The 10 Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime (Jan. 2020)

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Amazon Prime features a huge selection of horror movies across more than a century of cinema history. There’s everything from influential classics to recent releases. Here are the ten best horror movies to stream on Amazon Prime.

The Cabin in the Woods

Produced and co-written by Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods is a slasher movie that deconstructs the idea of slasher movies, putting its seemingly clueless college-student protagonists in a remote cabin where they get picked off one by one. But the filmmakers subvert the formula in clever and funny ways, using the recognizable horror structure to question the meaning and significance of unspoken horror-movie rules.

Gretel & Hansel

Filmmaker Oz Perkins brings an otherworldly approach to Gretel & Hansel, his retelling of the classic fairy tale, putting Gretel (Sophia Lillis) at the forefront as she’s tempted into a world of evil power by the witch (Alice Krige), who lives in an isolated house in the woods. Perkins uses the familiar story for a twisted coming-of-age movie about women using any means necessary to fight against patriarchal oppression.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

The sequel to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II is actually the highlight of the long-running franchise, giving more screen time to Doug Bradley’s iconic villain Pinhead while also taking on a more surreal tone. It delves deeper into the horrifying hellscape inhabited by Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites, and showcases the dark, sadistic terrors they inflict on the victims who open the puzzle box known as the Lament Configuration.

Midsommar

Florence Pugh is mesmerizing in this daytime nightmare of a movie about a group of American grad students who travel to a secluded village in Sweden for what they think is a quaint seasonal festival. In Midsommar, director Ari Aster combines folk horror with a meditation on grief and emotional abuse, finding triumph for his main character in the most horrifying acts.

Night of the Demons

It may not be the most famous or popular movie from the 1980s horror boom, but Night of the Demons is still one of the most fun, with its story of a group of teenagers spending Halloween night in an empty funeral home where one of them summons evil spirits. It’s a silly, familiar story, but the characters and kills are entertainingly nasty, and mopey goth teen Angela (Amelia Kinkade) makes for a delightful villain.

Night of the Living Dead

The entire zombie genre owes its existence to George Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, which created the modern conception of zombies as shambling, flesh-eating corpses come back to life. The small-scale production is also a marvel of tension and ingenuity, trapping a handful of characters in a house as the zombie apocalypse rages around them.

Nosferatu

One of the earliest horror movies ever made, the 1922 silent classic Nosferatu, introduced the indelible image of Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. Director F.W. Murnau’s expressionistic visual style in this unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula has influenced horror films for nearly a century, and Schreck’s grotesque appearance and disquieting presence as Count Orlok are unforgettable.

Suspiria

The 2018 remake of Italian director Dario Argento’s cult classic Suspiria takes the story in an even more impressionistic, hallucinatory direction. The movie stars Dakota Johnson as a seemingly naïve young American who comes to study at a sinister dance school in Berlin. Director Luca Guadagnino creates a haunting movie about ambition, jealousy, and bizarre cult activity.

Train to Busan

Korean filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho puts a new spin on the zombie genre in the international blockbuster Train to Busan. The film takes place almost entirely on a commuter train from Seoul to Busan as a zombie outbreak overcomes the passengers. It combines the propulsive, self-contained momentum of a Hollywood action movie with the suspense and gore of a zombie thriller.

28 Days Later

Director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland added a jolt to the zombie narrative in 28 Days Later by introducing the idea of the fast-moving undead, infusing new levels of suspense into a decades-old genre. The movie focuses as much on the collapse of civilization as it does on the visceral horrors of zombie attacks, making it both thrilling and thoughtful.

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