31 Best Horror Movies Available to Stream

Updated for October 2018

The world of streaming content can be an overwhelming place.

Let’s say you’ve got your Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO Now or HBO Go subscriptions all set and ready. Now you want to get terrified with the best horror movies you can find before Halloween. But there are so many options! What’s a horror addict to do? 

Previously we’ve helped you out with our lists of the best horror movies on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO streaming. If that was still too overwhelming, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.

Here you’ll find the master list. That’s right, we’ve hand-selected only the absolute best and most terrifying horror movies availabel on all the major streaming services and combined them here for your streaming (or screaming) pleasure.

Be sure to let us know if you make it through all 31!

Afflicted

Available on: Amazon Prime

One of the better recent found-footage efforts takes a ghastly turn when one of the filmmakers wakes up foaming at the mouth with his eyeballs rolling back in their sockets. He can also suddenly run faster than a car speeding in a school zone. Diagnosis: vampirism.

There is no cure for the undead except feeding on human blood (especially child molesters). That epic travel blog they were planning is going to be supernaturally epic.

The Babadook

Available on: Netflix, Hulu

When Stephen King once discussed his inspiration for writing The Shining, he recalled the time he discovered his young son had destroyed story notes in his office. “I could kill him,” King mused of his mindset in that moment. Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook likewise finds the darker side of parenting with the scariest film of 2014.

A horror movie that is ostensibly about what happens when a single, low-income mother discovers that her child’s nightmare boogeyman is real, there is genuinely realterror here that comes beating from the darker side of her “Babadook” heart. While a loving son, there is no denying that the film’s young Samuel is a “problem child,” and through supernatural possession his mama has found a grim solution of sorts. When William Friedkin calls it the most terrifying horror movie he’s seen, you’re doing something right.

The Blair Witch Project

Available on: Amazon Prime

I honestly can’t imagine a more terrifying movie-going experience than seeing The Blair Witch Project in a theater on opening night. Back in the late ’90s, we weren’t as immune to Internet hype as we are now and it would have been much easier to suspend one’s disbelief for this: the godfather of the found footage horror movie.

Even as things stand now, The Blair Witch Project is a fantastic, truly eerie film. If possible, however, cut the WiFi in your house for a week, pretend you’re in 1999, dim the lights and watch it again.

Carrie

Available on: Amazon Prime, Hulu

The Internet is not wanting for Stephen King adaptations. If you’re in the mood for some Stephen King movies, however, you may as well start with the first novel and one of the best adaptations. 

Carrie is essentially a grim biography of one girl’s terrible life. Her classmates make fun of her, her religious nut of a mother tortures her endlessly. It’s just pure tragedy. Until it suddenly becomes pure horror. 

The Conjuring 

Available on: Netflix

2013’s The Conjuring is the first entry into an unexpected horror film franchise that ended up far more successful than it had any right to be. That’s what happens when you get talented people involved like horror maestro James Wan and superb actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.

Wilson and Farmiga star as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who are called to deal with a small paranormal spot of bother in Rhode Island. The Conjuring is based on a real case of paranormal activity and terrifyingly and effectively sets up the continued film adventures of the Warrens.

The Conjuring 2

Available on: HBO

James Wan, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return for The Conjuring 2. This time Ed and Lorraine Warren cross the Atlantic to merry old England to deal with another paranormal mystery. They assist a family living in an Enfield council house in a case that would come to be known as the Enfield Poltergeist.

Horror is hard. Horror sequels are next to impossible. Somehow The Conjuring 2 defies the expectations and remains a horrifying delight. For more on the Enfield Poltergeist, by the way, definitely check out Last Podcast on the Left’s recounting of the events.

The Dead Zone

Available on: Hulu

Sometimes horror movies need complicated and expensive special effects. All The Dead Zone needs is Christopher Walken’s terrifyingly haunted face. The Dead Zone is another Stephen King adaptation, only this time directed by body-horror legend David Cronenberg.

Christopher Walken stars as Johnny Smith, a schoolteacher who barely survives a car accident and wakes up from a coma to a much different world five years later. Johnny soon discovers that he can learn any person’s deepest secrets when touching them. The Dead Zone makes great use of its premise and even asks some complicated moral questions.

Emelie

Available on: Netflix

Babysitting is a strange job. Parents need some time away from the kids for date nights and other events, of course. So they trust whatever local teen who needs $15 an hour to somehow keep their kids alive for a few hours. More often than not things go perfectly smoothly. But what if you pick the wrong babysitter? Even more terrifyingly, what if you pick the right babysitter but unbeknownst to you that’s not the person who shows up to your house that night?

Emelie is a 2015 horror film that exploits these fears perfectly. Sarah Bolger stars as the titular babysitting monsters and does such a good job I don’t know how she can be let around children ever again. Emelie is like an old urban legend writ terrifyingly large – just like all the best horror films are. 

Frailty

Available on: Amazon

Frailty is awesome because Bill Paxton is awesome. R.I.P. What if you father was Bill Paxton? Cool, right? But what if your father was Bill Paxton and one day emerged from his barn with an axe and told you and your brother that angels had given him a list of demons on Earth masquerading as human beings?

And that all of you would have to kill them as a family. Not as cool. Frailty is near-perfect psychological horror as it confronts two of our biggest fears: fear of the familiar suddenly going crazy. And fear of the crazy suddenly becoming familiar.

The Gift

Available on: Netflix

Who knew Joel Edgerton had it in him?

The Gift is the Australian actor’s writing and directing debut and it doesn’t disappoint. Edgerton stars as Gordon “Gordo” Mosely. He’s a nice enough middle-aged man if a little “off.” One day while shopping he runs into an old high school classmate Simon (Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall). After their brief encounter, Gordo takes it upon himself to start dropping off little gifts to Simon and Robyn’s home. Robyn sees no problem with it at first. But Simon becomes disturbed, perhaps because of the unique past Simon and Gordo share.

Many horror movies understand there must be a twist of some sort or at the very least an unexpected third act. Even still The Gift‘s third act switch up is particularly devastated because it is so mundane and logical. The Gift ends up being an emotional drama disguised as horror.

Green Room

Available on: Amazon Prime

Green Room is a shockingly conventional horror movie despite not having all of the elements we traditionally associate with them. There are no monsters or the supernatural in Green Room. Instead all monsters are replaced by vengeful neo-Nazis and the haunted house is replaced by a skinhead punk music club in the middle of nowhere in the Oregon woods.

The band The Aint Rights, led by bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin) are locked in the green room of club after witnessing a murder and must fight their way out.

Hellraiser

Available on: Netflix, Hulu

Of the first of three theatrical films that Clive Barker would direct himself, Hellraiser would go on to warrant eight sequels and create one of the most notorious horror franchises of all time. That said, this isn’t about the sequels. Part of the beauty of Hellraiser is how little we actually know about what is going on. While later tales would explain the origins of Pinhead and his Cenobites, the first film leaves this up to interpretation.

Hellraiser focuses on the relationship between Julia and Frank, not on the Cenobites’ interference (well, not until the end anyway). The first film is not the broad battle against evil the later installments would be, but an incredibly unique haunted house story. A corrupt romance growing ever more so. Sex and violence mixed with blood and guts. With a budget of roughly $1 million, Barker is able to craft a tale far more interesting and disturbing than better funded projects, the sequels included. Pain and pleasure, indivisible.

The Host

Available on: Hulu

One of the greatest horror movies of the past decade is on Netflix, and it is a beautiful monster to behold. As what was once the most popular South Korean film ever upon its release, The Host was the third horror movie from genre master Bong Joon-ho and starred the country’s biggest star, Song Kang-ho. However, more important than all the glitz, is that at its core there was a truly special chiller that acts just as much as a modern Grimm fairy tale as it does a delightfully twisted creature feature.

Inspired by real events in 2000 when a Korean mortician contracted by the U.S. military stationed in Seoul dumped large amounts of formaldehyde down the drain and into the Han river, leading to a small eco-crisis, a political disaster for the U.S. government, and deformed fish, The Host imagines a scenario where ambivalent U.S. officials dump even more of the stuff into the waterway, causing the birth of a giant amphibious monster. Soon, it attacks the mainland and kidnaps Park Gang-du’s (Kang-ho) daughter, Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung).

What follows is a surprisingly moving and transcendent account of a man chasing a giant monster (designed in the WETA workshop, no less!) to bring his child home.

House on Haunted Hill

Available on: Amazon Prime

What would you do for $10,000? How about surviving a night in a mansion haunted by murder victims and owned by a psychotic millionaire? Seems like a party trick until people actually start dying.

Vincent Price is the master and mastermind of a house that suddenly makes everyone homicidal—but the real pièce de résistance is what dances out of a vat of flesh-eating acid.

Some vintage horror never dies, and this 1959 classic is immortal.

Hush

Available on: Netflix

In his follow-up to the cult classic Oculus, Mike Flanagan makes one of the cleverer horror movies on this list. Hush is a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse with the typical nightmare of a home invasion occurring, yet it also turns conventions of that familiar terror on its head. For instance, the savvy angle about this movie is Kate Siegel (who co-wrote the movie with Flanagan) plays Maddie, a deaf and mute woman living in the woods alone. Like Audrey Hepburn’s blind woman from the progenitor of home invasion stories, Wait Until Dark (1967), Maddie is completely isolated when she is marked for death by a menacing monster in human flesh.

Further, like the masked villains of so many more generic home invasion movies (I’m looking square at you, Strangers), John Gallagher Jr.’s “Man” wears a mask as he sneaks into her house. However, the functions of this story are laid bare since we actually keep an eye on what the “Man” is doing at all times, and how he is getting or not getting into the house in any given scene. He is not aided by filmmakers who’ve given him faux-supernatural and omnipotent abilities like other versions of these stories, and he’s not an “Other;” he is a man who does take his mask off, and his lust for murder is not so much fetishized as shown for the repulsive behavior that it is. And still, Maddie proves to be both resourceful and painfully ill-equipped to take him on in this tense battle of wills.

All of this inversion and shrewdness makes Hush one of several excellent horror movies to come out of 2016.

The Invitation

Available on: Netflix

Seeing your ex is always uncomfortable, but imagine if your ex-wife invited you to a dinner party with her new husband? That is just about the least creepy thing in this new, taut thriller nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Indeed, in The Invitation Logan Marshall-Green’s Will is invited by his estranged wife (Tammy Blanchard) for dinner with her new hubby David (Michael Huisman of Game of Thrones ). David apparently wanted to extend the bread-breaking offer personally since he has something he wants to invite both Will and all his other guests into joining. And it isn’t a game of Scrabble…

Intense, strange, and not what you expect, this is one of the more inventive thrillers of 2016.

It

Available on: HBO

Stephen King’s It is one of the horror author’s many masterpieces. It also for a long time seemed to be the most unfilmable. There was an It miniseries in 1990 that tried its best but couldn’t quite reach the terrifying heights of King’s original novel. 

2017’s It comes much closer. It covers the first half of King’s lengthy novel and introduces us to “The Losers Club,” seven kids living in 1980s Derry, Maine. The Losers Club comes to realize that there is an ancient evil haunting Derry, Maine that comes out to feed every 27 years and they may be the only ones who can defeat it.

It Follows

Available on: Netflix

Independent horror has been enjoying a wonderful renaissance over the last three years, and David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows has been right at the forefront of this, hypnotically swaying away in its perverse delirium. Here is a movie that most forcefully makes the connection between death and sex, sin and punishment, which has haunted the genre for decades. And by setting its deconstructionist fairytale in a dreamlike amalgamation of the 1980s and the 21st century, it proves that Reagan era suburbia is our generation’s windswept European castles.

But above all else, it’s just an unnerving viewing experience that makes the relentless sensation of dread and death as inescapable for youth as the ticking crocodile is for a middle-aged Captain Hook. Maika Monroe’s Jay is a young woman who finds peace in illicit rendezvouses, but is then cruelly punished when her new boyfriend spreads a kind of supernatural STD: it’s a curse where once you have it, a ghost will slowly but eternally chase you until it can rape you to death… lest you pass the curse to someone else, who in turn must spread it farther afield. Cynical feminism or regressive exploitation? It’s an ongoing argument, but either way this movie is scary.

Jug Face

Available on: Amazon Prime

When a horror movie’s plot description mentions “backwoods” it’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to have a good time. Movies that are able to capture the all-encompassing dread of the middle of nowhere (with minimal to no condescension for rural audiences of course) are almost always worth your time. 

Thankfully, Jug Face is one of those movies. Jug Face concerns a backwoods community that worships an ancient pit. A leader of the community Dawai creates jugs out of clay with visages on them that match the face of a community member. That member then must be sacrificed to the pit. When the next jug resembles young Ada, she opts to get out of dodge.

Lights Out

Available on: HBO

Lights Out is a film from Swedish director David F. Sandberg adapted from his own 2013 short film of the same name. Lights Out is brilliant in its simple concept. It’s similar to the classic Doctor Who episode “Blink” in which monsters advance towards you when you’re not looking at them – only in Lights Out‘s case, a demonic-looking woman advances towards you when the lights are out.

Horror that is able to corrupt objects or concepts that we encounter in day to day life and make them terrifying are almost always great. Lights Out does exactly that and somehow also wraps it in an extended metaphor for depression.

The Monster

Available on: Amazon Prime

It’s no secret that horror can work on a small scale with little other than the viewer’s imagination to generate fear. The Monster is about as small scale, yet still effective, as they come.

The film features just two characters almost exclusively, a mother and a daughter, trapped in a car as a monster from the woods terrorizes them.

Night of the Living Dead

Available on: Amazon Prime

George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic The Night of the Living Deadmessed up the minds of late ’60s moviegoers as much as it messed with every horror movie that followed. Shot on gritty black and white stock, the film captures the desperate urgency of a documentary shot at the end of the world. It is a tale of survival, an allegory for the Vietnam War and racism and suspenseful as hell freezing over.

Night of the Living Dead set a new standard for gore, even though you could tell some of the bones the zombies were munching came from a local butcher shop. But what grabs at you are the unexpected shocks. Long before The Walking Dead, Romero caught the terror that could erupt from any character, at any time.

They’re coming to get you. There’s one of them now!

Nosferatu

Available on: Amazon Prime

Nothing beats a classic, and that’s exactly what Nosferatu is. As the unofficial 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this German Expressionist masterpiece was almost lost to the ages when the filmmakers lost a copyright lawsuit with Stoker’s widow (who had a point). As a result, most copies were destroyed…but a precious few survived

This definitive horror movie from F.W. Murnau might be a silent picture, but it is a haunting one where vampirism is used as a metaphor for plague and the Black Death sweeping across Europe. When Count Orlock comes to Berlin, he brings rivers of rats with him and the most repellent visage ever presented by a cinematic bloodsucker. The sexy vampires would come later, starting with 1931’s more polished vision of Count Dracula as legendarily played by Bela Lugosi, but Max Schreck is buried under globs of makeup in Nosferatu making him resemble an emaciated cadaver. Murnau plays with shadow and light to create an intoxicating environment of fever dream repressions. But he also creates the most haunting cinematic image of a vampire yet put on screen.

Check it out.

The Omen

Available on: HBO

The Omen abides by one of the most important rules in all of horror: kids are creepy little shits. The Omen was Richard Donner’s 1976 attempt to cash in on the “Satanic Panic” started by The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. It didn’t end up being the classic those two did but it still plenty terrifying in its own right.

Damian is the secretly adopted son of Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Lee Remick). Like most kids, Damian is just awful. Unlike most kids, however, Damian is also the Antichrist. The Omen is a touch on the campy side for its subject but remains a sinister good time even after all these years.

Paranormal Activity

Available on: Amazon Prime, Hulu

2007’s Paranormal Activity in some respects represents the zenith of found footage horror movie genre that began with The Blair Witch Project in 1999. Paranormal Activity takes that concept of filming paranormal…well, activity, and takes it to its logical extreme. 

Micah and Katie are a young couple who move to a new home in San Diego. Katie believes that an evil presences she’s known since childhood has followed them into the home. So Micah sets up a standard video camera in their room to see if they can capture any evidence of it. And catch some evidence they do. Paranormal Activity succeeds becasue of its genius simplicity – and because everything is inherently creepier through grainy VHS footage.

Available on: Amazon Prime, Hulu

Pumpkinhead

1988’s Pumpkinhead has two factors that almost automatically make any horror movie watchable at the very least.

The first factor is an unfortunate human character who messes with forces outside his control and understanding for a shot at vengeance. After a group of local teens accidentally kill his son, Tom wants vengeance and visits a witch to find it. This is where factor #2 comes in. The witch helps Tom raise a monster from the dead to go on a tour of bloody revenge. The monster, Pumpkinhead, is a terrifyingly wonderful movie monster – all spindly limbs and sharp corners. 

Pumpkinhead spawned a small series of horror movies but this first one is the best and most unnerving.

Raw

Available on: Netflix

Raw is bloody and violent and weird and French and brilliant. It’s a French-Belgian movie from director Julia Ducournau about one young vegetarian woman and her sudden onset of…well, cannibalism. Justine attends a veterinarian school to continue her family’s tradition of animal care and vegitarianism. One day she is forced to participate in a hazing ritual in which she is forced to eat raw rabbit kidney.

That triggers something deep within her that leads her on an all-consuming pursuit of human flesh. Raw is nowhere near as corny as that description makes it sound. It’s actually quite artful and interesting, being French and all. It’s also a deceptively complete feminist fairy tale. 

The Silence of the Lambs

Available on: HBO

Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter has roughly 11 minutes of screentime in The Silence of the Lambs. Still, it’s enough to create one of the most terrifying and enduring performances of a criminal mastermind of all time. Don’t forget, however, that’s there is a whole movie that happens around those 11 minutes.

The Silence of the Lambs is the archetype for every true crime horror movie that came after it. The damaged, yet dedicated detective, the terrifyingly insane serial killer and the “we’re not so differnt, you and I” evil mentor – it’s all here. And it’s all fantastic.

The Sixth Sense

Available on: Netflix

The Sixth Sense is much more than a twist ending. The nearly 20-year-old movie has been meme’d to within an inch of its life even back before we had a term for internet memes. “I see dead people,” the twist ending, etc. On some level that’s a shame because M. Night Shyamalan’s first big budget film effort remains a surprisingly excellent horror movie to this day.

Haley Joel Osment stars as the young Cole Sears, a boy plagued by visions of dead people wandering around his day-to-day life. Bruce Willis steps in as therapist Malcolm Crowe to help Cole. Seeing dead people in the condition in which they died every day is a pretty horrifying concept. And no amount of twist ending surprises can rob the images of the dead that populate The Sixth Sense of some power. This is a movie that is certainly overdo for a rewatch. 

Under the Shadow

Available on: Netflix

This recent 2016 effort could not possibly be more timely as it sympathizes, and terrorizes, an Iranian single mother and child in 1980s Tehran. Like a draconian travel ban, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her son Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) are malevolently targeted by a force of supreme evil.

This occurs after Dorsa’s father, a doctor, is called away to serve the Iranian army in post-revolution and war-torn Iran. In his absence evil seeps in… as does a quality horror movie with heightened emotional weight.

V/H/S

Available on: Hulu

Anthologies seem to be the way of the future for television. Thankfully, movies are starting to understand the appeal as well. V/H/S is a wonderfully-executed horror anthology film with an interesting setup. The setup is that four criminals are tasked with breaking into a home to steal a VHS tape.

So the gang goes about doing so and in the process they discover more than just one tape. The contents on those tapes represent the short horror films we the audience get to watch. V/H/S is interesting, novel and most importantly: scary.

The Witch

Available on: Netflix

The most recent movie on our list is also one of the most disturbing. For if you let The Witch lure you into its cruel and malevolent headspace, you will immediately realize that you are watching something genuinely depraved and entirely forbidden due to its 17th century unholiness. After all, it didn’t get a thumb’s up from Satanists because it was a generic thriller stuffed with jump scares!

Be warned this is an art house chiller that drops you in the middle of early-1600s New England for the kind of witching campfire tale that would give Puritans nightmares. And it is there that Robert Eggers’ first film uses actual historic accounts from the local Calvinists about their real superstitions to give them life and heinous flesh (and an authentic Elizabethan accent). There is a witch in the woods in this story, to appreciate it, that must be clear. And her evil reach toward brief salvation or eternal damnation—depending on how you look at it—makes this a movie that will stick with you for days after the lights go up. It’s also made Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays the young Thomasin, an instant star within the genre.

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