Whether you're in for a good scare or prefer to celebrate the holiday in lighthearted fashion, these are the essential (some under-the-radar) Halloween movies—from thrillers to horror comedies—to stream on Netflix this week.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
This quintessential supernatural horror film spawned many exorcist movies to come, spotlighting literally head-turning horror as a young girl is possessed by the devil.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 : Freddy's Revenge(1985)
Horror icon Freddy Krueger returns to the scene of the crime in this follow-up to the original slasher flick, this time seeking a host body to possess to do his bidding.
3. The Addams Family (1991)
The first theatrical film *snap, snap* to chronicle the lives of Charles Addams' "creepy, kooky" family introduced two inadvertent style icons: Anjelica Huston's morbid yet glamorous Morticia and Christina Ricci's dark schoolgirl, Wednesday.
4. Scream 2 (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. The sequel to the original stars Jada Pinkett-Smith and Heather Graham as teens trying to escape from the Ghostface killer who's reappeared in town to wreak havoc.
5. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
If you've got Making a Murderer on instant play in your queue, take a momentary pause to watch Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly round out this thriller about the psychology of a killer. They play parents whose son Kevin grows up to be a psychopath on a murderous bent.
6. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
If you don't have much of a stomach for spooks and thrills, check out this Iranian vampire movie (the first of its kind!) instead. It's filmed like an arthouse Western, all in black-and-white, and features a charming James Dean-like male lead.
7. Housebound (2014)
This clever New Zealand horror comedy that made waves at SXSW follows a woman sentenced to house arrest under the care of her mother, who claims that their home is haunted by spirits.
8. 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.
9. The Invitation (2015)
An evening goes awry when a man attends the dinner party of his ex-wife and her new husband, only to realize that something's a liiiiiittle off with the guests in attendance. This psychological thriller doubles down on the suspense and tension after the new couple reveal that they've spent their vacation cozying up to a cult leader in Mexico.
10. Hush (2016)
In what most of us would define as our worst nightmare, a deaf and mute girl gets ambushed in her secluded home by a masked man, and must use her wits to evade her sadistic stalker. Casual night in!
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