If you take October as an excuse to go on a horror movie marathon, you are not alone. Weirdly enough, Netflix doesn’t have many of the standing classics that many of us have the itch to rewatch when spooky season arrives.
Amazon, however, has options to stream and buy hard copies. Best of all, the movies on this list are all $10 or less in one form or another.
1. The Shining
Stephen King’s award-winning novel differs quite a bit from Stanley Kubrick’s vision of it in film, but both are horror tales that will stick with you long after they’re over. Kubrick’s take is considered a visionary masterpiece to this day, loaded with incredible performances. A young Jack Nicholson is a standout as Jack Torrance, an alcoholic writer fighting for sanity in a deserted hotel with he and his family in the dead of winter.
Price on Amazon: $3.96+
The years have done nothing at all to dull Ridley Scott’s masterpiece about discovering an alien race on a desolate planet, and each and every shot is a work of art. If watching the original gets you in the mood to see the rest of the series, it’s crazy cheap to buy the anthology set. And if it’s your first time, prepare yourself for one of the most frightening films ever made.
Price on Amazon: $9.99
No, don’t watch the crummy remake. The original Steven Spielberg film is a classic that addressed themes of spirituality and the bond of family, which makes its scary moments much more profound. Performances from all cast members are stellar, but you’ll be most struck by Heather O’Rourke as Carol Anne (whose death at a young age was often associated with what people called the “Poltergeist curse“).
Price on Amazon: $4.25+
The American remake of this stark, poignant vampire film was very good, but the original Swedish film is a masterpiece. When isolated Oskar meets the strangely lovely Eli at his apartment building, a connection blossoms between the two that has deeper ramifications than he realizes. The John Ajvide Lindkqist novel the film is based on is a terrific read as well.
Price on Amazon: $9.49+
While Japan enjoyed the J-horror boom in the early 2000s, Korea was quietly making its own stabs at the market as well. A Tale of Two Sisters was one of its most chilling efforts and is the highest grossing Korean horror film of all time to date, as well as the first ever shown in American theaters. Based on a folktale, it follows the story of two sisters returning home from a mental hospital only to face strange events concerning their stepmother. It’s a tense thriller that’s not to be missed.
Price on Amazon: $9.85
Guillermo Del Toro acted as producer on this Spanish-made film, which tells the tale of a woman buying an orphanage she grew up in as a child with hopes of reopening it for kids in need. When she discovers that its haunted, she must find a way to confront the spirits that are trapped there. Atmospheric and touching, it’s well-envisioned down to the last detail.
Price on Amazon: $4+
7. The Witch
This Puritan horror story digs back into the lore of witchcraft and will be fascinating for fans of history. But even if you aren’t, it’s a beautifully shot film that takes an unflinching look at the darkness within people and what draws it out. The pace is slow, but the payoff is worthwhile.
Price on Amazon: $8.99+
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8. It Follows
Teen horror flicks are a classic trope of the genre, but It Follows brings something new to the mix. After a girl is plagued with strange visions and a sense of dread after a one-night stand, she must pass on the curse that’s been given to her or die in the process.
Price on Amazon: $7+
Sure, you know the big twist already. Even so, Psycho still stands as a chilling example of a perfect balance of suspense and horror. You can’t go wrong with Hitchcock either, so if you’re still in the mood for more after watching Norman live out his maternal trauma, a screening of The Birds ought to ensure that you never look at pigeons the same way again.
Price on Amazon: $7.56+
10. The Exorcist
If you’re planning to watch the new The Exorcist series on Fox, it may be worthwhile to jump back to the original first so it’s fresh in your mind. Or you could just be in the mood to rewatch a movie so horrific that people ran out of the theater when it debuted in the early ’70s. Based on the William Peter Blatty book of the same name, it’s inspired by a true story about a little boy who was supposedly possessed by a demon. Maybe the reason it’s such a chilling tale is because it’s too close to the truth.
Price on Amazon: $5+