The recent success of Halloween Ends at the box office shows that there’s nothing quite like a good cinematic fright to set the mood for the spooky season and the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video are all but guaranteed to please.
Updated on October 19th, 2022 by Mark Birrell: The best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video range from unmissable classics of the genre to recent blockbuster hits, differing subscribers all the fun they could want for the Halloween season.
Hellraiser (1987) – 6.9
This low-budget gore-fest from horror icon Clive Barker began a long-running franchise that’s still thrilling audiences today, with a new entry available now on Hulu.
The original Hellraiser is–even by modern standards–a salacious trip into obscenity and lust, guided by a depraved soul who has incurred the wrath of a group of inter-dimensional beings who view hellishly gruesome torture as divine pleasure. Their leader, who would come to be known simply as Pinhead, fast became counted among the likes of Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers.
A Quiet Place Part II (2020) – 7.2
Working primarily behind the camera, actor and director John Krasinksi followed up his smash hit sci-fi horror thriller A Quiet Place with an even more ambitious sequel that further explored his post-apocalyptic world overrun by ruthlessly effective alien monsters that hunt by sound.
Part II expands both the scope and the cast of what looks to be a successful cinematic franchise with bigger action sequences and star Cillian Murphy joining the ensemble, setting up an even grander third installment.
The Descent (2005) – 7.2
A visceral horror film that’s full of gore and brutality, The Descent has stood the test of time thanks in large part to its well-drawn characters and emotional performances. The all-female cast shuck many of the norms of the genre for a monster movie that holds nothing back but still finds ways to be subtle with its subplots and relationship dynamics.
The story sees a group of thrill-seeking friends become trapped within an uncharted cave system, soon discovering that a horrific presence hunts them in the dark. It’s an unforgivingly intense ride, but an undeniably enjoyable one for fans who need their horror to have a little extra kick.
The Wailing (2016) – 7.4
Set in a sleepy Korean community in the country, The Wailing follows a comically incompetent cop as the local people begin to experience a wave of bizarre and violent murders with inexplicable motivations. Signs point to a mysterious Japanese man who arrived in the area not long ago but nothing is certain in this twist-filled horror story.
The effortlessness with which the movie switches between physical comedy and supernatural horror is impressive within itself, not to mention its gorgeous scenery and cinematography, making it a unique experience and a modern must-watch.
An American Werewolf In London (1981) – 7.5
This classic horror comedy mixes together surreal body horror with quintessential 80s humor when an American tourist is attacked by a werewolf and begins a bloody journey of transformation.
Bursting with creativity, the Oscar-winning effects of make-up maestro Rick Baker make An American Werewolf in London an undeniable top dog within the niche of werewolf movies.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) – 7.5
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin revolves around the complex relationship between a mother and her worryingly antisocial son.
Jumping back and forth through time, the most horrific reveals are saved for last, but the palpable sense of dread is kept high all the way through. The audience knows from the beginning that Kevin’s actions have led to something truly unforgivable, with his deeds automatically reflecting on his mother. The film is a fearless exploration of postnatal feelings of anxiety, but they’re delivered in such a way that anyone can relate to them.
Train To Busan (2016) – 7.6
This crowd-pleasing zombie movie has opened doors for many into the wider world of South Korean cinema and breathed new life into a genre that had appeared to be played out.
Passengers aboard the titular train fight hordes of the undead while dealing with a feast of the kind of relatable-yet-culturally-distinct drama that South Korea has become so famous for the world over. As either a viewer’s first Korean film, zombie film, or both, Train to Busan is a great choice.
Night Of The Living Dead (1968) – 7.8
Nowadays, the idea of zombies and the undead has exploded into the world of Hollywood. From films to TV series, zombie films have grown to the point of becoming overused and cliched, with many forgetting where they came from.
Back in 1968, the late great George A. Romero released what was his debut film, Night of the Living Dead, a masterpiece of horror that for the first time, brought the undead to life on the big screen. With simple yet effective effects and storytelling, Night of the Living Dead will remain a pinnacle of the horror genre for generations to come.
Let The Right One In (2008) – 7.9
An eerily beautiful and chillingly sinister take on the tropes of vampire fiction, Let the Right One In mixes coming-of-age romance with intermittently brutal violence when a young boy forms a bond with a girl who harbors a dark secret.
Both daring and original, this widely-acclaimed Swedish film demonstrates the range of diversity that subscribers can expect from the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video.
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) – 8.6
To this day the only horror movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars, The Silence of the Lambs offers viewers often-imitated but still unmatched levels of drama and disturbing thrills as Jodie Foster’s young FBI trainee hunts a serial killer with the help of the devilishly intelligent murderer Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter.
Hopkins’ performance as Lecter, whilst not the first interpretation of the character to be seen on the big screen, became the yardstick by which all murderous masterminds in movies would be judged, making this a certifiable must-see.
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