It’s spooky season now in October, and you know what that means - time for some of the best horror films out there. For me, I can really watch scary movies any time of the year and enjoy them, but there’s always something so special about the fall time paired with jump scares and eerie scenes. One of my favorite subgenres of horror movies, however, is supernatural horror.
This genre can include movies like classics from The Exorcist to newer additions like Hereditary, the types of films that make your skin crawl and wonder what if these types of strange supernatural entities, like ghosts or demons or any of the sort, exist. If you’re looking for your pants to be scared off, check out these awesome supernatural horror movies that you can stream right now.
True-crime writer Ellison Oswalt, played by Ethan Hawke, stars in Sinister. When he and his family move to a new home and discover Super 8 home movies in his attic, depicting grisly murders, it puts his whole family in danger of strange creatures from the beyond.
Sinister is one of those horror movies that I feel deserves way more credit than it has gotten in the past. While relatively smaller compared to a lot of big-time horror movies like the Halloween franchise or Paranormal Activity, there’s something so off-putting about Sinister that makes it stand out among some of the best supernatural horror movies out there. Also, Bughuul is freaking creepy and makes my skin crawl each time. Sinister 2 is nowhere near as good, so just stick with the first.
The Exorcist (AMC+)
The Exorcist is a classic supernatural horror film that follows the demonic possession of a twelve-year-old girl named Regan, and how her mother attempts to save her through an exorcism conducted by two Catholic priests.
There’s a reason why The Exorcist is considered one of the best films of all time, let alone one of the best supernatural horror films. For its time, the film was one of the first to truly scare audiences, from its gory scenes to bloody moments to truly terrifying instances of supernatural terror, The Exorcist is the textbook definition of what a good horror movie should be - plus, who can forget that horrifying transformation of Regan? It’ll change anyone who watches it for the first time.
Paranormal Activity (Starz)
In this popular horror franchise, Paranormal Activity tells the story of a young couple, named Katie and Michael, who are haunted by some sort of supernatural presence in their home. They set up cameras to catch the haunting, documenting it from beginning to end.
While The Blair Witch Project established found footage as a medium in the horror genre, Paranormal Activity is what made it explode with how eerie the haunting was. The use of shadows, strange movements in the dark, and barely any crazy special effects gives Paranormal Activity a vibe that it’s just a normal home movie and not a big picture. While a lot of its sequels that came after weren’t so great, in my opinion, the first still holds up even now.
In this 1992 horror film, Candyman tells the story of a graduate student who is completing a thesis on urban legends, and it leads her to learning about the legend of the “Candyman,” the ghost of an artist and son of a slave who was murdered long ago.
While I did enjoy the 2021 sequel to Candyman, including Yahya Abdul-Martin II performance, I do think the original Candyman is just a teensy bit better. There’s just something about it, from the strange relationship between Candyman and Helen, the main character, to the bloody scenes, to the entertaining and thrilling conclusion - it’s really a standout, one that way more people should see and enjoy.
The Omen (AMC+)
The Omen is another classic supernatural horror film, following Damien Thorn, a young child who is replaced at birth by his father, unbeknownst to his wife, after their biological child dies shortly after birth, learning later on in life that Damien is the prophesied Antichrist.
The Omen is another supernatural horror film that came after the hype of The Exorcist, but there are plenty of moments where the film stands on its own. For example, the score in The Omen fits the scenes perfectly, from seriously crazy moments to instances of pure terror. Plus, the performance of Damien, played by Harvey Spencer Stephens, is amazing for a child actor, and seriously skeeves me out.
Directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary tells the story of a grieving family who is haunted by disturbing occurrences, culminating in their family falling apart not that long after.
Oh, Hereditary. I feel like everyone remembers the first time they watched Hereditary, because God knows I do. While a lot of people have compared Hereditary to The Exorcist, I feel like this film shines on its own. To me, it’s one of the first horror films in years that truly makes me check the dark corners in my room and the closets that are partially opened, because it’s that creepy. It’ll make your mind see things in the dark, and wonder just who you might be friends with and what strange things they might do behind the scenes. I don’t want to give anything away - if you haven’t watched Hereditary, give it a shot.
IT (HBO Max)
IT tells the story of a young group of kids in the town of Derry, who are being haunted by this strange creature who takes the form of a clown, which they call IT. Now, it’s up to them to somehow figure out how to banish IT from their town, and make sure no other kids are killed.
While I will always have a place in my heart for Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise in the 1990 It miniseries, there’s just something about the 2017 film that is so creepy and spectacular in all the right ways. The effects are great, the It cast is full of young up-and-coming stars that are so full of talent, and it’s just the right amount of horror and coming-of-age perfectly mixed into one. Stephen King knows how to tell good stories, and this is one of his best.
The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (Pluto TV)
In this supernatural horror movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose follows a lawyer who takes up a case on a negligent homicide, involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.
While The Exorcist really only takes a look at the action of an exorcism itself, The Exorcism of Emily Rose looks at it from a different angle, where people don’t believe that this kind of stuff is true and believe it to instead be something of negligence. It’s a different type of supernatural horror than most, with a great backstory, but you’ll still get the scares that you crave while also having an enjoyable scary movie to watch.
Poltergeist (HBO Max)
Poltergeist follows a family that is haunted by seemingly harmless ghosts at first, only moving things in their home. But soon, circumstances turn nasty and they begin to terrorize the family, including their young daughter.
Poltergeist is another classic horror film that I consider to be one of the best horror films. While the effects are a little cheesy (the movie did come out in 1982), I think the story itself is enjoyable and there are plenty of fun scares that will make you jump in your seat. Plus, Poltergeist has one of the most iconic lines in all of horror - “They’re here.”
Mama (HBO Max)
In Mama, we follow two young girls, who are abandoned in a forest cabin, fostered by some sort of entity that they call, “Mama.” Soon, the girls are followed to their new suburban home, led by two adults after their uncle retrieves them.
Mama is a smaller film than some of the others on here, but truly terrifying at the same time - and also a bit heartbreaking. Both Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from the Game of Thrones cast are brilliant in their leading roles, but what Mama brings to the table is its surprisingly heartfelt and sad backstory of the main monster, showing that a mother’s love can come from beyond the grave.
The other Stephen King adaptation on this list, Carrie follows Carrie White, a friendless, bullied high school girl who lives in an abusive religious household, who ends up discovering that she has telekinetic powers, and uses those to exact revenge on those who have wronged her and made her life a living hell.
First off, Sissy Spacek is freaking awesome as Carrie, alongside Piper Laurie, who portrays her mother. Their dynamic is one of the best relationships I have seen in horror, and really keeps you invested in the film all the way through. It may feel like the film is a bit slow to start, but once it gets going, it goes hard. The ending alone is worth it to make it through the slower parts in the beginning, because Carrie is truly one of the perfect examples of writing what vengeance can do to a person. The 2013 remake starring Chloe Grace Moretz is enjoyable, but I’ll always like the original more.
A Nightmare On Elm Street (HBO Max)
Last but not least, we take a look at the beginning of an iconic film franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street. In this 1980s horror film, teenagers are terrorized by Freddy Krueger while they sleep, who ends up killing them in real life whenever they are killed in their dreams. Somehow, he must be stopped.
A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the best horror films out there for one reason in my eyes - it dares to question even the safety of sleeping. When we are in bed, it’s probably the safest that you feel, but what if there was a monster that somehow was able to get through that and kill you when you’re sleeping? The idea of that is terrifying. Mixed in with some truly gory moments and impressive performances (including the first ever film role for Johnny Depp), A Nightmare on Elm Street is definitely one of the best supernatural horror films.
There are so many supernatural horror films out there that it’s sometimes hard to pick what the best are. But hopefully, this list helped you out and now you can spend some time watching some of the best. While I know we’re all looking forward to all the new upcoming horror films coming out, for now, we can indulge in some classic horror from the safety of our couches - or are we safe? Keep an eye out for spooky ghosts.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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