Hulu’s horror collection doesn’t disappoint.
Hulu’s movie library is steadily growing, but its horror section still has a way to go to catch up to Netflix and Amazon. But that there aren’t plenty of scary movies on Hulu. Halloween draws nearer and nearer each day, and time lumbers forward as steadily as Michael Myers (though, unfortunately, Hulu doesn’t have any of the Halloween films). Get a jump on the spooky season with these picks that will thrill and chill, enthrall and possibly appall.
We’ve scoured the shallow depths of Hulu’s catalog to find some gems, some diamonds in the rough, and some that are just plain rough. Here’s our list of the best scary movies on Hulu.
The best scary movies on Hulu
Daybreakers is a stylish movie that tweaks normal vampire lore just enough to feel like something new. The story is set in a world where most people are vampires and the human blood supply is running low. But there is a subset of people working on a cure and it’s a race against time to find a solution before all of the humans are gone. The filmmaking team The Spierig Brothers are known for making high-concept sci-fi/horror movies and this is either their best or second best film. (Check out the trippy Predestination after Daybreakers.)
2) 28 Weeks Later
This movie is so badass. Everybody loves Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, but Juan Carlos Fresdinillo’s sequel is even better. Picking up six weeks after the rage virus ripped through Great Britain, 28 Weeks Later finds the UK overrun with military forces trying to contain the virus. The film follows a small group of survivors navigating the infected and the military. The film is relentlessly thrilling and features dynamic performances from Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Idris Elba, and Robert Carlyle.
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3) Blair Witch
This surprise sequel to The Blair Witch Project is a significant improvement on the cash-grab Book of Shadows. Director Adam Wingard delivers a bump-in-the-night spookfest that honors the original and features some nifty tie-ins. Like the first time out, this one features a group of college kids going into the woods to look for the trio from the original, with horrifying results. Blair Witch works just fine as a standalone movie, but fans of the original should find it worthwhile.
4) The Collector
Co-writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (who also directs) made their bones with the Project Greenlight movie Feast and a handful of Saw sequels. This film is closer to their Saw work, but with less convoluted mythology. The Collector is a straightforward home invasion movie, and it’s as bloody and brutal as the filmmakers’ pedigree implies. This isn’t a movie with jump scares that will linger, but in the moment, it’s pretty nerve-wracking. At the very least, it’ll make you double check the locks before you go to bed.
5) High Tension
High Tension (or Haute Tension if you want to impress your friends) kicked off a short and potent run of extreme French horror films. The setup is as bare bones as it gets with two women retreating to one of their family’s home go study, only to be hunted down by a killer. Director Alexandre Aja wrings every ounce of tension out of the story that he possibly can. The movie is brutal and brutally efficient, but the third act is where it makes its bones. The story has a twist that is either going to blow your mind or have you laughing hysterically. Life is too short for movies that play it safe.
Compliance is the kind of movie meant to push buttons and provoke strong reactions. Writer-director Craig Zobel’s film is about an unlucky fast-food employee being kept on the phone by someone claiming to be a police officer. The caller (Pat Healy) asks the employee (Dreama Walker) to do increasingly disturbing things in the name of clearing herself. Despite being based on a true story, Compliance’s premise will certainly test viewers’ patience and suspension of disbelief. Much like the phone caller’s demands, Compliance puts you through the emotional ringer. —Eddie Strait
7) Let the Right One In
Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In is one of the best vampire films you’ll come across. It’s a sensitive, thoughtful, brutal story about loneliness, bullying and other real-life horrors. Oskar is the loner who strikes up a friendship with the equally isolated Eli. Together they help bring each other out of their shells. But Eli is a vampire, so things are destined to turn sour at some point. Alfredson knows how to deliver vampire scares, but he’s even more effective at capturing the day-to-day moments that will keep you up at night.
Like father, like son. Antiviral comes from the mind of Brandon Cronenberg, son of body-horror maestro David Cronenberg. It’s set in a world where celebrities can sell their viruses to their fans. As a satire, it’s not particularly subtle, but it’s effective. The same can be said for the movie’s visuals, which are horrific but beautifully shot. All in all, Antiviral is a mixed bag, but it offers more than enough to justify streaming it.
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This 1987 classic of British horror introduced the world to Pinhead, the sadomasochistic demon who wants to tear your soul apart. Built on a foundation of black magic, Hellraiser is a tale of human sacrifice and demonic sex with a dark sense of humor at its kinky heart. As much a fairy tale as a horror story, Hellraiser has inspired a generation of dark fantasy filmmakers. Thanks to Netflix, you get to see why. —J.M.B.
10) V/H/S 2
Found-footage films often suffer when needing to be feature length, but some ideas don’t need an hour to be realized. V/H/S 2 exemplifies this philosophy, dealing up four original tales of ghastly horror in bite-sized mini-movies. With moments of dark comedy sprinkled in-between genuinely nightmare-inducing stories like the black magic cult segment “Safe Haven,” V/H/S 2 offers a little bit of something for every kind of horror fan. Just take a Dramamine if you get queasy during shaky cam. —John-Michael Bond
11) Paranormal Activity
After spawning five sequels and spinoffs, as well as two parodies courtesy of Marlon and Keenan Ivory Wayans, it’s easy to forget that Paranormal Activity started out as a low-budget movie that used a stunt release strategy to generate buzz. But the movie is still legitimately freaky. Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat play a married couple whose home is taken over by a demonic force. The movie is an exercise in patience, with its static shots and claustrophobic setting creating a steady simmer of tension. The scares work like gangbusters, although they do lose a little punch on repeat viewings. Similar to The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity is a low-fi classic, taking its budgetary and production limitations and turning them into strengths.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.