The Best Scary Movies to Watch When the Kids Aren’t Around

No One Gets Out Alive is a scary movie on netflix Netflix

Here are all the scary movies you should watch for a Halloween date night

The jumps, the scares, the gross-outs, the blasphemy—horror movies truly have it all. But if you’re a parent with younger kiddos, you know they’re likely still not on board with ghouls and guts on screen. While they might gladly watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and other generally not-so-spooky Halloween movies, most will draw the line at anything actually scary. It’s understandable, but that means we have to save our horror flicks for after kiddo bedtimes or even better, for date nights. Whether you’re into slashers or zombies, ghosts or gore, we’ve gathered some of the best scary movies to watch right now.


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Halloween Ends (or any of the Halloween films)

John Carpenter is undoubtedly a king of the horror genre, and his characters (Michael Myers and Laurie Strode) are back in the final installment of the Halloween series, aptly titled Halloween Ends. The new film comes out on October 14th in theaters (and streaming on Peacock), but you can always watch where it all began online via Shudder.

Pearl

A24 is known for releasing superb horror films and Pearl is among them. Directed by Ti West, this psychological slasher flick follows a young woman living on a farm who’s hoping for more out of life and will do anything to get it. While this film is in theaters, it is a prequel to West’s previous film, X, which you can watch on Showtime (though you’ll have to decide which order to watch them in yourself).

His House

His House is a scary movie to watch on Netflix
Netflix

This frightening film is about a South Sudanese refugee couple trying to adjust to life in an English town where evil afoot works to scare you on so many levels and will have you gripping onto your significant other throughout. Starring Wunmi Mosako, Sope Dirisu, and Matt Smith, it’s available on Netflix and is among the highest-rated films on this list (seriously how many horror movies get a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes?)

Related: 13 Scary Flicks for Your Budding Horror Movie Fan

Barbarian

Starring Bill Skarsgård, Georgina Campbell, and Justin Long, this creepy movie poses the question: what if your next Airbnb already had a stranger in it, and you decided to stay there anyways? If it sounds a tad ridiculous, that’s because it is, but it also makes for a great watch (just make sure to avoid spoilers). It’s in theaters now, but if your sitter cancels, you can watch a fantastic thriller with a slightly similar premise called The Rental on Netflix.

Smile

I’m not sure why the sight of someone grinning can become so creepy if held for too long, but this horror movie makes them all spookier. Based on the 2020 short film Laura Hasn’t Slept (also directed by newcomer Parker Finn), the film follows a doctor who begins to have bizarre, haunting encounters after witnessing the death of a patient. Watch in theaters.

No One Gets Out Alive

No One Gets Out Alive is a scary movie on netflix
Netflix

This 2021 film about an undocumented immigrant woman finding herself unable to leave a haunted Cleveland boarding house is as terrifying as it is frustrating (but mostly, it’s terrifying). Based on the novel of the same name written by Adam Nevill, director Santiago Menghini’s film will have you jumping and, by the end, having lots to talk about. Catch it on Netflix.

Related: TV Shows Every Mom Should Binge-Watch

Train to Busan

Okay, this one isn’t new but it’s fully worth the watch seeing as it’s a. currently streaming on Amazon (and many other places), b. about a parent trying to keep their child safe during a zombie attack on a moving train, and c. an excellent example of award-winning Korean horror. P.S. A sequel called Train to Busan: Peninsula was released in 2020, in case you’re itching to find out what happens next.

Ouija: Origin of Evil

Busy parents don’t always have time to binge-watch the latest Netflix horror series—although if you do, let me heartily recommend the Mike Flanagan shows including this year’s The Midnight Club. If you only have time for a quick date night movie of his, though, try Ouija: Origin of Evil available on Netflix. The film is about a girl who becomes possessed by a spirit thanks to her family’s use of an ouija board and gives you a taste of the Flanaverse.

The It Series

Few things are scarier than clowns, especially to grown-ups who grew up in the ’90s and were traumatized by Tim Curry in his most terrifying role (rent it on Amazon). But if you want to watch where director Andy Muschietti’s phenomenal remake of Stephen King’s tale of a clown that terrorizes a group of kids into adulthood, you’ve got a chance. It (2017) is currently on Netflix, while It: Chapter Two is streaming on HBO Max.

The Witch

Filmmaker Robert Eggers outdid himself with this slow-burn horror about an isolated religious family living in a remote cabin in 1630s New England. When their son vanishes in the woods, the family begins to suspect their daughter might’ve had something to do with it, and it only gets more and more chilling. Available on HBO Max.

 

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