What to Stream This Halloween

By  · Published on October 25th, 2016

Dear FSR

Scare your pants off and keep them off – you’re home, after all.

At some point in your life, you’ve likely been faced with a question that has no solid answer. Some people may take such a puzzle to a trusted confidant, a friendly pastor, or the esteemed annals of Yahoo! Answers. But will they have the expertise needed to solve your most pressing film predicaments?

Think of Dear FSR as an impartial arbiter for all your film concerns. Boyfriend texting while you’re trying to show him your most precious Ozu? What’s the best way to confront the guy who snuck that pungent curry into your cramped theater? This is an advice column for film fans, by a film fan.

Dear FSR,

This year I’m hosting a Halloween party for my movie friends. Most of my friends don’t watch too many horror films, so I’m sort of their gateway into this world. But I need recommendations that aren’t your typical “classics” or recent franchises. We’re gonna get loaded up on snacks, candy, costumes, and well-spiked drinks so we want some scary movies that have some fun in them. I don’t want them to kill our party vibe. What are some of the best streamable horror movies that aren’t total downers?

Haunted House Party Hostess

Dear Haunted House Party,

There are few things more entertaining than being the person in the know for the countless parties, dates, and sleepless Friday nights when a horror movie enters the equation. Smugly awaiting your friends’ jumps is almost as fun as watching the movie itself. So load up on popcorn and candy before you fire up whatever box you use to stream things from your couch or bed, we’re here with seven recommendations that will impress your friends (depending on how much they can see between their fingers) and rattle your chains. Not to worry, all these options are streamable (and screamable) so you don’t have to leave your dreadfully decorated home.

The Fury (1978)

Ever wonder what the X-Men’s teenage mutants would be like if they were a tad more….realistic? This Brian De Palma film comes directly after his adaptation of horror master Stephen King’s Carrie and has the same throbbing take on adolescent mistrust of authority and adulthood. Blood pours from eyes, heads explode, a carnival takes a horrific turn, and it’s a completely strange ’70s take on psychic youths versus the “man” – this time the CIA personified by John Cassavetes.

Re-Animator (1985)

So you thought the last one was weird? Welcome to the modern Frankenstein world of Re-Animator where a crazed medical student (who also happens to be a complete jerk, odd for a main character in ANY movie) played by a completely terrifying and strange Jeffrey Combs brings dead bodies back to life with a syringe and a serum. Hilariously campy, oddly freaky with its gross-out effects (including a decapitation!), and schlocky in the supreme, the film is a cult classic for a reason. If you needed an excuse to show a midnight movie, this one is right on the line of despicable and lovable that houses so many exploitation movies rampant with sex, violence, and total scientific weirdness.

Witching & Bitching (2013)

A Spanish horror-comedy by rambunctious director Alex de la Iglesia, Witching and Bitching is part heist movie, part witch comedy, and part cult horror movie. One of the silliest movies I’ve ever seen, the subtitles fly by as you only catch one in three jokes. Luckily the slapstick dominates the film, especially in an ending sequence unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed in American cinema. A light movie without many scares, this is more for flavor and content than anything, as it takes place in a witch-run town with a group of costumed protagonists. Hopefully your trick-or-treating doesn’t end with as many hilarious fatalities.

The Invitation (2015)

One of this year’s most surprising sleeper horror hits, this quiet film takes place at a dinner party that slowly escalates to something abjectly horrible. Tension as thick as the cheesecake they serve, The Invitation is one of the genuinely great films on this list thanks to some stellar performances and metered direction from Karyn Kusama. Some of these movies will have you laughing so hard that candy corn comes out your nose. The Invitation will leave you a social hermit eying your friends more suspiciously than when you woke up to unclaimed vomit on your sofa.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A sleek, sexy vampire film in black and white, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a great mood-setting movie for a more macabre date during the spooky months. Female vampires run a city’s underworld while a young man stumbles into it heart-first. Only blood can come from this – you don’t want to wear your heart on your sleeve when vampires are around.

Housebound (2014)

A New Zealand horror-comedy (those two go together like chocolate and peanut butter, don’t ask me why), Housebound focuses on a girl under house arrest who finds to her dismay that her house/jail cell is haunted. Some of the biggest laughs and jumps combine to a film that never slows down and never stops entertaining one way or the other. A twist near the ending will leave you questioning every haunted house movie you’ve ever seen.

Event Horizon (1997)

This one’s for all you “so-bad-it’s-good” fans out there. This Sam Neill-starring trek into space horror comes from Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson so you know what you’re getting into from the beginning. Basically, Neill’s new spaceship tech opens…well, a gate to Hell. Things get gross, but in a perfect way.

Technically speaking, you shouldn’t need all of these movies unless you’re doing an ill-advised 24-hour spookathon on Halloween day, but you never know what some people’s plans are.

Happy Shocktober,


Do you have a question for FSR? Tweet us with the hashtag #DearFSR, ask in the comments, use our member’s only chat, or e-mail us at [email protected]

We’ll be back answering your questions every Tuesday!

Related Topics:

Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).