Last Updated: October 17th
To appreciate fully what the world of film has to offer it’s best to watch a wide variety of what’s out there rather than just focus on one genre. That said, there are times when nothing but a great horror film will do. The horror selection on Amazon Prime runs deep, but a few pages in it starts to be dominated by low-budget obscurities. There’s a lot of cream near the top, however, which offers a generous sampling of what horror has to offer. So here are the 15 best horror movies on Amazon Prime right now, perfect for your Halloween binge.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
John Krasinski’s breakout horror flick has made its way to Hulu. The film stars Krasinski and his wife, Emily Blunt, as a couple trying their best to raise their family in the middle of an apocalypse where the slightest sound might attract other-worldly creatures intent on hunting them down and killing them. It’s a thrilling turn for both actors, with twists you don’t see coming and a satisfying ending.
Child’s Play (1988)
Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Tom Holland’s ’80s horror flick managed to take a benign children’s toy and transform it into a waking nightmare. The film stars Catherine Hicks as Karen Barclay, a single mother who gifts her son Andy a doll he’s been wanting. Unfortunately for Andy, that doll is possessed by the soul of a serial killer and very quickly, Chucky then begins to wreak havoc on the family.
Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
Takashi Shimizu’s Japanese horror flick — which spawned an American remake starring Sarah Michelle Gellar — tells the story of Takeo Saeki, who murders his wife and young son in a fit of rage, enacting a curse that plagues the family house for years after their deaths. When a new family moves in, the spirits of the family begin to possess them, leaving chaos and death in their wake.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Run Time: 137 min | IMDb: 8/10
Mia Farrow stars in this iconic horror classic that’s probably influenced every other film on this list. The movie follows Rosemary Woodhouse (Farrow) and her husband, Guy — a pair of newlyweds who move to a new apartment where they’re quickly surrounded by strange neighbors and even more worrisome happenings. When Rosemary mysteriously becomes pregnant, she becomes paranoid that the people around her, including her husband, are out to get her.
The Woman In Black (2012)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
Daniel Radcliffe stars in this horror period piece based on the novel by Susan Hill. Set in the early 1900s, the film follows a recently widowed lawyer named Arthur (Radcliffe), who is sent to help facilitate the sale of an isolated and desolate house in the marshlands. When he arrives, he discovers that the ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals, and he has to figure out why before all hell breaks loose.
The Babadook (2014) (requires Showtime)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Starring Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery) and directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook is a bracing psychological horror film grounded in the terrors and frustration of parenthood. Davis plays a mother who lost her husband in a car accident on their way to the delivery room. She loves and resents her troubled 6-year-old son, feelings that seem to take supernatural form when a creepy pop-up book, Mister Babadook, mysteriously shows up on his shelf. Kent’s stylish film makes excellent uses of its creepy interiors. but it’s Davis’ committed performance that drives the horror home.
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Toni Collette stars in this terrifying nightmare by first-time director Ari Aster. The film charts the grief and shared trauma of the Graham family. Annie (Collette) is mourning the loss of her secretive mother, worrying over her inherited mental health issues and her children. When her son Peter accidentally kills his sister, hauntings begin happenings. Malevolent spirits, possessions, a seance gone wrong — this is pure nightmare fuel, people.
It Comes At Night (2017)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
Writer/director Trey Edward Shults followed up his unnerving family portrait with 2015’s Krisha with a look at another family under the most desperate of circumstances. After an unknown illness has wiped out most of civilization, a number of threats — both seen and unseen — come for a family held up in their home out in the wilderness. It’s a subtle, dream-like tale.
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Sissy Spacek’s blood-drenched teen horror flick made high school seem even more terrifying when it landed in theaters in the late 70s. The film follows a young girl suffering under the abuse of her religiously-devout mother and being bullied by the more popular kids at school. She has some embarrassing moments — getting her period during swim class — and some tension-filled fights with her mother that begin to unleash her supernatural abilities. Good ol’ mom thinks they’re powers given by the Devil himself but Carrie decides to use them to exact her vengeance and it’s a gruesome as you’d hope.
Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
The unlikely origin of the modern horror film: a farmhouse in the rural area surrounding Pittsburgh where director George Romero shot most of Night of the Living Dead. Working on a tiny budget, he not only created the modern movie zombie but made horror safe for grimy, uncomfortable visions taken from everyday life, helping to pull the genre out of gothic castles and away from theatrical monsters. Night of the Living Dead remains essential viewing, and not just because of its place in history. It’s still incredibly scary, in large part because Romero had such humble resources. It doesn’t play like a nightmare from long ago and far away. It has the immediacy of a news bulletin.
Run Time: 81 min | IMDb: 8/10
A cornerstone of the horror genre and German Expressionism — and film history as a whole — F.W. Murnau’s unauthorized 1922 adaptation of Dracula helped establish the basic vocabulary of the horror movie, using long shadows and unnerving photographic effects to create a disturbing atmosphere. It also features one of the ugliest monsters ever put to film, Count Orlock, as played by Max Schreck under heavy makeup. The years have done nothing to reduce its power to disturb.
The Neon Demon (2016)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
It’s not entirely accurate to call The Neon Demon a horror movie, even if necrophilia and cannibalism both factor in pretty heavily. Nicholas Winding Refn’s dark show business fairy tale doesn’t fit easily into any genre, following a just-off-the-bus aspiring model named Jesse (Elle Fanning) as she tries to make it in a Los Angeles where danger awaits around every corner. Beautifully filmed, even when focusing on ugly images, and set to a pulsing synth score, it’s an unsubtle, blackly comic look at the underside of show business with little regard for the divide between good taste and bad.
Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Darren Aronofsky’s mystery thriller might best be described as “polarizing.” You’ll either tap into the various themes churning just under the surface of this thing, or you’ll walk away after the two hours are up thinking, “What in the hell did I just see?” Either way, the film does A LOT and it gives its A-list cast including Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ed Harris, even more to chew on. Whether you love it or hate it, mother! is a film you need to see at least once.
Run Time: 152 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Luca Guadagnino’s buzzed-about horror remake is a mind-bending exercise in the cinematic. Dakota Johnson plays Susie, a young dancer who arrives at a prestigious academy where disturbing happenings begin to take place. After one dancer goes missing, another dies, and a third is severely injured, the students begin investigating their instructors to discover they belong to a coven of witches with troubling rituals that rest upon the dancers playing their parts.
The Innkeepers (2011)
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 5.5/10
Ti West’s follow up to The House of the Devil is less creepy than its predecessor, but that’s not really the point. Much of the film coasts on the easy charm of its lead characters played by Sara Paxton and Pat Healy, employees at a rustic, failing New England hotel rumored to be haunted. When it gets scary, West doesn’t hold back, but mostly it’s just a pleasure to hang out with the protagonists at a past-its-prime haunted hotel. It’s funny, too, especially when Lena Dunham shows up for a cameo.