Halloween might be approaching as I write this, but for plenty of horror fans, every day of the year is the right time to watch a horror film. Maybe you’ve decided to take a break on your Netflix subscription, though, or you’ve watched everything in your collection too recently.
There are plenty of places to stream horror movies online without paying a cent. This list shows some of my personal biases, so you’ll see more B-movies and classics than you will pure horror, but hopefully you’ll still find something that suits you.
1. Creepshow 2
Like the first Creepshow, this movie is based on stories originally written by Stephen King and pays homage to horror comics like Tales From the Crypt. While Creepshow 2 might not be as chilling as the first in the series, it’s still good fun.
2. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
From the title to the unmistakably ’80s soundtrack, Killer Klowns From Outer Spaceis absolutely a product of its time. This is also a supremely goofy movie, which is almost disarming during the few moments in this film when it decides it actually wants to be creepy.
3. Return of the Living Dead
This cult classic might have traded on the name of the unrelated Night of the Living Dead at the time, but it has since come into its own. Return of the Living Deadintroduced the concept of zombies feeding on brains, which is now practically a rule by which all zombies abide.
The Hellraiser name might have been deluded by numerous sub-par sequels, but this first installment is absolutely worth a watch. This is not only the movie that made Clive Barker a household name, but is also his maiden run at directing films based on his stories.
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Invasion of the Body Snatchers has inspired many remakes, including the 1978 movie of the same name starring Donald Sutherland. To help understand why there are so many remakes, watching the 1956 original version should be on any horror fan’s checklist.
6. 30 Days of Night
Based on the comic series of the same name, 30 Days of Night is set in an Alaskan town under siege by vampires with no chance of daylight to help stave them off. Instead of the more romantic take on vampires that became much more popular, this film is a much grimmer take on the subject.
7. Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers
The original Sleepaway Camp was a movie that didn’t know what it wanted to be. Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers doesn’t have that problem. This comedic horror take on summer camping is surprisingly gruesome at times, but the good cheer of the film’s killer camp counselor almost has you routing for them.
8. Night of the Creeps
Yet another movie that starts with Night of the…, this one turns its focus on slug-like alien creatures that infect corpses. This film is another that revels in its b-movie nature, and is all the better for it.
9. Resident Evil
Most movies based on games aren’t very good. Resident Evil doesn’t exactly break free of that mold, but it’s a better movie than most based on games. This one is worth seeing for the laser scene if nothing else.
In 1984, Gremlins was a hit at the box office. One year later, Ghoulies followed, trading the heartwarming story of its puppet-driven inspiration for a story that is tough to follow, even after you’ve seen the film multiple times. Still, for pure 1980s cheese, Ghoulies is tough to beat.
V/H/S takes two horror staples--found footage and anthology movies--and combines them for a movie that is a fresher take on both than you may imagine. Even the frame story tying the others together would be interesting on its own, which is tough to say about other horror anthologies.
12. Children of the Corn
There are a few movies that almost everyone should see just because of how much they’ve inspired other works. When it comes to horror, Children of the Corn is one of those movies. That said, the less said about the numerous sequels, the better.
13. The Gate
If you were to put everything that came out of the horror genre in the 1980s into a blender, then mix the results with a few heavy metal album covers, what you would get might be The Gate. This movie is shameless at times when it comes to the (often better) films and stories it takes inspiration from, but the results are still worth seeing.
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