Whether it’s something gory and macabre, silly and irreverent, or eerie and unsettling, the genre of horror is as rich and varied as the multitude of ghosts, ghoulies, and homicidal maniacs that go bump in the night.
Looking for the best horror films available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, Max, and Paramount Plus? No worries, we’ve got the goods. We’ve combed through the libraries of each of the major streaming platforms to bring you a list of our most recommended horror movies. Here are the best horror movies you can stream right now, from old classics to new hits. Our latest update added Climax, In the Mouth of Madness, and [REC].
In the Mouth of Madness
Run time: 1h 35m
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jurgen Prochnow
Among the wildest movies John Carpenter has ever made (and that’s saying something), In the Mouth of Madness follows insurance investigator John Trent (Sam Neill), who is hired to find a missing fame horror novelist. Things become increasingly unhinged as the plots of the author’s books and the various monsters seem to invade the real world. Neill, a staple of this list, is absolutely fantastic responding to the horrors of hell, slowly becoming exactly as off-kilter as they are. By the time the movie makes it to the third act, the door to hell is halfway open and Trent is ready to dive headfirst into the void, which is honestly how every movie’s third act should go.
This is also the third in Carpenter’s apocalypse trilogy, which also includes two other stone-cold classics, The Thing and Prince of Darkness. They aren’t on this list, but you should watch them anyway. — Austen Goslin
Run time: 1h 38m
Director: John Hyams
Cast: Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald
A taut spine-chiller from John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), Alone is your classic woman-on-the-run thriller. Jessica (Jules Willcox), a recent widow, is in the midst of moving. If that wasn’t enough stress, a creepy man (Marc Menchaca) appears to be following her on the road. After he slashes her tires, she crashes and wakes up in his basement. What follows is a tightly crafted thriller with great performances, outstanding direction, and enough tension to keep your heart pounding throughout the 98-minute running time. —Pete Volk
Run time: 1h 53m
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina
Best known for its brutally violent finale, Takashi Miike’s 1999 horror film as a whole is a taut and gripping drama that unravels its characters’ psychological hang-ups and neuroses before plunging headfirst into a heart of darkness and unsettling imagery.
As we wrote in the inaugural entry of this year’s Halloween Countdown,
Miike’s film holds its cards relatively close to its chest for most of its run time, unspooling its tightly wound mystery like garrote wire before peeling back its skin of meet-cute artifice to reveal a pulsing mass of horrors roiling beneath. The film descends into a macabre fugue state of assumptions, misdirections, and cinematic sleights of hand, with dreams that feel almost real set against a reality too terrifying to be anything but. In the end, though, these are just words. Only pain can be trusted.
Audition is available to stream on Arrow Video and Hi-Yah!, for free with ads on Tubi, and for free on Kanopy with a library card. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on Apple TV and Vudu.
Run time: 1h 42m
Director: Zach Cregger
Cast: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
This is one of those movies you should watch without knowing anything else. It’s tense, it’s funny (writer-director Zach Cregger is best known as a member of the comedy group The Whitest Kids U’Know) and features great performances by Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, and Justin Long. The rest I will leave to you to find out. You’re welcome. —PV
Run time: 1h 50m
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
A high school horror movie about a nerd who falls in love with a haunted car, Christine 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 just one friend, a popular football player named Dennis (John Stockwell, who in many ways is the emotional core of the movie, as someone who cares deeply about Arnie). When the two come across a broken-down old Plymouth Fury (a vehicle that we’ve already seen commit murder and mayhem in an opening sequence set in a 1950s car assembly plant), Arnie decides he must have it. He quickly becomes obsessed with the car, named “Christine,” and human and vehicle both become jealous of anybody who might interrupt their time together. He also starts to dress and act more like a greaser dirtbag from the 1950s. It’s a great time for everybody, except Arnie’s human loved ones.
The practical effects in Christine deserve special recognition here. 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 evoke the effect of a self-healing vehicle. It’s astounding to behold decades later.
Filled with great high school archetypes that are subverted just enough to keep things interesting, a haunting score by Carpenter, and a brief appearance by Harry Dean Stanton, Christine is popcorn 1980s horror at its best. —PV
Christine is available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon and Apple TV.
Run time: 1h 37m
Director: Gaspar Noé
Cast: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub
Climax isn’t for the faint-of-heart — and we’re saying that in the context of a horror movies list. The movie is set at an all-night dance party inside a gymnasium, which turns sour after someone spikes the sangria with a little too much LSD. Climax is told in beautifully disorienting long takes that go from dozens of minutes of uninterrupted and propulsive dance sequences to hazy walks through hallways as the camera mimics the dizzy stumbling of the movie’s characters. As the psychedelics kick in, so too do some of the attendees’ long-held feuds, leading to disastrous and horrifying consequences. It’s rare that a movie truly defies description, but if you’ve got a strong stomach and a will to see something you haven’t before, Climax is the perfect movie for you. —Austen Goslin
Climax is available to stream on Showtime or to rent on services like Prime Video and YouTube.
Crimes of the Future
Run time: 1h 47m
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart
Microplastics: They’re everywhere!
They’re in our lungs, our blood, our food and drinking water; even the air we breathe. What the fuck is it doing to our bodies? We don’t really know, but David Cronenberg’s 2022 body horror drama sure has an idea of what it might mean for our children. Crimes of the Future imagines a world where humans have lost the ability to feel pain. In addition to that, several people have developed a disturbing disorder which causes their bodies to spontaneously spawn new organs.
This new reality has spawned a trend: Live surgery, wherein performance artists plagued with this condition tear into their own bodies in an effort to shape meaning out of this strange new biological fact. Viggo Mortensen stars as Saul Tenser, a world-renowned performance artist who, alongside his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), stands on the cutting edge — both literally and figuratively — of this cultural phenomenon. When Saul’s activities catch the attention of a mysterious group of evolutionary activists, as well as the lascivious eye of a government employee named Timlin (Kristen Stewart), he’s forced to confront what he — and everyone else around him — is changing into, and whether what that is can even be considered “human” anymore.
As macabre as it is moving, grotesque as it is sensuous; Crimes of the Future is an exquisite work of science fiction horror where surgery is the new sex and our very bodies have rebelled against us for the incalculable destruction we have inflicted on the planet. It’s a film that exists in intimate conversation with the anxieties of our present, as well as one that represents a stunning return to form for one of cinema’s most forward-thinking directors. Howard Shore’s growling, guttural score is engrossing, while the leading trio of performances by Mortensen, Seydoux, and Stewart are a virtual match made in heaven in bringing to life this speculative slice of post-human hell on Earth. In short: It’s a great film and highly recommended, but whatever you do, don’t see it on a full stomach. Trust me. —TE
Crimes of the Future is available to stream on Hulu.
Run time: 1h 50m
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast: Kōji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 1997 horror masterpiece Cure follows Kenichi Takabe (Kōji Yakusho), a Japanese detective frustrated by an inexplicable rash of seemingly unconnected murders that nevertheless all appear to be connected, despite none of the perpetrators having known each other or having any recollection as to what possessed them to do it. When Takabe’s investigation leads him to a suspect, a student of psychology and mesmerism known as Mamiya (Masato Hagiwara), he finds himself plunged into a conspiracy that threatens to engulf anyone who gets too close.
In Cure, violence is less an act of premeditation or passion as it is a virus, coursing its way through the bloodstream of society, corrupting innocent bystanders not unlike aberrant cancer cells attacking from within without ever understanding why they did so in the first place. How do you confront a horror like that, much less stop it? The answer is as simple as it is terrifying: You can’t. —TE
Cure is available to watch on the Criterion Channel.
Run time: 2h 6m
Director: Dario Argento
Cast: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
Among the best and most well known of Italy’s giallo genre, this beautifully shot slasher is full of mystery, terror, and lots and lots murder. The movie’s purposefully complicated story more or less follows a jazz musician who witnesses a murder, but also mixes in some psychic powers for good measure. Giallo movies are, by design, strange, lurid, and full of gross and grimy things — both their plots and their murders. But the incredible filmmaking and gorgeous colors make Deep Red enchanting to watch, no matter how brutally most of its cast dies. —AG
Deep Red is available to stream on Shudder, AMC Plus, and Mubi, for free with ads on Pluto TV and Vudu, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, and Google Play.
Evil Dead Rise
Run time: 1h 37m
Director: Lee Cronin
Cast: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies
The second installment in the Evil Dead series not directed by Sam Raimi himself, Evil Dead Rise is a back-to-basics stand-alone sequel that transplants the series’ signature brand of gore-tastic horror from the wilderness to the cramped interior of a Los Angeles apartment complex. When an earthquake unexpectedly uncovers a hidden chamber containing a volume of the Necronomicon, a small family is forced to confront their worst nightmare as one of their own is possessed by a malicious otherworldly presence.
Lee Cronin’s film is packed with brilliant callbacks to the original Evil Dead films. From the iconic opening zoom effect of the original film now reimagined as a drone camera piloted by an absent-minded camper to the treasure trove of horrors buried deep in the apartment complex’s basement, Evil Dead Rise represents a bold yet familiar step forward for the franchise. Plus, there’s an awesome climactic fight scene that feels like a moment straight out of 2020’s The Last of Us Part 2 (you’ll know it when you see it) that gives both Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland their moment to shine. —Toussaint Egan
Evil Dead Rise is available to stream on Max.
Eyes Without a Face
Run time: 1h 24m
Director: Georges Franju
Cast: Pierre Brasseur, Édith Scob, Alida Valli
Georges Franju’s influential 1960 film is a master class in supernatural fantasy horror. An unsettling tale about a plastic surgeon (played by Pierre Brasseur) who kidnaps young women and performs surgery on them to try and find a face replacement for his daughter (Édith Scob), Eyes Without a Face is equal parts haunting and beautiful. Scob’s iconic face mask in the movie was later referenced in her role in the also-excellent Holy Motors many decades later. —PV
Run time: 1h 33m
Director: Clive Barker
Cast: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence
Clive Barker’s 1987 directorial debut adapts his 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart to tell the story of Larry (Andrew Robinson) and Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins). The Cottons are a married couple who move into the home of Larry’s recently deceased brother, Frank (Sean Chapman), with whom Julia had a previous affair. After inadvertently being resurrected by a drop of blood spilled by Larry on the floor of the house’s attic, Frank seduces Julia into luring new men to the house so that he can drain their life force and fully regain his mortal form. Surrounding this core narrative is the the story of the Lament Configuration, a puzzle box Frank acquired before his untimely death. When solved, it conjures hellish beings known as Cenobites to the mortal plane of existence, which indulge in hellish exercises of sadomasochistic mutilation. Easily the best and most enduring of the Hellraiser movie series, Barker’s 1987 original is a must-watch for horror fans. —TE
Hellraiser is available to watch on Prime Video, AMC+, Shudder, for free with ads on Tubi and Pluto TV, or for free with a library card on Hoopla. It is also available for digital rental or purchase via Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.
Run time: 1h 59m
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il
The Host was Bong Joon-ho’s follow-up to the smash success serial killer drama Memories of Murder. A critical and commercial success, it was the highest-grossing South Korean film ever after its release and won Best Film at the Asian Film Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Years after chemicals are dumped into the Han River, a huge mutated fish monster emerges and kidnaps a young girl. Her father (Song Kang-ho) sets out to find and rescue her, before being kidnapped by the American scientists responsible for its existence. A fun monster thriller that doubles as insightful commentary on U.S. intervention, ecological disasters, and much more, The Host is a high mark in Bong’s impressive filmography. —PV
The Host is available to watch on Max, for free with ads on The Roku Channel, and for free with a library card on Hoopla or Kanopy. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.
Run time: 1h 53m
Director: Adrian Lyne
Cast: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello
Adrian Lyne’s 1990 psychological horror film Jacob’s Ladder stars Tim Robbins as Jacob, a former American infantryman who is plagued by recurring nightmares of his time fighting in Vietnam. As his visions begin to intensify, seeping into his waking reality and seemingly claiming the lives of all those close to him, Jacob will have to descend into world of horrors beyond his wildest imagination where the only way out is through.
As I mentioned on our list of the best movies on Paramount Plus:
Inspired by the works of Francis Bacon and H. R. Giger and utilizing jarring fast motion in-camera special effects, Jacob’s Ladder is a hallucinatory body-horror thriller that’ll have you gripped to your seat.
Keep your head on a swivel when watching this one. —TE
Let the Right One In
Run time: 1h 54m
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
A 12-year-old Swedish boy finds a friend in a vampire who looks roughly his age, but is actually an old vampire permanently trapped in the body of a young child. The film is kaleidoscopic, each viewing revealing something different than the last. The first time I saw the film, I was a pessimistic college student, and I read the central relationship as a warning about the parasitic nature of love. After college, the children’s bond reminded me of the impermanence of youth, and why growing up is a mixed blessing. This past year, I was far more focused on the girl’s relationship with her caretaker, an older man who sacrifices everything for her existence.
The film was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel of the same name, which inspired not just this Swedish film, but a 2010 American adaptation, a comic-book prequel, and two stage plays. The latter has its own legacy — it was adapted by the magnificent National Theater of Scotland, and it eventually had a run at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2015. Few books inspire so much additional great art. So I suppose I’m recommending the book just as much as the film. —Chris Plante
Let the Right One In is available to watch on Hulu and Prime Video, for free with ads on The Roku Channel and Crackle, or for free with a library card on Hoopla and Kanopy. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.
Run time: 1h 23m
Director: Phil Tippet
If Mad God could be summed up in a single word, it is gross. A feature-length descent into a Boschian hellscape of scatalogical (and eschatological) horrors stacked on top of one another like the strata of an impossible tower of Babel, each layer oozing with pus, bile, blood, ichor, and excrement. Another word to describe it would be phenomenal, an apocalyptic stop-motion horror epic over three decades in the making through the meticulous, unfettered craftsmanship of Phil Tippett, the legendary visual effects director and artist behind such films as the original Star Wars trilogy, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park.
I could tell you about the story of the film, but in truth, the story is little more than a matter of personal interpretation. What matters in Mad God, first and foremost, is the animation. Tippett’s masterpiece is a resounding testament to the power of unrestrained creativity and the intrinsic cathartic capacity of the genre of horror itself. —TE
Run time: 1h 51m
Director: James Wan
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young
There was just no way to see it coming. After the Conjuring and Insidious franchises, plus blockbuster turns with Furious 7 and Aquaman, James Wan could have cashed in chips to make another moody franchise-starter to stretch his jump-scare muscles. Instead, he made Malignant, a high-emotion giallo stuffed into dingy ’90s direct-to-video pastiche like some kind of horror-movie turducken. Wan pulls back the layers in an almost tedious fashion: The pregnant Madison (Annabelle Wallis) is first the victim of domestic abuse, then she encounters another killer, and then she starts dealing with psychotic episodes tied to her childhood imaginary friend Gabriel, and theeeeen it’s revealed… Well, please go behold it.
Strung together with a melodramatic cover of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind,” reveling in horror tropes to the point of parody, the final twists of Malignant are some of the most gratifying lunacy of the year, and the acrobatic actor Marina Mazepa brings it all home in a display of gruesome ballet. I won’t explain anything more out of fear of spoilers — just get on the Malignant train. Wan put his dream (nightmare?) on screen for us all to enjoy. —Matt Patches
Run time: 2h 5m
Director: Frank Darabont
Cast: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
Any fan of Stephen King worth their salt knows that the so-called king of horror has a lot of movie adaptations of his work. Few films have managed to eclipse, let alone successfully adapt, King’s capacity for horror storytelling, with the exception of (a) Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and (b) Frank Darabont’s The Mist.
Darabont’s third adaptation of a Stephen King story, the film stars Thomas Jane (The Expanse) as a Hollywood poster artist living in Maine who, along with his wife and son and the rest of his neighbors, takes shelter in a supermarket in the wake of a mysterious storm that covers the town in a deadly mist.
Supernatural, otherworldly horrors abound throughout The Mist, but the greatest horror of all is — you guessed it — humanity itself, as seen in the way the townspeople succumb to the temptation to scapegoat those among themselves under the influence of a local religious fanatic. The ending is a gut-punch and sincerely one of the most chilling in any mainstream horror film of its time. If you’ve managed to go unspoiled until now, I won’t ruin the surprise, but needless to say, it’s worth it. —TE
Night of the Living Dead
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: George A. Romero
Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Marilyn Eastman
The movie that launched the modern zombie film in the United States, George A. Romero’s debut feature was written, directed, photographed, and edited by the nascent zombie film master on a shoestring budget, which only adds to the eerie atmosphere and grounded terror. In this film, a group of survivors hide out in an abandoned house in western Pennsylvania at the start of a zombie apocalypse. Led by the level-headed Ben (Duane Jones), the group not only has to deal with the conflict of zombies trying to break in, but internal conflicts stemming from disagreements on how to handle their precarious predicament.
Night of the Living Dead is the first example of Romero’s typical blend of jaw-dropping (and stomach-churning) practical effects and astute social commentary. Fun fact: This movie came out a month before the MPAA film rating system, which meant a heaping amount of controversy when children were able to see the quite graphic movie in theaters. And another fun fact: Night of the Living Dead was never copyrighted and is in the public domain because of an error by the original theatrical distributor. —PV
Night of the Living Dead is available to watch on Max, Peacock, MGM+, and Paramount Plus, or for free with ads on the Roku Channel. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.
Run time: 2h 4m
Director: Andrzej Żuławski
Cast: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Heinz Bennent
Outside of the most ardent of cinephile circles, Andrzej Żuławski isn’t a name that inspires enthusiastic recognition in the United States. Known for his transgressive brand of arthouse cinema, Żuławski’s career was stymied by Communist authorities in his homeland of Poland, with many of his early films being either heavily censored, banned, or, in one instance, nearly destroyed upon release. It also doesn’t help that the few films of his that have been released in the States have since gone out of print — though that appears to be changing soon.
If you do know Żuławski’s name, it’s likely for his 1981 psychological horror film Possession, a film whose cult status among horror connoisseurs has only been amplified in the decades since its release by its difficulty to obtain on physical media or to view online. Fortunately for everyone, that’s no longer the case.
Set in Cold War-era West Berlin, Żuławski’s film stars Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill as Mark, a Russian spy who returns home to find that his wife, Anna (Isabelle Adjani), has left him and wants a divorce. When Anna refuses to divulge why, only saying that she has not left him for someone else, Mark grows suspicious and has her tailed. What he eventually discovers is a horrifying secret beyond his comprehension, one which awakens a long-dormant wellspring of anxiety, resentment, and despair between the two that threatens to tear apart not only their small family, but their very sanity as well.
Inspired by Żuławski’s own tumultuous divorce in 1976 and his subsequent struggles with suicidal ideation, Possession blurs the line between the autobiographical and the phantasmagorical, with hysterical performances by Neill and Adjani that vacillate between disturbing, comical, and disquietingly sympathetic. An inspiration for everything from Ari Aster’s Midsommar to the 2016 music video for Massive Attack’s “Voodoo in My Blood,” Possession is an essential watch for any serious horror fan. —TE
Run time: 1h 18m
Directors: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza
Cast: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Martha Carbonell
One of the best and most disturbing found-footage movies ever, [REC] follows a TV reporter and camera person who follow emergency workers into an apartment building, only to discover the dark truth inside: Some of the residents are turning into monsters. Set squarely in the zombie-craze of the mid-2000s, [REC]’s undead creatures owe quite a bit to the raving cannibal infected of 28 Days Later, but the Spanish movie’s flesh-eaters are quite a bit creepier and more disturbed than their predecessors. While many found-footage movies obscure their scariest moments, [REC] uses the format to enhance its creeping dread and drag out the character’s slow careful exploration of the apartment building, ramping the tension up to 11 just in time for the downright terrifying finale. — AG
Run time: 1h 24m
Director: Jean Luc Herbulot
Cast: Yahn Gael, Evelyne Ily Juhen, Roger Sallah
One of the most memorable new movies of the year is this genre-bending mashup of influences and styles, all combining into an unforgettable 80-minute thriller with stark characterization, remarkable set-pieces, and a whirlwind ending.
From my plea for you to watch Saloum:
From the beginning, Saloum’s evocative costuming choices clue you in to each of the three principal characters: When you first meet them, the three leads are wearing identical ponchos, but the camera focuses on their footwear (one wears Versace, one wears sneakers, one goes barefoot) to instantly tell you what you need to know about this eclectic group of friends and colleagues. […] I will leave the rest for you to discover for yourself, but I will say there’s a reason this movie is on a horror-centric streaming service.
Guess what — there’s a reason this movie is on this list, too. —PV
Run time: 1h 53m
Director: Egor Abramenko
Cast: Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov
If you’re hungry for a great piece of contemporary Russian sci-fi horror (i.e., something not directed by either Andrei Tarkovsky or Yakov Protazanov), then Egor Abramenko’s 2020 directorial debut is just the film you’re looking for.
Set during 1983 at the height of Cold War tensions, Sputnik (which for your information is Russian for “fellow traveler”) centers on Tatyana (Oskana Akinshina), an uncompromising young psychiatrist with a staunch attitude with regard to the ends justifying the means. Tatyana is recruited by the Soviet military to treat Konstantin (Pyotr Fyodorov), a wounded cosmonaut and the lone survivor of a mysterious satellite crash. Only upon arriving at the remote hospital facility housing the patient and interacting with him does Tatyana come to realize the horrifying truth: Konstantin did not in fact return from space alone; rather, his body has now become the unwitting host to an organism unlike anything seen on Earth. Caught between her duty to study the creature and her desire to save Konstantin from further harm, Tatyana must make a hard decision upon which the very survival of all humanity may rest.
What makes Abramenko’s debut so compelling is how it takes the basic premise of the “trolley problem” thought experiment and twists it repeatedly (and successfully) to dramatic emotional effect. Akinshina (The Bourne Supremacy) delivers a convincing and compelling performance as Tatyana, a woman forced to confront and overcome the uncompromising attitude that had once assured her success but now threatens to endanger not only another man’s life, but potentially the lives of everyone on the planet along with her own soul. Fyodorov, for his own part, delivers a sympathetically complex (and on occasion, implicitly sinister) performance as Konstantin, a Russian “hero” torn between his perceived duty to his country and his emotional obligation to a loved one he all but abandoned before embarking on his most recent mission. The creature design in this movie is terrific, as is the cinematography and the film’s score.
Having previously been slated for a world premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and subsequently dumped on video-on-demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sputnik is exactly the kind of horror movie this list was intended to spotlight: a kind of rare gem of intellectually and viscerally stimulating horror that otherwise goes unappreciated if not given the opportunity to shine. —TE
Sputnik is available to stream on Hulu.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Run time: 1h 23m
Director: Tobe Hooper
Cast: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Allen Danziger
Another shoestring production gone huge, Tobe Hooper’s 1974 masterpiece made over $30 million at the box office on a budget of around $140,000. The movie follows a group of friends who find themselves hunted by a family of cannibals in the middle of Texas, and is a chilling, violent fever dream that permanently lodges itself in the minds of those who watch it.
Eight films have followed, including a Netflix version in 2022, but the original stands out as an unhinged encapsulation of pure chaos and terror. At a tight 83 minutes, the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre is well worth the small time investment to catch up on one of the most influential horror movies ever made. —PV
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is available to watch on Peacock, Shudder, AMC+, and for free with ads on Tubi and Freevee. It is also available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.
The Unfriended movies
Year: 2014 (Unfriended); 2018 (Unfriended: Dark Web)
Run time: 1h 23m (Unfriended); 1h 28m (Unfriended: Dark Web)
Director: Levan “Leo” Gabriadze (Unfriended); Stephen Susco (Unfriended: Dark Web)
Cast: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead (Unfriended); Colin Woodell, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Betty Gabriel (Unfriended: Dark Web)
As many people have learned over the past few years, there aren’t that many things scarier than a video call you can’t leave.
A masterfully contained horror movie that makes full use of its (at the time) groundbreaking gimmick, Unfriended is a tense teen horror movie that takes place entirely on a character’s laptop screen. Definitely watch it on a laptop if you can, and check out the very good sequel Unfriended: Dark Web if you dug this one. —PV
From our list of the best horror movies on Netflix:
Levan Gabriadze’s Unfriended pulls the audiences through the screen — almost literally. Viewed entirely from the perspective of a computer desktop, 2014 supernatural horror film centers around a Skype call between a group of high school students who are joined by an unknown presence known only as “billie227.” What at first appears to be a prank swiftly morphs into something much more horrific, as the mysterious stranger begins to reveal terrifying secrets about each of the friends before killing them off one by one. Unfriended is thoroughly gripping extrapolation of our always-online world, a world where vengeful poltergeists and doxxing exist side by side and no secret or offense goes undiscovered or unpunished. —TE
Unfriended is available to watch on Netflix or for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu. Unfriended: Dark Web is available for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.