The best horror movies on HBO Max

The best horror movies on HBO Max

The best horror movies on HBO Max

Want to watch a horror movie? HBO Max has an outstanding horror selection right now, offering all-time greats like The Shining and recently released hits like The Menu. It’s a great time to fire up HBO’s streamer and take a look.

Here are the tales you should make time for HBO Max. All of these films received generally favorable or better reviews, according to Metacritic. This list is current as of April 3.

Lions Gate

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

For surprises and plenty of nightmare fuel, The Cabin in the Woods is the way to go. The twisty and terrifying horror-comedy features a group of unsuspecting college students, including Chris Hemsworth, who head to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun. The first half hour or so is relatively quiet, but when the horror show starts it doesn’t stop.


This is one you shouldn’t watch alone. Ari Aster’s feature debut about what a family discovers after the death of their matriarch is perhaps the most chilling entry on this list. If you’re up for a disturbing movie with great performances, venture cautiously into Hereditary.

Warner Bros.

When this adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel hit theaters in 2017, moviegoers like me looked twice at the storm drains and dreaded the red balloons. With a cast of fearless kids and plenty of heart, it makes a compelling case for more supernatural coming-of-age stories. And a strong case against clowns.

A young woman travels to Detroit for a job interview and discovers that her Airbnb has been double-booked. That may be how this engrossing horror film begins, but it quickly descends into complete chaos. With twists in the story and superb acting all around, Barbarian is bizarre, five-star horror fare.

Eric Zachanowich/Projector Photos

Anya Taylor-Joy shines in this horror satire on an elaborate dinner party with a dark twist. It features an assortment of guests gathered at Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant on an island. Celebrity chef Julian Slowik, played by a magnetic Ralph Fiennes, planned every detail of the evening, save for the inclusion of Margot from Taylor-Joy. Delivering thrills and social commentary, The Menu will have you craving for seconds.

Pictures from Warner Bros.

If you’re still looking for a horror movie, you can’t go wrong with The Shining, the excellent movie directed by Stanley Kubrick starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. In this adaptation of a Stephen King novel, a writer (Nicholson) staying in an isolated hotel with his family exhibits disturbing behavioral changes. This one will absolutely satisfy your horror cravings.

Pictures of Orion

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Jodie Foster interviews Anthony Hopkins’ evil Hannibal Lecter in this classic psychological thriller. Foster plays FBI agent Clarice Starling, who is determined to bring down a killer. It’s the only horror film to win the Best Picture Oscar.and also won Best Director, Screenplay, Actor (Hopkins) and Actress (Foster) in 1992.

Screenshot by CNET

This historical horror movie pretty much guarantees nightmares. The disturbing film centers on a family in 1630s New England and marks the film debut of Anya Taylor-Joy. Over the course of the 90 minute film, strange and shocking things happen to a farmer, his wife and their five children who have moved to a remote area on the edge of a forest.

Video screenshot by Meara Isenberg/CNET

Do you like psychological horror movies? Wait for this movie to hit. The Night House deals with a woman (Rebecca Hall) who is grieving after the death of her husband. As she uncovers a dark mystery, she begins to wonder what she thought she knew about her marriage. This haunting film is a standout in HBO Max’s horror portfolio.

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Now that Universal is working on not one, but three new Exorcist films, it’s time to refresh your memory on the terrifying events of the original. Ellen Burstyn stars as the mother of a possessed 12-year-old girl who seeks help from a priest. The utterly spooky film also won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George Romero’s horror debut is an easy recommendation. A group of survivors take refuge in a house while members of the undead swarm outside. The influential film is often considered the first modern zombie movie, and while it doesn’t offer Freddy Krueger-level scares, you’ll be drawn to the characters at the center of its story. You’re going to want to leave the door open for this one (but in the event of a true apocalypse, keep it very, very closed).

Libra Movies

David Lynch’s feature debut will have you feeling like you’re in a bizarre nightmare. The 90-minute black-and-white horror film is full of weird sounds and sights, and the result is incredibly eerie. Don’t even get me started on the quirky, otherworldly “baby” of the main character (is it weirdly still cute?). There are messages about men and parenthood here, but putting the big picture aside, the surreal world of Eraserhead is absolutely worth checking out.


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