October is finally here, and with it comes an endless supply of horror movies from the many streaming services currently in existence. HBO Max in particular has a stunning array of flicks to choose from, including recent releases you might have missed in theaters due to the Covid shutdown as well as familiar favorites that still have plenty of bite. Whether you’re looking for fresh scares or a return to ones that still haunt your dreams, this list has got you covered.
Here are some of the best horror films currently available to stream on HBO Max, followed by a list of the many other spooky titles the platform currently has available to stream.
28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later
These films about a mysterious and incurable virus spreading throughout the UK might feel like they’re a little too timely at the present moment, but they also illustrate how much worse things could be. Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Renner, and Rose Byrne, 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later will make you thankful that battling a pandemic of our own has not resulted in a zombie apocalypse ⏤ yet.
The Amityville Horror (2005 and 1979)
It’s every homeowner’s worst fear, right? Buying a house, moving in, and then having to square off against demonic forces in the wake of a gruesome murder that occurred there a year ago? Thankfully there’s no way this could happen in real life ⏤ except that it apparently did, at least according to the Lutz family, who fled the house after only 28 days of living there. (What is it about the number 28?) Both versions of The Amityville Horror are available to stream now, giving you a chance to see how the remake might have improved upon the original.
If you’re looking forward to the upcoming Chucky series on Syfy, then you might also enjoy some thrills from his female counterpart. Annabelle: Creation is the prequel to Annabelle and the fourth film in the Conjuring franchise. It tells the story of a grieving doll-maker and his wife who welcome a nun and several orphan girls into their home (like you do) only for his possessed doll, Annabelle, to wreak havoc on all of their lives. The only thing that would make this concept creepier is the presence Chucky himself, who will once again be slashing screens on October 12th, 2021 (but doesn’t appear in Annabelle: Creation ⏤ sorry).
Aliens vs. Predator Requiem
The only thing scarier than one alien versus one predator is many aliens versus multiple predators. In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the sequel to Alien vs. Predator, a ship crashes into a Colorado forest and an Alien-Predator hybrid escapes. As the Predalien terrorizes the nearby townspeople, a Predator is sent to kill the monster before it multiplies and kills every human in sight. Brace yourself: there’s a lot of bloodshed in this one.
Can’t decide whether you like Halloween or Christmas better? You’re in luck: Black Christmas puts the two together, merging slasher elements with the holiday season and creating a nice middle-ground you can enjoy anytime between October and December. Though many of us would never deign to spend Christmas break on our college campuses, the sorority sisters in this remake regret their decision to do so after a stalker begins to prey on them. Unfortunately for the stalker, these ladies are ready for a slay ride.
The Blade Series
Before you watch Mahershala Ali slide into the role of the famed vampire hunter, take a trip down memory lane with the original Blade films. Based on the Marvel comics, the original Blade trilogy stars Wesley Snipes as the title vampire hunter seeking to avenge his mother’s death and rid the world of vampires. Marvel fans will appreciate Blade: Trinity, which stars a pre-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds as wise-cracking vampire hunter Hannibal King, a character who essentially laid the groundwork for Reynolds’ future funnyman.
The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2
The films that birthed a franchise, The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 offer our first introduction to Lorraine and Ed Warren, paranormal investigators famous for reporting on real-life hauntings such as the one that inspired The Amityville Horror. While the first film finds the couple investigating a family being terrorized in their farmhouse, the sequel brings them to the UK, where they square off against the Enfield poltergeist. Be warned: once you step into the Conjuring Universe, you might find it difficult to leave without watching all of the other films in its timeline.
The Final Destination Series
Not all horror films need obvious villains in order to be terrifying, as evidenced by the five Final Destination films. In each of them, a character receives a premonition that a mass-casualty event is about to happen only to thwart the event and then try to survive death’s relentless pursuit. Though the basic plots of these films are basically the same, the group of characters at their centers vary, and collectively they teach an important lesson: that you can’t cheat the Grim Reaper forever.
One of the cleverer and more recent horror flick releases is Freaky, a slasher comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. A juicy twist on Freaky Friday, the film centers around a teenager and a serial killer who swap bodies and lives after a nearly fatal stabbing. Unlike the family-friendly version starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis, this genre-bender finds Newton’s Millie having to stab Vaughn’s Butcher before midnight, otherwise their body switch will be permanent. Gulp.
Freddy vs. Jason
Masks and razors and teens, oh my! You don’t want to come between Freddy when he’s squaring off with Jason, and vice versa. This film pits the iconic horror antagonists against each other in their first film inhabiting the same universe. This was the last film in their respective franchises before they were each rebooted and it begs the question of which killer is the mightiest (and bloodiest). Depending on how you view the quality of the film, it’s basically everyone’s worst nightmare.
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Friday the 13th (2009)
Before he was battling Freddy (but after the 1980 original), Jason Voorhees was busy terrorizing a group of college students at Camp Crystal Lake. This 2009 remake finds Supernatural‘s Jared Padalecki in the role of Clay Miller, who is searching for his missing sister when the knife-wielding Jason decides to turn up and make his mission a lot harder. This one will make you think twice about going camping in the woods with your friends anytime soon.
Another new addition to the horror genre is The Hunt, a satire about a group of twelve strangers who find themselves in a clearing together without any idea of how they all ended up there. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that they’ve been assembled there to be hunted by a group of elites ⏤ at least until one of the hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin), decides to turn the tables and hunt her pursuers. Also starring Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Ike Barinholtz, and Justin Hartley, The Hunt pokes fun at contemporary politics while also providing plenty of thrills.
The Invisible Man
As if her work on The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t enough to showcase her insane acting ability, Elisabeth Moss delivers yet another master class in the stunning remake of The Invisible Man. She steals every frame of the film, which finds her character, Cecelia, trying to prove that her husband ⏤ dead by “suicide” ⏤ is actually still alive, and haunting her. There are moments in this film that will make your heart stop, and the ending is so superb that you’ll wonder who wrote this incredible adaptation. (Spoiler alert: It was Leigh Whannell, the mastermind behind the first three Saw films and the Insidious series.)
If you haven’t yet witnessed the masterful update of Stephen King’s most famous book, now’s the time. It: Chapter One is so much more than your typical horror story. It dives into the lives of the Loser’s Club, a group of friends who are all being haunted by the same terrifying monster: a child-eating clown named Pennywise. The ensemble of young actors in this adaptation is so good that even its sequel ⏤ which boasts such reputable names as James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain ⏤ can’t quite match the magic of the first one. While occasionally scary, it is primarily a coming-of-age story that speaks to the brilliance of the filmmakers and the King of Horror himself.
We know from Final Destination and That’s So Raven that peeking into the future is not always as fun as it sounds. What could be worse than glimpsing things yet to come? How about having visions of gruesome murders and thinking they’re not real only to learn that they are? That’s what happens in Malignant, starring Annabelle Wallis as the woman experiencing said shocking visions. Hurry! If you want to catch this latest entry into the horror film canon, you must do so before it leaves HBO Max on October 10th.
The Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Whether you’d like to watch the 2010 version or rewind to the originals, HBOMax currently has all of the Freddy you could ever want in your life. The midnight mangler (who might have stolen Edward’s scissor-hands) has a startling affinity for attacking teenagers in their dreams, something he’s been doing since the ’80s with unceasing enthusiasm. He may even come to haunt some of your dreams, especially if you choose to watch all seven of his films on the platform this Halloween season.
“Here’s Johnny!” This iconic ⏤ and utterly haunting ⏤ moment in movie history is only one of many that make The Shining a disturbing experience you’ll never forget. The psychological horror film is of course an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 novel and explores what happens when the Torrance family goes to live at the shady Overlook Hotel. Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, the writer who eventually loses touch with his own sanity after immersing himself in his new supernatural surroundings. You may not want to travel for a while after watching this one ⏤ or go near a set of twins.
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
If you’re seeking some lighthearted fare this spooky season, look no further than Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. It’s yet another film that delivers the best of the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp-Helena Bonham Carter trifecta along with films like Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This one finds Depp’s Victor Van Dort accidentally marrying Bonham Carter’s Corpse Bride and embarking on a trip to the underworld. What could possibly go wrong?
Trick ‘r Treat
If another viewing of Halloweentown isn’t your bag this year, try Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat. The anthology contains five interwoven stories that all occur on Halloween on the same block and finds the characters experiencing some strange phenomena on this particularly scary evening. Filled with serial killers, mean pranks, and suspicious Jack-o-Lanterns, Trick ‘r Treat might make you glad that you chose to stay inside this year. Just don’t blow out that Jack-o-Lantern before midnight!
Nothing is scarier than the possibility of being trapped underwater with a diminishing oxygen supply ⏤ unless, of course, you factor in a dangerous sea monster who might be responsible for causing a mysterious earthquake that sends Kristen Stewart’s Norah Price into the abyss to investigate. Underwater is a heart-pounding deep-dive into the murky unknown that will prove to you that monsters can exist anywhere, which means you should probably avoid things like large bodies of water, cabins in the woods, dreams ⏤ you know, anywhere a potential monster could be lurking.
What Other Horror Films Are Available To Stream On HBOMax?
Here’s a list of all the other horror flicks that the platform is currently offering:
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
- All Monsters Attack
- Batman vs. Dracula
- Bless The Child
- The Blob
- The Brood
- Carnival of Souls
- Cast a Deadly Spell
- The Cell 2
- Critters, Critters 3, and Critters 4
- The Curse of Frankenstein
- Dark Water
- Darkness Falls
- Destroy All Monsters
- Down a Dark Hall
- Dracula A.D. 1972
- Dracula Has Risen From the Grave
- El Pacto
- The Empty Man
- Event Horizon
- The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2
- Exorcist II: The Heretic
- Eyes Without a Face
- First Man Into Space
- Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
- The Gallows
- Ghost in the Machine (1993)
- Ghost Rider
- Ghoulies and Ghoulies II
- The Godzilla Series (1954-1974)
- Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch
- Horror of Dracula
- House of Wax
- The Hunger
- I Am Legend
- I Was a Teenage Zombie
- Invasion of Astro-Monster
- Justice League Dark
- King Kong (1933 and 1976)
- Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
- Monkey Shines
- The Most Dangerous Game
- Multiple Maniacs
- The Mummy (1959)
- My Bloody Valentine (2009)
- The Mystery of the Wax Museum
- Night of the Living Dead
- Nurse 3D
- Ouija: Origin of Evil
- The Quiet Ones
- The Poltergeist Series
- The Raven
- Red Dragon
- Red Riding Hood
- The Return of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead 3
- The Rite
- Son of Kong
- Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye
- Stephen King’s It (1990)
- The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
- Thirteen Ghosts
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
- The Voices
- The War of the Gargantuas
- Warm Bodies
- Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
- The Witches of Eastwick
- The X From Outer Space
Clearly you need look no further than HBO Max for this year’s horror movie binge. Check out these movies now before they vanish!