The coronavirus pandemic surely means that this Halloween season will be like no other, causing some to claim that the holiday will be "cancelled" because we can't celebrate the spooky season the ways we typically do, but it will take a lot more to keep us from celebrating things that go bump in the night, as there are still a number of ways we can embrace all things creepy. With quarantine protocols encouraging us to spend time indoors, it means we have a lot more time on our hands to catch up on frightening flicks, with Netflix having a handful of choice offerings.
Whether you're interested in checking out a campy and creepy comic adaptation or a film that eerily mirrors the situation we currently find ourselves in, Netflix has got you covered.
Scroll down to see our picks for the 10 best horror movies on Netflix to stream this October and hit up Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to share your own recommendations and thoughts about the films!
The Addams Family
They're creepy and they're cooky, and The Addams Family strikes the perfect blend of horror and camp to create the perfect family-friendly experience to check out this Halloween. Featuring iconic performances from Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci, the ghoulish characters from Charles Addams' comic come to life for this hilarious adventure.
Years after the disappearance of uncle Fester, he seemingly returns to his family after suffering from amnesia, though this is all a ruse from a local property owner hoping to evict the Addams and discover their hidden fortune. The film has countless visual and verbal puns sprinkled throughout, never shying away from implying the most grave of fates for characters, with one of the highlights being a swordfight between Wednesday and Pugsley at a school play featuring enough fake blood to rival any R-rated adventure.prevnext
When most people think of Halloween, they typically think of chilly weather, crisp leaves, and apple cider, but The Guest proves you can capture the spirit of Halloween even in the American Southwest, while also delivering an experience full of both laughs and thrills.
As the mysterious David (Dan Stevens) shows up at a family's home claiming to have been the best friend of their late son, they welcome him with open arms in hopes of learning more about how their son was killed in combat. Despite being handsome, charming, and helpful around the home, David still has a mysterious and seemingly unexplainable past, raising some red flags about who he is and what he's really doing there.
A breakout genre role for Stevens and from You're Next filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, The Guest feels like a mix of Halloween and The Terminator, with its Halloween setting making it the perfect movie to check out this October, with the added bonus of the plot reaching its crescendo at a Halloween-themed dance, complete with Halloween III: Season of the Witch decorations.prevnext
From the mind of Steven Spielberg, 1982's Poltergeist introduced audiences to a swath of supernatural terms that brought the concept of paranormal research into the forefront of pop culture.
Starting with a series of bizarre instances and escalating to the disappearance of their young daughter, a distraught family enlists the help of paranormal experts to identify what beings might be targeting their home. Despite seemingly living the American dream in their quiet suburb, the family comes to a terrifying realization about the origins of their new home that confirms they're living in an American nightmare.
From the performances to the effects to the story, Poltergeist remains just as effective of a ghost story today as it was nearly 40 years ago, solidifying itself as one of the all-time great haunted house films.prevnext
One of Anton Yelchin's best, and last, performances is in this siege thriller about a punk band facing off against neo-Nazis.
When The Ain't Rights are short on cash, they accept a last-minute gig at a club, only to discover it's run by neo-Nazis. Desperate for money to finish their tour, the band accepts the offer and aims to make a quick getaway, only to stumble into the club's green room and witness a woman had been murdered. Locked inside, they have few options on how to leave the club safely, let alone alive.
Filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier has proven himself as one of the most compelling new directors in recent years, thanks in large part to this film and the way it captures a gritty realism of a lesser-known music scene. The film immediately hooks you in with its charming characters, only to guide you through the nerve-wracking experience.prevnext
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from Washington Irving is one of the most famous spooky tales in history, which has been brought to life in a number of ways in a variety of mediums, though few capture the horror and atmosphere of the creepy adventure quite like Tim Burton's film.
Due to his insistence on investigating crimes to their full potential in opposition of his colleagues, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of mysterious murders. Crane uncovers a complex conspiracy about local politicians attempting to maintain power of the town, despite the Headless Horseman regularly making his presence, and deadliness, felt throughout the quiet village.
Easily one of the most violent depictions of the famous story, Burton's stylistic sensibilities are on full display, with the film's production design fully transporting audiences into a small Northeastern town at the turn of the century, made al the more effective with Burton knowing exactly when to lean into the source material's inherent silliness and its ominous eerieness.prevnext
It Comes at Night
Audiences have seen stories of diseases or viruses ravaging humanity, but few have offered the unease, or intimacy, of It Comes at Night.
As a family struggles to come to grips with the new status quo of avoiding any interactions with other humans due to a mysterious virus, they have their peace interrupted when an intruder arrives looking for supplies to care for his own family. The two small groups of survivors are tasked with figuring out whether they will choose to embrace a potential ally or remain fearful of those who could harm them, all while unseen threats exist in the darkness.
What makes the film so compelling is how fearful the audience is made of things that we never see, epitomizing a fear of the unknown. Given how many families around the world have had to adopt a similar lifestyle due to the coronavirus pandemic, the narrative serves as an unsettling reminder of making yourselves vulnerable to others or closing off all contact.prevnext
When a married couple moves back to the husband's small town, they encounter a figure from his past who seems to have the best of intentions, but injects himself into their lives a little more than they anticipated. As the "chance" encounters grow in frequency, more questions arise about the man's past, until the husband admits that he never treated the man too pleasantly when they were kids, leading to paranoia that his reemergence has prompted sinister motivations.
As we've all encountered people from our past that we might not offer a warm welcome to, The Gift explores someone who potentially has to pay for their past and can never escape it, or possibly serves merely as a reflection of the guilt we feel for past transgressions, with the film withholding the truth of the situation until the very end.prevnext
Before The Conjuring and before Aquaman, James Wan delivered audiences a riveting haunted house movie with Insidious, which reinvented a number of genre tropes.
Following the unexpected injury of their young son, a family feels that his condition might be influenced by something otherworldly, causing them to enlist the assistance of experts in the supernatural. These investigators discover that something incredibly deadly has emerged, which ties deep into the father's own childhood, putting the entire family's life at stake.
The Conjuring might be James Wan's horror masterpiece, but Insidious offers many compelling scares of its own while also crafting a unique mythology that inspired three follow-up films.prevnext
In hopes of earning a big payday, an asbestos removal company agrees to take on a job in a former mental institution with a minimal crew under a tight deadline, with one of the workers getting distracted by the discovery of recordings of former patients. As he listens to each session, the rest of the team begins to experience a number of weird occurrences, ranging from their own paranoia to the possible paranormal, leading to the crescendo of listening to "Session 9."
An unsettling narrative in its own right, what makes Session 9 all the more disturbing is the knowledge that it was filmed in the now-demolished Danvers State Hospital, a site which many investigators considered to be one of the most haunted places in the world, adding an extra layer of unease to the experience.prevnext
The Autopsy of Jane Doe0comments
In hopes of a father teaching his son how to take over the family business of running a funeral home, he invites his son to observe the autopsy of an unidentified woman, resulting in the discovery of a number of bizarre artifacts. As the pair hope to discover what caused the woman's death, they draw the attention of what feels like otherworldly spirits who have just as much interest in the body as they do, as a force begins to make its presence known to the pair who are isolated in a basement.
Anyone who has spent time in a dark basement by themselves will surely relate to the paranoia felt in the film, as every creak and bang comes with the fear that you aren't truly alone, with The Autopsy of Jane Doe's narrative introducing elements of witchcraft for a compelling mixture of the supernatural and paranoid delusions.prev