By Jeannie Hornung
Has Halloween put you in the mood for undead dramas and ghastly horror flicks? With TV shows and movies shifting in and out of availability in theaters, on cable, through video on-demand, via streaming media and within mobile apps, your head may start spinning faster than that girl’s in Poltergeist while you search for what to watch.
For Halloween 2012, you have more streaming choices than ever. But how many horror movies are out there now, lurking in dark living rooms and movie theaters, waiting to pounce onto the screen? With more than 100,000 TV shows and movies across 14 apps including iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix, iTunes, HBO GO, MAX GO, Amazon Prime and Crackle — plus theater listings — Fanhattan has a unique view into the scary number of horror films available this Halloween season. By our count: nearly 2,300 horror films are ripe for the streaming at this very moment. Plus another eight Halloween-appropriate movies are in a theater near you, with two more opening on Friday.
Where can you go to find those thousands of hair-raising, streaming sagas and watch your favorites? In short, they’re scattered all over the place. About 71% of the horror movies currently available are exclusive to a single digital media source and more than 22% can be accessed on only two sources, with the remaining less than 7% sliver of shiver-inducing movies available from three or more sources. What this means is that there’s no one-Trick-or-Treat-shop when it comes to finding your Halloween movies du jour.
Shockingly, only seven horror films are available from four or more services this Halloween.
The Scary Seven are:
So this gives you the big, splintered picture. But what if you drill down into the data like the bolts in Frankenstein’s head and dissect the top films in the horror category this season? You would think that the most popular horror films would be available from more than one or two services at a time during the most haunting week of the year. Think again: of the 100 top Halloween movies our editorial team curated for Fanhattan users this year, about 65% are available right now from just one source, and about 25% are available from only two sources. Even with the most popular scary films we’re once again seeing more than 90% can be found in two or less places right now.
Looking to huddle up and enjoy an entire nail-biting series marathon? That gets hairier than a werewolf under a full moon. To watch a whole film series, you may need to rent, buy or subscribe to content on three or four platforms. For example, Hostel is available for rent on Amazon Prime and purchase on iTunes. But Hostel: Part II is only available on iTunes right now. Then to round out the spine-tingling trilogy, Hostel: Part III is available with a Netflix subscription and for sale on iTunes. Hoping to watch the first Scream or Saw III this week? Sorry, they’re not online, whereas the rest of those series can be found dismembered and strewn across multiple platforms at the moment.
A similar nightmare exists with TV: you can catch up on all the past seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural or The Walking Dead with a Netflix subscription or through iTunes purchases. But the latest seasons of The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural can be seen with the CW, Hulu Plus or iTunes services. And The Walking Dead season 3 is only available on iTunes.
Then there are those films playing on the big screen. Right now, the Paranormal Activity series is distributed across iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Prime AND movie theaters — with no one place to see them all.
The silver lining to all of this is that in years past you didn’t have nearly the amount of content choice and access to masterfully wrought horror films and supernatural TV shows that you do now. Whether you have a hankering for Hitchcock or a craving for Craven, you can search for an find just about anything if you know where to look. (Hint: try Fanhattan.) You can discover, watch and share more than 100,000 TV shows and movies across 16 different services including Amazon Prime, Crackle, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, iTunes, MAX GO and Netflix with the Fanhattan iOS app. And if you discover something you want to watch that isn’t in the world of the living at the moment, you can add it to your Watchlist and be alerted when it springs to life. The app has been downloaded more than one million times and upwards of 500,000 shows and movies were added to Fanhattan Watchlists in the first three months after the feature was launched in July.
So stop searching and start watching your favorite scary movies. Happy Halloween!