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The 2016 MFF Halloween Horror Guide

October 12, 2016

The world is inundated with lists telling you which horror films to watch on Halloween. I’m sure they all have their merits but they aren’t looking out for everybody. I wanted to bring you a wide variety of films in order to give you options. I understand that not everybody watches the same kind of movies so options are always nice.

I came up with 16 categories and in those categories I’ve given you a main option and a backup in case you don’t like the first recommendation. Hopefully you can find something you will enjoy. An added bonus is that all of these films are streaming on either Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO GO or Shudder.

Sidenote: Check out the horror movie streaming calendar I made to check out other streaming options.

  • If you are in the mood for…..

1. A dinner party that goes terribly awry

The Invitation (Netflix) – What I love about The Invitation is how it builds to an amazing final shot. You won’t find a better ending to any 2016 film because it actually earns it. Director Karyn Kusama has created a world that is loaded with excellent performances, lots of questions and tons of suspense.

  • If you aren’t interested. We Are What We Are (Netflix) – You don’t want to be the guest at one of the Parker’s dinner parties.

2. A witch who turns babies into goo

The Witch (Amazon Prime) – There are things in The Witch that you will never forget. Director Robert Eggers quest for authenticity paid off and you find yourself immersed in a terrifying world. If you are into beautiful/terrible imagery and slow burn tension you will love every second of The Witch.

  • If you aren’t interested: Rosemary’s Baby (Amazon Prime) – The two films are incredibly different but they both revolve around witches/cults and terrible things happening to babies.

3. A thing that never stops following you

It Follows (Hulu- Showtime) – What I love about It Follows is how it is loaded with urgency, patience and dread. It never stops and it keeps you in a constant state of alert because you don’t know where the following creature will pop up next. That is perfect for Halloween horror!

  • If you aren’t interested: The Descent (Hulu – Showtime) – The Descent is one of my favorite horror films and I love how it becomes a brutal and urgent survival film. You will never be able to catch your breath during The Descent.

4. An evil space ship

Event Horizon (Netflix) – If you are looking for a cult classic that is loaded with great actors and insane imagery you will love Event Horizon. It is director Paul Anderson’s best film and the visions of hell will be burnt into your memory.

  • If you aren’t interested: Let Us Prey (Netflix, Shudder) – Let Us Prey is a nasty little film that might as well take place in a hell ship. If you are into gore and insanity you will appreciate this film.

5. A killer who doesn’t have a lame backstory

Hush (Netflix) – Hush is a fantastic horror film  that does a lot with little and Netflix should be stoked they are streaming it exclusively. I love the film because it plays very practically and features a nameless villain that doesn’t need a backstory or motives. Hush is smart, exciting, and wonderfully simple.

  • If you aren’t interested: Final Destination (Amazon Prime) – There is nothing worse than Death trying to kill you. You will wish the nameless guy from Hush was coming after you.

6. A stupid red-faced demon who pops up at the worst moments

Insidious (Crackle) – Insidious catapulted director James Wan back into the mainstream and featured one of the best jump scares ever. Insidious is one of my favorite 21st century horror films because it features a good family being terrorized by terrible evil. They’ve done nothing wrong and I love that they actually move away from the haunted house and put their lives on the line to save each other. Insidious is a horror movie with heart.

  • If you aren’t interested: Poltergeist (HBO GO) – Is a horror classic that has influenced countless films. That damn clown is never not scary.

7. A killer in training

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (Shudder) – It takes a lot of work to become a movie killer. You need to train, walk fast and created overly elaborate backstories. However, if you do everything right you will become a horror legend and star in a very fun cult classic. I love how Behind the Mask pokes fun at horror cliches and then totally subverts all of them.

  • If you aren’t interested: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (Shudder, Netflix) – T&D is horror comedy at its best and I love how it successfully subverts the genre while bringing the gore.

8. A babysitter in a creepy house

The House of the Devil (Shudder – Hulu) – If you are into babysitters being harassed then you will love The House of the Devil. It is an audacious horror film that builds to an incredibly tense and soul crushing conclusion. Director Ti West (The Innkeepers, The Sacrament) is a master of horror and I love that he had the confidence to build to such a crazy ending.

  • If you aren’t interested: The Babadook (Netflix) – There two films are incredibly different. However, they build tension beautifully and feature directors who will be making big waves in horror.

9. Really fast people who are infected with rage

28 Days Later (HBO GO) – Danny Boyle is my hero and 28 Days Later is my favorite “zombie” film. It is the most tension filled horror 100 minutes of the 21st century and it just doesn’t age.  I watch it every Halloween and it seems to get better and better. I love the soundtrack, crazy scares and the opening featuring an empty London freaks me out every time.

  • If you aren’t interested: Dead Snow (Shudder, Netflix) – What is worse than rage infected zombies? Nazi zombies.

10. A hit-man getting into some really weird stuff

Kill List (Shudder, Hulu) – Director Ben Wheatley is a maniac director and Kill List is a journey into madness. I love how it starts off as a hit-man film and slowly devolves into crazy cult shenanigans. Kill List might be the most underrated horror film of recent years and I put it on the list so more people will watch it.

  • If you aren’t interested: Black Death (Shudder) – Black Death won’t leave you feeling happy. However, any movie called Black Death shouldn’t be an easy watch.

11. A cabinet owned by a Doctor

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Netflix, Shudder) – If you want to watch an OG movie that is beautiful to look at and might be the first horror films ever made. It is one of the first true horror films and I love the German expressionism and long lasting images. Do yourself a favor and watch a true horror original.

  • If you aren’t interested: Nosferatu (Shudder) – What happens when you can’t get the rights to Dracula? You make a movie called Nosferatu and influence horror movies forever…..Then, you get sued.

12. A Wes Craven classic

The Hills Have Eyes (Shudder) – Wes Craven was a maniac back in the day. His films were angry, brutal and iconic. If you are looking for a classic of the horror genre you will love The Hills Have Eyes. It is a brutal experience that never gets old and features some of the most frightening villains ever.

  • If you aren’t interested: Re-Animator (Shudder, Amazon Prime) – Re-Animator is a fantastic cult classic that needs to be watched by more people. You will love every second of it.

13. The best vampire film of the 21st century

Let the Right One In (Shudder) – Let the Right One In is the rare horror film that transcends the genre because every element of it is great. It is beloved by critics and horror hounds because it tells a heartbreaking story while featuring lots and lots of blood. You won’t find a better vampire movie out there because there aren’t any.

  • If you aren’t interested: From Dusk Till Dawn (Amazon Prime, Netflix) – From Dusk Till Dawn ain’t subtle like Let the Right One In. However, it is a well made splatterfest that is lots of fun.

14. Zombies coming for someone named Barbara

Night of the Living Dead  (Shudder) – George Romero helped changed the horror world in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. If you haven’t watched this classic yet I totally recommend you watch it on Halloween. I guarantee you will love this classic because it is a pure horror film that was created by people who loved the genre and wanted to create something new and exciting.

  • If you aren’t interested: Pontypool (Netflix) – Pontypool is a single location zombie movie that uses its location perfectly and is a really neat head trip. If you are into low budget independent horror that hits above its weight you will really appreciate Pontypool.

15. Drunk people battling aliens

Grabbers (Shudder) – Grabbers tells the incredibly true story (lie) of drunk Irish villagers battling jerky aliens. It is perfection,  and I love how it embraces absurdity and everyone seems to be having fun. If you are looking for something cheeky and scary it doesn’t get any better than Grabbers.

  • If you aren’t interested: Tremors (Amazon Prime) – Tremors is pure creature feature fun. I’ve watched it over 20 times and it never gets old. Viva la Bacon!

16. A descent into Korean madness

I Saw the Devil (Amazon Prime, Shudder) – If you want to put your soul in a headlock you need to watch I Saw the Devil. It is brilliant, tough and beautiful to look at. I think I Saw the Devil might be the best horror film of the last 10 years because it balances amazing performances, lots of blood and a truly scary villain.

  • If you aren’t interested: A Tale of Two Sisters (Shudder) – Embrace the Korean weirdness. You will love it.
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