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12 Horror Movies You Can Stream Right Now, From ‘Carrie’ to ‘The Shining’ – A N I T H
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12 Horror Movies You Can Stream Right Now, From ‘Carrie’ to ‘The Shining’

12 Horror Movies You Can Stream Right Now, From ‘Carrie’ to ‘The Shining’


Whether or not the horror genre is a regular part of your film-watching diet, it’s hard to make it through the Halloween season without being forced to sit through at least one blood-soaked movie marathon. So if you’re going to have to endure a few hours perched on the edge of your seat, you’d better make sure to get some genuine scares out of it. So brace yourselves: Here are the best horror movies you can find on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Carrie (1976)

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) may not have much to say when she’s being pelted with tampons by her gym classmates or locked into a tiny closet by her loony mom so that the gawky teen can repent for her sins, but don’t embarrass this girl in front of a crowd. Sure, she may look like she could be toppled over by a light wind, but when Carrie gets angry, her telekinetic powers come out—and that’s when all hell breaks loose. More than 40 years after its original release, Brian De Palma’s big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s debut novel, about a misfit teen who gets the ultimate revenge on the high school students who have made her life a living hell, still manages to resonate—even if you know what’s coming next.

Where to stream it: Amazon

The Shining (1980)

Stephen King may be the literary world’s reigning master of horror, but when it comes to horror movies, he may need to have his head examined. Since its release in 1980, King has made no secret of his disdain for Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, The Shining, about a young family—dad/writer Jack (Jack Nicholson), meek mom Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd)—that retreats to an otherwise abandoned hotel for the winter to serve as caretakers so that Jack can write the great American novel. In 1983, King told Playboy that he had, “admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project,” but that he “was deeply disappointed in the end result. Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fell flat.” He also said that, “Jack Nicholson, though a fine actor, was all wrong for the part.” With all due respect to King, we have to disagree … with every single part of that assessment. Yes, the movie deviates from King’s writing, but what audiences are left with is a powerful journey into one man’s madness, and the horror that isolation can wreak on its victims.

Where to stream it: Netflix

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne), two young Americans backpacking through England, are attacked by a werewolf. Weeks later, David wakes up in a London hospital, and ultimately receives a visit from Jack’s ghost with a warning: If he doesn’t kill himself before the next full moon, he’ll start racking up a body count of his own. Creepy and hilarious—and thanks to creature creator Rick Baker, who won an Oscar for the film, the scene in which David transforms into a werewolf still stands as one of the most impressive displays of special effects ever created for the big screen.

Where to stream it: Hulu, Amazon

The Evil Dead (1981)

Sam Raimi was barely old enough to buy a case of beer when he turned the “attractive youngsters in a cabin in the woods” trope on its head and launched his beloved franchise. Originally shot as Within the Woods, a 1978 short (also starring Raimi’s childhood friend, Bruce Campbell) that helped the director raise money for a feature, The Evil Dead managed to mix horror, comedy, and the supernatural into one uproariously entertaining feature. Five college students, including Ash (Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), rent a cabin in the middle of nowhere, only to discover a basement full of creepy artifacts belonging to the archaeologist who once owned the place. Among the goodies is the Necronomicon, aka The Book of the Dead, which is … well, you can imagine. Look out, kids!

Where to stream it: Amazon

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s microbudget found-footage phenom proved that creativity can trump money and an A-list cast of actors every time. Three film students head off into the woods (where else?) to investigate The Blair Witch, a local legend believed to haunt the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland. The wannabe documentarians, of course, think that the stories are a hoax—until they find themselves stranded in said woods. While The Blair Witch Project didn’t invent the found-footage subgenre, it certainly created a trend—and after it duped moviegoers into believing that the footage was real, it spawned a legacy of viral marketing campaigns that haunts horror to this very day.

Where to stream it: Amazon

High Tension (2003)

Before Hollywood roped him into directing big-budget remakes of The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha, Alexandre Aja was at the forefront of the “New French Extremity” movement (aka “torture porn”). Gal pals Marie and Alex are headed to the country house of Alex’s parents for the weekend in order to do some cramming for school. After a friendly family dinner, everyone goes to bed … until a serial killer comes knocking, and drives off with Marie and Alex in his truck. From there, things just get stranger, and somehow more violent. For those who like their horror movies like a Trump steak—well done and grisly—it all adds up to a satisfying experience. (But bad dubbing.)

Where to stream it: Hulu

The Host (2006)

When South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho imagined what would happen if Seoul’s Han River was polluted with formaldehyde, the answer was simple: the birth of an enormous sea monster with a healthy appetite for human flesh. Expertly crafted, the movie has plenty of scares, but is balanced out with a truly funny script (co-written by Joon-ho, Jun-won Ha, and Chul-hyun Baek) that sees one dysfunctional family doing all it can to remain together amidst the chaos engulfing their city. The film became the highest-grossing movie of all time in South Korea, and held tight to that title for a full eight years.

Where to stream it: Netflix, Hulu

Let the Right One In (2008)

Not to be confused with the 2010 US remake Let Me In, the Swedish film stands out among 2008’s blood-soaked sea of vampire productions (True Blood, Twilight, and more) because it treats its bloodsucker angle as secondary. The character-driven drama is really about the relationship that grows between bullied Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and his mysterious neighbor Eli (Lina Leandersson), two tweens who share a sense of isolation—and a desire to kill. Its angsty, sweet tale of two outsiders who find a place within each other adds up to one fiercely compelling film.

Where to stream it: Amazon

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Joss Whedon produced and co-wrote this meta-horror film, the new millennium’s answer to Scream. The title alone tells you the setup: a group of college students (including Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth) are looking to blow off some steam, so they head to the most remote cabin they can find. They meet some townies along the way who try and warn them off continuing on the trip, but nope. Cue a rapid succession of horror movie tropes, each one with a knowing wink—and all for a much greater purpose. To say much more would give away too much, but we will say this: always bet on the merman.

Where to stream it: Amazon

The Babadook (2014)

There’s been much talk about the dearth of female directors working today, and Jennifer Kent—who wrote and directed this Australian gem—is just one example of why we need more of them. Just as Kathyrn Bigelow has done in the action realm, Kent offers a slightly different take on the horror genre with this story of a struggling widow who thinks that the monster in her six-year-old son’s pop-up storybook might be real. In the hands of another filmmaker, The Babadook could have been a cheap-thrills-filled one-note story. But Kent and her stars—Essie Davis as Amelia and Noah Wiseman as her son, Sam—turn this into a deeply moving psychological thriller, where grief is the real villain.

Where to stream it: Amazon, Netflix

It Follows (2014)

A prime example of the current wave of smart, terrifying independent horror. It starts out simply enough: Jay (Maika Monroe) and her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) see a movie, then get freaky in a car. Emphasis on freaky: Hugh’s post-coital moves include knocking Jay out with chloroform, tying her to a wheelchair, and informing her that he’s “infected” her with a supernatural spirit that will follow her around until it kills her or she passes it on. While some have reduced the story to a cautionary tale about unsafe sex, that doesn’t give enough credit to writer/director David Robert Mitchell—or to Monroe, who subverts the genre’s “final girl” archetype in some fascinating, counterintuitive ways.

Where to stream it: Amazon, Netflix

The Invitation (2015)

After two years without any contact, Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) are invited to a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills thrown by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband, who she met through a grief support group following the death of Will and Eden’s son. The nostalgia is thick, but something seems off to Will; as the night progresses, so does his paranoia. The tension, palpable to begin with, only builds as the movie progresses. You know something’s going to happen, and sort of know what it might be, but a great script and cast—plus perfectly nuanced direction by Karyn Kusama—keep you guessing all along.

Where to stream it: Amazon, Netflix



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Anith Gopal
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