Arguably Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s most endearing release, “Young Frankenstein” has become a staple of the Halloween season ever since it hit cinemas in 1974, thanks to its combination of consistent laughs with a nostalgic, gothic setting and a truly original story. Don’t forget, though, it’s pronounced "Fronkensteen."
[Image: 20th Century Fox]
Often overlooked because of the seemingly endless banal sequels that followed, it shouldn’t be forgotten just how riveting and impactful “Saw” was when it was first released. Blatantly inspired by David Fincher, while proudly but also smartly low-budget, the film’s meticulous structure and surprises make it a film that is still worth revisiting today.
[Image: Lionsgate Films]
One of the most lauded horror films of recent years, “It Follows” quickly generated praise and then momentum after premiering at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It was easy to see why, too, as it included more scares than most of its peers combined, and is a multi-layered treat.
Another recent horror film that quickly profited from positive word of mouth and almost instantly turned into a cult classic. While “The Babadook’s” scares come from old-school horror techniques and mood rather than jolts, the titular creature was still embraced by modern audiences. So much so that it has become an LGBT icon, and you can expect to see plenty of Babadook costumes this Halloween.
[Image: Umbrella Entertainment]
Another recent horror film, this time from 2016, which proves that the genre continues to flourish even as cinema is beginning to be eclipsed by television. “Hush” revolves around Kate Siegel’s Maddie, a deaf author that is stalked by a killer in her home. Writers Siegel and Mike Flanagan, who also directs, use these constraints to build a wholly original but still nevertheless terrifying film, which has drawn ubiquitous praise from the likes of Stephen King and William Friedkin.
“Hellraiser” probably includes the most iconic character on this list, as Doug Bradley’s Lead Cenobite has inspired millions of Halloween outfits in the 30 years since its release. However, the image of that character has long since overshadowed what is actually a truly intense and impressive horror film, which deserves more attention. Make sure you give it just that over the coming days.
[Image: Entertainment Film Distributors]
While Tim Burton has his detractors, when the director is on song, and is given the right story, there is no other filmmaker out there that can create as deep and disturbing a world. No more so is this evident than in “Sleepy Hollow,” especially since we’re being guided through it by Johnny Depp’s Ichabod Crane. While “Sleepy Hollow” is far from perfect, it is still an undeniable crowd-pleaser.
[Image: Paramount Pictures]
Not just the most recent release on this list, but also the second film from Mike Flanagan, too, “Gerald’s Game” is still more than worthy of its place, mostly because it also just so happens to be one of the finest Stephen King adaptations ever, too. Carla Gugino easily gives one of the best performances of the year, while Flanagan is able to wring terror and suspense from every possible angle, and it possesses a moment so gruesome that you’ll never look at your wrist in the same way again.
Train To Busan
While “Train To Busan” is indeed eerily similar to “World War Z,” it uses the Brad Pitt led blockbuster as a springboard to a more satisfying and captivating experience. “Train To Busan” revolves around Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) and his young daughter Soo-an (Kim Su-an), who are trapped onboard a high speed train during a zombie outbreak. What unfolds is a tight, fierce, and hugely entertaining horror film that teaches Hollywood a thing or two.
[Image: Next Entertainment World]
The Addams Family
Do I need to explain The Addams Family’s place on this list? How about the fact that it just wouldn’t be Halloween if you didn’t watch the scurrying Thing scare and delight? Or how about the fact that Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci are so perfectly cast that it is impossible to imagine anyone else in the roles? Best not to mention MC Hammer’s song Addams Groove, though.
[Image: Paramount Pictures]
Finding a healthy amount of Halloween movies on Netflix to devour in the buildup to October 31st has now become an annual necessity. Now that Halloween is nearly upon us again, people across the world are eager to get into the spirit of the season before they actually start handing out candy to trick or treaters.
The best way to do just that is to either fill your home with a tidal wave of spooky decorations, which would obviously include a mountain of pumpkins piled up in every corner and a dangling skeleton over every possible door frame. Or by sitting back, clicking onto Netflix, and then watching the scariest films that the streaming site has to offer this Halloween season.
As you can imagine, Netflix has an almighty selection of horror films to search through. As we are all very much aware by now, scrolling through Netflix quickly becomes quite a chore, and picking out a film that’s actually worth your time can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
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But you don’t need to go through this trauma alone. In fact, because I love you all so very, very much, I have traipsed through everything that the streaming site has to offer and picked out the best Halloween movies on Netflix. Each of which should immediately get you into the mood.
I stopped short of including films like “Jaws” and “E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial,” though. Not just because Steven Spielberg has had enough credit for three lifetimes (all of which is deserved), but because, while they have their moments of spookiness and scares, they don’t have their hearts entirely set on seeping into your soul and terrifying you to such an extent that you can’t help but stay awake that little bit longer the night that you watch them. Even the comedies on this list play with the tropes and iconography of the genre in such a way that you invariably feel a little creeped out.
You can take a look at my choices by clicking through the gallery above. Then you should immediately get to work on watching each and every one of them before Halloween is over.