The genre of horror is equally as rich and varied as the multitude of ghosts, ghoulies, and homicidal maniacs that go bump in the night.
Are you looking for the best horror movies to watch on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Paramount Plus? Weve searched through the library of each of the major streaming platforms to bring you a list of our most recommended horror movies. From old classics to new releases, these are 26 of the greatest horror movies to watch right now.
Alone, by John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), is your classic woman-on-the-run thriller. Jessica (Jules Willcox) is moving, and a creepy guy (Marc Menchaca) appears to be following her on the road. She crashes and wakes up in his basement, causing your heart to pound throughout the 98-minute run time.
Alone is available to stream on Hulu or for free with ads on Tubi.
As a child, I missed out on a unique, haunting and fun experience of watching Childs Play. Instead, I knew the franchise by its reputation, or more accurately, the name Chucky (for a long time, I thought the film was named Chucky!). When I saw it this year, I was surprised to discover a subversive black comedy with legitimate scary thrills.
The series' main plot is fairly straightforward. Brad Dourif plays a serial murderer who is shot by a detective in a toy store and then performs a last-second maneuver to transfer his spirit from his own body to the body of a nearby doll. The cursed doll finds its way into the home of a youngster, who was sold unknowingly by a murderous killing machine.
Childs Play, directed by Tom Holland, is frightening and funny, and is a short 87 minutes, featuring intelligent social commentary on the way goods are sold to children, and Dourif, who gives an absolutely unhinged performance, which is both a national treasure and a classic. The good Bride of Chucky, is one of the rare examples of a series that actually ruled.
Childs Play is available for streaming on AMC+ through Prime Video and Fubo, or for digital rental or purchase.
Christine, a high school horror film about a nerd who falls in love with a haunted automobile, is an outstanding Stephen King adaptation and a standout in John Carpenter's consistently excellent filmography.
Arnie (Keith Gordon) is an unpopular high schooler in California who has only one friend, a popular football player named Dennis (John Stockwell, who in many ways is the emotional core of the film) who quickly becomes obsessed with the old Plymouth Fury, which was already used in a 1950s car assembly factory, and both become awed of anyone who might interrupt their time together.
Christine's practicalities merit special mention. The car can heal itself, an effect that is shown on film in full, glorious glory. 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 vehicle. Its astounding to witness decades later.
Christine is a popcorn 1980s horror film that is stuffed with 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 to stream on AMC+ via Prime Video, or for digital rental or purchase.
Cure, a 1997 horror film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, follows Kenichi Takabe (Koji Yakusho), who is frustrated by an unreported stream of deaths that appear to be connected, despite none of the perpetrators being aware of the situation or having any knowledge about what they have done. In Cure, violence is less an act of premeditation or passion than it is a virus, devouring innocent individuals without ever knowing why.
Cure is available on the Criterion Channel for viewing.
Deep Red is a wonderful film, which is among the most well-known in Italys giallo genre, packed with mysteries, terror, and lots of murder. The purposefully complex plot follows a jazz musician who witnesses a murder, but also infuses some psychic abilities for good measure.
Deep Red is available to stream on Shudder and AMC Plus, for free with ads on Pluto TV and Vudu, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy.
Eyes Without a Face
The 1960 film by Georges Franjus is a masterclass in supernatural fantasy horror. Eyes Without a Face is equally haunting and beautiful. Scobs iconic face mask was later referenced in her role in the equally excellent Holy Motors many decades later.
On HBO Max and The Criterion Channel, Eyes Without a Face is available for viewing.
Hellbender tells the story of Izzy, a teen who lives isolated in the woods with only her mother, who claims she cant stand to be around other people. That isnt quite true; the film works as a story both about the challenges of adolescence and about the inherent terror of raising a child well.
Hellbender is an early entry into the 2022 Oscar nomination for the most visually stunning horror film from a filmmaking family that produces, directs, and stars. The filmmakers John and Zelda Adams and Toby Poser utilize forests, as well as the films many mystic visions, for both serene beauty and creeping terror, moving effortlessly between the two to match their characters' fears and discoveries.
Hellbender is now available to stream 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), who had an earlier affair with Larry. When he receives a drop of blood, Frank lures Julia to the house in order to fulfill his abomination. Cenobites engage in horrible rituals known as sadomasochistic mutilation.
Hellraiser is available 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 received critical and commercial success, and was the highest-grossing South Korean film ever after its release. It won Best Film at the Asian Film Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards.
A massive mutated fish monster emerges and kidnaps a young girl, years after being dumped into the Han River. Her father (Song Kang-ho) sets out to find 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.
Tim Robbins plays Jacob, a former American infantryman who was engulfed by repeated nightmares of his time serving in Vietnam. As his dreams begin to expand, seemingly claiming the lives of all those close to him, Jacob will have to plunge into a world of horrors beyond his wildest imagination where the only way out is through.
On our list of the best movies on Paramount Plus, I've mentioned:
Jacobs Ladder, inspired by Francis Bacon and H. R. Giger, is a hallucinatory body horror thriller that will make you want to sit back.
When you watch this one, keep your head on a swivel. TE
On Paramount Plus, Jacobs Ladder is available for viewing.
Let the Right One In
The relationship between a 12-year-old Swedish boy and his caretaker, an older man, is eerie, and each viewing reveals something different from the previous. After college, the childrens bond reminded me of the immanence of youth, and why growing up is a mixed blessing. This year, I was far more focused on the girls relationship with her caretaker, an older guy who sacrifices everything for her existence.
The film was based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's 2004 novel of the same name, which inspired not only this Swedish film, but also a 2010 American adaptation, a comic-book prequel, and two stage plays. The latter has its own history, and it was made by the magnificent National Theatre of Scotland, and it had a run at St. Anns Warehouse in 2015.
Let the Right One In is available on Hulu and Prime Video, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy.
Mad God would be a feature-length journey into a Boschian shambles stacked on top of one another like the strata of an impossible tower of Babel, each layer oozing with pus, bile, blood, and excrement, with Phil Tippett's unfettered skill behind such films as the original Star Wars trilogy, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park.
The narrative of Mad God is a tense matter of personal interpretation, but what matters most in the film is its animation. Tippetts' masterpiece is a clear demonstration of the genre of horror's inherent cathartic potential.
On Shudder, Mad God is available for streaming.
James Wan could have dipped into the sand in another high-emotion franchise-starter like some kind of horror-movie turducken: Madison (Annabelle Wallis) is first victim of domestic abuse, then she encounters another killer, and theeeeen its revealed Well, please go see it.
The final twists of Malignant are some of the most satisfying lunacy of the year, and the acrobate actress Marina Mazepa brings it all home in a display of gruesome ballet. Wan's dream (nightmare?) has been released for everyone to watch. Matt Patches has a lot of fun.
Malignant is now available on HBO Max.
Night of the Living Dead
George A. Romeros' first feature on a shoestring budget was created, directed, photographed, and edited by the nascent zombie film master, which only adds to the disturbing terror and eerie atmosphere in this film. The group of survivors is forced to deal with internal disagreements about how to deal with their predicament.
Night of the Living Dead is the first example of Romeros' typical mix of jaw-dropping (and stomach-churning) practical effects and thoughtful social commentary. This resulted in a great deal of controversy when children were permitted to see the quite graphic movie in theaters due to an error by the original theatrical distributor.
Night of the Living Dead is available for free on HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount Plus, as well as for free with a library card on Hoopla, or for free with commercials on Tubi, Pluto TV, Plex, Vudu, and The Roku Channel.
Here, director Julius Avery, star of the upcoming Sylvester Stallone superhero film Samaritan, brings a genre mashup for generations. World War II, but with zombies is not exactly new ground. Dead Snow, among others, have delved into the Nazi zombie sub-genre of horror. But Overlord is so successful 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, including 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 to watch.
Pulse, a 2001 Japanese horror film set near the turn of the century, is widely regarded as one of the finest Japanese horror films of the 21st century, with several critics and fans claiming it to be the greatest internet horror film of the 21st century.
Pulse is available for free on Prime Video, AMC+, and with a library card on Kanopy and Hoopla.
Rampant is a classic genre mashup for the ages that combines a 17th-century Korean period drama (with all the political intrigue those stories tend to include) with a fast-paced, bloody zombie apocalypse. When the arrogant young prince to the throne of the Joseon dynasty is called to return home after his older brothers died, he discovers an impending zombie apocalypse and attempts to per
Rampant is available for free on Hi-Yah! or with ads on Plex, Tubi, PlutoTV, and FreeVee.
This Hong Kong film is a cross between action and horror and is one of the coolest and strangest films on this list. Two spirits attempt to hold him captive while a vampire hunter breaks down the entrance and performs an exorcism. And from there things only get weirder and the hotel monsters become more deadly. AG
With Tubi and Vudu, Rigor Mortis is available for free to watch on Peacock.
The Ringu, a Japanese film that resembles a haunted videotape that kills the viewer seven days after they see it, is a wholly different and worthwhile experience on its own. Unlike the original, this remake relying less on the world's fantastic sense of haunting fear than on direct scares.
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 devoted Roman Catholic and seeks to save the woman's soul. She is unmistakably the villain in this film, but the movie's conclusion is a joyous outburst of emotions and one of the best horror endings of the last decade.
Saint Maud is now available on Prime Video and Paramount Plus.
This genre-bending maze of influences and styles combines into an unforgettable 80-minute thriller with witty characterization, stunning set-pieces, and a whirlwind conclusion.
From my plea for you to see Saloum:
The three main characters are wearing identical ponchos from the start, but the camera concentrates on their footwear (one wears Versace, one wears sneakers, one goes barefoot) to help you instantly understand them and their lives. [...] I will leave the rest for you to discover for yourself, but I will state that this film is a horror-centric streaming service.
Guess what it's a reason this film is on this list. PV
Saloum is available for viewing on Shudder and AMC+.
Sinister is a great horror film that follows a true-crime author, Ellison Oswalt, and his family as they move into a new house that may or may not be haunted by a demon. He is often a little too smart for his own good in terms of behavior. Its also a great horror film from director and co-writer Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange)
Peacock can be viewed by Sinister.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Tobe Hoopers 1974 film, which was produced on a budget of $140,000, made over $30 million at the box office, portraying a group of friends who are hunted by a family of cannibals in the middle of Texas, and is a chilling, menacing fever dream that sticks in the minds of anyone who sees it.
The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre is well worth the modest investment to catch up on one of the most influential horror movies ever made. PV
With ads on Tubi and Freevee, the Texas Chain Saw Massacre is available for free on Shudder and Showtime.
Train to Busan
Imagine if, instead of eating cockroaches and warding off ax-wielding thugs on their journey to the one-percenter front carriage, the passengers aboard the Snowpiercer train dodged zombies. Its a father-daughter story. Its a husband-wife tale. Its a people's story trapped in a high-speed rail train, where the only hope of escaping is a well-timed leap into the baggage rack.
Train to Busan is available for free on Prime Video, Peacock, and Shudder, as well as for free with ads on Tubi, Pluto TV, and The Roku Channel, and for free with a library card on Kanopy and Hoopla.
There arent that many things worse than a video call you cant leave, as many people have learned over the past few years.
Unfriended is a tense teen horror film that takes place entirely on a characters laptop screen. Also check out the excellent sequel Unfriended: Dark Web if you are interested in this film.
From our list of the finest horror films on Netflix:
Unfriended, a 2014 supernatural horror film directed by Levan Gabriadzes, involves a Skype conversation between a group of high school students who are joined by a mysterious stranger who begins to reveal terrifying secrets about each of the friends before killing them off one by one.
Unfriended is now available on Netflix.
Youre Next, a home invasion horror film, was a smash hit for filmmaker Adam Wingard (Netflixs Death Note, Godzilla vs. Kong), and writer Simon Barrett, who later teamed up for The Guest. When members of a wealthy family are invited to commemorate a wedding anniversary at a remote estate, things go in a deadly direction when violent attackers wearing animal masks and using crossbows begin killing them one by one.
PV is a slasher film with a hint of Agatha Christie mystery and a touch of family drama. With acclaimed horror directors Ti West, Amy Seimetz, and Larry Fessenden, PV is a film directed by Mark Roth.
Peacock is available to watch on Youre Next.
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