“You know, it’s Halloween. I guess everyone’s entitled to one good scare,” Sheriff Brackett tells Laurie in 1978’s Halloween, and he’s not wrong.
It’s the spookiest time of the year, and this week’s streaming picks aim to deliver the chills. These five horror movies build an unsettling atmosphere and demonstrate an uncanny ability to craft innovative scares that might leave you breathless.
Here’s where to stream them this week.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe – AMC+, Shudder
André Øvredal goes full throttle for the scares in this quiet little chiller that sees a father and son coroner team stumped over the bizarre mysteries contained within the body of an unidentified young woman. Well executed scares, clever twists, and earnest performances by Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch gives this supernatural haunter serious heft. While the narrative bides its time unveiling the truth behind Jane Doe’s battered body, it’s heavily steeped in witchcraft. In other words, The Autopsy of Jane Doe presents a new take on the subgenre. More importantly, it’s seriously spooky.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum – Shudder, Tubi, Vudu
Amateur ghosthunters in over their heads is a plot description that could apply to many found footage movies, let alone horror in general. If you’re going this route, you’d better find an innovative way to set it apart from the rest, or at least ensure the scares are plenty. Gonjiam nails it. In this Korean film, a horror web show crew plans a live stream event in one of the country’s most infamous abandoned hospitals. The host has rigged fake scares to spook his team for the sake of ratings, but they prove unnecessary thanks to the sinister forces haunting the place. While this movie doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it makes up for that with unrelenting terror. Turn the lights down low and prepare to get creeped out.
[REC] – AMC+, Crackle, Plex, Roku
The idea behind 2007’s [REC] was born from Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s desire not just to make a scary horror movie but to make the audience an active participant in the fear unfolding on screen. The film follows reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo, played by unseen actor Pablo Rosso, as they cover the night shift of a local fire station for their television series “While You’re Sleeping.” It begins as a quiet evening but spirals into abject terror when they become trapped in quarantine with a deadly outbreak. [REC] gives the subgenre a new, bone-chilling twist, making for a non-stop horror assault that puts the viewer right in the thick of the terror.
Shutter – Kanopy, Vudu
Photographer Tun (Ananda Everingham) and his girlfriend Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) are a happy couple in love. That changes when they open up the doors to supernatural torment when a distracted Jane accidentally runs a woman over while driving home from a friend’s wedding. Tun, who’d been drinking, convinces Jane to flee, leaving the woman alone in the middle of the road. Subsequently, strange images begin showing up in Tun’s photography. The feature debut by Parkpoom Wongpoom and Banjong Pisanthanakun brings stark moments of terror and nightmare imagery that sticks with you. If you love this one, also check out Pisanthanakun’s The Medium on Shudder.
Sinister – Showtime
True crime author Ellison Oswalt has uprooted his family and moved them into a home where a family was previously murdered, unbeknownst to them. He’s researching the murder for his new book, hoping the research will lead him to the whereabouts of the murdered family’s missing 10-year-old girl. When he finds a box of Super 8 home movies in the attic, he discovers the murder might be the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s. Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill’s feature consistently ranks high among the scariest horror movies, and it’s not hard to see why. Eerie atmosphere, iconic jump scares, and a memorable boogeyman all make for a noteworthy genre movie.