Horror movie fans looking to get their gore fix have a friend in Shudder, the streaming service owned by AMC that deals exclusively in the macabre. With lots of original programming, including The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs, the Creepshow anthology, and the excellent In Search of Darkness documentary franchise, there’s never any shortage of creepy content. Check out some of our favorite horror films currently available—blanket-cowering optional. (You can find Shudder in your streaming device library, or via Amazon Prime, which we link to below.)
1. Phantasm (1979)
Director Don Coscarelli chilled audiences with this low-budget shocker about a young man (Michael Baldwin) who runs afoul of the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a malevolent undertaker plotting world domination. The plot is a little out there, but the nightmare visuals have made this an enduring cult classic that has spawned several sequels. Coscarelli has said that he wanted to make a movie that had a scare every five minutes.
2. Alligator (1980)
Robert Forster stars as a detective looking into an urban legend that turns out to be real: a voracious alligator haunting Chicago's sewers. This winking riff on Jaws made an impression on Quentin Tarantino, who later said he saw elements of the Max Cherry character in Forster. He later cast the actor in 1997's Jackie Brown.
3. Night of the Demons (1988)
Few movie teens in the '80s could get away with a sex-filled party without homicidal consequences, and Night of the Demons is no exception. While hosting a bash at a funeral home, some unfortunate young people accidentally unleash a demonic force. The film was originally titled Halloween Party, but producers of the Halloween franchise objected.
4. Deep Red (1975)
Italian film director Dario Argento helmed this giallo classic about a murderer on the loose and a musician who asks too many questions about it. Co-star Daria Nicolodi later worked with Argento on Suspiria.
5. The Beyond (1981)
Italian horror legend Lucio Fulci brings his brand of surrealist theatrics to this well-regarded film about a woman named Liza Merril (Catriona MacColl) who oversees a hotel in Louisiana with a serious zoning problem: It’s situated above the entrance to hell. Because Fulci spoke little English, he directed his American actors by miming, gesturing, and utilizing other body language.
6. Ginger Snaps (2000)
Two sisters (Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins) find their relationship tested when one of them is bitten by a werewolf, provoking bloodlust that proves slightly more awkward than your normal teen growing pains. Isabelle and Perkins later played sisters in a very different project—a Disney Channel movie titled Another Cinderella Story (2008).
7. The Stuff (1985)
Larry Cohen's sly nod to rampant consumerism involves a goopy new product that takes over supermarkets--and then the world. Mira Sorvino, daughter of Paul Sorvino, visited her father on set one day and was hired on as an extra.
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Tobe Hooper's highly influential horror classic can still shock to this day, though it's not nearly as bloody as its reputation suggests. The director even expected to get a PG rating. (He didn't.)
9. The Changeling (1980)
George C. Scott stars in this slow burn horror movie about a bereaved father who relocates to cope with the memory of his dead wife and daughter. In his new home, he encounters a paranormal entity that does little to soothe his nerves. The supernatural elements were reportedly based on a real Denver home in the 1960s. Occupant Russell Hunter claimed water faucets turned on and off by themselves and that the walls of the house sometimes vibrated.
10. Threads (1984)
While not exactly an ‘80s horror staple, the made-for-television BBC film Threads still managed to horrify viewers with its unrelenting and graphic depictions of what a nuclear fallout might look like. During screenings for journalists, more than one person reportedly walked out, finding the experience too unpleasant to bear.
This article originally ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2022.