It's nearly Halloween, where our thoughts turn to the macabre: ghosts, ghouls, things that go bump in the night and things that might be lurking under the bed.
And what better way to indulge your taste for the pants-fillingly frightening than to dim the lights, curl up on the couch and watch a horror film? Thankfully, the days of having to venture out to the video shop or cross your fingers that something suitable is on are over - there's a horrifying wealth of scary movies available at your fingertips on streaming services like Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime Video.
Here, you'll find the Stuff team's pick of Amazon Prime's horror movie selection. There's sure to be something in here that'll put the willies up you.
Searching for scares on a different streaming service? We've got you covered:
It might adhere to one of the main horror movie rules outlined in Scream – having sex more often than not ends in your grisly demise – but It Follows is anything but formulaic. Its curse stalks victims slowly but incessantly, disguised as a normal passerby, family member or friend, and that gives It Follows an almost constant sense of helpless dread which doesn’t let up until the credits roll.
Young Regan MacNeil is acting strangely – talking to imaginary friends, stealing, predicting the death of party guests, shaking the bed to pieces… wait, what? Time to call in the exorcists.
Director William Friedkin previously shot The French Connection, and he brings some of that film’s documentary quality to this supernatural chiller. His methods included slapping reactions out of his cast and filming scenes on a set built inside a freezer so that the actors’ breath showed up on camera.
That authentic touch results in an eerily plausible tale of demonic possession. Friedkin crafts a humdrum domestic setting that makes the intrusion of the powers of darkness seem all the more jarring. By the time Regan’s head is spinning around on her shoulders, you’ve completely bought into the film’s world – one in which the fate of a child’s soul rests on the faith of a priest.
Frank Darabont has a history of successfully adapting Stephen King stories – see The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption if you want proof – but with The Mist he took a major departure from the horror master’s original by totally changing the ending. And it works – King actually found it an improvement.
The film stars Thomas Jane as a family man trapped in a supermarket during a spot of meteorological mayhem that makes Hurricane Sandy look like a spot of drizzle: rather than a few hailstones, this storm is spewing out killer monsters left, right and centre. If it sounds silly, it could have been – but Darabont’s changes make this one of the darkest, most sinister monster movies around, with an ending you’ll find hard to shake off.
Proof that Aussie cinema is about more than Mick Dundee, Wolf Creek introduces a character who’s easily as memorable and far nastier than the knife-wielding, globe-trotting bushman.
John Jarratt plays another Mick, who offers to help a trio of teens after car trouble causes them to become stranded in the national park that gives the film its name. Sounds like a predictable, clichéd horror movie, right? It would be if Mick Taylor wasn’t so terrifyingly deranged and it hadn’t been shot with such rare beauty for a film that descends into such horrific depravity. Not for the faint hearted.
Interview with the Vampire
This movie made a child star out of Kirsten Dunst and further established Brad Pitt as a true Hollywood A-lister, but it’s Tom Cruise, playing against type as ruthless, decadent vampire Lestat, who steals the show.
Based on the novel of the same name by Anne Rice, it’s fair to say that it did a lot to establish the “sexy, angst-ridden vampire” trope that has become a staple of film and TV since – there’d be no Twilight or True Blood without Interview with the Vampire. But this isn't just some romanticised depiction on the conflicted, beautiful children of the night, and it doesn’t shy away from violence and horror at points.
I Am Legend
You know it’s a bad day in the office when you’re close to curing cancer but end up wiping out the majority of humanity instead. That day becomes a quite literal nightmare when a number of those who survive actually mutate into nocturnal monsters.
Luckily, Will Smith is among the 1% of the world’s population that survived without being turned into a mutant. Unluckily, Will Smith is all alone in a post-apocalyptic New York. Alone, that is, except for the horde of hostile mutants. Cue an extremely tense, occasionally terrifying film with the kind of solo performance that will make you forget all about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.