Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see what unknown classics are being added to Hulu.
Updated for September 2017
Horror can come from anywhere: an unfamiliar European hostel, a remote sleepaway camp in the woods or even just in the comfy confines of the human brain. Every now and then it can be fun to reconnect with that child-like portion of our minds that is truly susceptible to irrational fear. The best way is to merely just hear a good scary story.
But perhaps the best place to find horror is on your friendly neighborhood Hulu. Hulu is perhpas best known for its TV comedy offerings but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in pure terror. Here is your list of the best horror movies on Hulu
The found footage craze is finally winding down, which is all fine and good. We’ve done just about everything we can do with the form. So let’s take some time to appreciate movies who did it very well. J.J. Abrams’ horror franchise-booting Cloverfield is chief among them. It’s a fairly standard New York-destroying monster movie, but the twist of all the action happening on handheld digital cameras and cell phones makes the terror all the more claustrophobic and real.
The hottest ticket in horror nowadays isn’t Freddy, Jason, or even Jigsaw. It’s an adorable old Roman Catholic couple from New England. The stories of “real life ghost hunters” Ed and Lorraine Warren are all over the horror scene right now. The Haunting in Connecticut admittedly isn’t one of the better ones. And in fact the “real life” story of a haunted house in Connecticut has been all but disproven and recanted. Still, I’m including this on the list so I can include this fun link from my college newspaper about a time that Lorraine Warren came to speak around Halloween and told everyone they’re experiencing hauntings because they’re not religious enough.
Sometimes movies like to challenge themselves with just how few elements they can include and still achieve a feature film length running time. Buried is one of those movies and rises to the challenge admirably. Buried features only the sparsest of elements. The following is a list of all the nouns that appear in the film: Ryan Reynolds, a coffin, a lighter, a flask, a flashlight, a knife, glowsticks, a pen, a pencil, and a cell phone. From those meager items, director Rorigo Cortes is able to craft a truly terrifying and claustrophobic experience
Supposedly, when German director Tom Six presented his idea for a horror movie to investors, he did not mention the “mouth to anus” aspect of the human centipede. Which begs the question: what the hell did those people think they were greenlighting? The Human Centipede is almost literally a ridiculous bar conversation brought to life. In this case, it was Six and his friends discussing what would be appropriate punishment for a child molestor. Somehow that morphed into a story of a mad German scientist stiching people’s faces to other people’s butts to form a human centipede. This movie is weird. This movie is bad. You should watch it.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil joins a proud tradition of recent movies like Cabin in the Woods that satirize the horror genre while also presenting a lovingly crafted and well-researched version of one. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk star as Tucker and Dale, just two redneck friends who want to have a good time in their secluded cabin over the weekend. Their vacation is interrupted by five young college students who somewhat understandably mistake Tucker and Dale for backwoods serial killers. What follows is a funny, fresh, and, at times, wonderfully gory interpretation of the horror genre.
Fun fact: Children of the Corn has eight sequels. Eight! That’s one big drawback of the horror genre. It’s so difficult to come up with an equally original and scary idea that once something sticks, it’s financially prudent to run it into the ground. Don’t let that keep you from watching the 1984 original Children of the Corn, however. The movie is based off of a Stephen King short story and follows a group of creepy kids and their adventures in ritualistic sacrifice. It’s a good time.
Forget the entire franchise for a moment. Forget the ubiquitous “would you like to play a game?” catchphrase, and view the original Saw on its own merits. It’s a fantastically original horror film. Leigh Whannell and James Wan, the crew behind Saw, have gone on to influence the modern horror genre more than anyone in Hollywood but their debut feature remains a twisted and twisty masterpiece. If you’ve never seen Saw and have somehow avoided all mention of plot twists, you practically owe it to yourself to watch it now.
We live in a terrifying world. Sometimes it’s nice for horror movies to acknowledge that rather than resorting to the supernatural or strange for thrills. Open Water is loosely based on the real life story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were accidentally left behind on a scuba expedition. In Open Water, a couple faces that same fate, only this time the movie adds sharks: because why not?Open Water is not so dissimilar to Alfonso Cuarn’s Gravity. The ocean is so vast and sparse that it might as well be the blackness of space. It’s terrifying.
The Babadook is our most recent reminder that horror can come from the most unexpected places. In this instance that place is Australia. It’s a film from Jennifer Kent in her directorial debut that’s about a children’s book monster who you just absolutely cannot get rid of. The genius, however, is how the babadook is really a cypher for the more mundane fears of adulthood. Am I a good person? Am I doing this whole parenting thing right? Can I keep myself and those I love safe? The Babadook doesn’t have all the answers but it does ask these interesting questions.
As if childbirth and pregnancy weren’t terrifying enough, sometimes a Satanic cult wants to get its hands on your baby, making the whole thing worse. Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary, a nice if little naive young woman preparing to star a family with her husband, Guy (John Cassavetes). Guy and Rosemary eventually conceive and things get a bit spooky from there. Rosemary’s Baby is a classic for a reason and adeptly plays up both our cultural terror with all things Satanic and evil as well as our occasional fear and discomfort with our own bodies and children.
All dogs are good boys! Even if they’re monstrous, blood-soaked killing machines. No. Especially if they’re monstrous, blood-soaked killing machines. Cujo is adapted from the Stephen King book by the same name and is about a good boy named Cujo. While chasing a rabbit (such a good boy!) Cujo gets bit by a rabid bat and more or less devolves into that monstrous killing machine. A huge portion of the movie takes place on a very simple, very limited set that along with some legitimately great jump scares makes for a truly scary film.
Sometimes horror movies need complicated and expensive special effects. All The Dead Zone needs is Christopher Walken’s terrifyingly haunted face. The Dead Zone is another Stephen King adaptation, only this time directed by body-horror legend David Cronenberg. Christopher Walken stars as Johnny Smith, a schoolteacher who barely survives a car accident and wakes up from a coma to a much different world five years later. Johnny soon discovers that he can learn any person’s deepest secrets when touching them. The Dead Zone makes great use of its premise and even asks some complicated moral questions.
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 differnt, you and I” evil mentor – it’s all here. And it’s all fantastic.
Hulu 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.
Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow isn’t a full-blown piece of horror like, say, an Edgar Allan Poe story. It does feature a headless horseman but said horseman really isn’t interesting in killing a bunch of people. Still, if you include a headless monster in a short story, 100 years later, a kooky film director is bound to adapt it into his own Gothic horror movie. Sleepy Hollow represents the scariest of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s many collaborations, provided you don’t count Depp’s depiction of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as the scariest god damned thing you’ve seen in your life.
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15 Best Horror Movies on Hulu Right Now – Den of Geek US
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero