Stream and scream with these 13 scary flicks
Looking for a monstrously good time this Halloween but don't want to leave the house? Well, what better way to celebrate this positively ghoulish time of year than to cosy up on the couch (or behind it) and have your own horror movie marathon?
This year has seen SVOD kick off in Australia in a massive way, meaning that we have more horror movies to stream than ever before.
Here are our recommendations for the top ten horror movies currently streaming on Australian SVOD services.
Of course we have to start by picking the definitive movie to watch this time of year, John Carpenter's Halloween. Though it didn't create the American slasher sub-genre (that honour goes to Bob Clark's holiday horror, Black Christmas), Halloween was the first hugely successful movie of its kind, spawning several sequels and countless imitators. The film sees escaped mental patient Michael Myers stalk and kill a number of babysitting teens on Halloween night. Will fresh-faced teen Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) be able to survive this night of terror?
One of the more popular horror movies of recent times, It Follows sees a young girl (Maika Monroe) terrorised by a sexually-transmitted demon. This terrifying apparition looks different every time and will chase you relentlessly until you either pass it on by sleeping with someone else, or die horribly after it catches you. Oh, and if the person you pass it on to dies, it will come right back after you again. To make matters worse, it can only be seen by the people that have been 'infected', so your friends won't be able to help as much as they'd like to. With a stylish atmosphere and a truly great synth score, It Follows is definitely worth your time this Halloween.
The remake to the classic splatter flick The Evil Dead, this 2013 version takes the series in an even gorier direction than before. Director Fede Alvarez (Don't Breathe) ratchets the tension by leaving out the slapstick comedy that the series ended up embracing from Evil Dead II onwards. Though no one in the cast can fill the Bruce Campbell-sized void left behind by the star's absence from this particular entry, the film is a slime-covered blast that puts its actors through hell regardless – just the way it should be.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
One of the most notorious horror movies of all time, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of the best examples of pure horror ever committed to celluloid. It's been named one of the 250 best films of all time by the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine, and a print of the film is even part of New York City's Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. This drive-in classic sees a group of youngsters terrorised by a family of redneck cannibals, in particular, by a heavyset, chainsaw-wielding madman known as Leatherface. The fact that this film was shot on a shoestring budget with (mostly) first-time actors just makes the whole thing feel more terrifyingly real.
The Cabin in the Woods
From Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, Marvel's Daredevil) comes an extremely-meta take on a well-worn horror scenario. It all starts as you'd expect – a group of young people (including a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth) take a break from college to go relax at a 'cabin in the woods' and before long, all hell breaks loose. What these kids don't know, however, is that a secret organisation is behind all of the horrors they're experiencing. To reveal any more than that would ruin the film's many surprises, so trust us when we say that The Cabin in the Woods is clever, hilarious, gory and a must-see for any self-respecting horror fan that wants to see their genre expectations flipped.
If you love horror comedies, you'll be sure to get a kick out of the demented Netflix Original The Babysitter, from director McG (Charlie's Angels). It's not uncommon for young people to develop a crush on their babysitter, but what happens when that sitter turns out to be a sadistic, devil-worshipping killer with a group of equally psychotic friends? Gory and funny in equal measure, The Babysitter is destined to become a Halloween sleepover favourite amongst teenagers.
One of the most stylish and atmospheric horror movies ever made, Suspiria is the Dario Argento-directed shocker that every self-respecting horror fan should see at least once. It follows Suzy (Jessica Harper), a ballerina who travels to Berlin in order to study at a prestigious ballet academy. From day one, things do not seem right at this place, and quickly it becomes evident that the school is being run by a coven of murderous witches! With an incredible and truly iconic score from composer Goblin, as well as some of the most colourful cinematography and inventive camera work you'll ever see, Suspiria is a horror masterpiece.
Friday the 13th
He's been to Manhattan, then to Hell, only to eventually end up in outer space, but where Jason Voorhees really always belonged was Camp Crystal Lake. Thankfully, that's exactly where the hockey mask-wearing slasher was returned to in the Friday the 13th remake, released in 2009. Even people who don't like the film have to admit that bringing Jason back to his old stomping ground was the right decision, and here we get to see him cut down not one, but two groups of promiscuous college kids. Serves them right for having fun!
Though it was remade a couple years back, the original Carrie, directed by Brian De Palma, is a horror masterpiece that has the distinction of being the first movie adapted from one of Stephen King's novels. Thanks to a religiously domineering mother (Piper Laurie), Carrie (Sissy Spacek) is a social outcast at school. Relentlessly tormented at home and at school, Carrie starts developing telekinetic powers as a means of defence. Things start looking up for Carrie when the most popular guy in school (William Katt) asks Carrie to go to the prom with him. However, her classmates have planned a prank on her on prom night that is sure to have explosive consequences. Featuring a young John Travolta in his first film role, Carrie is one of the best horror movies ever made.
A movie that has likely made countless tourists hesitant to travel across the Outback, Wolf Creek became a global sensation when it released back in 2005, with its memorably-ocker killer Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) gaining immediate admittance to the horror villain 'hall of fame' thanks to his bloodlust and his sick sense of humour. Loosely based on the Ivan Milat killings and the Bradley John Murdoch murder of English tourist Peter Falconio, Wolf Creek is a nail-bitingly intense horror film that some people may find hard to stomach.
From Aussie director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) comes this spooky story of a family terrorised by a demonic presence. Inspired by (supposedly) true events from the lives of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring is a non-stop 'frightmare' that will have you covering your eyes on more than one occasion. And, if you enjoy this film, you can also follow it up with the equally-terrifying sequel, The Conjuring 2 – also available to stream on Netflix.
Another homegrown horror film for the list, The Babadook is one of the most critically-acclaimed horror films released in the last few years, making a huge splash overseas and winning a number of awards in the process. After losing her husband in a terrible accident, a mother has to come to grips her young son's intense fear of a (twisted) children's book monster that he believes is terrorising him. Though she dismisses his stories at first, his horrified reactions start to intensify, and before long, this evil presence known as The Babadook aggressively comes after her. Original, unpredictable and legitimately scary, The Babadook taps into every child's most primal fears, regardless of their age.
A film that will make vegans cringe, Raw is a shocking new horror film from France that sees a young woman dared to eat raw meat for the first time as part of a veterinary school initiation. This causes her to develop an insatiable carnivorous hunger that sends her spiralling off the rails, maybe even into cannibalistic territory... Not for the squeamish.