If you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription, you'll have no shortage of horror movies within reach at any given moment -- and TheWrap picked the scariest ones sure to induce nightmares.
"Saw" through "Saw: The Final Chapter" (Netflix)
The "Saw" movies are best known for being about people getting murdered gruesomely. While there is a fair amount dismemberment, the better part of the series is how each of the movies continually expands the lore and each one captures the powerful dread of being caught in a deadly trap with no way out.
"Starry Eyes" (Netflix)
The pursuit of fame for one young actress leads her down an extremely dark path in "Starry Eyes." One part jealous descent into madness, one part Satanic cult movie, "Starry Eyes" is great about subverting expectations and getting its characters embroiled in horrific weirdness.
"13 Cameras" (Netflix)
Anyone who's ever had a landlord that gave them a weird vibe will relate to "13 Cameras," in which a young couple rents a home from an extremely creepy old man. He's got a voyeuristic bent, with cameras set up throughout the house, which is upsetting enough. That'd be upsetting enough, but it's what the landlord plans to do with all those cameras that makes "13 Cameras" so unsettling.
"The Invitation" (Netflix)
Director Karyn Kusama puts together a dinner party in "The Invitation" that's a horror unto itself. The movie finds a couple stuck at what quickly becomes an extremely uncomfortable dinner, but the whole movie is punctuated by characters wondering if they're not just overreacting to their friends' awkward new spiritual convictions. The less you know about this one going in, the better.
"The Last Exorcism" (Amazon Prime)
There's no end to found footage movies these days, especially on streaming services. But just because a genre draws a lot of weak, low-budget offerings doesn't mean they're all bad, and "The Last Exorcism" is the kind of movie that shows the strength of found footage done well. It follows a preacher who admits to scamming people with exorcisms and turns to debunking -- but then brings him into a situation where he's not sure if what he sees is fake or not.
"The Witch" (Amazon Prime)
Robert Eggers has created one of the most challenging horror films of the year: a slow-burn tale of a Puritan family that is hunted by the occult and their peculiar farm goat, Black Philip. The unveiling of the goat's true identity is one of the most deliciously chilling endings to a movie in recent memory.
This is a Freddy Krueger tale unlike any other. After a decade working on the legendary slasher franchise, Wes Craven turns the camera on himself and the people who made these films with him. "New Nightmare" is an exploration of how horror movies affect their creators, as well as a deconstruction of Freddy Krueger's shift from Craven's original vision as the ultimate nightmare to a goofy comic relief figure whose kills the audience had come to root for.
"Children of the Corn" (Netflix)
This list wouldn't be complete without creepy children, and "Children of the Corn" is arguably the greatest creepy children movie ever. Sorry, Damien, but you've got nothing on these kids who murdered all the adults in town and now rule it for themselves.
"An American Werewolf In London" (Amazon Prime)
Even 35 years later, John Landis' classic is still praised for having the most magnificent werewolf transformation scene of all time. Along with leaving you grossed out and terrified, "American Werewolf" will make you wonder "how did they do that?"
One of the best, and most neglected, horror story tropes is that of monsters from actual Hell who are looking to take you home with them to royally f--- you up for all eternity. It's a whole lot scarier than just the threat of being murdered.
"The Babadook" (Netflix)
You'll be hard-pressed to find a horror film as thoughtful and intelligent as this one. "The Babadook" is a parable about how grief and loss can consume those who suffer through it, and despite all the coaxing and cajoling you'll get from friends, you'll never be able to "just let go." "The Babadook" shows the process of coming to terms with loss and preparing to spend the rest of your life living with that pain, even when it's scarred over. This is proof that horror can move you as well as scare you.
"Hostel Part II" (Amazon Prime)
The adventures of unwitting college kids getting kidnapped so rich people can torture and murder them continues. But this underrated gem of a sequel transcends the "torture porn" label that accurately describes its predecessor. With female leads this time, "Hostel pt. II" has a really nice vindictive streak. It's so good.
"Hated In The Nation" from "Black Mirror" (Netflix)
Yeah, it's a TV episode rather than a movie, but at 89 minutes, the Season 3 finale of Charlie Brooker's smash hit sci-fi horror series might as well be a movie. "Hated In The Nation" explores how Twitter has transformed mob rule into an endless stream of harassment; and in the world this story weaves, that online hatred can literally kill. And also there are killer robot bees.
"It Follows" (Netflix)
Director David Robert Mitchell captures the mundane safety of the Michigan suburbs and how it can all go sideways with “It Follows.” There are some underlying themes of sexual assault and believing women that are always poignant, but “It Follows” is mostly about an unstoppable monster that could look like anyone, and it’s creepy.
"The Void" (Netflix)
“The Void” is a Lovecraft-esque nightmare with some horrifying mutant creatures and spooky cultists. It captures the cosmic terror atmosphere of the material that inspires it, but better still, it uses some solid practical effects to put together some haunting monsters for its characters — trapped in a hospital as supernatural things go on all around them — to deal with.
"Green Room" (Amazon)
Never one to shy away from brutality and gore, writer and director Jeremy Saulnier's “Green Room” both, and it's terrifying. The story follows a young punk band who find themselves playing at a skinhead bar — and then witness a murder. For the rest of the movie, they struggle to survive Neo-Nazis who want to murder them. It's one of Anton Yelchin's last films, and he's phenomenal in it.
The feature film debut of director Leigh Janiak didn't make a ton of money, but it's secretly a strong, spooky horror movie about the people you think you know best. A recently married couple head out to a cabin in a small town for their honeymoon. Then the evil stuff starts happening, as husband Paul discovers wife Bea wandering and disoriented in the woods. Things go from bad to worse as Bea becomes more distant and weirder.
"Gerald's Game" (Netflix)
The recently released Stephen King adaptation is really great at subverting expectations, and gets a lot of scary mileage out of a relatively simple but freaky concept. It’s also super easy to imagine a similar (although possibly less sexy) situation going awry makes the movie all the creepier.
"Absentia" disarms with its early moments. It's a fairly low-budget movie about a woman moving on after years of looking for her disappeared husband. Then he suddenly reappears, and everything takes a supernatural turn. The movie was originally funded on Kickstarter, and despite its humble beginnings, it has some great, spooky ideas at play.
"The Shrine" (Netflix)
A trip to an Eastern European country takes a turn for the disastrous as a group of journalists try to find out to an American traveler. With cult-member locals and possibly even demons to contend with, it makes you think you might want to at least learn the language of wherever you’re headed when you go overseas.
"The Devil's Candy" (Netflix)
A family of heavy metal fans move to their dream house in Texas, but it’s not all great. The place is apparently haunted, and in true “Amityville Horror” fashion, dad Jesse finds himself under some evil influence. But also there’s a huge scary, murdery neighbor to deal with.
"Train to Busan" (Netflix)
There are tons of zombie movies on Netflix at this point, but “Train to Busan” does a pretty great job of differentiating itself. The story follows characters as they struggle to survive an infection moving through a train as the train barrels through a South Korea quickly slipping into apocalypse.
Home invasion slasher flick "Hush" gives a little twist to a tried-and-true formula: Its protagonist, Maddie, is deaf. That adds a lot to the tension of a scary masked guy trying to break into her house, as Maddie has to fight to survive his attacks with a different set of senses than your usual slasher victim. "Hush" captures a lot of suspense this way and is pretty good about creating situations that give a fresh spin to a fairly full horror subgenre.
"The Monster" (Amazon)
"The Monster" follows a less-than-great young mom and her daughter as they find themselves trapped in the woods when their car breaks down. When they call for help, they discover something big and hungry waiting for them in the darkness. Most of the movie takes place with the pair trapped in the car, and it does some pretty good work exploring its characters as they try to figure out how they'll survive the creature waiting for them.
There are several "V/H/S" horror anthologies out there at this point, but the second one remains the strongest. With shorts produced by multiple directors, "V/H/S 2" is more of a scary movie buffet, and it has some really high-quality offerings. The short "Safe Haven" is a standout, and the movie's worth checking out just for that one.