With the power of Paramount’s film library, Paramount+ is full of movies from a variety of genres, including plenty of spooky and scary options for Halloween. Here are the best Halloween movies to stream on Paramount+.
The creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and altogether ooky family was introduced to a whole new audience with this 1991 film. Based on the 1960s TV series (which in turn was based on Charles Addams’ comic strip), The Addams Family stars Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston as Gomez and Morticia Addams, the morbid but loving parents of children Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman). They reunite with the long-lost Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) in director Barry Sonnenfeld’s darkly comedic tale, combining gothic imagery with sharp satire and slapstick.
Found footage movies as we know them wouldn’t exist without The Blair Witch Project, which would mean a lot less material for Halloween movie marathons. Although it inspired a lot of terrible imitators, The Blair Witch Project itself is still an impressively realistic depiction of a documentary project gone wrong, as a trio of student filmmakers head into the woods to make a movie about the local legend of a supposed witch.
They grow increasingly scared and desperate as they encounter strange symbols and become hopelessly lost, documenting every moment of their mental unraveling.
Before it became a hit stage musical and then a hit movie musical, The Little Shop of Horrors was a low-budget horror-comedy from exploitation legend Roger Corman. Working within his typical budgetary constraints, Corman shot the movie in two days on sets left over from a previous production, and that gives it a loose, anything-goes feel.
The story is a goofy mix of parody and horror, about a meek flower-shop worker named Seymour who inadvertently grows a bloodthirsty plant that demands to be fed human victims.
Filmmaker George A. Romero pretty much invented the modern zombie genre with Night of the Living Dead. The movie’s depiction of an apocalypse brought on by slow-moving reanimated corpses has been copied hundreds of times, but the original still carries a visceral impact. The black-and-white cinematography and claustrophobic setting combine for an eerie, unsettling experience, as the characters are trapped inside an isolated farmhouse for most of the running time, while zombies swarm outside.
The concept of A Quiet Place is simple but extraordinarily effective: Earth has been invaded by deadly alien creatures with hypersensitive hearing but no ability to see. Director, co-writer, and star John Krasinski focuses on one family’s efforts to survive in the aftermath of the invasion. The movie makes inventive use of sound design to tell its story, with minimal dialogue and a spotlight on the family’s deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds). It’s perfect viewing for a quiet Halloween night.
Director Gore Verbinski does more than just offer up a rote remake of a popular Japanese horror movie with his version of The Ring. Verbinksi’s film is icy and stylish in its Pacific Northwest setting, with a captivating lead performance from Naomi Watts. Like the Japanese film, this version is about a cursed videotape that causes the death of anyone who watches it within seven days. The filmmakers bring in serious themes about the anxieties of parenthood while also delivering scares from one of horror’s iconic villains, the stringy-haired girl Samara.
The title character of Rose Glass’ Saint Maud seems like a lovely person at first, but you probably wouldn’t want to invite her into your home. That’s the mistake that a reclusive, terminally ill author (Jennifer Ehle) makes when she hires Maud (Morfydd Clark) as her home healthcare nurse. The devoutly religious Maud believes that she receives messages directly from God, and her version of God is jealous and judgmental. Maud herself is equally terrifying and traumatized, a horror villain and victim at the same time.
Horror master Wes Craven masterfully deconstructs horror-movie traditions while making a great horror movie in Scream. Teenagers in the placid California town of Woodsboro are being stalked by a masked killer, who seems to operate by the rules of horror movies.
The cast is full of 1990s teen stars, including Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, and Rose McGowan, and Craven and writer Kevin Williamson balance witty dialogue with serious suspense. Scream launched a remarkably consistent franchise, but this innovative first entry is still the best.
B-movie legend Roger Corman’s The Terror is a psychedelic freakout that doesn’t make much sense but would look great playing in the background of a groovy Halloween party. Emulating his successful Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, Corman conceived a movie with Poe-like elements, starring horror icon Boris Karloff as a mysterious baron and Jack Nicholson as a young soldier who arrives at his castle.
The vivid colors, lush score, creepy atmosphere, and Karloff’s surprisingly committed performance more than make up for the disjointed narrative.
What’s more frightening than the unknown? That’s the scariest thing about Zodiac, David Fincher’s meticulously detailed drama about the inconclusive hunt for the real-life Zodiac Killer, who murdered at least five people in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s and ’70s.
Fincher methodically builds tension via the investigations by a detective played by Mark Ruffalo and journalists played by Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal. Supernatural dangers are scary to ponder, but real horror comes from wondering if evil is right there in your midst.
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