Today is Halloween. Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos). And on top of all that, it’s also time for Daylight Savings to come to an end (fall back – yay!)
So I encourage you to sit back, crack open that bag of your kids’ Halloween candy and stay up late getting the Dickens scared out of you with my very own curated list of creep, crawly, and sometimes ridiculous movies.
But Fadra, you say, I HATE scary movies! They creep me out and I can’t stand the site of blood!
No worries. I’m not a horror movie fan either. And I think Netflix knows that. Nearly every horror movie I looked at had this rating for me:
I found a few that I can tolerate, though, and I’ve tried to stick to those that are groundbreaking, extra suspenseful, or classic. Minimal on the blood and guts and only slightly nightmare-inducing.
For Stephen King fans
I love Stephen King. While his bloody, gory stuff isn’t my favorite, I can’t deny that he’s an excellent story teller. I’ve not read nor seen Stephen King’s Bag of Bones but the movie was made for TV so I can’t imagine it’s anything too frightening. And I can use Stephen King’s The Langoliers as my guide. I have seen this made for TV miniseries and although cheesy, I love the premise of little critters eating up space and time. Evan is dying to see this one but I’m not sure if he’s ready for it yet.
If you are looking for frightening, though, you won’t be disappointed with the extremely creepy Stephen King’s Children of the Corn. In fact, we were just talking about this movie as we made our way through a corn maze last weekend. We didn’t go into too much detail (my child was present) but we let him know that if he saw this movie, he’d probably never walk into a cornfield again (also, beware of the parts 1, 2, 3, 4… 72 that were made for this movie series; I prefer to stick to the original).
Maybe Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling weren’t the originators of horror movies but they certainly made their mark in the creepy space. If your kids are just getting into horror, this may be a good foundation for them. Alfred Hitchcock Presents brings three seasons (1955 to 1957) of the classic television show to your home where he covers graceful topics such as obsession, murder, and revenge.
If Alfred Hitchcock isn’t as familiar to you, you’ll definitely know The Twilight Zone, a series that aired from 1959 to 1963. Often full of the supernatural and almost always with a creepy lesson, it’s a good way to figure out how far you can go before your kids will have nightmares!
Classic horror stories
If I had to pretend to be a film historian, I’d say that the 60s and 70s are when the modern horror culture really picked up steam. If you haven’t see the originals, I recommend Sissy Spacek as Carrie, the misfit teen who almost has a happy ending. Almost. (Also a Stephen King story)
Mia Farrow rose to stardom in Rosemary’s Baby, a film my mother never wanted me to see. I guess it was the idea of having the devil’s baby that creeped her out. Come to think of it, it creeped me out too.
Admittedly I’ve never seen Orca, The Killer Whale but if you were a child of the 70s, like me, you’ll probably remember this “horror” story that made waves after movies like Jaws paved the way.
A little modern gore
Looking for the original Mean Girls? Check out The Craft, a cheesy but bewitching film with Robin Tunney as a witch who goes head-to-head with Fairuza Balk (who really does scare me). And as long as we’re talking witches, remember The Blair Witch Project? I have seen it in at least a decade so I’m sure it looks dated but let’s be honest, didn’t it scare the bejesus out of you the first time you saw it?
And see Bill Pullman in the only non-vanilla role I’ve ever seen him in. But I have to warn you, The Serpent and the Rainbow isn’t your average Haitian voodoo zombie movie. It’s Wes Craven so you just might believe.
Candyman is another movie that will make you sleep with the lights on. If you grew up with the tale of Bloody Mary appearing in the bathroom mirror, get ready to rethink your childhood fears. This movie also made me a Virginia Madsen fan for life.
In trying to pick more modern movies, I went with two selections I haven’t seen. But I’ve at least heard of The Cabin in the Woods and the fan reviews on Netflix call it… dare I say it… brilliant! I also haven’t watched World War Z but Brad Pitt and zombies. ‘Nuff said.
So bad it’s good
You want cheese? You got it. While I’ve only seen Sharknado (I laughed! I cried!), you won’t be scared of any of these until you greatly fear bad special effects: Attach of the 50 Foot Cheerleader, Re-Animator, and Mega Shark versus Mecha Shark (my money’s on Mega Shark).
Only a wee bit scary
Even though some of the movies above are made for TV or rated PG-13, you might be surprised at what freaks your kids out. So if the rest of your family isn’t quite ready for big time horror, you might want to check out some of these kids selections.
R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? - a little preteen ghost story
Mickey’s House of Mouse Villains - oh, how I love Disney villains
DreamWorks Shrek’s Swamp Stories – if Shrek is your thing (he’s not mine)
Spooky Buddies - nothing is scarier than adorable puppies!
Casper’s Scare School - an updated version of my childhood favorite
Barney: Halloween Party - it’s Barney; this is totally your decision
Power Rangers Samurai Party Monsters - oh yes, I’ve seen this one
Curious George: A Halloween Boofest - who doesn’t love Curious George?
If you’re looking for more movies and shows to watch to make the most of your Netflix streaming, check back every month where I bring you some of the latest and greatest available Netflix for viewing right now.
This post is part of my monthly series that I write as part of the Netflix Stream Team.