Jesus take the wheel I’m behind on this series. Well, rather than mince words, let’s all acknowledge that we all have Netflix, there’s a butt ton of horror titles on there, and it can be a pain in the ass to separate the good from the bad. If you wanted to program your own Halloween movie marathon, here’s a number of titles you can’t go wrong with.
7pm Veronica. This based-on-a-true-events Spanish exorcism tale hails from one half of the creative team behind modern classics [REC] & [REC] 2. Paco Plaza keeps showing just how much he’s capable of with this chilling film. It follows the title character as she and her friends unleash a demonic force while playing with a Ouija board in the bowels of their Catholic school. Creepy imagery abounds, not the least of which is a chain-smoking, eyeless nun that knows too well how Hell can escape into our world. Sure, demonic possession films are a dime a dozen, but when done this well, they can still scare the crap out of an audience. Add in a couple small children in peril and a gut-wrenching ending, and you have a terrific way to start your Netflix and Chiller Halloween evening.
9PM THE RITUAL One of Netflix’s original slate, The Ritual offers up a group of British friends that get lost while hiking in the woods. Do they find the road home? Maybe, but only if that road leads to the doorstep of a demon worshiping nature cult. There’s some nasty kills in this one, along with terrific design on the film’s ultimate big bad. This is a go-to movie from this site if you enjoy slow-burning cultish horror.
11PM RAW This coming-of-age story marks a return to the brutal, over the top horror that marked the French New Wave of the early to mid-90s. It veers from a well grounded story of one young woman struggling to cope with her new surroundings at school, her sexuality, and her the path she wishes to navigate moving forward to a batshit insane over the top gore fest. It’s lovely, and it’s a must watch movie, with an ending that will definitely make you feel skeevy afterwards.
1am TALES FROM HALLOWEEN Trick ‘r Treat gets a lot of love for all the right reasons, but horror anthology fans should not sleep on this title. A number of indie horror collaborators got together in order to craft these slavish short horror films that offer up a nice love letter to our favorite holiday. Not every film works, but overall, Tales is a ton of fun, with some great entries overall. Entries from Darren Lynn Bousman, Neil Marshall, Axelle Carolyn and Lucky McKee make this a must watch on or around the 31st.
3am THE WITCH Robert Eggers’ faithful recreation of colonial America and the witch hysteria that swept New England isn’t for everyone. The dialogue, taken from journals and court records of the time, can be difficult to follow at times. However, this film absolutely creeps me the hell out every time. Plus, it gave the world a new horror icon. All Hail Black Philip! The film follows one families fall into madness and disrepair after putting religious pride and purity over common sense. The appeal of giving one’s self over to Satan becomes all too apparent, especially for one young woman accused by her family of doing the Devil’s bidding. Live deliciously this Halloween, and watch this movie.
5am TUCKER & DALE VERSUS EVIL This remains ne of the best horror comedies to emerge form the past decade, and is every bit the stone cold classic films like Cabin in the Woods and Shaun of the Dead are regarded as. Redneck horror at its finest, as a group of college kids come up across two loveable if grungy country bumpkins. A series of unfortante events and avoidable misunderstandings means the body parts are stacked high and deep and the red stuff covers the screen throughout. T&DvsE contains a ton of heart, a ton of laughs and enough blood and gore to satisfy even the most ardent horror fan.
7am Pilot episodes THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE/ THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA This last entry might be a bit of a cheat. However, if you’re Netflix, why wouldn’t you want to get as many eyeballs as you can on two of your biggest and best longform genre offerings. Hill House reimagines Shirley Jackson’s novel, considered by many the greatest haunted house story of all time. Critics have lamented Mike Flanagan’s show fails to offer a slavish devotion to the source material. That shouldn’t matter. We already have the near-perfect 1963 film The Haunting from Ray Wise to scratch that itch. What the new show does is couch a family drama in the costume of a chilling, gothic, haunted house tale. Flanagan splits time between the events that occurred to the young Crain family in the house, and the repercussion the children and father have from that time decades later.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa adapts his outstanding comic book series of the same name for Netflix with this updated take on Sabrina. This is no TGIF sitcom. It’s a wonderful, young adult horror series anchored by Kiernan Shipka’s confident performance in the titular role. On the cusp of her 16th birthday, Sabrina finds herself torn between the supernatural and human world. She’s bound to pledge her name in the Dark Lord’s book, but doesn’t want to leave her human friends, and charming if dopey boyfriend, behind. The show isn’t afraid to embrace it’s Satanic roots, with a visual representation of the Dark Lord that is absolutely terrifying. The show also reimagines Sabrina for the #MeToo era. Sabrina has to navigate the world of bullying jocks, a callous high school principle and struggle with the implications of signing herself over to Satan and what that means to her freedom of choice and expression.