Spooky S*#t to Watch on All Hallows’ Eve
We’re not going to say these are the best horror flicks to watch, ever.
But we are gonna say there are a bunch of random streaming spooks with which to busy ourselves this pandemic-riddled All Hallow’s Eve. We’ve checked many out for you here — but are you like me, thinking there isn’t really a such thing as a “scary” movie?
Anyhoodles, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves with nothing to do, we can sit around feeling sorry for urselves and watch some creepy shit. Now, in no particular order:
Jessabelle (Hulu) – 2014
Just as they are about to start a new life together, Jesse (Sarah Snook) and her boyfriend get into a hardcore car accident, killing him, crippling her.
Moving in with her estranged father to recover back “home,” Jesse encounters a lingering, dark spirit.
Is this entity the tormenting or the tormented? And what does it have to do with Jesse’s family history? We find Jessabelle relatively spooky, but the plot itself is what reels us in.
The Lie (Amazon Prime) – 2020
Of all four of the new Welcome to the Blumhouse films that premiered this month for Halloween, we like The Lie the best, with Evil Eye as a close second. The remaining two, Nocturne and Black Box, are also decent.
All four of the films are enjoyable, though calling them “horror” would be a stretch — especially true for The Lie. But it’s gripping as raging hell.
One unthought-out and dumb line of dialogue almost ruins the ending, but the rest is so unnerving — in the right way — we forgive it. Plus, gotta’ love Mireille Enos as mom.
Eli (Netflix) – 2019
Eli is a newfound treat, though it is about a year old now. Lili Taylor, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini, and an extra spunky young Charlie Shotwell as Eli, star in this cool wackjob of a horror show.
See, Eli has this allergy to — well, the outside world, it seems. His parents take him to the one doctor they think can finally cure him, played by Taylor, whose stoic nature and cryptic dialogue are enticingly puzzling throughout.
Some spooky effects culminating in the shadows are gratifying.
I just love this one, I really do. Not going to say anything more.
SIDENOTE: Remember when Reilly starred in a random TV show, coincidentally called Black Box (the name of one of the new Blumhouse films) in which she played a bipolar neuroscientist? OK yeah, that was weird.
1BR (Netflix) – 2019
Like a Melrose Place of horror, this community of people living in a Los Angeles apartment complex has a weird orientation process for their new neighbors.
1BR is a solid low budget offering that might have you looking at your neghbors even more crazily than you normally do.
Fiery performances and tingling unease await.
Astral (Hulu) – 2018
I said in the intro these movies were not necessarily the best. In fact, this one isn’t even very good. But having watched it anyway, the blah ending is what blahs out the rest of the film.
It has some cool creeps in it, and a storyline about the terrors of astral projection — which we don’t see very often.
So, it’s on the list for existing and for having a cool premise.
The Ritual (Netflix) – 2017
Back to reporting on the solid ones, The Ritual is a great time.
Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, and Sam Troughton star along with some crazy frickin’ creature thing — one of the coolest horror film creatures we’ve seen.
We love monsters! This one does not disappoint.
Frailty (Amazon Prime) – 2001
A long time and all-time favorite — couldn’t leave it out. Many still haven’t seen it yet.
Bill Paxton directs and co-stars with Matthew McConaughey in this warped test of good versus evil.
And who doesn’t love a movie questioning the existence of demons among us?
Ratched (Netflix) – 2020
This limited Netflix series and imagined prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest delights as it disturbs.
The Ryan Murphy project starring Sarah Paulson as our faorite hated mental health nurse is perfect Halloween bingeing fodder.
Turns out, It’s more horror than we might have thought. And Sharon Stone is rad, as usual.
Frankenstein’s Army (Amazon Prime) – 2013
Another disgusting favorite of ours is Frankenstein’s Army.
When Russian soldiers investigate a Nazi science lab in Germany at the end of the Holocaust, what they find will give them nightmares for the rest of their lives (some significantly shorter than others).
Mechanical abhorrences that could only have been dreamed up by a mad scientist with a plot to kill as many innocents as possible are a credit to the creative and vividly psychotic imaginations of the filmmakers.
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix) – 2020
Another spooky Netlix series — this one a follow up to The Haunting of Hill House — finds itself retelling original source material, The Turn of the Screw.
The Universal film released earlier this year, The Turning, was also based on the 1898 Henry James novel (and we recommend that one as well, specifically for Joely Richardson’s performance).
But Bly Manor manages to delve much deeper throughout its nine episodes. And has a satisfying conclusion.
Rebecca (Netflix) – 2020
We all know of the classic Hitchcock film adaptation of Dame Daphne du Maurier’s gothic 1938 novel. But for some reason Netflix felt a need to attempt another.
This version stars Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs. Danvers, and Lily James as the new Mrs. de Winter. Ann Dowd as Mrs. Van Hopper is the standout — isn’t she always?– as the all-too-briefly presented Mrs. Van Hopper.
Hey, it’s OK. Yeah, just OK. James seems to still have some 2020 hairdo, though.
We had to watch it to see why it existed. This ones goes further than the Hitchcock in what-happens-next-ism based on the novel. But pretty forgettable.
Thomas makes for a great Danvers though.
The Invitation (Netflix) – 2015
This is another instant classic that earned a large following over the past few years.
Though it’s also another that — for those of us who believe most horror has supernatural elements (I consider Silence of the Lambs a “thriller”) — stretches to call itself “horror.”
It is horrific though, and scary. Not in a “boo” kind of way, but in a “WTF ARE YOU DOING?” kind of way.
So watch it, because we are sure you will dig it.
Hereditary (Amazon Prime) – 2018
Just including Hereditary because everyone should watch it.
Possibly the best recent horror film in a decade, this cinematic freakout became an instant classic. And with Ann Dowd (yet again), and Toni Collette — I mean ermifkngawd already!
The ending isn’t to everyone’s liking, but it is to mine, mofos and mofettes! So hunker down, sucker down, and enjoy!
What did we miss, people? There are a ton of horror flicks out there, what are your faves? Let us know what we got wrong, what we got right, and tell us your favoroite gory and creepy and scary films of all time, yeah? Hit “SHOW COMMENTS” below and go hogwild, will ya?
Kerr Lordygan is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.