Looking for a good scary movie to watch on HBO Max? Some of the most famous horror movies of all time can be streamed there alongside the latest spooky hits. Here are 10 of the scariest horror movies in streaming HBO Max.
Update 3/29/23: We’ve verified that our links are working and we’re still convinced these are the best horror movies HBO Max has to offer.
Filmmaker Zach Cregger managed a successful transition from sketch comedy to horror with the imaginatively structured film barbarian. The story changes and expands over time, from two travelers stuck in a double-booked Detroit vacation rental to a Hollywood actor (Justin Long) experiencing a career meltdown. Cregger balances different tones and subgenres, and the seemingly disparate elements come together in a satisfyingly over-the-top finale.
The hut in the forest
A horror film about the concept of horror films, The hut in the forest begins with the cliche of a group of attractive young people traveling to a spooky remote vacation spot and getting caught one by one. From there, director and co-writer Drew Goddard deconstructs familiar genre elements and creates new horrors from that deconstruction. It’s a smart and funny comment on horror film conventions, while also succeeding as a standalone, imaginative, suspenseful horror film.
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The first film starring horror icon Chucky, child’s play is less playful and belligerent than later Chucky Movies, but it still has a sense of humor about the ridiculousness of a killer doll. Chucky, voiced by Brad Dourif, is an angelic Good Guy doll inhabited by the soul of a serial killer who terrorizes 8-year-old Andy (Alex Vincent) and his mother (Catherine Hicks).
Director Tom Holland builds suspense by keeping Chucky off-screen most of the time, making his eventual attacks scarier. This stripped down slasher film provides a perfect starting point for one of horror’s greatest franchises.
With his feature film debut Hereditary, announced filmmaker Ari Aster as the great new voice of horror. Toni Collette is intriguing as a mother dealing with a demonic family legacy gripping her children. Aster creates memorable, unsettling images as the family slowly dissolves, taking the audience on the protagonist’s descent into madness. The surreal, intense meditation on generational trauma is one of the scariest movies on HBO Max.
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let me in
The rare American remake of a foreign horror film that defies the original let me in adapts the Swedish vampire film Let the right one in. Director Matt Reeves moves the setting to New Mexico but retains the essential elements of the story as shy teenager Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) meets his mysterious new neighbor Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz).
The powerful Abby protects Owen from thugs, but turns out to be dangerous and unpredictable. The main characters form a tender bond amidst the violence and bond as two different types of misfits.
The night house
Rebecca Hall delivers an excellent performance The night house as a high school teacher who just lost her husband to suicide. As she processes her grief while living in her large, empty, isolated home, she begins to feel a presence that she believes is her late husband. Director David Bruckner is great at building suspense and intrigue, and Hall is intriguing as a slightly confused woman who begins to realize she may not have really known her husband.
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Night of the Living Dead
Zombie films as we know them would not exist without George A. Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead. The low-budget black-and-white film launched a franchise and set the ground rules that are followed—or intentionally broken—in every subsequent zombie film. Romero’s film remains chilling and unsettling more than 50 years after its release, with its sparse depiction of the horrors of the dead rising from their graves to attack the living.
David Cronenberg’s groundbreaking horror hit scanner is still best known for his image of a character’s head exploding from a telepathic attack. But the film has more to offer, with its story of a war between “scanners” (people with telepathic and telekinetic abilities) and the government agency trying to control them. It mixes Cronenberg’s early interest in body horror with a more mainstream sci-fi/conspiracy angle.
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The silence of the Lambs
The only horror film to ever win Best Picture at the Oscars, Jonathan Demmes The silence of the Lambs shows with the serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) one of the greatest villains of all time. Some may consider Lecter an anti-hero, as he helps FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) catch another killer while Lecter himself remains behind bars.
The interplay between Lecter and Starling is fascinating, balancing manipulation and admiration as both attempt to maneuver the situation to their advantage.
Subtitled “A New-England Folktale”, Robert Eggers’ The witch is an impeccably researched historical drama that also happens to be one of the scariest movies on HBO Max. Eggers uses his attention to period detail to recreate the harsh circumstances faced by early English settlers in North America, then adds the threat of a supernatural presence lurking in the nearby woods.
In her breakout role, Anya Taylor-Joy plays the teenage Thomasin, the daughter of Puritans who abandon their colony and struggle to survive on their own. She is tempted by dark forces, and Eggers makes her both seductive and nightmarish.