Oh, the glorious serendipity of Halloween falling on a Saturday during the most horrific year there ever was. If the outside world is just a little too much for you this year, why not keep the party inside for a Halloween movie marathon of the best horror movies on Netflix?
Sure, there are old tried-and-true Halloween favorites that get you into the spooky spirit – Hocus Pocus, Dark Shadows, Beetlejuice, or even The Nightmare Before Christmas – but these are not those movies. These are the movies for those few brave souls who think they can withstand a marathon of the scariest movies ever made. These are the films that will leave you haunted, paranoid, terrified, and sleeping with the lights on afterwards… if you sleep at all, that is.
From slasher films to monster movies to the paranormal, your Halloween movie marathon picks are all available on Netflix MENA and just waiting to frighten you. Call up a few friends, have Deliveroo on speed dial, and hole up for the weekend while you see how many of these you can take before you crack.
The Conjuring is a slow-burn horror film more interested in setting the stage and having its audience identify with its characters before scaring the pants off of them. If you like films based on true stories, horror that is believable and possible, and scare-the-bejeezus-out-of-you moments, then this is for you. If you like blood and gore, then this is not your film.
Tried-and-true slasher film Hush is the story of a writer named Maddie who was rendered deaf and dumb through a bout with meningitis as a teenager. She lives alone in the woods and is found – and subsequently stalked – by a serial killer. Jump scares, blood, gore, and a tense cat-and-mouse chase ensue. You will never go off into the woods alone again.
There are very few classic horror movies that can stand the test of time when it comes to “scare factor.” This isn’t to knock all of our favorite cult classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Psycho, and even The Birds. These films laid the groundwork for what is now the modern horror genre and should be watched, respected, and actually enjoyed. But many of the old classics that we do, in fact, love don’t quite hold the same scare as they once did because the tropes they first introduced into the genre have been done and redone so many times over that they are no longer a surprise. Plus, the special effects are not what they can be now.
However, The Shining is one horror film that will terrify even a jaded millennial. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a proverb that still scares the living daylights out of us, and Jack Nicholson, no matter how many lovable-yet-grumpy old men he plays, will forever be the walking nightmare of our dreams. And those twins. And the bloody elevator. And the creepy lady in the shower. Right. We’ll just not sleep for a good three days now.
Perhaps one of the last true horror films ever made – although a special mention needs to go out to The Grudge, which is scary as hell and sadly not available on Netflix MENA – The Ring is one of those movies that will haunt you to the end of your days. You will never look at your TV the same way. Just saying. It’s a never-ending surprise and just when you think it’s been wrapped, you find yourself in a whole new horror film.
This disturbing movie will haunt you for weeks afterwards, and a special warning should go out as it’s especially hard on all the parents out there. The Mist is a science-fiction horror movie adapted from the Stephen King novella of the same name. The director, Frank Darabont, even changed the ending to make it darker than the original story, an ending to which the horror King himself was agreeable. Although it is a monster movie – Lovecraftian monsters to be more specific – the psychological stress and the jump scares really get under your skin and leave you with the creepy crawlies.
After her secretive mother is killed, a miniatures artist – as if that isn’t creepy enough – begins to notice strange things beginning to happen around her house. After another tragedy and some more insights into the mental heritage of her family, the paranormal begins to advance closer and stronger. Or is it all in her head? Starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, Hereditary was an international success after its release in 2018, and as it is scary AF, it is the movie on this list most likely to make horror film cult status in 20 years.
Annihilation‘s all-star cast, including Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Gina Rodriguez, turns up the screams in this science-fiction horror film about a team of explorers who enter ‘The Shimmer,’ a quarantined zone filled with alien-manipulated mutations. The movie was an instant hit and was highly praised for its acting, directing, visuals, and thought-provoking plot. And oh yes, it’s terrifying.
We can probably all agree that the 1990 version of It – you know, the reason any and every clown creeps you out to this day – is not nearly as scary rewatching it as an adult as it was when we were, say, seven. However, the 2017 remake makes the 1990 version look like child’s play. It is disturbingly violent, with jump scares from beginning to end, and is stressful to watch because of all the mounting tension. Plus, it has no Tim Curry to ease said tension with a silly laugh.
A masterpiece in horror cinema, Event Horizon is not so much scary because of the blood and gore – although there is plenty of that – but it’s more the tense, claustrophobic, and sinister atmosphere that is created by director Paul W.S. Anderson. Starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, and Joely Richardson, the film follows a crew of astronauts on a rescue mission who inadvertently open up a space-time continuum portal allowing an evil being to possess the ship.
Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a movie. But if you are looking for something to completely freak you out, why not try the Netflix four-part docuseries based on the real-life serial killer who admitted to kidnapping, raping, and murdering over 30 women? Released last year, you know it’s going to be brutal when Netflix warns its viewers not to watch Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes alone. It includes previously unreleased audio from women who knew the “charming” lawyer as well as interviews with Ted Bundy himself. It’s creepy, true, incredibly disturbing, and will forever make you think twice before talking to a stranger.