Amazon Prime offers a huge selection of horror movies from over a century of cinematic history. It has everything from influential classics to recent releases. Here are the ten best horror movies to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
With Carrie , director Brian De Palma had the honor of making the first-ever Stephen King adaptation, and possibly the best as well. De Palma brings King’s debut novel to life, telling the story of teenage outcast Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), whose telekinetic abilities make her a danger to everyone around her. De Palma captures the casual brutality of Carrie’s classmates, and Spacek makes Carrie both sympathetic and terrifying. The climax is a tense, violent finale that is a marvel of intersection and tension.
Killer Doll Chucky’s journey to becoming a horror icon began with his first appearance in Child’s Play . Voiced by Brad Dourif, Chucky wasn’t yet the snarky superstar he later became, but director Tom Holland and franchise creator Don Mancini make the most of his more limited screen time. The doll possessed by the serial killer is truly scary as he terrorizes 8-year-old Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), especially since no one believes Andy that his harmless-looking doll wants to kill him.
While not the horror classic of the first Creepshow, Creepshow 2 is a solid sequel to the anthology films based on Stephen King stories. The segments here show a Native American wooden statue coming to life seeking revenge; a mysterious slimy creature terrorizing teenagers on a lake; and a woman who is tormented by the ghost of a man she accidentally killed with her car. The Hitchhiker is the strongest of these segments, but all three capture the vintage horror feel that King and George Romero created in the first film.
Jennifer Connelly, the underrated spice of the American trend of remaking Japanese horror films, stars Jennifer Connelly as a mother in the midst of a horrendous divorce who moves into a dilapidated apartment with her young daughter. The apartment is, of course, haunted, though Dark Water is as much about the struggle to be a single mother and the failure of utilities as it is about a ghostly presence in the main character’s musty, creepy apartment building.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser sequel, Hellbound: Hellraiser II , is actually a highlight of the long-running franchise, providing more screen time for cult villain Doug Bradley Pinhead while also taking on a more surreal tone. It delves into the terrifying hellscape inhabited by Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites and showcases the dark, sadistic horrors they inflict on victims who open a puzzle box known as the Lament Configuration.
The mirror may not seem like a particularly scary object, but director Mike Flanagan makes it a source of disorienting horror in his breakthrough film, The Oculus . Karen Gillan plays an amusingly erratic woman who is convinced that the cursed mirror is responsible for the tragedy that has befallen her family. She is determined to destroy the mirror, but it draws her and her brother back to it as Flanagan thrillingly blurs the lines between past and present, between reality and dreams.
Despite spawning a recurring franchise and many tedious imitators, the original Paranormal Activity is one of the most extreme examples of horror found on footage. Director Oren Peli reinterprets a familiar haunted house story by setting it in a prefabricated country house as its main characters document their supernatural investigations.
The mythology gets confusing as the series progresses, but this first film explores both inner tension and demonic possession with equal ruthless efficiency.
Mia Farrow experiences an intensified version of her fears of impending motherhood in Roman Polanski’s classic Rosemary’s Baby . Pregnant young wife Rosemary (Farrow) feels isolated and lonely in her New York apartment as her actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) becomes increasingly busy and distant. Polanski brilliantly exacerbates Rosemary’s fear and distrust, which are more than justified when she learns the truth about her menacingly obliging neighbors.
Saint Maud , director Rose Glass’ debut feature film , focuses on the horrors of religious devotion. The main character (Morfydd Clark) is a nurse who has experienced a spiritual awakening and takes a job caring for a wealthy, terminally ill former dance star (Jennifer Ehle). Maud tries to convert her patient by any means necessary, and Clarke conveys the startling intensity of her religious fervor. This fervor eventually turns deadly, in a striking and hauntingly beautiful climax.
In the 2018 remake of Italian director Dario Argento’s cult classic Suspiria , the plot unfolds in an even more impressionistic, hallucinatory direction. The film stars Dakota Johnson as a seemingly naive young American who comes to study at a sinister dance school in Berlin. Director Luca Guadagnino creates a haunting film about ambition, jealousy and bizarre cult activities.