The Best Horror Movies to Stream

Here are the 31 best horror movies you can find on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO Max!

Best Streaming Horror Movies

Updated for October 2020

The world of streaming horror movies can be an overwhelming place.

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

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

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

Best Netflix Horror Movies - Apostle

Apostle

Available on: Netflix

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

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.

Best Horror Movies The Blackcoat's Daughter

The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Available on: Netflix

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Some kids dream about being left overnight or even a week at certain locations to play, like say a mall or a Chuck E. Cheese. One place that no one wants to be left alone in, however, is a Catholic boarding school.

That’s the situation that Rose (Lucy Boynton) and Kat (Kiernan Shipka) find themselves in in the atmospheric and creepy The Blackcoat’s Daughter. When Rose and Kat’s parents are unable to pick them up for winter break, the two are forced to spend the week at their dingy Catholic boarding school. If that weren’t bad enough, Rose fears that she may be pregnant…oh, and the nuns might all be Satanists.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter is an excellent debut directorial outing from Oz Perkins and another step on the right horror path for scream queens Shipka and Emma Roberts.

The Cabin in The Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

Available on: Amazon Prime

A remote cabin in the woods is one of the most frequently occurring settings in all of horror. What better location for teenagers to be tormented by monsters, demons, or murderous hillbillies? Writer/Director Joss Whedon takes that tried and true setting and uses it as a jumping off points for one of the most successful metatextual horror movies in recent memory.

Like you would expect, The Cabin in the Woods features five college friends (all representing certain youthful archetypes, of course) renting a….well, a cabin in the woods. Soon things begin to go awry in a very traditional horror movie way. But then The Cabin in the Woods begins doling out some of the many tricks it has up its sleeve. This is a fascinating, very funny, and yet still creepy breakdown of horror tropes that any horror fan can enjoy.

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The Changeling

The Changeling (1980)

Available on: Shudder

A classic haunted house ghost story that frequently makes horror best of lists The Changeling sees a bereaved composer move into a creepy mansion that’s been vacant for 12 years. Vacant that is, except for the spirit of a little boy who met an untimely death…

An unravelling mystery with a sense of intrigue and pathos that draws you into the narrative, all the way to the sad and disturbing final act revelation.

City of the Living Dead

City of the Living Dead

Available on: Amazon Prime

Italian horror director Lucio Fulci kicked off his famous “Gates of Hell” trilogy with this gruesome, crude but surreal 1980 gorefest, in which a reporter (Christopher George) and a psychic (Catriona MacColl) struggle to stop those gates from opening and letting a horde of hungry undead into the world.

Fulci loosely based the movie on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, vying for the latter’s brooding atmosphere while indulging in his own trademark splatter. The results are somewhat slapdash but a must-see for Italian horror fans. Followed by the much better The Beyond (1980) and House by the Cemetery (1981).

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Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone

Available on: Amazon Prime

The Dead Zone strangely remains both one of Stephen King’s more underrated movie adaptations as well as one of director David Cronenberg’s more unsung efforts. Yet it ends up being among the best from both author and auteur, while also providing star Christopher Walken with one of his most moving, complex performances to date.

Walken’s Johnny Smith awakens from a coma to find out he’s lost five years of his life but gained a frightening talent to touch people and see both their deepest secrets and their future. Whether to use that power to impact the world around him is the choice he must face in this bittersweet, eerie and heartfelt film, which found Cronenberg moving away from his trademark body horror for the first time.

Ewan McGregor In Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep

Available on: HBO Max

Let’s be up front about this: Doctor Sleep is not The Shining. For some that fact will make this sequel’s existence unforgivable. Yet there is a stoic beauty and creepy despair just waiting to be experienced by those willing to accept Doctor Sleep on its own terms.

Directed by one of the genre’s modern masters, Mike Flanagan, the movie had the unenviable task of combining one of King’s most disappointing texts with the opposing sensibilities of Stanley Kubrick’s singular The Shining adaptation.

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And yet, the result is an effective thriller about lifelong regrets and trauma personified by the ghostly specters of the Overlook Hotel. But they’re far from the only horrors here. Rebecca Ferguson is absolutely chilling as the smiling villain Rose the Hat, and the scene where she and other literal energy vampires descend upon young Jacob Tremblay is the stuff of nightmares. Genuinely, it’s a scene you won’t forget, for better or worse….

Best Horror Movies Evil Dead

The Evil Dead

Available on: Netflix

1981’s The Evil Dead is nothing less than one of the biggest success stories in horror movie history.

Written and directed on a shoestring budget by Sam Raimi, The Evil Dead uses traditional horror tropes to its great advantage, creating a scary, funny, and almost inconceivably bloody story about five college students who encounter a spot of bother in a cabin in the middle of the woods. That spot of bother includes the unwitting release of a legion of demons upon the world.

The Evil Dead rightfully made stars of its creator and lead Bruce Campbell. It was also the jumping off point for a successful franchise that includes two sequels, a remake, a TV show, and more.

A Field in England

Available on: Amazon Prime

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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 Wheatley, A 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.

Fright Night

Fright Night

Available on: Amazon Prime

Screenwriter-turned-director Tom Holland lets a jaded, smarmy vampire named Jerry Dandridge loose in suburbia and watches the blood spurt in this beloved ‘80s horror staple.

Chris Sarandon brings a nice combination of amusement and menace to the role of the bloodsucker, while Planet of the Apes veteran Roddy McDowall is endearing as a washed-up horror host recruited into a real-life horror show. Much of Fright Night is teen-oriented and somewhat dated, but it still works as a sort of precursor to later post-modern horror gems like Scream.

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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.

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.

Doug Bradley as Pinhead in Hellraiser

Hellraiser (1987)

Available on: Shudder

Directed by Clive Barker based on his novella The Hellbound HeartHellraiser is an infernal body horror featuring S&M demons who’ve found a way out of a dark dimension and want to take you back there.

This is the movie which introduced chief Cenobite Pinhead (played by Doug Bradley) – who would return for seven more Hellraiser sequels. But the first is of course, remains the edgiest and the best. Hellbound: Hellraiser II is also available.

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Hereditary

Available on: Amazon Prime

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.

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

The Hills Have Eyes 1977

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Available on: Shudder

Wes Craven’s 1977 cult classic sees an extended family become stranded in the desert when their trailer breaks down and they start to get picked off by cannibals living in the hills. It’s brutally violent but it also has things to say about the nature of violence, as the seemingly civilized Carter family turn feral. The film was remade in 2006 but the original is still the best.

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Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula

Horror of Dracula

Available on: HBO Max

Replacing Bela Lugosi as Dracula was not easily done in 1958. It’s still not easily done now. Which makes the fact that Christopher Lee turned Bram Stoker’s vampire into his own screen legend in Horror of Dracula all the more remarkable. Filmed in vivid color by director Terence Fisher, Horror of Dracula brought gushing bright red to the movie vampire, which up until then had been mostly relegated to black and white shadows.

With its penchant for gore and heaving bosoms, Horror of Dracula set the template for what became Hammer Film Productions’ singular brand of horror iconography, but it’s also done rather tastefully the first time out here, not least of all because of Lee bring this aggressively cold-blooded version of Stoker’s monster to life. It’s all business with this guy.

Conversely, Abraham Van Helsing was never more dashing than when played by Peter Cushing in this movie. The film turned both into genre stars, and paved the way for a career of doing this dance time and again.

House Of The Devil

The House of the Devil

Available on: Amazon Prime

Indie horror auteur Ti West’s low-budget creepfest is a homage to 1980s horror yet plays it straight; he sets out to make a movie with the feel of genre films from that era without making self-aware in-jokes and references — and he mostly succeeds.

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But The House of the Devil is also the definition of a “slow burn”: very little happens for much of the first hour (save a jolt here and there) and then the third act explodes into a paroxysm of murder, gore and Satanic horror. That makes the film feel a little off-balance, although in the end it all becomes quite unnerving.

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.

Best Horror Movies on Netflix - Hush

Hush

Available on: Netflix

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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.

Best Horror Movies on Netflix - The Invitation

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.

Midsommar Ending Florence Pugh Interview May Queen in Midsommar

Midsommar

Available on: Amazon Prime

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It’s hard to categorize Midsommar, Ari Aster’s follow-up to his absolutely terrifying horror debut, Hereditary. Part straight up horror, part The Wicker Man, and part anthropological study, Midsommar seems to occupy many genres all at once. Aster himself called it a “break up” movie. But whatever genre Midsommar is, it is a brilliant, and at times deeply disturbing film.

Florence Pugh stars as Dani, a young woman trying to heal in the wake of an enormous tragedy. Dani follows her boyfriend, Christian, and his annoying friends to an important midsummer festival deep in the heart of Sweden. Christian and company are there partly to get high and have fun and also partly to study the unique, isolated culture for their respective theses. To say that they get more than they bargained for is an understatement. But Dani may just end up getting exactly what she needs.

Night of the Living Dead

Available on: Amazon Prime, HBO Max

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!

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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’s 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 gobs 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.

Pet Sematary (2019)

Available on: Amazon, Hulu

After the classic Stephen King novel of the same name and Mary Lambert’s 1989 movie, what could there possibly be left to say about Pet Sematary? Quite a lot actually! Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer breathe new life into this old tale…not unlike a certain “sematary” itself.

Jason Clarke stars as Louis Creed, an ER doctor from Boston who moves his family to rural Ludlow, Maine to live a quieter life. Shortly into their stay, Louis and his wife Rachel (Amy Semeitz) experience an unthinkable tragedy. That’s ok though as neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) knows a very peculiar place that can help.

Phantasm

Phantasm

Available on: Amazon Prime

Director and writer Don Coscarelli has said that this 1979 cult classic was inspired by a recurring dream — and we believe him, since Phantasm has the surreal, not-quite-there feel of an inescapable nightmare from start to finish.

With its bizarre plot about a funeral parlor acting as a front to send undead slave labor to another dimension, the iconic image of the Tall Man, killer dwarves and those deadly silver spheres, Phantasm was and is like no other movie of its era.

Poltergeist

Poltergeist

Available on: Netflix

Before there was Insidious, The Conjuring, or a myriad of other “suburban family vs. haunted house” movies, there was Poltergeist. Taking ghost stories out of the Gothic setting of ancient castles or decrepit mansions and hotels, Poltergeist moved the spirits into the middle class American heartland of the 1980s. With a smart screenplay by no less than Steven Spielberg (and, according to some, his ghost direction), Poltergeist finds the Freeling family privy to a disquieting fact about their new home: It’s built on top of a cemetery!

You probably know the story, and if you don’t you can guess it after decades of copycats that followed, but this special effects-laden spectacle still holds up, especially as a thriller that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Fair warning though, if your kids have a tree outside their window or a clown doll under their bed, we don’t take responsibility for the years of therapy bills this may inflict!

Samara Weaving in Ready or Not

Ready or Not

Available on: HBO Max

The surprise horror joy of 2019, Ready or Not was a wicked breath of fresh air from the creative team Radio Silence. With a star-making lead turn by Samara Weaving, the movie is essentially a reworking of The Most Dangerous Game where a bride is being hunted by her groom’s entire wedding party on the night of their nuptials.

It’s a nutty premise that has a delicious (and broad) satirical subtext about the indulgences and eccentricities of the rich, as the would-be extended family of Grace (Weaving) is only pursuing her because they’re convinced a grandfather made a deal with the Devil for their wealth–and to keep it they must step on those beneath them every generation. Well step, shoot, stab, and ritualistically sacrifice in this cruelest game of hide and seek ever. Come for the gonzo high-concept and stay for the supremely satisfying ending.

Best Horror Movies Sweetheart

Sweetheart

Available on: Netflix

Don’t let the name fool you, Sweetheart is very much a horror movie. What kind of horror movie, you ask? Well, after a boat sinks during a storm, young Jennifer Remming (Kiersey Clemons) is the only survivor. She washes ashore a small island and gets to work burying her friends, creating shelter, and foraging for food. You know: deserted island stuff.

Soon, however, Jenn will come to find that the island is not as deserted as she previously thought. There’s something out there – something big, dangerous, and hungry. Sweetheart is like Castaway meets Predator and it’s another indie horror hit for Blumhouse.

Best Horror Movies The Tenant

The Tenant

Available on: Amazon Prime

Roman Polanski, in addition to being a creep and outright sex criminal, has a grand fascination with apartments, directing an unofficial “Apartment Trilogy” with Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Tenant. And it’s not hard to see why. There is something a little strange about dozens if not hundreds of relative strangers all calling the same place “home.”

1976’s The Tenant is the culmination of Polanski’s obsession with communal living and in some ways is the creepiest. Polanski stars as Trelkovsky, a paranoid young file clerk who is on the verge of succumbing to the constant dread he feels. Things are exacerbated when Trelkovsky moves into a Parisian apartment and discovers the previous occupant killed herself. What follows is a tense and trippy exploration of fear itself.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Available on: Shudder

You’ve probably seen this one already, but this founding father of the slasher genre is a bit of a fairy tale when glimpsed at the right light. Some dumb kids wander into the wilderness, far away from the safety of civilization, on a trip to their grandparents’ home.

But instead of reaching their destination, they wind up on the dinner table for the “Other,” who in this case is a redneck family of cannibals with a crossdressing serial killer who’s weapon of choice has an electric motor that makes a sweet hum as its blades tear into your flesh. When viewed like that, it might be worth seeing all over again, eh?

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.

Kate Beckinsale in Underworld with Blue Eyes and Fangs

Underworld

Available on: Netflix

No one is going to mistake Underworld for high art. That obvious fact makes the lofty pretensions of these movies all the more endearing. With a cast of high-minded British theatrical actors, many trained in the Royal Shakespeare Company, at least the early movies in this Gothic horror/action mash-up series were overflowing with histrionic self-importance and grandiosity.

Take the first and best in the series. In the margins you have Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen portraying the patriarchs of warring factions of vampires and werewolves, and a love story caught between their violence that’s shamelessly modeled on Romeo and Juliet. It’s ridiculous, especially with Scott Speedman playing one party. But when the other is the oft-underrated Kate Beckinsale it doesn’t matter.

The movie’s bombast becomes its first virtue, and Len Wiseman’s penchant for glossy slick visuals, which would look at home in the sexiest Eurotrash graphic novel at the bookstore, is its other. Combined they make this a guilty good time. Though we recommend not venturing past the second or third movie.

Best Horror Movies Us

Us

Available on: HBO Max

Jordan Peele’s debut feature Get Out was a near instant horror classic so anticipation was high for his follow-up. Thanks to an excellent script, Peele’s deep appreciation of pop culture, and some stellar performances, Us more than lives up to the hype.

Us tells the story of the Wilson family from Santa Cruz. After a seemingly normal trip to a summer home and the beach, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), Gabe (Winston Duke) and their two kids are confronted by their own doppelgangers, are weird, barely verbal, and wearing red. That’s just the beginning of the horror at play for the Wilsons and the world. Fittingly, Us feels like a feature length Twilight Zone concept done right.