Get Into The Autumn Spirit With These Free-to-Stream Horror Films
Tubi is quickly becoming one of my favorite streaming services. The ad-supported platform has an endless amount of content. And it’s completely free. Better yet, the ad breaks are minimal and often last less than a minute. But given the sheer quantity of available programming on Tubi, it can be tough to narrow down something to watch. With that in mind, I have taken some of the guesswork out of the selection process for you, dear reader. I have scoured the endless options and narrowed them down to a handful of noteworthy selections that serve up serious autumn vibes.
Dark Night of the Scarecrow
This flick stands as one of the most effective made-for-television horror films of all time. It is scary, suspenseful, heartfelt, and even somber at times. Additionally, Dark Night of the Scarecrow serves ample autumn energy. Much of the film is set in and around cornfields during the fall season, making this TV movie a perfect selection for your autumn viewing pleasure.
Dark Night of the Scarecrow follows the endearing friendship between the developmentally disabled Bubba (Larry Drake) and a young girl called Marylee. When Marylee is attacked by a surly canine, townsfolk mistakenly assume Bubba has hurt the young girl. That leads to a lynch mob coming after Bubba. Though Bubba’s mother disguises him as a scarecrow, the locals catch on to and kill him. But that’s not the end of Bubba’s story. A twist of fate sees the man’s consciousness transferred into a scarecrow, allowing him to seek revenge against those who ended his life.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
This horror film is set on and around Halloween, complete with scarecrows and an ominous cornfield. The flick weaves together a series of delightfully dark, interconnected tales sure to chill you to your very core. Like the storybooks the film sets out to adapt, the proceedings get surprisingly dark. Director André Øvredal delivers an eerie and atmospheric affair with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Øvredal never shies away from placing the film’s youthful protagonists in serious peril. Moreover, the film’s ending doesn’t really give the core cast a picturesque conclusion. And I love that. Horror should be dark and ambiguous, even when it’s geared toward a younger audience.
The film follows a group of young friends who find a storybook with mysterious powers. As it turns out, the book has a mind of its own, and characters from the tales contained within have found a way to escape the confines of the book and cause real-life mayhem.
The Houses October Built
I don’t think I’m alone in believing the best part of the fall season is Halloween. So, a film that merges the big event with extreme haunts is very much my cup of tea. Although not everything about The Houses October Built works for me, I can safely say that I love the picture’s depiction of October. It’s atmospheric and unsettling. Additionally, the film contains a handful of impressive jump scares and an unpredictable narrative that kept me guessing until the very end.
The House October Built follows a group of extreme haunt enthusiasts as they travel to different attractions and document their experiences. Their ultimate goal is to pin down the location of a notorious, but secretive haunt called ‘Blue Skeleton’. However, the closer the pals get to their objective, the greater the danger they find themselves in.
I am at a loss for why Trick doesn’t have more fans, but I genuinely dig it. I love Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier. They have a keen understanding of how to craft a scare from script to screen and share a wicked sense of humor. Trick is eerie, and unpredictable, featuring a great cast that includes the likes of Tom Atkins, Omar Epps, and even Farmer in a supporting role. Not to mention, the flick is set on and around Halloween, so it’s a great choice for autumn viewing. But I enjoy it enough that I will gladly watch it during the off-season.
The film unfolds over the course of several Halloween nights and functions as part slasher movie and part police procedural. The proceedings are framed around an upstate New York police department’s attempt to solve a series of murders perpetrated by a killer known as ‘Trick’.
Tales of Halloween
I would be hard-pressed to think of a more underrated horror anthology than Tales of Halloween. It is a collaborative effort from a number of talented filmmakers telling short stories that weave together as a collective whole. And unlike so many anthologies, there’s not a bad vignette in the bunch. Some are stronger than others. But I enjoy every tale contained within. In spite of the film’s quality, this exceptional effort (from an original idea conceived by Axelle Carolyn) doesn’t seem to get the recognition it deserves. So, if you’ve somehow overlooked Tales of Halloween, be sure to check it out on Tubi.
The film is set on Halloween night in a quiet, suburban neighborhood. Throughout the evening, we encounter various forms of macabre mayhem steeped in autumn vibes. Though Tales of Halloween is an anthology, the stories unfold with a certain amount of overlap.
The directorial roster is a who’s who of genre creatives that includes the likes of Darren Lynn Bousman, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet, and Axelle Carolyn.