Gothtober: Ranking the scariest horror shows to stream
It’s Summer! The sun’s out! But maybe all you secretly crave is darkness. We get it – we’re macabre hideous fiends ourselves who often choose closing the curtains and watching a savage film over leaving the house and barbecuing with friends. That’s not weird, right? Good – glad we’re in agreement on that vibe.
To support you in this endeavour, we’ve put together the fourteen scariest horror movies currently streaming online and where you can stream them. Close those curtains, turn off your phone, and get hella spooky with these hideous SVOD gems you can find on Netflix, Shudder, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
14. Honeymoon (2014): Hulu
A slow burn for sure but a worthwhile one, Leigh Janiak’s suspenseful flick about a woman (Rose Leslie) who experiences an obscure transformation while sleepwalking in the woods taps into fears of life commitment and unforeseen change, as her husband (Harry Treadaway) struggles to recognize the woman he’s just married.
13. Hell House LLC (2015): Amazon & Shudder
The low-budget found-footage indie is definitely not one for anyone tired of horrors of that genre, but fans of that sort of creepiness will love Stephen Cognetti’s addition to it. Full of suspense and a clever use of the mockumentary format, the film tells the story of a documentary team exploring the deaths of fifteen people during the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour.
12. Let the Right One In (2008): Hulu
Tomas Alfredson’s unique vampire tale is full of chilling romanticism with a profoundly macabre story and characters at the forefront. Bullied pre-teen Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and ancient bloodsucker in a child’s body Eli (Lina Leandersson) make for the perfect (if most unsettling) partners as they choose to survive a ghastly world with some grisly behaviour.
11. Zodiac (2007): Hulu
Okay – so David Fincher’s obsessive classic about about a spiraling ephemeral mystery isn’t exactly going to give you nightmares anytime soon, but it’s still one of the best horror films you can currently stream. The attention to detail drawn in the investigation of the Zodiac Killer and Robert Grayson’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) life-devouring obsession with the case give the film an uneasy tension.
Meanwhile, depictions of the Zodiac Killer’s murders and moments where the potential killer is questioned lend the film a shocking brutality and a disturbing commentary on the mysterious nature of humanity.
10. Train to Busan (2016): Netflix
Probably the only horror film on this list with the storytelling power to simultaneously make you shriek and sob at various different points of the plot, Sang-ho Yeon’s zombie flick is fast-paced and relentless with a solid emotional core that refuses to remove its jaws from your skull.
9. The House of the Devil (2009): Shudder
Starring Greta Gerwig, Jocelin Donahue, and A.J. Bowen, Ti West’s modern horror classic is another slow burn of a movie with a significant payoff. Set in the early 80s and full of delicious tributes to various horror tropes, the film follows a college babysitter who slowly realizes her new clients are hiding a sinister secret in the house she’s working in.
8. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017): Amazon
If you prefer your chills to have a cerebral edge to them, Yorgos Lanthimos’s eerie and devastating horror should be top of your list. Starring Colin Farrell (The Lobster), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) – who are all as wonderful as you could ever hope – the movie balances uneasy moments with utterly mundane ones to reveal a wholeheartedly unnerving movie experience.
7. The Invitation (2015): Netflix
Karyn Kusama’s tense atmospheric thriller presents an uneasy dinner party with a potential sinister agenda at the heart of it – shrewdly, the film keeps you guessing about whether everything is actually far less innocent than it appears.
Featuring phenomenal performances from Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Tammy Blanchard (Into the Woods) as a pair of exes with exceptionally different ideas on how to mourn their dead child and a breathtaking finale, The Invitation is probably one of the best films currently to stream on Netflix.
6. Gerald’s Game (2017) Netflix
Based on the novel by Stephen King, Mike Flanagan’s adaptation explores the claustrophobic nature of a crumbling, toxic marriage from the perspective of a wife (Carla Gugino) left handcuffed to a solid bed when her husband suddenly dies of a heart attack mid-kink session. For a film that seems all concept and no bite, Gerald’s Game manages to ramp up a great deal of scares and atmosphere as well as an especially gnarly moment we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
5. I Saw the Devil (2010): Hulu
Emotionally and visually, Jee-woon Kim’s genre mashup of a movie is relentlessly savage. Full of twists and turns that shrewdly make you question who the actual protagonist and antagonist of the film are, this brutal cat & mouse chase of a horror will have you captivated from start to finish.
4. Noroi: The Curse (2005): Shudder
Giving the impression that it’s actually made up of amateur homemade footage, Kôji Shiraishi’s found-footage horror exploring paranormal incidents connected by an ancient demon is an atmospheric wonder that feels mercilessly realistic.
3. The Ritual (2017): Netflix
This British horror from David Bruckner (V/H/S) follows a group of college friends dealing with some traumatic fallout following the murder of one of their closest friends. While reuniting for a reluctant trip to the woods, they find themselves singularly hunted down by an unseen force. Unpredictable and nightmarish, the film is devastatingly scary from its brutal opening all the way to its fantastical finale.
2. Verónica (2017): Netflix
Set in early 90s Madrid, this Netflix horror gem from Paco Plaza (Rec) is a sensory bombardment of pure chills led by some harrowing and captivating performances from its young cast including Sandra Escacena as the titular character. Following a teenager who is besieged by a supernatural force following a regrettable game of Ouija with two classmates, the film is horrifying yet (at times) surprisingly touching.
1. Raw (2016): Netflix
Definitely not one for those of a queasy disposition, Julia Ducournau’s masterful coming-of-age horror features a savage realism some will definitely have a hard time stomaching. Centered around a young vegetarian (Garance Marillier) who develops a taste for human flesh after a hazing ritual at a veterinary school, the film has some of the most incredible (and abominable) special effects seen in horror in recent years.