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 creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and altogether ooky family created by Charles Addams gets a modern update in 2019’s animated The Addams Family. Slightly less macabre than previous Addams Family incarnations, this version stars Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron as the voices of Gomez and Morticia Addams, who move their oddball family to a seemingly squeaky clean planned community where they aren’t welcome. The Addamses prove that they’re good people under their dark exterior, rooting out the town’s real villain in the process.
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.
A dreamlike fable about a shy misfit, Edward Scissorhands is filmmaker Tim Burton’s most personal and distinctive work. Johnny Depp plays the title character, who was created by a brilliant scientist (played by Vincent Price in his final role) but left with scissors in place of real hands. Edward makes a home for himself in an idyllic suburb, only to find his peaceful life shattered by jealousy and ignorance. Burton’s signature mix of dark imagery with precious beauty is perfect for this tragic, haunting romance.
Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira is the unofficial queen of Halloween, an instantly recognizable snarky character known for hosting horror movie showcases. Elvira’s own first movie, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, is a fun, good-natured comedy about the morbid but friendly Elvira inheriting a giant old house in a town full of disapproving scolds. Of course, Elvira eventually wins over the town residents with her sexiness and her love of schlocky horror, while also stopping an evil warlock from taking over the world.
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.
Not to be confused with the recent feature-film duology adapting the classic horror novel, Stephen King’s It is a two-part TV movie from 1990, which first tackled King’s magnum opus. Tim Curry creates an iconic horror villain in Pennywise the clown, the embodiment of an ancient evil entity in the town of Derry, Maine. That entity faces off against a group of kids in the 1960s, and again nearly 30 years later when the friends are adults. Even within network-TV constraints, this version of It is both nightmarish and emotionally satisfying.
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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.
Of course there’s a big plot twist in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, but the movie is about more than just putting one over on the audience. Shyamalan creates an atmosphere of sustained dread in the vaguely sinister Pennsylvania village, led by stern elders. The elders keep residents in line by warning them of dangerous creatures living in the surrounding woods, but the real danger is something else entirely. Shyamalan sensitively explores themes of grief and isolation while delivering an intriguing if far-fetched mystery.
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.
A home invasion thriller with clever twists and turns, Adam Wingard’s You’re Next depicts a rich, entitled family marked for slaughter by a group of animal-masked attackers. Wingard and writer Simon Barrett combine slasher-movie plot elements with dysfunctional family dark comedy, as the characters spend as much time arguing with each other as they do trying to avoid getting killed. It’s fast-paced, bloody, and fun, with memorable characters to root for and/or against, possibly at the same time.
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