If you’re looking for something spooky to stream this Halloween, Amazon Prime Video definitely has you covered. For £5.99 a month, the site’s horror line-up is scarily diverse, covering everything from recent remakes and cult comedy to modern and old classics. If subscription VOD services are meant to be missing all the movies from before the 1990s, Amazon’s team clearly didn’t get the memo.
We round up the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video, some spooky, some silly – all of them perfect for Halloween.
Struggling writer Jack and his family move into the deserted Overlook Hotel, only for bad things to happen. But Stanley Kubrick lets the bad things surface slowly, relying on the creepy soundtrack, Jack Nicholson’s unhinged presence and incredibly freaky special effects to set the mood. The masterpiece is so intricately assembled that there’s even a documentary looking at all the conspiracy theories surrounding the movie – including the suggestion that it’s a secret confession to Kubrick helping to fake the moon landing.
We’ve all been there. Created our own species by splicing together random genes. Created our own species and then introduced some human DNA just for kicks. Created our own species with human DNA and then raised the creature in secret. Created our own human-derived species and raised it in secret before developing a warped relationship with it. We’ve all been there. If you haven’t been there, get ready to see some weird stuff. Vincenzo Natalie’s sci-fi creep-out, starring Adrien Brody, is wonderfully disturbing.
Night of the Living Dead
George A Romero’s 1967 classc, which sees a group of people barricaded in a farmhouse to survive the reawakening of the dead, remains as chillingly relevant as ever.
After the violent death of one of their group, four old college friends – Luke (Rafe Spall), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), Phil (Arsher Ali) and Dom (Sam Troughton) – decide to take a hiking trip deep in the Swedish wilderness in order to bond and reminisce about old times. This low-budget British flick is a fantastic, creepy slice of indie horror.
Wes Craven’s spoof inspired a ton of copycat movies when it first arrived in 1996. Smart and dumb, scary and silly, and never less than entertaining, Scream one of the best horror comedies of the modern era. The fact that it could be one of the best horrors too says it all.
Wes Craven’s follow-up to the iconic 90s spoof manages the impossible by matching its blend of knowing smarts and genuine chills, as another psychopath dons the Ghostface mask to haunt the survivors of the first film. Sequences in cinemas and college lecture halls give enough tension to balance out the wry humour. (Scream 3 is also available on Amazon Prime Video UK.)
Ethan Hawke stars in this horror about a true-crime writer, who discovers a cache of videotapes depicting several brutal murders that took place in the house he just bought. A man in a dark room watching spooky movies? This is genuinely scary stuff.
Let the Right One In
Eli (Leandersson) is a 12-year-old who’s been 12 for a very long time. Living with an older man, Hakan (Ragnar), she lives off the drippings of dead people that he collects in a bottle. Not your first choice for a childhood friend, perhaps, but that doesn’t stop Oskar (Hedebrant). The affection appears to be mutual and an eerie bond develops, the unspoken bloodlust a disturbing, chilling undercurrent; this is less a romance and more a dark, melancholic piece of tender poetry. Tomas Alfredson’s innocent love story shot through with absolute horror is a sinister, sweet work of art.
Train to Busan
Just when you thought that public transport couldn’t get scarier than Southern Rail or the Central Line, along comes Train to Busan, a South Korean horror that puts the “loco” in “locomotive”. Yeon Sang-ho’s brilliantly bonkers zombies-on-a-train flick never puts its foot on the brake. (The animated prequel, Seoul Station, is also available on Amazon Prime Video UK. Read our review.)
James Wan’s atmospheric haunted house tale is expertly directed and performed with sincerity by Ron Livingston, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
When a group of teens cheat death, death starts to claim back their lives one by one. The result is a string of enjoyably far-fetched death scenes in this innovative horror that kick-started a franchise.
Final Destination 5
You’d think that four movies in a row of extended death scenes would get old, but Final Destination 5 comes up with an inspired twist that makes this a surprisingly smart marriage of blood and brains. The best of the series? Go on then.
Ben Wheatley put himself the map with this breakout horror, which boasts disturbing performances from Michael Smiley and Neil Maskell. The final third is divisive, but there’s no denying how unsettling the experience is. (See also: High-Rise, Wheatley’s gob-smacking, horrifyingly prescient social satire, which isn’t a horror, but shines a stylish light on the horrors of modern Britain.)
Shaun of the Dead
“You’ve got red on you…”
This 2008 horror about a couple (Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender) who find themselves hounded by a group of kids by a lake offers food for thought – and a showcase for director James Watkins, who has gone on to helm The Woman in Black and an episode of Black Mirror.
Abigail Breslin stars in this stylish thriller that deliberately up-ends the standard stalk-and-slash set-up to entertaining effect.
This Aussie horror about some tourists who find themselves captured and tortured by a sinister bushman is graphic, brutal, horrifying stuff.
The Woman in Black
Jane Goldman’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel carries a wonderfully spooky charm, as James Watkin races us through a haunted house with old-fashioned effects, all anchored by the ever-likeable Daniel Radcliffe.
There’s something about corridors that freaks people out. Is it the ghost of The Shining lurking around the corner? Ti West does well to avoid it in his haunted hotel flick, The Innkeepers. Joining lacklustre staff members Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) for the last few days of business, West’s workplace hangout feels closer to The Office than a horror movie – and that defiantly low-key shamble is mostly its best feature.
The closest we’ve ever come to a modern Indiana Jones, this rip-roaring adventure starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz is so good that it even manages to serve up some spooky chills along the way.
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Bela Lugosi stars in Ed Wood’s (unintentionally) seminal sci-fi horror, which sees aliens from outer space reanimate the Earth’s dead in an attempt to save the human race.
The Hole (2009)
A proper horror for kids big and small, this is friendly fun to freak out the hole (ahem) family.
House on Haunted Hill (1958)
The inimitable Vincent Price stars as a suave, eccentric millionaire who invites five guests to spend the night in a sinister haunted house, offering each $10,000 but only if they survive until morning.
Wesley Snipes kicks undead butt in this excellent vampire flick.
X The Man with the X Ray Eyes
A doctor uses special eye drops to give himself x-ray vision, but the new power has disastrous consequences in this classic 1960s B-movie.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Gary Oldman is enjoying himself enormously in Francis Ford Coppola’s take on Bram Stoker’s timeless horror tale.
Joe Dante’s seminal horror comedy sees a young boy acquire a new pet, under strict instructions to never get it wet or feed it after midnight. No points for guessing what happens…
Before The Conjuring, there was this surprisingly creepy doll.
Craig Zobel’s horribly gripping thriller takes us right back to the horror of Milgram’s 1960s experiments that showed humans would do anything if they think they’re following orders. A phone call from a police officer to a fast food restaurant is the starting point for a nailbiting incident, with Ann Dowd excellent as the manager caught in the middle of the cop’s instructions. You’ll hate every second – but you won’t stop watching. This is horrible gripping stuff.
This wonderfully ambitious micro-budget sci-fi follows Ana (Figueroa), a PhD student at Oxford, who accidentally invents a teleporting device. The resulting events dive into a rabbit hole and come out the other side with a gripping study of what makes us human.
The Crazies (2010)
Remakes of horror movies don’t tend to turn out well, but this update of The Crazies is genuinely creepy stuff. As an infection spreads through a small US town, residents begin to, well, go crazy. The reaction of the locals gives this film some bite – and Timothy Olyphant as the sheriff elevates the whole production above generic B-movie – but it’s the sheer visceral thrills on offer that really grab your attention.
Paul and Bea are a young couple celebrating their marriage by going on holiday to a cabin in the woods. What could possibly go wrong? At first, not very much, as they make love, cook eggs and make lots more love. It’s a slow start that allows director Leigh Janiak to set up her central relationship, showcasing the natural chemistry the couple have. That focus is also what gives Honeymoon its creepy edge.
The Day of the Triffids
Based on the novel by John Wyndham, this 1960s British monster movie is a fantastic example of the genre.
Cockneys vs Zombies
This unlikely blend of two iconic races gives you more than enough Roy Hudd for your Bread and Honey. A sequence that sees the late Richard Briers outrunning a slow-moving zombie on a zimmer frame will have you in stitches.
A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders in Dario Argento’s 1985 classic.
Bong Joon-ho’s barnstorming yet highly original monster movie follows an eccentric family’s attempts to rescue the daughter snatched by a huge amphibious creature.
The Toxic Avenger
A 90-lb nerd is transformed into a hideously deformed superhero after falling into a misplaced barrel of nuclear waste in this cult classic.
Released in the USA as Joyride, this low-budget horror sees Paul Walker and Steve Zahn on fine form as road trippers who anger a trucker over a radio – and end up the victims of one man’s cruel revenge.
Shock jock Grant has been banished to the early morning slot on a small town station. A boring day turns deadly when reports come in of strange violent acts. It turns out a virus is infecting the town but it spreads through language. Does Grant stay on the air or keep quiet? Bruce McDonald’s underseen 2008 film is a hugely entertaining gem.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford famously feuded with a fierce brutality on the set of this psychological thriller, and that knowledge gives the 1962 film an added bite decades later.