This is kind of a tangential post for the site, but there’s only a week left until Halloween and I thought it’d be nice to compile some of the Halloween movies available on the streaming services you may already subscribe to. The convenience of these services are great, but sometimes the organization and navigation through their vast archives can be a bit of a nightmare. So, here is a list (with direct links included) of some of the Halloween flicks that Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime have to offer in Fall 2012.
Let The Right One In (2008) – This is one of the few vampire films of the recent decade that actually warrants being watched and rewatched. This superlative Norwegian feature spawned an American remake only two years after it was released. If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is. Either way, be sure to check out the story of Oscar, a bullied boy, who finds friendship with his next door neighbor, Eli, an ageless vampire.
The Thing (1982) – John Carpenter’s classic monster movie is available on the Netflix que, ready to remove the stale aftertaste of the ho-hum remake/prequel of yesteryear. I still hold this film in high regard as one of the best horror movies of all time, even with its practical special effects and 80s haircuts.
The Walking Dead (2010) – Not a movie, but if you really want to put yourself through the wringer of a Halloween marathon, look no further than AMC’s popular zombie series. While this show certainly has its peaks and valleys, it still has a solid foundation and employs some interesting ideas in a genre that is generally saturated with cliche and derivative form.
Insidious (2010) – Sure, the last half of this movie kind of tails off from the more superior first hour, but if you’re looking for a ghost movie with some legitimate scares, look no further than original Saw helmer James Wan’s ghost story. The film follows a family who is trying to prevent an evil spirit from possessing their son after he falls into a comatose state.
Honorable Mentions on the Netflix Que: Dead Snow, Bubba Ho-Tep, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Candyman, Ghost, The Host, Paranormal Activity 2, The Relic, The Langoliers, The Reef, Monkey Shines, The Signal, Little Monsters.
Triangle (2009) – A criminally overlooked horror movie and probably the best of the ‘ghost ship’ movies, Triangle combines elements of ghost movies, slasher fare and time travel to produce a rather intriguing tale about a group of passengers who become trapped on a haunted cruise ship. I don’t know if this description does it justice, but I found it to be one of the more worthy recent efforts from the horror genre, falling somewhere between a meld of Ghost Ship and Timecrimes. So, if you want to try something a little different this Halloween, definitely check this one out.
The Addams Family (1991) – For some family fare, why not revisit the Adams Family movie? Truthfully, I don’t remember the last time I saw this film, but with a cast that boasts Raul Julia, Christoper Lloyd, Christina Ricci and Anjelica Huston, it’s probably worth revisting, if not just for nostalgia’s sake. While still brandishing a pg-13 rating, it still should be able to be shown to most middle aged kids if you are looking for an alternative to the standard adult oriented Halloween films.
The Descent (2005) – Cave creatures! One of the more respected entries in the creature genre over the last decade, The Descent spawned a sequel and at least a dozen knockoffs, creating a subgenre that might as well be labeled ‘spelunking horror.’ Your enjoyment of this film probably hinges on your level of claustrophobia, the crowd you watch it with and the number of times you are comfortable screaming “Cave creatures!” at the screen. Be warned. This one is not for people who are afraid of small spaces.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) – The Blair Witch Project may be a polarizing piece of cinema, but it really deserves credit for giving birth to the ‘found footage’ genre, especially within horror films. Say what you will about the movie and its controversial ending, but as Paranormal Activity 4 proved to be king of the Halloween box office this year, TBWP’s lasting influence cannot be denied.
Halloween (1978) – While this series may have way too many entries and remakes to its name and seems to follow a cycle of frustrating repetition (Dear God, why didn’t you just jettison Michael Myers into space after the third movie instead of continually putting him in some easily escapable mental institution, guarded only by a single elderly janitor?), the original Halloween can’t be denied as a horror classic. John Carpenter once again proves his talent by melding the slasher genre into what it still remains to this day. This also contains the best horror movie score of all the slasher movies. So, points for that.
Below (2002) – I can’t say it has much competition, but this has to be the best submarine ghost movie of all time. Although, like I said, I can’t think of any other submarine ghost movies. There are quite a few ghost ship movies, but not ghost submarine movies. Either way, this movie, much like Triangle, is relatively unknown, but worthy of a larger audience. It has some quality scares, a decent cast and an intriguing plot about again, a haunted submarine.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Certainly one of the oldest movies on the list, George Romero’s classic zombie flick deserves to be on this list because half this list wouldn’t exist without his cinematic contributions, especially Night of the Living Dead. There would be no Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, etc if it wasn’t for this man and his early entries into horror cinema. If you’re one of those people who really can’t sit down and tolerate watching anything made before 1980, why not show it some love and at least stream it in the background during your Halloween party this year. I’m sure that would make George Romero a happy man.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – Robert Rodriguez’s infamous vampire flick has one of the strangest casts of all time, featuring George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Cheech Martin, Harvey Keitel and Salma Hayek. One thing that I really appreciate about this movie is that it plays against type with a lot of its casting choices. So, kudos for flip flopping Keitel and Clooney’s roles to have Clooney as the bad guy/anti-hero and Keitel as the good guy/caring father.
Really Netflix, Hulu, Amazon? What’s The Deal Not Having? (aka egregious omissions from their Halloween streaming lineups): The Lost Boys, The Shining, Fright Night (1985), The Frighteners, Shaun of the Dead, Scream, Monster Squad, Nightmare Before Christmas, Gremlins, 28 Days Later, Dead Alive, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, The Orphanage, The Witches and Sleepy Hollow.
Not seeing the movie you were looking for on any of these services that you might already pay for? Well, do not despair. You can rent most other Halloween movies from some of the video on demand services and if you have cable, AMC and a few other networks will be looping most of the Halloweens, Friday the 13ths, Child’s Plays and Nightmare on Elm Streets for the entire week.