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Streams and screams: 25 horror films to watch this month

With Halloween just around the corner, here are the best horror movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

It's a good time for a horror movie. 

It's October, Halloween is just a few weeks away and scares are in the air.

Ghostface in "Scream."

But you don't want to go far for your horror fix. No problem. We've combed the major streaming services — Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video — and come up with a list of 25 horror titles that are now available to stream on your TV. 

Some are classics, some deserve to be, and some are just plain fun.

Stream away — just don't forget to leave a light on. 

"The Amityville Horror": The 1979 thriller was, at one time, the most successful independent film of all-time, and it set the basis for many sequels, remakes and reboots to come (including a 2005 version, which prominently featured a shirtless Ryan Reynolds). James Brolin and Margot Kidder star, but the house steals the show. (Hulu)

"Black Christmas": A deranged psycho stalks a group of sorority girls at Christmastime. Happy holidays! Before the remake hits theaters in December (it was also remade in 2006, you may recall), get caught up on the 1974 original, which set the template for slasher films to come (and helped inspire "Halloween"). (Amazon) 

"The Blackcoat's Daughter":  Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton and Emma Roberts star in this dark, slow-burn mood-piece about a pair of college students left alone on their college campus on a long holiday weekend. Then they begin to hear voices, and that's when things go sideways. Directed by Oz Perkins, son of Anthony. (Netflix) 

Emma Roberts in "The Blackcoat's Daughter."

"Carrie": Brian De Palma's prom night classic stars Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, a shy high schooler who enacts her revenge, and then some, on the peers who torment her. Spacek was nominated for an Oscar (she lost, but later won for "Coal Miner's Daughter"), as was Piper Laurie, who plays Carrie's overbearing mother. (Netflix) 

"Child's Play": Chucky is a doll that any kid can love, it's just too bad he's possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. This 1988 slasher movie about an evil doll who goes on a killing spree inspired a franchise that's spawned six sequels as well as a sub-par 2019 remake. Best to stick to the original. (Hulu, Amazon) 

Chucky in "Child's Play."

"Climax": Someone spiked the sangria with LSD, but things are off the rails even before that in Gaspar Noé's audacious film about dancers locked inside a building for one long, psychotic night. Noé's long takes, fluent camera movements and hypnotic dance routines will make viewers think they're going crazy, too. (Amazon) 

"Creepshow 2": "I... beat... you!" Guess again, pal. A group of hard-partying teens descends on a raft in the middle of a lake but is confronted with a toxic oil slick with a mind of its own in the most memorable chapter in this horror anthology series, a nostalgic piece of late-'80s horror cheese. (Amazon) 

"Evil Dead 2": When it came time to make a follow-up to his 1981 cult horror hit, writer-director (and native Royal Oaker) Sam Raimi didn't so much make a sequel as he did remake the first film, in bigger, badder, more gloriously over-the-top fashion. A deliriously fun piece of cinema that will forever change the way you look at chainsaws. (Hulu)

Bruce Campbell in "Evil Dead 2."

"Gerald's Game": It's based on a novel by Stephen King and centers on a character chained to a bed, but this ain't "Misery." Jessie (Carla Gugino) must free herself from the bed she's tied to after her husband suddenly dies while also fending off a nightmare figure known as "The Midnight Man," who's certainly not helping matters. (Netflix) 

"Hellraiser": Pinhead was a horror icon of the 1980s, alongside Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, but his film is the least known of the four. That's probably because writer-director Clive Barker's dark, graphic film concerns portals to Hell, underground sex fetishes and possessed artifacts. Hey, it's got Pinhead, though! (Hulu) 

"Hereditary": Toni Collette is possessed in this demonic thriller from writer-director Ari Aster, who gave us this summer's daylight nightmare "Midsommar." Collette stars as an artist working in Utah whose family has some, um, secrets, and it's not long before they're exposed and heads start rolling. Literally. (Amazon) 

Toni Collette stars in "Hereditary."

"High Tension": Long before he made this summer's alligator hit "Crawl," writer-director Alexandre Aja made this twisted 2003 tale about two best friends looking for a quiet study weekend in the country. They find something different. The film's gory violence earned it an NC-17, but it's the whacked-out twist that will stick with you. (Amazon) 

"Hush": Before directing "Gerald's Game," Mike Flanagan helmed this deeply suspenseful thriller about a masked killer stalking a mute, deaf woman (Kate Siegel) in a remote, wooded home. "Hush's" success is part of the reason Flanagan was chosen to take the reins on the "Shining" follow-up, "Doctor Sleep," due next month. (Netflix) 

"The Love Witch": Anna Biller wrote, directed, produced, edited and did just about everything else for this stylish homage to 1960s and '70s Technicolor films. Her spell is felt throughout this lovingly detailed modern feminist tale about a witch (Samantha Robinson) who seeks a lover and (accidentally?) kills her subjects. Oops. (Amazon)

Samantha Robinson in "The Love Witch."

"The Perfection": What is "The Perfection?" It's a wild tale with ingenious thrills best left unknown. It concerns a pair of cellists (Allison Williams and Logan Browning) and slowly turns into a wicked symphony of revenge, with unexpected stops at several other genres along the way. Just go for the ride. (Netflix)  

Allison Williams and Logan Browning in 'The Perfection.'

"A Quiet Place": John Krasinski stars in and directs this 2018 chiller about a bleak future where silence is truly golden. The rules are simple: make a noise, you're dead. Ironically, "A Quiet Place" went on to make lots of noise at the box office, enough so that a sequel is due out in March. Get caught up now, just be quiet about it. (Hulu, Amazon) 

"Rosemary's Baby": Roman Polanski's 1968 classic traffics in fears of motherhood and the occult, but fans who come to it for the first time will be surprised by its subtlety and lack of overt scares. It's a masterwork of restraint, featuring a hallowed performance by Mia Farrow and an Oscar-winning turn by Ruth Gordon. (Hulu, Amazon) 

"Saw": The "Saw" franchise quickly went south, epitomizing the crude horror subgenre known as "torture porn." But the 2004 original stands out from its litter, and presented a clever what-would-you-do scenario in its story of two men who wake up in a warehouse bathroom chained to pipes, hacksaws at their feet. Better start cutting. (Hulu) 

Cary Elwes in "Saw."

"Scream": This 1996 meta commentary on horror films didn't rewrite the rules for slasher movies, it just exposed all the old ones. Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson created a hall-of-mirrors funhouse about a generation of teens desensitized to horror films who wind up living one. Its humor and wit still hold up. (Netflix) 

"Shadow of the Vampire": Willem Dafoe earned his second Oscar nomination for his performance as Max Schreck, who is cast as Count Orlok in the 1922 production of "Nosferatu." The catch? Schreck goes Method, and will only appear in character and at night as a real life vampire. (Amazon) 

"The Strangers 2: Prey at Night": Last year's sequel doesn't hold a candle to the 2008 original, which again follows a group of masked killers who stalk a family for no discernible reason. But there's a bravura sequence set to Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" that's worth the time investment alone. (Amazon) 

Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” plays during this scene from “The Strangers: Prey at Night” featuring Damian Maffei, left, and Lewis Pullman.

"Suspiria": Director Luca Guadagnino's cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs retelling of his countryman Dario Argento's 1977 horror classic is an alternately enthralling, mystifying and repulsive journey. Whichever side of the fence you fall on for this moody, disquieting, daring, bonkers art film, passive viewing it's not. (Amazon) 

"Terrifier": Before Damien Leone's low-budget slasher film turns straight up gross — and that may actually be an understatement — there's a seriously unsettling appearance by a wicked clown (that's David Howard Thornton as Art the Clown) who makes Pennywise look like Bozo. "Terrifier" is forgettable, Art is not. (Netflix) 

David Howard Thornton in "Terrifier."

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2": Dennis Hopper hams it up in this sequel to the 1974 original that plays up the humor which director Tobe Hooper felt didn't come across the first time around. Apart from its relation to the original, "TCM2" has gained cult status in its own right, and plays as a satire of horror movie excess of the era. (Amazon) 

"The Witch": Writer-director Robert Eggers, the madman auteur behind this month's "The Lighthouse," based his debut film, in part, on historical records from 17th century New England. It's a film about faith, family, and evil, and features a chilling performance from then-newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy. (Netflix)

Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomas in "The Witch."