The genre of horror is equally varied and varied, whether it's gory and menacing, silly and irreverent, or haunting and menacing. There are thousands of ghosts, ghoulies, and homicidal maniacs that go bump in the night.
Looking for the best horror films available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Paramount Plus? Weve scour the libraries of each of the major streaming platforms to provide you a list of our top 26. From old classics to new hits, these are the 26 most recommended horror films to stream right now.
Alone is a taut spine-chiller from John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning). Jessica, a recent widow, is going through a housecleaning. A creepy guy (Marc Menchaca) appears to be following her on the road. She crashes and wakes up in his basement.
Alone is available to stream on Hulu or for free with ads on Tubi.
As a kid, I missed out on a unique and frightening experience of seeing Childs Play. Instead, I knew the franchise by its reputation, or more accurately, the movie's foul-mouthed lead doll (for a long time, I thought the film was named Chucky!)
The series' plot is fairly simple: a serial killer who is shot by a detective in a toy store and then performs a last-second act to transfer his soul from his own body to the body of a nearby doll. That cursed doll finds its way into the home of a youngster, who was forced to buy the doll from a second-hand vendor unknowingly.
Childs Play is scary, funny, and short, with insightful social commentary on how goods are marketed to children and an absolutely unhinged performance from Dourif. He is a national hero and a horror legend, and his performance in the film is spectacular. The Bride of Chucky is one of the few films that actually ruled.
Childs Play is available for streaming on AMC+ through Prime Video and Fubo, or for digital rental or purchase.
Christine is a high school horror film about a nerd who falls in love with a haunted automobile, a fantastic Stephen King adaptation, and a standout in John Carpenters consistently excellent filmography.
Arnie (Keith Gordon) is an unpopular high schooler in California who has only one pal, a well-known football player named Dennis (John Stockwell, who in many ways is the emotional core of the film, as someone who cares deeply about Arnie). The film's opening sequence is set in a 1950s car assembly factory, and Arnie quickly becomes obsessed with the old Plymouth Fury, and humans and vehicles become more jealous of anybody who might interrupt their time together.
Christine's practicalities merit special recognition. The vehicle can heal itself, an effect that is shown on camera in full, glorious display. The special effects team created rubber molds of Christine and then imploded it, running the shot in reverse in the film to invoke the effect of a self-healing automobile.
Christine is a popcorn 1980s horror film that features great high school stereotypes that are subverted just enough to keep things interesting, a haunting score by Carpenter, and a brief appearance by Harry Dean Stanton.
Christine is available for streaming on AMC+ through Prime Video, or for digital rental or purchase.
Cure, a 1997 horror film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, follows Kenichi Takabe (Koji Yakusho), a Japanese detective frustrated by an unreported spike of murders that all appeared to be connected, despite none of the perpetrators being aware of what they have done or having any recollection of what they have done. In Cure, violence is less a crime than it is a virus, which corrupts innocent individuals without ever being aware of why they did it in the
On the Criterion Channel, Cure is available for viewing.
Deep Red is a stunningly shot slasher that is packed with intrigue, terror, and lots of murder. The purposely complex story follows a jazz musician who witnesses a murder, while also incorporating psychic powers for good measure.
Deep Red is available for free with advertisements on Pluto TV and Vudu, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy on Shudder and AMC Plus.
Eyes Without a Face
Georges Franjus' 1960 film is a masterclass in supernatural fantasy horror. Eyes Without a Face is equally haunting and beautiful; Scob's original face mask was later used in the equally-excellent Holy Motors.
Eyes Without a Face is now available on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.
Izzy, a youngster who lives isolated in the woods with her mother, is misled. It's a delicate portrait of Izzy's illness and her mother, which serves as a film about both the difficulties of adolescence and the inherent terror of attempting to raise a child.
Hellbender is an early contender for 2022's most visually striking horror film thanks to a filmmaking family that produces, directs, and stars the film. The two directors use forests, and the film's many mystic visions, for both serene beauty and creeping terror, while swapping effortlessly between the two to match their characters' fears and discoveries.
Hellbender is now available for streaming on Shudder and AMC Plus.
The Cottons are a married couple who move into the house of Larry's recently deceased brother, Frank (Sean Chapman), whom Julia had an earlier affair, in a 1987 film that recreates his 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart. When solved, it conjures hellish beings known as Cenobites to the mortal plane of existence, which indulge in sadomasochistic mutilation.
Hellraiser is available to watch for free on Prime Video, Shudder, or for free with a library card on Hoopla.
The Host was a follow-up to the smash hit serial murder drama Memories of Murder, which was a critical and commercial smash hit and won Best Film at the Asian Film Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards.
The Host is a well-known monster film that emerges years after chemicals are dumped into the Han River and kidnaps a young girl. Her father (Song Kang-ho) sets out to discover and rescue her, before being kidnapped by the American scientists responsible for its existence.
The Host is available for free on Showtime, for free with ads on Pluto TV, and for free with a library card on Hoopla or Kanopy.
Jacob, a former American infantryman who was captured by recurring nightmares of his time serving in Vietnam, will be forced to plunge into a world of horrors beyond his wildest imagination.
As I mentioned earlier on our list of the best Paramount Plus movies, here are some of the best.
Jacobs Ladder is a hallucinatory body horror thriller that draws on Francis Bacon and H. R. Giger's works and uses shocking fast-motion in-camera special effects.
When you watch this one, keep your head on a swivel. TE
On Paramount Plus, Jacobs Ladder is available to stream.
Let the Right One In
A 12-year-old Swedish boy discovers a friend in a vampire that appears to be his age, but is actually an old vampire that is permanently locked in the body of a young child. The film's central relationship serves as a warning about the parasitic nature of love. This past year, I was far more focused on the girl's caring for her.
The film was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's 2004 novel of the same name, which was inspired by a 2010 American adaptation, a comic-book prequel, and two stage plays. The latter has its own legacy, it was made by the magnificent National Theatre of Scotland, and it subsequently had a run at St. Anns Warehouse in 2015.
Let the Right One In is available for viewing on Hulu and Prime Video, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy.
Mad God is a feature-length journey into a Boschian hellscape of scatalogical (and eschatological) horrors stacked on top of one another like the strata of an impossible tower of Babel, each layer oozing with pus, bile, blood, and excrement, all created by legendary visual effects director and artist Phil Tippett, who directed the original Star Wars trilogy, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park.
The narrative of Mad God could be a great deal longer than that, but it is mostly a matter of personal interpretation. The film's main focus, however, is on the animation. Tippetts' masterpiece is a clear testament to the power of unrestrained creativity and the intrinsic cathartic capacity of the genre of horror itself.
On Shudder, Mad God is available to stream.
James Wan might have penned another high-emotion giallo stuffed into a dingy 90s direct-to-video pastiche like some kind of horror film turducken. It's all about the revelations.
The last twists of Malignant, which includes a haunting cover of Where Is My Mind, are some of the most heartbreaking lunacy of the year, and the acrobatic actress Marina Mazepa brings it all home in a spectacular ballet. Wan enthuses us all with his fantasies. Matt Patches
Malignant is now available on HBO Max.
Night of the Living Dead
George A. Romeros's debut feature, which was shot, directed, photographed, and edited by the nascent zombie film master, only enhances the haunting atmosphere and grounded terror. The group of survivors hide out in a misplaced house in western Pennsylvania at the start of a zombie apocalypse, but also internal conflicts that arise as a result of their predicament.
Night of the Living Dead is the first film from Romeros' usual combination of jaw-dropping (and stomach-churning) practical effects and thoughtful social commentary. Another fun fact: Night of the Living Dead was never licensed or distributed in the public domain due to an original theatrical distributor.
Night of the Living Dead is available to watch on HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount Plus, for free with a library card on Hoopla, or for free with advertisements on Tubi, Pluto TV, Plex, Vudu, and The Roku Channel.
Here's how director Julius Avery (of the upcoming Sylvester Stallone superhero film Samaritan) mashups genres. World War II, but with zombies is not exactly new ground Dead Snow, among others, have explored the Nazi zombie sub-genre of horror. But Overlord succeeds on both levels as a war thriller following soldiers trapped behind enemy lines and as a zombie horror film.
Overlord has a talented ensemble cast that includes Jovan Adepo, who shines as the brave paratrooper Edward Boyce. Wyatt Russell (Lodge 49), Pilou Asbk (Game of Thrones), John Magaro (First Cow), Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo) and Iain De Caestecker (Agents of SHIELD).
On Paramount Plus, Overlord is available for viewing.
Pulse, a 2001 Japanese horror film set near the turn of the century, is regarded by many as the definitive internet horror film of the 21st century. Just make sure you have all the lights off for this one.
Pulse is available to watch on Prime Video, on AMC+, and for free with a library card on Kanopy and Hoopla.
Rampant, a classic Korean period drama with all the political intrigue that they tend to include, is combined with a fast-paced, bloody zombie apocalypse. When the arrogant young prince to the Joseon throne is forced to return home after his older brothers' deaths, he uncovers an imminent zombie apocalypse and attempts to persuade his father (and his fathers advisors) to do something about it.
Rampant is available for free on Hi-Yah!, or as an alternative to paid ads on Plex, Tubi, PlutoTV, and FreeVee.
Rigor Mortis is a cool, bizarre Hong Kong film that falls between action and horror. Two spirits attempt to hold him captive before he can actually die, and a vampire hunter smashes the door and performs an exorcism. And from there things only get weirder and the monsters in the hotel become more deadly.
With Tubi and Vudu, Rigor Mortis is available for free to watch on Peacock.
The Ring, a Japanese horror film that resembles the original, is a wholly unique and worthwhile experience on its own, which is completely different from the horror films of any other period thanks to its budgetary power and wonderful direction from Gore Verbinski. AG
On Paramount Plus, The Ring is available for viewing.
Saint Maud is a sort of reverse possession tale. After her patient passes away, she becomes a professing Roman Catholic and seeks to save the woman's soul. She is unmistakably the villain in this film, but it seems destined for you to sympathize with her as she makes every wrong choice imaginable.
Saint Maud is now available for viewing on Prime Video and Paramount Plus.
This genre-bending mashup of influences and styles, all blending into an unforgettable 80-minute thriller, complete with brutal characterization, remarkable set-pieces, and a wild conclusion, is one of the most memorable new films of the year.
From my plea for you to see Saloum, here's how to do it.
The three main characters are wearing identical ponchos, but the camera stays focused on their footwear (one wears Versace, one wears sneakers, one goes barefoot) to explain everything you need to know about this diverse group of friends and colleagues from the start. [...] I will leave the rest for you to discover for yourself, but there is a reason this film is on a horror-focused streaming service.
There's a reason this film is included in this list, too.
Saloum is available to watch on Shudder and AMC+.
Sinister, a true-crime horror film, follows Ellison Oswalt and his family as they move into a new house that may or may not be haunted by a demon. Rather than being the well-meaning man of the house that is normally at the heart of this genre, Oswalt spends the entire movie chasing his monster down and is only surpassed by his excellent nightmarish portrayals of the movies monster.
Peacock is available to watch as Sinister.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Tobe Hoopers 1974 film, based on a budget of around $140,000, grossed more than $30 million at the box office. The story follows a group of friends who discover themselves hunted by a family of cannibals in the middle of Texas, and is a chilling, violent fever dream that sticks in the minds of those who watch it.
The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre is well worth the small time investment to catch up on one of the most influential horror films ever made. PV
With ads on Tubi and Freevee, the Texas Chain Saw Massacre is available on Shudder and Showtime.
Train to Busan
Imagine if the Snowpiercer train passengers ate zombies on their journey to the one-percenter front carriage; it's worth it. It's a father-wife story. It's a people story trapped in a high-speed rail train, where the only hope of escape is a well-timed entry into the baggage compartment.
Train to Busan is available for free on Prime Video, Peacock, and Shudder, as well as free with ads on Tubi, Pluto TV, and The Roku Channel, as well as free with a library card on Kanopy and Hoopla.
There arent that many things worse than a video call you can't leave, as many people have discovered in the last few years.
Unfriended is a violent teen horror film that entirely takes place on a character's laptop screen, and check out the excellent sequel Unfriended: Dark Web if you like it.
From our list of the best Netflix horror movies:
Unfriended is a stunning and moving journey across the screen that starts out entirely from the perspective of a computer desktop. What begins as a joke swiftly turns into something much more terrifying as the mysterious stranger begins to reveal terrifying secrets about each of the group of friends, before killing them all by one.
Unfriended is now available on Netflix.
Youre Next, a home invasion horror film, was a smash hit for director Adam Wingard (Netflixs Death Note, Godzilla vs. Kong), and writer Simon Barrett, who later teamed up again for The Guest. When members of a wealthy family are invited to celebrate a wedding anniversary at a remote estate, things go in a deadly direction when violent attackers wearing animal masks and using crossbows start killing them off one by one.
PV is a slasher film with a hint of Agatha Christie mystery and a touch of family drama. Besides well-known horror directors, Ti West, Amy Seimetz, and Larry Fessenden play important roles.
Peacock is available to watch on Youre Next.
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