The Best Horror Movies on Hulu
Get your spooky movie fix.
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 Hulu. 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!
Bad Hair (2020)
A satire from Dear White People filmmaker Justin Simien, Bad Hair is all about how sometimes reality is actually what's scariest. On the surface, it's a horror-comedy about a young woman whose own weave is terrorizing her, but in actuality it's a commentary on how nasty it is that Black women are frequently boxed into unfair social and beauty standards. Elle Lorraine plays a woman in 1989 who is set on making it in music television and gets a weave when she's told she doesn't have the right look to appear on camera. Instead of curing her professional shortcomings, it only brings her disaster, and this movie (which features an exciting supporting cast of Vanessa Williams, Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox, and others) ends up being perfectly coded in its capture of horrors Black women know to be all too true.
Blair Witch (2016)
If you're a fan of the original in the Blair Witch franchise, good, because there's more! Death Note and The Guest director Adam Wingard took at stab at reinventing the 1999 classic by taking everything that worked in the first movie, giving it a modern technological overhaul (the hikers have drones now!) and injecting a serious dose of mythology into the snot-dribbling terror. Underrated when it first hit theaters (and bombed), the adrenaline-pumping horror movie will give you panic attacks as you try to understand its time travel logic.
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.
The Clovehitch Killer (2018)
Movies about kids and teens who find themselves on a dark adventure, left to confront something horrible, are a dime a dozen. This indie is one of those, but a rock-solid chiller that burns slowly with a grim atmosphere. It's about a kid who slowly becomes convinced that his father is an infamous serial killer who escaped justice years earlier. Strong performances from Charlie Plummer and Dylan McDermott and a smart screenplay by Christopher Ford keep this potentially familiar tale from ever becoming obvious or redundant.
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. For whatever reason, Paramount decided to under-promote this one, but it's actually a perfect summertime chiller: lean, mean, and fun as hell.
Let's face it: The desire to cheat death is the purest expression of a fear of mortality. So even when the hip medical students (played by Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt) in Flatliners "crack" the key to defeating Death by experimenting with controlled near-death experiences, they've only delayed the inevitable (and made Death angry). And if movies have taught us anything, it's that you don't want to make Death angry.
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 from Oz Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter) that tries to recapture some of that eerie 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.
Lights Out (2016)
A mysterious entity that disappears when the lights go on terrorizes a young woman and her kid brother in this creepy movie based on a popular YouTube video. In many ways, Lights Out is a conventional and slightly predictable horror movie, but it's also well written, cleverly shot, and atmospheric (the premise demands darkness). Bonus points for the ending, which isn't exactly a twist, but it does manage to leave the viewer feeling slightly gut-punched.
Into the Dark: All That We Destroy (2019)
A brilliant scientist has discovered the key to human cloning, and what does she use it for? Crafting a collection of victims for her psychotic son. Yeah. This one's pretty dark. But it's also fairly smart, focusing as it does on the prickly moral quandaries that inevitably arise when someone pushes Mother Nature too far—or when you've got a bloodthirsty lunatic locked inside your house. Hulu's Into the Dark horror film series has been a decidedly mixed bag—although certainly worthy of a look if you dig the scary stuff—but this one is easily one of the best of the series.
Little Monsters (2019)
Just when you think the zombie comedy is played out, we get this energetic winner from Australia. Lupita Nyong'o (who proved to be an excellent horror leading lady in Us) plays a lovable schoolteacher who has to contend with an obnoxious new suitor, a whole bunch of adorable kids, an astoundingly annoying TV host, and a sudden zombie invasion. It's a lot of fun.
The Lodge (2020)
Two unhappy kids are forced to spend some time at an isolated lodge with their new—and highly unwelcome—stepmother (Riley Keough), only to discover all sorts of horrible secrets. Beautifully shot and consistently creepy, this new spin on old fairy tales tropes is loaded with great performances, fun jolts, and unexpected surprises of the nastiest kind.
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 Dahme 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.
The Other Lamb (2020)
Even on a smaller screen, The Other Lamb is absolutely extraordinary to behold. Malgorzata Szumowska's cult film with notes of horror is as gorgeous as it is deeply creepy. Raffey Cassidy (Vox Lux, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) plays a teen named Selah who has spent her entire life under the control of a man who goes by Shepherd (Michiel Huisman). Selah and her "sisters" are devoted followers of this man, unaware of the maliciousness that lurks in his belief system and the society he's created. But over the course of the film, Selah slowly wakes up, no thanks to any intervention from the outside world, but as a result of her own emerging power. Her dreams are plagued with violent visions, which she begins to embrace instead of shun. Director Malgorzata Szumowska and cinematographer Michal Englert encase her story in strikingly beautiful landscapes, and Cassidy makes the case that she's one of the most adventurous young actors out there.
Call it a domestic thriller. Call it a (very) dark comedy or a scathing indictment of capitalism. You could even call it a horror movie, in some ways, but to explain precisely why would ruin some of the fun. Suffice to say that all the praise you've heard about Bong Joon-ho’s Korean Oscar-winning masterpiece is well-deserved. This is social satire wrapped in a twisted soap opera with a side of unflinching brutality.
Opening with a piece of metal piercing the top of a woman's head, this film from Brandon Cronenberg (son of horror legend David Cronenberg) announces the type of movie it is right away. The director splices together elements of Inception, The Matrix, and his father's own eXistenZ to create an art-damaged thriller about an assassin (Andrea Riseborough) who uses advanced technology to take control of other people and carry out her assigned hits using their bodies. For her latest mission, she invades the mind of Colin (Christopher Abbott), the boyfriend of the daughter of a powerful tech CEO. Simple job, right? Not so fast. From the plot description, Possessor sounds relatively straightforward, but Cronenberg piles on enough gruesome gore effects, Walter Benjamin quotes, lengthy sex scenes, and hallucinatory montages to make this a sufficiently out there experience.
In Run, another thriller from Searching filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty, Sarah Paulson plays a doting mother who does all she can to keep her chronically unwell daughter free from ailments and injuries. When the daughter (Kiera Allen) happens to notice the label peeling off a pill bottle just ever so slightly, it becomes apparent that something dark and unpleasant is happening in the relationship that she's relied on her entire life. Both leads are fantastic, and the simple premise unfolds with energy, intensity, and some really strong suspense.
Saint Maud (2021)
Haunted by a horrific incident in her past, Maud, a young woman who works as a palliative care nurse for the elderly and infirm, has converted to Roman Catholicism and believes that she hears the voice of God coursing through her whenever she's done something she feels He's pleased with. Her new patient, Amanda, a former dancer suffering from stage four lymphoma, is more concerned with dolling herself up for fancy evenings with friends than with saving her soul while she still has time—at least in Maud's eyes. Her "visions" of God, often in the form of a cockroach, lead her to believe that saving her new charge's lost soul is her life's mission—at any cost. Rose Glass's sneakily funny and distressingly spooky directorial debut will charm and terrify you in equal measure. It's a haunting religious experience.
She Dies Tomorrow (2020)
Read anything about She Dies Tomorrow and you'll find some mention of how it's eerily perfect for the current moment. It's a movie ostensibly about mortality, but more accurately about fear and how it's its own sort of virus. The plot is relatively simple: Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), for reasons she never fully explains, is convinced she's going to die. She calls her friend Jane (Jane Adams) and describes her premonition. Jane attributes Amy's paranoia to an alcoholic relapse, and writes it off, but then, alone in her basement, huddled over a microscope, Jane starts to experience the same fear. It's contagious. The world director Amy Seimetz creates is one that turns progressively more surreal. It's an echo of our own that slowly grows more foreign. It's also often absurdly funny, like a Tim & Eric sketch with an operatic bent.
Josephine Decker's Shirley is part semi-biopic of celebrated, controversial writer Shirley Jackson and part dark psychological thriller about the nature of co-dependence and hero worship. Elisabeth Moss plays horror author Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House, "The Lottery"), who is clearly very talented yet also plainly stunted in the department of social graces. In other words, she's kinda rotten, which causes numerous problems when an impressed young couple (Odessa Young, Logan Lerman) come to live with Jackson and her husband (Michael Stuhlbarg) for a little while.
Unless farmers are doing a long con on the rest of us, crop circles are a piece of folklore that have yet to be explained—so for now, alien activity seems plausible. M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs puts crop circles and the feeling of dread over their baffling existence on the big screen as former Episcopalian priest (Mel Gibson) and his family discovers extra-terrestrials are likely invading their rural home. It’s a slow-burn sci-fi thriller, but if you’ve never considered how you might react if a 7-foot gray alien from outer space invaded your home, Shyamalan’s the director to take your mind to this daunting place.
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.
Super Dark Times (2017)
Set in the '90s, this understated indie psychological horror flick takes as its subject the post-Columbine fear of outsider teenage boys that has only increased in the decades since. Super Dark Times is a suburban thriller that follows a group of teenagers' reckoning in the aftermath of an accident gone fatally wrong, and it's as eerie as they come. It wrestles with toxic masculinity and violence, but it's the film's looming mood and mounting intensity that will send shivers down your spine and make you question how those close to you would react in a crisis.
A sheltered young woman tries to acclimate to life away at school, but slowly comes to realize that she holds a mysterious—and very dangerous—power within herself in Thelma. The poor, unassuming titular character suffers from seizures, visions, and creepy nightmares, to say nothing of her schoolwork, homesickness, and the stress that comes with a new romantic partner. But this Norwegian film is not your typical "psycho girl" character study, thanks in large part to a striking visual style, a fantastic lead performance, and a gradual delivery of very freaky moments.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Based on a terrifying series by Steve Niles, 30 Days of Night is the rare comic book movie that matches horror and action, a mix flash-frozen in wintery Alaska. During a stretch of winter in which there's month-long darkness, a coven of vampires descend upon a town and feast like it's half-off night at the all-you-can-eat buffet. A man (Josh Hartnett) and his estranged wife (Melissa George) try to survive, a task harder than any ghost infestation or zombie apocalypse.
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.
The Vigil (2021)
In The Vigil, Yakov (Dave Davis) has recently left his Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn and is struggling to make a living on the outside, slowly teaching himself how to use a smartphone and getting rejected from job after job. When Reb Shulem (Menashe Lustig), an old friend from the community, asks Yakov to act as a shoymer, watching over the body of a now-deceased Holocaust survivor for one night, Yakov, in need of cash to make rent, agrees. Spooky, but a dead body is just a body, right? But a parasitic mazzik attached itself to the old man while he experienced the atrocities of the Holocaust, and it plans to find a new host once the night is up. The movie expertly builds its best scares, crafting an effective horror movie out of elements from the Jewish faith, and its interpretation of the mazzik, reimagined as a man-like form with its head twisted backwards, is a potent visual metaphor for a trauma that can't simply be exorcised, a catharsis that is never fully reached.
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.
This strange little horror-comedy from filmmaking duo Dan Berk and Robert Olsen may be stuck in the humble confines of a middle class home, but its creepiness holds no bounds. When a millennial couple of Bonnie and Clyde wannabes breaks into a home, they discover something rather disturbing and find they're up against an actual pair of vile criminals. Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Donovan bring on the weird so very well, and the chemistry of their young counterpart of Bill Skarsgård and Maika Monroe is through the roof. It's a quick, at times silly watch, and will put all of your bad boy or bad girl fantasies to bed.
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.
Willy's Wonderland (2021)
Nicolas Cage locked inside an abandoned arcade with a menagerie of massive murderous monsters? Nothing's better than that! There's a rudimentary slasher structure tossed in to keep things moving, but Willy's Wonderland is at its best when it's just Cage beating the holy hell out of Chuck E. Cheese-style animatronic aggressors and/or a vintage pinball machine. Obviously not much of this is meant to be taken all that seriously, but it still works in a tongue-in-cheek midnight movie sort of way.
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 set-up, one where gruesome death is doled out with cleverness and wit.