16 scary Halloween movies you'll want to watch tonight - and how to stream them

These sixteen frightening films will keep you up at night

Credit: Walt Disney Corp.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

It's the most frightful time of the year! Yes, Halloween is rapidly approaching. What better way to spend the spookiest of days than with a scary movie? Yet with so many options to choose from finding the perfect horror film can be a terrifying prospect.

Usually, you'd just boot up Netflix or Amazon and pick the top ones. But the horror offerings on most streaming sites are ghostly thin. Have no fear, we've done the hard work for you. Below you'll find sixteen of our favorite horror films and the best way to watch them. Happy viewing and sweet dreams...

Alien

Alien
Credit: 20th Century Fox
This probably wont end well... View Larger

The film that launched a franchise—and the careers of Sigourney Weaver and Sir Ridley Scott— Alien takes the familiar haunted house genre and grafts it onto a grimy SciFi setting. Structurally perfect and utterly terrifying, Alien is one of the best, and one of the scariest films ever made.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($10.89)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

The Babadook

The Babadook
Credit: IFC
The joy of motherhood View Larger

Some of the best horror films are those that use their scare tactics to explore some pretty heady themes. Case in point this Australian film that examines the nature of grief and the challenges of parenthood while simultaneously scaring our pants off.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($14.99)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)
Stream on Netflix

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice
Credit: Warner Bros.
Beetlejuice and friend after a marathon of Tim Burton's more recent movies. View Larger

You can't keep a good ghost down—especially when it's Beetlejuice, the ultimate party animal. Tim Burton's second directorial effort is a wild ride through his morbidly whimsical imagination, offering campy (and corpse-y) fun for the whole family.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($5.86)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project
Credit: Artisan Entertainment
The Blair Witch Project does a lot with very little. View Larger

The movie that smashed open the found-footage horror genre, Blair Witch has always divided movie goers. Still, the intimacy of the up-close-and-personal shaky cam style may find you becoming more invested in these people than you might think, making those jump scares all the more visceral.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($7.40)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow
Credit: Paramount
Sleepy Hollow isn't a bad movie, and the art direction is stellar.

Sleepy Hollow isn't the best movie, but it features some truly top-notch production and visuals; it even won the Oscar for Best Art Direction. It's difficult to forgive a movie that casts Christopher Walken and never lets him speak, but if you're streaming entirely on Netflix, you don't have many more options better than this.
Buy the Blu-ray on Amazon ($8.73)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)
Stream on Netflix

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods
Credit: Lionsgate
We're not the only one making lists, but we promise ours won't kill you View Larger

A great movie in general, but a particular treat for horror buffs. Joss Whedon's sharp screenplay cleverly flips the horror genre on its head, giving us a look behind the curtain... and what we see there is even more deliciously, wickedly horrifying than what you'd expect.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($5.99)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

The Conjuring

The Conjuring
Credit: Warner Bros.
Hello? Is there anyone in the basement? I guess I'd better go down there to check... alone... with only a small stick on fire..." View Larger

Genuinely unsettling and incredibly well shot, this ghost story stands out for featuring strong performances that will keep you riveted to your seat. It's also based on a true story, which adds an extra layer of creepiness.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($10.89)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

The Descent

The Descent
Credit: Lionsgate
Those with claustrophobia may want to give this one a miss. View Larger

A spelunking exhibition goes horribly, horribly wrong in this acclaimed British horror film. The Descent draws on our fear of enclosed spaces and the dark to create an utterly terrifying plunge into the unknown. Claustrophobia sufferers, you have been warned…
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($9.69)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

Event Horizon

Event Horizon
Credit: Paramount
First rule of horror films: Never mess with the weird spiky thing. View Larger

A gripping, gruesome skin-crawler set in the void of space where our heroes are confronted with terror so profound it drives them into madness and beyond. Definitely not for the faint of heart... and Jurassic Park fans will never look at Sam Neill the same way again.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($9.19)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)
Stream on Netflix

Jaws

Jaws
Credit: Universal Pictures
To be fair, a bigger boat probably wouldn't have helped. View Larger

The film that made an entire generation afraid of the ocean, Jaws is still one of the most effective man vs nature films ever made. While, it may not be technically considered a horror film by some, there is no denying this Spielberg classic is utterly terrifying.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($7.66)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)
Stream on Netflix

The Mist

The Mist
Credit: MGM
Wait... you mean none of us are being cast in the TV series?!? View Larger

Adapted from a Stephen King novella, it's a slow burn that asks what's really more terrifying: the unknown, or the dark urges that live inside us all? Worth mentioning is a particularly brutal ending that King himself has said he wishes he'd thought of.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($5.06)
Stream on Amazon

The Others

The Others
Credit: Dimension Films
Sure, go talk to the creepy kid with the puppet, what could possibly go wrong? View Larger

This beautifully shot gothic ghost story is a textbook example of slow burn filmmaking done right. With its wonderful combination of effective jump scares and brooding atmosphere, The Others will leave you shaken.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($7.99)
Stream on Amazon

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby
Credit: Paramount
The joy of motherhood Pt 2: Electric Boogaloo View Larger

Roman Polanski's ultimate slow burn takes the joy of pending motherhood and turns it into every mother-to-be's worst nightmare. It's an eerie journey into madness with a masterful performance by Mia Farrow that will have you second guessing everything you see and hear.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($24.73)
Stream on Amazon

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead
Credit: Universal
Cornetto? View Larger

There’s a fine line between mockery and affection and Shaun of the Dead walks it perfectly. Stephen Wright's comedy horror, is both a parody and celebration of the various tropes found in modern zombie films. It’s also a touching, and funny, examination of male friendships.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($8.99)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

The Shining

The Shining
Credit: Warner Bros.
Creepy kids and horror films go hand in hand. View Larger

While author Stephen King all but disowned this adaptation of his 1977 novel, The Shining is considered by many to be the greatest horror film of all time. Artful, thematically rich, and above all terrifying, The Shining gets under your skin.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($16.99)
Rent from Amazon ($3.99)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Credit: Bryanston Pictures
If you can sit through this one without wincing, you're more resilient than we are. View Larger

One of the grandaddy's of the slasher film, what it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in sheer bloody enthusiasm. This hack-and-chop-athon can still make even the hardiest gore hounds squirm, and will make you feel a whole lot better about your own family get-togethers.
Buy the Blu Ray at Amazon ($18.49)
Stream on Amazon


This is but a small sampling of the multitude of chilling offerings available. If you have any hidden gems you think we missed please sound off in the comments.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What's Your Take?

All Comments
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below