It’s that time of year again — spooky Christmas! For some of us, Halloween is far more interesting an occasion to celebrate than the fake birthday of Jesus. It’s the time of year for witches, magic, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, vampires, and things that go bump in the night. That time when weirdos and misfits come out to play, and everything gets a bit supernatural.
If you need a bit more than that… Halloween originated from the Pagan festival Samhain, which honoured the dead. It was believed that, during this time, the veil between the living and the dead was thin. This allowed the souls of the dead to come back to earth to walk among the living. Over time Christians attempted to reframe the festival as theirs, and it became All Hallows’ Eve.
To celebrate, this year I’ve curated a list of movies that can be found on streaming services in the UK at the moment. I’ve selected a variety across the board, from horror to comedy to fantasy.
What will you be watching?
Halloween (1978), Netflix
Original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis facing off against slasher Michael Myers, in this horror classic directed by John Carpenter.
Frankenweenie (2012), Disney+
Directed by Tim Burton, this stop motion-animation comedy horror tells the tale of a boy called Victor who reanimates his dog.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Netflix
Tim Burton directing again, this time with a musical horror starring Johnny Depp, with Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman.
The Addams Family (1991), Netflix
This supernatural black comedy is a lot of fun. Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci were all superb.
Ghostbusters (1984), Netflix
This supernatural comedy is still one of the best ever. It was written by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis and has aged really well.
Practical Magic (1988), Prime
This isn’t a well reviewed, yet has been described as ‘the Thelma and Louise of witch movies‘ — with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock.
Crimson Peak (2015), Netflix
This gothic romance was directed by Guillermo del Toro and starred Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. I’m sold.
Jennifer’s Body (2009), Disney+
Written by Diablo Cody and starring Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox, this movie has been reassessed as a feminist cult classic.
Shaun of the Dead (2004), Netflix
This horror comedy directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost became an instant hit on release.
28 Days Later (2002), Disney+
This post-apocalyptic horror drama, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cillian Murphy was tense, exciting and thrilling.
What We Do In The Shadows (2014), Prime
Vampire housemates trying to contend with the complexities of modern life. Directed by Taiki Waititi and Jermaine Clement.
Constantine (2005), Prime
This superhero horror starring Keanu Reeves was ahead of its time. The character is taken from the hugely popular Hellblazer comics.
Van Helsing (2004), Netflix
Hugh Jackman played legendary monster hunter Van Helsing opposite Kate Beckinsale, in this trashy but fun adventure flick.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Prime
This dark fantasy was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and, in my mind, is his masterpiece. A parable influenced by fairy tales.
Scary Movie (2000), Netflix
This kick-started the genre of parody movies that spoof horror — in particular the Scream movies. It starred Anna Faris.
The Conjuring (2013), Netflix
This supernatural horror directed by James Wan and starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson ended up created a movie universe.
Note: sorry if you’re reading this outside the UK, but we all get different movies on streaming depending where we are. You can still make use of this list, but they might not all be free in your region.