38 of the Best Netflix Halloween Movies That Will Scare You Senseless
In the mood for a scary-movie marathon? Turn off the lights, curl up on the couch, and start streaming…and screaming!
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Netflix and chills
Something wicked is coming—we’re talking about Halloween, the most wonderful time of year for people who like decking their halls with spooky decorations, eating candy corn, wearing black and orange, and curling up on the couch for a good, old-fashioned horror-film fest. Whether you’re in the mood for true tales of terror, slasher stories, supernatural sagas, monster myths, or narratives about necromancers (aka witch movies), you’ll find just the thing on this list of the best Halloween movies on Netflix. They include some of the best classic Halloween movies, as well as over-the-top frightening flicks that will make you want to sleep with the lights on for a while.
If you plow through these scream gems before October 31 or you like scaring yourself silly all year long, don’t worry—there’s plenty more to watch. Just take a look at the best Halloween movies on Hulu and Disney. (Hocus Pocus for the 666th time, anyone?) And whether you like your films full-on scary or semi-sweet, you’ll find yourself humming along to the bewitching music, which should definitely go on any party playlist of the best Halloween songs.
Fear Street Part One, 1994
From the warped mind of author R.L. Stine comes a terrifying tale told in three parts in three time periods. Shadyside is allegedly cursed by a witch who shows up every so often to turn an unsuspecting resident into a cold-blooded killer who then takes out several other townsfolk in a homicidal spree. This group of teens is just the latest to come face-to-face with the ancient evil and starts to realize there is more to the story than the accepted lore.
Fear Street Part Two, 1978
The teens who remain find the lone survivor of a 1978 massacre at Camp Nightwing in hopes that she’ll be able to help them put an end to the witch’s curse. Her story unfolds in flashback, and the audience is treated to disco, muscle shirts, center parts, and over-the-top death scenes. Shadyside may be a figment of Stine’s imagination, but he could have found a spark of inspiration in the histories of any of these U.S. sites said to be cursed.
Fear Street Part Three, 1666
Still trying to evade the supernatural murderers and possessed neighbors in 1994, Deena is thrust back to 1666 after touching the bones of Sarah Fier, the woman hanged for being a witch who supposedly cursed the town, and she discovers what actually transpired. Unexpected plot twist: The slasher trilogy has been an allegory about homophobia and the class divide all along. If you find yourself bewitched by this triple feature, read about the real-life false accusations and paranoia that led to the Salem witch trials.
Blood Red Sky
Taking a red-eye is never easy, but for the mysteriously ill Nadja and her young son, the transatlantic flight from Germany to New York is going to be killer—literally! Terrorists hijack the aircraft for monetary gain and promise that if the demands are met, everyone will be set free. But when they don’t seem to be holding up their end of the deal and threaten her son, Nadja must release the unpredictable beast she’s been hiding with meds. Bet the snakes on Samuel L. Jackson’s plane don’t sound so bad now! This Netflix film definitely is definitely for adult viewers, but if you have little ones at home, check out this list of the best Halloween movies for kids.
An unexplained event causes satellites to fall from space, takes down the global power grid, and messes with everyone’s ability to sleep. That is, except for one girl, the daughter of a troubled veteran (Gina Rodriguez). Could she be the key to figuring out what happened? And will they be able to find a fix before the world goes mad from a lack of shut-eye? Of course, the goal on Halloween is to find something to keep you awake at night, and in addition to these Netflix Halloween movies, these spooky stories should do the trick.
Five years after an unseen and unexplained force drives most of mankind instantly insane and sparks a wave of suicides including that of her beloved sister, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and the two children she’s managed to keep alive set out on a long dangerous river journey. The goal? To reach what might be the last stronghold of the sane. Throughout the movie, flashbacks recount how it started, the people she encountered and lost along the way, and how she keeps herself and the littles safe from the persistent invisible threat. These thriller books will also keep you on the edge of your seat.
A weekend getaway in a remote vacation rental goes horribly wrong for a young couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) when a trio of murderers show up and start toying with them. Between numerous jump scares and the intruders’ off-putting disguises, thrifted hipster ensembles, and deadpan nonchalant reasoning for messing with the pair, it is truly one of the most terrifying home invasion films ever made. Masks are always terrifying, and they make for a scary Halloween costume that’s super easy to put together.
If you need a silly and harmless palette cleanser after watching some of these super scary Halloween movies on Netflix, Adam Sandler’s got you. Surrounded by the Happy Gilmore regulars (Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider) and SNL alumni (Maya Rudolph, Kenan Thompson), Sandler is Salem’s town weirdo and punching bag, especially on Halloween. But this year, there’s a mental patient on the loose and residents keep disappearing, so Hubie steps up to solve the mystery. Of course, it’s mostly an excuse for juvenile sight gags, johnson jokes, and pratfalls. Keep the laughs coming with these corny Halloween jokes.
Vampires and werewolves, along with other Halloween monsters, have been providing fodder for films since the early ages of cinema. In this popular franchise, the two monster squads have been at war for centuries. Selene (Kate Beckinsale), an undead warrior known as a death dealer, has dutifully played her part in picking off lycans without asking too many questions of elder Viktor (Bill Nighy). But when she starts to fall for Michael (Scott Speedman), a human being hunted by the shapeshifters for an unknown reason, and the war intensifies with daylight bullets, she starts to doubt the mission.
In anticipation of Season 4, which unfortunately won’t arrive until 2022, rewatch the supernatural series with serious ’80s throwback Stephen Spielberg vibes that helped put Netflix’s original programming department on the map. A small Indiana town is rocked when young Will Byers goes missing. His best buddies vow to solve the mystery and welcome the help of their new friend Eleven, a girl with psychokinetic abilities who escaped from a nearby government facility. It mixes Cold War conspiracies, nostalgic sentimentality, coming-of-age drama, and comedy with monsters from the dimension known as the Upside Down. Think Goonies meets Gremlins.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Set in 1402, this prequel chronicles the rise of the lycans under Lucian (Michael Sheen), the first werewolf to take human form and dare to question if there could be more to life than being enslaved and treated like animals by their masters, the aristocratic vampires ruled by Viktor. Complicating matters further, Lucian catches the eye and heart of Viktor’s daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra), which explains Viktor’s future rage when Selene also falls in love with someone he doesn’t approve of. Dressing up as a werewolf on the big day is a classic Halloween costume idea for men that you can’t go wrong with.
The fourth installment in the vamps versus werewolves series picks up six months after the events of the second film, Evolution, when Selene was captured during the Purge (no, not that Purge—that’s an entirely different series of frightening flicks). This purge is a mass extinction of supernatural beings by humans who now know they exist. It jumps ahead 12 years, when Selene is freed from a cryogenic chamber at Antigen, a pharmaceutical company claiming to be working on an antidote, although they likely aren’t on the up and up. She starts having visions, which lead her to David, her new bloodsucker buddy, and Eve, a young girl with an unexpected connection to Selene who is also being hunted by Antigen. This chapter ups the ante with super lycans and Selene’s new ability to walk in the daylight.
It’s a classic tale about a dorky kid with a crush on his super hot babysitter. That is, until he stays up past his bedtime to spy on her and her friends and discovers that she’s in a satanic cult that requires sacrifices. It’s a campy good time, courtesy of director McG. Don’t miss these other funny Halloween movies that provide the perfect combination of humor and horror.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen
Cole luckily survived his first round with the thrill-kill cult headed by his babysitter. Unfortunately, no one believed his story, and Cole has become even more of an outcast and a bully magnet in high school. But he sees a chance to redeem himself when his hot neighbor lures him to the lake for a weekend. Somebody better warn him that it never ends well when hot, horny teens wind up at a lake in a horror film.
Army of the Dead
Call it fear and looting in Las Vegas. Zombies overrun Sin City, forcing the government to wall it off, create a refugee camp for those who managed to escape (but might be infected), and set a date to nuke the problem away. A shady casino tycoon assembles a team of badass survivors led by Dave Bautista to go behind enemy lines to rescue his money from his safe before the city is blown to smithereens. It’s violent, gory, and often requires you to suspend your disbelief, but between Tig Notaro and the fun Vegas tropes and clichés, it’s also surprisingly humorous.
The Haunting of Hill House
Yes, it’s technically a series. But this twisty tale of an estranged family, now all grown up but still tormented by spine-tingling childhood memories of their former home and the grief caused by it, is so well made and engrossing that we couldn’t leave it off this list of best Halloween movies on Netflix. Just think of it as a really long movie. When the siblings gather for a funeral, long-buried fears are awakened and current animosities are enflamed. The story unspools so deliciously in the past and the present, with every chapter of this ghost story adding pieces to the puzzle.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Creator Mike Flanagan reteamed with several Hill House cast members to build a new haunted house series with equally (if not more) interesting and developed characters, memorable ghosts, and scares that really linger. An American runs away to England in an attempt to escape and ignore her own tragic past. She throws herself into an au pair job at a beautiful sprawling estate where the staff is hesitant to discuss the last nanny, the absentee uncle who has stayed away since the parents died while traveling, and the slightly off and sometimes terribly behaved children. Learn how it’s all connected to an even older Gothic romance and betrayal.
Back in the early aughts, American studios jumped on the trend of remaking Japanese horror films, and this 2002 Naomi Watts vehicle about a reporter who watches a super arty and creepy VHS tape that allegedly triggers the viewer’s death a week later was the most popular and critically acclaimed of the bunch. It inspired several mostly unwatchable follow-ups in the franchise, but this one is worth your time, if only for inspiration for a very easy-to-pull-off and recognizable Halloween costume. Fun fact: The actress who wore the black wig and white nightgown to play Samara, Daveigh Chase, also voiced Lilo in the very unscary Disney alien cartoon Lilo & Stitch.
After moving into a Rhode Island farmhouse in the ’70s and discovering a boarded-up room, a family starts experiencing things they can’t explain, like clocks stopping at the same time, blankets being pulled off in the middle of the night, and putrid smells. When things start escalating, they call in real-life noted husband-and-wife demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), who gained fame from the famous case of the possessed Raggedy Ann doll known as Annabelle. It’s probably best to skip this one if you’ve recently invested in your dream home, as it’s supposedly based on a true story.
The Conjuring 2
Why not double down by watching the 2016 sequel next? Macabre maven James Wan (Saw, Insidious) returned to direct Farmiga and Wilson as demon and ghost hunters. It focuses on their 1977 investigation in Enfield, a suburb outside of London, where the paranormal activity involved a demonic nun apparition bothering a family. Several experts say the Warrens’ role, in this case, was exaggerated to benefit the storyline, and many have said it was just a hoax by attention-hungry children. You be the judge.
Based on a scary book by Stephen King, a couple seeks to renew their spark with an off-season visit to their lake house and some handcuffed hanky-panky. But when she (Carla Gugino) gets a bad vibe and tries to call it off, her husband is not pleased and the argument ends with his heart attack. Chained to the bed, knowing they won’t be missed for days, she tries to come up with an escape plan. When panic, hunger, and thirst kick in, she starts remembering unpleasant, long-repressed memories and hallucinating visits from her husband, people from her past, her younger self, and maybe even a ghost while still trying to free herself.
A Classic Horror Story
A camper of strangers ridesharing through Southern Italy find themselves stranded in the woods but far from alone in this Italian import that gives off big Midsommar energy with creepy townsfolk, religious iconography, ties to nature, and off-limits architecture.
Things Heard & Seen
An artist (Amanda Seyfried) relocates to a historic home in the Hudson Valley that her husband found and thinks would be perfect for them. But as time passes, stranger and stranger things start happening (and not just because it also features Natalia “Nancy Wheeler” Dyer in a supporting role!). Her partner starts acting off, and she starts to piece together the house’s violent and disturbing past—information her hubby was apparently given pre-sale but withheld from her—as she feels darkness growing within their marriage. FYI, these are the signs your house could be haunted, according to paranormal experts.
Horror mastermind and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro directs this 2015 period piece meets haunted house flick starring Tom “Loki ” Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, and Charlie Hunnam. Aspiring author Edith Cushing has been seeing ghosts her whole life, which inspires her to write scary stories. She falls for a mysterious and rich stranger, Thomas, who lives in a creepy old mansion with his equally chilly sister Lucille. It isn’t long before she starts hearing things go bump in the night and she tries to unravel the estate and her new family’s potentially bloody history.
After their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Katrina’s daughter is badly bitten by a snake. A stranger offers to help, and her treatment makes Clara seem good as new. Unfortunately, there were unknown strings attached. A mysterious man arrives at the hospital, claiming her little muffin’s soul was spared but that the afterlife vacancy left by it needs to be filled by Katrina. She has until sunset to take a life or she’ll lose her daughter forever. Parenting’s hard, am I right?
After researchers in an uncharted Pennsylvania cave system accidentally release bat-like creatures who hunt humans using sound, silence is golden. Based on a novel by Tim Lebbon, a city-dwelling deaf teen (Kiernan Shipka) and her family (including Stanley Tucci and Miranda Otto) seek refuge in the country where life is quieter. Unfortunately, humans don’t react so well when panicked, and that means the group, joined by the dad’s bestie (John Corbett), encounters other issues besides the beasts, like traffic jams, illness, opportunistic criminals, and creepy cult members who want to make your daughter one of them. While we’re on the subject (sort of), check out these family Halloween costumes.
After moving into a new home, parents (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) attempt to cope with their son falling into an unexplained comatose state when a series of unexplained events begin to happen. As things intensify and they call in professionals for help, it is clear something sinister is lurking and it appears to have its sights set on their kid.
Maddie (Kate Siegal), a deaf and mute writer, retreats to the woods to live and work in peace. But her quiet life is turned upside down when a masked man appears in her window. She must fend off her attacker without being able to hear him coming or scream for help. Siegel also co-wrote the script with her husband/director Mike Flanagan. Break the tension after watching with these Halloween memes that will have you howling with laughter.
Deep Blue Sea
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water comes another killer shark movie to retraumatize you. A team of scientists, headed by Saffron Burrows, is hard at work at a remote open-water lab studying sharks to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. When a shark escapes, the company footing the bill threatens to shut them down. Burrows convinces them to send Samuel L. Jackson to observe the strides they’ve made in person. Unfortunately for him and the team (which includes Thomas Jane, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J), a side product of the experiments has made a trio of fish highly intelligent…and apparently they weren’t too keen on being poked and prodded without their consent.
Coinciding with their therapist’s advice to find a fresh start and seek a change of environment to rekindle their dying flame, a troubled married couple (Ashley Greene and Shawn Ashmore) jump at the chance to move into a dream mansion that would normally be far beyond their means had it not been the site of horrible crimes. But things quickly go south, and it appears they got a whole lot more than they bargained for. For a different type of cautionary tale, read these terrifying Ouija board stories.
They don’t call it the dark web for nothing. This is a chilling cautionary tale about six teens who drove a classmate to suicide with cyberbullying only to become the target of an online stalker on the anniversary of her death. The anonymous account gives them an ultimatum: Give up the person who posted the incriminating video or die.
Truth or Dare
Not to be confused with the Madonna documentary from 1991, this 2017 thriller is about eight friends who rent a haunted house to celebrate Halloween. And like many people in real life on October 31, they have a stupid idea. They intend to recreate the deadly game that made the house infamous years ago, and in doing so, they wake up a dormant monster. A better idea for shenanigans on the big day? Skipping the bad decisions and throwing a Halloween party for a scary-good time instead.
Krysten Ritter stars an evil witch who imprisons children in her deluxe magical apartment in the NYC sky. Alex awakes to find himself trapped in the constantly morphing condo with a feisty feline who watches his every move and another captive tween named Yasmin. The stylish sorceress demands that the aspiring Stephen King write her a new scary story every night if he wants to stay alive. With Yasmin’s help, he must write his way out.
When her twin sister goes missing in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, ominously nicknamed the Suicide Forest and said to be full of spirits, Sarah’s twin telepathy warns her that something is amiss. She goes in search of her sis, despite literally every local telling her to turn back, stay on the path, and definitely don’t stick around after dark. In case you were wondering, these are the most haunted places in America, according to paranormal experts.
Joining the top spooky shows and best Halloween movies on Netflix on September 24 is this much-anticipated gloomy, goosebump-inducing series from Hill House and Bly Manor creator Mike Flanagan. (It even stars a few familiar faces from his previous projects.) A disgraced son (Zach Gilford) returns to his isolated island hometown just as a wave of potential miracles begins happening. They are used by a charismatic young priest (Hamish Linklater) to whip the already divided community into a religious fervor.
Some think Sarah Winchester, the heiress to a majority of the massive firearms fortune, was stark raving mad. After her child and husband died, she moved west and embarked on the world’s longest (and most bizarre) home renovation. From 1886 to the time of her passing in 1922, construction and remodeling never ceased, and it turned an eight-room farmhouse into a seven-story mansion with 17 chimneys, stairways and doors that go nowhere, unexplained features, and maze-like halls. She held that there was method to the madness. People believe she was haunted by the many souls felled by the gun that won the West and that the constant changes confused them or trapped them. The film starring Helen Mirren as the titular character seeks to tell her story and delve into this haunted house mystery.
Michael Sheen makes another appearance on this list of the best Halloween movies on Netflix. This time, he is a bigwig in a killer cult that believes in mixing prayer and pain at their isolated island compound. He’s also one of the people Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) has to get past to rescue his kidnapped sister.
In this Thai import, two doctors become obsessed with ghosts after seeing one haunting the halls of the hospital where they work. Unsure of what they saw and doubted by anyone they tell, they develop increasingly risky and dangerous tests and experiments that play fast and loose with the promise to do no harm in order to get proof that spirits exist. Next, take a look at these Halloween Instagram captions, whether you’re hosting a scary-movie marathon or a monster party.