This article was updated on December 6, 2023. From A Quiet Place (2018) to Rosemary’s Baby (1968), here are some of the best horror movies on Amazon Prime.
Most streaming services including Amazon Prime Video have a great line-up of titles perfect for a scary movie night. From slashers, ghost stories to creature features, horror comes in many forms. Let’s not forget the paranoia-inducing horror that gradually gets under your skin with an original premise. Whether you are in the mood for a gore fest or a slow-burn horror with overarching themes, it’s going to take you a long time to sift through all the titles and chaff out the really good ones. We’ve made your job easier and come up with some great stream-ready horror titles on Prime Video.
Our list features horrors with iconic imagery like the blood-drenched Sissy Spacek in Carrie (1976). We’ve also included socially relevant modern horrors like The Witch (2015) and Get Out (2017). And then there are subtle, spooky features like Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and A Quiet Place (2018). So turn those lights off and get ready for the chills! Take your pick and stream away some of the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video, streaming as of December 6, 2023.
Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime
1. Renfield (2023)
Renfield offers a fresh, darkly comedic twist on the classic vampire lore, focusing on Dracula’s long-suffering assistant, Renfield. The film cleverly balances horror and humor, providing a unique take on the genre. Its strength lies in its ability to subvert traditional vampire narratives, presenting a story that’s as much about self-discovery and emancipation as it is about the supernatural.
The performances, particularly from the lead, add depth to what could have been a one-dimensional character. The modern setting and updated storyline make it accessible and engaging for contemporary audiences. The film stands out for its originality and blend of genres, but it may not satisfy purists seeking traditional horror thrills. A commendable effort, nevertheless.
2. Saint Maud (2019)
First-time filmmaker Rose Glass’ visceral psychological horror Saint Maud is a tale of isolation and obsession. Set in a drab Northern England coastal town, the film follows the titular Maud (Morfydd Clark), a pious young nurse. She is hired to take care of a terminally ill patient named Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), who leads a depressing life in a Gothic mansion. Soon, Maud starts believing that the purpose of her life is to save Amanda’s soul. This leads Maud into an increasingly violent path.
Rose Glass admirably showcases the extremes of religious faith. Besides, she focuses on the marginalization of the central character which is allowed to happen because of the brutal social system. Clark’s intense and terrifying performance as Maud is another biggest strength of the film.
3. Hereditary (2018)
Writer-director Ari Aster’s debut indie horror was an unnerving supernatural drama that revolves around a grieving family who begins to be haunted by disturbing occurrences. Toni Collette gives the performance of a lifetime as Annie, a miniatures artist. Her screams will give you sleepless nights. I remember being impressed by Aster’s writing which goes for scares that are emotionally justified instead of traditional ‘jump scares.’ Hereditary is among the best horror films in recent times streaming on Prime Video.
4. A Quiet Place (2018)
John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is a masterful exercise in horror. It has a fairly simply and familiar story involving alien monsters terrorizing the planet. But Krasinski avoids violent confrontations and conventional dialogues in favor of a unique set-up that allows us to closely experience the terrors of a family. The aliens in A Quiet Place are highly sensitive to sound and would kill anything that makes sound.
The Abbot family is one of the few families that exists in silence and struggles to avoid a possible death sentence that awaits them each day. This is a remarkably intense film because it largely focuses on characters who are easily relatable. It’s a rare kind of artful genre filmmaking from Hollywood studios.
5. Ghost Stories (2018)
If jump-scares and a climactic curtain-raiser (that hints at a plethora of social and personal themes, from classic conflict, anti-semitism to bullying and emotional repression) float your boat, Andy Nyman & Jeremy Dyson’s Ghost Stories would be fulfilling.
But for those expecting a terrifying experience, devoid of familiarities and something that haunts your mind long after the screen turns black, the film doesn’t offer much. Ghost Stories would have been better if it simply remained as a triptych of paranormal tales.
Nevertheless, at 97 minutes the film is still a fairly enjoyable old-fashioned creep-show. Traditional scares that are staged with reverence and adoration for classic British portmanteaus drive the narrative.
6. Tumbbad (2018)
Set during the British Raj and divided into four chapters, the central premise of Tumbbad rests on a family secret. A metaphor for man’s greed, the film combines psychology, storytelling, mythology, and morality into a visually potent and sordid combination.
The visuals are rich and remind one of a graphic novel spilling over into film. The notion of evil is stitched into the fabric of every frame, and presents a despondent and dreary world. Hunger, both literal and metaphorical, is utilized to depict a void that is so great it threatens to consume.
I feel very proud of Indian cinema in recent times for churning out truly thought-provoking and experimental stuff. Yes, Tumbbad is a horror film, but it is also much more than that. Try and watch this one for your next movie night, it’ll be a heady ride.
7. Pari (2018)
A tale of love’s triumph over hatred, Pari takes a simple concept and weaves it into a folklore-inspired horror story that is amazingly realistic and surreal at the same time. One could say that the film is based in the realm of magic realism. It takes the concepts, images and structures of reality and introduces us to magical elements.
These magical or fantastical elements may or may not be real at all. It all depends on the subjective perspectives on truth. The insistence on the existence of multiple truths and the shunning of absolutism becomes the chief characteristic of the film. The main proof of this theory is the amazing twist ending which leads us to question the existence of the supernatural elements in the cosmos of the film itself. This interesting and open-ended take on a horror movie makes Pari stand out as one of the best Indian horror films.
8. Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a socially relevant satirical horror that deals with the issue of systemic racism in the US. The film opens with young African-American Chris preparing to visit his white girlfriend Rose’s parents for the first time. The parents are wealthy liberals, living in a colonial estate, and the household is exclusively and eerily staffed by black servants. After a few awkward and weird conversations at the estate, Chris discovers horrors lying beneath the white liberal privilege.
Peele smartly uses genre fiction to boldly confront the deep racial issues in American society. On one hand, Get Out conforms to the requisites of a modern slasher horror. On the other hand, it works as a powerful satire of the Trump-era.
9. Split (2016)
Split was the most successful Manoj Night Shyamalan film after a decade of commercial misfires and failures. And it largely worked due to the noteworthy performances of James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy. The narrative revolves around a trio of young girls who are kidnapped and confined to an isolated underground facility by the elusive Dennis. Dennis suffers from a rare form of Dissociative Identity Disorder and is diagnosed with 23 distinct personalities.
The girls must try to escape the facility before Dennis’ 24th personality known as ‘The Beast’ makes an appearance. Split isn’t very original or multi-layered like The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable from M Night Shyamalan. Yet, it’s an entertaining horror thriller with a fantastic atmosphere.
10. Hell House LLC (2015)
Hell House is a refreshing take in the found-footage horror genre. Directed by Stephen Cognetti, it delves into the eerie events surrounding a haunted house attraction in upstate New York. What sets this horror film apart is its masterful build-up of suspense and atmosphere. The storyline unfolds through a series of interviews, news footage, and the crew’s own video recordings, creating a realistic and immersive experience.
The strength of Hell House LLC lies in its subtlety and restraint. It doesn’t rely on excessive gore or jump scares; instead, it creates a lingering sense of dread that stays with you long after the movie ends. The characters are relatable and their reactions to the unfolding terror feel genuine, adding to the film’s unsettling nature. While some plot elements remain ambiguous, it only adds to the film’s mystique, leaving you pondering the events long after the credits roll. For fans of psychological horror, Hell House LLC is a chilling, memorable experience.
11. The Witch (2015)
In his brilliant feature film debut, Robert Eggers mixes harsh realities of US colonization with the themes of religion, superstition, and female sexuality. Set in the year 1630 in New England, the narrative opens with William getting banished from a settlement on religious grounds. William, his wife, and four children make their new homestead on the edge of the dark forest. Soon, the family’s newborn baby is snatched away in a mysterious manner. The ensuing uncertainty and dread unsettles the family.
The spine-chilling aesthetic of The Witch feels like haunting paintings of witchcraft by Francisco Goya. The cast is remarkable, particularly the performance of Anya-Taylor Joy as the family’s determined eldest daughter Thomasin.
12. The Tall Man (2012)
Pascal Laugier’s Tall Man is a lot conventional and less bloody feature than the director’s disturbing first film Martyrs. Nevertheless, Laugier designs a wonderful bleak setting and novel, psychological scares for Tall Man. The movie focuses on single mother Julia, living in an impoverished small town named Cold Rock in Washington. The town is infamous for numerous child-abduction cases. The local people blame it on urban legend: a mysterious figure called Tall Man.
Julia’s life becomes frenzied as her only son goes missing. The frantic search makes her grapple with the town’s mysteries. The film lacks a dramatic urgency, but is fairly unpredictable than your average horror film.
13. The Descent (2005)
Six women go spelunking in uncharted caves in the Appalachians, where they discover strange human-like creatures. But long before the underground predators make their appearance, director Neil Marshall spooks us with different kinds of horrors. Horrors that evoke our deepest fears — claustrophobia, isolation, uncertainty, and death.
The fear-inducing staging and gore effects are perfectly built on the strong foundation of the ominous atmosphere. In fact, The Descent is a masterclass in horror. It mixes traditional jump scares with enough emotional nuance. The character-driven suspense and anxieties are strengthened by Neil Marshall’s skilful handling of themes such as grief and trauma.
14. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs features the well-mannered psychopath Hannibal Lecter, one of the most iconic characters in cinema. Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal might appear on the screen for less than 17 minutes. However, his pitch-perfect portrayal of the cannibalistic serial-killer puts him alongside other deadly horror cinema characters like Norman Bates and Jack Torrance.
Based on the best-selling crime novel by Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs revolves around Clarice Starling, an ambitious FBI rookie trainee. She is sent to interview the captive serial killer Hannibal in order to understand the mind of an active serial killer, known as ‘Buffalo Bill’. What follows is tense mind games and a darkly fascinating police procedural.
15. Gremlins (1984)
A teenager named Billy receives a cute creature, Gizmo as his Christmas present. The father instructs his son in handling the creature, which resembles a cuddly fur ball. Unfortunately, Gizmo is exposed to water and spawns baby gizmos, which definitely aren’t cuddly fur balls. Director Joe Dante perfectly leaps between humor and horror. It takes the sentimental small-town portrayal witnessed in Spielberg or Capra’s films as the central stage for carnage. Some of the 80s critics viewed it as an enjoyable social critique of US government’s fear-mongering.
16. Carrie (1976)
Carrie was renowned American author Stephen King’s first published novel. The brilliant film adaptation by Brian De Palma still retains the status of being one of the all-time great horror movies. Played by Sissy Spacek, the titular character is an isolated and bullied adolescent, who is brought up by a zealot mother. Soon, Carrie discovers that she is literally different from other teenagers. She has telekinetic powers, which she hasn’t yet learnt to control.
Carrie deals with themes of misogyny and taboos related to female sexuality. Besides, De Palma perfectly captures the fears and uncertainties of an adolescent. The bloody and violent climax of the movie would go down as one of the most disturbing endings in horror cinema.
17. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Right from the unsettling opening lullaby to the final terrifying and darkly humorous remark, ‘the boy has his father’s eyes,’ Polanski maintains a potent mood of paranoia and eeriness in his 1968 horror classic. Rosemary’s Baby is one of the best slow-burn horrors ever made, gradually pulling the viewers into its doubtful, dreadful atmosphere. It is based on Ira Levin’s 1967 novel of the same name.
Polanski’s film also works as a satire on the corruption of high-society types and a commentary on the persistent dismissal of women’s concerns. Mia Farrow’s phenomenal performance adds to the simmering nightmare. We are deeply unsettled by the diabolical journey Farrow’s Rosemary is forced to go through.
There you go! These are some of the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video for a fright-filled scare fest. If you’ve ticked all these off your list, check out The Lodge (2020), Open Water (2003), Suspiria (2018), Happy Death Day (2019), A Cure for Wellness (2018), and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019).
Over to you now! What did we miss? Tell us your favorite horror movies streaming on the platform.