Last week, I gave you guys a few lists from Amazon and Netflix in regards to what they have to offer via their streaming services this fall. As a newbie to Hulu, I only discovered over the weekend that they, too, beyond just being an amazing resource for television programming, offer up a killer selection of genre movies that are free to stream with a standard Hulu membership.
Here’s a look at an assortment of 31 films from Hulu that I think would be great movies to stream this October. I tried to give you guys a wide variety, too, hitting various sub-genres, so hopefully there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this list.
As far as high school horror films go, The Faculty has remained one of my very favorites for years now. Essentially, it’s Robert Rodriguez riffing on The X-Files, and who can resist that? You also get another killer steely-eyed performance from Robert Patrick and Jon Stewart is pretty damn great, too.
Synopsis: When some very creepy things start happening around school, the kids at Herrington High make a chilling discovery that confirms their worst suspicions: their teachers really are from another planet.
I’m still not sure which is more terrifying, Zelda or a tiny, murderous Gage who likes to slice people’s ankles. In either case, Pet Sematary is still a creepy excursion in fear and loss, making it a fun addition to your Halloween viewing schedules. It’s horrific on so many levels, and it’s impossible for me to dislike anything featuring Fred Gwynne.
Synopsis: Dr. Louis Creed's family moves into the country house of their dreams and discover a pet cemetery at the back of their property. The cursed burial ground deep in the woods brings the dead back to life, with "minor" problems. Based on a Stephen King novel.
Fright Night (1985)
Tom Holland’s classic tale of a boy who thinks his next door neighbor is a vampire, Fright Night is a near-perfect horror movie any time of the year, but more so during the Halloween season. If you didn’t have a chance to pick up one of those costly Fright Night Blu-rays, here’s the perfect way to catch up with the exploits of Charley Brewster and horror host Peter Vincent this month.
Synopsis: A teenager enlists the help of a TV horror movie host to subdue a suave vampire.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
If you’re looking to have some fun this October, Scouts Guide brings all the fun you could possibly want, and more. Christopher Landon’s horror comedy is one of the more underrated zombie films of the last decade, and who can possibly resist the siren call of the zombie kitties or Cloris Leachman? If you missed this one a few years back, now’s the perfect time to see what you’ve been missing out on.
Synopsis: Three scouts and lifelong friends join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to become the world's most unlikely team of heroes.
Cabin Fever (2002)
Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever gets a lot of flack for being one of the originators of “torture porn” (a term this writer thinks is total BS), but I’ve always been a big fan of this low-budget offering, as I’ve yet to see an image as disturbing as Cerina Vincent shaving her infected legs in nearly 15 years. Bonus points for the weird bunny suit guy, too, and Rider Strong, who gets put through the proverbial ringer in Cabin Fever.
Synopsis: Five college friends head off to the woods for a weekend of drinking, partying and fooling around. But as they sit at their campfire the first night, a blood-soaked hermit approaches them.
Brian De Palma’s classic may take place at prom, but Carrie is still one of my favorite movies to watch during October, but maybe that’s because anything related to Stephen King always gets me in the Halloween mood. If you’ve yet to add this film to your personal media collections, Hulu has you covered.
Synopsis: Carrie, a telekinetic teenager, unleashes her wrath after years of torment from an overbearing mother and constant cruelty from her classmates.
With Adam Green taking his latest installment of the Hatchet series, Victor Crowley, on tour this fall, this October is the perfect time to get reacquainted with where it all began in the original Hatchet. With a lively cast and an assortment of gruesomely inventive kills, Hatchet makes for the perfect love letter to the slasher films of yesteryear.
Synopsis: A motley crew of tourists embark on a boat ride of the haunted Louisiana bayous where they learn the terrifying tale of local legend Victor Crowley.
Children of the Corn (1984)
As mentioned, I only need Stephen King’s material to put me in the Halloween spirit, which is why Children of the Corn is still a nostalgic favorite of mine. It may not be one of the best King adaptations out there, but I still get chills whenever Malachi is on the screen.
Synopsis: Based on the classic short story by Stephen King, CHILDREN OF THE CORN is a longtime horror favorite that has spawned six sequels and many imitations. See how it all started.
If you somehow don’t own Hellraiser, Hulu has your back. Clive Barker’s feature directorial debut still remains a landmark horror effort, and is also the perfect way to spend your evening getting ready for Halloween—especially if it’s Family Movie Night.
Synopsis: From horror master Clive Barker comes this chilling nightmare featuring the first appearance of the hideous Pinhead.
The Ruins may feel like a “summer movie,” but it’s still one helluva a thrill ride that I enjoy any time of the year. Featuring a great cast and amazing effects (who would have thought flowers could be scary?), if you have ever glossed over The Ruins, now is your chance to finally dig in. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Synopsis: "The Ruins" follows a group of friends who become entangled in a struggle for survival after visiting a remote archaeological dig in the Mexican jungle where they discover something deadly living among the ruins.
The Monster Squad
Since the Blu-ray is tough to come by these days, if you want to catch up with The Monster Squad, Hulu is here to be in the “goddamn club” and won’t let you down. Sure, this might be a kids' movie technically, but the monsters and its message are perfect for kids of any age, including those of us who refuse to grow up.
Synopsis: Young kids form a club that is devoted to monsters, but soon get more than they bargained for when Dracula adjourns to Earth, with Frankenstein's Monster, Wolfman, Mummy, and the Gillman.
10 Cloverfield Lane
I may not have wholly loved the last 10 minutes of 10 Cloverfield Lane, but the preceding 90 or so minutes are undoubtedly a modern masterpiece of tension and terror. Come for Mary Elizabeth Winstead being awesome as usual, and stay for John Goodman’s brilliant performance that’s easily a career best for the seasoned actor who has been endlessly great for decades now.
Synopsis: Monsters come in many forms… 10 Cloverfield Lane from producer J.J. Abrams and director Dan Trachtenberg. Starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
If you’re looking to venture into the bizarrely absurd this Halloween, why not take a trip with Stretch, Chop-Top and Leatherface to the uniquely weird world of Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? It’s what Grandpa would have wanted.
Synopsis: A modest shack in Texas hides a nightmare of ten years earlier and now the unending quest of bloody massacres and torture continues.
The Devil’s Advocate
This one might be a bit more “procedural” than most of the other films you’ll find on this list, but The Devil’s Advocate is still one shockingly effective tale of terror. Al Pacino couldn’t have been more perfectly casted than he is here, and Keanu Reeves makes for the perfect pawn in the devil’s dastardly game. Oh, and Craig T. Nelson is the ultimate creep, too, delivering a bold performance that’s truly unforgettable and showed off an entirely new side to the actor. Yikes.
Synopsis: Keanu Reeves and Oscar-winner Al Pacino star in this sexy thriller about temptation and ambition. Co-starring Charlize Theron, Emmy-winner Craig T. Nelson.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
I can still remember everything from the first time I saw From Dusk Till Dawn with a rowdy crowd on opening night, and maybe that’s why I love this one so damned much. Between George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino playing brothers (because, of course), Harvey Keitel as an ass-kicker for the Lord, Salma Hayek being the goddess that she is, or Howard Berger’s monstrous take on vampires, From Dusk Till Dawn literally has it all, including Tom Savini rocking a badass crotch gun, Danny Trejo as a surly bartender, and Cheech Marin playing multiple roles.
Synopsis: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires, with chaotic results. Starring George Clooney and Harvey Keitel.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
While I may prefer the remake to this original, there’s no denying that The Amityville Horror (1979) is still a solid horror thriller that mostly stands the test of time. James Brolin is terrifying in this—almost as terrifying as his hair—and the scene with the priest still creeps me out today. Also, that sound design is top-notch, and other highlights include Lalo Schifrin’s gorgeous score and Fred J. Koenekamp’s ambitious cinematography.
Synopsis: Supposed true story about George and Kathleen Lutz whose dream house turns into a nightmare. James Brolin and Margot Kidder are the unsuspecting new tenants of a house whose previous occupants had been murdered in their sleep.
Let the Right One In
I’ve regularly wondered for the last few years just why we don’t get more Tomas Alfredson films, but as I write this, The Snowman is set to hit theaters in a week, so that’s pretty cool. I fell in love with Let the Right One In at Screamfest 2008, and it’s a film that I revisit at least once a year. It's so beautifully haunting and the kind of horror experience that sticks with you long after it’s over. If you’ve never watched Let the Right One In, Hulu’s a good way to play catch up.
Synopsis: Lonely, 12-year-old Oskar is regularly bullied by his stronger classmates. A new friendship develops when Eli, a pale, serious young girl who only comes out at night, moves in next door.
Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000
I’m sure that I’m like one of five people who enjoy Dracula 2000 un-ironically, but if you give this underrated gem a re-watch, you might find it to be a lot more fun than you remember. I’ve been a big fan of the Dracula character ever since I was a small girl, so I enjoyed that Dracula 2000 takes some liberties with the mythology.
Synopsis: When a team of tech-savvy thieves breaks into a high-security vault, they find a crypt that hasn't been opened for 100 years. Suddenly, the ancient terror of Dracula is unleashed in the chaotic 21st century.
The Collector (2009)
Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have given modern horror fans many gifts over the years, and The Collector is no exception. While I may prefer its brilliant follow-up, The Collection, there’s no denying that The Collector lays a solid foundation of fear, and is a film that has really grown on me over the last few years.
Synopsis: Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer's country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps.
What Lies Beneath
This may be more psychological thriller than horror, but I revisited this one last year and was surprised at just how well it holds up. The script is aces and both Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer are dynamic against one another. If you ever deemed this one a Fatal Attraction rip-off, now’s the time to give it a re-watch, because you may be pleasantly surprised to how great this film truly is. I know I was.
Synopsis: The wife of a professor investigates the murder of a beautiful college student who has been appearing to her.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
I miss this Tim Burton so much. Sleepy Hollow is a film that I put on several times each October (it might be my favorite Burton movie next to Edward Scissorhands), as it sets a perfect tone for our favorite season. Also, I miss this Johnny Depp, too—his Ichabod Crane is so perfect, and Christina Ricci is just lovely as well. A perfect mix of accessible horror that’s also still dark enough for those of us who aren’t satiated by “safe” genre fare, Sleepy Hollow is a bonafide Halloween classic. Bonus points for Christopher Walken, too.
Synopsis: Johnny Depp is Ichabod Crane, an investigator determined to stop the murderous Headless Horseman.
The Blob (1988)
When you’re talking about the best remakes of all time, Chuck Russell’s The Blob deserves to always be in that conversation. It’s the perfect monster movie to get you primed for the Halloween season, and the film’s special effects remain a landmark moment for the industry. If you’ve slept on this version of The Blob, now’s the time to wake up and get this one in your eyeholes just as soon as you possibly can.
Synopsis: A malignant, gelatinous life form takes over a small town in this visually gut-wrenching thriller.
From director David Nutter (who cut his teeth on The X-Files), Disturbing Behavior is another late ’90s gem that feels like it was plucked right out of the world of Mulder and Scully. An intriguing conspiracy plot with Stepford Wives meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers-esque vibes, all wrapped up in a shiny high school story, Disturbing Behavior is a perfect movie for October.
Synopsis: The new kid in town stumbles across something sinister about the town's method of transforming its unruly teens into upstanding citizens.
Stan Winston gave us so many memorable creatures over the years, but his Pumpkinhead remains a personal favorite of mine, simply because Winston was also at the directorial helm here, and because his tale of revenge feels so deeply personal. Lance Henriksen is a force of nature in Pumpkinhead, and the film’s titular creature is still one of the most impressive monstrosities in modern special effects.
Synopsis: A father (Lance Henriksen) invokes the demon Pumpkinhead to avenge his son's death at the hands of big-city bikers in this horror classic filled with the essence of evil.
I finally decided to revisit the original Puppet Master two years ago for the first time since I was a kid, and I was incredibly surprised at how well the film held up. In fact, I think I enjoyed it even more so now, if only because Puppet Master has this unique charm to it that makes it such a standout against other genre films that were coming out in 1989, and it really does feel like something special. Besides, who doesn’t love killer puppets?
Synopsis: Alex Whittaker and three other gifted psychics are investigating rumors that the secret of life has been discovered by master puppeteer Andre Toulon. The psychics quickly discover Toulon's secret of death in the form of five killer puppets.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
As mentioned above with The Blob, when you’re talking about the best genre remakes of all time, Invasion ’78 is yet another film that should always be in the conversation. It features my favorite Donald Sutherland performance, a young Jeff Goldblum, Alien’s Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy in his best role that isn’t related to Star Trek. Absolute perfection.
Synopsis: In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.
The Silence of the Lambs
Again, this one is a bit more on the procedural side (much like The Devil’s Advocate), but dear God, does Silence of the Lambs still crawl right under my skin even after 26 years. I’m sure I don’t need to talk up the merits of Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, or Buffalo Bill, but if you’ve somehow missed this one over the years, you need to right that wrong immediately—or you may just get the hose again.
Synopsis: An FBI trainee is assigned by her superior to interview an imprisoned, cannibalistic psychopath, Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter, in the hope that he may help uncover the identity of an elusive serial killer.
Part road movie/part body horror film/part monster movie, Toby Wilkins’ Splinter is a truly underrated excursion in modern terror. If you happened to miss out on it back in 2008, I cannot recommend Splinter enough. Wilkins does a great job of melding together several sub-genres, and it features strong performances from Shea Wigham and Jill Wagner.
Synopsis: A young couple and an escaped convict find themselves working together to survive and escape from a vicious parasitic monster that transforms people into bloodthirsty hosts.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
I will take any and all opportunities to sing the praises of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and this list will be no different. A pitch-perfect horror comedy that subverts expectations at every turn, Tucker & Dale is one of those movies I put on whenever I need a bit of a boost, as its infectious affection for the genre is so damn enjoyable, and I wish we had gotten a sequel, if only to get one more opportunity to hang out with Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine’s lovable characters.
Synopsis: Tucker and Dale, two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
While I’m keenly aware that it’s my nostalgia for the Halloween series that blinds me to some of H20’s issues, I cannot help but get a big, goofy grin on my face whenever I see Jamie Lee Curtis battling Michael Myers—and H20 delivers up just that. Besides, LL Cool J makes anything he’s in endlessly watchable, so I’m always on board for Ronny and his sultry prose, even if he’s like the worst security guard ever.
Synopsis: Michael Myers returns to terrorize his sister Laurie at the Northern California private school where she now lives under a new identity with her son.
When it comes to feature directorial debuts, writer/director Joe Begos came out of the gate swinging with his first feature, Almost Human. A horror/sci-fi mash-up that features some of the most insane effects we’ve seen in the last five years—as well as one of the most cringe-inducing moments in modern horror—Almost Human is impressive on so many levels. When it comes to low-budget, high-ambition indie genre fare, Almost Human is a prime example of why you don’t need a huge budget to make an effective horror movie, especially when you have a director who isn’t afraid to go for broke.
Synopsis: A small town in New England becomes a raging inferno of axe murders and alien abduction in this lean, mean and terrifying horror film.
In case you missed it, check here to read our other special features that celebrate the Halloween season!