Whether you're in the mood for some old school horror, or the goriest slasher imaginable, HBO Max has something for everybody. The streaming service has a huge selection of classic flicks like The Exorcist, teen slashers starring all of your '90s faves, and seriously disturbing films that you won't be able to stop thinking about. Here, we round up 21 of the scariest movies to watch on HBO Max in 2022.
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Wes Craven's classic slasher started an entire franchise dedicated to Freddy Krueger, superbly played by Robert Englund. In the movie, a group of teenagers start having vivid nightmares involving a child murderer who was killed by a mob years earlier. Once Freddy has invaded a person's dreams, they usually end up dead. A plethora of sequels followed, as well as a 2010 remake starring Rooney Mara.
Sally (Bailee Madison) is sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes). The trio moves into a foreboding 19th century mansion in Rhode Island, and it's not long before Sally starts hearing noises, caused by strange creatures emerging from a sealed ash pit in the basement. Guillermo del Toro serves as co-writer in this gothic horror-infused flick.
If you're a fan of Freaky Friday, then you'll love this horror-twist on the body-swap genre. Vince Vaughn stars as the Blissfield Butcher, a serial killer who steals an ancient dagger with magical properties. When the Butcher attacks a high school girl called Millie (Kathryn Newton), stabbing her in the shoulder, an identical wound appears on his own body. Andyou guessed itthe dagger causes Millie and the Butcher to swap bodies, which results in some hilarious hijinks, along with some bloody murders.
Picking up where 2018's Halloween left, Michael Myers continues his rampage, and this time it's extremely bloody. While Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family recuperate in hospital, a mob forms to hunt down the legendary serial killer. Michael manages to up the ante with some very creative kills, and director David Gordon Green pays homage with onscreen nods to the beloved franchise. Completing the trilogy, Halloween Ends hits theater on October 14, 2022.
Two Americans embark upon a backpacking trip across Europe, when they're encouraged to visit a particular hostel in Slovakia. They arrive to find they're sharing their room with two women, and this truly is a case of "too good to be true." Much gory "torture porn" ensues when it's revealed that the hostel is run by a group that kidnaps and murders tourists. Two more movies followed, turning Hostel into a very disgusting trilogy.
Regardless of whether it's scary or not, I Know What You Did Last Summer is a classic '90s teen slasher, with a stellar cast. Jennifer Love Hewitt stars alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who met while filming the movie and started dating 3 years later. One year after a fatal car accident that seemingly left a stranger dead, a group of teens are stalked by a fisherman with a hook for a hand. You can guess what happens next.
Based on Stephen King's epic novel, this two-part TV movie has been terrifying kids since the '90s. Tim Curry stars as the ultimate Pennywise, a seemingly friendly clown that's actually an evil entity who feeds on people's fears. The movie follows The Losers Club as they face off against the scariest clown in horror movie history. Follow it up with 2017's equally scary adaptation.
Annabelle Wallis stars as a woman who begins having graphic and violent visions involving murder. She eventually finds out that her visions feature events that actually took place, along with real deaths, and she's forced to find out what her role is in the killings. Coupled with an unbelievable back story, some seriously spooky sets, and Matrix-level choreography, Malignant will blow your mind. If I said anymore, I'd only spoil the surprise.
20 years after a terrible mining accident, the residents of a small town decide to reinstate their annual Valentine's Day dance. This turns out to be a huge mistake, because one of the surviving miners previously promised to avoid all homicidal activities as long as the dance was canceled for good. To make matters even more terrifying, the killer in My Bloody Valentine is clad in head to toe mining gear.
This supernatural horror movie is the original Paranormal Activity. Thanks to its incredible special effects and atmospheric set, 1982's Poltergeist reinvented the "family moves into a spooky house" movie. When the Freelings move into their new California home, they have no idea that a gang of ghosts are ready to terrify every waking moment. And just wait until they discover that portal to another dimension.
1999's The Blair Witch Project is presented as found footage shot by three filmmakers who went missing while investigating a local legend. After venturing into the woods, strange things start happening to the trio, as they uncover the truth about the so-called Blair Witch. As low-budget horror movies go, The Blair Witch Project remains iconic for the simplicity of its scares, and the clever way it convinced its audience that there might be some truth to the legend after all.
The Conjuring introduced the world to Ed and Lorraine Warren, real-life paranormal investigators whose exorcisms and study of the occult inspired this growing series. In the second instalment, Ed and Lorraine travel to the U.K. to investigate a haunted house, and help a family plagued by malevolent spirits. The Conjuring 2 is based on a real-life case that took place in England in the '70s, and widely became known as the Enfield Haunting.
Set within The Conjuring Universe, Dead to Me's Linda Cardellini stars as social worker Anna who is investigating the deaths of two boys. Based upon the folklore of La Llorona, the "weeping woman" in the movie is a vengeful ghost that drowned her own children, and lurks around water waiting for new victims. It's not long before the cursed poltergeist latches onto Anna's children, and seems intent on stealing them too.
If you haven't already seen The Exorcist, you've definitely been exposed to a zillion parodies of it. Based on the book of the same name, The Exorcist is about the demonic possession of a young girl after an encounter with a Ouija board. The movie follows two priests as they attempt to rid her of the evil entity. Decades later, The Exorcist remains a completely chilling, classic horror movie featuring amazing special effects.
The Purge universe continues to expand, and this time it's squarely aimed at anyone wearing a MAGA hat. The year is 2048, and The New Founding Fathers of America manage to reinstate the annual Purge after an eight year absence. However, a dangerous sect wants to invoke an "Ever After Purge," meaning that they'd be free to kill anyone they wanted, at any time. The film follows a family of Mexican immigrants as they attempt to stay safe from racist discrimination and a purge without boundaries.
Beth (Rebecca Hall) is haunted by her husband's suicide, and the cryptic note he left behind. Living alone in their remote lake house, Beth sorts through her husband's possessions, and starts to experience strange visions each night. She's led to another house that's identical to her own, but has a reverse floor plan, and the discoveries she makes completely destroy her sense of reality. Some strange twists and turns, along with genuine jump scares, make The Night House unmissable.
Children can be really evil sometimes. In The Omen, a family inadvertently adopts Damien, a young boy who might be the Antichrist. After the loss of their own child, Robert (Gregory Peck), adopts Damien as a replacement. However, strange things start happening at home, from unlikely suicides to sudden deaths. Several sequels, and a 2006 remake starring Julia Stiles, followed.
Based on the book by Stephen King, The Shining needs no introduction. Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, a man suffering from writer's block, who moves his family into the Overlook Hotel for the winter. However, Jack's writing goes nowhere, and his son starts having premonitions due to having psychic abilities. It's not long before Jack starts to mentally unravel, and his thoughts turn to murder.
If you're after something a little bit different, Kevin Smith's Tusk definitely fits the bill. Justin Long stars as Wallace, an obnoxious podcaster who flies to Canada, where he decides to interview a retired seaman named Howard who offers him a place to stay. Howard reveals that he was once rescued from a shipwreck by a walrus called Mr. Tusk, and that's when the trouble really starts. You wouldn't believe me if I told you what happens, so you should probably just watch it.
If you've never seen the TV series, don't worry. David Lynch's Twin Peaks prequel is a disturbing, psychological horror movie that can be viewed as a standalone story. Fire Walk With Me tracks the last seven days of Laura Palmer's life, exploring all the clues and mysteries that surround her fateful murder. Lynch's distinctive style is in full effect, and being a teen girl has never looked scarier.
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20 Scary Horror Movies to Watch on HBO Max - Harper's BAZAAR
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero