Gather around the campfire and gaze upon the terror of the best horror movies on Hulu.
Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see the additions to the best horror movies on Hulu.
Updated for September 2019
Horror can come from anywhere: an unfamiliar European hostel, a remote sleepaway camp in the woods or even just in the comfy confines of the human brain. Every now and then it can be fun to reconnect with that child-like portion of our minds that is truly susceptible to irrational fear. The best way is to merely just hear a good scary story.
Here is your list of the best horror movies on Hulu.
Children of the Corn
Fun fact: Children of the Corn has eight sequels. Eight! That’s one big drawback of the horror genre. It’s so difficult to come up with an equally original and scary idea that once something sticks, it’s financially prudent to run it into the ground.
Don’t let that keep you from watching the 1984 original Children of the Corn, however. The movie is based off of a Stephen King short story and follows a group of creepy kids and their adventures in ritualistic sacrifice. It’s a good time.
Anthologies seem to be the way of the future for television. Thankfully, movies are starting to understand the appeal as well. V/H/S is a wonderfully-executed horror anthology film with an interesting setup. The setup is that four criminals are tasked with breaking into a home to steal a VHS tape.
So the gang goes about doing so and in the process they discover more than just one tape. The contents on those tapes represent the short horror films we the audience get to watch.V/H/S is interesting, novel and most importantly: scary.
Honeymoon fittingly begins with a newly-married couple, Bea and Paul going on their honeymoon. Bea and Paul decide that the best honeymoon spot will be a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods (dummies!). Once they arrive, they discover that it’s not so secluded after all.
Honeymoon taps into the (probably mostly male) fears of someone changing forever once you’ve pledged your life and bank account to them. Change is a frequent theme in Honeymoon and the movie knows how to exploit our fear of it perfectly.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser understands an important thing about popcorn horror. Your villain/monster has gotta look like a badass. Look at ol’ Pinhead up there! In the original Hellraiser (don’t worry, there’s more), “Pinhead” in unnamed. He’s just your run of the mill Cenobite Hell Priest from the Order of the Gash.
Hellraiser follows the Cotton family as various members throughout the years come into contact with a puzzle box. That puzzle box, once solved, opens up a portal to a different, harsher world filled with angels/demons/creeps/whatever-you-want-to-call-them who are inter-dimensional pleasure-seekers, so desensitized that they no longer differentiate between pain and pleasure.
Hellraiser is a fun, creepy, and wildly violent film that goes a long way towards establishing what could be called sadomasochistic horror as a genre.
Martin Scorsese’s late career bromance with Leonardo DiCaprio continues in their most overtly genre movie effort yet with Shutter Island.
DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels who is sent to investigate a psychiatric facility in the Boston Harbor after a patient goes missing. Soon after Teddy’s arrival, he discovers that not only might this case be more than it seems, but he may have brought some ghosts to Shutter Island, itself.
Is Darren Aronofsky’s 2017 120-minute bomb of pure weirdness, Mother!, a horror movie? Sure, why not. Not a conventional one to be sure but it’s unsettling enough to creep out just about anyone.
Jennifer Lawrence stars as….you know what. A plot description will be hard on this one. The characters have no names other than Him (Javier Bardem), Mother (Lawrence), and other titles. Bardem and Lawrence portray and archetypical married couple living in an old house where very weird things start happening.
There is a lot of symbolism to unpack in Mother! and it’s a movie that clearly wants to communicate something intangible very desperately. Aside from that, however, it’s also just an intensely visually disorienting experience.
Midnighters is an excellent, tension-packed debut for screenwriter Alston Ramsay (who is also a former speechwriter for the Pentagon, weirdly).
Directed by Ramsay’s brother, Julius, Midnighters tells the story of a cover-up that becomes far more stressful than the crime. On New Year’s Eve, a struggling married couple strikes a pedestrian with their car. They opt to do the right thing and call the police. Lol/jk they opt to cover the crime and in the process begin a cycle of deceit, distrust, and madness.
Midnighters owes a lot of its success to Hitchcock, but then again – doesn’t virtually every thriller?
Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In may seem like another odd choice for a horror movie, given its romantic core but make no mistake: vampires are vampires. Sure, the players involved are a little boy and a little girl vampire (though the fact that she’s a vampire may very well mean she’s centuries old, just try not to think about it).
It’s a spooky yet undeniably sweet movie that presents the female side of a romantic entanglement as the ultimate protector.
Mom and Dad
2017’sMom and Dad has about the simplest and most terrifying premise one can imagine. You know your mom and dad – those two people who are supposed to support you through thick and thin? What if they…weren’t like that? What if they would stop and nothing to kill you?
That’s what young Carly and Josh Ryan experience one day when one day some unexplained static starts transmitting through they television and suddenly their loving parents desperately want to kill them. Mom and Dad would be unsettling enough with any cast, but having Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair portray the unhinged parents is just icing on the cake.
A Quiet Place
Thanks to a killer premise and excellent execution, A Quiet Place was one of 2018’s best horror movies and now it’s ready for a second life on streaming.
The film, directed by erstwhile Office star John Krasinski (who also stars in the project) follows the Abbott family as they try to survive a dangerous post-apocalyptic world. To make things even more difficult, however, the world is populated by blind creatures that also possess a devastatingly strong sense of hearing.
Father Lee and mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) try to protect their children from these monsters – all the while not making a sound. The formula of A Quiet Placeis destined to be oft-repeated for a reason. Horror really works when you’re unable to scream.
Friday the 13th (1980)
I know you see that screenshot of Jason in all his masked and machete’d glory above, and are feeling a white-hot burning horror movie nerd triggering like never before. “BUT JASON DIDN’T APPEAR IN THE FLESH IN THE ORIGINAL FRIDAY THE 13TH
I know, I know. He didn’t. And it’s all the better movie for it. The original Friday the 13th is a must watch for horror fans and non-horror fans alike. It features so many hallmarks of the slasher drama that we’ve grown to love. And yes, there is no actual Jason. The screengrab just looks cool.
Beyond the Gates
Board games can be creepy. VHS tapes can be creepy. Combine the creepiest versions of both and you’ve got yourself a really creepy movie. Beyond the Gates debuted just last year at the L.A. Film Festival and has ridden its way to Netflix on tremendous word of mouth.
The indie horror movie involves two brothers who got to their father’s estate to settle his affairs after his death. While at his house, they discover a mysterious VHS board game that eventually leads them to clues regarding their father’s death…and pure abject horror.
The Silence of the Lambs
Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter has roughly 11 minutes of screentime in The Silence of the Lambs. Still, it’s enough to create one of the most terrifying and enduring performances of a criminal mastermind of all time. Don’t forget, however, that’s there is a whole movie that happens around those 11 minutes.
The Silence of the Lambs is the archetype for every true crime horror movie that came after it. The damaged, yet dedicated detective, the terrifyingly insane serial killer and the “we’re not so different, you and I” evil mentor – it’s all here. And it’s all fantastic.
We live in a terrifying world. Sometimes it’s nice for horror movies to acknowledge that rather than resorting to the supernatural or strange for thrills. Open Water is loosely based on the real life story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were accidentally left behind on a scuba expedition.
In Open Water, a couple faces that same fate, only this time the movie adds sharks: because why not? Open Water is not so dissimilar to Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. The ocean is so vast and sparse that it might as well be the blackness of space. It’s terrifying.
“Evil child’s doll” is like shooting fish in a barrel when it comes to horror. Still, Child’s Play and the franchise that followed it is even more impressive than that already great premise suggests.
Chucky is just completely creepy. This demonic little bastard would go on to become an iconic horror villain but in this, the first of the franchise, he’s at his absolute terrifying best.
Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow isn’t a full-blown piece of horror like, say, an Edgar Allan Poe story. It does feature a headless horseman but said horseman really isn’t interesting in killing a bunch of people. Still, if you include a headless monster in a short story, 100 years later, a kooky film director is bound to adapt it into his own Gothic horror movie.
Sleepy Hollow represents the scariest of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s many collaborations, provided you don’t count Depp’s depiction of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as the scariest god damned thing you’ve seen in your life.
As if childbirth and pregnancy weren’t terrifying enough, sometimes a Satanic cult wants to get its hands on your baby, making the whole thing worse. Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary, a nice if little naive young woman preparing to star a family with her husband, Guy (John Cassavetes)
Guy and Rosemary eventually conceive and things get a bit spooky from there. Rosemary’s Baby is a classic for a reason and adeptly plays up both our cultural terror with all things Satanic and evil as well as our occasional fear and discomfort with our own bodies and children.
Final Destination is the end result of what happens when a studio stumbles upon a pun so dank they have no choice but to make a movie. You may know the term “final destination” as what flight attendants say when they ask you if you’ve reached the end of your aviation journey or if you’re on a layover. “Final destination” could also conceivably mean “the grave.”
You marry those two concepts and you get a movie about a group of teenagers who cheat death by receiving a premonition that a plane will crash before take off and exiting. Not to be cheated, death then does whatever it can to finally kill those meddling teens. Final Destination is a creative horror movie that lives up to its awesome pun title. Fun fact: it was originally written as a script for The X-Files.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Invasion of the Body Snatchers features a concept so primal and terrifying it’s no surprise the movie has been made no fewer than three times. The 1978 version is the one on Hulu and probably the best. This Body Snatchers takes place in San Francisco and deals with a gelatinous pod of aliens that falls to Earth. Slowly but surely the aliens literally take the place of actual human beings across the city and replace them with copies.
Health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) is one of the few humans to realize the truth and fight and fight back. Many other movies have tried to capture the feelings of isolation and terror that Invasion of the Body Snatchers instills but very few of them are able to capture the terrifying totality of an alien takeover.
1988’s Pumpkinhead has two factors that almost automatically make any horror movie watchable at the very least.
The first factor is an unfortunate human character who messes with forces outside his control and understanding for a shot at vengeance. After a group of local teens accidentally kill his son, Tom wants vengeance and visits a witch to find it. This is where factor #2 comes in. The witch helps Tom raise a monster from the dead to go on a tour of bloody revenge. The monster, Pumpkinhead, is a terrifyingly wonderful movie monster – all spindly limbs and sharp corners.
Pumpkinhead spawned a small series of horror movies but this first one is the best and most unnerving.
The Midnight Meat Train
What a killer name “The Midnight Meat Train” is.
Based on a Clive Barker story of the same name, The Midnight Meat Train follows photographer Leon (Bradley Cooper) who decides he must pursue bigger stories and subjects if he’s to ever be successful. That path leads him to his city’s subway system where rumor has it, a serial killer butcher is murdering citizens for the past three years.
That alone is an intriguing premise for a film but The Midnight Meat Train takes the horror even further than you could imagine.
The Evil Dead
1981’s The Evil Dead is nothing less than one of the biggest success stories in horror movie history.
Written and directed on a shoestring budget by Sam Raimi, The Evil Dead uses traditional horror tropes to its great advantage, creating a scary, funny, and almost inconceivably bloody story about five college students who encounter a spot of bother in a cabin in the middle of the woods. That spot of bother includes the unwitting release of a legion of demons upon the world.
The Evil Dead rightfully made stars of its creator and lead Bruce Campbell. It was also the jumping off point for a successful franchise that includes two sequels, a remake, a TV show, and more.
Evil Dead II
For as big a success story as The Evil Dead was, its sequel arguably pulls off something even more ambitious. Evil Dead II is just as good, if not better, than its predescessor.
Ash (Bruce Campbell), absolutely not having learned his lesson from the first film, decides to vacation to yet another abandoned cabin in the middle of the woods. This time he elects to bring along his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler). While in the cabin, Ash plays a recording from archaeologist Raymond Knowby which, you guessed it: unleashes an army of the dead once again.
Evil Dead II is a truly fun, hilariously bizarre adventure that goes to places (and times) that the original film could only dream of.
The Last Exorcism
What could possibly make an exorcism movie scarier? Well, what about an exorcism movie, found footage style? The success of The Blair Witch Project ushered in the era of found footage horror films, and while many of them were misses, The Last Exorcism falls firmly into the “hit category.
The Last Exorcism follows evangelical minister Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) who decides to allow a film crew perform his last ever exorcism, as he no longer believes in the rite. Unfortunately for Cotton, this last exorcism turns out to be less of a fraud than he anticipated.