985)
Netflix Instant

Zombies are always a nice way to close out 24 hours of movie watching. (Actually, if you do this right, it will probably be 24 hours and change. This one runs a relatively long 102 minutes.) You might as well go with the pioneer, George A. Romero. And you might as well go with his underrated third “Living Dead” picture, which finds a pocket of humanity stuck underground, where the real monsters are the obnoxious, sadistic military guys. Though maybe the real monsters are the zombies, who make a belated but wholly satisfying appearance, capping off an entire day’s worth of movie watching in fine, organ-spewing style.

12:10ish p.m.: Go sleep. You won. In a way.

Streaming horror we’d also recommend if the above aren't good enough for you: Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” (Hulu); Mario Bava’s “Black Sunday” (Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime); David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” (Hulu); the original, non-comedic “The Evil Dead” (Hulu); the original “Fright Night” (Netflix Instant); the Roger Corman-produced “Alien” ripoff “Galaxy of Terror,” featuring Robert Englund, Grace Zabriskie and Ray Walston (Netflix Instant); “Hellraiser” and “Hellbound: Hellraiser II” (Netflix Instant); the Japanese ghost movies “Kuroneko” and “Kwaidan,” the latter an epic, amazing anthology film (both on Hulu); “Night of the Creeps” (Netflix Instant); the weirdly smart killer tire movie “Rubber” (Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime); and, if you really want to be upset, the original “The Vanishing” (Hulu).

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge
 
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