Halloween is on Tuesday this year, so maybe instead of parties and shenanigans, you’ll stay inside. Get some popcorn going, a frosty age-appropriate beverage and then… what to watch?
There’s a better chance than even before that your scary selection will come from a streaming service. So let’s look at three of the most popular services and see what they have to offer.
Netflix: Right now, Netflix is the home of the “Saw” franchise. Leading up to the newest entry “Jigsaw”—in theaters Oct. 27—you could binge the entire seven film series. Here’s my suggestion: the odd numbered entries are better than the even numbered ones. But you have to watch them all for the developing story of Jigsaw.
But Netflix has more than that. Check them out for a strong selection of independent horror films.
One of my favorites is “We Are Still Here” (2015). There’s a trend for 1970s- and ‘80s-set horror films and this ghost story fits the bill. Writer-director Ted Geoghegan puts middle-aged couple Anne and Paul Sacchetti (Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig) in a house that might be haunted by their dead son and/or other spirits. The townsfolk seem to think everything is normal for their new neighbors but things go downhill fast for the Sacchettis. There’s a great twist and unique ghost effects, too.
Before we leave Netflix, don’t forget that season two of “Stranger Things” is available Oct. 27.
Hulu: If Netflix has the better horror movie selection, Hulu wins when it comes to TV. Hulu gets many shows the day after they broadcast which means you can follow along instead of waiting a year to get a whole season on Netflix. I recently watched Fox’s “The Exorcist,” and IFC’s “Stan Against Evil,” which stars John C McGinley as a retired sheriff facing down the demons of his small New England town. Hulu also has a good selection of horror anime including “Hellsing” and “Blue Exorcist.”
All of that is great, but you should watch “11.22.63.” Many of the more horrific elements of the Stephen King novel the limited series is based on didn’t survive the cut, but it is tense, compact and stars James Franco. Every step of the way, you think the hero Jake is going to get caught, killed or somehow blasted back to his own time and will fail in his mission to prevent the Kennedy assassination. The ending is absolutely heartbreaking.
Hulu also has the new Fox series “Ghosted,” which so far is like “24” and “The X-Files” filtered through “Parks & Recreation.” Adam Scott and Craig Robinson are two of the funniest actors working today and they make a great team.
Amazon Prime: This service will get you access (for an additional fee) to a variety of streams with their own horror movies. Crackle, Shudder, Starz, Fandor, and Full Moon. It’s worth checking out their seven-day trials, especially this time of year. With a Starz trial, you get to watch the “Friday the 13th” franchise and the two seasons of “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”
But if you just stick to what is available solely through your Prime subscription, you still get a good selection.
Prime has “The Witch” (2016), the period drama that follows an exiled family in colonial America as they face their disrupted faith and the possibility of actual witches and demons in their midst. It is a bit slow for some viewers but it is worth it.
Prime also has the TV shows “Grimm,” “American Horror Story,” “True Blood,” and “Teen Wolf,” but one of the best available is the animated “Spawn” series. Superheroes, villains, monsters, and vicious action all come together in the lengthy three-volume series.
If you are looking for a bit of a twist, however, Prime also has the Canadian home improvement show “Paranormal Home Inspectors.” The homes get a traditional home inspection and a supernatural inspection. In other words, it’s a show to determine if the odd draft that spooks your cat is indeed just a draft.
With so much to watch, it can be easy to choose the wrong thing. This should give you a start and help you have a scary and fun Halloween.