The 40 Best Halloween Movies: Scary Movies and Shows to Watch This Month

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One of the best things about Halloween month (a.k.a. how all the mature adults refer to October) is the fact that it coincides with the official start of Cozy Season. When the leaves start to fall and Rite Aid starts rolling out the ghost and skeleton costumes, there's nothing better than curling up in a blanket or twelve, sipping a seasonal beverage—Pumking ale, anyone?—and freaking the living hell out of yourself with a horror movie.

To celebrate all things Halloween-adjacent, we've put together a master list of the very best scary (or scary-ish) movies to watch this month.

It Follows

There's a distinctly feminist strain to this 2014 horror flick that chronicles a fatal curse passed through a group of teenagers via sexual intercourse. (Stream it on Amazon.)

Ms .45

This 1981 Abel Ferrara cult classic follows a mute seamstress who goes on a revenge rampage after being attacked twice in one day on the streets of New York. (Stream it on Amazon.)


A bizarre Swedish death cult attempts to reel in a group of horrified American students in this psychological thriller. (Stream it on Amazon.)


If you're still craving the work of Ari Aster after Midsommar, check out this 2018 horror tragedy film in which Toni Collette truly shines. (Stream it on Amazon.)


Nobody does horror like Jordan Peele, and Us—which features a family terrorized by a set of doppelgängers—is no exception. (Stream it on Amazon.)


The 2018 Guadagnino remake got all the attention, but the 1977 original about a haunted dance academy is well worth your time. (Stream it on Tubi.)


This 2013 psychological thriller—which follows a young woman who becomes convinced that an antique mirror is haunting her family—cranks the fear-o-meter up a few notches. (Stream it on Amazon.)

Jennifer's Body

Is it campy? Sure, but this Megan Fox/Amanda Seyfried black comedy is a cult classic for very good reason. (Stream it on Amazon.)

A Quiet Place

This post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror flick follows John Krasinski and Emily Blunt trying to get their family through the end times. (Stream it on Amazon.)

The Invisible Man

Elisabeth Moss stars in this terrifying film about a woman who's convinced she's being stalked by the invisible ghost of her abusive boyfriend. (Stream it on Amazon.)


An oldie but a goodie, this Stephen King classic stars Kathy Bates as the scariest obsessive fan in history. (Stream it on Amazon.)


Florence Pugh stars in this horror movie about a paranormal detection racket that gets a very real assignment. (Stream it on Netflix.)


A British horror film, set in 1905 and starring Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen, about a drifter who sets out to save his sister from a religious cult. (Stream it on Netflix.)


The original Mean Girls, but with pig’s blood. This film is truly the stuff of teen-outcast nightmares. (Stream it on Netflix and Amazon.)

The Shining

A family of influencers moves into a remote hotel only to find out that #SponCon isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (just kidding). An aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic (Jack Nicholson!) accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of a historic hotel and moves his wife (Shelley Duvall!) and son with him. Things go badly very quickly. (Stream it on Amazon.)

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, Heather Donahue, 1999, © Artisan Entertainment/courtesy Everett CollectionPhoto: © Artisan Entertainment / Courtesy Everett CollectionThe Blair Witch Project

The flashlight-lit fake documentary that pioneered the “found footage” horror flick still manages to be scary, even in 2019. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

The Amityville Horror

More houses, more murder, this time with 1979 James Brolin. Even more alarming: The story is based on a real house. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

Hocus Pocus

Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Samantha of the Sanderson sisters make this the definitive Halloween throwback. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Before there was The Row, there were the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies, and Double, Double is one of the Olsens’s most compelling dramatic turns. (Stream it on Amazon.)


No, not the millennial mattress brand; it’s the Christina Ricci joint, the one that launched a thousand debates about whether if Casper the human is cute, Casper the ghost is automatically cute, too. Prepare to rehash. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The best of both holiday worlds—you can watch this one now and in December! It's a little spooky, sure, but mostly adorable. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

HALLOWEENTOWN, (from left): Judith Hoag, Joey Zimmerman, Kimberly J. Brown, Emily Roeske, Debbie Reynolds, 1998. © Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett CollectionPhoto: © Disney Channel / Courtesy Everett CollectionHalloweentown

A Disney Channel original movie from the era before they were all about tweens becoming pop stars. (Stream it on Hulu and Amazon.)

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

If you've been into the sexy new Sabrina show, revisit the quirky original. You won't be disappointed. (Stream it on Amazon.)

Practical Magic

You’ll want to become a witch after watching this ’90s cinematic staple. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as witchy sisters navigating love, death, and magic. (Stream it on Amazon.)

FATAL ATTRACTION, Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, 1987. (c) Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.Photo: © Paramount / Courtesy Everett CollectionFatal Attraction

An ’80s classic: Michael Douglas and Glenn Close battle it out as an errant (married) businessman and the fling who won’t go away quietly. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Your next movie night will be complete with this ’90s psychological thriller starring a vengeful nanny attempting to destroy a former boss’s life. (Stream it on Amazon.)

Get Out

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams give memorable performances in this Jordan Peele film—and will make you think twice about meeting the parents. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)


Richard Gere and Diane Lane star in a story involving an affair, and the lengths that people will go when seeking revenge. (Stream it on Amazon.)

The Craft

A new girl with a troubled past moves to Los Angeles and becomes friends with three students who aren’t exactly popular, but who contain far more than they seem to. (Stream it on Amazon.)

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows is Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's tale about a group of vampire roommates who are hundreds of years old and trying to adapt to life in the 21st century. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

PAN'S LABYRINTH, (aka EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO), Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, 2006. ©Picturehouse/courtesy Everett CollectionPhoto: © Picturehouse / Courtesy Everett CollectionPan's Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro’s grim fantasy is terrifying, beautiful, and—against the backdrop of Franco-era Spain—a little bit true. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)


While most people would classify Drive as a thriller, at moments it can be positively chilling. (Stream it on Amazon.)

The Babadook

A brilliantly crafted, deeply unsettling exploration of motherhood, grief, and guilt is the real terror that lingers well past the final scene. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

Sound of My Voice

If you fear cults above all else, give this Brit Marling–led film a wide berth—or watch it for exposure therapy. (Stream it on Amazon.)

All Good Things

How scary could a Ryan Gosling movie be, anyway? Turns out, very. Kirsten Dunst's performance is not to be missed. (Stream it on Amazon.)

The Watcher in the Woods

Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a Disney film—this Bette Davis movie is guaranteed to freak you out. (Buy it on Amazon.)


This 2014 documentary about the NSA spying scandal is more terrifying than many fictional efforts. (Stream it on Amazon.)

Wait Until Dark

Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman who manages to thwart intruders by shutting off all the lights in her apartment—you are really in her shoes, only able to decipher what is going on by listening to the men banging around the house trying to kill her. (Stream it on Amazon.)

IT, Bill Skarsgard, 2017. ph: Brooke Palmer/© Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett CollectionPhoto: © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett CollectionIt

You'll never be able to look at clowns the same way again after watching this film. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

What Lies Beneath

Amber Valletta looks eerily like Michelle Pfeiffer in this campy movie, which will give you pause every time you wipe down a steamed-up mirror in the bathroom. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

Black Swan

Terrifying in a deep, dark, psychological way, despite being set in the beautiful world of ballet. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)


After watching this one, you might keep seeing aliens on top of buildings and hallucinating visions of Joaquin Phoenix. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

The Exorcist

A scary movie with a scarier real-life history. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

SAW, Cary Elwes, 2004, (c) Lions Gate/courtesy Everett CollectionPhoto: © Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett CollectionSaw

Gore to the max, if you like that sort of thing. Definitely avoid it, if you don't. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

Requiem for a Dream

This complex portrait of the hell of addiction will stay with you long after you've finished the film. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)


The Ring is horrifying, but the Japanese original is even creepier on a deep psychological level. (Buy it on Amazon.)


Roman Polanski’s Repulsion will make you never want to be at home alone. (Stream it on Amazon.)

THE BIRDS, Jessica Tandy, 1963Photo: Courtesy Everett CollectionThe Birds

There are the violent scares, yes: birds gouging people’s eyes out and children being chased, even if they might pale in comparison to more recent nightmares like Freddy Krueger. But the existential fear in The Birds is way worse. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

Watership Down

Watership Down’s psychedelic animated film about bunnies in distress have led to many sleepless nights of rabbit-related terror. (Stream it on Amazon.)


This 1932 pre-Code horror film remains truly terrifying, even after all this time. (Stream it on Amazon.)

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby is still matchless for sheer psychological terror, but don't let Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes’s Satanic neighbors ruin New York City for you. (Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.)

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