Horror fans, your time is here: October is the official month of all things spooky, gross, gory and weird, and Halloween is the perfect excuse to watch your favourite movies (as if you needed one). If you’re not a fan, here’s some food for thought: new research from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh suggests horror films are actually good for your health, reducing stress and improving pain tolerance due to the production of dopamine and endorphins. Sold? These are the best horror films on Netflix to stream this spooky season.
Best Horror Films On Netflix For Halloween 2023
Two strangers, Adam and Dr Lawrence Gordon, wake up in a room with no recollection of how they got there – but soon discover they’re pawns in a deadly game played by the notorious Jigsaw Killer, famous for testing his victims’ will to live by putting them through deadly games. The pair must escape before time runs out, or face a bloody end. Somehow liked it? Saw II is also available to stream on Netflix this Halloween.
The first film in this notorious franchise centres on a married couple whose son inexplicably enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for a variety of demonic entities. Horror fans can enjoy a full movie marathon this Halloween, with the first three instalments available to stream on Netflix.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Famed for its ‘found footage’ style, Paranormal Activity follows a young couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence inside their home, and set up a camera to try and document what is haunting them. With six subsequent films in the franchise, it’s one of the most profitable films of all time – and provides a seriously scary watch.
Starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Haley Lu Richardson, this psychological thriller centres on a man named Kevin who kidnaps and imprisons three teenage girls. But Kevin is also Patricia, and Hedwig, and 21 other distinct personalities – including The Beast.
On the classic end of horror films, Halloween is the perfect watch on 31 October – for obvious reasons. The plot centres Michael Myers, a mental patient who was committed to a sanitarium for killing his teenage sister on Halloween night when he was a child. Decades later, he returns to his hometown and goes on a murderous rampage.
When true crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) moves to a new house with his family, he discovers a series of snuff films depicting gruesome murders – and gradually realises his own family might be in danger.
Wrong Turn (2003)
This 2003 flick is suspense and jump scares galore. A group of six individuals get lost in the West Virginia woods, only to be stalked by a family of cannibals who have become horribly disfigured through generations of inbreeding.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
Some of the horror films on Netflix were actually created by the streaming giant, including this one. Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name (you know you’re in for something gruesome when he’s involved), Gerald’s Game is a psychological horror-thriller, starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood who play a married couple holidaying at an isolated house. But, when the husband dies of a sudden heart attack in the middle of a sex game, the wife is left handcuffed to the bed without any way of escape – no key, and no neighbours for miles around. Not quite the holiday we’re dreaming of.
The Fall of the House of Usher (2023)
Fancy extending the scare-factor across a series? Tune into Netflix’s brand-new eight-part gothic horror series, The Fall of the House of Usher – based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe and adapted by the team behind the harrowing series The Haunting of Hill House. Roderick and Madeline usher are siblings who have built their business, Fortunate Pharmaceuticals, into an empire of wealth and power. But the company’s CEO comes face-to-face with his questionable past when his children start dying in mysterious and brutal ways.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Starring Victoria Pedretti pre-You and Oliver Jackson-Cohen pre Wilderness, you’ll have to drag yourself from behind the sofa to watch The Haunting of Hill House’s 10 episodes. Loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name, the series follows a group of siblings who grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the US. Jumping between past and present, the fractured family confronts haunting memories, splicing the real with the supernaturally horrifying. Maybe keep the lights on for this one…
All streaming now on Netflix. netflix.com