As soon as we feel a slight chill in the air, we immeds dive head first into a month-long horror movie marathon. For the seasoned pros, it’s basically the most wonderful time of the year for flicks featuring creepy dolls, haunted houses and a whole lot of bad decisions.
If you’re a not exactly a horror-film fanatic, but are attempting to get into the spooky spirit of the season, here are some survival tips: Always eat a loud snack (read: chips, popcorn, carrots) to drown out the sound of the suspenseful music. Never, EVER watch a horror movie at night. And finally, place a shield in front of you (like a pillow, blanket or your cat) in case you need to look away.
Ready to scream? These are the best horror movies on Netflix to get you in the Halloween mood, like new Netflix Original series The Haunting of Hill House and classic horror film The Grudge. If you have to sleep with the lights on for the next week, don’t say we didn’t worn you.
The Conjuring 2
Synopsis: A single mother and her four kids in London are being terrorized by evil spirits. Enter ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe
Why it will make you scream: As if the original wasn’t scary enough, director James Wan brings the terror full force in this spooky sequel. TBH, anything involving demonic spirits is absolutely horrifying, but the fact that Wan gets you so invested in the characters makes it that much scarier.
Synopsis: He’s blind and rich—the perfect target for robbery. But the tables turn when three teen thieves find themselves in a lethal game of cat and mouse.
Cast: Jane Levy, Stephen Lang, Daniel Zovatto
Why it will make you scream: There’s minimal dialogue in this film, but it makes up for the lack of talking with tons of tension and gruesome imagery. So, if gore isn’t your thing, you might want to sit this one out.
The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death
Synopsis: During World War II, a group of London schoolchildren are evacuated to a dilapidated house, where they unwittingly reawaken a vicious spirit.
Cast: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory
Why it will make you scream: You will be on the edge of your seat the whole time because of the film’s building suspense, creepy cinematography and ominous music that plays constantly. We gasped repeatedly at the sight of a hand or dark shadowed figure lurking in the background.
Synopsis: In this English-language remake of a Japanese horror film, an American in Tokyo uncovers a deadly curse spread by a spirit with a tragic past.
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, William Mapother
Why it will make you scream: Arguably one of the most iconic horror movies of all time, The Grudge has everything one would want in a scary movie: suspenseful music, super realistic spirits and a whole lot of blood-curdling screams.
Synopsis: Four friends with a long-standing—but strained—connection take a hiking trip into the Swedish wilderness, from which they may never return.
Cast: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier
Why it will make you scream: This flick isn’t your typical “family lives in a house haunted with evil spirits” trope. If you’re looking for a non-traditional horror movie that still brings the scare-factor, this one is for you. Let’s just say you might not want to go camping after seeing this film.
The Haunting of Hill House
Synopsis: Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.
Cast: Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton
Streaming: Drops on October 12
Why it will make you scream: We love horror movies as much as the next gal, but there’s something refreshing about an entire series devoted to scaring us silly. This Netflix original delves deep into the characters’ lives and backstories, so you’ll be super invested as you watch them struggle to escape their past.
Synopsis: From the executive producers of The Purge franchise and Lore, Haunted gives a chilling glimpse into the real accounts from people who have witnessed horrifying, peculiar, extraordinary supernatural events and other unexplained phenomenons that continue to haunt them.
Streaming: Drops on October 19
Why it will make you scream: For a twist on the classic horror movie, this reality TV series will make you a believer in the supernatural. Plus, isn’t everything a little more terrifying when it’s based on a real events?
Synopsis: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.
Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Streaming: Drops October 20
Why it will make you scream: This OG horror movie has many iconic moments (like that memorable phone call scene with a young Drew Barrymore circa 1996). If you’re a scary movie newbie, Scream will get you hooked on horror. Plus, all four movies will be available on October 20!
Synopsis: Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
Streaming: Drops on October 20
Why it will make you scream: When we think of horror movies, Michael Myers is one name that comes to mind. The fictional character of this slasher film series brings the suspense and the scariness with his persistence (there are nine movies—and counting—after all), relentless killing and creepy mask. Binge the original before the remake hits theatres on October 19.
Synopsis: Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer, dating back to the 1960s.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
Streaming: Drops October 20
Why it will make you scream: First of all, Bughuul (a.k.a the demon in the movie) is absolutely terrifying. You only see fragments of him throughout the movie, lurking in the background (which is scary enough), but the fact that he’s known as the “devourer of children” takes it to the next level.
Synopsis: A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.
Cast: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano
Streaming: Drops October 20
Why it will make you scream: What’s terrifying about this Spanish horror movie is not the jump scares or the demonic old woman (though both of those things made us leap out of our seats)—it’s the shaky footage that makes you feel like you’re actually part of the movie and there’s no escape.
And if you hate scary movies, here are a few flicks that are more sweet than spooky:
Synopsis: Hotel Transylvania owner Dracula pulls double duty as an overprotective dad when an unwelcome suitor shows interest in his teenage daughter.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez
Why it get you in the Halloween spirit: Spending Oct. 31 with your fam? Binge this light-hearted animated comedy, which is the perfect flick to watch while little ones are in a candy coma. You’ll get your Halloween fix with vampires, zombies and monsters, but with less spook and more cute.
Synopsis: Curious young Coraline unlocks a door in her family’s home and is transported to a universe that strangely resembles her own—only better.
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman
Why it get you in the Halloween spirit: This animated film might not be about Halloween, but the creepy animation (read: people with button eyes) and haunting storyline scream Oct. 31. PSA: This ain’t no kids movie (even we were freaked out a little when we watched it), so we recommend leaving the lights on or seeing it with your BFF for moral support.
Synopsis: R.L. Stine’s tales take on a life of their own in a series that combines original stories with adaptations drawn from the popular books.
Cast: R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones
Why it get you in the Halloween spirit: If you grew up reading every book in this spooky series, you’ll love watching the ’90s live-action flick. Not only will the fashion leave you feeling v. nostalgic, but the suspense-level is more subtle than scary.
Synopsis: A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by three mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.
Cast: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty
Why it get you in the Halloween spirit: We love all things haunted as much as the next Halloween enthusiast, but sometimes we want to watch a movie where the most shocking thing that happens is an animated ghost saying, “Pleasure to meet you.” This sweet flick does the trick. Plus, we would one hundo p rock young Christina Ricci’s sleek middle part ‘do today.
Synopsis: A year after disposing of the body of a man they accidentally killed, a group of dumb teenagers are stalked by a bumbling serial killer.
Cast: Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Marlon Wayans
Streaming: Drops October 20
Why it get you in the Halloween spirit: This series of LOL-worthy parody movies finds the perfect balance between funny and frightening. And bonus: all five movies will be available on October 20—just in time for Halloween!