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13 Horror Films to Stream This Halloween


Struggling to find something to watch this Halloween? Well here are 13 of the best films to stream. I have deliberately avoided the obvious choices, the likes of Cronenberg, Carpenter, Argento, Bava, Romero etc. to offer something a little different. Happy Spookies!


We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

Lonely teen Casey (Anna Cobb) begins to look inwards as she engages with the online Creepypasta-like role-playing game We’re All Going to the World’s Fair. As she immerses herself in the game reality begins to slip and she feels herself losing control of her body and emotions. The breakout film from director Jane Schoenbrun is a beautiful and haunting portrait of the confluence of dysphoria and online culture. Available on Shudder.


Mad God

Visual effects genius Phil Tippet (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Robocop) presents his magnum opus, a work thirty years in the making. A stop-motion Inferno, a journey through a tortured landscape, a squelchy, vile, and grotesque nightmare. Every second takes you deeper into revulsion. Unmissable. Available on Shudder.


His House

After escaping war-torn Sudan a refugee couple are allocated a dilapidated house in England, but a spirit in the walls tells them they are not welcome. Equally a tight-knit ghost story and a dense allegory, Remi Weeks’ debut feature interrogates the racist politicising and inhumane treatment of refugees. Available on Netflix until 29th October, then BBC iPlayer.


Dead Set

What would happen if you were on Big Brother UK during the zombie outbreak? Well, pre-Black Mirror Charlie Brooker decided to answer that very specific question. A Romero-like zombie thriller loaded with sharp criticism of reality TV culture, although bizarrely allowed to use BB branding and starring Davina McCall? (Admittedly a TV-series but with a full runtime of 2hrs21mins I’ve made an exception.) Available on Netflix.

Pulse

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s early internet ghost story feels ominously prescient as people become paradoxically more connected and increasingly isolated as the technology becomes more prevalent. A masterfully suspenseful tale of techno-paranoia, with some of the most intense and unsettling scares of the century so far. Available on the BFI Player.


Eyes Without a Face

A surgeon culpable for his daughter’s disfiguration abducts young women in order to successfully perform a face transplant and restore her visage. A seedy body horror that is viscerally oppressive, assaulting both aurally and visually, playing deep into the uncanny valley and our discomfort with our own mortal flesh. Available on the BFI Player.

The Slumber Party Massacre & The Slumber Party Massacre II

The Slumber Party Massacre films have that campy charm one wants from a slasher, but they have enough bite to make them meaningful and memorable. The original manoeuvres accordingly between burgeoning teenage feminine sexuality and malevolent masculine presence, but the sequel goes all the way and becomes a flamboyant, outlandish, bad-taste riot. Available on Amazon Prime Video.


The Changeling

After losing both his wife and daughter in a car crash composer John Russell takes up residency in an old abandoned mansion, little did he know, the house has secrets of its own. Sometimes all it takes is a big, scary, not-so-empty house to scare the life out of you, and Peter Medak’s The Changeling delivers exactly that. Available on Amazon Prime Video.


Cat People

One of the cornerstones of horror, Jacques Tourneur’s (I Walked With a Zombie) 1942 tale of gendered sexual repression turned dangerous. Layered with animal instincts and longing stares, Cat People does what Horror does best and turns sub-text into super-text. To call it iconic would be an understatement. Available on BBC iPlayer.


Horror Express

Hammer alumni Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee star in this 70s paranormal thrill ride. After unearthing a well-preserved humanoid creature from the ice in Manchuria, Professor Saxton (Christopher Lee) must escort it back to Europe on the Trans-Siberian express. But when several of the passengers suffer mysterious and confounding deaths, they begin to suspect that their cargo is something not of our world. Eye bulging, paranoia, and Telly Savalas hurtling through the snow at breakneck speed, all aboard! Available on BBC iPlayer.


Night Tide

A displaced gothic romance resituated in a seaside town. A sailor on shore leave (Dennis Hopper) falls for the mysterious Mora (Linda Lawson) at the local Jazz bar, but as their relationship grows so too do the rumours spread by the local townspeople. What is Mora, a mermaid? A murderer? Available on MUBI.


Knife + Heart

Anne, a producer for gay porn films in the late 70s, is caught at the center of a mystery when a serial murderer begins targeting her stars. With stunningly lit colourful set pieces and an abundance of leather Knife + Heart is a gorgeously grotty queer giallo up there with the best in the genre. Available on MUBI.



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