Halloween is almost here, and while you shouldn’t need an excuse to indulge in a little nightmare fuel, the looming holiday certainly makes the idea of watching scary movies a little more appealing. Even more appealing, however, is the idea of watching the aforementioned fright flicks without leaving the comfort of your home or paying a dime (beyond existing subscriptions, that is).
Thankfully, there’s a wealth of options available for anyone with a broadband connection and a desire for scary movies. In addition to the film libraries available on popular, subscription-based streaming video services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, there’s also quite a few free — and most importantly, legal — horror titles available on YouTube and free media hubs like Crackle.
Basically, there’s no excuse for not getting into the Halloween mood this year. And with so many options available to you out there, we’ve done the legwork and chosen a few films you may want to target for your next Halloween movie marathon.
There’s no trick with these films — just some scary, scary treats.
The Bay (Netflix)
Remember that photo that went viral a while back, showing a parasite that would eat the tongues of fish and then become the tongues of those fish? Well, this is a found-footage movie inspired by that all-too-real, tongue-eating creature. The 2012 film was directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Wag the Dog), so it has some serious dramatic pedigree — but that doesn’t make it any less gruesome.
The Cabin In The Woods (Netflix)
Easily one of the best horror films to be released in recent years, this 2012 film co-written by Joss Whedon and his frequent collaborator Drew Goddard manages to be both a satire of horror movies and a terrifying (and terrifyingly original) film in its own right. Goddard directed the movie, which follows a group of unsuspecting young adults (including Thor star Chris Hemsworth) who intend to spend a weekend at a remote cabin in the woods, only to fall prey to, well… you’ll need to watch the movie to find out for yourself. This isn’t a movie that should ever be spoiled.
Event Horizon (Netflix)
Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill star in this 1997 sci-fi horror story about a rescue ship sent into deep space to answer a distress signal from the Event Horizon, a spaceship that disappeared while using an experimental warp drive powered by a black hole. The rescue team quickly discovers that the ship’s maiden voyage took it somewhere far beyond its intended destination — and possibly outside our own dimension to somewhere no one should ever go.
The Innkeepers (Netflix)
This 2011 thriller from director Ti West is a return to classic haunted-house stories, and follows a pair of aspiring ghost-hunters who also work at the historic — and supposedly haunted — Yankee Pedlar Inn. The pair chronicle the inn’s final days in business and the eclectic guests who arrive for one final stay at the inn — some more final than others.
A clown is accidentally killed by a group of children and later returns from the dead to have his vengeance upon them in the most ridiculous, bloody ways possible. That’s the plot of this 2012 horror comedy, but all you really needed to know is that it features a killer clown, right? *shudder*