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The 30 best Halloween horror movies you can stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu (and more) now

An image from Insidious - one of the best Halloween horror movies to stream
(Image credit: Blumhouse)

It’s that terrifying time of the year again. No, we're not talking about doing your tax returns. We’re talkin’ October, the one month when it’s acceptable – if not downright obligatory – to put on a horror movie and then hide behind the sofa for most of it as you’re too scared to peer out. Hey, we all do it. It’s part of the rush of the season! To help you reach that "paralyzed with fear" stage as soon as possible, we’ve crafted this list of the best Halloween movies to stream right now. These entries run the full gamut of horror. You’ve got creature features, supernatural tales, gorefests, creepy thrills, sci-fi horror mash-ups, and whatever the hell Society is. Whatever you’re in the mood for, we’ve got your tastes covered.

To clarify: this list does not make up the best horror movies of all time. These are the ones purpose-built to have you watching through the cracks between your fingers. Sure, there are some classics like Alien and The Thing – but, while they're the best all-round movies, they're not necessarily the best at delivering those Holloween-tinged thrills. To liven things up, we’ve also included a handy guide to the gore and violence levels featured in each movie. Letting your pals know that the movie you’re about to watch is positively dripping with blood and entrails is up to you, though. Plus, the following are all available on either a streaming subscription or through a rental download service, though availability tends to vary depending on where you live. Happy screamin'! 

30. When A Stranger Calls Back (1993)

(Image credit: Universal Television)

Available on: Amazon Prime (UK/US)

A babysitter receives a call from a stranger, taunting her – and the mysterious caller is revealed to be coming from inside the house. That chill-inducing premise was explored in the first Stranger Calls movie, but it wasn’t until the sequel that it was fully wrung of its capacity for terror. Julie, the babysitter in question, responds to a stranger at the front door, refusing to let him in, despite his claims that his car broke down and he needs to call his car club. She kindly offers to call the Autoclub for him, but the phone has been disconnected. 

This trendsetter is always overlooked in favour of its predecessor, yet the sequel is much, much scarier. Cranking up the tension slowly during every single encounter, from the opening sequence between the babysitter and the seemingly-nice stranger through to the finale, utterly shreds your nerves. And just when you think it’s calmed down, there’s a creepy-as-hell ventriloquism act...

Gore level: Low

Violence level: Low

29. Honeymoon (2014)

(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

Available on: Amazon Prime (UK), Shudder (UK), Hulu (US)

You might recognise Honeymoon's leading lady Rose Leslie from her role as Jon Snow's paramour in Game of Thrones. In Leslie Janiak's directorial debut, a strange and creepy rumination on the bonds of marriage, her performance as Bea hails from a previously-untapped place. Somewhere dark, and foreboding. As it should, because Janiak's film doesn't pander to what we already know. It feasts on the unknown chasms between people who choose to spend their lives together.

Things begin with a pair of newlyweds – Leslie and Penny Dreadful's Harry Treadaway – heading out to an isolated cabin to celebrate their nuptials. It all starts to go south when mysterious lights appear in the sky, locals start acting weird, and Bea sleepwalks into the night, returning as someone – or something – different.

Gore level: Medium

Violence level: Medium

28. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

(Image credit: Anchor Bay)

Available on: Amazon Prime (UK/US), Shudder (UK/US)

You think you know meta-horror, but you haven't seen anything yet. Behind the Mask takes place inside a world where horror movie legends exist for real. Michael, Freddy, Jason – they’re slasher icons with a thirst for blood. And now you can add Leslie Vernon to that list of frightful horror villains. This mockumentary follows a film crew led by reporter Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals) as they chronicle the day-to-day life of slasher baddie wannabe, Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel). 

Cutting from “shakey cam” found footage when the crew are larking about with Leslie to slick, traditional horror visuals when he’s enacting his kills, there's no other slasher like this. To Leslie, the likes of Freddy and Jason aren’t imaginary – they’re actual serial killers whom he idolizes. And while that in itself is a killer concept, this creative horror has way more up its sleeve for the final act. 

Gore level: Medium

Violence level: Low

27. You're Next (2013)

Available on: The Roku Channel (US), VuduFree (US), Amazon Video (UK)

You’re Next looks like a by-the-numbers slasher flick at first. A squabbling family heads to their remote country estate for a little getaway. There’s the typical bickering, people storming off alone, saying things like “I’ll be right back”, and before you know it, a group of ne’er-do-wells in animal masks begins bumping them off one by one. 

From its ordinary starting point, however, You’re Next takes off in shockingly smart directions, including a female lead who does far more than strip down to her skivvies and scream. This is a marvellous subversion of expectations that’s funny to boot. 

Gore level: Medium

Violence level: Medium

26. The Thing (1982)

Available on: Starz (US), Now TV (UK), Sky Go (UK) 

There are three versions of The Thing, but this is the only one you ever need to see. John Carpenter’s brilliantly-realised 1982 adaptation fuses horror and sci-fi into a scary-as-hell monster flick. The group of scientists, led by Kurt Russell’s Macready, catfight, bitch and fight while uncovering the sheer incredulity of their alien invader. 

A masterpiece of tension building with effects that will still creep you right the hell out even 30 years later (that’s what an Oscar-winning effects master gets you), The Thing does something so few horror movies are willing to do: assume you’re a smart viewer paying attention. The scene with the blood test is pure genius, building and building until you’re sure it cant possibly get worse – which it of course then does. Of course, this is more sci-fi than horror, but those terrifying elements are great for a Halloween-themed thrill.

Gore level: High

Violence level: High

25. The Conjuring (2013)

Available on: Netflix (US), Amazon (UK) 

Yep, The Conjuring really is based on a true story: Ed and Lorraine Warren truly did spend their lives investigating paranormal situations, including the haunting of the Perron family home in Rhode Island. Rock-solid performances by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens give this one the footing it needs to feel utterly genuine.

The fact that the family behaves like normal people actually would if they thought their house was haunted – scared out of their minds – adds to the feeling of vulnerability and tension. That said, if you sleep with your foot sticking out from under the covers, you’re kind of asking for it.

Gore level: Low

Violence level: Low

24. Hell House LLC (2015)

(Image credit: Cognetti Films)

Available on: Amazon Prime (US / UK) 

Say what you will about found footage horror – as long as it’s not along the lines of “it’s not original anymore.” Injecting new life into the genre, Hell House is one of the creepiest darn horrors of recent years. After running a couple of successful Halloween scarehouses in New York, a bunch of friends purchase an abandoned small-town inn and prepare to dress it up, get a bunch of actors in there, and give locals the fright of their lives. 

Unraveling after the fact, the movie follows a documentary crew out to discover what went wrong on opening night, as 15 tour-goers die along with several members of the Hell House team. Hell House LLC packs in PLENTY of fresh takes on the style, leaving you with many, many images that will linger in your mind for days. 

Gore level: Medium

Violence level: Medium

23. Society (1989)

Available on: Shudder (US / UK) 

Some body horrors can be troublesome to watch. You squint and watch through your fingers as some ungodly thing occurs onscreen, waiting for the moment your stomach stops churning. Society has the exact opposite effect. Brian Yuzna's film slams you over the head with its take on body horror. 

Welcome to a flat-out bizarro corner of the horror genre, where former Baywatch beefcake Billy Warlock plays a teen who suspects his perfect neighbourhood is hiding something. He's right, by the way, but we won't say anymore. It takes a creative, bold stab at societal norms with a high ratio of "what the fuck?" moments that won't have you cowering behind the couch, but instead have your face pressing against the screen trying to figure out what is happening to Billy's community. 

Gore level: High 

Violence level: Medium

22. Triangle (2009)

(Image credit: UK Film Council)

Available on: Hulu (US), Amazon Prime (UK) 

It’s mind-boggling that more people haven’t experienced writer-director Christopher Smith’s 2009 time loop horror thriller. That’s the shortest number of descriptors you can use to accurately describe this mindscratcher of a movie. Melissa George stars as a young mother, Jess, who joins her friends for an afternoon out at sea. When their wee boat hits rocky times, they abandon it and board a derelict ocean liner. That's where things get weird. Is someone after them? Why are they being hunted? What’s with the burlap sack-masked stalker?

Triangle exists in the same space as films like Timecrimes and Primer, and Smith says he was also influenced by Memento. It’s an adventure for the characters, but also for us as spectators to actually watch it unfold. Each viewing you’re trying to piece together who was where when, and what timeline that thing happened in, and why any of it happens at all! Seriously, if anyone figures it out, drop us a line.

Gore level: Medium

Violence level: Medium

21. Alien (1979)

Available on: NowTV (UK), SkyGo (UK), FuboTV (US) 

Alien sometimes doesn't get the love that its more bombastic sequel does, and that's a shame. This is a meticulously-crafted, intelligent, slow-burn horror film about a crew of regular Joes trapped with a monster, and it works on multiple levels. Sure, it's terrifying that there's a creature out there that can (and will) kill anyone it comes into contact with, but the psycho-sexual elements of the film cannot be denied, and it's this exploitation of our most intimate behaviour (and all its accompanying fears, anxieties, and consequences) that elevates Alien beyond just another monster movie.

Gore level: Medium (save for one very famous dinner scene)

Violence level: Low (despite the creature's vicious nature, most violence happens offscreen)

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.