Five Halloween-Inspired Films You Can Watch on Netflix, Plus a Bonus

Halloween is upon us again, and there’s always that craving for a horror movie or something scary on that most ghoulish of nights. Sometimes it can be hard to find a good horror movie. Add in the stipulation that you hope for a film with a feminist leaning and sometimes your choices look pretty thin. That said, I’m a die hard fan of slasher flicks and will defend to my dying breath the awesomeness of the original Halloween film and Laurie Strode as a tough heroine as well as the the upsides of the final girl trope. Last year, I listed some of the top women badasses in horror. This year, I’m aiming to look at newer films that you can watch right now on Netflix with interesting feminist messages and characters. So below, in alphabetical order, are five films to check out this Halloween season and a bonus movie besides.

1. Haunter

Abigail Breslin gives a touching, heartfelt and strongly moving performance as a girl whose whole family was murdered by a mysterious serial killer in the 1980s and is just now realizing she’s not alive anymore. Stuck in a limbo time-loop, she must reach out to the victims of the past, ghosts even older than she is, in order to save the killer’s next intended victim. A horror movie that makes you care for the characters is rare, and one that makes you cry is rarer still. This one accomplishes both feats and makes you never see the musical suite, Peter and the Wolf the same way again.

2. Hellions

A teen girl spends Halloween night alone while her mother and younger sister go trick-or-treating, but she has bigger things on her mind. Dora’s just found out she’s pregnant and has come from the clinic after agonizing about what her future might look like now and which choices she has to make. The fear starts soon after when night sets in far too quickly and a group of demonic children, the hellions, start harassing her. They want the baby that’s grown preternaturally fast inside her belly, and they’re not averse to cutting it right out. More of a fairy tale or a lucid dream than a plot heavy film, Hellions will probably leave you scratching your head with what was real and what wasn’t, but it’ll feel also like one of the longest nightmares you’ve ever had. Bonus points for having Robert Patrick co-star. Any movie that gets a T-1000 is fine by me.

3. Hush

A clear homage to Audrey Hepburn’s Wait until Dark, this movie details the struggle of a deaf woman who is left to fend off an intruder in her isolated cabin. Her resilience and cleverness will have you cheering, and the film works early on to distinguish itself from other potential home invasion movies by ditching the mask and humanizing the intruder. After all, what’s scarier than a man who looks just like anyone else but wants to do horrible things to you when you’re all alone?

4. Stage Fright

Did I mention this version of the play is kabuki?

I think there is only one other musical-slasher flick out there I can think of, and the less said about the Driller Killer and Slumber Party Massacre, the better. However, this film offers a tongue-in-cheek take on the play-within-the-film (The Haunting of the Opera, which is a clear riff on the famous Andrew Lloyd Webber production). Moreover, it’s intriguing to watch Camilla struggle not only to fill the shoes of her murdered mother in the part that made her both famous and attracted a craze killer to her but to also grapple with potential stardom and all that Camilla’s willing to do or not do to keep it.

5. When Animals Dream

If Hellions feels like a fairy tale gone very wrong, then When Animals Dream feels like a painting by a Flemish master. The small village where Marie has grown up her whole life knows that something awful has afflicted her mother and they spend their days in rapt attention waiting for the same family curse to develop within her. A movie that looks at family secrets and the hatred often bred in small towns against the other as much much as it does literal monsters, When Animals Dream is the best woman-driven werewolf film since Ginger Snaps.

Bonus — Girl vs. Monster

Not every movie that puts you in a Halloween mood has to be a scary film for only the adults. Last year, we interviewed Judith Hoag who starred in the very popular Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) Halloweentown series. In that same vein comes Girl vs. Monster. It’s part Buffy, part Ghostbusters, and all cheese but with a fun dose of girl power we can all get behind. Imminently enjoyable for those of us hanging with the kiddos on Halloween night.

The images are not property of Legendary Women, Inc. and are used for review purposes only.

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