It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
For horror fans, that is. And if you need help deciding which horror classics to watch tonight, look no further. Below are four great horror films that you can watch for free online right now! Check it out and tell us your favorite horror suggestions below!
A young organist is involved in a car crash that kills several others and in an effort to move on, accepts a job at a new church. She travels to Utah, passing an abandoned carnival pavilion on the way there. Along the ride, she encounters ghoulish figures that seem to be following her and she experiences strange, dream-like trances in which the entire world seems to drift away. But no one else is experiencing this. Is it all in her mind? Is she still dealing with survivor’s guilt? The ghosts of those left behind in the car ride? Or something more sinister?
The overwhelming sense of unease and foreboding is what provides the scares and the sight of an abandoned carnival filled with dancing, smiling ghouls is genuinely terrifying. If you’re at all interesting in the history of film, Carnival of Souls is worth checking out because of its obvious influence on later films and directors, such as David Lynch.
Trigger warnings: car crash, discussions of mental health issues, and a guy who has clear boundary issues
The 1980s perfected the splatstick horror comedy subgenre and while Evil Dead I and II tend to get the most focus, Re-Animator is my personal favorite and deserves to be better known.
Based loosely on an extremely racist short story by H.P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator is a contemporary look at the Frankenstein-like mad scientist: Herbert West is a medical student who is interested in one focus of study, death. Determined to find a way to destroy death, West creates a re-animation agent and drags his unwitting and genuinely intriguing roommate, Dan, into his dark deeds.
The movie is complete with silly gore, a talking head in a tray, lots of blood, and a re-animated corpse that performs oral sex on a woman, among other over-the-top and funny horror moments. It also features an awesome performance by Jeffrey Combs who plays one of my main movie crushes: Dr. Herbert West, a slight, manic, and overly confident scientist. Covered in blood but always with his tie on and shirt tucked in, he’s one of the best mad scientists Hollywood has given us. I kind of love him.
Trigger warnings: lots of gore and blood, sex scenes, dubious consent, nudity, some foul language, and a dead cat
Do you have one of those personal favorite films that you’re just always in the mood to watch? The original House on Haunted Hill is one of my mine. Halloween is just not the same without it or without the suave, charming, and vaguely sinister voice of the late, great Vincent Price. If you only know him as the inventor in Edward Scissorhands, then this is your chance to see him at his prime and doing what he does best: delighting in scaring the wits out of a group of unsuspecting people and smirking while he does it.
The plot is familiar: an eccentric millionaire invites five strangers to a mysterious mansion and declares that they will walk away the next morning $10,000 richer… if they survive the night.
Is the house haunted? Are those mysterious accidents featuring falling chandeliers and old blood stains that somehow still drip just accidents? Or is there something much more sinister at play?
Be warned: House on Haunted Hill features one of the most surprising, jump-out-of-your-seats scares in all of cinema history. As a lifelong horror aficionado, I still have to close my eyes at that moment but I wouldn’t dare spoil it for you. Just enjoy Vincent Price’s juiciest role and getting spooked by a thoroughly creepy, campy film.
Trigger warnings: black and white blood and a murderous husband and wife team
If your Halloween isn’t complete with a good old-fashioned slasher pic, you can’t do much better than the third entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, the best of the sequels. At 15, I went through a weird Freddy Krueger-obsessed phase (and yes, I read fanfiction staring him; I regret nothing) and devoured these movies and even though I love the first one, there is something joyous and exciting about this one.
Featuring the return of the underrated Heather Langenkamp (Nancy), the Final Girl from the original film, and a group of teenaged survivors from Freddy Krueger’s attempts to kill them, this sequel is focused on survival. Like Nancy in the first film, the titular Dream Warriors decide to take matters into their own hands and take control over their dreams in an effort to fight back against Freddy.
Along with solid 1980s fashion, camp, and music, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 also has some of the best on-screen deaths in slasher history. The famous “puppet” death is without a doubt a memorable and genuinely disturbing scene and one that has yet to be topped.
Of course, with the many sequels that followed this movie, it’s clear that Freddy is not permanently defeated but nonetheless, it’s a fun and suspenseful ride.
Trigger warnings: blood, gore, issues of mental health, and some foul language
Happy Halloween everyone!
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