19 Best Horror Movies on Hulu Right Now
Gather around the campfire and gaze upon the terror of the best horror movies on Hulu
Best Horror : Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see what unknown classics are being added to Hulu.
Updated for December 2017
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.
But perhaps the best place to find horror is on your friendly neighborhood Hulu. Hulu is perhpas best known for its TV comedy offerings but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in pure terror. Here is your list of the best horror movies on Hulu
The Haunting in Connecticut
The hottest ticket in horror nowadays isn’t Freddy, Jason, or even Jigsaw. It’s an adorable old Roman Catholic couple from New England. The stories of “real life ghost hunters” Ed and Lorraine Warren are all over the horror scene right now. The Haunting in Connecticut admittedly isn’t one of the better ones. And in fact the “real life” story of a haunted house in Connecticut has been all but disproven and recanted. Still, I’m including this on the list so I can include this fun link from my college newspaper about a time that Lorraine Warren came to speak around Halloween and told everyone they’re experiencing hauntings because they’re not religious enough.
Sometimes movies like to challenge themselves with just how few elements they can include and still achieve a feature film length running time. Buried is one of those movies and rises to the challenge admirably. Buried features only the sparsest of elements. The following is a list of all the nouns that appear in the film: Ryan Reynolds, a coffin, a lighter, a flask, a flashlight, a knife, glowsticks, a pen, a pencil, and a cell phone. From those meager items, director Rorigo Cortes is able to craft a truly terrifying and claustrophobic experience
The Human Centipede
Supposedly, when German director Tom Six presented his idea for a horror movie to investors, he did not mention the “mouth to anus” aspect of the human centipede. Which begs the question: what the hell did those people think they were greenlighting? The Human Centipede is almost literally a ridiculous bar conversation brought to life. In this case, it was Six and his friends discussing what would be appropriate punishment for a child molestor. Somehow that morphed into a story of a mad German scientist stiching people’s faces to other people’s butts to form a human centipede. This movie is weird. This movie is bad. You should watch it.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil joins a proud tradition of recent movies like Cabin in the Woods that satirize the horror genre while also presenting a lovingly crafted and well-researched version of one. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk star as Tucker and Dale, just two redneck friends who want to have a good time in their secluded cabin over the weekend. Their vacation is interrupted by five young college students who somewhat understandably mistake Tucker and Dale for backwoods serial killers. What follows is a funny, fresh, and, at times, wonderfully gory interpretation of the horror genre.
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.
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’sGravity. The ocean is so vast and sparse that it might as well be the blackness of space. It’s terrifying.
The Babadook is our most recent reminder that horror can come from the most unexpected places. In this instance that place is Australia. It’s a film from Jennifer Kent in her directorial debut that’s about a children’s book monster who you just absolutely cannot get rid of. The genius, however, is how the babadook is really a cypher for the more mundane fears of adulthood. Am I a good person? Am I doing this whole parenting thing right? Can I keep myself and those I love safe? The Babadook doesn’t have all the answers but it does ask these interesting questions.
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 differnt, you and I” evil mentor – it’s all here. And it’s all fantastic.
Hulu is not wanting for Stephen King adaptations. If you’re in the mood for some Stephen King movies, however, you may as well start with the first novel and one of the best adaptations. Carrie is essentially a grim biography of one girl’s terrible life. Her classmates make fun of her, her religious nut of a mother tortures her endlessly. It’s just pure tragedy. Until it suddenly becomes pure horror.
Eli Roth’s debut film Cabin Fever combines two of our biggest fears: being sick and being isolated. The combination of those two feelings amounts to what has to be the most terrifying experience possible. Despite now being 15 (!) years old, Cabin Fever holds up pretty well. It’s like a teenaged Dreamcatcher only it’s not awful. Plus Sean from Boy Meets World spends a shocking amount of screentime covered in blood.
If High Tension doesn’t sound like an appealing movie to you, try to refer to it as the original French title Haute Tension in your head. I don’t know why, but that makes it seem much more appealing and scary. High Tension is a French horror film that suffers from a common horror movie ailment: weak ending syndrome. But everything that comes before that is absolutely stellar. The first hour or so of High Tension is among the most intense experiences you can ever spend watching a movie. It’s a simple story about two innocent girls and a psychopath who pursues one of them. The execution (for the first two-thirds at least), however, is remarkable.
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 Snatcherstakes 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.
The Amityville Horror
So yeah, the real-life story of The Amityville Horror is mostly B.S. But that doesn’t mean the original film isn’t a fantastically scary time if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief. James Brolin and Margot Kidder star as husband and wife of the Lutz family as they decide to move into their dream home in Amityville, New York on 12 Ocean Avenue. Thankfully they get a great deal as a mass murder happened to have taken place there some years before. The Amityville Horror wonderfully captures the horror of not feeling safe the one place you’re supposed to feel safe: your home. And the home itself is just wonderfully terrifying in and of itself with its attic windows that look like demonic eyes cursing everyone else on Ocean Avenue.
What Lies Beneath
When director Bob Zemeckis isn’t out there changing cinema forever with charming, family-friendly films like Back to the Future and Forrest Gump, he’s apparently looking for the darkest, most terrifying scripts he can find to direct. He succeeds in doing so with the Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer-starring What Lies Beneath. Ford and Pfeiffer star as married couple Norman and Claire Spencer. Norman and Claire live in a quiet Vermont house where everything is hunky-dory until Claire notices some suspicious activity from their neighbors across the street. The path that Claire’s suspicions set her on lead her to terrifying revelations about her own, idyllic life.
Jacob’s Ladder is a different kind of horror altogether: one that is somehow simultaneously hallucinatory and all-too-real. Tim Robbins stars as Jacob Singer, a former American soldier who experienced horrors in Vietnam. Those horrors continue to plague Singer in a series of gruesome flashbacks and hallucinations and set him down a dark path to find out exactly what’s real. Jacob’s Ladder is truly disturbing and has a classic ending that will help you realize the significance of the phrase “a Jacob’s Ladder scenario.”
Mixing horror and comedy is not necessarily an original notion, but few have done it better than this hilariously meta-slasher. The definitive horror flick of the 1990s, this kick-off to the Scream series proved that even that era’s scary movies had to be happily self-aware. But none were as funny—or menacing—as this first 1996 installment from Wes Craven. Featuring the genre’s first completely self-sufficient and heroic survivor girl (Neve Campbell), Scream also boasts a slew of other firsts, including the film nerd (Jamie Kennedy) who’s seen this all before at the multiplex and video store. Not that it will necessarily help him to look behind the couch at the most crucial moments.
10 Cloverfield Lane
And just like that, Cloverfield became an unexpected anthology horor franchise. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a Misery-like story about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who crashes her car in rural Louisiana. Upon waking, she discovers that she is chained to the wall in the basement of a reclusive man (John Goodman) who says he has taken her here to stay safe from a massive attack on the U.S. with nuclear fallout. This guy’s just insane, right? There’s no way any of that really happened…right? 10 Cloverfield Lane has virtually nothing in common with its predescessor but if anything their tenuous connection just makes this newly-dawning anthology franchise all the more interesting.
Jeepers Creepers generates a lot of horror from a simple, somewhat silly premise along with 1938 song. The film is exec produced by Francis Ford Coppola (really!) and stars Justin Long as one of several teens lost in rural Florida. Jeepers Creepers correctly posits that rural Florida is among the scariest places to be as the epoynmous demonic monster begins his 23-day reign of terror.
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.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Francis Ford Coppola really went through an interesting horror phase for a bit there. And for an auteur interested in horror, what is a better choice to adapt than one of the best horror stories of all time? Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a relatively loyal adaptation of Stoker’s seminal vampire novel. Coppolla follows Jonathan Harker (a bafflingly-casted Keanu Reeves) from the Count’s castle in Transylvania back to England to defeat the evil force. Stephen King once compared the story of Dracula to The Lord of the Rings and Coppola’s film makes this comparison clearer than ever. It’s Harker and friends’ epic quest to defeat true evil.
“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 in this, the first of the franchise, he’s at his absolute terrifying best.
The Silence of the Lambs shoulders a huge burden. It’s one of the few horror movies with widespread mainstream appeal. And nothing ruins good horror quicker than mass attention. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just hard to maintain a sense of terror when everyone you know likes to recite the line “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” The movie’s sequel, however, has all the gruesome horror of the original with much fewer of the pop culture friendly quotable lines. Watch Hannibal now and marvel at how well it holds up and how much it not being in the pop culture eye helps maintain its sense of visceral horror.
Heartless could have just as easily been included on a science fiction list because it asks its viewer to make a truly epic suspension of disbelief and pretend that British actor Jim Sturgess is a sullen, lonely virgin just because of a heart-shaped birthmark on his face. Personally, I think it looks rad. But it is in fact a horror movie, and a great one filled with demons lurking around every corner and a Monkey’s Paw-esque Faustian bargain.
Trollhunter is a found footage movie a la Cloverfield or Chronicle with one meaningful twist. It’s also a mockumentary with its chief characters being documentarians. This means that a lot of the “footage” they find a.k.a. the movie itself has a much cleaner, steadier look. And that’s hugely important for this Norwegian dark fantasy film about, what else, a trollhunter. It isn’t outright horror per se but there is something quietly terrifying about the footage of this hulking monstrosities towering over snowy Scandinavian landscapes.
Hey, rhetorical question: How weird does a Canadian horror film about sound tones and waves turning people into violent zombie-like mosnters sound? Well, I’ve seen Pontypool and the answer is very weird. Like many other great horror movies, Pontypool does a lot with very little. The entirety of the movie takes place in one radio studio. This limited setting actually increases the horror exponentially as for a long time the only description of the chaos outside exists in our imaginations. It’s reminiscent of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast and definitely worth watching on a snowy Canadian night
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