Romanian Halloween on Netflix: the movies and series that make your hair stand on end

Netflix has an impressive collection of movies and series only good for raising the hair on your hand. And as Halloween is fast approaching, here are a few suggestions designed to transport you into the world of spooks, monsters and other sinister creatures.

Since the range is comprehensively represented on Netflix, we’ve picked just a few of them, keeping in mind age groups as well as subgenres.

Unfriended

Even though technology has changed since it was launched in 2014, Unfriended remains a remarkable representation of how people interact with each other online. Set entirely on the computer screen, Unfriended follows the story of a teenage girl’s online activity as she chats with her friends and realises that the ghost of a bullied girl has come back to haunt her online.

The film’s sometimes banal realism makes the scary moments… even scarier. You could say the film works as a perfect time capsule of a certain kind of cyberstalking that doesn’t happen now. Teenage misbehavior, in all its forms, remains a hallmark of an “honest” Halloween holiday.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark, by Alvin Schwartz, with illustrations by Stephen Gammell, have been a Halloween staple for generations of children. The film directed by André Øvredal incorporates some of those stories into a book of horror stories that “comes to life” in a miraculous way.

A group of teenagers discover the book in an abandoned, supposedly haunted house, unwittingly becoming participants in the stories. Øvredal reproduces the specific atmosphere of stories told around a campfire, setting the film in 1968, with an extremely vintage feel.

No One Gets Out Alive

An undocumented immigrant takes a room in a shady boarding house: this is how No One Gets Out Alive begins. Ambar (Christina Rodlo) tries to make a life for herself in Cleveland, but everything takes an unexpected turn when she starts having disturbing visions and running into unexplained phenomena in her new home.

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The film is “whimsical” and atmospheric, and gives you a constant sense of dread, which is obviously good. What’s more, you’ll also get some extremely interesting social commentary.

Nightbooks

Although adapted from a children’s book and aimed at a young audience, Nightbooks still manages to scare you “by the book”. Horror-loving kids like main character Alex (Winslow Fegley) should be captivated by the story of this witch (Krysten Ritter) who lures children into her mystical lair disguised as an apartment.

She forces Alex to tell her horror stories every night, while he and another captive child, Yazmin (Lidya Jewett), search for a way out of her “grip.” The Netflix original film is a fun throwback to 1980s children’s horror, without, however, throwing the arrow into any age category.

Labyrinth

Many generations of children have been inspired by the Halloween costume in the movie Labyrinth. A fantasy adventure with dark overtones, meant to be watched by all members of the family. Labyrinth stars Jennifer Connelly as a teenage girl who unwittingly summons The Gobling King (played by David Bowie) to kidnap her younger brother.

She is transported to the realm of The Goblin King, populated by various strange creatures, where she must navigate a maze to rescue her brother.

It Follows

If you’ve ever been genuinely scared on Halloween and felt almost certain that someone is behind you, you understand the terrifying feeling director David Robert Mitchell captures in It Follows. The monster in the film has the face of a normal person, possibly one you already know, and moves at a gradual pace, which makes it all the more creepy.

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The curse of being stalked by that entity is conveyed through sexual intercourse, which makes you think the film is actually a powerful metaphor for sexually transmitted diseases.

Hush

Directed by Netflix horror master Mike Flanagan, Hush stars Kate Siegel, as do many of Flanagan’s films and series. She plays a hearing-impaired writer who lives alone in an isolated house while a mysterious intruder tries to kill her.

His House

His House is a story about a haunted house and stars Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu, two refugees from South Sudan who are placed in a dilapidated house by the British government. They begin to hear noises and see strange things, adding to their daily obstacles as they try to build a new life in a hostile environment.

Basically, we’re talking about the secrets the two have brought with them from their homeland, but also the trauma of refugees put in a difficult position in a country they don’t know and which apparently doesn’t fully accept them.

Fear Street

Based on the popular series of teen books by R.L. Stine, Fear Street is a trilogy set in three different time periods, all in the town of Shadyside, prone to strange happenings.

The first two films, set in 1994 and 1978, evoke the horror styles of their respective periods, while the final film, set in 1666, ties the entire story together. The evil entity that has remained in Shadyside over the centuries takes the form of various notorious killers, and a group of townspeople must join forces to defeat it once and for all.

Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro brilliantly evokes the style of period Gothic novels in Crimson Peak. Influenced by classics such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska as a 19th-century heiress who marries a British baron, played by Tom Hiddleston.

He takes her to his estate, and there she meets his sister (Jessica Chastain) and discovers horrible family secrets.

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