Despite Halloween being tomorrow, there is a surprisingly small amount of scary movies in theaters right now. Major theaters are showing Carrie and Insidious: Chapter 2, but other than some small theaters reshowing old classics, there’s nowhere to go this year to get your scare fix.
Thankfully, Netflix has a healthy variety of movies for anyone looking to get his or her scare on. The following five are all festive films, chosen to represent a specific type of fan.
The Lightweight: ParaNorman is a charming animated zombie flick that was a huge hit last year. It has just enough creepiness to satisfy the squeamish fans that don’t like the gore that’s become so ubiquitous in the theaters lately. It has some cute thematic elements bolstered by a lovely score. It’s perfect for a floor movie night.
The Hipster (or Film Buff): No ironically self-respecting hipster can claim to be a horror fan without having seen any of the silent classics like Nosferatu. Directed by F.W. Murnau, a master of the German Expressionist style, Nosferatu is the original Dracula movie. It’s not the scariest horror movie ever made, but it has a lingering feeling, a haunting that sticks in the memory like a wooden stake.
The Outsider: Ju-on: The Grudge is a Japanese horror film that is widely regarded as one of the scariest horror films of the decade. It is subtitled, as it was filmed in Japanese. The acting and story are incidental. The real draw of the film is the creepiness that has been painted with chilling music, unnatural sound effects and revolting images.
The Classic Fan: The ’70s and ’80s gave rise to a generation of low-budget horror filmmakers, as exemplified by Sam Raimi’s cult classic film, The Evil Dead. Starring now-famous Bruce Campbell in one of his earliest roles, this film is exactly what you’ve come to expect from horror movies — except this one did it first. There was even a remake made this year, but the original will always be better.
The Meta Fan: Following much the same premise as The Evil Dead, Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods is a genre-bending play on horror tropes that is surprising until the end. Although directed by Goddard, it has the benefit of Joss Whedon’s writing and influence, which is easily seen throughout the film. It’s funny, witty, and incredibly violent: a must see.