Hulu’s extensive collection of streamable horror films is chock full of terrors for everyone, and the lineup is always growing and changing. From dread-filled home haunts to documentaries about creeper clowns for hire, there’s no shortage of chilling content to view. Which films are truly worthy of nail-biting, though? We’ve put together a guide to the best horror movies on Hulu right now. Pick a flick, dim the lights, and prepare for nightmares.
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A Quiet Place (2018)
The directorial debut of Office alum John Krasinski (who also co-wrote and stars in the film), A Quiet Place puts a thrilling spin on the post-apocalypse genre by keeping our focus on a tragically altered family-of-four (Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe) and their daily struggle for survival in a world torn apart. This time around, the wasteland-bringers are an invasion of monstrous, blood-hungry cryptoids with ultrasonic hearing. Void of sight, their predatory tact is simple but deadly. They hear, they kill. With A Quiet Place, Krasinski and co-creatives craft a powerful story that is equal parts wrenching family drama and heart-pounding horror. This is also a perfect film for surround sound enthusiasts, as A Quiet Place features some of the most haunting and effective sound design in recent horror history. During the dreadful moments of silence, particularly when characters are hiding from the beasts, we can hear a pin drop. On the other end of the spectrum, whenever hell breaks loose (and it does quite often), the soundscape explodes.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmond, Noah Jupe
Runtime: 90 minutes
The Conjuring (2013)
From horror maestro James Wan (the Saw and Insidious franchises) comes a New England set haunted house story with plenty of bumps in the night. Based on a legitimate 1971 haunting from the archives of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring kicks off when parents Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and their five daughters move into a remote Rhode Island farmhouse with a sinister past. After a series of increasingly shocking paranormal events push the family to the brink of insanity, Roger and Carolyn solicit the services of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) to exorcise their new abode. As can be expected, the ghosts and demons aren’t prepared to go quietly. With incredible, shadow-laden camera work and set design, along with a great roster of performers, The Conjuring may not be the most original haunted house chiller, but it’s a damn good one.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
Runtime: 112 minutes
Not to be confused with the similarly-titled early 2000’s sci-fi comedy, writer/director Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Évolution is a visually mesmerizing film about a remote settlement by the sea, made up of only grown women and adolescent boys. When lead boy Nicholas (Max Brebant) discovers a corpse floating in the ocean, his mother goes diving for the body, but only returns with a red starfish that Nicholas claimed was adhered to the cadaver. His mother says there is no corpse; Nicholas isn’t buying it. As he begins to question his colony of maternal guardians, we’re treated to an intimately-paced oceanic mystery that gets weirder and weirder. Cesarean sections, aquatic experiments, and missing children are just a few of the unsavory hairpins of this deeply layered, slow-burning masterpiece.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Starring: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier
Runtime: 81 minutes
Ghost Stories (2017)
Adapted from their 2010 play of the same name, British writer/director duo Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman deliver a faithful and fresh stage-to-screen transfer of their esteemed production. Operating in the anthology tradition, Ghost Stories places viewers in the shoes of professor and television host Philip Goodman (Andy Nyman), who has made it his life’s work to blow the whistle on psychic hoaxes. After receiving an invitation from a well-known paranormal researcher (Leonard Byrne) to investigate three proclaimed cases of the supernatural, Goodman takes us on a dread-filled journey, one where we’re treated to three wholly unique, synaptically-linked tales of terror, experienced through the eyes of each case’s respective person of interest. Featuring stellar performances from a gripping ensemble cast of British talents, including the almighty Martin Freeman, Ghost Stories moves nimbly through each of its three terrors, delivering wholly original twists and turns while paying homage to the play’s portmanteau roots.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Director(s): Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Starring: Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Martin Freeman
Runtime: 98 minutes
Let the Right One In (2008)
Vampires have seen their fair share of cinema, both good and bad. Over a decade ago, there was Let the Right One In (based on the Swedish novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist), an ultra-compelling, air-brushed interpretation of classic vampiric lore. Set in Stockholm in the early 80s, we follow lead boy Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) through his everyday tribulations as a bullied adolescent. When a quiet, pale-faced girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves in next door to him, the two youths foster a friendship. Unbeknownst to Oskar, Eli is actually a budding vampress living under the watchful keep of Håkan, her late-aged guardian and keeper. Foregoing tropes and easy scares, Let the Right One In instead focuses on the emotional connection between the film’s two fragile youths, an impressive character study set against the moody nighttime exteriors of a snowy Stockholm. Critics raved that Let the Right One In pumped new life into the dead horse that was the overly-trod vampire genre. Now you be the judge.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
Runtime: 114 minutes
The Lodge (2019)
Nothing says “bad times for all” like a traumatized stepmom-to-be getting snowed in with her embittered and equally traumatized stepchildren — in the middle of nowhere. From the malicious minds that brought us 2014’s Goodnight Mommy, The Lodge is a discomforting blend of close quarters madness, familial frailty, and religious insanity. Indie stalwart Riley Keough delivers a restrained but haunting performance as the rattled stepmother. As strange events begin piling up at the remote cabin, the stepchildren (played by Jaeden Martell and Lia McHugh) do a little digging and discover their new mom is the single escapee of a very dark past. Intense, lurking visuals, oppressively dim lighting, and a doomed score are the backbone to this tale of winter woe that will keep you guessing from start to finish. Think The Shining, but on a painfully microcosmic scale.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Director(s): Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Starring: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh
Runtime: 108 minutes
Fandom takes a turn for the worse in this snowed-in chiller from the mind of Stephen King. Adapted by screenwriter William Goldman from King’s classic novel, and directed by Rob Reiner, Misery kicks off when Victorian romance novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) gets into a car accident when in the throes of a white-out snowstorm on a road trip to New York. After falling unconscious, Sheldon awakens inside the remote mountain home of Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a former nurse and self-proclaimed “number one fan” of Sheldon’s books. His legs and shoulder mangled, Paul is confined to the bed Annie placed him in. Over time, Annie’s surface-level sweetness quickly devolves, and Paul becomes cruelly beholden to his imposing rescuer’s horrific true colors. Long heralded for its unbelievable acting and claustrophobic atmosphere, Misery still delivers the thrills after nearly thirty years.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: James Caan, Kathy Bates
Runtime: 107 minutes
My Friend Dahmer (2017)
This isn’t the first origin film to explore the dark and twisted roots of Jeffrey Dahmer’s psyche, but it’s one of the most compelling explorations of the butcher that shook the world. Adapted from a 2012 graphic novel of the same name by Dahmer’s high school friend John “Derf” Backderf, writer/director Marc Meyers’s visually stunning film gets us uncomfortably close and personal with Dahmer and Derf during their teen years. Inspired by Dahmer’s already-maudlin idiosyncrasies, Derf and his posse of friends invite Dahmer into their inner circle for a number of staged pranks and rebellious hijinks. As Dahmer’s home life starts to crumble, his behavior becomes increasingly grim and disturbed. Is it the dissolution of the nuclear household that unleashes Dahmer’s inner demons? Or would his evil ways have surfaced, regardless of stimuli? Meyers’ film poses these heavy questions for the viewer, and it’s the viewer who gets to decide how much empathy Dahmer’s history truly deserves. Next to none, if you ask us.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Director: Marc Meyers
Starring: Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Alex Wolff
Runtime: 107 minutes
There’s a number of words we can use to describe Southbound, a hellish anthology film meets road picture mashup. It’s unpredictable, chaotic, perplexing, and, above all, relentless. To put things into perspective, our story begins on a stretch of desolate highway. Two men, Mitch (Chad Villela) and Jack (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin), speed down a barren desert interstate, trying to outrun an onslaught of winged demon creatures. Disturbing events transpire, which eventually leads us to a motel. Just as we’re starting to piece together who these guys are, where they’ve come from, and what’s up with the demons, the film forcibly shifts perspective from Mitch and Jack’s tale to three new characters, Sadie, Ava, and Kim, all lodged in the same motel. Then, after we spend time with the girls, another three stories unfold. Players from previous stories repeat, along with the aforementioned demons of flight. Filmed by a collaborative of four different horror directors, Southbound is a non-stop thrill ride, with a foreboding through-line of recurring motifs, disturbing imagery, and plenty of gore.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Director(s): Radio Silence, Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath
Starring: Chad Villela, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Fabianne Therese, Hannah Marks
Runtime: 89 minutes
Wrinkles the Clown (2019)
Is your child misbehaving? For a nominal fee, Florida residents can call in Wrinkles, a professional creeper clown, to scare the kiddies straight. Wrinkles the Clown is a multilayered documentary about the very real clown for hire, focusing on the man behind the mask, the communities he serves, the families that call upon his services, and the internet-obsessed teens who use his phone number as a thrilling rite of passage. Wrinkles the Clown is sincerely uncomfortable but also utterly fascinating. Just as we begin to get used to the film’s odd cast of characters, the doc does a complete 180, unfolding an entirely new layer to the Wrinkles mythos. What new layer, exactly? You’ll just have to see for yourself.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Director: Michael Beach Nichols
Starring: Wrinkles the Clown
Runtime: 75 minutes
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