There’s more to Netflix streaming than binge-able seasons of The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Dexter. Here are my picks for the 25 best/most watchable All Hallows movies you can currently stream.
25. Grave Encounters (NR, 2011) This found-footage send-up of ghost-hunting reality shows isn’t great, but the premise is clever and it’s more of a direct relative to The Blair Witch Project than anything else of its type.
24. Death Machine (R, 1994) A so-bad-it’s-amazing Alien/Terminator ripoff about a war robot that goes murdercrazy. Features Brad Dourif.
23. Silent Hill: Revelation (R, 2012) It’s immensely inferior to the first game-bred fright flick, but retains enough of the original’s sense of unnatural menace to make it worth checking out.
22. Dead Silence (R, 2007) Part of director James Wan’s rise from Saw to the heights of The Conjuring, it’s got ventriloquist’s dummies. Ventriloquist’s dummies! Enough said.
21. V/H/S (R, 2012) A touchstone of the microbudgeted New Horror movement. Three super-weird DIY shorts connected by a vaguely insidious frame story. More intriguing than actually scary.
20. C.H.U.D. (R, 1984) This ‘80s cult classic never gets old if you like mutants, cannibalism, dank underground shots of NYC and, of course, Daniel Stern — an ‘80s classic in his own right.
19. Mimic (R, 1997) One of two films on this list helmed by Guillermo Del Toro, Mimic takes the aforementioned dank shots of underground NYC and adds giant cockroaches. Del Toro didn’t write it, but he pulls a lot of atmosphere from the source material.
18. Event Horizon (R, 1997) The best movie Paul W.S. Anderson will probably ever make still stumbles at the end, but up until then Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne keep the haunted-spaceship trope creepy and gross.
17. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (R, 2010) There aren’t a lot of humorous horror flicks on the list, but this bloody, intentionally hilarious take on the genre’s “backwoods slasher” cliches shouldn’t be missed. Bonus: Firefly’s Alan Tudyk.
16. Night Of The Living Dead (NR, 1968) Still enthralling, and packed with unforgettable scenes. If this black-and-white oldie bores you, you don’t love horror films — you just like violence.
15. Troll Hunter (PG-13, 2010) An underground favorite from Norway, that incorporates elements of comedy and fantasy, as well as serious love for classic low-budget monster movies.
14. Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (R, 1988) It’s gotta be one of the top five horror-movie sequels, ever. Kirsty ends up in a madhouse following the events of the first movie, but Pinhead and company aren’t far behind.
13. The Innkeepers (R, 2011) A very old-school movie from decidedly New Horror director Ti West, this one burns very, very slowly through a haunted-hotel tale. It’s draggy at first, but eventually pays off.
12. Fido (R, 2006) Zomcon has rendered some zombies controllable through a domestication collar. Yeah, that should work out fine. (It doesn’t.) Smart, often funny and socially aware, it also features Billy Connolly and The Matrix’s Carrie-Anne Moss.
11. The Host (R, 2006) No, not that alien-parasite dreck from Stephanie Meyer. This one’s a Korean nod to the days of Gojira, with action, brains and and heart.
10. Evil Dead 2 (X, 1987) Now it’s fondly remembered as a pioneer of horror-comedy, but that was just a by-product of Sam Raimi’s thrifty production values and bonkers sense of spectacle. It’s still nutso after all these years.
9. The Pact (R, 2012) This tense, austere blend of ghost story and whodunit aspires to Fincherian levels of subtlety and style, and nearly gets there at times. Caity Lotz kills it as an estranged daughter unraveling a family mystery.
8. The Awakening (R, 2011) Think of it as an English companion to The Orphanage. This contemporary take on classic British ghost-story elements blurs the lines between reality and madness.
7. Hellraiser (R, 1987) It raised the bar for late-’80s horror cinema in terms of style, plot and grue; while the gore seems less shocking, the film itself hasn’t become any less bizarrely compelling.
6. Hellboy (PG-13, 2004) Not an outright horror film, obviously, but it’s got that dark edge and every-day-is-Halloween imagery perfect for this time of the year.
5. Hardware (R, 1990) Man brings home broken machine for artist girlfriend. Machine fixes self while girlfriend showers, starts mutilating everyone in sight. A love story! With more mutilation (and a perfectly industrial early-’90s dirty-acid feel).
4. The Addams Family (PG-13, 1991) Again, not a horror flick. But it’s hands-down the best dark family comedy this side of Tim Burton’s oeuvre.
3. The Silence Of The Lambs (R, 1991) Derf.
2. The Cabin In The Woods (R, 2012) Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard reinvent the horror film as global catharsis. Gross, scary, funny, brilliant.
1. Let The Right One In (R, 2008) This disturbing, hopeful story of a lonely little boy and the monster who needs him is among the two or three best horror films produced in the last decade. Watch it now.