32 Must-See Horror Movies You Need to Stream on HBO Max Right Now
I don’t know about you but HBO Max has quickly become my favorite streaming service. Plain and simple. They have the best content. Netflix is turning into the DVD discount bin at Wal-Mart. Hulu’s okay. Disney+ is a bust for horror movies (kidding). So for my money, HBO Max is the place to go for streaming horror movies. Other than Shudder. Of course. So today we wanted to provide a list – a playlist – if you will of the top 32 scary movies currently available on the must-have new streaming service.
Check out the list of HBO Max horror movies below.
David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are two American college students backpacking through Britain. When a large wolf attacks them, David survives with a bite, but Jack is brutally killed. As David heals in the hospital, he’s plagued by violent nightmares of his mutilated friend. He warns David that he is becoming a werewolf. When David discovers the horrible truth, he contemplates committing suicide before the next full moon causes him to transform again from man to murderous beast. Directed by John Landis, this is perhaps the funniest horror movie on HBO Max.
The Amityville Horror
Chiller about a family terrorized by supernatural forces when they move into a house in New York State. A house that was the scene of a recent mass killing and the home of an 18th-century satanist. When swarms of flies appear from nowhere and the walls begin to ooze blood, they call on a local priest to exorcise the evil spirits. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring James Brolin (Josh’s dad) and Margot Kidder (Sisters).
David Cronenberg’s The Brood tells the tale of a mad doctor (Oliver Reed). He tries psychoplasmic therapy on a raging woman (Samantha Eggar) soon to be a mother. Written and directed by Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrome). In retrospect, Cronenberg feels the film is “the most classic horror film I’ve done” in terms of structure. The film’s score was composed by Howard Shore, in his film composing debut.
In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are summoned to the home of Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) Perron. The Perrons and their five daughters recently moved into a secluded farmhouse. And a supernatural presence has made itself known. The manifestations are relatively benign at first. But events soon escalate in horrifying fashion, especially after the Warrens discover the house’s macabre history.
Day of the Dead
Trapped in a missile silo, a small team of scientists, civilians and trigger-happy soldiers battle desperately to ensure the survival of the human race. But tension inside the base is reaching breaking point, and the zombies are gathering outside. The gory movie is the third film in Creepshow and The Dark Half director George A. Romero’s Living Dead series following Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.
After his wife meets a grisly end, Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) returns to their creepy hometown of Ravens Fair to unravel the mystery of her murder. Once there, he discovers the legend of Mary Shaw (Joan Heney). She was a murdered ventriloquist whose eerie presence still looms over the town. As he desperately digs for answers, Jamie encounters the curse that took his wife’s life and threatens his own. Directed by James Wan (The Conjuring) and written by Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man).
A classic of French suspense. The cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school (Paul Meurisse), becomes the target of a murder plot hatched by an unlikely duo. His meek wife (Vera Clouzot) and the mysterious mistress he brazenly flaunts (Simone Signoret). The women, brought together by their mutual hatred for the man, pull off the crime. But they become increasingly unhinged by a series of odd occurrences after Meurisse’s corpse mysteriously disappears. One of the best twist endings ever.
Henry (John Nance) resides alone in a bleak apartment surrounded by industrial gloom. Then he discovers that an earlier fling with Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) left her pregnant. So he marries the expectant mother and has her move in with him. Then things take a decidedly strange turn. The couple’s baby turns out to be a bizarre lizard-like creature that won’t stop wailing. Other characters, including a disfigured lady who lives inside a radiator, inhabit the building and add to Henry’s troubles.
One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a desperate request to perform an exorcism. The church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.
Eyes Without a Face
Dr. Génessier is riddled with guilt after an accident that he caused disfigures the face of his daughter, the once beautiful Christiane, who outsiders believe is dead. Dr. Génessier, along with accomplice and laboratory assistant Louise, kidnaps young women and brings them to his mansion. After rendering his victims unconscious, Dr. Génessier removes their faces and attempts to graft them onto Christiane’s.
The Hills Have Eyes
Bob Carter and his wife Ethel, along with five other members of the family, are heading for San Diego with their camper. An accident strands them in the desert. And while two of the men go for help, the others are forced to wait. They’re unaware they’ve ended up stuck near the site where, decades earlier, nuclear tests gave rise to a group of mutant monsters who have developed a taste for human flesh.
The Invisible Man
After staging his own suicide, a crazed scientist uses his power to become invisible to stalk and terrorize his ex-girlfriend. When the police refuse to believe her story, she decides to take matters into her own hands and fight back. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, loosely based on the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells. Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson‑Cohen, Aldis Hodge, and Storm Reid star.
Stephen King’s IT
Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare — an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise. Based on the epic novel by Stephen King (The Shining).
After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) struggles to maintain his sanity. He’s plagued by horrifying hallucinations and freaky flashbacks. He rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie (Elizabeth Peña), and ex-wife, Sarah (Patricia Kalember), try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer’s chiropractor friend, Louis (Danny Aiello), fails to reach him as he descends further into his madness.
A young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island. So police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches. But mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast. And the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.
Man Bites Dog
The activities of rampaging, indiscriminate serial killer Ben (Benoît Poelvoorde) are recorded by a willingly complicit documentary team, who eventually become his accomplices and active participants. Ben provides casual commentary on the nature of his work and arbitrary musings on topics of interest to him, such as music or the conditions of low-income housing, and even goes so far as to introduce the crew to his family. But their reckless indulgences soon get the better of them in this thriller.
After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who claims to be his biggest fan. Annie brings him to her remote cabin to recover, where her obsession takes a dark turn when she discovers Sheldon is killing off her favorite character from his novels. As Sheldon devises plans for escape, Annie grows increasingly controlling, even violent, as she forces the author to shape his writing to suit her twisted fantasies. Based on Stephen King’s novel.
A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before taking refuge in an apartment. There she is discovered by Betty (Naomi Watts), a wholesome Midwestern blonde who has come to the City of Angels seeking fame. Together, the two attempt to solve the mystery of Rita’s true identity. The story is set in a dream-like Los Angeles, spoilt neither by traffic jams nor smog. Written and directed by David Lynch (Eraserhead). It’s not the scariest movie on HBO Max, but for my money, it’s the most haunting.
Reality and fantasy meet in unsettling ways in this installment of the long-running horror series, which finds director Wes Craven and actors Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund all portraying themselves. As Heather (Heather Langenkamp) considers making another film with Craven, her son, Dylan (Miko Hughes), falls under the spell of the iconic disfigured villain Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Eventually, Langenkamp must confront Freddy’s demonic spirit to save the soul of Dylan.
Night of the Living Dead
A disparate group of individuals takes refuge in an abandoned house when corpses begin to leave the graveyard in search of fresh human bodies to devour. The pragmatic Ben (Duane Jones) does his best to control the situation, but when the reanimated bodies surround the house, the other survivors begin to panic. As any semblance of order within the group begins to dissipate, the zombies start to find ways inside — and one by one, the living humans become the prey of the dead.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?
Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan) embark on a tropical vacation with their scuba-diving certifications in tow. During a group dive, the two separate themselves from the others to dive a little deeper. An incorrect head-count suggests the entire group has returned, so the boat departs. When the pair surfaces, they make out a vessel in the distance, but it does not immediately set in that they have been left behind. With sharks lurking beneath, their survival chances grow smaller.
Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings — Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O’Rourke) — when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.
Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they’ve been trapped by a sadistic serial killer nicknamed “Jigsaw” and must complete his perverse puzzle to live, flashbacks relate the fates of his previous victims. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon’s wife (Monica Potter) and young daughter (Makenzie Vega) are forced to watch via closed-circuit video.
Scanners are men and women born with incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers. There are many who exercise the benefits of their special gifts in a safe and judicious manner. However, there is a group of renegade scanners who plan to create a race that will rule the world. Written and directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly)and starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O’Neill, Michael Ironside, and Patrick McGoohan.
Wes Craven re-invented and revitalized the slasher-horror genre with this modern horror classic, which manages to be funny, clever, and scary, as a fright-masked knife maniac stalks high-school students in middle-class suburbia. Craven provides tension and self-parody as the body count mounts – but the victims aren’t always the ones you’d expect. written by Kevin Williamson. The film stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, and Drew Barrymore. This is my favorite horror movie streaming on HBO Max. And of all time. Next to Jaws.
When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), they discover a number of elaborate and grizzly murders. They soon realize they are dealing with a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who is targeting people he thinks represent one of the seven deadly sins. Somerset also befriends Mills’ wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is pregnant and afraid to raise her child in the crime-riddled city. Directed by David Fincher.
Shaun of the Dead
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he’s not working at the electronics store, he lives with his slovenly best friend, Ed (Nick Frost), in a small flat on the outskirts of London. The only unpredictable element in his life is his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), who wishes desperately for Shaun to grow up and be a man. When the town is inexplicably overrun with zombies, Shaun must rise to the occasion and protect both Liz and also his dear mother (Penelope Wilton). Perhaps the funniest horror movie on HBO Max, other than American Werewolf.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family. Directed by Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Oddessy, a cLOCKWORK oRANGE) based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel.
Siblings Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) learn to live laugh and love. Kidding. Inquisitive journalist Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) is horrified when she witnesses her neighbor, fashion model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder), violently murder a man. Panicking, she calls the police. But when the detective arrives at the scene they find nothing amiss. So Grace is forced to take matters into her own hands. She recruits a private investigator, who helps her to uncover a secret about Danielle’s past… It marked the first thriller for director Brian De Palma (Carrie, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, Raising Cain). One of the lesser-known HBO Max horror movies on this list.
Twilight Zone: The Movie
This tribute to the beloved supernatural TV show has four episodes. In the first, racist Bill Connor (Vic Morrow) is transformed into a Jew in World War II. Next, Mr. Bloom (Scatman Crothers) comes to a retirement home to teach the residents that they are only as young as they feel. In the third, teacher Helen Foley (Kathleen Quinlan) meets Antony (Jeremy Licht), a boy who is not what he seems. Finally, plane passenger John Valentine (John Lithgow) sees a gremlin outside attacking the wing of the plane. Plus, it’s one of the few family-friendly horror movies that HBO Max (currently) offers.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) is an aging child star left to care for her wheelchair-bound sister Blanche (Joan Crawford), also a former child actress. Stuck living together in a mansion in old Hollywood, Blanche plots to get even with Jane for the car crash that left her crippled years earlier. But Jane is desperate to keep Blanche imprisoned as she plans a new rise to fame. She also tries to hide Blanche’s existence from doctors, visitors, and neighbors. All while she devises a way to kill her. Directed by Robert Aldrich. This is perhaps the creepiest non-horror movie that HBO Max has to offer.
What’s your favorite hidden treasure horror movie on HBO Max?