It may only be August, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the greatest holiday of all time — Halloween. In the absence of yellowing leaves and omnipresent advertisements for pumpkin spice lattes, you’ll have to turn to streaming services in order to commence your annual fright fest. Here are 7 of the best horror movies you can stream right now, as you prepare for the year’s spookiest season.
Scream, Wes Craven’s gleefully meta-fictional take on the slasher film, revitalized the horror genre upon its release. From its masterful opening scene — in which poor Drew Barrymore has to answer movie trivia questions in exchange for her life — the film showcases an ability to mine well-worn horror tropes for comedy without leaving behind the chilling scares that furnish the genre’s popularity. Boasting a talented cast, a compelling central mystery, and a memorable masked killer, Scream is a cult classic and an essential watch for any horror fan.
Scream is now streaming on Netflix.
Director Ari Aster’s feature film debut is not for the faint of heart. Hereditary follows Annie Graham (a brilliantly raw Toni Collette) and her family, as they recover from the death of Annie’s introverted mother. Every element of the film, from the uncanny close-ups of Annie’s miniature artwork to the sickeningly sharp sound of a child clicking her tongue, seems calculated to shock and unsettle. Hereditary bypasses jump-scares for deep-seated psychological fears, so it’s not surprising that it’s still considered by many to have been woefully snubbed last year at the Academy Awards.
Hereditary is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
TRAIN TO BUSAN
Another cult classic, this South Korean zombie film follows a father (Gong Yoo) and his young daughter (Kim Su-an) as they become trapped on a high-speed train in the midst of a zombie virus outbreak. Once Train to Busan gets going, it never hits the brakes, piling on kinetic, gory zombie action as well as genuine suspense. It’s thoroughly fun horror, with touches of class consciousness and social commentary, cementing its spot as one of the most notable zombie movies of the last decade.
Train to Busan is now streaming on Netflix.
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND
This under-the-radar release from Lee Cronin, along with Jordan Peele’s Us, enjoys the distinction of being one of the best doppelganger movies of 2019. The Hole in the Ground centers on young mother Sarah (Seana Kerslake), who begins to suspect her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) is an imposter, after he returns from a nighttime jaunt in the forest. Cronin sharply mines parental anxieties for scares and relies on a stellar performance from Kerslake to carry the film, resulting in a fresh, compelling yarn.
The Hole in the Ground is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
The Invitation takes a universally dreaded situation — a dinner party with an ex — and slowly twists that familiar tension into acute fear. Throughout the course of a particularly awkward evening, Will (Logan Marshall-Green) slowly realizes something is up with his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard). Director Karyn Kusama stretches Will’s mental strain over the course of the film’s run-time, piling up the passive aggression and unsettling asides until everyone finally snaps in a rip-roaring, bloody climax.
The Invitation is now streaming on Netflix.
Before Robert Eggers blesses us all with his sophomore feature in October, take a look at the horror flick that made the director one to watch. The story tracks young Thomasin (Anya Taylor Joy) and her family, as they are stalked by supernatural forces on the outskirts of their New England farm. The Witch is everything that its subtitle — A New England Folktale — promises, a tale mired in religious paranoia and an unexpected undercurrent of female empowerment. Quiet, dissonant sound design and arresting sequences shot using only natural light give the film a haunting, hyper-realistic aura that will stick with you long after the credits roll.
The Witch is now streaming on Netflix.
A QUIET PLACE
John Krasinki’s directorial debut was a huge box office hit in 2018, garnering an Oscar nomination for Sound Editing and a SAG Award win for Emily Blunt. A Quiet Place takes place in a post apocalyptic future where the earth has been overrun by alien creatures that hunt using their enhanced sense of hearing. The film capitalizes on its premise to generate a host of tense sequences, and aside from a few plot holes — why didn’t they just live near that damn waterfall? — it’s a refreshingly effective and occasionally touching entry into the horror genre.
A Quiet Place is now streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Agree? Disagree? What are your favorite horror movies streaming right now? Let us know in the comments below!