The 10 Best Horror Movies on Shudder Right Now
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 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 out there, but the nightmare visuals have made this an enduring cult classic that’s spawned several sequels.
2. The Stepfather (1987)
Lost alumni Terry O’Quinn stars in this potboiler about a psychopath named Henry Morrison who takes out his entire family in a fit of rage before settling down with a brand-new domestic unit, including widow Susan Maine (Shelley Hack) and daughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen). He expects perfection. When he doesn’t get it, daddy issues ensue.
3. Hellraiser (1987)
Fed up with lackluster adaptations of his work, author Clive Barker helmed his own take on his 1986 novella “The Hellbound Heart.” Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) accidentally unleashes hell’s torture squad, including Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Reduced to skinless flesh, he pleads with his brother’s wife—and his lover—Julia (Clare Higgins) to fetch him victims to restore his appearance. Inventive practical effects and Barker’s eye for lurid imagery gave horror a new franchise, though none of the nine sequels have managed to capture the black magic of the original.
4. Maniac Cop (1988)
Robert Z’Dar lends his formidable presence to this slasher about a cop believed to be dead who returns to exact punishment in a way that doesn’t align with department policy. Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead franchise) co-stars.
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.
6. Ginger Snaps (2000)
Two best friends (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.
7. Society (1992)
Class issues come to a boil in this imaginatively grotesque feature from Brian Yuzna (1985’s Re-Animator). Preppie kid Billy Warlock discovers his parents (Charles Lucia and Connie Danese) are part of a secret cabal of wealthy Beverly Hills elite who need an orgiastic ritual in order to remain young—a scene you won’t soon forget.
8. Emelie (2016)
Babysitter Emelie (Sarah Bolger) settles in with her young charges for what their parents hope is a fun evening out. Back home, their guardian exhibits increasingly bizarre behavior.
9. Audition (1999)
Director Takashi Miike cemented his status as Japan’s premier horror auteur with this disturbing tale of a bachelor (Ryo Ishibashi) who thinks he has found his ideal mate (Eihi Shiina). But the more he (and viewers) get to know her, the luckier he’ll be to make it out alive.
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 reportedly walked out, finding the experience too unpleasant to bear.