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, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.
Here, you'll find the Stuff team's pick of Now TV'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:
The Witches (1990)
If you’re willing to part with £20ish, there’s a brand new movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches available to stream, but judging by its trailer we’d advise you to stick with the first one, a fantastic horror fable that’ll delight kids – and scare them just the right amount.
Directed by Nicolas Roeg and produced by Jim Henson, it’s a creepy tale of a worldwide network of demonic harridans, who find their efforts to rid the planet of children hampered by a resourceful orphan and his tough cookie grandmother.
The Invisible Man (2020)
This timely reworking of H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi tale stars Elizabeth Moss as a woman who believes she’s being stalked by her abusive, controlling ex-boyfriend – a tech entrepreneur who claims to have invented a way to make himself invisible. With friends dismissing her experiences as trauma-triggered delusions, she must face down her imperceptible tormentor alone. A perfect psychological thriller for Halloween viewing, we say.
The Dead Don’t Die
Jim Jarmusch’s take on the zombie apocalypse is more Night on Earth than Night of the Living Dead. As you’d expect from the veteran indie auteur, this undead uprising is spiced with quirky, fourth wall-breaking dialogue, a large cast of recognisable faces (including Jarmusch favourites like Bill Murray, RZA, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits) and a plotline that gently meanders along its own wide furrow, seemingly unconcerned with generating tension, pace or dread.
If you’re looking for a standard horror film, this ain’t it – but The Dead Don’t Die might well tickle the funny bones of movie geeks with a taste for postmodernism.
Ready or Not
This riotous horror comedy stars Samara Weaving as a bride, freshly inducted into the wealthy clan of her new spouse. When she’s cajoled into partaking in the family’s traditional wedding night ritual, however, things take a turn for the bizarre and brutal – and suddenly she’s running around their palatial mansion in a deadly game of hide and seek.
Bristling with subversive humour, tension and gory violence, this is one of the more light-hearted horror flicks of recent years. Its talented cast, acerbic script and crowd-pleasing action add up to a winning combination.
A solid psychological horror story with a strong cast, Ma stars Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as a lonely middle-aged veterinary assistant who befriends a group of high-school kids by allowing them to drink and party in her basement – just as long as they stay out of the house upstairs. As time goes on, the teenagers sense that all is not what it seems with their host. Is Ma simply starved for company, or is there a more sinister agenda hiding behind her generosity?
It: Chapter Two
The second (and presumably final) instalment in Andy Muschietti’s It series completes the adaptation of Stephen King’s classic chiller. Now grown up and, bar one, having all moved away from Derry, the Losers must reunite when fear-fuelled demonic entity Pennywise returns to their hometown to reboot its reign of terror.
While Chapter Two doesn’t quite hit the horrifying heights of the first film, its scary sequences are finely crafted, while the group dynamic between the now-adult group of friends keeps the human element strong. That being said, at well over two hours it does become something of a slog towards the end, and the bloat doesn’t do its scariness any favours.
When her father stops answering his phone, a young swimmer must brave an imminent hurricane’s landfall to investigate. What she find at her childhood home isn’t just dad, but rising flood waters and a scaly menace in the form of a family of hungry alligators.
Director Alexandre Aja has long been a dab hand at cranking up the tension, and this fast-moving mix of disaster movie and creature feature is enjoyably fraught – and extremely wet. Kaya Scodelario impresses in a physically demanding lead role, while the CGI gators look real enough to be menacing.
One of the few 90s horror movies that isn’t postmodern, teen-based or both, Candyman (loosely based on Clive Barker’s novel of the same name) is something of an elevated slasher flick, examining both class and racism while delivering plenty of frights.
Tony Todd is unnerving as the hook-handed title character, a mythical boogieman who’ll reportedly appear if you utter his name five times. When a college research student becomes fascinated with this urban legend, she discovers that some folk tales are best left unquestioned.
In a world of Saws, Hostels and Human Centipedes, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds might seem awfully quaint. What’s scary about a flock of crows hanging out in a playground? Hasn’t anyone who’s ever eaten a chip by the seaside received some unwelcome attention from a seagull? It’s exactly this supposed lack of menace that the master of suspense turns into a threat, cleverly eschewing music to instil an unsettling sense of dread.
Eli Roth’s film positively wallows in its nastiness. Part of an early noughties wave of provocative mainstream shockers, it’s a grim escalation of the classic horror setup: a bunch of travellers discover that foreign hospitality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Jay Hernandez and pals are young American backpackers experiencing all Europe has to offer – including a visit to a (we suspect zero star) murder hostel where the guests part with vast sums to torture and butcher hapless tourists.
Hostel is executive produced by Roth’s buddy Quentin Tarantino, but don’t expect any postmodern twists on the horror genre here: this is a big slice of bleakness, and all the more effective for it.
The Exorcist (1973)
Often called the best horror film of all time (and according to critic Mark Kermode, the best film full stop), The Exorcist’s lurid depiction of a young girl’s demonic possession made it an instant cult classic upon its 1974 release. In fact, when it came to UK home video in the 1980s, the BBFC considered it too graphic for even an 18 certificate. It’s a decision that’ll seem bizarre to modern audiences – today its content comes across as tame compared even to 15-rated horror films.
That’s not to say The Exorcist is lacking in scares – it’s a deliciously unsettling movie with a fantastic cast, brilliantly directed by William Friedkin and rich in occult atmosphere. If you’ve yet to experience the events surrounding Regan McNeil’s possession, we suggest you add this to your watchlist post-haste. And save it for a dark, quiet night, of course.