Halloween 2017 is almost here. If you're too old to trick-or-treat and too much of a nerd to go to a party dressed as pregnant Kylie Jenner, spend your spooky holiday on your couch, your greasy hands deep in a bowl of popcorn. If you're a millennial and you've already cut the cord, don't worry about it. Network TV doesn't show anything too great on Halloween, and the best options are all streamable.
These are the greatest, scariest and most interesting horror films available to stream across Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Let the Right One In
This Swedish horror-romance makes a frightening and lovable spectacle out of its tiny vampire hero. The 2010 American remake wasn’t as scary or emotionally complex, so ignore that one and stick with the original for Halloween. The pool scene is now infamous.
Silence of the Lambs
The story of Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter’s weird friendship is a great many things. Clarice is one of the greatest female cinematic heroes of all time, Hannibal is one of the scariest horror villains of all time, and every Hannibal adaptation since (with the exception of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal) has been trying to catch up. If you haven’t seen the film that still makes people say “it puts the lotion in the basket or else it gets the hose again” to each other, you’d better remedy that situation quickly.
This is the devil-fetus film that launched a million, lesser devil-fetus films, and it’s also the reason Mia Farrow cut all her hair off, enraging her then-husband, Frank Sinatra. He delivered Farrow divorce papers on the set of this terrifying thriller.
An American Werewolf in London
An American Werewolf in London has two central claims to fame. First, it boasts what is generally considered to be the greatest werewolf transformation scene in the history of practical FX. Second, it is both terrifying and truly hilarious, and John Landis’s son Max reportedly wants to remake it. Ignore that last part: Just watch this classic.
Speaking of practical effects, The Thing is the only film involving puppets that’s more disturbing than Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. It’s also how most people remember Wilford Brimley, apart from his diabetes PSAs. Crank up your AC, get cozy under a duvet and watch this chilling body-horror film set in the frozen tundra.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Though the 1978 remake of this film features fun, campy performances from Jeff Goldblum and Donald Sutherland, it’s the black-and-white original that really gets under your skin. In the body-snatching world, you just can’t beat the original. Watch this one and do not fall asleep.
It may sound lame, but one of the scariest parts of The Witch (frustratingly stylized as The VVitch) is its haunting use of sound effects. Black Philip the demon goat is the center of the film, though there’s a freaky, nipple-biting raven involved in the proceedings as well.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Most horror nuts cite Leatherface’s sunset-soaked dance with a chainsaw as one of the greatest shots in the genre. Before you get to that last sequence, you’ll have to stomach a disturbing movie about hillbillies who have lost all respect for human life. There’s also a meat hook—be warned.
Let’s say you want to watch a scary movie, and you’re one of the few insane Americans who isn’t freaked out by the rise of white nationalism in the United States. Green Room features Patrick Stewart as you’ve never seen him before, sociopathically leading a clan of Nazis as they hunt, torture and kill a pack of lovable punks after a show. This film was also one of the late Anton Yelchin’s final projects, and it’s a wonderful addition to low-budget horror.
House on Haunted Hill
If you like your horror films a little spookier than scary, the original House on Haunted Hill is where every one of your favorite skeleton GIFs was ripped from. There’s literally a scene where a plastic skeleton chases a woman out of a spooky old room, and both the skeleton and the woman move at a glacial pace. This one won’t scare you, but watching it with friends and pretending it’s terrifying is a great way to spend an October evening.
Night of the Living Dead
They’re coming for you, Barbara. We lost the king of zombie cinema, George A. Romero, this year, which makes it all the more meaningful that his original masterpiece is available, with all its digital remastering, on Amazon Prime for Halloween. Come for the zombie makeup, stay for the surprisingly prescient commentary on race in America.
Raw, which Newsweek put on its best of 2017 horror list, is a pretty engaging coming-of-age film that just happens to be about cannibalism. It premiered at Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews, and audience members at the screening were reportedly fainting in the aisles due to the film’s graphic use of gore.
If you only stream one Stephen King adaptation this Halloween, let it be 1922, a taut period piece about a farmer who murders his wife for having the audacity to suggest they move to a city and stop growing crops. That’s not a spoiler, by the way: He kills his wife pretty quickly. It’s what follows that will really give you the creeps.
Starry Eyes, much like a Black Mirror episode, finds horror in the way many of us pursue likes, faves and followers. Sarah, a sad waitress at a wings joint and sports bar called Big Taters (the “taters” are the waitress’s breasts), gets wind of a modeling opportunity and is determined to land the job. When the casting committee starts to demand more and more insane things from her, she just keeps giving to them, and things get real dark, real fast.
If you have the patience for Creep’s slow-as-molasses buildup, and if you start watching without spoiling the plot for yourself, you’ll be rewarded with a low-budget psychological thriller. The final scene is absolutely unforgettable, and you’ll never look at a wolf mask the same way again. Then again, why are you looking at wolf masks at all?
Train to Busan
If you haven’t seen South Korea’s thrilling zombie epic yet, do yourself a favor: Cancel your plans and watch it now. Train to Busan is a rare gory horror that will make you tear up because of what happens to its lovable, quirky cast of characters.
New Zealand’s Housebound features a double-twist ending, and both big reveals feel satisfying and earned. The movie is equal parts spooky and funny, and it’s a great choice for a Halloween viewer who wants to be moderately freaked out without ruining their entire night.