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12 terrifying tech-horror movies and series perfect for Halloween

Hackers – they’re scarier than the most frightening horror stories and they can get under your skin like a parasite. Forget dark alleys and haunted houses — these ghouls can destroy lives with a simple internet connection and a lot of unhealed childhood trauma.

12 terrifying tech-horror movies and series perfect for Halloween

Many of us will be staying home this Halloween to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic, making horror movies a great way to spend the holiday. From splatstick (not slapstick) masterpieces to unsettling brain busters, here are some of the best tech-horror movies, series, and documentaries to watch this Halloween.

1. Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)

Where to watch: Netflix

Murder by laptop? Why not!? We kick off our spookfest with the sequel to 2014’s Unfriended. Dark Web follows a group of friends who, after finding a cache of hidden files on a stolen laptop, become embroiled with a sadistic dark web syndicate who stage monstrously depraved “red rooms”. (They do exist).

2. Hard Candy (2005)

Where to watch: Netflix

Little Red Riding Hood, eat your heart out. Prepare to be stunned as a vigilante 14-year-old lures an online sexual predator into a web of torture – both psychological and physical.

Exploring themes of online child-exploitation and cyberstalking, seeing a child’s role reversed from victim to avenger is a triumph, and a breath of fresh air from the classic predator-eats-prey plot. Hard Candy will leave you wincing in second-hand agony as some pretty brutal scenes unfold. A dutiful hero for some, an unhinged psychopath for others – we’ll let you decide.

3. Cam (2018)

Where to watch: Netflix

Alice works as a camgirl on a website called FreeGirlsLive. She is obsessed with ranking as number 1 on the site, but her channel is suddenly taken over by someone with her exact appearance and mannerisms.

Cam cleverly explores the horrors of sexploitation and identity theft within a darker existential context. Alice’s obsession with measuring her worth in “likes” eventually sparks her descent into madness. As she is locked out of her online accounts, we witness her manufactured online identity slowly fall apart.

4. Demon Seed (1977)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

A scientist creates Proteus, a super AI robot who becomes obsessed with impregnating his creator’s wife, who eventually gives birth to a life as disturbing as its proximity to reality.

With cinematic nods stretching from Rosemary’s Baby to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the forced “satanic” impregnation alongside a pulsating geometry of images makes Demon Seed grotesquely groovy and totally unforgettable.

5. The iMom (2013, short film)

Where to watch: YouTube

Why plague yourself with having to raise your child manually when you can just buy an iMom? But what happens when the natural language processing of AI goes wrong?

As part of a weekly horror series on YouTube, The iMom is a short film that’ll leave you “ALTERed” forever or cooked alive by iMom if you’re affectionately called “chicken” from time to time.

iMom presents a thought-provoking examination of the perils of AI and our over-reliance on technology. And at just 13 minutes, it’s short enough to fill the room with some creepy ambience while you stir those Bloody Marys.

6. Impossible Things (coming in 2021)

Trailer available

A robot co-wrote the “perfect” horror movie by learning from our reactions and processing vast datasets of horror movie plots.

Less like a movie and more like an exposé on humanity’s darkest desires, our collective hunger for gore and shock are ruthlessly presented to us through the mind of a machine.

It’s still in production at the moment, but go ahead and show your interest by liking their Facebook page. — I doubt we’re the only ones trembling with excitement for the result.

7. Don’t f**k with Cats (Documentary, 2019)

Where to watch: Netflix

Don’t post your shockingly vile murders online unless you want to be brought to your knees by a team of ordinary folk on Facebook.

This is the true story of Luke Magnota, who notoriously posted graphic videos of his murders online, goading viewers to find him. This forged an online manhunt, hell-bent on dissecting the footage to find clues, which eventually led to his arrest.

An extreme example of the power of social media and its capacity for amplifying both good and evil, this true-crime case will leave you absolutely hollow.

Viewer discretion is advised — do not be fooled by the casual title.

8. Untraceable (2008)

Where to watch: Netflix

Diane Lane plays the chief of cybersecurity trying to track down a serial killer who is brutally slaughtering people while the world watches via live streaming. The more people view his site, the faster his victims die.

This sweat-inducing horror flic draws parallels between society’s fetish for gore and our ever-increasing detachment from it.

9. #Horror (2015)

Where to watch: Netflix

Cyberbullying, self-harm, parental neglect, eating disorders – the wealthy 12-year-old school girls at the helm of the plot are already living a nightmare when they find themselves stalked by a throat-slashing killer.

As the story unfolds, the girls fail to realize that their most private moments, including their murders, are recorded, uploaded, hashtagged, and “liked” by A LOT of sickos.

In the age of increasing concern for children’s safety online, #Horror succeeds in parodying the ease with which we capture, reframe, and desensitize ourselves to the most horrific online content. And yet, with brilliant irony, the movie is filmed with style and zeal by director and fashion designer Tara Subkoff, who sets the film inside a minimalist glass cube mansion.

10. Ex Machina (2014)

Where to watch: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander duel in this Sci-Fi thriller about a reclusive genius about to unleash an AI so lifelike that it provokes valuable questions about our shallow definitions of consciousness.

In a twisted labyrinth of trust and manipulation, the AI manages to simulate love with her programmer to make her escape. Beautifully creepy, unique, and unforgettable.

11. Mr. Robot (Season 2, Episode 1)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

This episode will make you give Alexa some serious side-eye. Imagine hiding from a deadly virus outside only to be murdered by the technology inside your home. Oh, wait — that could totally happen.

In this chilling episode, the hack of a smart home plays out like a mini horror movie, except this time the poltergeist is a hacker, which in our books, makes it even scarier.

The great hack begins when devices start to go haywire: the alarm shrieks, the phone sporadically rings, and some meddling with the thermostat makes the temperature flit between the Sahara and the Arctic. There’s even a classic scalding shower scene. Meanwhile, Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” provides a deafeningly sinister backdrop to the chaos.

Wrapped in a jacket as the temperature plummets, our protagonist calls for help. “Unplug what?” she says on the phone, “Everything is inside the walls.”

12 Black Mirror (White Bear, Season 2, Episode 2)

Where to watch: Netflix

You didn’t think we’d forget Black Mirror, did you? As a final nail in the coffin, we selected the “ White Bear” episode to really hammer some horror home.

A woman wakes up with amnesia to find the world enslaved by a television signal transmitted by the White Bear. With humanity turned into sadistic, passive voyeurs, she must destroy the transmitter at the “White Bear” to free a world sedated by surveillance and oppression.

Data surveillance, internet restrictions, nefarious hackers, and cybercriminal circuits are all threats that loom large. Hopefully, this list will get you thinking about the seriousness of protecting yourself online.

Without online protection, you’re basically the helpless victim who runs to the top floor and wields a tennis racket for protection. No one wants to be that guy.

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