An eerily curated list of the best streaming horror movies and shows in 2019, including HULU, Netflix, HBO GO and Amazon Prime by Dennis.
I heard an NPR interview with a psychologist some time ago, who said watching horror films and shows is actually a beneficial way for people to train themselves on how to deal with real life fear. I don’t know how true this is but if I was ever caught in a situation where I was frightened for some reason, I guess knowing that no real-world scenario could compare to Pennywise the clown sucking me down a sewer would put me at ease …. maybe.
That said, while I do love watching a great horror flick, I’m very picky when it comes to the genre. For one, I am not one for senseless gore or non-stop jumps that serve no other purpose than to get a reaction. So this list will not be pleasing to all of you SAW 2 – 30 fans. (And yes I left Saw 1 off intentionally; they really should’ve stopped there.).
My criteria when it comes to Horror is:
1. Plot and Originality – gore for gore’s sake is just gross.
2. Soundtrack – A great horror film is nothing without a great soundtrack.
3. Execution – Acting and cinematography are just as in important in horror, although the academy might disagree
4. No Dolls – Sorry, I have an irrational fear of dolls coming alive and I just can’t watch these.
So without further ado, here’s my list of the best streaming Horror movies & shows currently available online as of January 2019.
Best Streaming Horror Movies & Shows on Netflix
The Haunting of Hill House – This is the best horror show I’ve seen in some time. It’s basically a horror version of HBO’s acclaimed 6 Feet Under drama and it gave me my first tv-related nightmare in years.
Stranger Things – Undoubtedly one of my favorite shows out there right now. The acting, story and throwback 80s vibe has it all.
Black Mirror – “Black Museum” – While most episodes of this futuristic Twilight Zone-esq series are fantastic, the episode “Black Museum” (season 4 / episode 6) is more “horror-ey” than most. I recommend the whole series, but if you’re looking for a scare, this episode is a good start.
Shawn of the Dead – Well this movie is not scary, but it’s about Zombies, and it’s absolutely hilarious.
The Returned (aka “Les Revenants”) – There are two shows on Netflix labeled “The Returned”, but the French series (actually titled “Les Revenants”) that spawned the American version is monumentally better. If you’re not “scared” away by the subtitles, you’ll be in for a treat.
The Walking Dead – Based on the graphic novel that got me addicted to comic books again, this zombie epic brings hillbillies, hipsters and grandpas together. It has something for everyone, but I do urge you to go out and buy the comic book. And, don’t worry, the show and the book’s storylines purposely stray from one another to keep you interested.
Birdbox – I actually haven’t watched this one yet, but there’s been so much buzz about it that I couldn’t leave it off the list. If what I’m hearing is at all true, it would’ve made the list eventually. (UPDATE: Finally got to this one and it definitely deserves a spot on this list. I thought it was fresh new take on the overused apocalypse trend. I hope there will be a sequel.)
Death Note – This one barely made it but I added it based solely on its original concept more than the actual execution, so be aware it’s not an “awesome movie”, but it’s entertaining.
Best Streaming Horror Movies & Shows on Hulu
28 Days Later – I would argue that this is the best zombie movie ever made, and one of my all time favorite horror films. Like all truly great zombie stories, this film focuses on what would truly be the scariest thing during the apocalypse. Spoiler Alert: it’s not the zombies.
Light as a Feather – I scrolled past this show several times before giving it a shot because it looked like a Craft meets Dawson’s Creek spin-off, but it hooked me pretty quickly. It’s certainly not spectacular, but it’s enjoyable horror-lite entertainment.
Castle Rock – Based in the Stephen King universe, but not on a particular story, this mind-bending, timey-wimey horror suspense was killer.
Pet Cemetery – The classic that gave me nightmares as a kid still gets me and with the new remake coming out, it’s a great time to rewatch the original.
Let the Right One In – this highly acclaimed Swedish film (98% tomato score) follows the story of young girl vampire and her mortal “master” and is like no other vampire story out there. Like 28 Days Later, it shows you why humans are always worse than any mythological beast.
American Horror Story – Seasons 1, 2 & 7 – I have a like/hate relationship with this show. I do love the concept of single season stories, but it’s hit or miss with each season. But the seasons listed are definitely worth the watch.
Best Streaming Horror Movies & Shows on Amazon Prime
Night of the living Dead – The zombie flick that inspired all other zombie stories cannot be overlooked on this list. While I personally dig the more modern takes on zombies like The Walking Dead and 28 Days Later, they would’ve never been made without Night of the Living Dead.
Let Me In (American version of “Let the Right One In) – While this is not on the same level as the Swedish film it’s based on, I personally think they did an alright job. I’d still recommend watching the original (Streaming on Hulu) first, but this is worth a watch as well.
Mother! – I’m still not sure if I like this movie or not, but it is cinematically beautiful and the acting is great. The story is very compelling as well, but I’m not sure what happened …
Jigsaw – This isn’t a great movie (at all) but it’s entertaining. Its feel is a bit more like the original Saw movie vs the other awful sequels, so I added it if you’re in the mood for a gory horror flick.
Best Streaming Horror Movies & Shows on HBO GO
Room 104 – This is another twilight zone-esq show that features a different story each episode, all of which take place in the same hotel room. It’s not always scary, but it’s always completely messed up. Definitely worth a watch.
The Descent – Spelunking in a demon cave gives claustrophobia a whole new meaning.
The Devil’s Rejects – While Rob Zombie Movies tend to be a little too much for me, this movie was awesome. I’m not one for gore and senseless violence as I said, but when it’s put to an old timey folk soundtrack, everything changes. In the style of “Natural Born Killers”, this movie leaves you feeling strangely attached to ruthless serial killers.
IT (2017) – This remake of the made-for-tv clown horror epic was awesome in my book. A bit gorier than its predecessor, but the “Stand by Me” coming-of-age feel was spot on and it made the characters hard not to like. Except for the clown, of course.
The Lost Boys – Just because I can’t resist the Coreys and Kiefer with those haircuts.
Other Streaming Horror
World War Z – FX NOW – I know everyone tells me “The book was so much better than the movie”, but isn’t that always the case? I never read the book, but the movie was thrilling. But if you’ve read the book, don’t go into it thinking that’s what you’re going to see because it’s not.
Outcast – Cinemax – From the author of “The Walking Dead”, Robert Kirkman, Outcast is also based on a graphic novel of the same name and brings a fresh take on the old idea of exorcism.