Streaming bloody murder: Best horror flicks on demand
If Hollywood taught us anything, Halloween is not the time to leave your house (or fall asleep). Lock yourself indoors and line up a night of the best scares to be found on Australia's SVOD services.
Claire ReillyFormer Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
ExpertiseSpace, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech CultureCredentials
Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Australia might be new to the Halloween phenomenon, but we're certainly not immune to the trick-or-treating, the bad costume parties and the out-of-season-pumpkins in supermarkets. But as Halloween approaches, the subscription video on demand services are stockpiling plenty of good movies (and the occasional TV show) to help you put on a killer fright night movie marathon.
Whether you want a good scare or your idea of spooky is watching a buck-toothed Bette Midler in "Hocus Pocus," CNET has hacked off the dead weight and chosen the best that each streaming service has to offer.
And if you don't have any streaming subscriptions? We've thrown in a few freebies from SBS On Demand's online streaming service, just for good measure. After all, you can't go wrong with "Lesbian Vampire Killers."
"Black Sheep" - An ovine gem from New Zealand. Genetic testing goes rogue, resulting in zombie sheep roaming the Kiwi landscape (and some sheep-shagging jokes for good measure).
"Shaun of the Dead" - Part of director Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, this is a zombie movie that gnaws on your funnybone.
"American Horror Story" - With a different setting each season, this TV series is a modern take on the classic tropes of horror, including the haunted house and the insane asylum. Ideal for sustained binge-watch scares.
"The Host" - A great monster flick out of Korea, "The Host" follows a father's journey to rescue his daughter after she was snatched by a giant slithering creature from the nearby river.
Plus... "Paranormal Activity," the "Final Destination" series, the "Saw" hexalogy and "28 Weeks Later."
"What We do in the Shadows" - Starring Jemaine Clement and Rhys Darby of "Flight of the Conchords" fame, this New Zealand comedy mockumentary follows the afterlives of four vampires, living in a share house in Wellington.
"The Babadook" - A reminder of why you should always watch TV over reading books, this Australian film gives the star of "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" a proper mystery.
"Scream" - It's the late maestro Wes Craven's love letter to horror flicks. "Scream" is the original slasher for genre-savvy fans, and it would be a welcome inclusion in any scary movie marathon.
"From Dusk til Dawn" - Vampires and a guitar made out of a human torso? Enough said.
"Paranormal Activity" - A horrifying vision of the future of Smart Home technology and the Internet of Things.
Plus... "Pet Sematary," "The Silence of the Lambs," "The Shining" and "Friday the 13th"
"Ash vs Evil Dead" - A Stan exclusive in Australia, this TV spin-off of the "Evil Dead" trilogy brings Bruce Campbell back, boomstick and all, for a world premiere on Halloween. It's definitely worth watching the full trilogy but you'll need to head to Presto for the first film, "The Evil Dead," before coming back to Stan for "Evil Dead II" and the final "Army of Darkness."
"The Human Centipede" - Filed firmly in the 'this shouldn't be a thing' category, "The Human Centipede" certainly reinvented the genre of gross-out surgery horror. Do not watch on a full stomach.
"Piranha" or "Zombeavers" - Flip a coin and let fate determine your aquatic-based scares for the night. Either way, you've got a schlock horror film that's so bad, it's good.
"Let the Right One In" - Based on the book of the same name, this Swedish film is certainly a chilling bloodbath, but it's also a melancholy tale of two lonely children, one of whom happens to be a vampire.
"Dead Snow" - In the words of director Tommy Wirkola, "When we were about to sit down and write the actual script, we started thinking 'What is more evil than a zombie'? A Nazi-zombie!"
Plus... "Wolf Creek," "Carrie," "The Amityville Horror" and Sam Raimi's triumph of emetology, "Drag Me to Hell."
SBS On Demand
"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" - Forget the sequels. If you want to see hillbilly cannibalism, pack up the van and head back to the original 1974 film. They don't make leathergoods like they used to.
"Halloween" - Another original you won't find on the paid services, this flick is pure slasher cult classic. If you're one for jump scares, this is the Mike Myers film for you.
"Troll Hunter" - A world movie gone mainstream, this Norwegian film is a slower burn, but the 'found footage' style makes it a "Blair Witch Project" for cinephiles.
"Strippers vs. Werewolves" or "Lesbian Vampire Killers" or "Vampyros Lesbos" - Does what it says on the can. Let's not kid ourselves, you could watch any one of these films and you wouldn't be disappointed.