Halloween is a great time for watching horror movies and with all the streaming services available, any one you subscribe to will have a great selection of movies to watch in October. Now all the premium cable channels have streaming apps too so you don’t even need to wait until scary movies are on TV.
Whether you subscribe to HBO and use their HBO Go app, or just subscribe to the standalone HBO Now app, HBO has plenty of scary movies for your Halloween movie marathons. Here are some of the best horror movies you can watch on HBO for Halloween.
Those aren’t plastic Halloween spiders in ‘Arachnophobia’
A lot of people have a fear of spiders, and even if you don’t, you wouldn’t want to meet the swarm of deadly arachnids in this movie. Jeff Daniels plays a small town doctor who faces his own arachnophobia when a deadly swarm infests his town. John Goodman plays a comic relief exterminator.
One thing that’s especially remarkable about Arachnophobia is that they’re all real spiders. They didn’t have computer effects to make spiders in 1990. So you’ll see all real spider swarms, and well trained individual spiders making Arachonophbia a squirmy Halloween treat.
Get ‘Cabin Fever’ on Halloween
Horror master Eli Roth’s first movie is streaming on HBO. In Cabin Fever a group of friends vacationing in the woods fall prey to a flesh eating virus. While they try to keep their skin from falling off, they also start turning against each other.
There’s plenty of gore as the disease turns very pretty people into Fangoria magazine covers. The psychological horror is just as potent, and the small town atmosphere also contributes some frightening characters to Cabin Fever. The sequel is also on HBO but Eli Roth was not involved and director Ti West disowns it too.
Conjure up ‘The Conjuring 2’ on Halloween
The sequel in James Wan’s lucrative horror universe is currently on HBO. This case ripped from Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga)’s case files deals with The Nun, who also got her own movie on this Halloween list.
The Conjuring 2 is an ambitious leap forward for the series. Wan remains adept at crafting supernatural scares, but takes the family dynamics to a new level both with the Warrens and the family they are assisting.
Frank Langella is ‘Dracula’
There have been many adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in cinema. In the ‘70s, Frank Langella played the Count in a smooth, suave adaptation. Langella made Dracula sexy long before Gary Oldman did in the 1992 film.
Relive ‘The First Purge’ on October 31
Currently the only Purge movie available on HBO is the prequel. The Purge is like Halloween with murder, so the 2018 film went back to the first night the New Founding Fathers of America tried making all crime legal for one night. The rest is history, as The Purge continued in three previous films, and two seasons of the USA TV series.
If you like The Purge, The First Purge has all the gritty violence of the series but a bit more insight into the social experiment. The NFFA interview potential Purge participants to show what sort of feedback led to the policy in the first place.
Play ‘Funny Games’ on Halloween
Funny Games is a harrowing psychological horror movie. Two boys (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) terrorize a family (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) with manipulative games. It begins with asking to borrow eggs, but they soon hold the family hostage.
Writer/director Michael Haneke remade his own film in the English language and it’s a beat by beat recreation. It’s still just as effective, especially when the antagonists break the fourth wall to add more terror to the ordeal.
‘Halloween’ 2018, ‘II’ and ‘III’
It seems like the Halloween franchise is divided amongst different streaming services. HBO has the latest sequel, and the first two sequels, though not the original horror classic. At least two of these movies feature Jamie Lee Curtis.
In Halloween II, Laurie Strode (Curtis) goes to the hospital following her ordeal and Michael Myers keeps coming. In Halloween 2018, a grizzled survivor Laurie plans to kill Michael once and for all. Curtis will star in Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends soon so it will take longer than she planned. Halloween III: Season of the Witch was the series’ attempt at a standalone horror entry.
Further Halloween viewing with ‘Insidious: the Last Key’
The latest and so far last Insidious movie is available on HBO. This prequel finds Elise (Lin Shaye) returning home to explore a haunting related to her childhood. Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) join her too.
Insidious: The Last Key has all the scares in The Further that make this series terrifying. This entry also gives Shaye more psychological material to play, and she crushes it.
‘The Lost Boys’ is a Corey classic
This ‘80s horror classic starring the two Coreys is on HBO. Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move to Santa Carla with their mom (Dianne Weist). Michael falls in with a gang of vampires and Sam meets the Frog brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) who fancy themselves vampire slayers.
Although R-rated, The Lost Boys has a real Goonies vibe of kids going on an adventure together, in this case to hunt vampires. Even though it’s a summer adventure, the vampires make it perfect for Halloween. The Lost Boys has a fun take on vampire lore too. This is the movie that taught me about the rule about inviting a vampire into your home.
‘The Nun’ stands alone
After The Conjuring 2, The Nun got her own movie. The Nun follows the pattern of most Conjuring spinoffs. It’s set in a remote convent which serves as the haunted house and the nun (Bonnie Aarons) haunts the priests and other sisters.
If you’re interested in The Nun, this solo movie gives her more backstory than The Conjuring 2 did. If you just want some good scares, The Nun delivers those too.
‘Upgrade’ your horror movie marathon
Insidious and Saw creator Leigh Whannell wrote and directed Upgrade. Logan Marshall Green plans a classic car restorer paralyzed in a mugging. A scientist offers him experimental new technology that can make his body move again, but the technology soon develops a mind of its own.
Green is fantastic moving his body and head separately to convey a man watching himself move as a third party. The idea of your body taking over is frightening, and Upgrade far exceeds the graphic violence quotient.