There’s nothing more enjoyable when the weather gets cold and the leaves change colors than to snuggle up on the couch with some popcorn and binge-watch scary movies in the dark. But with dozens of streaming services out there and hundreds of horror titles to choose from at your fingertips, it’s almost daunting trying to choose which ones you want in your lineup because, let’s be real, some are just duds, and who wants to waste precious time on a not-scary movie during the spookiest time of the year?
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If you want seriously scary movies you can watch instantly via your Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix accounts, look no further. We’ve got the only list you need. So get that popcorn ready, round up all your blankets and maybe leave your lights on while you watch — these scary movies warrant it.
Hush has a plot that any seasoned horror fan has seen before: A woman, alone in a house, tries to get away from a creepy killer who’s stalking her every move. But what this Netflix original gets right is that they up the stakes, making the main character, Maddie, a woman who is losing her hearing abilities. Escaping from a killer is hard enough, but being unable to hear and living out the story from Maddie’s perspective makes this an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Watch it on Netflix.
2. As Above, So Below
A found-footage movie that will actually chill you to the bone, As Above, So Below follows a young academic, her crew and a group of locals on the hunt for an otherworldly treasure. In order to find it, they have to go into the catacombs under the streets of Paris, but when they get there, they find out that venturing into the unseen city of the dead is full of horrors they never could have planned for. Watch it now on Netflix.
3. It Follows
The audience is introduced to Jay Height, a twentysomething who’s attending college, hanging out with friends and going on dates in her spare time. One night, after hooking up with a date, we learn that the boy Jay has been hanging out with has passed something onto her, a kind of spectral attachment that is unseen but will eventually kill her unless she passes it on to someone else. Jay spends the rest of It Follows recruiting her friends to help her evade — and eventually challenge head-on — this supernatural evil. Check it out on Netflix.
4. The Sixth Sense
Haley Joel Osment sees dead people — a lot of them. This movie may have premiered a full 19 years ago, but make no mistake: The Sixth Sense is still one of the most frightening, engrossing horror movies in existence (I dare you to watch that scene with the little girl under his bed and not scream). Catch it on Netflix.
5. The Witch
Set in 1630s New England, this movie features 15-year-old Thomasin and her family, who are cast out of their heavily Puritan town. Not long after, her baby brother disappears into the woods with a stranger as she’s watching him. As though that weren’t enough, her family soon has to deal with a seductive presence in the woods — a witch they suspect kidnapped and may have killed Thomasin’s baby brother. It’s a struggle to survive for this isolated family, and believe it or not, it just gets worse and worse. See what happens on Netflix.
6. The Descent
The Descent starts off as a slow burn of a film with the occasional jump scare as we follow a group of six women who try to navigate their way out of a remote cave. But midway through the movie, the stakes change entirely, and all six find themselves in a terrifying scramble to survive. Stream it now on Hulu.
7. The Blair Witch Project
Sure, it takes a while for The Blair Witch Project to get really scary, but it remains one of the more unnerving and memorable horror movies of the last 20 years. For most of the movie, the found-footage format (a relatively new narrative device at the time it was filmed in the late ’90s) helps to build suspense and make us increasingly nervous watching this trio of budding filmmakers get lost (repeatedly) in the woods. By the time the movie reaches its climax, you’ll be huddled under a blanket vowing never to go into the woods again. Catch it on Hulu.
8. Jacob’s Ladder
In this film, Vietnam veteran Jacob Singer was injured in the Mekong Delta. He awakens later in New York City, remembering only bits and pieces of what happened and hallucinating one horrifying thing after another. Trying to grieve and process his trauma, Jacob has to figure out what’s real and what is just his severely disturbed imagination. When you eventually figure out what’s really happening to Jacob, you’ll want to sue the makers of this movie for emotional distress. Watch it on Hulu.
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9. Paranormal Activity
Unsuspecting couple Katie and Micah set up a surveillance system to record the creepy happenings at their house during the night. And boy, are there some creepy goings-on in this house! By the time the two decide to call in an exorcist, it might already be too late. This movie scared audiences, but it offers such an interesting premise that it spawned an entire franchise. See it all from the beginning on Amazon Prime.
10. Pet Sematary
There’s a lot to love about this 1989 cult classic based on the 1983 Stephen King novel of the same name. In the movie, Louis moves his family to rural Maine and discovers a pet cemetery behind his house that was built on an ancient Native burial ground. It seems that whatever is buried in the pet cemetery comes back to life — but as Louis eventually discovers, “sometimes dead is better.” Watch it for free with Amazon Prime.
11. The Cell
In The Cell, Jennifer Lopez is psychologist Catherine Deane, who has to go inside the brain of a serial killer (literally, she goes inside it, and yes, it is wild) to find the whereabouts of his latest victim before the girl dies. And, spoiler alert, the mind of a deranged serial killer is a pretty freaky place. Directed by Tarsem Singh, The Cell is as visually beautiful as it is totally terrifying. See for yourself on Amazon Prime.
12. 28 Weeks Later
Finally, what’s a Halloween movie marathon without some zombies? This chilling sequel to 28 Days Later is arguably even better than the first, picking up 28 weeks after the initial outbreak of the rage virus. Just as the infected are starting to die of starvation and things are getting back to normal, two kids sneak back into their quarantined neighborhood to steal some family artifacts from their home. Surprise! The kids find their mother, infected by a zombie bite but strangely not raging or foaming like the other zombies. From there, viewers are taken through a series of pulse-pounding survival scenarios that will have you yearning for zombie movies that are a little more sedate. Check it out on Hulu.
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