The genre of horror is equally varied and rich as the numerous ghosts, ghoulies, and fatalistic monsters that pop out of the night.
Looking for the best horror films to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Paramount Plus? Weve scour the libraries of each of the major streaming platforms to present you a list of our most recommended horror movies, from old classics to new favorites.
Alone, from John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), is your classic woman-on-the-run thriller. Jessica (Jules Willcox), a recent widow, is on the verge of separation. A creepy guy (Marc Menchaca) appears to be following her on the road. She crashes and wakes up in his basement, causing you to sweat throughout the 98-minute run time.
Alone is available to stream on Hulu or for free with ads on Tubi.
I missed out on the opportunity to watch Childs Play as a kid, which I believe is a wonderful scary and enjoyable experience. 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!). When I discovered this year, I was surprised to discover a subversive black comedy with legitimate scary thrills.
The series' setup 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 soul 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 forced to pay for it for a second-hand vendor (unknowingly selling a murderous killing machine).
Childs Play is a scary, funny, and brief 87 minutes film, starring Dourif, who is a national hero, and his terrific Bride of Chucky, one of the few films that actually ruled.
Childs Play is available to stream 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 extraordinary 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 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 two quickly become obsessed with the car, named Christine, and both become more protective of anyone who might interrupt their time together.
Christine's practicalities merit special recognition. The car can heal itself, an effect that is shown on camera in full, glorious display. The special effects team made 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 stuffed with great high school archetypes that are subverted just enough to keep the story interesting, a haunting score by Carpenter and a brief appearance by Harry Dean Stanton.
Christine is available to stream on AMC+ through Prime Video, or for digital rental or purchase.
Cure, a 1997 horror film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, is about a Japanese detective frustrated by an unreported series of seemingly unrelated murders that all appear to be linked, despite none of the perpetrators knowing each other or having any recollection of what they have done. In Cure, violence is less a matter of premeditation or passion as it is a virus, engulfing innocent people instead of the perpetrators.
Cure is available to watch on the Criterion Channel.
This beautifully shot slasher is among the finest and most well-known in Italy's giallo genre, full of mystery, terror, and lots of murder. The purposefully complex plot follows a jazz musician who witnesses a murder, but also infuses in some psychic powers for good measure. Giallo films are, by design, strange, lurid, and bleak, both their plots and their murders. But the incredible filmmaking and stunning colors make Deep Red a pleasure to
Deep Red is available for free with advertisements on Pluto TV and Vudu, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy.
Eyes Without a Face
Georges Franjus' 1960 film is a masterclass in supernatural fantasy horror. Eyes Without a Face is at the same time haunting and beautiful. Scobs famous face mask was later reprised in the film Holy Motors many decades later.
On HBO Max and The Criterion Channel, Eyes Without a Face is available for viewing.
Hellbender chronicles the life of Izzy, a youngster who lives isolated in the woods with her mother, who claims she has a debilitating illness and cannot be around other people. That isnt quite true. The film works as both a film about the difficulties of adolescence and about the inherent terror of trying 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 directors John and Zelda Adams and Toby Poser strive for both serene beauty and creeping terror, while seamlessly balancing the two.
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), in search of a way to completely regain his mortal form. The 1984 film The Hellbound Heart is a must-see for horror enthusiasts.
Hellraiser is available to watch for free on Prime Video and Shudder, as well as for free with advertisements on Tubi, or for free with a library card on Hoopla.
The Host was a follow-up to the smash-hit serial killer drama Memories of Murder, which was critically and commercially successful and won Best Film at the Asian Film Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards.
A huge mutated fish monster emerges and kidnaps a young girl years after chemicals are dumped into the Han River. Her father (Song Kang-ho) sets out to find and rescue her, before being kidnapped by the American scientists responsible for its existence.
The Host is available 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 tortured by repeated nightmares of his time in Vietnam, will be forced to plunge into a world of horrific devastation beyond his wildest imagination.
On our list of the finest Paramount Plus films, I've included three more:
Jacobs Ladder is a hallucinatory body horror thriller inspired by Francis Bacon and H. R. Giger's work and utilizing disturbing fast-motion in-camera special effects.
When it comes to this one, keep your head on a swivel. TE
On Paramount Plus, Jacobs Ladder is available for viewing.
Let the Right One In
The central relationship between a 12-year-old Swedish boy and a young child is kaleidoscopic, each viewing revealing something different from the previous. After college, the children' bond reminded me of the immanence of youth and why growing up is a mixed blessing. This year, I was much more focused on the girls' relationship with her caretaker, an older man who sacrifices everything for her existence.
The film was inspired by John Ajvide Lindqvists' 2004 novel of the same name, which was used for several years by the magnificent National Theatre of Scotland, and two stage plays. The latter has its own legacy, and it was later performed at St. Anns Warehouse in 2015.
On Hulu and Prime Video, Let the Right One In is available 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 stacking 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.
I could go on and on about the film's narrative, but in reality, it's just a matter of personal interpretation. What matters in Mad God, most of all, is the animation. Tippetts' masterpiece is a clear testament to the genre of horror's inherent cathartic potential.
On Shudder, Mad God is now available to stream.
James Wan could have stuffed his high-emotion giallo into some kind of horror film turducken after the Conjuring and Insidious franchises, as well as blockbuster roles with Furious 7 and Aquaman. Instead, he made Malignant, a high-emotion giallo stuffed into a dingy 90s direct-to-video pastiche like some sort of horror film, and theeeeen its revealed Well, please go see
The final twists of Malignant are some of the most satisfying lunacy of the year, and the acrobatic actor Marina Mazepa brings it all home in a spectacular ballet. Wan's dream (nightmare?) is now available for streaming. Matt Patches
Malignant is now available on HBO Max.
Night of the Living Dead
George A. Romeros' first feature, which launched the modern zombie film in the United States, was written, directed, photographed, and edited by the nascent zombie film master on a shoestring budget, which only adds to the haunting atmosphere and grounded terror. In this film, a group of survivors hide out in a ruined house in western Pennsylvania at the start of a zombie apocalypse.
Night of the Living Dead is the first example of Romeros' typical blend of jaw-dropping (and stomach-churning) practical effects and thoughtful social commentary. This created a huge amount of controversy when children were permitted to see the quite graphic film 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 free with an HBO library card on Hoopla, or for free with ads on Tubi, Pluto TV, Plex, Vudu, and The Roku Channel.
Here, director Julius Avery, who will direct the Sylvester Stallone superhero film Samaritan, has provided a genre mashup for the generations. But With zombies, Dead Snow and many others have explored 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 features Wyatt Russell (Lodge 49), 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 praised as one of the finest works in the canon of Japanese horror, with several critics and fans referring it to as the 21st century's greatest internet horror film.
Pulse is available for free on Prime Video, on AMC+, and as a library card on Kanopy and Hoopla.
Rampant, a classic genre mashup for the ages, combines a 17th-century Korean period drama (with all the political intrigue those stories tend to include) with a fast-paced zombie apocalypse. When the arrogant young prince to the Joseon throne is called to return home after his older brothers' death, he discovers an imminent zombie apocalypse and attempts to persuade his father (and his father
Rampant is available for free on Hi-Yah!, or for free with ads on Plex, Tubi, PlutoTV, and FreeVee.
This Hong Kong film is a blend of action and horror, and is one of the coolest, strangest movies on this list. Two spirits attempt to take him, and a vampire hunter unlocks the entrance and performs an exorcism. And from there things only get weirder, and the monsters in the hotel become more deadly. AG
With Tubi and Vudu, Rigor Mortis is available to watch for free on Peacock.
The Ringu, a Japanese horror film that killed the viewer seven days after watching its strange montage of images, is a wholly different and worthwhile experience on its own. Unlike the original, this remake relys more on the world's excellent sense of haunting terror than direct scares.
On Paramount Plus, The Ring is available for viewing.
Saint Maud is a wonderful reverse possession story about a young nurse who, after her patient passes away, becomes a dedicated Roman Catholic and seeks to save the woman's soul. While most of the film is a dramatic slow burn about the dangers of zealous faith, it is nonetheless one of the greatest horror endings of the past decade.
Saint Maud is now available for viewing on Prime Video and Paramount Plus.
This genre-bending mashup of influences and styles, all resulting in an unforgettable 80-minute thriller with stark characterization, remarkable set-pieces, and a whirlwind conclusion, is one of the most memorable new movies of the year.
From my plea for you to see Saloum, here's what you should know.
The three main characters in Saloums are wearing identical ponchos when you first meet them, but the camera is focused on their footwear (one wears Versace, one wears sneakers, one goes barefoot) to provide instantaneous information about this diverse group of friends and colleagues. (...) I will leave the rest for you to discover yourself, but there is a reason this film is available on a horror streaming service.
Guess what it's a good thing this film is included in this list too. PV
On Shudder and AMC+, Saloum is available to watch.
Sinister, a true-crime thriller, follows Ellison Oswalt and his family as they move into a new house that is either haunted by a demon or not, carefully playing into some expectations and completely subverting others for some wonderful twists. Its a delightful turn from director and co-writer Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange), who only outdones the films monster.
Peacock can be watched by Sinister.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Tobe Hoopers' 1974 film, which was built on a budget of $140,000, made more than $30 million at the box office. It's a chilling, menacing fever dream that's permanently lodged in the minds of all who see it.
The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre is well worth the little time investment to catch up on one of the most influential horror films ever made. PV
With free ad spots on Tubi and Freevee, the Texas Chain Saw Massacre is available on Shudder, Showtime, and for free.
Train to Busan
Imagine if, instead of eating cockroaches and warding off ax-wielding thugs on their way to the one-percenter front carriage, the Snowpiercer train passengers ate zombies. It's a father-wife tale. It's a who-deserves-to-live-and-die survivor tale. MP
Train to Busan is available for free on Prime Video, Peacock, and Shudder, as well as for free with a library card on Kanopy and Hoopla.
There arent that many things more terrifying than a video call that many people have learned over the years.
Unfriended is a tense teen horror film that takes place entirely on a characters laptop screen, and you should definitely see the excellent sequel Unfriended: Dark Web if you want to see this one. PV
Our list of the greatest Netflix horror movies includes these:
Unfriended, a 2014 supernatural horror film directed by Levan Gabriadzes, moves the audience through the screen almost literally. What initially appears to be a prank quickly blossoms into something much more deadly as the mysterious stranger begins to reveal frightening secrets about each of the group of high school students, before killing them off one by one.
Unfriended is available on Netflix.
Youre Next, a home invasion horror film, was a smash hit for filmmaker Adam Wingard (Netflix's Death Note, Godzilla vs. Kong), and writer Simon Barrett, who later collaborated on The Guest. When members of a wealthy family are invited to commemorate their wedding anniversary at a remote estate, things go in a horrifying 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. Film stars acclaimed horror directors Ti West, Amy Seimetz, and Larry Fessenden in lead roles.
Peacock is available to watch on Youre Next.
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