Netflix & Chills vs. Huluween

This year's Halloween streaming options are endless

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Netflix & Chills vs. Huluween

Graphics by Annalisa Baranowski

Graphics by Annalisa Baranowski

Graphics by Annalisa Baranowski

Graphics by Annalisa Baranowski

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It’s that scary time of the year again and no, we’re not talking about finals. It’s the spooky season, which means it’s time for ghosts, ghouls and goblins. It’s also time for gloomy nights, sample size candy (not you, candy corn) and scary movie marathons. 

As soon as October 1 hits we’re suddenly surrounded with pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween decorations and a seemingly endless amount of Halloween entertainment for the next 31 days. Luckily, if you’re a fan of Halloween entertainment, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have some of the best Halloween movies and TV shows to keep you in the spooky spirit. 

It’s no secret that during the month of October horror movies and TV shows suddenly become more popular, and with Netflix and Hulu creating their own Halloween sections, they’ve been able to feed the viewers’ cravings for Halloween entertainment. 

“While there’s usually just the one night for a party or trick or treating, scary movies and TV shows allow audiences to experience the thrill of Halloween all month long,” said Nathan DeWitt, a screenwriting professor at DePaul. “There’s probably also something about the season changing, leaves falling, it gets darker earlier, autumn is a very spooky time of year. Scary movies and TV let us feel those scary feelings in our homes, in an environment which is hopefully fairly safe.” 

Even if you’re not a fan of horror movies or TV shows, the season and time of year still undoubtedly get most people in the mood to be spooked. “I think people associate Halloween with watching scary stuff even if they don’t typically like such things. So, I think it’s them getting into the spirit,” DePaul senior Andrew Maloney said. “Some people love the adrenaline rush and suspense associated with the genre.”

Rachel Kennaugh, a political science major at DePaul, thinks that it’s a great idea for streaming services to have a Halloween section in October for people to get into the spirit. “It’s the one time of year that fear is celebrated, I think people find horror films and being scared exciting,” she said.  “It [the streaming services] makes it easier for people to find their favorites and what interests them the most.”

Before Netflix and Hulu, cable channels like Freeform (formerly ABC Family) and AMC would be the few options on TV in October for binging Halloween entertainment. Now, there is no shortage of choices with original and classic options thanks to today’s digital streaming world. 

“What these streaming services have done is make a wide variety of horror titles within the various horror subgenres more available to viewers,” DeWitt said. “Whether you’re into slasher movies, suspenseful thrillers, zombies, vampires, serial killers, the devil himself, monster stories, you can find your brand of scary any time, day or night.” 

Maloney agrees with DeWitt that these streaming services have helped create a wide variety of horror options that are now easier to find. “Everyone loves being able to watch such content from the security of their couch, so I wouldn’t doubt that streaming services have kept horror movies more accessible,” she said. 

‘Tis the season, so break out the treats and get ready to embrace the chills because here are some scary recommendations for what to watch on Netflix and Hulu this Halloween season:

Netflix and Chills

1. “Scream” (1996), “Scream 2” (1997) and “Scream 3” (2000) 

All the “Scream” movies, except the fourth, are available to stream. The first “Scream” is still considered one of the best horror movies of all time, not only providing scares and gore but clever commentary on the slasher genre itself. “Scream 2” is a clever sequel, while making fun of sequels throughout the film, with more kills and laughs than the first. “Scream 3” finds itself falling back on horror clichés and in the end being more goofy than scary, but Parker Posey’s performance makes it worth the watch. 

2. “The Witch” (2015)

“The Witch was one of the more underrated, low-key independent horror films of 2015. This film put Anya Taylor-Joy on the Hollywood map with her reserved, yet duplicitous performance. The story is about a family in 17th century  New England that is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession. It’s slow-building, creepy and dark that has an ending that will keep you up at night. 

3. “Stranger Things” Seasons One, Two and Three (2016-present)

All three seasons are available to stream for this Netflix original series. The first season starts off after a young boy disappears, and follows his mother, a police chief and his friends as they confront terrifying supernatural forces in order to get him back. 

Huluween

1. “The Evil Dead” (1981) and “Evil Dead 2” (1987)

“The Evil Dead” is the film series that made Sam Raimi famous and opened the door to horror films not taking themselves too seriously. The first film follows Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his friends as they travel to a remote cabin and accidentally release flesh-eating demons. The second film follows Ash again but this time he’s with a group of strangers in a different cabin with a more humorous take. 

2. “Child’s Play” (1988)

Most of us are already familiar with Chucky, the homicidal doll that’s possessed by a serial killer, but did you know that the majority of the filming took place here in Lakeview, right here in Chicago? ? Pretty creepy when it becomes more local. 

3. “Saw” (2004) 

Forget about all seven sequels that followed the first film, because none of them live up to the shock and awe of the original. Two strangers wake up in a room with no memory of how they got there and soon figure out that they are part of a deadly game being played out by a serial killer named Jigsaw. 

For those looking for something on the lighter side both Netflix and Hulu have sub-categories under their Halloween sections that offer horror spoofs and comedies. Hulu also has a designated family-friendly Halloween section. 

Horror & Comedy recommendations:

Netflix: “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” (2010), “Scary Movie 2” (2001)

Hulu: “What We Do in the Shadows” Season One (2019), “The Monster Squad” (1987)