Whether you're in for a good scare or prefer to celebrate the holiday in lighthearted fashion, these are the essential Halloween movies—from thrillers to supernatural stories to horror comedies—to stream when you want to ring in All Hallow's Eve with spirit.
1. Psycho (1960)
One of the first and best slasher flicks of all time is this story about a deranged man who runs the Bates Motel—you'll never think of showers the same way again.
2. The Exorcist (1973)
This quintessential supernatural horror film spawned many exorcist movies to come, featuring literally head-turning moments as a young girl is possessed by the devil.
3. Halloween (1978)
This was a movie made to be watched on Halloween (hence the name), all about a masked serial killer named Michael Myers who returns fresh from the insane asylum to terrorize his hometown in Illinois. Make it a marathon by watching the whole franchise (10 movies in total).
4. The Shining (1980)
The infamous Stanley Kubrick psychological horror film inspired iconic performances from Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duval. Nicholson plays a writer who moves his family into an isolated hotel, only to unravel mentally over the course of the film when he's overtaken by the dark forces who frequent the place.
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Wes Craven's horror icon Freddy Krueger is one of the freakiest villains out there, as a burned serial killer who targets children and a glove full of knives that would put Edward Scissorhands to shame. The worst part of the slasher series is that he has the power to kill people in a dream world where he's virtually invincible—truly the stuff of nightmares.
6. The Addams Family (1991)
The first theatrical film *snap, snap* to chronicle the lives of Charles Addams' "creepy, kooky" family gifted the world a cast of unforgettably morbid characters, from Christina Ricci's dark schoolgirl Wednesday to Anjelica Huston's glamorous Morticia.
7. Scream (1996)
This '90s slasher, which follows a group of high schoolers who fall victim to a masked murderer, inspired one of today's most popular Halloween costumes and also made our list of the 25 best plot twists of all time.
8. The Ring (2002)
You may not be able to sleep after watching this ghastly supernatural flick about a cursed video tape. A journalist played by Naomi Watts investigates the death of four teenagers who all die after watching said tape and then must unravel the mystery behind the vengeful well-dwelling girl whose death causes all the trouble.
9. The Babadook (2014)
Pegged by critics as one of the most intelligent horror movies in recent years, The Babadook uses mounting suspense rather than cheap thrills to scare the viewer, as a supernatural force terrorizes a mother and her child.
10. It Follows (2014)
One of the most inventive modern scary movies, It Follows puts a spin on the horror genre with a sexual twist. The film is about a girl who contracts, er, conjures a terrorizing force following a sexual encounter. It's a shape-shifting monster that can assume the form of others and can only be gotten rid of by passing it on to someone else through sex.
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