The best horror movies on Prime Video to keep you up at night

In the mood for something scary? There’s nothing quite like the fresh thrill of a great horror movie. That tingle that runs down your spine. The goosebumps that prick at your skin. The hard, cold thumping that hits your heart. Yet seriously scary is only one flavor of horror, a genre that welcomes pestering poltergeists and wicked witches alongside lovable zombies and tap-dancing monsters. Whatever kind of mood you’re in, we’ve got a pick for you, right from Amazon Prime Video.

The library of Prime Video is vast but ever-changing, so we’ve scoured their stacks to curate a current collection sure to thrill, chill, and delight. Whether you want soul-scorching psychological thrillers, haunted house horror, creepy classics, modern masterpieces, or something as ghoulish as it is goofy, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the best horror movies now streaming on Prime Video.

1. Suspiria (2018)

This 2018 Suspiria remake has been described by director Luca Guadagnino and star Tilda Swinton as a “cover” of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic — exploring rather than mimicking Argento’s perspective on supernatural horror. With this mission in mind, Suspiria is a gratifying watch that exemplifies how identical genre tropes can be employed for disparate emotional effects. Yes, it’s all fear, but fear of different kinds that present an unsettling experience unto itself.

2. Paranormal Activity (2007)

The indie film that ushered in a new age of horror, Paranormal Activity brought fresh life to the found footage subgenre. With $15,000, 7 days to shoot, a singly set suburban home, and a pair of actors game to play, writer/director Oren Peli created a demonic story that had audiences howling in terror. Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat star as a young couple who should be in the newlywed phase of moving in together. But in the dark of the night, something keeps creeping into their bedroom. Compared to the sequels that would follow, this first outing might seem tame, even with the flashy alternative ending it got upon studio acquisition. Yet, Paranormal Activity is still deeply chilling. Peli set up an expectation with the long shot of the bedroom, training us to watch for threats, even when the heroes could not in their slumber. And each time that threat comes, it brings goosebumps.

3. Come to Daddy (2019)

Top to bottom, director Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy is bonkers. In this comedic thriller with some serious gore, Elijah Wood portrays a son visiting his estranged father (played by Stephen McHattie) who is unexpectedly confronted by his father’s past. Full of some killer twists and turns — seriously, buckle up — this one is better left unspoiled.

4. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin is an exploration of warning signs and violence that’s sure to leave many viewers feeling unsteady. Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly lead as the parents of Kevin, a disturbed teenager played by Ezra Miller, who goes on an unexplained killing spree. More meditative than attention-grabbing, director Lynne Ramsay’s psychological thriller asks you to make sense of the senseless, even as this tale’s inescapably horrible conclusion looms large.

5. The Neon Demon (2016)

If Vogue released an issue in collaboration with the Necronomicon, its contents might resemble something like director Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. Starring Elle Fanning as a doomed ingénue, this stylish fever dream explores the Los Angeles modeling scene for an indictment of Western beauty standards and commercialization that’s as captivating as it is biting.

6. Master (2022)

Often, when horror movies are set on college campuses, they’re schlocky slashers with sorority sisters being ripped to shreds. Here, however, writer/director Mariama Diallo spins a unique horror story about the ghosts of America’s past and how they still haunt us. At a prestigious university, lore lingers of a lynched witch who still causes chaos. Freshman Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee) believes she is the latest victim, but Professor Gail Bishop (Regina Hall), who has just been appointed the first Black master of the university, begins to suspect the insidious evil isn’t supernatural. Is it just racism? Her quest to understand the seedy underbelly of the school leads her to uncomfortable places and harrowing realizations. With a shadowy atmosphere and a creeping sense of dread, Diallo submerges us into the mindset of her haunted heroes.

7. Hellraiser (1987)

From the phenomenally twisted mind of Clive Barker, the original Hellraiser is as scary today as it ever was. Descend into this puzzling world of monstrous torture (see what I did there?) with genre icon Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley, facing off against protagonist Kirsty, played by Ashley Laurence. No matter where you stand on the most recent Hellraiser installments, it’s hard to deny that this 1987 nightmare is an all-time great.

8. Saint Maud (2021)

If religious horror is what your dark heart desires, then your prayers are answered with Saint Maud. Critics heralded writer/director Rose Glass’s feature film debut as a horror masterpiece, and it’s easy to see why. Morfydd Clark gives a riveting and nerve-rattling performance as Maud, a hospice nurse who’s tasked with caring for the body. But her bigger goal is to save the soul of her decadent new patient. Amanda (Jennifer Ehle) doesn’t believe in God, but does believe in a good time. Her sensuality concerns and enchants Maud, pulling the two into a bond that will turn bitter and brutal. Weaving real religious rituals into the seductive spin of psychological horror, Glass creates a descent into hell that is a twisted delight to watch.

9. House on Haunted Hill (1959)

What would a horror hits list be without a little Vincent Price? Though the actor reportedly disliked his work being defined as outright “horror,” this unforgettable face of fear appeared in more than 200 TV shows and films, including many of the scariest releases of the mid-20th century. Price’s pointed features, slicked-back hair, and pencil mustache have been mimicked and referenced in countless horror homages.

Though Price properly assumed the throne of horror king with the surprise success of House of Wax (1953), his later starring role in House on Haunted Hill (1959) offers a more complete vision of his legacy. Plus, famed B-movie director William Castle’s flick makes early use of the haunted dinner party premise, a particularly goofy trope that would pop up for decades, from Clue (1985) and The Last Supper (1995) to You’re Next (2011) and Ready or Not (2019).

10. Train to Busan

Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, Train to Busan imagines the end of the world as a screamingly entertaining explosion of zombie mayhem and societal commentary brought on by a chemical spill. Terrifying, funny, and consistently original, this apocalyptic adventure is one of those films worth watching every single time you think of it. Seriously, it never gets old.

11. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Doesn’t matter if you’re old enough to have witnessed the The Sixth Sense twist first-hand, or you were born into a world where M. Night Shyamalan had already lost his horror clout — you have definitely made a joke involving the phrase “I see dead people.” The endurance of this movie’s cultural relevance is a testament to just how groundbreaking it was when it debuted in 1999. Bruce Willis is a child psychologist whose newest patient (Haley Joel Osment) claims to speak to the dead. The Sixth Sense is a breathlessly tense psychological thriller — some of us have had nightmares about Mischa Barton puking in a tent for the last 20 years — that’s as emotionally affecting as it is surprising. If somehow you haven’t seen this smart, sophisticated, and just plain excellent film, it’s time to right that wrong.

12. Freaks (2019)

A secret lurks beneath the surface of this claustrophobic thriller. Written and directed by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein, Freaks begins with a surly little girl and her harried father hiding in a ramshackle house. Despite paternal warnings, Chloe (Lexy Kolker) is determined to venture outside, befriend the girl across the street, and get a frosty treat from the ice cream truck that’s always just out of reach. But she’s only beginning to understand the dangers beyond her door. Why they must hide hangs on a sci-fi twist that makes this mysterious movie distinctly satisfying and marvelously mind-blowing.

13. The Deeper You Dig (2019)

If you relish a hidden gem of horror, you’ll treasure this intimate indie ghost story. It all begins on a dark, snowy night when a teen girl (Zelda Adams) goes missing. Her single mother (Toby Poser) is deeply devoted, not only to finding her child but also to manifesting a reckoning if someone has hurt her. Her search for answers brings her close to a new neighbor (John Adams), who is haunted by a horrible secret…and something more spirited. A lean and mean horror-thriller, The Deeper You Dig is even more fascinating when you know its three stars are wife, husband, and daughter, and that this is one of several movies they’ve written, directed, and starred in together as Wonder Wheel Productions. Let this be your gateway into their wild world of movies.

14. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Want something exciting with a fairytale flourish? Then you’ll cherish this outrageous R-rated film from 2013, which not only offers action and fantasy but also ghoulish horror.

Directed by Dead Snow helmer Tommy Wirkola, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters re-imagines the classic Grimm tale as one about two vengeance-driven siblings, dedicated to eliminating the magical scourge that makes meals out of children. Wearing matching smirks, Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as the titular brother-sister team. They wield crossbows and firearms with deadly accuracy and gory results. But with a massive coven coming for them, they’ll need killer snares, quirky sidekicks, and some magic of their own. Along with bursts of action, Wirkola unveils a rich treasure trove of creepy witch designs that will have horror fans squealing. So, forget historical accuracy, embrace lunacy, and enjoy a realm where witches rule, trolls drool, and Hansel and Gretel are merciless ass-kickers.

15. Zombie for Sale (2019)

What if zombie bites weren’t all bad? More specifically, what if a nip from the undead would give the impotent new life below the belt? That’s the preposterous premise that kicks off this gleefully bonkers South Korean comedy. The Park family is scraping by running a battered gas station when their fortunes are turned by a zombie (Jung Ga-ram) with a rejuvenating bite. That’s just the first act of director Lee Min-jae’s playful horror-comedy. Family hijinks, ghoulish action, gross-out gags, and absurdly earnest romance also pop up, making for a movie that is chaotically charming and pleasantly unpredictable.

16. Young Frankenstein (1974)

If you’d rather be kept up at night cackling instead of screaming, might we suggest Mel Brooks’s classic horror movie parody? Brooks and his leading man, Gene Wilder, collaborated on a screenplay that found the funny in the Frankenstein of Mary Shelley. Pulling from the iconography of the Universal monster movies of early Hollywood, Brooks found fresh soil to plant plenty of absurd bits, from a fixation on pronunciation (Frahnken-STEEN!) to sexual innuendoes and a monstrously fun dance number. Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Khan, and Teri Garr commit fully, making every sequence electrifying fun.

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Sola James
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