Halloween is a few weeks away, but the world's best streaming services aren't waiting for the spookiest holiday of the year to scare us silly.
There are plenty of new horror movies on the way from the likes of Hulu. And debuting this weekend (September 15-17) is El Conde, one of this year's new Netflix movies. The dark comedy-horror puts an intriguing, vampiric spin on the life of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Per its positive Rotten Tomatoes score, it's a monochromatic period piece that'll certainly appeal to arthouse film types, too.
If El Conde doesn't sound like your type of flick, there are lots of other top-tier gothic horrors that'll get your blood pumping. Below, we've rounded up five of the best on Netflix, Prime Video, and more. So, what are you waiting for? Sink your teeth into this fantastically frightening quintet.
Where to stream it: Netflix (US), Starz (UK), rent or buy in Australia
Guillermo del Toro is one of Hollywood's finest directors of modern times, and this 2015 gothic romantic horror is a prime example of how his unique filmmaking style shines through every project he helms.
Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, an aspiring author who moves into the titular gothic mansion with her new husband Thomas Sharpe (Loki's Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain). When Edith becomes plagued by ghostly visions, she begins hunting for answers – and unearths a horrifying mystery about her new spouse and in-laws.
Buoyed by del Toro's haunting visuals and creepy atmosphere prowess, Crimson Peak packs an eerie punch. Its story isn't as hair-raising as it could be, but it's a largely enjoyable romp that horror fans will lap up. We might have to add this to our best Netflix movies list in time for Halloween.
Dracula (1931 edition)
Where to stream it: Prime Video (US), rent or buy in the UK and Australia
If El Conde's grainy, black-and-white footage compels you to check out movies from a bygone age, you could do far worse than to check out Tod Browning's horror take on the world's most famous vampire.
The 1931 Dracula is – unsurprisingly – based on Bram Stoker's iconic 1897 novel of the same name. What sets this film adaptation apart from its contemporaries, though, is that it's also based on Hamilton Deane and John L Balderston's 1924 stage play, and it's Universal Pictures' first-ever take on the Transylvanian bloodsucker. Bela Lugosi plays the titular character with delightful poise and the right combination of menace and charm.
Described as an "exciting melodrama" at the time, few films have had as big an impact on the horror film genre as 1931's Dracula. It pioneered Universal's golden era of horror movie fare, paving the way for The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and other terrifying monsters to get their own big-screen tales. A bonafide classic that we need to add to our best Prime Video movies list.
The Pale Blue Eye
Where to stream it: Netflix
As a notable godfather of gothic fiction, no gothic horror movie list is complete without mention of Edgar Allen Poe.
Rather than adapt one of the legendary writer's works, though, The Pale Blue Eye puts Poe front and center of his own grotesque mystery. Based on Louis Bayard's novel of the same name, this Netflix film stars Christian Bale (Batman, Thor: Love and Thunder) as retired detective Augustus Landor, who's instructed to investigate the death of US Army cadet Leroy Fry. Harry Melling (Harry Potter) portrays Poe, who is one of Fry's fellow trainee officers.
Critics claim The Pale Blue Eye lacks what makes Bayard's source material so compelling, but it's still a fairly entertaining watch from a macabre perspective. Its cast, led by stunning turns from Bale and Melling, helps to elevate it and, up until its final moments, The Pale Blue Eye is a mostly fascinating piece of gothic horror.
Where to stream it: Max (US), 4OD (UK), Stan (Australia)
Tim Burton is the king of gothic horror, so it'll come as no surprise to see one of his most beloved movies squeeze its way onto the list. Come to think of it, Sleepy Hollow deserves a place in our best Max movies guide, too.
Sleepy Hollow follows New York police constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), who's sent to the titular village to investigate a series of murders by a mysterious headless horseman. Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, and Christopher Lee are among its starry supporting cast.
The eighth film in Burton's extensive movie catalog, Sleepy Hollow is still one of the British filmmaker's best works. Like Crimson Peak, it relies heavily on its superb visuals and foreboding atmosphere to imbue a sense of dread in viewers. However, with its terrific cast and some quintessential Burton weirdness and charm, Sleepy Hollow is a richly imaginative and gruesome crowd-pleaser.
The Woman in Black
Daniel Radcliffe's first feature film post-Harry Potter is, in our view, still one of his best non-Hogwarts-set flicks.
The Woman in Black is packed with vengeful ghosts and other fear-inducing apparitions. Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young and recently widowed lawyer who travels to the remote village Crythin Gifford to retrieve any documents left behind by deceased Eel Marsh House owner Alice Drablow. Upon arrival, though, he discovers a vindictive spirit is terrorizing the locals, forcing him to investigate links between the specter and Drablow.
A movie that arguably deserves a spot on our best Disney Plus movies and best Paramount Plus movies lists, The Woman in Black delivers ghoulish frights and a traditionally chilling narrative full of twists and turns. Radcliffe aficionados will want to stream it ASAP.
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