The Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now
Looking for a good scare, but not sure where to start? The good news is Amazon Prime boasts quite a few quality horror films, even if the suggested title algorithm doesn’t always bring the cream of the crop to the forefront. Looking for something classic? Go for An American Werewolf in London or Night of the Living Dead? Seen those already and looking for something new? No problem, Amazon’s video service regularly updates with new favorites like The Blackcoat’s Daughter and The Girl with All the Gifts (both of which earned a spot in the Best Horror Movies of 2017 So Far). There’s a lot to chose from.
Nobody likes to get lost in the infinite streaming scroll so we’re making it easy to separate the best from the rest with our regularly updated list of the best horror movies streaming on Amazon Prime right now. Get your popcorn ready, bust out the slanket, and settle in for some Netflix and
chill kill. We’ll be updating and expanding this list regularly, so be sure to come back for the latest recommendations and newly added titles.
Still looking for something spooky, but didn’t find what you want? Be sure to check out our updated list of the Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now. For more streaming recommendations, head over to the Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now, Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now. Best Movies on Netflix Right Now, Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now, and Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now.
Directed/Written by: Roman Polanski
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Charles Grodin
For me, Rosemary’s Baby is the best horror film of all time. It operates so highly on every level. A newlywed couple, Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavetes) appear idyllic when we’re introduced to them as they shop for a new Manhattan apartment. But when there’s a lack in one person there becomes a lack in a relationship. Guy is a struggling actor and Rosemary tells everyone who’ll listen the two plays and commercials that he’s appeared in. This should sound like support, but to Guy it’s a reminder of his perceived failure. In their new apartment building they befriend some old kooks (Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer) down the hall.
In one hellish sequence, Rosemary drifts off to sleep on an bed on water, catches glimpses of Satan climbing atop her while Guy, the neighbors and other creeps watch the demon claw and thrust and not do not assist her as she cries. In the morning, she wakes up nude with claw marks all over her. Her husband says that he decided to impregnate her even though she was asleep because he was in the mood and they’d talked about it. So what if she was “drunk.” Rosemary later thinks that she was raped by the Devil and that Guy promised the Devil’s child to their Satanist neighbors to better his career.
Not only is the ceremony one of the most terrifying and transfixing sequences ever committed to film, it’s one of cinema’s biggest violations. There’s a violation of trust and body so profound in the ceremony, but it’s further insulted by Guy’s lax cover-up of “I wanted you right then.” The rest of the film shows Rosemary completely unable to have agency for any choice involving her body. Everything is decided by the elders and by the male doctors; even the one she trusts, Dr. Hill (Charles Grodin), who she chose on her own, hands her over to a different doctor because he thinks she’s unstable. Every man silences her and thinks she has no idea what is going on in her body. With many men still feeling fuzzy and woozy (like Rosemary on her drugged bed) about what actually constitutes consent and choice, Rosemary’s Baby is still one of the most terrifying and necessary films ever made. — Brian Formo
Director: James Wan
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Carey Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Tobin Bell, Monica Potter, Danny Glover
Before he turned toward the realm of paranormal with Insidious and The Conjuring, James Wan broke out in Hollywood and helped usher in the age of “torture porn” with his 2004 debut, Saw. However, while the film’s reputation has been defined by the iconography and excessive violence of the follow-up films, Saw is actually a rather restrained affair, content to tease the concept of Jigsaw’s deadly traps rather than showcasing them in explicit detail. Wan’s film a seedy horror noir, introducing the mythology of Jigsaw — a cancer patient who kills people who don’t appreciate life — and establishing the visual palette and stylistic elements that he franchise would riff on for years. A clever concept executed with panache to spare, Saw marks the introduction of a definitive voice in modern horror. — Haleigh Foutch
Writer and Director: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw
Directorial debuts don’t get much better than what Robert Eggers pulled off with The Witch, an immersive, atmospheric exercise in the existential dread of the fanatically devout. Eggers never caters to the lowest common denominator. Instead, he demands that you sit up and pay attention — and he makes sure you damn well do by mashing up some baby remains with a mortar and pestle, on screen, right out of the gate. Admittedly, the ye olde language can be a bit of a challenge, but once you adjust, Eggers sucks you in with a holistic vision of historical terrors and the lurid attraction of a sinister life, well lived. After all, what is the point of being pure if you get nothing but pain for it? The Witch is alternately languid and bursting at the seams with kinetic frenzy, and that keeps you ever on your toes and the devil’s pernicious presence spreads through a rigidly puritan family, unhindered by their devotion. Eggers vision is matched by the talent of his cast, especially the career-making turns from the young leads Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw, making for the rare horror film that doesn’t just shock and scare, but burrows into your mind and sits there to rot. Would you like to live deliciously? Well you see, the thing is, I’m afraid I might. — Haleigh Foutch
Blood and Lace
Is this movie great? Nope; but for cheap thrills and grindhouse fans, it’s certainly fun. It straddles 60s exploitation of yore and future 70s horror nasties. You wouldn’t want to be the final girl in this sick scenario. — Brian Formo
Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi
Cast: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Udo Kier, Joan Bennett
Dario Argento‘s masterpiece is a technicolor fever dream of lavish violence and operatic production design that stands as possibly the ultimate incarnation of the Giallo aesthetic — rich, sumptuous, and frenzied — a film you experience as much as watch. Along with the staggering achievement that is Deep Red (which fought tooth-and-nail in my mind for this spot on the list), Suspiria cemented Argento as the patron saint of Giallo, and one of horror’s greatest filmmakers.
The film follows a young American ballet dancer abroad at a prestigious German dance academy where she uncovers an ancient, sinister coven of witches. Suspiriais famous for its baroque, wildly violent kills and Goblin‘s clamorous, chanting prog-rock score. As elegant as it is salacious, it’s a visually and aurally immersive trip down a red and blue-tinged rabbit hole where intricately orchestrated murders are a common occurrence and enchanted evil-doing lurks around every corner. — Haleigh Foutch
The Blackcoat's Daughter
Writer/Director: Oz Perkins
Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Emma Roberts, James Remar, Lauren Holly
Like too many good horror films, The Blackcoat’s Daughter (previously titled February) sat on the shelf for a few years before it finally reached audiences so you may already be familiar with director Oz Perkins from last year’s ambiance-fueled haunted house chiller I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, despite the fact that The Blackcoat’s Daughter is technically his directorial debut. Perkins shows that same skill for hypnotic dread in his first film, an enigmatic occult drama that conjures a spellbinding, nightmarish thrall of Satanic menace. Amidst the creepy slow-burn and punctuating moments of violence, there’s a melancholy undercurrent of loneliness and remorse that pays off big in the film’s blistering final moments. The Blackcoat’s Daughter is cryptic and methodically paced, but each moment of subdued action preserves inertia for when that final blow arrives, and when it does, though it may not be entirely surprising, it is a searing blow straight to the solar plexus that leaves you reeling. The film’s evasiveness demands patience, but there are moments of brilliance that scratch at the subconscious with a wicked edge, leaving a raw and hollow feeling long after the film has ended.
What We Do in the Shadows
Writers and Directors: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham
Finally, someone breathes new life into the vampire genre! What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary about four vampire flatmates and it takes an absolutely delightful approach to exploring creature clichés in a deadpan, reality show-like manner. Viago (Taika Waititi), Vlad (Jemaine Clement), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) and Petyr (Ben Fransham) all turned during different time periods, which leads to some brilliant spins on familiar issues like doing the dishes, getting into nightclubs, adapting to new technology and so much more. The only unfortunate thing about What We Do in the Shadows is that it clocks in at a mere 86 minutes. Between the winning jokes and the wildly charming friendships between the characters, I’d happily watch a whole series about their antics. — Perri Nemiroff
Night of the Living Dead
Director: George A. Romero
Writers: George A. Romero and John A. Russo
The zombies in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead are called “ghouls” but nonetheless this is the film that created the movie zombie as we know them: blank, thoughtless creatures who lumber around with vacant stares and barely retain any resembling sense of their humanity. For this reason, the thrill of the movie zombie has generally been in seeing how our heroes with brains dispatch them with great efficiency and cruelty. They’re no longer human, after all.
However, re-watch Romero’s film and try not to escape with having more sympathy for the “ghouls” than most of the humans. The living humans mostly only retain humanity’s weakest learned attributes: prejudice, xenophobia and selfishness. The most selfless non-ghoul we follow (Duane Jones) is famously shot—after valiantly fighting against the ghouls—simply because his skin color triggers a suspicious reaction to the man on the other end of the rifle. But Romero plants many other distrusts of authority motifs throughout Night of the Living Dead. In 1968, recent public opinion on the war of Vietnam and in the police tactics during the Civil Rights movement had shifted to no longer give blanket trust of best intentions to law enforcement, generals and soldiers. They’re human after all, and many humans harbor ill intent to others. Just watch the burial of the once human ghouls who are dragged out by meat hooks and burned in a pile and try not to think of any xenophobic war or a horrific systemic view of the “other”. –Brian Formo
The Girl with All the Gifts
Director: Colm McCarthy
Screenwriter: Mike Carey
Cast: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Dominique Tipper, Paddy Considine
A lot of you probably won’t have heard of The Girl with All the Gifts, and that’s a damn shame. McCarthy’s clever update on the stale zombie narrative was quietly dumped in America despite heaps of positive festival reviews and a solid UK opening, but it’s well worth seeking out. Based on Mike Carey‘s hit YA novel, from a screenplay he penned himself, the film takes place in an apocalyptic dystopia where the world has been ravaged by mold-covered zombies called “Hungries”. We pick up with the survivors of a military camp, where they’re searching for a cure by experimenting on different, trickier kind of monster — human/hungry hybrid children who look, think, and act like your average school kids… until they catch the scent of live flesh and the monster comes out. When one of the test subjects, a precocious young girl Melanie (Nanua, who is phenomenal in her feature debut), demonstrates an aptitude for self-control, she’s thrust into an uneasy alliance with her beloved teacher (Arterton) and a team of soldiers as they venture beyond the confines of the camp and discover a new world, no longer dictated by human rule. A potent blend of horror with sci-fi just enough philosophical musing to elevate it beyond a campy romp, The Girl with All the Gifts is the perfect zombie film for the post-Walking Dead age. — Haleigh Foutch
Writer and Director: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Ella Ballentine, Scott Speedman, Aaron Douglas, Christine Edabi
It’s likely inevitable that director Bryan Bertino’s work will forever be associated with his smash-hit directorial debut The Strangers, a dread-inducing first time effort that set the bar high for the young filmmaker. But where 2014’s Mockingbird folded under its own narrative weight, Bertino’s most recent effort The Monster triumphs in its pared down approach to the monster movie. Starring Zoe Kazan (in a career best performance) as Kathy, an inattentive and alcoholic mother to the fragile Lizzy (Ella Ballentine), The Monster wastes little time before setting up its central thrill – broken down on a country road in the middle of the night, Kathy and Lizzy quickly find themselves in the fight of their lives against a sticky black creature that resides in the woods just beyond the edge of the road. A lean and singularly focused monster movie with shades of the matriarchal horror of The Babadook and Lyle, The Monster is skillful proof of Bertino’s impressive talent. — Aubrey Page
An American Werewolf in London
Writer and Director: John Landis
Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Frank Oz
Considered by many to be one of the best horror films in cinematic history now that its cult status has been firmly cemented, Landis’ dark horror-comedy An American Werewolf in London has set itself apart from all other werewolf films that came before it and have come since. Notable for the make-up special effects work of Rick Baker, for which the film won the inaugural Oscar for Outstanding Achievement in Make-Up, the visceral, bone-crunching werewolf transformation will haunt your dreams for years. If that doesn’t get you, then perhaps the slowly decaying forms of the living dead victims of the werewolf will.
Not content to churn out a simple monster movie, Landis chose instead to focus on the grief over losing a friend, the guilt at committing murder, and the maddening need to reconcile with those who are dead. It’s not just David’s curse that plagues him throughout this film, it’s the literal embodiment of those other negative emotions that follow him, pleading with him to end his own life before he adds more victims due to the curse’s effects. As is the case in other Landis’ works, there are laughs to be found, but boy are they dark. And delightfully so. – Dave Trumbore
The Neon Demon
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Refn, Mary Laws, Polly Stenham
Cast: Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, Abbey Lee, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Karl Glusman and Christina Hendricks
Nicholas Winding Refn certainly knows how to make a divisive movie. Like Only God Forgives before it, Refn’s Neon Demon was jeered at Cannes and met with split response from critics and moviegoers alike. That’s not too surprising. It’s explicit and nebulous, and seemingly dedicated to make the audience as uncomfortable as possible as often as possible. It’s also staggeringly beautiful, but leave it to Refn to make a shallow movie about the pitfalls of being shallow. Elle Fanning stars as Jesse, a manipulative underaged monster in the making who has “that thing” everyone wants, and she knows it. Rapidly climbing the ranks of the fashion industry, Jesse believes her own hype and goes full Narcissus, drawing the ire of three experienced industry pros who envy her youth, easy beauty, and immediate success. Along the way, shit gets truly crazy. The Neon Demon‘s got beautiful women basking in blood, it’s got glorious Technicolor visions of cannibalism and self-worship, and it’s got just way too much necrophilia. All the same, it’s a stunning visual accomplishment and it never abandons character in favor of the shock, it embeds them in each other. The Neon Demon may not have a lot to say, but what it does, it says beautifully. — Haleigh Foutch
The Greasy Strangler
Director: Jim Hosking
Writer: Toby Shepherd and Jim Hosking
Cast: Elizabeth De Razzo, Sky Elobar, Michael St. Michaels
Decidedly not for everyone, The Greasy Strangler is a blast, and I’m no bullshit artist. The feature film debut from Jim Hosking has incited a lot of pearl-clutching and gasps of horror since it debuted at Sundance earlier this year, and it’s easy enough to see why — it’s absurd, unapologetic, and indecent by just about every conventional standard, but the beauty of The Greasy Strangler is the fact that it doesn’t care about conventional standards at all. Forget about photoshopping, and narrative guidebooks, and all the little safety boxes that have to be checked off when a film tries to be a four-quadrant picture. The Greasy Strangler feels like Grindhouse incarnate, a midnight movie sprung from the very soul of midnight movies to make you cringe and guffaw and quote one-liners you’ll probably never be able to get out of your head. –Haleigh Foutch
Writter and Director: S. Craig Zahler
Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox, David Arquette, Evan Jonigkeit
S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk didn’t get the love it deserved when it hit select theaters last year, but I highly recommend catching it now on Amazon Prime, especially if you’re into horror movies and Westerns. The movie stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins as four men who head out into the Wild West to rescue two people who are taken captive by a group of cannibals. It’s an eerie slow burn that builds an overwhelming sense of dread before unleashing an especially savage display of violence and gore. In fact, there’s one scene from Bone Tomahawk that scored a spot on our Best Movie Kills of 2015 list and while it is insanely bloody and brutal, the movie earns the moment thanks to the stellar performances, character-driven narrative and all-consuming atmosphere. – Perri Nemiroff
10 Cloverfield Lane
Director and Writer: Dan Trachtenberg
Cast: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.
When Dan Trachtenberg‘s tightly-wound chamber piece thriller adopted the name 10 Cloverfield Lane, it picked up a heavy burden of expectation in addition to the profile boost. Except for the nutty and slightly left-field third act reveal, 10 Cloverfield Lane is restrained chamber piece and a stomach-knotting exercise in tension and paranoia. Following Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s Michelle after she’s “rescued” by an imposing and off-kilter man (John Goodman) who claims they have to remain underground in his bunker due to a widespread chemical attack, 10 Cloverfield Lane delivers pure popcorn entertainment as Michelle attempts to suss out the truth and make it out of the bunker alive. Michelle is a fabulous female hero cut from Ripley cloth, she’s not showy or sassy or a pastiche of a “tough chick” tropes; she’s composed and calculating, and surprisingly vulnerable for how much ass she kicks. But if Winstead delivers a fantastic performance, Goodman is outrageously good as her captor and/or savior, both terrifying and achingly human, handily stealing the show in what might be his best role yet. — Haleigh Foutch
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Director: Tobe Hooper
Writers: Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel
Cast: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, Gunnar Hansen
Tobe Hooper‘s sophomore feature film is a brilliantly blunt deconstruction of human mortality that forces us to confront the reality that we are all but meat and bone racing toward the unavoidable moment when we cease to be anything but a decomposing corpse. It’s brutal and it’s basic, and that ruthless efficiency is what makes it such a grueling, unnerving watch to this day. What’s more, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre revels in the reality that death does not have sympathy, it does not care who you are — strapping and strong, young and beautiful, good-natured, kind, weak, meek, abled or disabled — death comes for us all.
The setup is simple, and it’s all in the title, a group of good kids make a detour in Texas where they are massacred one by one, sometimes with a chainsaw. It’s a genre-defining entry in backwoods horror, a relentless onslaught of butchery that invokes sledgehammers and meat hooks and, of course, chainsaws as implements of horrific violence and depravity. It’s almost too ugly and too effective to ever be really “enjoyed”, a bit like staring in the face of the worst-case-scenario underlying humanity’s inherent mortal fears, but it is an undeniable achievement of the horror genre that evokes dread with such efficacy and aggression that it possesses an unaging effectiveness. — Haleigh Foutch
Writer and Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart
Jeremy Saulnier is an auteur of on-screen violence. He doesn’t glamorize it and he doesn’t exploit it, but neither does he shy away from its consequences, both immediate and far-reaching. And nobody does it quite like him. There’s an inherent stupidity to violence; a needless nastiness and endless potential for human error. Saulnier not only gets it, he knows how to make his audience get it too. Like his first two films Blue Ruin and Murder Party, Green Room follows our woefully underqualified heroes into bloodshed. This time, it’s a partying punk band that wanders into the thick of Neo-Nazi territory when their planned gig falls through. Led by Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat and Anton Yelchin (whose untimely death still staggers the mind), the young neerdowells are square off against the most militant red laces. Patrick Stewart, cast brilliantly against type, plays their charming leader Darcy with a terrifying calm and calculating confidence, and his no-guns rule means that every kill comes hard and cuts deep. Speaking of deep cuts, that “arm scene” you’ve probably heard so much about is one of the finest demonstrations of that knack for violence I mentioned — a sick-making moment you feel down to your bones that both advances the plot and illuminates character. Green Room’s got the flesh and blood and body count that makes for a good horror film, but it’s also got the heart that makes for a great one. — Haleigh Foutch
Director: Marcin Wrona
Writers: Marcin Wrona and Pawel Maslona
Cast: Itay Tiran, Agnieszka Zulewska, Andrzej Grabowski
Possession becomes a link to historical reckoning in Marcin Wrona’s unnerving take on the Jewish myth of the dybbuk, a restless, chaotic spirit who takes hold of a living person. Here, the unsteady binds that tie Poland to Europe in the wake of the Holocaust, are reflected in the wedding between a Polish woman and her Londoner groom, which is uprooted when a member of the wedding party begins to lash out in unusual ways, speaking about age-old happenings. Like with the best horror, there is plenty of humor, and the sting of modern capitalistic ruthlessness and the selfishness that often comes with unrequited love are constantly invoked. They feed into the feeling of a powerful but not necessarily malevolent force whose outrage and confusion can turn a gorgeous catered affair into flaming wreckage forged by human frailty and the unvanquishable, blood-drenched crimes that have shaped history. — Chris Cabin
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