A couple of quick notes before we get started: This column was launched to help stream hungry hunters like myself discover weird, uncharted and mostly unwatched movies. I'm meticulously going through allotted Queues so you don't have to. A lot of these movies won't even have reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (so don't bring it up), and they might not be great on an academic level. But if I like it, I'm going to tell you about it! Basically, I'm writing this for people like myself, who want to find buried treasure! Secondly, these are movies that are AVAILABLE on the streaming device in question right now. So, when I put Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers in the list, its not because I think it's the best Halloween movie...Its because none of the other sequels are currently streaming! Make sense? I hope so.
Now, on with the show. Here are 13 Classic Horror Movies that you can watch right now if you are a bonafide Netflix member (or, you can rent them on VUDU). It's time to really start feeling Halloween up in this code house of horrors!
"What have they done to its eyes?" Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), the young wife of a struggling actor (John Cassavetes), is thrilled to find out she's pregnant in this Roman Polanski thriller. But the larger her belly grows, the more certain she becomes that her unborn child is in serious danger. It turns out that a group of Satan worshipers, lead by the late, great Ruth Gordon, is harvesting a baby devil inside her guts! You will feel as though you lived through the terror, as the movie slowly, but surely creeps up on one of the greatest reveals of all time. Forty-five years later, Rosemary's harrowing birth is still scaring newly expectant parents into the abortion clinic.
Now reigning as the top ten horror movie of all time (according to critics), director Tomas Alfredson has made one of the most original vampire thrillers in a sub-genre that has more entries than there are numbers. And the end scene in the swimming pool is a true nail-biting classic. Forget the remake Let Me In starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz. This is the real deal. The constant target of bullies, 12-year-old Oskar spends his time plotting revenge and collecting news clippings about the grisly murders plaguing his town. But things change when he meets a new girl named Eli, a misfit vampire who steals his heart. If you only see one bloodsucking romance this Halloween, make it this one!
Perhaps one of the greatest reveals of all time, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man's arrival in down town Manhattan is one of horror comedy's greatest moments. Relive this 1984 classic all over again, as it brings a bit of whimsy to your Halloween celebration. The timeless classic follows three parapsychologists who end up creating a business exterminating ghouls and hobgoblins, only to end up facing one killer demon in a cellist's apartment. If you haven't returned to this one in a while, there isn't a better time of year. It defined what 80s movies were all about. Its funny, fast paced, inventive and it still packs some excellent scares.
Has a more cringe-inducing movie ever been made? Watch in terror as a couple discovers a hideous creature in their attic, the husband's half-brother, who is also the wife's ex-lover. Having lost his earthly form to sadomasochistic demons from another dimension, the man needs human sacrifices to rebuild his body. This film gave us the now iconic Pinhead and let loose a horror franchise like no other. Its truly a unique entry in the genre, and we can all think Clive Barker for giving us nightmares for decades to come.
A cat is thrown against the wall so hard it's brain pops right out of its skull. A severed head goes down on a girl. An army of Re-animated corpses spring to life in the climax, bringing about one of the most enthralling finales in any horror movie. Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, this campy send-up follows a medical student who develops a serum that miraculously revives the dead. With his roommate and his girlfriend, he reanimates a corpse, but he doesn't factor in certain complications. Its a fun ride that launched a franchise and two sequels, but the first one is truly a classic that needs to be queued up right now, especially if you've never seen it!
In this silent classic, an inmate in an insane asylum explains to his psychiatrist how he came to the institution, telling the shrink the story of the evil hypnotist Caligari and his unwitting pawn, the sleepwalker Cesare. It was one of the first horror movies to ever gain an audience, and it has been scaring the pants off of fans since its debut in the 1920s. If you need something gothic and disturbing to project on that wall that need only be accompanied by the terrifying sounds of your Halloween party, this is the go to thriller for spooky atmosphere this holiday season.
Before Chloe Moretz there was Sissy Spacek, who brought a real, disturbed empathy to her Carrie White, a telekinetic teenager with the ability to levitate and explode heads. Don't bother spending $20 dollars at the theater when you can dial up the real thing here. This may be one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever made for the screen. Mousy teen Carrie might be ostracized, but she has the ability to move objects with her mind. When the high school "in crowd" torments her by dumping pigs blood on her new dress at the prom in one of horror's most iconic moments, she lashes out with devastating and deadly power that still has the the needed intimacy to shock and awe even the most jaded gore hound.
Like Let the Right One in, The Cabin in the Woods has become one of this generation's true horror classics. So what if it pisses all over the past thirty years of horror cinema in one fail swoop? Its still scary, and funny. And that surprise cameo at the end is enough to knock the wind out of your twisted gut. In this surprising spin on a classic horror setup, five friends arrive at a secluded cabin with clear instructions for their anticipated mountain getaway. But when the rigid rules are broken, punishment is swift, and everyone will pay!
Holy shit! Have you not seen The Baby yet? A buried cult oddity from the 70s, this film's reemergence on Netflix and other streaming venues has given it a new life. Once you see it, you'll never be able to shake it loose out of your head. Guaranteed, there is no other movie that can match its sure creepiness. Social worker Ann Gentry visits an odd family that includes a domineering mother, two trashy sisters, and Baby, an adult son who wears diapers and sleeps in a crib. Ann makes it her mission to rescue Baby, but she's harboring a disturbing secret of her own. Will you be able to make it to the climax? If you do, you'll be treated to one of the most jarring, revolting, cringe-inducing ends ever spliced onto a horror movie. This one is definitely not for the squeamish!
Elvira is the queen of Halloween, so while there might be a few slightly more classic entries that we could have included here, we're giving her a much-needed shout out. And if you're not familiar with the ultimate scream queen and horror host, you need to learn, boy! This is her first movie, and it's a doozy. When her great-aunt dies, the famed horror goddess heads for the uptight New England town of Falwell to claim her inheritance of a haunted house. But once the stuffy locals get an eyeful of her milky white and ample assets, all hell breaks loose. More than any other film on this list, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark carries the true spirit of Halloween.
If you've never dived into this white mess, you're in for a treat. And we're jealous. We wish we could be watching it again for the first time, too! You'll never look at yogurt the same way. A cult mainstay since it first arrived in 1985, this campy classic finds Americans gorging on the latest snack sensation: a no-calorie treat dubbed The Stuff. When it threatens to put ice cream makers out of business, industry tycoons draft a spy to uncover the dessert's secret formula. See Garrett Morris before he was kidnapped by 2 Broke Girls. Feel the mesmerizing power of soap opera heartthrob Scott Bloom's piercing blue eyes. Behold, one of the coolest thrillers to emerge out of the 80s. It really is a treat.
Louis Creed moves his family to the country and discovers a cursed burial ground on his property that brings the dead back to life, yet with an added streak of evil. An accident soon forces the heartbroken father to contemplate the unthinkable. He buries his young son in the ground, and Miko Hughes comes back as a killer toddler. It's the second Stephen King movie to make this list, which makes us think he may just be the king of Halloween! And boy, can this kid swing a knife!
We saved the best for last! Well, not really. But the original Scream is a fantastic slasher thriller that single handedly revived the genre in the late 90s, and it brought Wes Craven out of obscurity with Freddy Krueger having run his course. While it launched a franchise and a litany of sequels, the first remains the best. And with its third act party climax, it's the perfect movie for any Halloween get together, whether you are alone or surrounded by friends that can cheer Ghost Face on in his blood antics. This tale of a murderer who terrorizes hapless high schooler Sidney Prescott by offing everyone she knows will forever be remembered as a true horror classic.
Sure, there are plenty more classic horror movies on Netflix. Tell us what we missed and what you're watching. Next week, we're going to run down the list of available creature features, and then right before Halloween, we'll wrap it all up with a look at the spooky animated movies playing inside your streaming device of choice. Until next week, have a happy haint holiday! And don't forget to perform your rituals and exorcisms before you go to sleep. In this case, maybe you DO want the bed bugs to bite. Whatever, I'm leaving.