Horror can come from anywhere: an unfamiliar European hostel, a remote sleep-away camp in the woods or even just in the comfy confines of the human brain. Every now and then it can be fun to reconnect with that child-like portion of our minds that is truly susceptible to irrational fear. The best way is to merely just let a good scary story unfold.
But perhaps the best place to find horror is on your friendly neighborhood Hulu. Hulu is perhaps best known for its TV comedy offerings but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in pure terror. Here is a list of 10+ best movies on Hulu to sate all your cravings for horror:
1. “Cloverfield” (2008)
The found footage craze is finally winding down, which is all fine and good. We’ve done just about everything we can do with the form. So, let’s take some time to appreciate movies who did it very well. Matt Reeves’ horror franchise-booting “Cloverfield” is chief among them. It’s a fairly standard New York-destroying monster movie, but the twist of all the action happening on handheld digital cameras and cell phones makes the terror all the more claustrophobic and real.
2. “The Haunting in Connecticut” (2009)
The hottest ticket in horror nowadays isn’t Freddy, Jason, or even Jigsaw. It’s an adorable old Roman Catholic couple from New England. The stories of “real life ghost hunters” Ed and Lorraine Warren are all over the horror scene right now. “The Haunting in Connecticut” admittedly is one of the better ones. Though in fact the “real life” story of a haunted house in Connecticut may have been disproven and recanted but the movie itself serves up some pretty decent thrills.
3. “Buried” (2010)
Sometimes movies like to challenge themselves with just how few elements they can include and still achieve a feature film length running time. “Buried” is one of those movies and rises to the challenge admirably. It features only the sparsest of elements as the following list of all the nouns that appear in the movie will show you: Ryan Reynolds, a coffin, a lighter, a flask, a flashlight, a knife, glow-sticks, a pen, a pencil, and a cell phone. From those meager items, director Rodrigo Cortes is able to craft a truly terrifying and claustrophobic experience.
4. “The Human Centipede” (2009)
Supposedly, when German director Tom Six presented his idea for a horror movie to investors, he did not mention the “mouth to anus” aspect of the human centipede. Which begs the question: what the hell did those people think they were green-lighting? “The Human Centipede” is almost literally a ridiculous bar conversation brought to life. In this case, it was Six and his friends discussing what would be appropriate punishment for a child molester. Somehow that morphed into a story of a mad German scientist stitching people’s faces to other people’s butts to form a human centipede. This movie is weird. Therefore, you should watch it.
5. “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” (2010)
“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” joins a proud tradition of recent movies like “The Cabin in the Woods” that satirize the horror genre while also presenting a lovingly crafted and well-researched version of one. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk star as Tucker and Dale, two redneck friends who just want to have a good time in their secluded cabin over the weekend. Their vacation is interrupted by five young college students who somewhat understandably mistake Tucker and Dale for backwoods serial killers. What follows is a funny, fresh, and, at times, wonderfully gory interpretation of the horror genre.
6. “Children of the Corn” (1984)
The movie is based off of a Stephen King short story and follows a group of creepy kids and their adventures in ritualistic sacrifice. It’s a good time. Fun fact: “Children of the Corn” has eight sequels. Eight! That’s one big drawback of the horror genre. It’s so difficult to come up with an equally original and scary idea that once something sticks, it’s financially prudent to run it into the ground.
7. “Saw” (2004)
Forget the entire franchise for a moment. Forget the ubiquitous “would you like to play a game?” catchphrase, and view the original “Saw” on its own merits. It’s a fantastically original horror film. Leigh Whannell and James Wan, the crew behind “Saw”, have gone on to influence the modern horror genre more than anyone in Hollywood but their debut feature remains a twisted and twisty masterpiece. If you’ve never watched “Saw” and have somehow avoided all mention of plot twists, you practically owe it to yourself to watch it now.
8. “Open Water” (2003)
We live in a terrifying world. Sometimes it’s nice for horror movies to acknowledge that rather than resorting to the supernatural or strange for thrills. “Open Water” is loosely based on the real life story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were accidentally left behind on a scuba expedition. In it, a couple faces that same fate, only this time the movie adds sharks: because why not? It is not so dissimilar to Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity”. The ocean is so vast and sparse that it might as well be the blackness of space. It’s terrifying.
9. “The Babadook” (2014)
“The Babadook” is our most recent reminder that horror can come from the most unexpected places. In this instance that place is Australia. It’s a film from Jennifer Kent in her directorial debut that’s about a children’s book monster who you just absolutely cannot get rid of. The genius, however, is how the babadook monster is really a cypher for the more mundane fears of adulthood.
10. “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)
As if childbirth and pregnancy weren’t terrifying enough, sometimes a Satanic cult wants to get its hands on your baby, making the whole thing worse. Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary, a nice if little naive young woman preparing to star a family with her husband, Guy (John Cassavetes). Guy and Rosemary eventually conceive and things get a bit spooky from there. “Rosemary’s Baby” is a classic for a reason and adeptly plays up both our cultural terror with all things Satanic and evil as well as our occasional fear and discomfort with our own bodies and children.
11. “Cujo” (1983)
All dogs are good boys! Even if they’re monstrous, blood-soaked killing machines. No. Especially if they’re monstrous, blood-soaked killing machines. “Cujo” is adapted from the Stephen King book by the same name and is about a good boy named Cujo. While chasing a rabbit (such a good boy!) Cujo gets bit by a rabid bat and more or less devolves into that monstrous killing machine. A huge portion of the movie takes place on a very simple, very limited set that along with some legitimately great jump scares makes for a truly scary film.
12. “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter has roughly 17 minutes of screen-time in “The Silence of the Lambs”. Still, it’s enough to create one of the most terrifying and enduring performances of a criminal mastermind of all time. Don’t forget, however, that’s there is a whole movie that happens around those 17 minutes. “The Silence of the Lambs” is the archetype for every true crime horror movie that came after it. The damaged, yet dedicated detective, the terrifyingly insane serial killer and the “we’re not so different, you and I” evil mentor – it’s all here. And it’s all fantastic.
13. “Carrie” (1976)
Hulu is not wanting for Stephen King adaptations. If you’re in the mood for some Stephen King movies, however, you may as well start with the first novel and one of the best adaptations. “Carrie” is essentially a grim biography of one girl’s terrible life. Her classmates make fun of her, her religious nut of a mother tortures her endlessly. It’s just pure tragedy. Until it suddenly becomes pure horror.
14. “Hostel” (2005)
You know the feeling. You’re on a fun trip with your friends, say backpacking through Eastern Europe or some other exotic locale. You want to find a cheap, no-frills place to stay. No point in staying at a nice, expensive hotel when there are so many other things to do. Then all of a sudden, you’re tied to a chair and a rich German psychopath is taking a chainsaw to your fingers. Eli Roth’s 2005 horror movie is schlocky and unrepentantly gory. Thank God! Sometimes, you just need some gore from your horror movies, and Hostel is more than happen to provide it.
15. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” features a concept so primal and terrifying it’s no surprise the movie has been made no fewer than three times. The 1978 version is the one on Hulu and probably the best. This one takes place in San Francisco and deals with a gelatinous pod of aliens that falls to Earth. Slowly but surely the aliens literally take the place of actual human beings across the city and replace them with copies. Health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) is one of the few humans to realize the truth and fight and fight back. Many other movies have tried to capture the feelings of isolation and terror that “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” instills but very few of them are able to capture the terrifying totality of an alien takeover.
So, what do you think of the list?
Which of these are your favorites?
Sound off in the comments below!