Christmas can eat coal and the Fourth of July can suck it because we all know the best holiday is Halloween!
To get you in the spirit, I have put together a list of spooky shows and movies that are currently streaming. There are a few old favorites, but I tried to pick newer stuff you might not have seen or older ones that I don't feel got the credit they deserve.
You might see a pattern here: I am a big fan of horror-comedy and anthology series. I'm not really into slashers or "gore porn" (unless it's supposed to be funny... then bring on the blood!) so you won't see a lot of that here. There are also a million other horror movies I love that didn't make the list because they're not currently streaming.
In my opinion, Hulu has THE BEST horror selection of any streaming service. Especially since the Fox-Disney merger went through and FX started putting practically all of their stuff on Hulu for free. Here are some of my top pics.
Monsterland is an anthology series in which every episode is different, but tied together in the same paranormal universe. Each episode is named after the city in which it takes place. The monsters and ghosts are scary and well done. But the truly horrific part of every story is the real-life struggles the characters face (such as suicide, mental health, greed, and grief).
A horror-comedy in which a drug-addicted nurse gets involved with an organ smuggling scheme that goes completely tits-up. I was a little hesitant at first since the production quality seemed kind of low at first. But the story was great and the actors were very funny.
The Clovehitch Killer
If you found out someone you loved was a serial killer, what would you do? That's the question a teenage boy has to consider after sneaking around in his father's shed. Could his dad, the all-American church-going family man be responsible for the torture and murder of 10 women? It's a fascinating concept and I think they did a really good job with the story. Plus, Dylan McDermott is one of the sexiest creatures on the face of the planet.
What We Do in the Shadows (TV Series)
Based on the movie by the hilarious Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, WWDIT tells the story of 4 vampire roommates and their familiar. They have been around for hundreds of years and somehow managed never to learn a thing. Their incompetence and the close-living situation gets them into all kinds of hijinks. I don't take it lightly when I say that this is one of the funniest shows on TV.
The first 2 seasons are streaming and new episodes from season 3 drop on Hulu each week.
I don't know that I'll ever recover from Castle Rock getting canceled after only 2 seasons. But also, I kind of get it.
Here's the thing, Stephen King is without question the greatest horror author of our time. However, brevity is not his strong suit. So Castle Rock, which is an anthology series taking place in the Stephen King paranormal universe, does tend to drag on a little bit (especially season 1). But if you can power through a few tedious episodes, this series is worth it.
I'd highly recommend season 2 since it's the origin story of one of my favorite villains from one of my favorite movies: Annie Willkes from Misery.
American Horror Story (Specifically "Hotel," "Asylum," and "Cult")
The OG anthology horror series that started it all is now in its 10th season and despite fumbling the ball on season 9, it's as good as it ever was. The 10th season called "Double Feature" is (as the title suggests) split up into 2 different stories. The first part "Red Tide" just wrapped up a couple weeks ago and I highly recommend getting into it ASAP.
All seasons are streaming on HULU and other than "1984" and "Roanoke," you can't really pick a bad season (some people say "Freakshow" sucked and I'm here to tell you that they're wrong and actually they're the ones who suck).
If you've never watched the show, I'd recommend starting with season 1 "Murder House" then make your way to "Coven" and wrap it up with "Apocolypse" which is a Murder House/Coven crossover season and IT'S GREAT.
American Horror Stories - EPISODE 6 ONLY
After taking the pandemic year off, the American Horror Story creators were BUSY this year dropping not only a new AHS season, but also "American Horror Stories" which is an anthology with a different story every week.
Real talk: I hated it. 3 of the 7 episodes took place in Murder House, which was an okay season. But that story has been told to death and I'm sick of it. The drive-in movie episode was basically a cheesy mash-up of 'The Ring' and every zombie movie you've ever seen. And they had a killer Santa Clause episode in the middle of summer (plus, they already did a killer Santa in AHS: Asylum).
But there was one episode worth checking out: Episode 6 called "Feral." The story of a young couple whose child goes missing during a camping trip is sure to make you want to cancel any future trips into a National Park. AHS alum Cody Fern plays an adorable park ranger and speaks in his native Australian accent which helped to keep me focused 😻
I debated on whether or not to include "Squid Game" since it's not exactly horror. It's kind of a dystopian future story, but it takes place in current times (a dystopian present if you will). I also don't watch a whole lot of foreign language TV since I don't like dubbed audio and I play on my phone too much to pay attention to subtitles.
But Squid Game absolutely blew me away. It's a Korean series about poor people who battle it out in a life or death competition of children's games to win money. They took the tired "Hunger Games" concept and made it completely their own. The English dub wasn't too bad, but I'm told the subtitles are better.
I read that it took the writer over a decade of shopping the script around before anyone would pick it up. There was even a time when he was so poor, he had to stop writing the move because he had to sell his laptop. It's now on track to be Netflix's most-watched show ever.
This is some of Netflix's best work. A 12-year-old boy finds out that his babysitter/best friend belongs to a teenage satanic cult that plans on conducting human sacrifices... it's also hilarious. The Babysitter and The Babysitter 2 are some of the best examples of horror-comedy and the sequel (which dropped just last year) is as good as the original.
There are a million ghost and possession movies. And while I love "The Exorcist" and "Poltergeist" as much as the next horror nerd, I have no problem shouting my belief that "The Conjuring" is THE QUINTESSENTIAL ghost movie. Like, if aliens came down and wanted to know what the American idea of ghosts is, this is the movie I'd show them.
Quick note: I haven't loved any of the sequels or spin-offs. But the original is still so friggin good.
Haunting of Hill House / Haunting of Bly Manor / Midnight Mass
This anthology series is basically Netflix's version of "American Horror Story." Each season follows what happens as family drama gets wrapped up in a haunted house (or in the case of the newest season "Midnight Mass," a haunted town).
My roommate and I are at a stalemate because she thinks "Bly Manor" is better while I'm team "Hill House" all the way. But we can both agree on one thing: "Midnight Mass" was pretty bad 😬 I think it had the best concept out of any of the other seasons. But the acting was awful and the story dragged on for wayyyy too long. Also, why make the priest that hot if you're going to make him talk like an old man on helium?
If you're not too invested, but still want to get the gist, I'd recommend reading the episode recaps on Wikipedia of episodes 1-5, then watch episodes 6 & 7 because that's finally when it gets good.
Cabin in the Woods (MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE!)
This is my absolute favorite horror movie of all time. It's an incredible horror, but an even better comedy. It deconstructs the entire horror genre while still managing to be its own, truly unique thing. I don't want to tell you too much about it if you haven't seen it yet because it's easy to spoil. But it's 10 years old, so if you haven't seen it yet, get with the program!
Starring Chris Hemsworth before he was "Thor" famous 🤤
Day-oh! Dayyyyy-oh! The mischievous ghost whose "help" leads to disaster for anyone who asks for it. I watched it last year after having not seen it since I was a kid. It totally holds up. My biggest gripe about movies today is that they rely too hard on CGI special effects. But Beetlejuice is almost all make-up, puppets, and BEAUTIFUL sets.
With this one, you're getting a 2-for-1: Some of Lovecraft's most fascinating monsters and one of the best Jim Crow-era period pieces about racism. Yes, the monsters are really cool and the show gets very scary. But similar to what I was saying in Monsterland, the real horrors come out of what human beings do to each other.
I am sad to report that even though it was one of the most talked-about shows on TV last year, it was canceled after only one season. It's a huge bummer, but it's better that you know now instead of getting invested and finding out later.
Promising Young Woman
If you know anything about me, you know that revenge is my everything. I crave it. I need it. I can't wait to be a ghost so I can haunt everyone who was ever mean to me. If you're also a spiteful little monster, you're going to LOOOOVE this movie. I can't say much without ruining it, so just get onto HBO and watch it right now.
Both of the remakes are available to stream right now. The first one is a masterpiece. The second one was okay, but I don't understand how their special effects got WORSE after they did so well the first time. That fortune cookie scene almost sent me to the hospital 😂 However, it's still a fun movie and if you're looking for a 5-hour block of horror entertainment, you can count on Pennywise.
Get ready for the long-haul because all 8 HP movies are streaming and they're always good for a re-watch. Just between us, HP has always felt more like a Christmas thing than a Halloween thing. But I remember going to school with kids who were forbidden to read it because their parents were scared of the witchcraft. Scariness is subjective, I suppose.
Instead of picking just one of the movie trailers, I'm using the one where they replaced all the wands with guns because it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
I hope you got at least a couple of new shows to check out from this list. Happy Halloween!