By Shelby Bull
Fall, Autumn, Spooky Season, these are all names for the period between Summer and Winter and can mean many different things. To me, it means colder weather, shorter days and most importantly it’s the best time for scary movies! Now, as you may have noticed from my blog posts earlier this year, I am a horror movie lover all year round but October can be an especially great time to dip your toes into the genre just in time for the spookiest holiday of all, Halloween!
Below is a list of some of the best (in my opinion) “spooky movies” on the streaming service Hoopla, which you can access with your library card. A warning before checking out any of these films, if you are squeamish, easily frightened, or disturbed, please check them out on IMdB.com first, where there are full parental guides to each film, rating the severity of various subject matters from mild to severe.
Written, directed, and scored by horror icon John Carpenter, Halloween is the Halloween movie to watch. Full of recognizable and often imitated imagery, this movie gave birth to the slasher genre and has yet to be outdone (even by its own sequels and reboots). Although it was released over 30 years ago, Halloween holds up against more modern horror movies and makes sure to provide you with tension, jump scares, and gruesome kills. Almost anyone will enjoy this movie, and it will be sure to put you in the fall spirit by making the crispy air and changing leaves the background for Michael Myers’ rampage. Fun fact for you: Michael Myers’ iconic white mask is simply a William Shatner mask painted white. Watch Now on Hoopla
Although this movie doesn’t take place in the fall, The Descent will still leave you frightened just in time for Halloween night. Centering around four young girls and a cave expedition gone wrong, this movie creates a claustrophobic atmosphere from the beginning, making sure to keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what could be lurking around every corner. If you like creature features, The Descent will satisfy your appetite and it might leave you with a fear of cramped dark spaces. I am a pretty seasoned horror fan but The Descent is a film that has successfully scared me many times and has kept me up at night to this day. I highly recommend it. Watch Now on Hoopla
If you are a fan of disturbing existential science-fiction-like horror, The Void is the film for you. The movie centers around a young police officer, and his experiences in a local hospital after delivering a patient in the middle of the night. Filled with unique body horror, disturbing visuals, and suspense, The Void not only provides the fright but has an interesting story woven throughout. Again, if you are not a typical horror fan, I urge you to check out IMdB.com for more information on the film before viewing it. Also, if you are a fan of this type of horror movie, I also recommend Last Shift which can be found on Hoopla as well. Watch Now on Hoopla
Let me make one thing clear right off the bat, Let The Right One In is a Swedish movie, so subtitles will be needed for viewing. However, this does not take away from the creepiness of the film. Unlike other movies on this list, this film is not centered around traditional scares (some may even say it is more of a romance than a horror film) but instead relies on the atmosphere and subject matter to unsettle its viewers. If you are simply looking for a darker movie instead of something scary, I highly recommend Let The Right One In. It was remade in English in 2010 and renamed to “Let Me In” however the original Swedish version is much better. Watch on Now Hoopla
Based on the short story by Stephen King of the same title, Children of the Corn is a classic. An interesting and thrilling premise with creepy visuals is what prompts me to recommend this film for the Halloween season. If you are not a fan of jump scares this is the film for you, whereas its horror comes more from its atmosphere and story beats than it does from its visuals. This is a great movie to toss on with friends or if you are bored on a night in, and is not something that will disturb you for days to come. Watch Now on Hoopla
As hard as I tried, I could not help myself from including another movie starring the original scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis on this list. Like John Carpenter’s Halloween, Prom Night is the perfect slasher movie to watch this time of year. Full of your usual jump scares and admittedly some clichéd kills, Prom Night will be sure to make you jump, but won’t leave you sleeping with the lights on. Watch Now on Hoopla
There you have it, my recommendation for the best scary movies that can be streamed for free on Hoopla. I hope they prompt you to turn off the lights, grab a blanket, cozy up, and get into the Halloween spirit this year.