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25 best horror movies on Prime Video to keep you up at night

25 best horror movies on Prime Video to keep you up at night A composite of images from horror movies

In the mood for something scary? There's nothing quite like the fresh thrill of a great horror movie. That tingle that runs down your spine. The goosebumps that prick at your skin. The hard, cold thumping that hits your heart. Yet seriously scary is only one flavor of horror, a genre that welcomes pestering poltergeists and wicked witches alongside lovable zombies and tap-dancing monsters. Whatever kind of mood you're in, we've got a pick for you, right from Prime Video

The library of Prime Video is vast but ever-changing, so we've scoured their stacks to curate a current collection sure to thrill, chill, and delight. Whether you want soul-scorching psychological thrillers, haunted house horror, creepy classics, modern masterpieces, or something as ghoulish as it is goofy, we've got you covered.

1. Suspiria (2018)

Women dance a bizarre ballet.
Credit: Amazon Studios / Moviestore / Shutterstock

This 2018 Suspiria remake has been described by director Luca Guadagnino and star Tilda Swinton as a "cover" of Dario Argento's 1977 classic — exploring rather than mimicking Argento's perspective on supernatural horror. With this mission in mind, Suspiria is a gratifying watch that exemplifies how identical genre tropes can be employed for disparate emotional effects. Yes, it's all fear, but fear of different kinds that present an unsettling experience unto itself. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter 

How to watch: Suspiria (2018) is now streaming free with Prime Video.

2. Deathdream (1974)

Six years after George A. Romero modernized the horror genre by injecting political allegory into it with Night of the Living Dead, Deathdream tackled the ongoing nightmare of the Vietnam War by telling the story of a soldier killed in action who nevertheless goes and returns to his family home, albeit a changed man. Very changed. Specifically, he is now one who sits around in sunglasses all day and then goes out and steals people's blood via syringe every night. 

Director Bob Clark (best known for the holiday duology of A Christmas Story and Black Christmas) and his Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things writer Alan Ormsby were the masterminds behind this deeply disturbed folk tale, which turned the very real PTSD that returning veterans and their families were going through into the stuff of symbolic and scary horror. — Jason Adams, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Deathdream is now streaming free with Prime Video.

3. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin."
Credit: BBC Films / Kobal / Shutterstock

We Need to Talk About Kevin is an exploration of warning signs and violence that's sure to leave many viewers feeling unsteady. Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly lead as the parents of Kevin, a disturbed teenager played by Ezra Miller (which turned out to be some fortuitous casting), who goes on an unexplained killing spree. More meditative than attention-grabbing, director Lynne Ramsay's psychological thriller asks you to make sense of the senseless, even as this tale's inescapably horrible conclusion looms large. — A.F. 

How to watch: We Need to Talk About Kevin is now streaming free with Prime Video.

4. Dead & Buried (1981)

We do love ourselves a "seaside town with a secret" horror story (see also: Messiah of Evil), and 1981’s Dead & Buried ranks up there among the creepiest of them all. 

Based on the novel by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and adapted by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett (who co-wrote Alien), Dead & Buried is perched somewhere between The Fog and Re-Animator. Dead & Buried tells the tale of Potter's Bluff, a small town on the California coast where the locals can't seem to stop themselves from brutally murdering all of the tourists. ("Living the dream," coos any NYC resident.) Awash in that musty barnacled atmosphere that lovers of this subgenre live for, this classic's got the bloody goods. — J.A. 

How to watch: Dead & Buried is now streaming free with Prime Video.

5. The Neon Demon (2016) 

Elle Fanning covered in blood stares into a mirror in "Neon Demon."
Credit: Space Rocket Nation / Vendian / Bold / Kobal / Shutterstock

If Vogue released an issue in collaboration with the Necronomicon, its contents might resemble something like director Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon. Starring Elle Fanning as a doomed ingénue, this stylish fever dream explores the Los Angeles modeling scene for an indictment of Western beauty standards and commercialization that's as captivating as it is biting. — A.F.

How to watch: The Neon Demon is now streaming free with Prime Video.

6. [REC] (2007)

The first three of the four total [REC] films are streaming on Amazon, and we thoroughly REC-comend that you watch all of them. They're very different movies but all a blast in their individual ways. That said, there's no place better to begin than the beginning, and there's no scarier place to be than right inside Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza's terrifying found-footage masterpiece that kicks off the series. 

Following ace on-the-scene TV news reporter (and final girl icon) Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) on a routine assignment covering a firehouse, we watch a boring story become anything but as Ángela and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) find themselves trapped inside an apartment building with a horde of bloodthirsty rampaging undead. Notable for one of the greatest all-time ending scares, one that has been ripped off mercilessly ever since. — J.A. 

How to watch: [REC] is now streaming free with Prime Video, as are [REC] 2 and [REC] 3.

7. Master (2022)

Two Black women look afraid on a jogging path.
Credit: Amazon Studios

Often, when horror movies are set on college campuses, they're schlocky slashers with sorority sisters being ripped to shreds. Here, however, writer/director Mariama Diallo spins a unique horror story about the ghosts of America's past and how they still haunt us. At a prestigious university, lore lingers of a lynched witch who still causes chaos. Freshman Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee) believes she is the latest victim, but Professor Gail Bishop (Regina Hall), who has just been appointed the first Black master of the university, begins to suspect the insidious evil isn't supernatural. Is it just racism? Her quest to understand the seedy underbelly of the school leads her to uncomfortable places and harrowing realizations. With a shadowy atmosphere and a creeping sense of dread, Diallo submerges us into the mindset of her haunted heroes. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Master is now streaming free with Prime Video.

8. Nope (2022)

Daniel Kaluuya on horseback in "Nope."
Credit: Universal Pictures

Writer-director Jordan Peele done gone and done it again with this "Watch the skies!" horror, which somehow smashes up Hollywood history with evil alien shenanigans, whilst also sneaking in a message about racialized invisibility beside the blood rain and face-eating chimpanzees. And if you’re keeping count, that makes the man fully three-for-three after Get Out and Us, putting him by my estimation already among the ranks of horror masters such as John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. We will look back on this run with astonishment in a couple of decades.

Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya star as animal trainer siblings mourning their father as a strange presence simultaneously makes itself known in the clouds above his ranch. Nope escalates into absolute madness as it rockets toward its surreal WTF of a conclusion. And with every Peele joint comes a new iconography, be it “the Sunken Place” or red jumpsuits and golden scissors. After Nope, I doubt any of us will ever be able to look at those little strands of colored flags or those dancing air tube men ever the same. Not to mention chimpanzees wearing party hats. — J.A.   

How to watch: Nope is now streaming free with Prime Video.

9. Hellraiser (1987) 

From the phenomenally twisted mind of Clive Barker, the original Hellraiser is as scary today as it ever was. Descend into this puzzling world of monstrous torture (see what I did there?) with genre icon Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley, facing off against protagonist Kirsty, played by Ashley Laurence. No matter where you stand on the most recent Hellraiser installments, it's hard to deny that this 1987 nightmare is an all-time great. — A.F. 

How to watch: Hellraiser is now streaming free with Prime Video.

10. Event Horizon (1997)

Jones, Kathleen Quinlan, Laurence Fishburne, Jack Noseworthy in a space craft in "Event Horizon."
Credit: Andrew Macpherson / Paramount / Kobal / Shutterstock

You can’t really call Event HorizonHellraiser in space” because the Hellraiser franchise did actually go into outer space with its fourth film titled Bloodline (which you should not under any circumstances watch). But Event Horizon is kinda sorta “Hellraiser in space” anyway. Hell, it’s a far better “Hellraiser in space” than Hellraiser: Bloodline ended up being! 

Telling the very Alien-sounding tale of a crew of space-jockeys (led by Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, and Sam Neill) who stumble upon a distress signal that would’ve been best left un-stumbled-upon, Paul W.S. Anderson’s film is shockingly gruesome for a big-budget picture with so many name actors aboard. Nobody expected to see the nice scientist from Jurassic Park claw his own eyes out! And yet that’s just the tip of what Event Horizon has in store for you. — J.A. 

How to watch: Event Horizon is now streaming free with Prime Video.

11. Inferno (1980)

The middle film in Italian maestro Dario Argento’s “Three Mothers” trilogy — sandwiched between 1977’s master-work Suspiria and 2007’s decidedly-not-a-masterwork Mother of TearsInferno usually receives a mixed reception, but I’m here to say “No!” (That’s “no” in Italian.) Is Inferno absolute nonsense from start to finish? Of course it is. I couldn’t even begin to summarize the story, which skips back and forth between Rome and New York City and involves so many red herrings that you could repopulate the oceans and still have leftovers for Friday Night Fish Fry. I’ve seen this movie half a dozen times, and I still have no idea what happens in it. 

But it’s some of the most stylish and spooky nonsense you’ll ever see, pushing Suspiria’s already bursting technicolor palette past its breaking point, then around the globe and past it a second time for good measure. — J.A.

How to watch: Inferno is now streaming free with Prime Video.

12. Saint Maud (2021)

Morfydd Clark levitates in "Saint Maud"
Credit: Moviestore / Shutterstock

If religious horror is what your dark heart desires, then your prayers are answered with Saint Maud. Critics heralded writer/director Rose Glass's feature film debut as a horror masterpiece, and it's easy to see why. Morfydd Clark gives a riveting and nerve-rattling performance as Maud, a hospice nurse who's tasked with caring for the body. But her bigger goal is to save the soul of her decadent new patient. Amanda (Jennifer Ehle) doesn't believe in God, but does believe in a good time. Her sensuality concerns and enchants Maud, pulling the two into a bond that will turn bitter and brutal. Weaving real religious rituals into the seductive spin of psychological horror, Glass creates a descent into hell that is a twisted delight to watch. — K.P.

How to watch: Saint Maud is now streaming free with Prime Video.

13. The Dead Zone (1983)

We have no less than David Cronenberg to thank for one of the best Stephen King adaptations! Cronenberg and Christopher Walken, anyway, who made for a terrific team — shame those two never worked together again; there’s something irresistibly perfect about their weird union. But maybe that lightning could only strike the once, so celebrate the once we will. 

In The Dead Zone, Walken stars as Johnny Smith, a man who gets in a car accident and gains the ability to see people’s futures by shaking their hand. And that’s called “science” — look it up. Of course this gift turns out to be nothing but a curse, and before you know it, he’s firing rifles at politicians using babies for human shields. Que sera sera, and such. — J.A.

How to watch: The Dead Zone is now streaming free with Prime Video.

14. House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Vincent Price in "House on Haunted Hill"
Credit: Allied Artists / Kobal / Shutterstock

What would a horror hits list be without a little Vincent Price? Though the actor reportedly disliked his work being defined as outright “horror,” this unforgettable face of fear appeared in more than 200 TV shows and films, including many of the scariest releases of the mid-20th century. Price's pointed features, slicked-back hair, and pencil mustache have been mimicked and referenced in countless horror homages. 

Though Price properly assumed the throne of horror king with the surprise success of House of Wax (1953), his later starring role in House on Haunted Hill (1959) offers a more complete vision of his legacy. Plus, famed B-movie director William Castle’s flick makes early use of the haunted dinner party premise, a particularly goofy trope that would pop up for decades, from Clue (1985) and The Last Supper (1995) to You're Next (2011) and Ready or Not (2019).* —A.F.

How to watch: House on Haunted Hill is now streaming free with Prime Video.

15. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Tim Robbins stars as a Vietnam vet losing his shit and then some in this nightmarish 1990 Adrian Lyne thriller. 

Sandwiched between Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal in Lyne’s sexy filmography, this one surely stands out, mostly because of all the tentacles. But the tentacles are made kind of sexy in Lyne’s hands, so it doesn’t actually stand out quite as much as you’d think! Especially in the infamous dance scene with Elizabeth Peña — playing a character named “Jezebel” because of course — where she gets her lusty groove on with some half-glimpsed hell monster. Still, Lyne proves deft at mixing his usual gauzy theatrics with squishy surrealism, and there are several images in Jacob’s Ladder that prove terrifyingly unforgettable. — J.A.

How to watch: Jacob’s Ladder is now streaming free with Prime Video.

16. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

The second film out of four total Body Snatchers tales (if you don’t count things like The Stepford Wives or the TV series BrainDead, which are variations on the theme) is also the best. Donald Sutherland stars as a health inspector in 1970s San Francisco (“That is a rat turd!”) who, along with his co-worker (Brooke Adams), discovers that pod people from outer space are taking over humanity (just roll with it). 

Director Philip Kaufman took the conspiracy thrillers of the decade (movies like The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor and added a good dose of sci-fi goopiness, milking the paranoia of the post-Nixon era quite literally. And extra praise must be heaped upon the supporting cast of Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy — not to mention an all-time great freak-out ending. — J.A.

How to watch: Invasion of the Body Snatchers is now streaming free with Prime Video.

17. Train to Busan (2016) 

Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, Train to Busan imagines the end of the world as a screamingly entertaining explosion of zombie mayhem and societal commentary brought on by a chemical spill. Terrifying, funny, and consistently original, this apocalyptic adventure is one of those films worth watching every single time you think of it. Seriously, it never gets old. — A.F.

How to watch: Train to Busan is now streaming free with Prime Video.

18. Friday the 13th (1980)

Betsy Palmer wields a knife in "Friday the 13th."
Credit: Paramount / Kobal / Shutterstock

Before Hannibal genius Bryan Fuller takes us back to Camp Crystal Lake for the 13th time with his upcoming streaming prequel series for Peacock, why not revisit the original Voorhees-venture that kicked off all of the -ki-ki-ki -he-he-he’s in the first place? 

Before Jason had his hockey mask – heck, before we knew what a Jason was – there was nice little old lady Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) in her warm woolen sweater, giving camp counselors a helpful ride … straight to hell! 

The first crest in the slasher wave created by Halloween two years earlier, nobody thought Sean S. Cunningham’s little movie would be anything, including Cunningham himself. But 60 million dollars later, a legion of sequels and rip-offs and plush dolls have proven that naivete very wrong. Turns out we were all waiting for Kevin Bacon to get an arrow shoved through his esophagus, we just didn’t know it yet. — J.A.

How to watch: Friday the 13th is now streaming free with Prime Video.

19. Freaks (2019)

Lexy Kolker in "Freaks"
Credit: Well Go USA / Moviestore / Shutterstock

A secret lurks beneath the surface of this claustrophobic thriller. Written and directed by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein, Freaks begins with a surly little girl and her harried father hiding in a ramshackle house. Despite paternal warnings, Chloe (Lexy Kolker) is determined to venture outside, befriend the girl across the street, and get a frosty treat from the ice cream truck that’s always just out of reach. But she’s only beginning to understand the dangers beyond her door. Why they must hide hangs on a sci-fi twist that makes this mysterious movie distinctly satisfying and marvelously mind-blowing.* — K.P. 

How to watch: Freaks is now streaming free with Prime Video.

20. The Deeper You Dig (2019)

If you relish a hidden gem of horror, you'll treasure this intimate indie ghost story. It all begins on a dark, snowy night when a teen girl (Zelda Adams) goes missing. Her single mother (Toby Poser) is deeply devoted, not only to finding her child but also to manifesting a reckoning if someone has hurt her. Her search for answers brings her close to a new neighbor (John Adams), who is haunted by a horrible secret ... and something more spirited. A lean and mean horror-thriller, The Deeper You Dig is even more fascinating when you know its three stars are wife, husband, and daughter, and that this is one of several movies they've written, directed, and starred in together as Wonder Wheel Productions. Let this be your gateway into their wild world of films. — K.P. 

How to watch: The Deeper You Dig is now streaming free with Prime Video.

21. Hell House LLC (2015)

Found-footage aficionados know that digging through a lot of dreck is part of the gig; for every gem you’ll have to watch 10 duds. And even among the gems there are a lot of crutches the sub-genre leans on that you have to submit yourself to in order to get yourself to the scares. The biggest hurdle of all being the question: “Why the hell are these people filming everything and not running away for their lives?” 

Hell House LLC, which follows a group of kind of irritating youths setting up a haunted house attraction in a house that, whoopsie, turns out to be legitimately haunted, isn’t great at answering those questions. You have to meet it on its own terms. But if you’re willing to make the effort, it’s chock-full of nightmare imagery — all of those dressed-up prop dummies they find in the basement that keep popping up in new places? Fuel for a million bad dreams. — J.A.

How to watch: Hell House LLC  is now streaming free with Prime Video.

22. Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

As Aliens was to Alien, so went Wolf Creek 2 to Wolf Creek — a bigger, meaner, wilder action-rollercoaster that took the smaller, subtler scares of the original and shot them off like a rocket. 

Writer-director Greg McLean amps everything up to 13 in this high-octane sequel to his 2005 Aussie outback slasher masterpiece, turning serial-killer Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) into a dusty Terminator who gets into outrageous Mad-Max-esque road fights that somehow escape the notice of the authorities every time. Not as scary as the original classic, no, but a hell of a lot of nasty fun. — J.A.

How to watch: Wolf Creek 2 is now streaming free with Prime Video.

23. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

A zombie girl stares menancingly in "Night of the Living Dead."
Credit: Image Ten / Kobal / Shutterstock

What even is there left to say about George A. Romero’s horror masterpiece at this point on, 55 years after its release? That it created a new movie monster — there were "zombies" before, but not the way we know them today, which is entirely thanks to Romero. That it earned 250 times its original budget in its original release, revolutionizing independent cinema. That it’s a politically-minded molotov cocktail, sneaking in a message of racialized horror under its stark black-and-white surface. 

But most of all 55 years on, this story of seven strangers stranded in a farmhouse while the world turns to ghouls outside is still, somehow against all odds, utterly terrifying. I’ve watched little Karen turn on her mother with that gardening trowel more times than I could count, and it still sends all of the shudders down my spine anyway. — J.A.

How to watch: Night of the Living Dead is now streaming free with Prime Video.

24. Zombie for Sale (2019) 

What if zombie bites weren’t all bad? More specifically, what if a nip from the undead would give the impotent new life below the belt? That’s the preposterous premise that kicks off this gleefully bonkers South Korean comedy. The Park family is scraping by running a battered gas station when their fortunes are turned by a zombie (Jung Ga-ram) with a rejuvenating bite. That’s just the first act of director Lee Min-jae’s playful horror-comedy. Family hijinks, ghoulish action, gross-out gags, and absurdly earnest romance also pop up, making for a movie that is chaotically charming and pleasantly unpredictable.* — K.P. 

How to watch: Zombie for Sale is now streaming free with Prime Video.

25. The Woman (2011)

The sort of antagonistic horror film that dares its audience to not get angry at it, Lucky McKee’s The Woman is about the Cleek family — papa Chris (Sean Bridgers), mama Belle (Angela Bettis, reuniting with McKee after 2002’s classic May), and their four children, kindly taking in a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) they find wandering the forest one day. Kindly until it turns out the Cleek family is far more sicko than any feral woman found wandering the forest might be. 

Chaining her up like an animal and “training” her to be a part of society by any brutal means necessary, The Woman is not an easy watch! To put it mildly. And yet McKee and McIntosh tap into something primal, a derangement nipping at the edge of society, with an unforgettable ferocity. — J.A.  

How to watch: The Woman is now streaming free with Prime Video.

*denotes that the blurb appeared in a previous Mashable list.

UPDATE: Jun. 2, 2023, 6:00 p.m. EDT This post has been updated to reflect the current selection on Prime Video.