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Halloween movies streaming in Canada

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Horror cinema has been on an extended roll for several years, with titles as diverse as “Get Out,” “The Witch” and “Midsommar” scoring big at the box office and the critics’ lists. But with so many great, good and good-bad horror movies and TV series to choose from, compiling a list for your annual Halloween horror binge is tougher than ever. To that end, here are 10 creepy chillers that may have slithered under your radar, all streaming now in Canada.

An early entry from a genre master …

Ouija Board: Origin of Evil(Netflix): Before Mike Flanagan was crowned the King of Prestige TV Horror for “The Haunting of Hill House” and “Midnight Mass,” he canvassed as America’s best unknown indie horror director for almost a decade. “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” a prequel to the tepid “Ouija,” was Flanagan’s first shot at a big budget studio film and he didn’t waste the opportunity. Everything you love about Flanagan’s gothic, slow-burning TV work is here — but with a lot less talking and scenery chewing.

If you like scary clowns, you’ll love …

Hell House LLC (Amazon Prime): Found-footage films hit their creative peak in the aughts with the first “Paranormal Activity” film, but the low-budget genre has delivered a few gems since. “Hell House LLC” is structured as a mockumentary about a Halloween haunted house attraction that went terribly wrong, leaving over a dozen staff members and customers dead. The clowns are as disturbing as you hope they’ll be.

you think you’ve got skeletons in your family closet?

The Night House (Disney Plus): Rebecca Hall is great as a widow trying to come to grips with her deceased husband’s secret life, which may have included stints as a misogynist serial killer. A very smart psychological horror film that doesn’t skimp on the atmosphere and jump scares.

Cheaper and scarier than a carnival funhouse …

Insidious: Chapter 2 (Amazon Prime): Get the microwave popcorn popping, because no Halloween streaming binge is complete without the often-imitated, never-duplicated James Wan. His post-“Saw” horror films have grossed over a billion dollars, an astounding achievement considering that they recycle the same basic plot points and actors. This is not critical. Wan is the modern master of the jump scare, he imbues inanimate objects like dolls and grandfather clocks with uncanny menace, and his art direction is superb.

An unsettling homage to “The Wicker Man” …

kill list (Shudder and AMC Plus): A mesmerizing folk horror tale about a mentally ill ex-soldier and contract killer who may or may not be a pawn in an ancient pagan ritual. One of the best horror films of the last 20 years, bleak, haunting and inscrutable.

Short, nasty, and virtually brutish …

Host (Shudder and AMC Plus): A one-hour, real-time film made up entirely of a Zoom call. Several friends separated by the pandemic meet to catch up, swap lockdown stories and participate in a fun virtual session. What could go wrong? If you’ve survived an extended Zoom meeting with HR, “Host” should be a cake walk.

Serious adult horror in the vein of “Get Out” and “It Follows”…

His House (Netflix): PTSD, poverty and survivors’ guilt are the least of the problems facing a Sudanese couple granted refugee status in the UK The couple move into a squalid apartment, only to find that a demonic entity has followed them from their war-torn home. A moving, superbly acted (and downright creepy) meditation on the horrors facing the planet’s ballooning migrant population.

“His House” Wunmi Mosaku as Rial Majur, Dìrísù as Bol Majur.

For fans of the “V/H/S” and “ABCs of Death” series …

Southbound (Amazon Prime): On a bleak stretch of southern desert highway, five vehicles and their passengers confront horrors both human and supernatural. Like every horror anthology film, “Southbound” has its high and low points, the highest being David Bruckner’s (“The Night House”) contribution, a tale of extreme body horror that will have you squirming in your seat.

Like HP Lovecraft without all the adjectives …

The Endless (Amazon Prime): A hallucinatory tale of cosmic horror as two adult brothers (played by the film’s real-life brother directors and writers) visit the compound where they were raised as unwilling members of a doomsday cult. There they are reunited with their extended “family” and the invisible, otherworldly entity they worship.

For when it’s time to flick on the lights…

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (Netflix): Having faced down a small army of ghosts, murderers, demons and mean clowns, you might want to wind down with some milder fare. “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” pairs a late-career Stephen King novella with a vintage performance by Donald Sutherland in this “Twilight Zone”-style yarn about a haunted smartphone.

Jaeden Martell as Craig and Donald Sutherland as Mr. Harrigan in

James Grainger is the author of “Harmless” and the curator of “The Veil” at Substack.


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