Call it Halloween or Huluween, but either way, spooky season has plenty to offer on Hulu. From horror movies to psychological dramas to morbid comedies, here are the best Halloween movies to watch on Hulu this year.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Sixth Sense
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Just like dressing up for Halloween, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is all about the act of becoming someone else. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis play rival ballet dancers, both vying for the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Portman’s Nina may be losing her grip on reality, and Kunis’ Lily may just be a figment of Nina’s imagination, or they may be the same person. As the psychodrama progresses, the characters — and their Swan Lake characters — overlap in sensual and violent ways, leading to a beautifully dark climax.
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became such a blockbuster juggernaut, movies based on Marvel Comics characters like Blade existed in their own little worlds. That may seem strange to modern superhero audiences, but it gives director Stephen Norrington and star Wesley Snipes the chance to make super-powered vampire hunter Blade stand on his own.
Blade is darker and more violent than recent superhero movies, with a mix of action and horror as the title character goes after the vampire warlord (Stephen Dorff) who wants to conquer humanity.
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After years of terrible low-budget sequels, the long-running Hellraiser franchise returned to prominence with this 2022 reboot, courtesy of director David Bruckner. The filmmakers tell a new story featuring a recovering addict finding the cursed puzzle box and summoning the demonic Cenobites, rather than attempting a direct remake of Clive Barker’s twisted original vision.
Jamie Clayton takes over as Pinhead, the lead Cenobite, and the hellspawn all receive gorgeous new designs that are wonderfully grotesque.
The title location of Monster House is exactly the kind of place that kids usually avoid while trick-or-treating on Halloween. But the main characters in this computer-animated movie head there deliberately, to investigate the strange happenings at a local house that is said to be haunted.
The house itself comes to life as the trio of kids attempt to discover its secrets, devouring anyone who dares come inside. Monster House delivers a thrill ride combined with a coming-of-age story that can provide a perfect kid-friendly introduction to spooky cinema for younger viewers.
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Director Guillermo del Toro brings a haunted sensibility to his remake of 1940s noir film Nightmare Alley. The first half takes place at a traveling carnival and sideshow, full of freaks and outcasts, where con artist Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) perfects his spiritualism act. Carlisle then moves to the city, where he becomes a sensation for his supposed supernatural abilities, but is brought down by a devious psychologist (Cate Blanchett).
Del Toro creates sumptuous, immersive worlds in both halves, using lavish costume and set design to make them into surreal versions of their real-life counterparts.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Okay, so watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show at home by yourself isn’t quite the same as experiencing the cult musical in its renowned audience-participation live context. But if you invite some friends over, you can still engage in some of the silly rituals that made this movie into a pop-culture phenomenon. Or you can just enjoy the campy story of an unsuspecting couple (played by Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) lured into a madman’s castle, and find yourself humming the catchy songs the next day.
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The Sixth Sense
Even if you already know the famous twist, M. Night Shyamalan’s breakthrough film The Sixth Sense is still a fascinating watch. It’s impeccably constructed, so that the twist seems completely obvious in retrospect, and viewers can appreciate the build-up once they know the truth.
It’s wonderfully acted by Bruce Willis as a sensitive child psychologist and Haley Joel Osment as the troubled kid he’s treating, who “sees dead people.” Put it on at a Halloween party, and soon everyone will stop mingling and end up enthralled with the movie instead.
The long-running found-footage horror anthology series launched with 2012’s V/H/S, featuring segments from future horror luminaries including Ti West, Adam Wingard, and David Bruckner. The first movie sets the template for four more to follow, featuring horror shorts created to resemble footage from old videotapes, as if they’ve been unearthed from a hidden underground cache. Within that concept, the films are playful and scary, clever and gory, with something for every kind of horror fan.
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Keith Thomas’ The Vigil follows a familiar horror-movie template, with its main character stuck in a creepy old house overnight, keeping watch over a recently deceased man. What sets the movie apart is its unique context, in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Yakov (Dave Davis) has left the community but agrees to stand in when no relatives are available for the late Holocaust survivor’s vigil. Over the course of the night, Yakov struggles with his faith, while also struggling with a literal demon that the man’s death has set free.
Nicolas Cage is known for his over-the-top performances, but in Willy’s Wonderland, he doesn’t say a word. He plays a nameless drifter whose car breaks down in a remote small town. In order to get the car fixed, he takes a job cleaning up an abandoned arcade full of Chuck E. Cheese-style animatronic puppets.
Locked in the arcade overnight, Cage’s character must face off against these cuddly characters as they come to life, possessed by a demonic force. It’s a gruesome, goofy match-up between the mute Cage and the colorful yet deadly characters.
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