We've compiled some of the best scary movies on Amazon Prime for you. Now you can live every day like it's Halloween!
Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to stay up to date with the best horror movies on Amazon Prime.
Updated for April 2018
Amazon Prime’s selection of horror movies is as extensive as it is terrifying. What’s more, they have a significant selection of old/classic films for your scary pleasures. So we’ve compiled our picks of the best scary movies to watch on Halloween (or any other time) on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Now, pour yourself a glass of something good and dig your fangs in to our list of the best horror movies you can watch on Amazon Prime.
10 Cloverfield Lane
And just like that, Cloverfield became an unexpected anthology horror franchise. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a Misery-like story about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who crashes her car in rural Louisiana. Upon waking, she discovers that she is chained to the wall in the basement of a reclusive man (John Goodman) who says he has taken her here to stay safe from a massive attack on the U.S. with nuclear fallout.
This guy’s just insane, right? There’s no way any of that really happened…right? 10 Cloverfield Lane has virtually nothing in common with its predecessor but if anything their tenuous connection just makes this newly-dawning anthology franchise all the more interesting.
One of the better recent found-footage efforts takes a ghastly turn when one of the filmmakers wakes up foaming at the mouth with his eyeballs rolling back in their sockets. He can also suddenly run faster than a car speeding in a school zone. Diagnosis: vampirism.
There is no cure for the undead except feeding on human blood (especially child molesters). That epic travel blog they were planning is going to be supernaturally epic.
Burn, Witch, Burn!
The dark magic of Sidney Hayers’ 1962 thriller (which is also known as Night of The Eagle) still bewitches us decades later with voodoo dolls, hypnotic spells and lightning no earthly force could have conjured. Psychology professor Norman Taylor (Peter Wyngarde) swears he is not superstitious until things mysteriously start levitating and vanishing. He and his sorceress wife (Janet Blair) have ended up as the targets of another woman’s vengeful witchcraft. Her malicious cry of “Burn, witch, burn!” will echo in your ears for weeks.
Bonus cool factor: The screenplay was co-written by the great Richard Matheson.
The streaming world is not wanting for Stephen King adaptations. If you’re in the mood for some Stephen King movies, however, you may as well start with the first novel and one of the best adaptations.
Carrie is essentially a grim biography of one girl’s terrible life. Her classmates make fun of her, her religious nut of a mother tortures her endlessly. It’s just pure tragedy. Until it suddenly becomes pure horror.
Carriers is a movie that knows how to put the “post” in “post-apocalyptic.” In the world of 2009’s Carriers, a pandemic has wiped out nearly all of humanity. Four people, Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), Brian (Chris Pine), Bobby (Piper Perabo), and Kate (Emily VanCamp) take shelter on Turtle Beach in the Southwest U.S.
It’s here that they plan to ride out the apocalypse, and stay away from the plague. That’s all easy enough, but what proves to be more difficult to contend with are the survivors themselves. Carriers is a fun, low budget horror movie with a good cast. They caught Chris Pine right before he became Chris Pine.
Bad news. The world is overrun with vampires in Daybreakers, a 2009 Australian horror film from The Spierig Brothers. Even worse news is that a vampiric corporation is attempting to track down all the remaining humans to eat.
The good news is that Willem Dafoe has the cure that will save the entire human species. Dafoe stars as former vampire “Elvis.” He teams up with Ethan Hawke’s Edward Dalton as the two attempt to defeat the vampires and restore humanity to its proper place.
Daybreakers is a fun, properly satiriical vampire movie. It has lots to say about consumerism and societal structures. But most importantly it also just knows that it has two great stars and let’s them enjoy their vampire-killing activities.
The Devil Bat
Ah, The Devil Bat. One of those infamous vampire movies that isn’t actually about vampires. But who the hell cares when it has Bela Lugosi in it, right?
But this poverty row production from 1940 features plenty of atmospherics, as well as a giant honkin’ bat, and that’s enough to set the mood on a chilly night. Especially if you’re indulging in adult beverages or contraband. If nothing else, just bow down to Bela.
Friday the 13th
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.
Green Room is a shockingly conventional horror movie despite not having all of the elements we traditionally associate with them. There are no monsters or the supernatural in Green Room.
Instead all monsters are replaced by vengeful neo-Nazis and the haunted house is replaced by a skinhead punk music club in the middle of nowhere in the Oregon woods. The band The Aint Rights, led by bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin) are locked in the green room of club after witnessing a murder and must fight their way out.
House on Haunted Hill
What would you do for $10,000? How about surviving a night in a mansion haunted by murder victims and owned by a psychotic millionaire? Seems like a party trick until people actually start dying.
Vincent Price is the master and mastermind of a house that suddenly makes everyone homicidal—but the real pièce de résistance is what dances out of a vat of flesh-eating acid.
Some vintage horror never dies, and this 1959 classic is immortal.
When a horror movie’s plot description mentions “backwoods” it’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to have a good time. Movies that are able to capture the all-encompassing dread of the middle of nowhere (with minimal to no condescension for rural audiences of course) are almost always worth your time.
Thankfully, Jug Face is one of those movies. Jug Face concerns a backwoods community that worships an ancient pit. A leader of the community Dawai creates jugs out of clay with visages on them that match the face of a community member. That member then must be sacrificed to the pit. When the next jug resembles young Ada, she opts to get out of dodge.
The Last Exorcism
If you’re going to make a horror movie about an exorcism you best come correct. Rumor has it there was another pretty good movie about exorcism back in the day. Thankfully, The Last Exorcism is up to the task. It does so with a fun and intriguing premise.
A Catholic minister is disillusioned with the church’s fraudulent exorcism practices so he agrees to appear in a documentary about exorcism to prove it’s fake once and for all. This being a horror movie and all things don’t exactly go that way. The Last Exorcism is legitimately terrifying and one of the better modern uses of found footage.
Hey Brian Cox looks a lot like Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter in that screenshot above. What gives? In fact, Brian Cox does portray everyone’s favorite cannibal Hannibal Lecter in 1986’s crime horror film Manhunter. Manhunter is based off of Thomas Harris’s very first Hannibal novel Red Dragon and is the first iteration of Hannibal committed to film.
It tells the story of FBI profiler Will Graham (William Petersen of eventual CSI fame) consulting with the incarcerated Dr. Lecktor (yeah they changed the name) to track down a serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy. Manhunteris a wonderfully scary and fascinating film. It helped to jump start not only Hannibal Lecter as a classic multi-media villain but was also many viewers introduction into the world of forensics and FBI profiling.
While Anthony Hopkins would of course go on to win an Oscar for portraying Dr. Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, Brian Cox does brilliant work establishing the character here.
It’s no secret that horror can work on a small scale with little other than the viewer’s imagination to generate fear. The Monster is about as small scale, yet still effective, as they come.
The film features just two characters almost exclusively, a mother and a daughter, trapped in a car as a monster from the woods terrorizes them.
Horrors always lurk at the bottom of murky lakes, but the dead-eyed doll heads and evil statues staring from beneath the greenish surface of this one will have you begging Swamp Thing for mercy. That’s before some brutally disfigured orphans shamble out of the woods.
When Jenny visits her archaeologist father in Italy, long-drowned secrets start bubbling to the surface. To think, all this was supposed to be a vacation. Riccardo Paoletti’s directorial debut is worth checking out.
Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of a scientist who makes the most of his wife’s passion-driven murder by using her heart and a few volts of electricity to reanimate his dead servant in this piece of Italian horror weirdness, Nightmare Castle. He thinks he will inherit the castle from the woman he killed—until he doesn’t and her halfway insane sister does. Marrying said sister ends up being not such a great idea when she begins having homicidal nightmares.
Featuring scream queen Barbara Steele!
Night of the Living Dead
George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic The Night of the Living Dead messed up the minds of late ’60s moviegoers as much as it messed with every horror movie that followed. Shot on gritty black and white stock, the film captures the desperate urgency of a documentary shot at the end of the world. It is a tale of survival, an allegory for the Vietnam War and racism and suspenseful as hell freezing over.
Night of the Living Dead set a new standard for gore, even though you could tell some of the bones the zombies were munching came from a local butcher shop. But what grabs at you are the unexpected shocks. Long before The Walking Dead, Romero caught the terror that could erupt from any character, at any time.
They’re coming to get you. There’s one of them now!
Nothing beats a classic, and that’s exactly what Nosferatu is. As the unofficial 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this German Expressionist masterpiece was almost lost to the ages when the filmmakers lost a copyright lawsuit with Stoker’s widow (who had a point). As a result, most copies were destroyed…but a precious few survived
This definitive horror movie from F.W. Murnau might be a silent picture, but it is a haunting one where vampirism is used as a metaphor for plague and the Black Death sweeping across Europe. When Count Orlock comes to Berlin, he brings rivers of rats with him and the most repellent visage ever presented by a cinematic bloodsucker. The sexy vampires would come later, starting with 1931’s more polished vision of Count Dracula as legendarily played by Bela Lugosi, but Max Schreck is buried under globs of makeup in Nosferatu making him resemble an emaciated cadaver. Murnau plays with shadow and light to create an intoxicating environment of fever dream repressions. But he also creates the most haunting cinematic image of a vampire yet put on screen.
Check it out.
Post-apocalyptic zombie fans won’t want to miss the love child of The Walking Dead meets 28 Days Later, now with amnesia. When a man who’s forgotten every fragment of his identity (Sharlto Copley) wakes up in a body pit crawling with pathogens, he scrambles out to fight a swarm of brain-craving undead along with five other amnesiacs.
It gets even more terrifying when the pieces of memory hiding in his flashbacks are unearthed.
2007’s Paranormal Activity in some respects represents the zenith of found footage horror movie genre that began with The Blair Witch Project in 1999. Paranormal Activity takes that concept of filming paranormal…well, activity, and takes it to its logical extreme.
Micah and Katie are a young couple who move to a new home in San Diego. Katie believes that an evil presences she’s known since childhood has followed them into the home. So Micah sets up a standard video camera in their room to see if they can capture any evidence of it. And catch some evidence they do. Paranormal Activity succeeds becasue of its genius simplicity – and because everything is inherently creepier through grainy VHS footage.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
You’ve probably seen this one already, but this founding father of the slasher genre is a bit of a fairy tale when glimpsed at the right light. Some dumb kids wander into the wilderness, far away from the safety of civilization, on a trip to their grandparents’ home.
But instead of reaching their destination, they wind up on the dinner table for the “Other,” who in this case is a redneck family of cannibals with a crossdressing serial killer who’s weapon of choice has an electric motor that makes a sweet hum as its blades tear into your flesh.
When viewed like that, it might be worth seeing all over again, eh?
The Woman in Black
There is something eternally appealing to anyone who grew up reading ghost stories about a spooky old house, abandoned on a hill. Maybe that’s why The Woman in Black’s cruelty lies in the fact that the only victims of this haunted estate are the children of locals murdered simply because their parents—or total strangers—are too inquisitive for their own good.
As one of Hammer Films’ two good movies during their brief revival (the other being Let Me In), this owes a lot to the studio’s classic legacy of buttoned up Victorians venturing past the point of sanity or safety into the English countryside. It also bears a striking resemblance to Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula in production design and, occasionally, tone. The movie stumbles with the miscasting of a far-too-young Daniel Radcliffe as a widower and father, but he still plays the scared solicitor well enough when he’s in the house with her.
Really, it’s a nostalgia for an old school style of saying “boo,” plus an impeccably creepy premise about a vengeful ghost who murders random children and keeps their souls in torment for her own amusement, that makes this worthwhile. That and a few of the tenser jump scare-a-thons in recent memory.
The most recent movie on our list is also one of the most disturbing. For if you let The Witch lure you into its cruel and malevolent headspace, you will immediately realize that you are watching something genuinely depraved and entirely forbidden due to its 17th century unholiness. After all, it didn’t get a thumb’s up from Satanists because it was a generic thriller stuffed with jump scares!
Be warned this is an art house chiller that drops you in the middle of early-1600s New England for the kind of witching campfire tale that would give Puritans nightmares. And it is there that Robert Eggers’ first film uses actual historic accounts from the local Calvinists about their real superstitions to give them life and heinous flesh (and an authentic Elizabethan accent). There is a witch in the woods in this story, to appreciate it, that must be clear. And her evil reach toward brief salvation or eternal damnation—depending on how you look at it—makes this a movie that will stick with you for days after the lights go up. It’s also made Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays the young Thomasin, an instant star within the genre.