Stream screams: The best horror on VOD this Halloween

It’s Halloween weekend so it’s time to watch something spooky.

With so many options available chances and indecision your greatest fear, we’ve pulled together a list of horror highlights to help you choose something special.

So from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, Disney Life, iPlayer, and the TV listings, we’ve hunted down the best films and shows to send a shiver up your spine, whatever your tastes.

Horror classics

In the mood for something classy and guaranteed to deliver quality scares? These films have captivated horror audiences for years, and are as scary today as they were when they were first released.

Halloween (1978)

With the new Halloween in cinemas now, catch the original John Carpenter classic, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, available to stream now on Now TV.

The Exorcist (1973)

Regularly named one of the greatest horror movies of all time, The Exorcist is on Now TV if you can handle it.

Psycho (1960)

There’s never a bad time to Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal black & white horror, and it’s also on Now TV now.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George R Romero’s horror classic set the template for all zombie stories and it remains as relevant now as it was 50 years ago. Catch it on BBC iPlayer for free now.

Family-friendly fare

Kids love Halloween even more than adults, but its so hard to find something spooky that the whole family can enjoy together. These films are on the palatable side of the macabre and highly unlikely to give little ones nightmares.

Coco (2018)

Pixar’s magnificent Day of the Dead-inspired Mexican musical is a treat for the eyes and ears, suitable for all ages, and has a great message at its heart. This top notch treat is sure to tickle your funny bones on Now TV now.

Coraline (2009)

This stop-motion animation – from Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas – is more suited to older children, as it features some spooky moments of peril that even adults might find disturbing, but it’s an entertaining romp from start to finish and can be found on Now TV.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

This Disney classic is 25 years old this year, but it remains one of the all-time great Halloween movies. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witches who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts. This unmissable family classic is on Disney Life now.

Modern classics

Prefer your scares a bit more recent? Don’t worry, the last five years have produced plenty of unnerving treats to keep you company during the spooky season.

IT: Chapter One (2017)

The IT remake was a terrifying experience at the cinema, with Bill Skarsgård’s killer clown Pennywise far scarier than we were expecting when we first saw him in costume. Thankfully, the small screen doesn’t diminish IT: Chapter One’s power to petrify. Pop every balloon in your general vicinity, and catch it on Now TV.

Light’s Out (2016)

Inspired by an equally terrifying short film (which you can watch on YouTube) Lights Out just about earns its leap to feature-length, packing in enough creepy sequences, jump scares and disturbing characters to justify the runtime. Catch it on Amazon, but maybe make sure you’ve changed your lightbulbs in the living room first. You do NOT want them to randomly go out while this is on.

The Conjuring (2013)

James Wan’s classic The Conjuring is still near the top of the best horror movies of the decade. If you’ve somehow missed it, or if you simply want to revisit it, it’s on Amazon for free. If it is a first time watch, then you’ve got a lot of catching up to do when the credits roll. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  

Spooky marathons

If you fancy sticking on your headphones and doing an all-evening binge-session to drown out the doorbell so you don’t have to explain why you don’t have any Halloween candy to trick or treaters, we’ve got some perfect solutions to your situation.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

The best horror experience of the year isn’t a movie, it’s a 10-hour TV series, which uses a family terrorised by haunted house as a metaphor for the different stages of grief. But it’s far more enjoyable than that sounds – with the most iconic ghosts this side of The Conjuring universe, battling characters you grow to truly care about. Check it out on Netflix now.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

This ain’t your aunt’s Sabrina. Netflix has rebooted the classic character straight from a series of truly terrifying comic-books, to create a show that’s part Buffy, part American Horror Story. It landed on the streaming site today, so that’s your weekend sorted.

Lore (2018)

Combining documentary footage and cinematic scenes to detail the origins of iconic horror stories, Lore combines fact and (let’s face it, mostly) fiction to create an Amazon original that’ll educate you while it’s creeping you out.

Cult horror

It’s impossible to watch everything, so there’s a good chance some obscure rarities have slipped through the cracks of your streaming schedule – luckily, you’ve got us to help out.

Kill List (2011)

Ben Wheatley’s cross between Pulp Fiction and The Wicker Man remains one of the British director’s very best films (it’s actually probably still his best film) creating a rising intensity that builds to a finale still influencing horror films out this year (we can’t say which ones, because spoilers). It’s on Amazon, so if you fancy braving its deep darkness this Halloween, you’re made of sterner stuff than us.

Apostle (2018)

Fresh to Netflix in the last fortnight (landing at the same time as Hill House – Netflix, you spoil us), this uncanny scare flick mixes a creepy cult with bursts of action to create something pretty unique. If you’ve seen director Gareth Evans’ VHS 2 segment, and his The Raid films, then you’ll know what to expect. For everyone new to his style of cinema – brace yourselves for impact.

The Wailing (2016)

Clear your Halloween schedule for this 156 minute masterpiece – which comes with a plot that twists and turns so much, you’ll get trapped in your duvet if you watch it in bed. This South Korean horror thriller mixes genres to tell the story of a strange sickness that may have supernatural origins. It’s currently one of the best films on Netflix, and well worth your time.

The Witch (2015)

Making its telly debut on Film 4, director Robert Eggers’ instant cult classic about a young girl’s increasing fascination with witchcraft is a slow-burn experience, but once the scary stuff starts happening, you won’t look back. Warning: One side effect of watching this film is you’ll want to adopt a large black goat which you’ll name Phillip. Don’t ask us to explain, just watch the movie.

Short shockers

We’ve all got busy lives, so if your Halloween schedule is already looking pretty packed, here’s some ace supernatural content you can squeeze in between parties.

Mickey Mouse: Lonesome Ghosts (1937)

Chucking chuckles in with the scares, this cartoon features Mickey, Donald Duck and Goofy as Ghost Exterminators (almost fifty years before Ghostbusters!)  tricked into exploring a haunted house by the titular spooks, so they can freak out our heroes. It’s super fun, and you can catch it Disney Life.

The Skeleton Dance (1929)

Produced and directed by Walt Disney himself, this very short bone-show sees four human skeletons dancing and making music in a spooky graveyard. It’s basically timeless, but best watched on Halloween night, on Disney Life.

Toy Story of Terror! (2013)

Like all Pixar productions, this is entertaining enough for adults and kids alike – but with added mystery, as Mr. Potato Head goes missing during a road trip, and the rest of the gang face a race against the clock to rescue him. It’s on Disney Life, and will only require 22 minutes of your time.

Inside No. 9

Not only do you have every episode of Inside No. 9 waiting for you on Netflix, there’s a brand-new episode broadcasting on BBC Two on October 28. It’s on at 10pm – 10.30pm, and the Halloween special has a one-off twist – it’s going to be broadcast live. And don’t expect it to be a laugh a minute, co-creator Reese Shearsmith is promising proper scares.

“With it being a Halloween-themed episode, it’s meant to be a bit more horror-like and hopefully that’s what we will deliver on. It’s not a comedy romp,” Shearsmith said.

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

The BFI have kindly – via their excellent BFI Player – made a long-lost adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart (missing for 50 years until someone found it in their loft – seriously) available to watch for free this Halloween. In fact, you can watch the digitally restored (from a 16mm) film right now. 

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