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Peacock has a well-stocked library of creepy, scary, and darkly entertaining movies, some of which are available to stream for free. Here are the best Halloween movies to stream on Peacock.

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The Birds

After watching Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds, you’ll never look at nature the same way again. The terror in this movie comes from the inexplicable, as seemingly placid, benevolent birds suddenly turn violent, attacking humans at random. The quiet seaside community of Bodega Bay, California, is beset by these birds, while lawyer Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) attempts to woo socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren).

The birds could be a metaphor for mental illness or societal collapse, but they’re scary enough simply as unpredictable, unknowable animals that abruptly turn deadly.

The Black Phone

Two modern horror masters team up as director Scott Derrickson adapts a short story by author Joe Hill in The Black Phone. The 1970s-set film combines coming-of-age drama with suburban horror.

Ethan Hawke makes for an imposing villain as the masked kidnapper known as the Grabber, who abducts young Finney Blake (Mason Thames) and keeps him in a dingy basement. That’s where Mason discovers the title object, which allows him to communicate with the spirits of the Grabber’s previous victims, who help him plot his escape.

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Bride of Chucky

The turning point in the long-running Child’s Play horror series, Bride of Chucky takes killer doll Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) in a more comedic direction while retaining his murderous edge. Jennifer Tilly joins the franchise as Tiffany, who’s soon also transformed into a doll and joins her lover on a killing spree. Chucky and Tiffany make for perfect Halloween couples’ costumes, and Dourif and Tilly have great chemistry as the homicidal toys.

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Bride of Frankenstein

James Whale’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a universally acknowledged horror classic, but his sequel Bride of Frankenstein is a stranger, more distinctive creation. It opens with Shelley herself, played by Elsa Lanchester, recounting her frightening story of Frankenstein, although it differs significantly from the actual novel.

Here, Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is persuaded to create a mate (also played by Lanchester) for his reanimated monster (Boris Karloff). Shelley tells her tale to a rapt audience on a rainy night, framing a movie that explores mysticism as much as science.

Day of the Dead

The third movie in director George A. Romero’s original Living Dead trilogy, Day of the Dead is another combination of zombie horror and social satire. It takes place mostly in a military facility where scientists attempt to find solutions for the zombie pandemic, and of course, things go terribly awry. Romero portrays the overwhelming terror of a zombie apocalypse alongside the bureaucratic infighting of government officials, for a doubly bleak look at humanity.

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Halloween II

Although it was later overtaken by a reboot series that brought back original star Jamie Lee Curtis, Rob Zombie’s remake duology of horror classic Halloween delivers an impressive artistic vision. That’s especially true in Zombie’s Halloween II, which frees him from the constraints of retelling the original movie’s story and allows him to create a surreal meditation on survivor’s guilt.

Scout Taylor-Compton is excellent as Laurie Strode, who’s both literally and metaphorically pursued by the presence of killer Michael Myers. It’s the best movie ever made about what it means to be a horror-movie final girl.

The People Under the Stairs

Genre legend Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs is a darkly comic horror movie that takes on issues of class, race, and gentrification while switching up the home-invasion format. Here, it’s the invaders who get more than they bargained for when a group of thieves break into the house of a wealthy, sadistic couple. These twisted landlords who call themselves Mommy and Daddy are hiding a basement full of feral kidnapped children. It’s an unhinged, bizarre, and morbidly funny story about the grotesque corruptions of power.

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Shaun of the Dead

Walk down the street on Halloween, and you’re likely to see plenty of zombies and think nothing of it. That’s what initially happens to the title character (Simon Pegg) in Edgar Wright’s horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, as the plague of the undead begins to take hold. Pegg and Nick Frost play a pair of aimless best friends who find new purpose when forced to battle hordes of zombies. Wright smartly parodies the conventions of zombie movies while also offering effective scares and heartfelt emotions.

Slither

Before he started directing big-budget superhero movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, James Gunn made small-scale horror movies like Slither. A glorious gross-out comedy, Slither takes place in a small town where an alien parasite infects a local tycoon and quickly spreads to nearly every resident. Gunn brings the gonzo, anything-goes spirit of his early days with Troma Entertainment to a slightly larger production. Slither is full of nasty aliens and nasty people, both depicted with the same sardonic humor.

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The Thing

John Carpenter’s remake of 1950s creature feature The Thing has far eclipsed the original in popular culture, and for good reason. Carpenter masterfully ratchets up the paranoia at a remote Antarctic base, where a deadly alien has been unearthed from beneath the ice.

This shape-shifting creature can take the form of any living thing, which causes the base’s inhabitants to turn on each other, unable to trust that anyone is who they say they are. Kurt Russell plays the no-nonsense pilot who must devise a way to defeat the creature, which is depicted via gloriously hideous special effects.

The Best Streaming Devices of 2022

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Profile Photo for Josh Bell Josh Bell
Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and the former TV comedies guide for About.com. He has written about movies and pop culture for Syfy Wire, Polygon, CBR, Film Racket, Uproxx and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.
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