Making some popcorn, shutting out the lights, and settling in to watch a scary movie are among of life’s greatest pleasures. As a result, it’s difficult to tell which streaming service is best for your horror fix. This is not a problem, because HBO Max provides a wide selection of scary movies. They’ve got you covered, from the classics to the newest releases. There’s a wide range of genres to choose from, so you don’t have to settle for one or the other when it comes to your scares. HBO Max currently features a slew of fantastic horror films…
1. The Shining
If you’re seeking for a haunted home movie, The Shining is like recommending The Godfather to someone who’s looking for a crime thriller. It’s embarrassingly obvious. However, what are your options? A horror film made by Stanley Kubrick has become a sort of shorthand for the genre. As a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) brings his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) with him to guarantee that the family is entirely isolated for the winter, a task he was hired for. Overlook has a tendency to swallow people whole, and the restless spirits that still haunt its hallways immediately wormed their way into Jack’s troubled head. The well-known criticism of Nicholson’s performance by King, that he is off the rails from the first scene, is valid, but it does not lessen the captivating effect of the performance or the unsettling effect of Kubrick’s surrealist vision. When you’ve had a long day of work and haven’t had time to relax, put on The Shining. Vinnie Mancuso, author
2. Event Horizon
History is often foolish and inaccurate; if it taught you that Event Horizon is a “poor movie,” you should realize that. “Lewis and Clark” and the crew of the “Event Horizon” are searching for a distress signal received from the ship seven years earlier, when it vanished during its first journey to a distant star system. When it’s revealed that the Event Horizon’s experimental technology opened a hole in reality and sailed right into a hell-dimension, the rescue effort transforms into a horrifying haunted-house-in-space scenario. Essentially a Hellraiser movie set in outer space, Event Horizon is a chaotic, sloppy late-90s gem that demands a second viewing. You’ll need eyes to see this if you’re on an astral plane. Vinnie Mancuso, author
3. Trick ‘r Treat
Trick ‘r Treat is the only other film, outside of John Carpenter’s Halloween, that captures the spirit of the season quite like this one. Christmas and all the folklore that comes with it are celebrated in Michael Dougherty’s interwoven anthology soundtracked by the crackling leaves of autumn. Vampires! There are serial killers everywhere! The undead are here! Brian Cox is yelling like a banshee! As the pumpkin-headed trick or treater who guarantees that anyone disrespecting All Hallow’s Eve gets what is due to them, young Sam appears in all of the stories. You don’t have to worry about missing out on Halloween festivities because this movie is always an option. Vinnie Mancuso, author
4. Ouija: Origin of Evil
When Mike Flanagan took on a prequel to a critically-derided movie about an evil ouija board and delivered one of the scariest movies of the last decade, the idea of “holy crap, this guy can do anything” was etched in stone.. For a fee, Alice Zander and her daughters, Lina and Doris Zander (Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson), give seances in the wake of Alice’s husband’s death in Ouija: Origin of Evil. Youngest Doris introduces a ouija board to liven things up a bit, but the cursed object makes things all too real when it not only sends a dark ghost into the Zander house but also exposes their deep-seated depravity. To be clear, Ouija: Origin of Evil has absolutely no reason to be good, therefore it’s a complete surprise that it’s this terrifying and effective. In addition, there is a powerful dramatic heart throbbing beneath all those bumps in the night because this is Flanagan we’re talking about. Vinnie Mancuso, author
5. The Return of the Living Dead
How have you not already seen this movie? Two hapless warehouse workers in The Return of the Living Dead accidentally open a military experiment in the basement, releasing a swarm of zombies hungry for human flesh. However, it’s also basically a four-chord blast from start to end, making it the first zombie picture to explicitly state that these animals are interested in munching on bacon. There is no need for me to elaborate beyond the official tagline: “They’re back from the dead and eager to party.” Vinnie Mancuso, author
6. The Evil Dead Trilogy
With his friend Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi brought him to a remote cabin in the woods, threw him around the place, and doused him in several Sea World’s worth of fake blood. Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness all include a DIY attitude, which is paradoxically alive and well in the trilogy’s first installment, which is a practical splatter-horror flick that quickly transitions into a wacky, physical horror comedy. Iconic performances by Campbell as Ash Williams, a lunkhead who stumbles from one bloodsoaked win to another against the Deadites summoned from the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, and Raimi, who has an unrivaled eye for that line between humorous and horrific, are the constants. It’s groovy in a word. Vinnie Mancuso, author
7. Night of the Living Dead
Classics like Night of the Living Dead are hard to beat in terms of sheer quality and originality. An eye for social critique that still rings true may be found in George A Romero’s groundbreaking 1968 film, which launched the entire zombie genre. The claustrophobic fear of Romero’s debut entry, Dawn and Day of the Dead (both of which are available on HBO Max), has a unique quality. Before viewers can comprehend Night of the Living Dead, they are thrust into a terrifying predicament. It’s also a depressing film. There is nothing you can do to save yourself in this scenario, and that is what makes it so scary to see the characters devise their own survival plans.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Every Nightmare on Elm Street movie save for Dream Warriors is available on HBO Max. Yes, even the re-creation. There isn’t a better slasher series out there, and the series’ uniqueness is evident from the very first episode. Freddy Krueger doesn’t begin his career as a sarcastic joker. A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger may make some jokes, but this isn’t one of them. In addition to his creepy charm, there’s something genuinely disgusting and seductive about him. In addition to the legendary villain, the bizarre dreamworld in which no one who falls asleep is safe adds a further layer of dread.
Rather than being a horror film, Blade is an action thriller. This is a horror film, therefore you’d put it in the horror section of the video store. HBO Max has all three Blade flicks, but the first one is by far the finest (sorry, Guillermo del Toro). When playing the Daywalker, a vampire-human hybrid who hunts vampires with his grizzled old sidekick Whistler, Wesley Snipes is simply too cool for school (Kris Kristofferson). Blade, a long-ago R-rated comic book film, yet manages to be both current and stylish today. Also, it begins with a blood rave among the vampires.
10. Snakes on a Plane
Is it frightening? No, not at all. As long as humans are being killed by hideous things, it’s okay. It’s also possible to go worse than this for a low-budget horror flick in a small setting. There is only one focus in Snakes on a Plane: Samuel Jackson and his unwillingness to fly with snakes. His plane also has a slew of snakes. His plane has been infested with snakes. That’s part of the appeal, isn’t it? It’s not Shakespeare… or even Anaconda, for that matter. To be fair though, Snakes on a Plane fever hit the world at one point, and perhaps it’s not such an awful time to revisit.
11. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
The fundamental mystery of Twin Peaks has become a defining characteristic for many fans. Another possibility is Dale Cooper, who was known for his love of a well-made cup of coffee. Perhaps it’s the haunting images of the Black Lodge that linger in your mind. Its gruesomeness is frequently understated. Some admirers of Fire Walk With Me disagree. David Lynch can now relate the awful narrative of Laura Palmer’s murder in all its gory detail, freed from the constraints of television. Yes, it’s a little bit surreal at times. It doesn’t bother to hold your hand, and no matter how hard you study it, you’ll never be able to find an answer. In spite of this, the film’s somber atmosphere and haunting elements will linger long after the credits roll.
12. Friday the 13th
If you’re looking for a Friday the 13th fix on HBO Max, you’ll be pleased to learn that the 2009 remake is one of the few options available. There are some very interesting characters in this picture, as well as unique twists on Jason’s mythos, that make it an excellent Friday the 13th reboot. The amount of dissatisfaction with new remakes would decrease dramatically if all of them were this nice. Sadly, there will be no more of them.
13. The Brood
What’s a horror library witho
Who needs David Cronenberg if you have a scary library? The Brood is presently available on HBO Max. If you haven’t seen it, get ready for some of the creepiest kids ever put to film. Starring the masculine Adonis known as Oliver Reed, The Brood is about… well, it’s hard to explain. It’s Cronenberg, so you’re going to get some interesting body horror imagery, but at the end of the day it’s all about the titular Brood, a group of murderous kids you do not want trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. The rest is for you to discover, if you have the guts.