Welcome to Fandor’s haunted house! We’re kicking off our Halloween festivities by celebrating movies that bring some of our worst nightmares to life, so dim the lights and sink into the most diabolical horror movies we could find. Gorge on creature features, cold-blooded murder, vampires, zombies, and even the apocalypse. These slasher, splatter, occult, giallo, and ghost stories make us shudder with fear... and leave us ravenous for more! Happy Halloween! 

Top 5 Staff Picks

1. Bug

A waitress living in a motel to escape her tragic past and newly paroled ex-husband meets a stranger convinced he was the subject of government testing and is infested with bugs... inside of his body. Not for the faint of heart, this psychological horror film (and winner of the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes in 2006) stars Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Shannon. Director William Friedkin, known for his work on The Exorcist, heightens the terror of the unseen by blurring the lines of reality.

Any Halloween collection would be remiss without at least one film by Mario Bava, also known as the godfather of giallo. Stylistically, Bava can not be beat. His films feature exquisite compositions drenched in gore and given vibrant, saturated color palettes that make for some of the most terrifyingly beautiful images ever seen on-screen. In Hatchet for the Honeymoon, which is about a fashion designer and serial murderer with a fetish for killing brand new brides who finds himself chasing the repressed memory at the root of his madness, Bava experiments, acting as both director and cinematographer and pushing his medium to new heights.

A kick-butt heroine fighting urban zombies with a sword while wearing a bikini and a cowboy hat, Aya isn’t just trying to save her town from a science experiment gone wrong — she’s also out to avenge her father’s murder! Based on the OneeChanbara video game series, this post-apocalyptic martial arts Japanese horror film is a cult psychotronic movie also known as Zombie Bikini Squad. If you are a fan of J-horror, this movie is not to be missed. 

Our homage to the haunted house genre, for your Halloween viewing pleasure: This British anthology film uses an old dark house as the narrative container for the ghosts and murderous villains lurking in the labyrinth passageways. After a film star goes missing, an inspector is called to investigate. Once he arrives, the groundskeeper recounts four stories of the people who rented the property that end in mysterious deaths.   

Legendary Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky is known for mind-bending and boundary-pushing cult classics like El Topo, Holy Mountain, and almost adapting Dune. Santa Sangre is a Mexican horror parable that proves Jodorwosky is a master of all things fantastical and macabre. It tells the story of Fenix, a young performer who comes of age, spanning his adolescence and young adulthood in a circus. Including flashbacks and flash forwards, the disturbing memories of the circus crew are brought to light.   

Watch Now: The full Spotlight: Worst Nightmares (at your own risk of a sleepless night)!

Stay tuned: We’ll have more curated collections of Fandor’s creepiest content the closer we get to the end of October! In the meantime, you can read about phantom body horror and cults in the movies, and peruse our handpicked playlists of restored masterpieces and movies written, directed by, and starring the same filmmaker.