31 Best Horror Movies to Stream

Updated for January 2019

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.

Apostle

Available on: Netflix

Apostle comes from acclaimed The Raid director Gareth Evans and is his take on the horror genre. Spoiler alert: it’s a good one. 

further reading: The Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Dan Stevens stars as Thomas Richardson, a British man in the early 1900s who must rescue his sister, Jennifer, from the clutches of a murderous cult. Thomas successfully infiltrates the cult led by the charismatic Malcom Howe (Michael Sheen) and begins to ingratiate himself with the strange folks obsessed with bloodletting. Thomas soon comes to find that the object of the cult’s religious fervor may be more real than he’d prefer.

Apostle is a wild, atmospheric, and very gory good time

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.

further reading: The Conjuring Timeline Explained

The Conjuring is based on a real case of paranormal activity and terrifyingly and effectively sets up the continued film adventures of the Warrens.

Dawn of the Dead

Available on: HBO

Some movies should never be remade and George Romero’s 1978 zombie classic Dawn of the Dead was one of those films. Until…suddenly one day there was a remake. And it wasn’t half bad!

Zach Snyder’s 2004 reimagining of Dawn of the Dead stars Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames as part of a group of people reckoning with the sudden rise of the dead. Their path eventually takes them to the only place anyone should go during a zombie apocalypse: a shopping mall. 

Dawn of the Dead takes everything that made the original great and then dials up the speed…literally. These zombies run, you see.

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.

The Descent

Available on: HBO

Anyone who has ever gone cave-diving, spelunking, or even just so much as stepped a pinky toe inside a cavern can attest to their potential horror. Sure, exploring any cave can be a fun little adventure. Take one wrong step and head down the wrong path, however, and you’re in for one hell of a time. 

The Descent takes that concept of getting lost in a cave and then just casually throws in some flesh-eating subterranean humanoids. The Descent features six young women who decide to take a vacation into a cavern in the Appalachian Mountains. It doesn’t take long for the disorientation to begin, the violence to start, or the freaks to come out.

further reading: How The Descent Redefined Women in Horror Movies

The Descent is a superb modern horror movie that rightfully jumpstarted the action and horror career of director Neil Marshall.

The Devil’s Rejects

Available on: HBO

Sometimes a good horror movie needs to be gross. The Devil’s Rejects accomplishes that in a much different, less gory way than say HostelThe Devil’s Rejects is the continuing story of the Firefly family from House of 1,000 Corpses.

The twisted crew is part Henry Lee Lucas, part John Wayne Gacy, part Satan, himself. The action follows the Fireflys as they road trip across the country, avoiding capture and being evil just for evil’s sake. It’s a big step up from Rob Zombie’s original directorial effort and will undoubtedly make you feel like you need a shower.

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. 

The Exorcist

Available on: Hulu

Yes, The Exorcist features spinning heads, projectile green soup, and the most horrific use of a crucifix prop in movie history. But it’s the insidious slow boil build toward these heinous set-pieces that creates a sense of authenticity and verisimilitude; you’re not watching a horror movie, you’re watching a little girl suffering, bleeding, dying, and the doctors cannot tell you or her mother why!

…. Because the truth is too vile to admit. By the time the priests show up, it’s a godsend even to the audience’s loudest atheists. That, plus a top-notch cast, is the secret to this film’s enduring terror.

A Field in England

Available on: Amazon

2013’s A Field in England presents compelling evidence that more horror movies should be shot in black and white.

Directed by British director Ben WheatleyA Field in England is a kaleidoscope of trippy, cerebral horror. The film takes place in 1648, during the English Civil War. A group of soldiers is taken in by a kindly man, who is soon revealed to be an alchemist. The alchemist takes the soldiers to a vast field of mushrooms where they are subjected to a series of mind-altering, nightmarish visions. 

A Field in England is aggressively weird, creative, and best of all clocks in at exactly 90 minutes.

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.

further reading: The Best Horror Movies on Hulu

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: Netflix

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.

further reading: The Best Horror Movies on HBO

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.

Hereditary

Available on: Amazon

Between Hereditary and The Haunting of Hill House 2018 was a great year for turning familial trauma into horror.

Written and directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary follows the Graham family as they deal with the death of their secretive grandmother. As Annie Graham (Toni Collette) comes to terms with the loss, she begins to realize that she may have inherited a mental illness from her late mother…or something worse.

further reading: The Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime

Hereditary is terrifying because it asks a deceptively simple but truly creepy question: what do we really inherit from our family?

Honeymoon

Available on: Hulu

Honeymoon is another welcome step for Game of Thrones Ygritte actress Rose Leslie. She and Harry Treadaway star in this science fiction horror film from Leigh Janiak.

Honeymoon fittingly begins with a newly-married couple, Bea and Paul going on their honeymoon. Bea and Paul decide that the best honeymoon spot will be a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods (dummies!). Once they arrive, they discover that it’s not so secluded after all.

Honeymoon taps into the (probably mostly male) fears of someone changing forever once you’ve pledged your life and bank account to them. Change is a frequent theme in Honeymoon and the movie knows how to exploit our fear of it perfectly. 

The Host

Available on: Hulu

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.

Hostel

Available on: Amazon Prime

You know the feeling. You’re on a fun trip with your friends, say backpacking through Eastern Europe or some other exotic locale. You want to find a cheap, no-frills place to stay. No point in staying at a nice, expensive hotel when there are so many other things to do. Then all of a sudden, you’re tied to a chair and a rich German psychopath is taking a chainsaw to your fingers. 

Eli Roth’s 2005 horror movie is schlocky and unrepentantly gory. Thank God. Sometimes you just need some gore from your horror movies, and Hostel is more than happen to provide it.

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 (we’re 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.

Jacob’s Ladder

Available on: Amazon Prime

Jacob’s Ladder is a different kind of horror altogether: one that is somehow simultaneously hallucinatory and all-too-real. Tim Robbins stars as Jacob Singer, a former American soldier who experienced horrors in Vietnam. Those horrors continue to plague Singer in a series of gruesome flashbacks and hallucinations and set him down a dark path to find out exactly what’s real.

Jacob’s Ladder is truly disturbing and has a classic ending that will help you realize the significance of the phrase “a Jacob’s Ladder scenario.”

Let Me In

Available on: Amazon Prime

Let Me In is an adaptation of the 2008 Swedish romantic horror film Let the Right One In. Both films deal with a young, bullied boy meeting and falling in love with a vampire girl. Let Me In seemed like an awful idea at the time. It came just two years after the original, which was considered to be a modern romance and horror classic. But this version, as directed by Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves is surprisingly good.

further reading: The Best Modern Horror Movies

Let Me In is a faithful adaptation of the original without being derivitive and boring. The secret is in the direciton and cinematography. So much of what made Let the Right One In great was its quiet, snowy Scandanavian scenery. Let Me In finds equal levels of creepy serenity in the New Mexican desert. 

The end result of Reeves’ scenery change and careful direction is great adaptation buoyed by superb performances from child actors (and members of the three name club) Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Night of the Living Dead

Available on: Amazon Prime

George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic The Night of the Living Dead messed 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

further reading: The Bleeding Heart of Dracula

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 Others

Available on: Hulu

Alejandro Amenabar (Open Your Eyes) wrote and directed this elegant ghost story. Nicole Kidman is superb as Grace, who relocates herself and her two small children to a remote country estate in the aftermath of World War II. Their highly structured life — the children are sensitive to sunlight and must stay in darkened rooms — is shattered by mysterious presences in the house. 

Amenabar relies on mood, atmosphere and a few well-placed scares to make this an excellent modern-day companion to classics like The Haunting and The Innocents.

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.

Pet Sematary

Available on: Hulu

Aside from having the creepiest and coolest deliberate misspelling in movie history, Pet Sematary is also a worthwhile, horrifying film. Adapted from the Stephen King novel, Pet Sematary is a story purely about death in all its terrifying and splendid forms. Louis Creed moves his family from Chicago to Maine after he’s offered a job as a doctor as a University. 

After unimaginable tragedy strikes the Creeds, Louis opts to try something equally unimaginable to fix it with the help of an ancient, sacred burial site. King often cites Pet Sematary as the book that personally disturbs him the most. The movie can never quite reach the same heights as the text but is as profoundly disturbing as promised.

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 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.

Further Reading: The Best Horror Anthology Segments

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

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!

further reading: The Witch Has One of Horror’s Greatest Endings 

This 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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