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The Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime Video

For when you need a good scare.

the ring
'The Ring' | DreamWorks Pictures
'The Ring' | DreamWorks Pictures

The greatest horror movies of all time get under your skin with original conceits. They sharpen your paranoia to burrow down into your brain. They grab hold of your heart with iconic imagery—you'll never forget Freddy's claws, no matter how hard you try. Most of the major streaming services take spooky, scary dramas quite seriously, including Amazon. So switch off the lights, grab a blanket, and hold your nearest loved one—these stream-ready horror movies are here to fill your head with nightmares. Have fun!

Can't get enough horror? Make sure to check out our list of The Best Horror Movies of 2020.

cabin in the woods
Lionsgate

Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Drew Goddard's (The Martian) horror-comedy Cabin in the Woods plays off the classically creepy, tried-and-true trope of the, you guessed it, cabin in the woods. It's set up with a handful of cliches—a group of college kids, representing each stereotype you'd expect in a horror flick, go away for a weekend stay in a desolate cabin—but takes a turn, and a smart one at that. There isn't a group of cannibals or a psychopathic innkeeper out to get them, but rather a whole organization unleashing supernatural beings onto them for their own entertainment. Starring a freshly Thor-ed out Chris Hemsworth and produced by Joss Whedon, Cabin in the Woods goes in hard to subvert its own premise from the (under)ground up to become an unexpectedly fun and bloody type of creature feature.
Watch it now on Amazon

child's play 2019
United Artists Releasing

Child's Play (2019)

Chucky's earned himself a whole bunch of sequels by this point—so it only makes (financial) sense to deliver a remake of some sort. And to its credit, this reboot does manage to find its own footing while still capturing some of the goofy B-movie fun of the 1987 original. For example, this time around Chucky isn't just a toy; he's a multimedia app that can do a whole lot more damage than his knife-wielding predecessor.
Watch it now on Amazon

children of the corn
New World Pictures

Children of the Corn (1984)

This adaptation of Stephen King's horror short story is campy and light on production value, but hell, those kids. From the opening massacre at a local diner to the several deaths at the hands of "He Who Walks Behind the Rows," this rural shlock pairs perfectly with a bucket of your own (popped) corn.
Watch it now on Amazon

climax
A24

Climax (2019)

Director Gaspar NoĂ© sure knows how to make divisive movies. On a surface level, Climax is about a large dance troupe whose big party goes terribly wrong when someone spikes the punch with hard drugs and everyone pretty much loses their mind. The movie starts out in fascinating fashion—a bunch of interviews with the dancers is followed by one of the wildest single-shot dance numbers you'll ever see—then it slowly, gradually, eventually gets all sorts of mean, cruel, nihilistic, and nasty. Whether or not there's an actual point to all this drug-induced madness, however, is up to you.
Watch it now on Amazon

crawl
Paramount Pictures

Crawl (2019)

Crawl is a movie that gives you exactly what you want. It's a short, tight creature feature about a swimmer and her dad trapped in a crawl space with a bunch of hungry gators during a hurricane. The plot unfolds just as you'd expect, but in ways that nonetheless keep your pulse racing. Kaya Scodelario plays Haley, who drives into the eye of a big Florida storm to check in on her unresponsive dad Dave (Barry Pepper). He's not at his apartment, but she does find him gravely injured in the basement of her childhood home with some scaly villains roaming around. As this child-parent pair tries to escape rising waters and snapping jaws, director Alexandre Aja ramps up the tension with well-executed jump scares and just the right amount of gore. The emotional beats feel perfunctory at best, but Haley and Dave's baggage comes in handy when the lizard threat mounts. It's a perfect summertime chiller: lean, mean, and fun as hell.
Watch it now on Amazon

gretel & hansel
United Artists Releasing

Gretel & Hansel (2020)

It's well-known that our most popular fairy tales started out a whole lot darker before Mother Goose and Walt Disney got a hold of them, and here's an odd, low-key, and visually fascinating film that tries to recapture some of that eerie old atmosphere. More of a dark fable, of course, than a traditional horror film, but it's also a quietly compelling and surprisingly unique piece of genre cinema. Plus, it's really beautiful to look at.
Watch it now on Amazon

high life
A24

High Life (2019)

French filmmaker Claire Denis makes movies that claw at the brain and activate the senses, and with High Life, she crafted a story that's equal parts heady prison thriller, psycho-sexual medical mystery, and bong-rip journey through the cosmos. Bouncing backwards and forwards in chronology, the story tracks quiet inmate Monte (Robert Pattinson) as he raises a baby in a cavernous, dorm-like shuttle in one timeline and attempts to thwart the secretive plans of an oddball scientist (Juliette Binoche) in another thread. Exactly how Monte ends up alone with the baby, playing the role of single parent in the stars, would be the central question of a more conventional sci-fi narrative, and there are surprising plot twists and shocking violent acts committed here. But Denis fills the movie with curious images and wild ideas that complicate the dystopian set-up. High Life resists the solutions of puzzle-box filmmaking, choosing instead to explore its own perilous terrain of desire.
Watch it now on Amazon

the hole in the ground
Vertigo Releasing

The Hole in the Ground (2019)

The Hole in the Ground, an Irish horror film of considerable ferocity, is unafraid of the obvious. As the title promises, there is a large hole in the ground, which ends up being a source of great stress for Sarah (Seána Kerslake) and her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) who move to the countryside to escape a troubled home life. They want a new start, but their new digs have issues. In addition to the gnarly pit waiting for them in the forest, the duo must also contend with a creepy old woman with a dark past, some creepy bugs, and their own growing suspicion of each other. This is more of a meat-and-potatoes horror film, one where the music pounds away at a punishing volume and the scares arrive like clockwork. You know what's at the bottom of the hole, but you won't be able to resist digging in.
Watch it now on Amazon

ju-on the grudge
Lions Gate Films

Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

Ju-On: The Grudge is an unabashed haunted-house horror story through and through. Writer/director Takashi Shimizu doesn't set out to reinvent the wheel with this tale of numerous tenants and two tenacious ghosts, but he does manage to wring several great scares out of a potentially over-familiar premise. This one went on to spawn all sorts of remakes, sequels, and spinoffs, including an American version of the film (which finds virtually nothing changed) starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Also available on Prime, the pair together would make for a nice late-night double feature, given that they're both directed by Shimuzu. 
Watch it now on Amazon

the lighthouse
A24

The Lighthouse (2019)

In The Witch director Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse, two colorfully rotten men played by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are tasked with keeping an isolated lighthouse running, but they quickly succumb to boredom, animosity, and frequently amusing madness. Visually striking and oddly compelling, this bizarre combination of dark comedy and offbeat thriller may go to some unexpected places (including one wild sex scene with a mermaid), but it's certainly never boring.
Watch it now on Amazon

midsommar
A24

Midsommar (2019)

Have you ever found yourself on a vacation trip you immediately regretted? Weird people, freaky food, uncomfortable lodgings, and your boyfriend is acting like a real piece of shit, and all you can do is try your best to grin and bear it until you can finally return home? We've all been there, and the supremely creepy "folk horror" story from horror auteur Ari Aster (Hereditary) captures that discomfort perfectly. In a nutshell, four college friends, plus one of the group's grieving girlfriends (Florence Pugh), visit an obscure Swedish summer solstice festival deep in the Scandinavian forest—and things go from odd to uncomfortable to downright horrific. To say much more would ruin the dreadful fun.
Watch it now on Amazon

my friend dahmer
FilmRise

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Most true-crime fans can rattle off the DSM's characteristics of a psychopathic killer: antisocial, a history of mental illness, and a fascination with killing or dissecting animals, on top of a handful of other eerie benchmarks. My Friend Dahmer puts that textbook definition onto screen to illustrate who exactly infamous, 17-time-murderer Jeffrey Dahmer (Ross Lynch) was before his horrific killing spree began. Adapted from real-life former classmate John Backderf's graphic novel and memoir, the thriller is as close a look as ever at Dahmer's psychology. While not entirely hesitant to prescribe empathy to the serial killer who did grow up as an isolated, lonely young man, the film never strays from being utterly chilling as it cautiously evaluates the subject's psyche.
Watch it now on Amazon

overlord
Paramount Pictures

Overlord (2018)

While many films based on video games turn out to be... underwhelming, to say the least, a solid handful of them actually manage to wring some of the same memorable fun out of the games and sprinkle it into the movies. Overlord, for example, feels like it could be called Castle Wolfenstein: The Movie. In other words: It's about a platoon of American soldiers in WWII who are dropped behind enemy lines and ordered to destroy an important communications tower. That's inside a horrific fortress. Where horrible experiments have taken place. And now there are monsters. With Game of Thrones' Pilou Asbæk giving a gonzo performance that puts the cherry on top, Overlord is bloody entertaining. 
Watch it now on Amazon

pet sematary 2019
Paramount Pictures

Pet Sematary (2019)

There's not much here that fans of the Stephen King novel (and Mary Lambert's 1989 adaptation) haven't seen before, but this one avoids the "stinky remake" curse because it does manage to throw in a few new twists you won't see coming. The cast featuring Jason Clarke and John Lithgow is great, and the titular "sematary" is brought to life (relatively speaking) in very creepy fashion. Fair warning that this is definitely a downbeat horror story about the risks of resurrection, but hey, so is the source material.
Watch it now on Amazon

the ring
DreamWorks Pictures

The Ring (2002)

Horror remakes are rarely worth their weight in disembodied heads, but this Japanese translation of 1998's Ringu, made over in the most slick and perverse way imaginable by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean), is worth revisiting. Filled with creepy imagery—the “Ring video” is only the beginning, as Naomi Watts’ Rachel uncovers the true story of Samara, unwanted and tortured in psychoanalysis—this is one to revisit whether it’s “the season” for horror movies or not.
Watch it now on Amazon

rosemary's baby
Paramount Pictures

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

This classic psychological horror film stars Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes as a young couple who land a steal of a New York City apartment only to find themselves the target of their neighbors' Satanic activity. Without gore or literal ghoulish activity, Rosemary's Baby strikes up a sense of anxiety that crescendos until the movie's final minutes. Everyday household activities—cleaning, cooking, a routine phone call—become Biblical trials. Farrow, with wide-eyed resilience, makes for one hell of an anti-Hitchcock heroine. This one will get in your head and haunt you.
Watch it now on Amazon

Southbound (2016)

Every so often we see the release of a horror "anthology" movie that reinvigorates the medium just by existing. Slightly more impressive is a multi-story anthology that somehow manages to tie all the stories together at the end. There isn't a weak link in Southbound, which entwines five stories into a tangible desert highway purgatory. Those who hold a fondness for old EC horror comics (or the original Creepshow) would do well to track this one down.
Watch it now on Amazon

suspiria
Amazon Studios

Suspiria (2019) 

It takes a lot of bravery to remake what is arguably the finest horror film of Dario Argento's career—and fans of the original film should be deeply grateful that a new rendition was handed to director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) who clearly knows and loves the original. What we have here is an epic horror film that follows the quiet but very ominous activities of an elite Berlin dance school faculty, and the unfortunate young women who begin to suspect the truth about the school. Even given the original movie's place in the horror hall of fame, there's something truly, wildly, indelibly ambitious about this beautifully scary film. And that score by Thom Yorke!
Watch it now on Amazon

the uninvited
Paramount Pictures

The Uninvited (2009)

Stepmothers have gotten a bad rap in fiction, and The Uninvited leans into this nightmare of a fairytale-trope with all of its weight. The movie centers on a young woman named Anna (Emily Browning) who returns home from a stint in the hospital following a suicide attempt after the disturbing death of her mother, only to find her father remarried to her late mother’s former nurse. Not only is she haunted by what feels like an entirely new home life, but she also sees visions of her dead mother yearning for her to uncover the truth of her death. The plot may be pretty predictable, but there’s a handful of frights that will leave you just as fearful as Anna in her own home. 
Watch it now on Amazon

unsane
Fingerprint Releasing/Bleecker Street

Unsane (2018)

The set-up of Unsane alone is interesting: The impressively eclectic Steven Soderbergh tackles full-bore horror with a movie shot entirely with an iPhone camera. But is it any good? Survey says: thankfully, yes. It's a noir-style paranoia thriller about a troubled woman (Claire Foy) who unwittingly signs herself up to be remanded to an asylum, and things get even twistier from there.
Watch it now on Amazon

v/h/s
Magnet Releasing

V/H/S (2012)

An anonymous benefactor tasks a gang with breaking into a house and stealing a VHS tape. They find several, which become the found-footage shorts that comprise this freaky anthology. There's an out-of-this-world sexcapade, a road trip gone awry, a killer glitch, a messed-up video-chatting boyfriend, and a haunted house. V/H/S might sound gimmicky, but we guarantee at least one of its vignettes will make you cower. The collection's strengths are its overarching vision and self-awareness, as well as its diversity of scares.
Watch it now on Amazon

the village
Buena Vista Pictures

The Village (2004)

In a village somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, an entire community lives in fear of what lurks in the woods just beyond their borders. What they refer to as "Those We Don’t Speak Of" are some sort of inhuman creatures that have isolated the village's residents from not only other towns, but driven them to psychological terror. The horror flick comes from genre director M. Night Shyamalan and, of course, features a Shyamalan-esque surprise ending that will definitely throw you for a loop, but for what it’s worth, the stacked cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver, and Adrien Brody, plus a very creepy score, will convince you something might attack any moment.
Watch it now on Amazon

we need to talk about kevin
Oscilloscope Labrotories

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Horror at its most primal. Director Lynne Ramsay teams up with the incredible Tilda Swinton for a stylized, psychologically rich portrait of a mother sent into crisis after her son commits an unforgivable crime. Featuring winning turns from John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller, the movie explores visceral, ugly truths without blinking. It's the type of movie that will get you talking—unless you're left in stunned silence. 
Watch it now on Amazon

the wicker man
British Lion Films

The Wicker Man (1973)

A police officer visits a bizarre, isolated island community while looking for a missing girl, only to (slowly) realize that there's some super-creepy old-school witchcraft afoot. The Wicker Man is one of those "slow-burn" horror stories, and yes, you should definitely skip the goofy Nicolas Cage remake that spoiled some of the original's surprises. This Christopher Lee-led mystery is a truly disturbing horror classic for those who settle in and pay close attention. 
Watch it now on Amazon

you're next
Lionsgate

You're Next (2011)

The home invasion genre gets a pleasingly nasty, darkly funny update in this Adam Wingard-directed thriller, which follows an Australian woman (Sharni Vinson) trekking to the Missouri childhood home of her academic boyfriend (AJ Bowen) for his parent's 35th wedding anniversary. The vaguely caustic mumblecore trappings—filmmakers Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, and Ti West all have supporting roles—quickly give way to a genuinely exciting suspense setup, one where gruesome death is doled out with cleverness and wit.
Watch it now on Amazon

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