In the mood for something scary? There’s nothing quite like the fresh thrill of a great horror movie. That tingle that runs down your spine. The goosebumps that prick at your skin. The hard, cold thumping that hits your heart. Yet seriously scary is only one flavor of horror, a genre that welcomes pestering poltergeists and wicked witches alongside lovable zombies and tap-dancing monsters. Whatever kind of mood you’re in, we’ve got a pick for you, right from Prime Video.
The library of Prime Video is vast but ever-changing, so we’ve scoured their stacks to curate a current collection sure to thrill, chill, and delight. Whether you want soul-scorching psychological thrillers, haunted house horror, creepy classics, modern masterpieces, or something as ghoulish as it is goofy, we’ve got you covered.
1. Suspiria (2018)
This 2018 Suspiria remake has been described by director Luca Guadagnino and star Tilda Swinton as a “cover” of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic — exploring rather than mimicking Argento’s perspective on supernatural horror. With this mission in mind, Suspiria is a gratifying watch that exemplifies how identical genre tropes can be employed for disparate emotional effects. Yes, it’s all fear, but fear of different kinds that present an unsettling experience unto itself. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
2. Deathdream (1974)
Six years after George A. Romero modernized the horror genre by injecting political allegory into it with Night of the Living Dead, Deathdream tackled the ongoing nightmare of the Vietnam War by telling the story of a soldier killed in action who nevertheless goes and returns to his family home, albeit a changed man. Very changed. Specifically, he is now one who sits around in sunglasses all day and then goes out and steals people’s blood via syringe every night.
Director Bob Clark (best known for the holiday duology of A Christmas Story and Black Christmas) and his Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things writer Alan Ormsby were the masterminds behind this deeply disturbed folk tale, which turned the very real PTSD that returning veterans and their families were going through into the stuff of symbolic and scary horror. — Jason Adams, Entertainment Reporter.
3. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Credit: BBC Films / Kobal / Shutterstock
We Need to Talk About Kevin is an exploration of warning signs and violence that’s sure to leave many viewers feeling unsteady. Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly lead as the parents of Kevin, a disturbed teenager played by Ezra Miller (which turned out to be some fortuitous casting), who goes on an unexplained killing spree. More meditative than attention-grabbing, director Lynne Ramsay’s psychological thriller asks you to make sense of the senseless, even as this tale’s inescapably horrible conclusion looms large. — A.F.
4. Dead & Buried (1981)
We do love ourselves a “seaside town with a secret” horror story (see also: Messiah of Evil), and 1981’s Dead & Buried ranks up there among the creepiest of them all.
Based on the novel by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and adapted by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett (who co-wrote Alien), Dead & Buried is perched somewhere between The Fog and Re-Animator. Dead & Buried tells the tale of Potter’s Bluff, a small town on the California coast where the locals can’t seem to stop themselves from brutally murdering all of the tourists. (“Living the dream,” coos any NYC resident.) Awash in that musty barnacled atmosphere that lovers of this subgenre live for, this classic’s got the bloody goods. — J.A.
5. The Neon Demon (2016)
Credit: Space Rocket Nation / Vendian / Bold / Kobal / Shutterstock.
If Vogue released an issue in collaboration with the Necronomicon, its contents might resemble something like director Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. Starring Elle Fanning as a doomed ingénue, this stylish fever dream explores the Los Angeles modeling scene for an indictment of Western beauty standards and commercialization that’s as captivating as it is biting. — A.F.
6. [REC] (2007)
The first three of the four total [REC] films are streaming on Amazon, and we thoroughly REC-comend that you watch all of them. They’re very different movies but all a blast in their individual ways. That said, there’s no place better to begin than the beginning, and there’s no scarier place to be than right inside Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s terrifying found-footage masterpiece that kicks off the series.
Following ace on-the-scene TV news reporter (and final girl icon) Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) on a routine assignment covering a firehouse, we watch a boring story become anything but as Ángela and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) find themselves trapped inside an apartment building with a horde of bloodthirsty rampaging undead. Notable for one of the greatest all-time ending scares, one that has been ripped off mercilessly ever since. — J.A.
7. Master (2022)
Credit: Amazon Studios
Often, when horror movies are set on college campuses, they’re schlocky slashers with sorority sisters being ripped to shreds. Here, however, writer/director Mariama Diallo spins a unique horror story about the ghosts of America’s past and how they still haunt us. At a prestigious university, lore lingers of a lynched witch who still causes chaos. Freshman Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee) believes she is the latest victim, but Professor Gail Bishop (Regina Hall), who has just been appointed the first Black master of the university, begins to suspect the insidious evil isn’t supernatural. Is it just racism? Her quest to understand the seedy underbelly of the school leads her to uncomfortable places and harrowing realizations. With a shadowy atmosphere and a creeping sense of dread, Diallo submerges us into the mindset of her haunted heroes. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor.
8. Nope (2022)
Credit: Universal Pictures
Writer-director Jordan Peele done gone and done it again with this “Watch the skies!” horror, which somehow smashes up Hollywood history with evil alien shenanigans, whilst also sneaking in a message about racialized invisibility beside the blood rain and face-eating chimpanzees. And if you’re keeping count, that makes the man fully three-for-three after Get Out and Us, putting him by my estimation already among the ranks of horror masters such as John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. We will look back on this run with astonishment in a couple of decades.
Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya star as animal trainer siblings mourning their father as a strange presence simultaneously makes itself known in the clouds above his ranch. Nope escalates into absolute madness as it rockets toward its surreal WTF of a conclusion. And with every Peele joint comes a new iconography, be it “the Sunken Place” or red jumpsuits and golden scissors. After Nope, I doubt any of us will ever be able to look at those little strands of colored flags or those dancing air tube men ever the same. Not to mention chimpanzees wearing party hats. — J.A.
9. Hellraiser (1987)
From the phenomenally twisted mind of Clive Barker, the original Hellraiser is as scary today as it ever was. Descend into this puzzling world of monstrous torture (see what I did there?) with genre icon Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley, facing off against protagonist Kirsty, played by Ashley Laurence. No matter where you stand on the most recent Hellraiser installments, it’s hard to deny that this 1987 nightmare is an all-time great. — A.F.
10. Event Horizon (1997)
Credit: Andrew Macpherson / Paramount / Kobal / Shutterstock.
You can’t really call Event Horizon “Hellraiser in space” because the Hellraiser franchise did actually go into outer space with its fourth film titled Bloodline (which you should not under any circumstances watch). But Event Horizon is kinda sorta “Hellraiser in space” anyway. Hell, it’s a far better “Hellraiser in space” than Hellraiser: Bloodline ended up being!
Telling the very Alien-sounding tale of a crew of space-jockeys (led by Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, and Sam Neill) who stumble upon a distress signal that would’ve been best left un-stumbled-upon, Paul W.S. Anderson’s film is shockingly gruesome for a big-budget picture with so many name actors aboard. Nobody expected to see the nice scientist from Jurassic Park claw his own eyes out! And yet that’s just the tip of what Event Horizon has in store for you. — J.A.