• Dragon Media

TOP FIVE: Films for Halloween 2020

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

By Harry Pettigrew


With ghostly gatherings on hold this year, many of you may be struggling with how to celebrate Halloween 2020.


Here at Dragon Media, we thought we’d share our top five films, which are available to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ this October.


Photo courtesy of Warner Bros

The Conjuring

Netflix

Director: James Wan

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Taylor

Rating: 15


It was hard to choose just one recommendation, due to the vast amount of options available in Netflix's horror section this year, but the Conjuring franchise takes the top spot. The 2013 film, directed by James Wan, created a whole universe of horror films that have broken records worldwide.


The plot revolves around a pair of paranormal investigators, who are helping a family that has discovered a demonic presence in their new home.


Although the plot has been done to death by modern horror films, with the likes of Insidious and Sinister just to name a few, The Conjuring perfects the balance of an engaging storyline and well-shot jump scares to set itself apart from the rest.


The film currently holds 86% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, scoring higher than classics such as The Exorcist and The Shining. It is also the second-highest-grossing horror franchise of all time. If you haven’t seen this film before, you should definitely add it to your watchlist.


Photo courtesy of A24

Midsommar

Amazon Prime

Director: Ari Aster

Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and Vilhelm Blomgren.

Rating: 18


Midsommar was the second release from director, Ari Aster. His first film Hereditary established his style which is both obscure and terrifying.


Midsommar continues this trend so if you consider yourself to be faint of heart maybe consider one of the other entries on this year's list.


The plot revolves around a couple travelling to a Swedish midsummer festival that quickly turns into a fight for their lives, at the hand of an insane cult.


The pacing of the film will have you at the edge of your seat, as the film knows when to extend scenes to make you feel uncomfortable while keeping you completely invested.


Overall, Amazon’s horror selection for this year has been pretty lacklustre compared to other streaming services but this film more than makes up for their small amount of good horror content.


The film currently holds a rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Ready or Not

Now TV

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody and Mark O’Brien.

Rating: 18


If you are looking for something a little more light-hearted this Halloween, look no further than the American horror comedy Ready or Not.


This film will scratch that spooky spot, without scaring you half to death like the previous recommendations on our list.


The plot involves a wedding celebration that takes a sinister turn when the bride must take part in a murderous family game of hide and seek.


The film is directed by Matt Bettinelli and Tyler Gillet, famously known for directing the 2012 film V/H/S.


This film takes a different approach than their previous found footage film as Ready or Not is a more linear story, providing tense moments while making fun of the classic horror clichés in the process.


Now TV has gone all out this year, with a wide range of horror titles in comparison to its competitors Amazon Prime. Their selection includes newer releases such as The Invisible Man (which we covered on Dragon Media before), proving that they are one of the best value streaming services this Halloween.


Photo courtesy of Warner Bros

The Shining

BBC iPlayer

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, and Danny Lloyd.

Rating: 15.

If you are more interested in classic horror, then BBC iPlayer is for you this Halloween season.


Although The Shining is not a faithful retelling of the original Stephen King book, critically acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick brings his own vision that in our opinion outshines the original source material.


The film takes place in an isolated hotel while supernatural forces influence the Torrance family to see and commit psychotic acts.


Jack Nicholson also gives an iconic performance as Jack Torrance that’s still ingrained in people’s minds to this day.


The selection of horror films on BBC iPlayer is a lot smaller than the competition, but the quality of the content outweighs most of the other streaming services this year. Well-regarded Horror films such as The Babadook and Poltergeist are also available to stream.


BBC iPlayer could be considered to be one of the more accessible streaming services (assuming you pay your TV license).


The Shining currently holds a rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Edward Scissorhands

Disney+

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, and Dianne Weist.

Rating: 12+


For obvious reasons, the selection of horror content on Disney+ was slim, but there are still a number of family favourites.


The Tim Burton classic, Edward Scissorhands will keep you entertained, without keeping you up at night.


The 1990 film is surprisingly heartwarming and reflects Burton's early work, sharing similarities with Beetlejuice and Batman (1989).


The plot depicts Edward, an artificial man, who was built with scissors for hands and lives a very lonely life. Till one day, he meets a woman who introduces him to the rest of the world.


The star-studded cast includes Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, who recently returned to horror in Netflix's Stranger Things, showcasing that she is a veteran of the genre.


The film currently holds a rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.


- Harry Pettigrew (@HarryPettigrew)