After creating a list of the best horror movies on HBO Max, we’ve expanded our search to Amazon Prime Video. There’s a wide variety of horror films here, where classics like Carrie (1976) sit right beside remakes such as Suspiria (2018). Amazon’s library also contains comedies like An American Werewolf in London and more serious fare, including The Descent (2006).
The list below are our 10 best picks for what to catch heading into the Halloween season.
10. Train to Busan (2016)
Yet another entry into the zombie genre, Train to Busan is surprisingly a family drama at its core, telling the story of a divorced, workaholic father named Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) who attempts to protect his young daughter, Soo-an (Kim Su-an), from the infected zombies. Director Yeon Sang-ho derives so much tension from trapping his characters on a cross-country bullet train as the virus spreads across South Korea. The film works as a bloody, fast-paced popcorn flick.
9. Suspiria (2018)
Suspiria (2018) is a remake of Dario Argento’s film of the same name. Argento’s version follows a long line of Italian Giallo films – colorful mystery thrillers that typically contained slasher, psychological horror, eroticism, and supernatural horror elements. Director Luca Guadagnino described his film as more of an “homage” than a remake, placing the film in 1977 Germany to explore themes of national guilt during the Cold War. While the 2018 film loses much of the maximal and expressive style of the original, including its signature exaggerated colors and surreal imagery, it remains memorable in its own way, featuring enthralling dance sequences and a bloody climax.
8. Paranormal Activity (2007)
In a long line of low-budget horror films, Paranormal Activity was one of the most successful, raking in almost $200 million with a budget of just $215,000. The found-footage horror follows a couple (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) who record supernatural elements that haunt them in their new home. Director Oren Peli gets terrific performances from his cast and builds tension methodically. It’s an effective horror film that still holds up to this day, leading to it launching a series of seven films and a video game.
7. The Descent (2005)
The Descent is one of the best horror films of the 2000s, following a group of women who go spelunking at a cave system in the Appalachian Mountains. During their adventure, the cave collapses, trapping them. Underground creatures attack the women, who struggle to survive and escape the cave. The story is quite straightforward, but director Neil Marshall extracts a remarkable amount of tension and terror from the situations that he places his characters in.
6. Hellraiser (1987)
Since Hulu’s new Hellraiser reboot will be released in October, it’s the perfect time to see why the series has maintained its prominence. Horror author Clive Barker directed the film based on his own novella The Hellbound Heart. Hellraiser centers around the Cenobites and the main antagonist, Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Their puzzle box opens up to the Hell realm of the Cenobites, who aim to torture human souls through barbarous experiments. The supernatural horror franchise includes ten films in total and various comic books.
5. Let the Right One In (2008)
Tomas Alfredson’s film tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) who befriends a young girl, Eli (Lina Leandersson). Oskar is bullied at school and dreams of revenge. Eli, who turns out to be a vampire, encourages Oskar to stand up for himself. Let the Right One In follows Oskar and Eli as they try to survive with Eli needing to feed on blood regularly. Its success critically and at the box office led to an American remake called Let Me In (2010).
4. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
John Landis is often thought of as a comedic director with films like National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) under his belt. After this film, he would continue with the comedy route, directing films like Coming to America (1988) with Eddie Murphy. The film follows two American backpackers (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) who are attacked by a werewolf. The one that survives deals with the possibility of eventually transforming into a werewolf. Landis infuses his comedic sensibilities into the film, creating a true horror-comedy that is equally funny and terrifying.
3. Carrie (1976)
Carrie is not only a horror film but a coming-of-age tale about a sheltered teenager’s experience being bullied at school and growing up with her religious and abusive mother. Like many classic horror films, Carrie’s standout scene has cemented itself in pop culture. Carrie (Sissy Spacek) is asked out to the school’s prom and her subsequent humiliation sparks a bloody revenge against her classmates. The film was the first and possibly the best Stephen King adaptation, launching numerous film and television productions of the author’s work.
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
As the film that started the original zombie craze, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is the genre’s most influential entry. It focuses on a group of people who are trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse when zombies appear and begin to attack. The film formed our knowledge of how zombies work as reanimated corpses that hunt for living flesh. The film was successful at the box office and served as the first in a wildly popular horror series. On top of that, Night of the Living Dead incorporates social commentary on race relations in America, making it relevant to this day.
1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling, an FBI agent-in-training, in Jonathan Demme’s psychological horror adaptation of a Thomas Harris novel. The film follows her quest to find a serial killer who targets female victims, most notably the daughter of a U.S. senator. Starling asks Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), another serial killer and psychiatrist, for help. The Silence of the Lambs examines Starling’s perspective in a world run by men. Both Foster and Hopkins earned Academy Awards for their performances, and after winning Best Picture, the film spawned a series of sequels.