Are you afraid of the dark? You will be after you get through our spooky list of the best horror movies on HBO Streaming.
Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see the new horror movies on HBO Now and HBO Go.
Updated for May 2018
What ever would we do without horror?
So much of our day to day life is built around logic and known, verifiable facts. And that’s great! Still, every once in awhile you need to get in touch with your illogical, terrified animal brain. That’s where horror and horror movies in particular come in.
Gathered here are the 12 best horror movies on HBO Now and HBO Go for your scaring needs.
“In space, no one can hear you scream,” the tagline for Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi/horror epic promised. Well maybe they should have screened this thing in space because I’m sure all that audiences in theaters did was scream. Alien has evolved into a heady, science fiction franchise that has stretched out for decades. The original film, however, is a small-scale, terrifyingly claustrophobic thriller.
In the distant (or maybe not-so-distant) future, the crew of the commercial space ship Nostromo is on their way back to Earth when they receive a distress call from a distant planet. The seven-person crew decides to land on the planet and investigate. This proves to be a very bad idea.
Final Destination is the end result of what happens when a studio stumbles upon a pun so dank they have no choice but to make a movie. You may know the term “final destination” as what flight attendants say when they ask you if you’ve reached the end of your aviation journey or if you’re on a layover. “Final destination” could also conceivably mean “the grave.”
You marry those two concepts and you get a movie about a group of teenagers who cheat death by receiving a premonition that a plane will crash before take off and exiting. Not to be cheated, death then does whatever it can to finally kill those meddling teens. Final Destination is a creative horror movie that lives up to its awesome pun title. Fun fact: it was originally written as a script for The X-Files.
Friday the 13th (1980)
I know you see that screenshot of Jason in all his masked and machete’d glory above, and are feeling a white-hot burning horror movie nerd triggering like never before. “BUT JASON DIDN’T APPEAR IN THE FLESH IN THE ORIGINAL FRIDAY THE 13TH”
I know, I know. He didn’t. And it’s all the better movie for it. The original Friday the 13th is a must watch for horror fans and non-horror fans alike. It features so many hallmarks of the slasher drama that we’ve grown to love. And yes, there is no actual Jason. The screengrab just looks cool.
For some, Get Out may be pushing the definition of “horror.” “It’s a satire!” “It’s a thriller!” “It’s a socio-political commentary!” Sure, it is all those things. But it’s also a horror movie, and a great one at that. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) a black New York photographer who agrees to go out into the suburbs to meet his white girlfriend’s parents.
That’s an uncomfortable situation for many in interracial relationships but when Chris arrives things seem to go pretty well! Sure, Rose’s yuppie parents lay on the liberal white guilt angle a bit thick (“I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term if I could!”) but other than that things should go fine, right….RIGHT??? Things do not go fine and Get Out becomes the tragically funny, completely entertaining, social horror movie that Peele was born to make.
While hardly the best film to feature Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, there is still plenty to admire about this 2001 follow-up to the beloved Silence of the Lambs. For starters, Hannibal the Cannibal is back, and Hopkins’ gift for scene-chewing again allows him to make the consumption of human flesh seem kind of classy.
Additionally, director Ridley Scott offers a visually stunning and surprisingly grim perspective for the monuments of Florence, and the decadence of European aristocracy while stalking Lecter’s movements.
Lights Out is a film from Swedish director David F. Sandberg adapted from his own 2013 short film of the same name. Lights Out is brilliant in its simple concept. It’s similar to the classic Doctor Who episode “Blink” in which monsters advance towards you when you’re not looking at them – only in Lights Out‘s case, a demonic-looking woman advances towards you when the lights are out.
Horror that is able to corrupt objects or concepts that we encounter in day to day life and make them terrifying are almost always great. Lights Out does exactly that and somehow also wraps it in an extended metaphor for depression.
The Omen abides by one of the most important rules in all of horror: kids are creepy little shits. The Omen was Richard Donner’s 1976 attempt to cash in on the “Satanic Panic” started by The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. It didn’t end up being the classic those two did but it still plenty terrifying in its own right.
Damian is the secretly adopted son of Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Lee Remick). Like most kids, Damian is just awful. Unlike most kids, however, Damian is also the Antichrist. The Omen is a touch on the campy side for its subject but remains a sinister good time even after all these years.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Ouija: Origin of Evil represents one of the very few positive outcomes of when a studio just refuses to let an IP die. The original 2014 Ouija film was a modest success at the box office but was roundly slammed by critics and audiences. Instead of cutting their losses and saying “Phew, we got away with a bad one there,” Universarl Studios, Blumhouse Productions, and Hasbro decided to power through with another film – a prequel to be exact.
And thank Satan that they did as Ouija: Origin of Evil is actually a terrifying good time. Set in 1976, it deals with the Zander family attempting to incorporate a ouija board into their act as phony spiritual mediums. Things take a horrifying turn for the real as they are oft to do in these movies. But what sets Ouija: Origin of Evil apart is its truly disturbing imagery and top-notch jump scares.
Pitch Black is a science fiction movie to be sure and the beginning of one of the most inexplicable film/media franchises of all time. It’s also a deceptively brilliant horror movie. Vin Diesel stars as Richard Riddick, a dangerous criminal being transported to a space prison via a spaceship.
Whilst on route, a comet strikes the ship and Riddick and the rest of the crew are marooned on an alien planet, inhabited by creatures who lurk in the darkness. Pitch Black is fun because the scariest things are the things you can’t see. It’s action-adventure, science fiction, and abject horror all rolled into one Diesel-y package.
Horror is a wonderful movie genre but every now and then it can stagnate. That’s when movies like Scream come along – movies that still terrify and thrill their viewers while at the same time poking fun at the stale conventions of horror movies. Scream 2 picks up where Scream leaves off both spiritually and literally.
It’s a direct continuation of the story of Sidney Prescott (Naomi Campbell) who after surviving a killer wearing a ghostface mask in high school gets to do the same in college. Scream 2 is thrilling and a great commentary on horror sequels.
The Silence of the Lambs
Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter has roughly 11 minutes of screentime in The Silence of the Lambs. Still, it’s enough to create one of the most terrifying and enduring performances of a criminal mastermind of all time. Don’t forget, however, that’s there is a whole movie that happens around those 11 minutes.
The Silence of the Lambs is the archetype for every true crime horror movie that came after it. The damaged, yet dedicated detective, the terrifyingly insane serial killer and the “we’re not so different, you and I” evil mentor – it’s all here. And it’s all fantastic.
Stir of Echoes
Unwanted or unexpected “visions” are the rare horror trope that are equally terrifying conceptually and visually. Therefore they are a perfect fit for a horror movie. In Stir of Echoes, Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) is a normal working class Joe from Chicago until a chance encounter with a hypnotist at a party causes him to have some disturbing visions.
Tom’s visions are that of a young girl being violently attacked and he soon comes to suspect that they might represent something real.