Best Horror Movies On Prime Video Right Now (May 2022)
Amazon Prime Video’s catalog can be a bit more challenging to navigate versus the neatness of Netflix or Hulu. There are no subcategories or breakdowns, just an endless scroll of fifty-ish pages loaded with titles. Don’t expect many Amazon Originals in their horror section either — these seem to be limited to Blumhouse’s “Into The Blumhouse” collections and not much else. You’d think this is where horror movies come to die, but that’s only if you don’t have a guide.
Clicking through every page of Prime Video’s horror section, you’ll find some real gems hidden between backyard-made uploads that Amazon loosely vets. The problem is, “hidden gems” are just that — hidden. I’m talking “Page 15” for an outright horror icon or anything before the 2000s. Curation seems like an afterthought, just whatever’s available at the time. To make perusing easier, we’ve highlighted the best horror films currently streamable on Prime Video, updated monthly as we sink deeper into their catalog of neverending pages.
Please note: This list pertains to U.S. Amazon subscribers. Some titles may not currently be available on international platforms. This article is frequently amended to remove films no longer on Amazon and to include more horror movies that are now available on the service.
Emile Hirsch has been stacking a humble indie genre career with titles like The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Son, including Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein’s Freaks. It’s somewhere between a superhero origin story and a sci-fi thriller, hinged on a little girl’s discovery of outstanding abilities. Hirsch plays a father character who tries to keep his daughter locked away from the world “for her protection,” but an ice cream man outside lures the child away. What occurred becomes mind-bendy, fantastical, and rooted in familial horrors about self-discovery — which is as far as this description goes out of spoiler fears.
Hell House LLC
Stephen Cognetti’s Hell House LLC is a spectacularly scrappy take on found-footage Halloween horrors. Haunted attraction creators select an abandoned hotel in upstate New York for their next production, and opening night ends with fifteen dead. Hell House LLC sells itself as documentary footage that recounts the tragedy of Hell House — what went wrong, all the supernatural signs that attraction makers ignored. It’s one of its decade’s better independent horror efforts, especially considering how it maximizes every advantage of found footage styles. Minimal budgets, seasonally creative scares, and in-your-face screams are the calling cards of Hell House LLC.
Mariama Diallo’s Master turns systemic racism into a ghost story that haunts collegiate halls. Regina Hall shines as the first Black master at Ancaster, a predominantly white New England college. There are legends of haunted dorm rooms thanks to witch hangings nearby, but Hall’s character encounters prejudice that’s far more horrifying. The paranormal element of Diallo’s story becomes the unseen but campus-wide stoking of hatred that’s ingrained in Ancaster’s traditions. Horror becomes a conduit for protest as well as a frightening accent on a few occasions, but most impressively, Diallo keeps thematic emphasis tight and tense throughout the university thriller. It’s spooky, frustrated, and particular with its monsters — horror continues to be as punchily political as always.
Train To Busan
If Sang-ho Yeon’s Train To Busan is streaming on a platform, it will be in my recommendations. No exceptions. South Korea’s breakneck zombie thriller jams all the hyper-intensity of World War Z into a speeding commuter vessel and it’s non-stop excitement. Everyone from baseball players to businesspeople must band together when the undead sprint into stations where the train stops. Once the wheels start turning, Yeon’s film never ceases momentum — that’s why it’s one of the best zombie films to release in the last decade (minimum). Look out for its stateside remake produced by James Wan and directed by Timo Tjahjanto!
Rob Grant’s Harpoon is so sarcastic, caustic, and spiteful. I say that with glee. It’s the darkest of dark comedies, cutting to the chase about humanity’s vile core. Three “friends” are stranded on a boat and devolve into the worst versions of themselves — somehow even worse than the betrayers and hotheads they were on land. There’s also a harpoon on board, hence the title. Brett Gelman narrates as Richard (Christopher Gray), Jonah (Munro Chambers), and Sasha (Emily Tyra) try to survive heatstroke, dehydration, and themselves. Drifting on waters that are much calmer than tensions aboard, which is all I want to reveal about this laugh-out-out slice of human misery.
The Taking Of Deborah Logan
Found footage fans already know why Adam Robitel’s The Taking Of Deborah Logan is on this list. Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) permits a film crew to document her battle with Alzheimer’s, but the production becomes more nightmare than informational research. Threads between mental illness and possession are pulled so delicately until jarring scares deliver thunderous horrors. Deborah’s condition worsens as the camera rolls and evolves past medical explanations. Then we reach an open-wide finale moment that’s been gif’ed a million times, assuring mass acclaim around Robitel’s debut.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
Want to visit one of the scariest places in the world? South Korea’s Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum painstakingly recreates the actual location prohibited for shooting by the government as a found footage walkthrough. Internet ghost hunters lead viewers through corridors of an abandoned institution as part of an online show, where the hosts begin playing pranks for entertainment. Shockingly enough — or not, it’s a horror movie — there are lost souls in the asylum. Those trapped inside must face their ultimate fears. It’s nothing particularly groundbreaking but is terrifyingly effective nonetheless. Horror communities consider Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum one of the better found footage movies in years, and there are a million reasons why.
It’s a shame that Derek Lee and Clif Prowse’s only contribution to horror cinema is Afflicted. Their outstanding stealth vampire flick pulls Hardcore Henry stunts before Hardcore Henry even existed. Found footage becomes a window into the fatally-ill Derek’s presumed final adventures, where he’s bitten by a bloodsucker who saves his life in a backward-serving way. Now Derek just has to suck blood and avoid sunlight the rest of his much longer life, which he must grapple with while traveling with Cliff through European countries. Cue fleeing and action and way more complications in this tremendously talented debut.
We Are Still Here
Haunted houses are part of any horror fan’s comfort formula but can present storytelling problems. Why remain in an estate that aims to harm you? Or possess your family? Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here works as a New England ghost story because characters played by Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig believe their new abode’s strange occurrences are signs from their deceased son. A calmness keeps them settled until their assumptions are proven very, disastrously wrong. It’s a third-act for the ages that pays off slower burns when Geoghegan unleashes more bloodshed in its closing remarks than some entire movies accomplish. Eat your hearts out, A24. Here’s how you sustain elongated simmers with a proper climax.
If you’re in the mood for a horror-comedy slasher, may I direct you towards Conor McMahon’s Stitches? British comedian Ross Noble plays an undead clown who reanimates to slaughter the now-teenage children responsible for his accidental party death. Death scenes are over-the-top and emphasize practicality, like when a boy’s head inflates like a balloon or brains are scooped like ice cream blobs. It’s wild fun and even sets up a mythological cultish vibe as Stitches is somehow tied to a graveyard clown congregation, which begs for a sequel. That ship has probably sailed, but for everyone who misses the lunacy of 80s slasher romps? Stitches should be a headliner act.
Classic horror staples don’t often find their way onto Prime Video, but Clive Barker’s Hellraiser remains the exception. Pinhead makes his theatrical debut serving sadomasochism as the only flavor on Barker’s menu. Cenobites explore new torturous carnal pleasures, no longer able to decipher between pain and pleasure. So begins a gory affair where bodies are pulled apart by hooks as leather demons bring such sights to show the humans caught in their path. Oh, and there’s skinwalking to boot? Hellraiser lives its name by bringing Hell unto Earth, whether you’re talking about the disgusting gratification on-screen or the slew of unappetizing sequels.
Joe Dante does aquatic horror as only Joe Dante would in Piranha. It’s Jaws but with rural lakeside landscapes like sleepaway camps and backyard fishing posts. Practical effects do their best for a 1978 production, which means to compliment underwater attacks shot with enough frenzy to deliver munchy-crunchy horror. Although, there’s certainly not enough attention paid to the laboratory creature shown and gone in a flash. Dante’s original plan was to steadily grow his two-legged fish monster throughout the film before a final boss appearance later, but budget restraints wouldn’t allow such ambition. So instead, we’re stuck with the still comical and ferocious Piranha that spawned a knockout remake in Piranha 3D.
Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead
Don’t sleep on sequels, kids — Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead blows the initial concept of Nazi zombies hunting for gold clear out of the water. Undead Russian soldiers rise to help battle German zeds. The original’s surviving character accidentally gets his arm replaced with the rotted Nazi commander’s arm, and Martin Starr pops in as a learned-it-from-horror-movies American zombie hunter. It’s ridiculous, there are tanks, and I think a baby explodes at one point? All to say Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead is unthinkably wild and takes the “bigger, better” motto of sequels to heart.
House On Haunted Hill
Yes, 1999’s House On Haunted Hill is an underrated aughts-era example of gothic decadence — but let’s not forget the William Castle original. Vincent Price and Carol Ohmart star as untrusting partners who so entertainingly scorch each other with hateful words, setting a proper murder mystery afoot. Since we’re talking about a 1959 haunted house whodunit, there’s less stress put on inky ghosts and more on the macabre charisma of Price and his character’s guests. Survive the night and win a handsome sum of cash — leave, or worse, and forfeit. The latter becomes harder as the evening turns gravely severe in this delicious horror puzzler that still holds its mansion-mania charm.
Cameron and Colin Cairnes have something to say about the mainstream’s shift in media consumption. Scare Campaign is about television pranksters challenged by “The New Entertainment,” in that nobody’s falling for old tricks anymore. The Scare Campaign crew find themselves hunted by The Masked Freaks — these guerrilla filmmakers who’ve outfitted their cameras with weapons like chainsaws or nooses. Crowds show their support to encourage illegal presentations of deaths online, as the Scare Campaign workers wonder how things have become so bleak given their days as television horror jokesters. Don’t be afraid of the film’s indie vibes — it’s a tale that’s only gained more relevance and bite as society’s social media habits have altered since 2016.
Huh, this Mike Flanagan fella who directed Oculus sure sounds familiar! Before Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep, Flanagan made movies about villainous mirrors and fractured timelines. The entire cast is achieving their all, from Karen Gillan to Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff to Rory Cochrane. We watch the mirror tear a family apart in two different eras as Gillan and Thwaites return to the site where their lives changed forever to confront the hallucination-inducing mirror. Traumas from the past and doppelgänger horrors become the film’s calling cards, as Flanagan’s signature ability to weave emotionality into horror is no mirage.
If you’re a sucker for horror rock musicals, you should crank Rob Stefaniuk’s Suck. A host of rockstars from Alice Cooper to Henry Rollins roll through this vampire take on selling your soul for everlasting fame. Admittedly, it’s not precisely high-brow since Malcolm McDowell plays a vampire hunter named Eddie Van Helsing. Still, musical interludes and the film’s goofy commentary on stardom strum the right chords. Moby, Iggy Pop, Alex Lifeson — Suck has it all in terms of talent. If only “The Winners” had any of the listed legends in their actual band, they wouldn’t have to morph into bloodsuckers for attention.
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