18 horror movies for wimps to stream on Halloween
In no particular order
If Halloween makes you think of apple cider instead of fake blood, or if you once accidentally watched The Ring and then spent the next week sleeping with your closet lights on, here are 18 movies you can stream right now that will get you in the spooky spirit without making your middle-of-the-night sprint back from the bathroom any scarier.
Addams Family Values (Hulu): The better of the modern Addams Family films, featuring Wednesday Addams at her homicidal best and the brilliant Joan Cusack (as villain Debbie). Nothing too scary, unless you’re afraid of a middle-aged couple who still desire each other sexually.
The Addams Family (Netflix): Not as strong as Values, but it’s here in case you’re a completist or planning a marathon.
Young Frankenstein (Netflix): Horror-comedy is the classic refuge of wusses on Halloween, and this Mel Brooks parody is one such classic.
Coraline (Netflix): I’m going to be honest with you, this one has some frightening moments. Other Mother and her button-eyes will probably haunt your dreams for years to come, but come on — this is an animated movie. A movie for children. What are you, chicken?
The Number 23 (Netflix): The only thing scary about this movie is that it was made and at no point did anyone involved do anything about it.
Gremlins (Netflix): Basically, just rabid Furbies. This, too, is a movie for children. You can handle it.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Netflix): My favorite imaginary conversation is Tim Burton pitching Oogie Boogie to the executives at Disney: “So, he’s an evil pillowcase filled with bugs, and he’s very passionate about gambling.” And everyone in the room was just like, “Yes, of course, please continue.”
Corpse Bride (Netflix): The neglected step-child of spooky stop-motion animated movies, Corpse Bride has some bona fide great songs and an objectively more consistent storyline than Burton’s Nightmare.
Never Let Me Go (Netflix): This is less a horror movie and more an eerie dystopia, but in honor of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nobel Prize, it’s going on the list.
Scooby Doo (Netflix): See real-life couple Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. (as well as a pre-fame Isla Fisher) in a ridiculously silly farce with some very adult jokes you definitely didn’t catch as a kid.
Sleepy Hollow (Netflix): A fable that’s more atmospheric than outright scary. Plus, it stars the high priestess of Halloween: Christina Ricci.
Colossal (Hulu): This isn’t technically a horror movie, and it would be fair to argue that it’s not even an autumn movie, but I disagree because: 1) we get some great sweater looks, 2) monsters, and 3) aren’t alcoholism and toxic masculinity the scariest things of all?
Batman (Hulu): Return to the pre-Nolan, pre-Snyder era when Batman was exactly what he was always meant to be: campy and spooky.
Batman Returns (Hulu): If you have extra spiked cider and want to extend the night a little bit, make it a double feature.
Clue (Hulu): If you want to get your Tim Curry fix but aren’t quite up for It or Rocky Horror.
Heathers (Hulu): The best dark teen comedy and one of my all-time favorite movies, it will make you wish you wrote in your diary while wearing a monocle.
Teen Wolf (Hulu): A hairy kid gets good at basketball. This is less of a horror movie and more of a heavy handed allegory for puberty.
Shaun of the Dead (Showtime): This one is a little bloody (and definitely the goriest on this list), but it’s still a comedy at heart. So, if you’re not too squeamish but still don’t want to stay up all night staring at the shadows in your hallway, this is your pick.
(If you’re mad Hocus Pocus isn’t on the list — first, it’s not streaming, and second, it’s totally overrated.)