Whether you’re sticking on a horror film that inevitably leaves you lying awake all night, trying out the latest paranormal thriller or revisiting a spooky classic from your childhood, it’s always great to watch something seasonal around Halloween.
If you’re stuck for something to tune into this Halloween, then look no further than your own Netflix account, because the streaming service has a plethora of titles – both TV shows and films – to make you jump (or laugh, depending on your preference).
Here are 15 of our top picks...
1. Addams Family Values (1993)
The most creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and, indeed, all together ooky family to ever grace the screen have arrived on Netflix just in time for Halloween, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Addams Family Values marks one of those rare occasions a sequel actually outdoes its predecessor, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Joan Cusack as the all-kinds-of-iconic Debbie, but the original cast all shine as brightly as their dark surroundings will allow, too.
2. Ratched (2020)
With no new series of American Horror Story in 2020, Ryan Murphy still has a trick (and a treat) up his sleeve for us this Halloween, with the arrival of Ratched.
A new series based on the iconic nurse from the classic novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ratched reunites the TV super-producer with his frequent collaborator Sarah Paulson, alongside a cast that includes the likes of Cynthia Nixon and Sharon Stone.
True, some of the reviews have suggested it’s a case of “style over substance”, but if what you’re looking for is something to give you “Netflix and chills”, then this should still do the trick.
3. American Horror Story (2011 – present)
Any series of American Horror Story is fitting for the Halloween season, whether you fancy the glossy theatrics of Hotel and 1984 or the more grisly and gruesome Asylum and Roanoke, and they’re all available to stream.
Still, if we had to pick just one to watch this Halloween, we reckon the high camp of Coven is the most fitting for this time of year, with regular cast members Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters all delivering some of their most memorable performances – not to mention one of the best cameos in TV history from Stevie Nicks, playing a witchy version of herself.
Plus, if you finish in time, you can dive right into Apocalypse, which revisits many of the characters introduced in Coven (although, let’s be real, potentially hits a little too close to home in 2020).
4. Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (2018 – present)
Don’t let those nostalgic memories of the classic Nickelodeon sitcom fool you, the good people at Netflix were not joking around when they called Sabrina Spellman’s new adventures “chilling”.
Demonic hauntings, satanic rituals and grisly nightmare sequences are all par for the course in this new teen drama, but don’t worry, there’s also enough regular high school drama to satisfy fans of shows like Riverdale or The OC. Just with a bit more devil-worshipping thrown in for good measure.
5. Hereditary (2018)
Critics and audiences alike were pretty divided over Hereditary when it first came out, with some dismissing it as pretentious and slow-paced, while others hailed it as one of the most unsettling horror films of the 21st century.
We fall into the latter camp, which is largely down to the always-reliable Toni Collette, whose slow-burn performance as Annie is truly a career high.
Be warned, though. Hereditary is most certainly not for the faint-hearted, and given how much of the horror takes place in the family home, it might be worth having an episode of something cheerful queued up after you watch it, in case you need some help settling down.
6. A Quiet Place (2018)
Finally, John Krasinski has answered the age-old question: “What would a world look like where people-destroying aliens who only reacted to sound had ransacked the earth?”
In this modern horror, John and his real-life wife Emily Blunt play a married couple trying to protect their family in the newly-silent world.
One word we’d use to describe this film is tense, although quite how it stands up to home viewings (nothing breaks the mood quite like the doorbell going or someone asking if anybody fancies a cup of tea) remains to be seen.
7. The Haunting Of Bly Manor (2020)
It’s now been two years since the seriously disturbing The Haunting Of Hill House debuted on Netflix, and the team has now put together a whole new chilling series to give us all nightmares with.
This time around, bosses have pulled a Ryan Murphy and reunited various members of the cast and crew to help tell a brand new story, that promises to be just as horrific as the original series.
8. Corpse Bride (2005)
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more family-friendly for your Halloween-inspired entertainment, Netflix has got you covered with Tim Burton’s stop-motion classic (no, not that one), Corpse Bride.
Yes, it’s often overlooked in favour of The Nightmare Before Christmas, but Corpse Bride deserves its plaudits too. Not only is it visually stunning (the contrast between Victor’s humdrum world and the hyper-colourful afterlife is especially impressive), there’s a love story in the middle of it all too. And if that’s not enough, there are also musical numbers performed by Helena Bonham-Carter and Ab Fab alum Joanna Lumley and Jane Horrocks. Truly something for everyone.
9. Stranger Things (2016 – present)
No, you’re not going to get any terrifying ghost attacks or chilling zombie resurrections, but there’s an eerie feel that hangs over the hugely popular Netflix original series that makes it perfect for Halloween.
Its three series centre around dark parallel universes, scary monsters and some weird goings on in an 80s science lab, plus a mystery that only a group of teens seem to be able to get to the bottom of.
Seriously – if you still haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, this is the perfect time of year to finally get into it. Come for the 80s nostalgia, stay for the Mindflayer.
10. Cabin In The Woods (2011)
It’s a tale as old as time, isn’t it? A load of sexy college students gather at a remote location, flirt with each other for a bit, argue, and then get attacked by a load of zombies that they’ve accidentally brought back to life. Oh, and all while they’re being watched in a lab, without their knowledge, of course.
And if that synopsis isn’t enticing enough… Chris Hemsworth. You’re welcome.
11. I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (2020)
This is the latest offering from filmmaker Charlie Kauffman, whose past credits include Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Being John Malcovich, so as you’d expect, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is surreal, thought-provoking and anything but traditional.
A horror film at its heart, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is devoid of jump-scares, instead preferring to deeply unsettle you with not-quite-right scenes and unexpected twists. It’s tough going at times, but it all starts to come together in the finale.
12. Misery (1990)
Nobody does horror quite like Stephen King, and Misery is the perfect pick if you want something a bit left-field to give you the Halloween chills.
The film, of course, belongs to Kathy Bates, whose performance as the slowly-unravelling Annie Wilkes deservedly won her the Oscar for Best Actress, and gave Misery one of the most iconic horror moments of all time when she picks up that sledgehammer...
13. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ dystopian series Black Mirror tells a completely different dread-inducing story in each of its unique stand-alone instalments, but it’s the special episode Bandersnatch that we’d recommend for a Halloween viewing.
For those who’ve yet to stream it, Banderrsnatch allows the viewer to make decisions on behalf of the episode’s protagonist, Stefan, with your choices affecting how things play out on screen, with potentially horrifying or violent results, depending on which route you go down.
The structure of the episode also means that no two viewings are ever the same, so if you’re not happy with how things play out, you can go straight back to the beginning and start all over again.
14. Labyrinth (1986)
A bit of a left-field choice, but the sinister atmosphere that hangs over Labyrinth makes it perfect Halloween viewing for the whole family.
Plus, who doesn’t want to see David Bowie performing a musical number in a full glam rock wig surrounded by Jim Henson puppets?
15. Friends: The One With The Halloween Party (2001)
Or, for those who fancy getting in the Halloween spirit without scaring yourself half to death, the cast of Friends is here to help.
Despite loads of iconic Thanksgiving and Christmas specials, Friends actually only devoted one episode entirely to Halloween, but it’s truly got it all: pregnant Rachel refusing to dress up (“I am a woman who spent a lot of money on a dress because pretty soon, she won’t be able to fit into it”), a pink bunny/giant potato stand-off between Ross and Chandler and a stellar A-list cameo from none other than Sean Penn.