39 Spooky Movies To Watch Before Halloween, From Horror Classics To Brand-New Remakes

by Danielle Burgos

With everything going on in the news lately, you don't have to look too far to get some serious scares that'll haunt you throughout the day. But if you're looking for some lighthearted gore, ghouls, and ghastly frights that aren't directly tied to an administration, then have we got the list for you! Here are 39 spooky movies to watch before Halloween, including two you can catch on the big screen this October.

This list leans heavy on genre classics, including early slashers like Black Christmas, Italian giallo staples like Deep Red and The Beyond, and masterpieces from horror masters like Clive Barker, Stephen King, and David Cronenberg. If you like your scares dripping in blood, graphic gorefests like A Bay Of Blood and Human Lanterns, where a serial killer turns his victims into, yep, human lanterns, are definitely for you. For the less squeamish, this is a list heavy on psychological horror, including long-form meditation on the damages of obsession The Vanishing, or coping with loss in Don't Look Now and who to trust in The Thing From Another World.

Fear is individual as the people experiencing it. One person's campy murder-bot mall romp is another's traumatizing childhood re-encounter with its body-bag movie poster, like with Chopping Mall. Still, any person settling in for a night of scares should find something here that will activate your fear responses.



A direct sequel to the original Halloween has scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis facing off against masked slasher Michael Myers once again, 40 years after he terrorized her character's town.

In theaters October 19.



There's plenty of actual Italian horror on this list, but this remake of the surreal classic from the director of Call Me By Your Name ups the dancing and adds in Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson to the tale of The Three Mothers.

In theaters October 26.



This phantasmagoric take on the vampire tale is filled with gorgeous, horrifying imagery — slinking shadows moving on their own, death literally creeping across the landscape — all with barely any dialogue.

Available on FilmStruck.


'Deep Red'

A musician and a psychic team up with a reporter hoping for a scoop to solve a series of gruesome murders in this Italian giallo classic.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'Let The Right One In' (2008)

A subtler sort of vampire movie, where the violence and blood is secondary to loneliness and connection. The American remake, also excellent, is also available streaming.

Available on Hulu, Kanopy, and Shudder.


'Jacob's Ladder'

Vietnam conspiracies, the horrors of living in New York, and questions of sanity take a backseat to indelibly horrifying images and moments straight out of a Francis Bacon painting.

Available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Epix.



Master of horror Clive Barker's directorial debut follows a teen girl back from college unwittingly caught between her stepmother's gory resurrection of her pain-obsessed uncle.

Available on Netflix.


'Chopping Mall'

A group of horny teens chose the wrong night to break into their local mall, as newly installed security robots have gone haywire. Set to an insanely aggressive level of protection, heads are gonna explode.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'The Ritual'

Lingering guilt over the death of a friend sits in the background of four friends taking a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness. Soon, an unseen entity, possibly an ancient evil, begins stalking them through the woods.

Available on Netflix.


'The Fly'

Cronenberg's gross-out classic updates the original mad scientist story to become a meditation on bodily decay and death as scientist Dr. Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) transforms horribly.

Available on Hulu.


'Dark Water' (2002)

A recently divorced mother and her young daughter move into a new apartment with a terrible water problem. As she explores the source of the leak, she uncovers a disturbing connection between a young neighborhood girl gone missing and the increasing water flowing through the apartment.

Available on Amazon Prime and Shudder.


'The Witch'

Banished from their small town and isolated on the edge of pure wilderness, a Puritan family starts experiencing terrible events that are thought to be supernatural, but could easily be part of the difficulty just existing in rural, remote times.

Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix.


'Carnival Of Souls'

This low-budget horror classic is the only film made by and starring a director who mostly made industrial shorts. The only survivor of a terrible car accident tries to move on with her life, but experiences mysterious visions and seems to be stalked by a white-faced figure.

Available on Amazon Prime, Kanopy, TubiTV, FilmStruck, and Fandor.



Few movies earn the title sui generis, but this truly oddball '80s one-off is in a category all its own. Sustaining a weird tone of earnestness, a young man from a wealthy family begins to suspect something's going on with his town's upper crust. The practical makeup effects are what the film is famous for, but its message the rich live off the poor gets taken to the extreme.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'The Beyond'

A fever dream of a zombie slasher, this nihilistic horror hotel story is perfect for anyone looking for a little mayhem with their mystery.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' (1978)

A frequently retold story playing on fears of conformity and identity, the '70s version of aliens quietly taking over earth one pod and person at a time still holds terror for anyone worried about rule by crowd.

Available on Amazon Prime, Vudu, and TubiTV.


'A Tale Of Two Sisters'

This story follows the unusual occurrences following a young woman's return home from a mental institution to her family's isolated estate. Evil stepmothers, haunted rooms, and mysterious visions all flow together in this retelling of a Korean folktale.

Available on Kanopy and Shudder.


'Messiah Of Evil'

A woman searching for her artist father tracks him to a strange seaside town, where all the locals seem simultaneously listless and bright-eyed. She runs into a wealthy gadabout and his two female companions, and together they begin to unravel the town's strange secret.

Available on Hoopla.


'Hour Of The Wolf'

Yep, Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman, the very stereotype of "European arthouse film," made an intensely and genuinely frightening horror movie. An artist and his very pregnant wife move to an isolated island, where he appears to have a complete mental breakdown while meeting some of the island's unusual residents. A perfect dive into the loneliness and fear of the human mind.

Available on FilmStruck.


'Bay Of Blood'

A delicious tale of greed and murder featuring all the residents of a bay that may or may not get turned into condos...if some folks are willing to sell. Those that aren't...well, looks like murder might be easier than trying to convince them.

Available on Kanopy and Fandor.


'The Thing From Another World'

The very basis for classic The Thing is just as frightening, even if it keeps the monster shots to a minimum. There's still an arctic research center trapping a group of scientists and pilots with a shape-shifting alien force.

Available on FilmStruck.


'Human Lanterns'

Do you like kung-fu films? And gory horror? Also maybe some magic? Congratulations, this is your film.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'Train To Busan'

A fast-paced, emotionally invested Korean take on the zombie film, a train full of passengers must try and cope with a viral outbreak as they hurtle ahead.

Available on Netflix.


'The Vanishing' (1988)

This emotionally wrenching film will have you biting your nails to the quick. After his girlfriend mysteriously disappears from a rest stop, her boyfriend is obsessed, to the point of attracting attention from her killer, with finding out what happened to her.

Available on Kanopy and FilmStruck.



The real horror explored in Carrie is the cruelty and subtle (and not-so-subtle) aggressions young women experience on a daily basis. The difference here is they messed with someone just growing into their telekinetic powers.

Available on Hulu.



That's Cronenberg #2 on the list, but this time it's basically High Rise with sex slugs as residents in a high-class high-rise come under attack from one resident's parasitic experiments.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'Nosferatu' (1922)

The OG vampire film still has plenty of creeps with its long-fingered, fanged Count Orlock stalking the night.

Available on Amazon Prime, Roku, Kanopy, Fandor, and Shudder.


'The Endless'

Two brothers make their way back to the cult they escaped years ago, drawn by mysterious signs and portents.

Available on Netflix.



Banned for "extreme violence" when it came out, this bloody and innovative film follows a serial killer turned on by the look of fear in his victims' eyes.

Available on Amazon and Shudder.


'We Are Still Here'

Grieving parents who've just moved into a new home have a psychic come over and attempt to contact their son...but they contact something else left in the house instead.

Available on Amazon Prime.


'The Nightmare'

The creepiest fact about this documentary is that one of the ways to get night terrors is to think about and hear about them, a fact that'll follow you as you drift off to sleep after watching.

Available on Netflix.


'Alice, Sweet Alice'

After a young girl (baby Brooke Shields!) is brutally murdered at her first communion, her 12 year-old sister becomes the main suspect. There's a whole lot of Catholicism and killing going on in this one.

Available on Amazon and TubiTV.



A truly psychological thriller where a repressed police detective investigates a series of identical murders... with completely different perpetrators who have no memory or reason for what they did. The only commonality is a man with extreme short-term memory loss who doesn't even remember who he is.

Available on FilmStruck.



This Stephen King adaptation focuses on the moral rot that leads a farmer to murder his wife with the help of their son, just so things won't have to change. But when the rats nibbling her body start showing up in his house, he starts to wonder if it was all worth it.

Available on Netflix.


'Don't Look Now'

Another tale of traumatized parents, who take a vacation to help ease the death of their young daughter. They encounter two older sisters who claim to be psychic, and warn the couple of danger, and that their daughter is trying to contact them. As frightening in its depiction of grief as it is in actual scares.

Available on Kanopy.


'Spider Baby'

This "maddest story every told"! The Merrie family has reached the end of its line, as each member suffers from a degenerative disorder that causes their minds to grow younger as they grow older. Currently they're just down to two sisters and their imbecile brother, watched over by a doting chauffeur. But when distant cousins show up to try and sell the house, mayhem ensues.

Available on Amazon Prime, Hoopla, Fandor, and TubiTV.


'Black Christmas'

What better note to end on than a two-holiday classic? The ur-slasher that influenced them all, and based on the urban myth of the "call coming from inside the house," a group of sorority sisters staying at the house over the holidays are terrorized by threatening calls.

Available on Amazon Prime, Kanopy, Shudder, and Showtime.

That should be plenty of scares and frights to keep you (un)settled well up to Halloween.