The Executioner: By the Neck By David Cairns
Designing for del Toro By Eric Skillman
Beware: the movies in this week’s festival of free films on Hulu go bump in the night. For our Halloween series, Ghost Stories, we’ve selected nine films sure to raise goose pimples or, in a couple of cases, tickle funny bones. In addition to Herk Harvey’s ghoulish American classic Carnival of Souls, the titles include an abundance of Japanese creep shows, including Nagisa Oshima’s frightening and erotic Empire of Passion, Nobuhiko Obayashi’s weird and wildly funny House, Kaneto Shindo’s gruesome twosome Kuroneko and Onibaba, Masaki Kobayashi’s quartet of terror Kwaidan, Hiroshi Matsuno’s gonzo The Living Skeleton, and Nobuo Nakagawa’s terrifying Tokaido yotsuya kaidan.
For a change of pace, we’re also including the delightful 1935 supernatural comedy The Ghost Goes West, which was the first English-language film directed by René Clair (who would also make the fantastic I Married a Witch, after he came to Hollywood). In it, The 39 Steps’ Robert Donat does double duty as the owner of a gloomy Scottish castle and the ghost of his ancestor, who haunts it. When the castle is dismantled and moved to sunny Florida, the spirit tags along. Watch this rare title, unavailable on disc, below or at Hulu. And don’t forget: if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see these and hundreds of other Criterion films commercial-free, anytime.