Finding fresh horror movies can pose a challenge.
Of course, new nightmares come to theaters regularly and plenty of streaming services have sections dedicated to the genre. But horror is as complex and varied as its morbid fanbase. It has a wide range of styles, mixed levels of intensity, and questionable quality standards — even when looking at streaming services like Shudder, which is exclusively dedicated to creepy curation.
With mountains of not-so-great scary movies appearing alongside frightful masterpieces, how do you hunt down what you’ll like without getting lost in the browsing fray? Do you go by thumbnail? Rating? Recommendation? A tingly feeling in your left foot? It’s a problem this reporter knows all too well, and once she’d like to help solve.
Thanks to some meticulous combing (and a lot of free trials), here are the best places to browse for horror movies broken down by your terrifying taste. There wasn’t an easy solution to every problem, but this should get you fleeing in the right direction. Enjoy!
When it comes to slashers, finding iconic killers is easy. Although Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, Baby Face, Candyman, and Chucky aren’t consolidated on one service, the sites lucky enough to have them advertise so often — pushing their movies to the top of horror fans’ “recommended for you” queues and trusting they’ll get a click.
Now if you’re looking for slasher flicks that are less well-known, you won’t need a subscription. Tubi and Crackle, both free streaming services (with advertisements), offer a surprisingly wide array of slashers from across decades. Think I Know What You Did Last Summer, Prom Night, Sorority Row, Black Christmas, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Sleepaway Camp.
Like the subgenre itself, psychological thrillers seem to go anywhere and everywhere. Showtime has The Babadook, Hulu’s got Black Swan, Netflix is streaming Rosemary’s Baby, and American Psycho is on STARZ. Oh, and Mulholland Drive, Silence of the Lambs, and The Shining are only available for rent or purchase. My advice? This is one category of film best guided by recommendation. Narrow down what you really want to watch and brace for a rental fee.
Verdict: Look on a case-by-case basis
Gore and body horror
If blood, guts, and gross skin stuff hold a special place in your horror-loving heart, then keep your browsing to Netflix. Unfortunately, body horror classics like The Thing and The Fly are only streaming on STARZ. But Netflix does have the Final Destination franchise, The Green Inferno, Would You Rather, The Evil Dead, The Perfection, and plenty of other heinous stuff.
FYI, the Saw franchise is on Tubi, and The Human Centipede movies are only available for rent or purchase. (Hey, you are the one looking for them. I’m just telling you where they are.)
Want your screams with a side of giggles? Try STARZ, Showtime, or Hulu. STARZ has Shaun of the Dead and Young Frankenstein, while Showtime’s got the Scream franchise and Hulu has The Cabin in the Woods and Little Monsters. If you’re a fan of add-ons, Hulu is a good place to start.
Whether you’re a casual nostalgic or full-blown archival aficionado, Tubi and STARZ are the first places you should be looking for black-and-white frights. Tubi has classics like Night of the Living Dead and Plan 9 from Outer Space. STARZ has Hitchcock hits like Psycho and Vertigo. You can also check The Criterion Collection.
Netflix’s Stranger Things notwithstanding, Hulu add-ons dominate the alien invasion category. With the basic Hulu package, you get phenoms like A Quiet Place. Add Showtime to check out District 9. Top it off with HBO Now and you’ve got the entire Alien franchise and War of the Worlds.
Verdict: Hulu (with essential add-ons)
Witchy teen stuff
The Craft is on Crackle. The Craft is also on Netflix. The Craft is available for rent or purchase. If you would like to watch something other than The Craft that’s also about teenagers and witchcraft (for some reason??), check out Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus on Disney+, The Blair Witch Project on Hulu, or Suspiria (2018) on Amazon Prime Video.
Verdict: You could be watching The Craft right now!