If watching the news is getting you down, you can take some small measure of comfort in the fact that we’re living in the golden era of streaming video content. It may not warm your heart as much as a steady paycheck or actual human contact, but at least it can offer some distraction while you’re stuck sheltering at home.
While Netflix is downgrading resolutions to preserve bandwidth and prevent a catastrophic crash, you might want to head over to Hulu to binge watch countless dramatic TV series currently streaming. Of course, if horror is more up your alley (or you just want a different brand of horror than they’re serving up 24/7 on CNN), you’ll find a ton of great horror movie options on Hulu to fill your weekend. Here are a few must-watch flicks available on Hulu right now for horror buffs or anyone seeking the jolt of a jump scare to shake their mindless malaise.
Pet Sematary (2019)
Stephen King’s books, no matter how wildly entertaining on the page, rarely make for good cinematic adaptations (with a few notable exceptions like The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, and Misery – oh, the humallety…) If you saw the 1989 version of Pet Sematary, you may have been one of the extremely rare few who felt underwhelmed (apart from Fred Gwynne’s wide-eyed look of terror, which is pure cinematic gold…that man is an American treasure). The updated version not only has better scenery and lighting and creepier kids (WTF with those masks?!), but it also features a new ending, so you have something to look forward to.
The 1978 original, featuring a young Jamie Lee Curtis, is as good as scream-queen gold. The sequel, set 40 years later (and actually made 40 years after the original) has heroine Laurie luring the masked madman, Michael Myers, out of hiding so she can finally finish him off, thanks to four decades of careful planning. Will she kill him for good this time?
A Quiet Place (2018)
Lauded as one of the most innovative horror films in a generation (and among the best ever), this movie explores survival in a world where making noise means death. The setting is tense, the monsters terrifying, and with a baby on the way, you know s**t is about to get real. The sequel has been delayed due to COVID-19 shut-downs, but you can still enjoy Emily Blunt and John Krasinski’s riveting performances in the original.
The Cabin In The Woods (2011)
A tongue-in-cheek-take on the classic, remote-location horror flick, this movie has a twist you’ll never see coming. Which teenage stereotype will be the first to bite it? Will any make it out alive? What’s the secret of the cabin in the woods? Buckle up for fun with Joss Whedon’s cheeky stab at big screen horror.
Being stuck in an elevator with a bunch of strangers is certainly no picnic, but it gets a lot more dangerous when one of them is the prince of darkness in disguise. This is one movie from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan you probably haven’t seen.
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Missed the first one? Fear not. Like most horror movie sequels, seeing the first one (or the first five) is not a prerequisite. The voyeuristic sequel follows the conceit of the first with a “found footage” style (hand-cam, security cameras). Strange events unfold after a couple celebrates the birth of their son, launching the family into a sinister nightmare. It’s not groundbreaking, but jump scares abound.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
The 1970s original was starkly iconic, insomuch as a film about a leather-faced, chainsaw-wielding psycho killer can be. Still, the reboot, featuring Jessica Biel attempting to break away from her 7th Heaven good-girl image, is definitely worth a look, even if for no other reason than the polish of a bigger budget.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The second in a series of films based on the real-life exploits of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played with brilliant intensity by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), this chapter delves into the curious case of a North London family haunted by a malicious spirit. A rare case of a sequel being just as good as (if not better than) the original.
This movie starts with a hurricane in Florida, which may be terrifying, but isn’t exactly the stuff of nightmares. However, things go sideways fast for Haley (Kaya Scodelario at her wide-eyed best) when she decides to extract her missing father from the path of natural disaster. Instead, she finds her father injured and herself trapped in a rapidly flooding house, being hunted by giant, vicious alligators. This creature feature pits woman against nature in a fast-paced race against the clock.
Ghost Stories (2018)
There are many movies that start with the premise of investigating paranormal phenomena (see The Conjuring series for a good example). This one involves professor Phillip Goodman, a skeptic known for debunking supernatural claims. When he’s given three case files by a colleague who was unable to debunk them, he finds himself investigating, and being stalked by a shadowy figure along the way. If you’re looking for a bit of a slow burn without a lot of CGI trickery, you’re sure to love the build-up and the twist ending of Ghost Stories.
The Host (2007)
Boon Jong Ho earned acclaim for his 2019 film Parasite, but he was garnering attention long before, including for a little horror film about a monster attacking the citizens of Seoul. The film focuses on a sleepy family of five, including a father, his three children, and his granddaughter. When a rampaging monster emerges from the river and snatches the granddaughter, the family decides they must fight to save her, without the help of authorities. What ensues is part horror, part comedy, and part commentary on the ineptitudes of modern society, but also a look into the ties that bind us.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
There’s no denying that Rob Zombie has his own, personal brand if weird, and it’s on full display in his first attempt at a full-length feature film. The movie borrows heavily from predecessors, with undeniable reference to classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left, among others. Still, no one does it quite like Rob Zombie, whose script sends four friends on a road trip in search of local legend Dr. Satan, a serial killer. Along the way, they pick up a seemingly innocent hitchhiker, an ill-advised move that leads to a bloody and terrifying tour through the titular house of 1000 corpses.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Some horror films are unwittingly amusing. Others are clearly in on the joke. This film takes jabs at horror movie tropes with a self-aware attitude, but still devolves into campy fun of the monster hunt variety. It all starts with a brother and sister driving home from college, only to witness someone dumping a body into a tunnel in the middle of nowhere. Of course, they have to investigate, which sets them on a collision course with a well-known secret, a horde of bizarre locals, and a monster that has its sights set on them.
Leave it to Steven Spielberg to create the horror film credited as the first summer movie blockbuster. The original Jaws is a must-see for its blend of powerhouse actors (Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and a young Richard Dreyfuss), animatronics, and filmic innovations (water-level shots), not to mention the simple, yet outstanding score. When a man-eating shark attacks Amity Island just before Independence Day, the local sheriff must team up with a grizzled veteran with a vendetta and a green marine biologist to take down the monster before it kills again. One thing’s for sure – they’re gonna need a bigger boat.
The House That Jack Built (2018)
Director Lars von Trier has a knack for making an audience uncomfortable, so it’s no surprise that he’s dabbled in horror. This psychological thriller aims to take a peek inside the mind of brilliant serial killer Jack (played with gleeful intensity by Matt Dillon). We follow him through 12 years of murder as he attempts to turn death into an artform, spinning further into madness and coming closer to capture along the way.
Disclosure: Clicking on these links and making a purchase may earn us a small referral fee, at no extra cost to you. Learn more here.