Thursday, April 19, 2018
Movies

Plan a Halloween movie marathon with these spooky flicks on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. Not just because I can be my true witchy self and eat Reese's cups until I hate myself. No, I just really love to be scared.

There are plenty of events locally where you can get the pants scared off of you. Just check out our Halloween guide.

But a cheaper alternative is a good old fashioned horror movie marathon. And luckily for us modern humans, there's a plethora of spooky flicks available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO. These are just some of my favorites.

Trick or treat, monster mashers.

Netflix

Scary

Cult of Chucky: The seventh movie in this demented, killer doll franchise sees Chucky return to torment his human victim Nica, who's now locked in an asylum for the criminally insane. Chucky also has a few scores to settle with old enemies and enlists the help of his former wife.

The Craft: This 1996 teen drama is scary in the way that thinking about enduring high school again is scary. New girl Sarah (Robin Tunney) finds that her telekinetic abilities make her popular with a group of wannabe witches. But with great witchy power comes great responsibility to use it wisely.

1922: We're in another wave of Stephen King mania, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Another Netflix offering this month is 1922, based on King's 2010 novella about a man's confession of his wife's murder. This gothic heartland horror comes with an unreliable narrator (Thomas Jane), who after he buries his wife (Molly Parker) his life unravels and comes to believe she's come back to haunt him. Available Oct. 20

Times files (1999)

Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.

The Sixth Sense: Things that still haunt me to this day: Mischa Barton as a young girl whose mother poisoned her to death and Bruce Willis's twist ending.
The Babadook: Honestly, the scariest part of this movie is seeing how much of a monster the child is.

Very scary

Raw: This cannibal coming-of-age movie is not for the faint of heart or vegetarians. In it, a strict vegetarian whose hazing in veterinarian school turns her on to more, ahem, human delicacies.

Salem: WGN took a terrifying and truly gruesome spin on the tales of the Salem Witch Trials. The three season on Netflix delve into Satanic worship and revenge with threads of female empowerment and "smash the patriarchy" vibes running throughout.

American Horror Story 1-5: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show and Hotel. All delightfully scary, sexy and gruesome. I highly recommend Freak Show, which takes place in good old Florida in the 1950s.

It Follows: This 2014 horror flick is a super obvious metaphor for the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. There's no monster (well, maybe one, kind of) but it terrifies with its air of inescapable doom. You'll probably get stomach cramps from the sheer suspense.

Not very scary at all

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Is this Tim Burton flick a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Why not both? Another Burton spooky kids flick, The Corpse Bride, is also available.

Little Evil: Adam Scott plays new stepdad to the literal son of Satan in this hilarious horror comedy.

Times files (1974)

Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein.

Young Frankenstein: IT'S ALIVE! And it's pronounced "Fronkensteen."

Stranger Things 2: The kids of Hawkins, Ind., are back for more retro sci-fi shenanigans. Will may be back from the Demogorgon's clutches, but Eleven is still missing in the Upside-Down. Get ready to geek out over more ‘80s nostalgia. Available Oct. 27.

The Babysitter: This new Netflix original horror comedy doesn't look as scary as it does gory. A young boy finds out his babysitter (who he's head-over-heels for) is actually part of a sadistic cult -- and he's her next victim.

Hulu

Scary

Cabin Fever: Pro gore creator Eli Roth dumps buckets of blood on a group of teenagers whose quiet camping trip turns into dumpster fire of blood, guts and cannibalism due to a flesh-eating infection.

Movie Stills DB

Pet Sematary.

Pet Sematary: What is dead may never die if you live near an old, cursed Native American burial ground. It was the first movie that made me utterly terrified of giggling children.

Blair Witch: The brother of Heather Donahue heads back into the Black Hills Forest after he finds a video that suggests she may still be alive. This 2016 sequel to the original The Blair Witch Project was mocked for his mediocre plot and storytelling elements, but it did have a few effective scares.

Movie Stills DB

Anthony Hopkins, right, in Silence of the Lambs.

Silence of the Lambs: The movie that made you simultaneous fall in love with yet abhor Hannibal Lector. Cannibalism, screaming pigs, serial killers and cop drama. This one has it all.

Very scary

The Amityville Horror (1979): This supernatural true crime tale has been rightly adapted into two movies and a novel. The first movie follows a young couple who purchase a picturesque home in a quiet New York town only to find out its grisly past.

Hostel & Hostel 2: Both are basically torture porn. Don't watch these if you don't like gore or ever want to stay in a European hostel.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Aliens or nature trying to wipe out human existence? Press play on this 1978 sci-fi horror flick to find out. 

Not very scary at all

Little Shop of Horrors: The bonkers musical from 1986 has a little alien invasion, some botany and Steve Martin as a sadistic biker dentist. Feed me, Seymour!

Over the Garden Wall: The world of two brothers Wirt and Greg is a fantastical one that seems worth getting lost in. In the animated miniseries, the two get lost in a strange forest called the Unknown. To get back home, they must travel across the supernatural forest with the help of an elderly woodsman and a sarcastic little bluebird.

Amazon

Scary

The Witch: This film is more of an ode to beautiful horror cinematography than it is about scares. A rural, Puritan New England family is thrown into chaos when the youngest disappears and the parents blame teenage daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). It ranks at the top of my list of the most stunning horror films of the past decade.

Lore Season 1: Based on Aaron Mahnke's wildly popular podcast, the new series brings unsettling tales of terror from history to the small screen. Get ready to dive into vampire folklore, the history behind the "ice pick lobotomy" and the story of a man who killed his wife because he believed her to be a changeling.

Very scary

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: With some details inspired by real life serial killer Ed Gein, the 1974 original is still one of the most terrifying horror movies of all time. It was also influential in the start of the popular "slasher" genre and the use of power tools as weapons.

American Horror Story: Season 6: The secretive sixth season explored the mysterious disappearance of a group of colonists on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. This season of Ryan Murphy's graphic series was inventive, brutal and horrifying.

Green Room: Punk rockers vs. neo-Nazi skinheads in a battle to the death with Patrick Stewart playing the skinhead leader.

Not very scary at all

The Witches: Actually, this one probably scared you as a kid. It's inspired by the Roald Dahl children's novel about a coven of witches who masquerade as ordinary women in order kill children.

HBO

Scary

The Purge: Election Year: Remember when a fictional movie about an America that legalized all crime (including murder) for one year was the scariest thing we could imagine? The third film in this franchise sees a survivor of past purges run for the U.S. presidency with a promise to end the annual night of mayhem.

Split: The old James McAvoy can't come to the phone right now. Why? Because he's too busy playing a mentally ill kidnapper with 23 different personalities. Director M. Night Shyamalan is back in movie fans' good graces, for now.

The Blair Witch Project: The found-footage style of this film was the first of its kind in 1999. The scenes you watch are that of a group of student filmmakers who set out into haunted woods to document the legend of the Blair Witch.

Very scary

Lights Out: When you turn the lights off, you see the silhouette of a demonic figure. When you turn them back on, you see nothing. If you aren't afraid of the dark, you will be after this movie based on the nightmare-inducing YouTube short.

Movie Stills DB

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring.

The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2: If paranormal terror is your bread and butter, then Ed and Lorraine Warren film series is at the top of your list of favorites. The first follows the Warrens (who were real paranormal investigators) coming to the aid of a Rhode Island family being tormented by an accused witch who once owned their home. The second sees the Warrens traveling to England to help a family with a poltergeist, which later came to be known as the Enfield Poltergeist.

The Ring: The year-defining 2002 horror flick that made all of us completely disgusted by hair in the drain and terrified of VHS tapes. Remember those?

Not very scary at all

Krampus: Honestly, you should make this movie a part of your Halloween and Christmas binge ASAP. Be good for goodness sake, or Krampus will come eat you.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: This book series and subsequent film are the perfect introductions to the fantasy/horror genre for younger fans. The first follows a teenage boy whose grandfather leaves him clues to a magical world full of children with peculiar abilities.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.


MORE

Local spooks: Creepy sites around Tampa Bay that aren't theme parks

What to expect: Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream is crawling with monsters

Halloween Horror Nights: The Shining, Saw and more things to give you nightmares at Universal Orlando

Tampa Theatre: See ghost tours and scary movies leading up to Halloween

More Halloween: Candy, scares and more events around Tampa Bay

Comments
Persall: Upon retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Persall: Upon retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Do you see what I did there? The comma and extra "E" in my byline? One last pun, just for fun. It’s the end, fin in French, and something unfortunately ruder in Swedish. Time to retire, nearly 25 years to the day after starting work as the T...
Updated: 2 hours ago
This is a week to spring clean instead of hitting a movie theater.

This is a week to spring clean instead of hitting a movie theater.

It’s a spring cleaning weekend at multiplexes, with studios vacuuming every dollar from current releases before the Avengers and Amy Schumer drop in next week. If you’ve seen A Quiet Place, Ready Player One and Black Panther, this is probably a good ...
Published: 04/18/18
R. Lee Ermey, drill sergeant in ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ dies at 74

R. Lee Ermey, drill sergeant in ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ dies at 74

.LOS ANGELES — R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s "Full Metal Jacket," has died. Ermey’s longtime manager Bill Rogin says he died Sunday morning ...
Published: 04/15/18
Rays stadium backers sponsor free screening of ‘Field of Dreams’ at Tampa Theatre

Rays stadium backers sponsor free screening of ‘Field of Dreams’ at Tampa Theatre

TAMPA — It would take hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, and more than a few dreams, too.So a business group advocating for a stadium in Ybor City is joining with the Tampa Theatre for a free screening of t...
Published: 04/13/18
What’s in theaters: ‘Beirut,’ ‘Rampage,’ ‘Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare’

What’s in theaters: ‘Beirut,’ ‘Rampage,’ ‘Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare’

INDIE FLICKS:BEIRUTJon Hamm has no trouble looking like a movie star. Dapper or bedraggled, it doesn’t matter what kind of role. He’ll make it believable. What he doesn’t have yet is a starring role worthy of his talent, although Beirut (R) comes pre...
Published: 04/12/18
Helen Hunt plays my high school gym teacher in ‘The Miracle Season’

Helen Hunt plays my high school gym teacher in ‘The Miracle Season’

I never had school spirit. I didn’t go to many football games, and I never owned a West High shirt. (Green doesn’t look good on me.) Then I moved away, and tragedy struck my high school.The Miracle Season, now in theaters, is the tear-jerking true st...
Published: 04/06/18
Why it’d be even scarier to watch John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ at home instead of in theater

Why it’d be even scarier to watch John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ at home instead of in theater

A Quiet Place is where John Krasinski’s hushed experiment in terror should be watched, not at multiplexes where silence is easily broken.Krasinski’s movie wrings fright from silence so well that he accidentally makes a case for waiting until home vid...
Published: 04/04/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘A Quiet Place,’ ‘Blockers,’ ‘The Miracle Season’

What’s in theaters this week: ‘A Quiet Place,’ ‘Blockers,’ ‘The Miracle Season’

A QUIET PLACEReal-life married couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, right, need to keep it down in A Quiet Place (PG-13). Silence isn’t just golden; it can save your life.Krasinski and Blunt play Lee and Evelyn, whose family has survived a worldwid...
Published: 04/04/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Ready Player One,’ ‘The Death of Stalin,’ ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Ready Player One,’ ‘The Death of Stalin,’ ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’

INDIE FLICKS: THE DEATH OF STALINDespite its somber title, The Death of Stalin (R) is the year’s funniest movie so far, delivered by director/co-writer Armando Iannucci with the politically profane snarl he brought to HBO’s Veep and In the Loop. The ...
Updated one month ago
‘Ready Player One,’ all retro references and CGI dazzle, lacks emotional pull of Spielberg classics

‘Ready Player One,’ all retro references and CGI dazzle, lacks emotional pull of Spielberg classics

After two hours of pop clutter and video game clatter, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One has the audacity to proclaim reality matters. Kind of like a snuff film with an end note saying murder is bad.Ready Player One is soulless validation of a cult...
Updated one month ago