Halloween can be stressful, what with all the last-minute costume hunting and spending far too much money on sweets that you don’t even get to keep. We’re giving you permission to take this year off and stay in with our pick of Netflix’s scariest flicks to celebrate the spooky season. Pro tip: turn off that front light so trick or treaters don’t bother you, because we can guarantee you’ll jump out of your skin if the doorbell rings mid-film (we may or may not be speaking from experience).
The Conjuring 2
Unfortunately the first installment isn't available on Netflix (fix it, please!), but part two of the hugely successful franchise is undoubtedly terrifying and, for once, is a sequel that's actually as good as the first. It follows a British family who moves into a new house, only to find out that they may not be alone. It’s rare nowadays to find a horror film without cheesy dialogue, bad acting and gimmicky jump-scares, and you’ll be recommending The Conjuring 2 well after Halloween is over.
If you’re scared of the dark, you may want to avoid this one. The trailer was enough to have us covering our eyes, and the film doesn’t disappoint either. When a brother and sister realise they’re experiencing terrifying events after darkness falls, they investigate and find out there’s something living in the dark - and you do not want to meet her.
An oldie but a goodie, The Shining isn’t scary but is still worth a watch if you’re looking to calm down after another scary film. Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, the film tells the story of a family looking after a creepy hotel during off-season and follows the father’s decent into madness. As you can imagine, chaos ensues. With (literally) Oscar-worthy performances by Jack Nicholson and some iconic scenes that have shaped horror films as we know it, we’ll never get enough of this classic.
*endless applause* That’s how we feel about this Jordan Peele masterpiece about an interracial couple visiting the in-laws for the first time. Get Out's unpredictable plot, unnerving scenes and award-worthy acting is perfectly balanced with a dash of comedy, and addresses real-world societal issues all in one terrifically terrifying package. Nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and coming home with Best Original Screenplay, this film was an instant hit for a reason.
This film is proof that horror doesn’t have to mean ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Hush is about a deaf writer living in an isolated home in the woods (yes, we know) who becomes the target of a stalker that breaks into her home - except she can’t hear a thing. This original concept is such a great spin on traditional horror films and had us at the edge of our seat the whole time.
Imagine a world where crime was legal every year for twelve hours. Sounds pretty terrifying, right? Thankfully we’ll never have to know what that feels like, unlike the folks in The Purge (though there are not-so subtle nods to a certain US politician that would be responsible for it becoming a reality). Not only will it have you jumping out of your seat and maybe knocking over your drink, but you'll be thinking “what if?” for the rest of the night. While you’re at it, watch The Purge 2, 3 and 4 as well. Same idea, completely different execution - equally thrilling.
The Haunting of Hill House
Staying in all night? What better way to celebrate the scariest night of the year than by binge-watching an entire horror series. A series that follows the tragic lives of the Craine family as they reflect on their childhood home, The Haunting of Hill House is not just terrifying but it’s so well done that you’ll find yourself marvelling at the cinematography and acting as well as the ever-evolving plot. We literally Googled when the next season was coming as soon as we finished it (which, by the way, only took one day).
Friday the 13th
A classic teen-filled slasher film, you can’t take Friday the 13th too seriously. Yes it’s full of gore, predictable plots and slasher clichés but the remake is fun to watch with a group of friends (particularly squeamish ones) and won’t have you up all night staring at the shadow on your wall.