Best Streaming Services for Horror Flicks: Your Guide to Scary Movie Apps

Filling your Halloween binge bucket with horror movies this October? Disney Plus has become an unusual hub for horror this month with the release of Marvel’s Werewolf by Night, and Netflix has its own carousel of titles that pair nicely with your candy stash. But there are streaming services that allow you to get your scary kicks in now and every month of the year. You can take in all the John Carpenter, Wes Craven or Stanley Kubrick films that you want.

Instead of heading to the movie theater for every new release (like Halloween Ends), you can watch scary movies right from the comfort of your couch — plus, you can keep the lights on. Here are some of the best places to stream everything from zombie thrillers to ghostly encounters to monster attacks and iconic classics.


If it’s an all-you-can-eat horror buffet you’re seeking, then Shudder is a great place to have your fill — and all of it is ad-free. Owned by AMC Networks, the niche streaming platform has more than 350 horror flicks in its library as well as TV series. Shudder offers a quality lineup of originals, classics, international gems and modern frights, including V/H/S/94, The Seed, Hellraiser, Halloween, Children of the Corn and Train to Busan. Choose from aliens, slashers, vampires, hauntings, horror comedies and more.

You can sign up for Shudder as a stand-alone subscription for $6 a month, and it comes with a free seven-day trial. It’s also included as part of the AMC Plus five-channel package, which runs $7, and Shudder is a Prime Video add-on channel that costs $6 a month. A handful of titles are available on the Roku Channel for free, but you’ll need to pay to access the majority of Shudder’s library. We recommend downloading the Shudder app directly on your phone, tablet, FireTV device or smart TV.

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A free streaming service, Tubi offers way more than B-movie horror selections. With a dedicated category that houses over 450 terrifying titles, including originals, famous franchises and retro favorites, you can scare yourself all day and night. You can find 1980s and ’90s cult hits including Puppet Master and Arachnophobia alongside The Descent, Ouija movies, Evil Dead, 2022’s The Jack in the Box: Awakening and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

Though Tubi is an ad-supported service, you can watch it on virtually any device. Register an account to access its entire catalog.

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WarnerMedia’s streaming service grants you access to the Warner Bros. catalog and content from DC and HBO. On top of that, the app is sleek and easy to use on any device. If you love scary movies, there’s plenty to watch on HBO Max.

HBO Max’s selection ranges from older classics to newer horror releases, including Cat’s Eye, Poltergeist, American Psycho, The Shining, Malignant, every It movie, M. Night Shyamalan’s Old, the Conjuring universe and the whole Final Destination collection. Slasher superstars Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers are all represented. There’s also more light-hearted fare such as Gremlins and the original Godzilla movies, plus horror mysteries like Last Night in Soho. HBO Max also has an easy-to-find horror collection where you can access groups of franchise films, including The Omen and Mimic, with one click.

Just open the app and navigate to the horror section to start your binge-watching session. HBO Max costs $10 monthly (with ads) or $15 for the ad-free experience.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

Admittedly, Crackle is sort of a B-movie paradise where you can stack your watchlist with films like Killer Mermaid, Malevolence 2, Return of the Scarecrow and Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. But the streaming service is free and also carries more mainstream titles like An American Werewolf in Paris. And if you’re a fan of mutant monsters who wreak havoc, you’ll find multiple Sharktopus movies, giant spiders and piranhas. Crackle has films from the 1950s (like The Blob) up to 2021, and you can click through horror subgenres like comedy, action, mysteries or monsters for easier navigation.

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Whether you own a Roku device or have the Roku Channel as a stand-alone app on another device, it’s easy to mine for thrills and chills. There’s a dedicated horror category where you can stream Roku Originals like The Stranger as well as titles such as Leviathan, Horns and Flowers in the Attic. Within the Roku Channel, there are several “live” channels where you can watch scary movies around the clock, including Bloody Disgusting TV, FilmRise Horror and Horrorfy.

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Prime Video has an abundance of movie titles, and its horror offerings include exclusive, original releases from Blumhouse, the production company known for projects like Get Out, Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Happy Death Day and Ma. In addition to streaming Amazon Originals like Evil Eye and Suspiria, you can watch free movies on Freevee or other flicks like Mother! or The Hills Have Eyes that are included with your Prime membership. You also have the option to buy or rent the latest titles available on Prime Video. Catch 2022 films such as The Black Phone, Nope and X or rent releases from years past like It: Chapter Two or Village of the Damned. Browse Prime Video’s rotating selection by clicking on the horror category, or check out our recommendations for the best scary flicks on the platform.

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Paramount Plus may not be the first streamer to come to mind for horror, but it’s home to several popular franchises, including Scream, A Quiet Place and Paranormal Activity. You can stream every movie from each series. 

But the service also has a few nostalgic classics in the vault like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Carnival of Souls, Candyman, Night of the Living Dead and The Ring. Viewers will find roughly 200 scary movies on Paramount Plus, with many of them being recent releases. While Orphan and World War Z are among the familiar titles, there’s an assortment of lesser known films too. Paramount Plus is $5 for the ad-supported version.

Other services we tested

Of course Netflix has its share of engaging horror movies too, but we wanted to focus on services that are either free or have deep investments in the genre — like Shudder. We also looked at Peacock and it’s appealing because of its Universal Pictures and SyFy catalog, but its library is smaller than most with roughly 160 movies. However, if you’re a Comcast Xfinity Flex or X1 customer you can get Peacock Premium for free, so take advantage of its offerings.

We also checked out Showtime and Starz. Though both services provide a solid roster of new and old frights, the price isn’t necessarily worth it when you can stream many of their titles on other services. However, HBO Max and Paramount Plus made the cut due to owning their own heavy franchise collections. HBO Max is also notable for its inclusion of animated and family-friendly scary movies.

Horror movie streaming service FAQs

Do suspense thrillers count in this horror streaming lineup?

No. Though horror includes subgenres like comedy (Shaun of the Dead), the paranormal, psychopathic killers and alien invasions, we didn’t count thrillers such as Black Swan and Joker for this category. Instead, this listing focuses on platforms with a variety of straightforward horror titles.

Which service has the most classic horror movies?

If you want to watch some films from past eras for free, your best bet is Tubi, but if you don’t mind paying for old-school creepiness, you should roll with Shudder.

Which service is best for blockbuster horror titles?

You’re bound to run into some big-name movies on virtually any streaming service, but when it comes to the most up-to-date blockbusters, expect to pay a premium. Services like Prime Video, HBO Max and Paramount Plus will typically offer the films during or after their theatrical runs for rent or with your paid subscription plan.

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