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18 Best Horror Movies on HBOMax

Mike
Mike
March 18, 2022
10 min

HBO Max offers a massive array of movies, and that includes some of the best horror films that you can’t see on any other streaming service. So if you love horror movies, then a subscription to HBO max may be a good option for you.

To give horror fans a little more information and see whether HBO Max is right for your horror film needs, we’ve listed the 18 best horror movies on HBO Max to help you determine whether it’s a good streaming service for you.

The 18 Best Horror Movies On HBO Max

The 18 best horror movies on HBO Max will be somewhat subjective to your tastes and how old you are. There are many horror movies from the 50s - 70s that are fantastic and available on HBO Max, but they simply weren’t part of my horror film upbringing.

These movies aren’t ranked in order of horror or fear they will invoke, the scariest movie for me is IT, as that was the first horror film I ever saw as a kid, and it’s been remade now to instil horror into a new generation.

1. The Shining (1980)

The Shining

A cult classic horror film that most people have heard of, even if they haven’t seen it. It’s fantastic for scaring you, along with making you think about the story and reasons behind people’s actions. It’s based on the novel by Stephen King, so that should be assurance enough.

Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring writer, accepts a job as the winter caretaker of a hotel in an isolated location on the Colorado mountains. His young son Danny (Danny Lloyd), begins to experience strange visions about the terrible events that took place in the hotel many years back.

Shelly Duvall as Wendy Torrence and Scatman Crothers as Dick Hallorann also give a great performance, not to mention Stanley Kubrick as director.

You may spend some time thinking and appreciating the filmmaking; however, you will also be terrified during this Jack Nicholson horror classic.

2. 28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later

28 Days Later is a zombie/horror film that reignited people’s interest in having zombies part of the horror cinema again. It spawned the zombie genre craze in entertainment that is still happening today, just look at the massive following of the TV series The Walking Dead.

A group of animal liberation fighters breaks into a laboratory and frees a chimpanzee. Little do they know that the beast is infected with a virus named “Rage” that induces high levels of aggression. A pandemic breaks out among the population.

28 days after the outbreak, Jim (Cillian Murphy), wakes up from a coma in a hospital that looks more like a war ground. He is attacked by raging zombies but is saved by Selena (Naomi Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley).

Besides having to survive the zombies, they will also have to face the consequences of human baseness in the face of danger.

You won’t find the humour that many current zombie movies portray now; this is a pure horror film that will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

3. King Kong (1933)

King Kong from 1933 is the original monster horror film that spawned all the copycats. It blends elements of adventure and drama into a true horror film with a gigantic ape running amok through the city of New York and terrorizing people.

It is considered the number one horror film of all time and it is in the top 60 greatest films of all time. Considering it was filmed in 1933 when digital technology in cinema didn’t exist, the special effects used (matte painting, stop-motion animation, miniatures, etc.) were groundbreaking for the time.

If you have are a classic horror fan and love a good storyline, then King Kong is a great option to see how horror film-makers created things almost 100 years ago.

4. Troll Hunter (2010)

Troll Hunter starts off as a thriller similar to The Blair Witch project; however, it quickly becomes a horror film with murderous trolls terrorizing and trying to kill people.

Two students and a cameraman set off to make a documentary about a bear poacher. They start investigating the matter. After they are attacked by a troll, they team up with a Wildlife Forrest officer to film his hunt of the troll.

If you like some fantasy mixed in with your horror movies, then this is an interesting take on the genre.

5. Godzilla (1954)

Another classic horror film that spawned remakes and copycats, it’s the first film that helped shape the monster horror film genre.

A dinosaur-type monster terrorises Japan threatening to trigger a nuclear holocaust. The battle to destroy the monster will leave a trail of victims behind. Besides the thought-provoking debate on nuclear testing in post-war Japan.

Unlike some of the more recent Godzilla and monster movies, this really is a horror film without the drama. It’s not interested in pushing special effects, though it has them; it’s about scaring you and instilling fear.

6. Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead

Night of The Living Dead is one of the most important zombie horror movies that set the tone for real horror in a zombie movie.

While the budget wasn’t huge for the movie, that adds to the gritty reality of it, without big budgets to add special effects to outshine the horror in the film directed by George A. Romero.

A small town in Pennsylvania is suddenly plagued by strange beings. It all begins in a cemetery where a young woman and her brother are visiting their father’s grave. They are attacked by a weird man and Johnny is killed. Barbara manages to escape and find refuge in an abandoned house where other survivors are hiding.

This movie set the tone and rules for almost all the zombie horror genre movies going forward, so it’s an interesting watch if you love current zombie movies to see how much was taken from this horror movie.

7. Evil Dead II (1987)

Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II is where Bruce Campbell shines, being able to play an action hero, killer, comedian, and a fully capable leading man directed by Sam Raimi.

This is a gory and scary zombie horror movie that adds just the right amount of humour without making it the focal point, ensuring that you’re scared but enjoying yourself.

Ash Williams goes on holiday with his girlfriend Linda to a secluded cabin in the woods. There they find the videotape of an archaeologist who previously lived in the cabin. The words from the tape recite passages from the Book of the Dead which unleash a demon spirit that possesses Linda and tries to kill Ash.

8. Urban Legend (1998)

Urban Legend

Urban Legend is a great slasher horror movie that takes some of its storyline from other horror films like Scream; however, it utilizes actual urban legends to add some reality and more fear into your life.

It stars Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, and Alicia Witt, among others. Robert Englund, famous for interpreting Freddy Krueger, plays Prof Wexler.

In a peaceful New England college, the body of a young woman is found slashed by an axe. Shortly after that, another young student if found hung to a tree. In the meantime, Prof Wexler is giving a lecture on Urban Legends.

Other students begin to investigate the serial killer and discover a connection between the present-day murders and events that occurred thirty years before when students were massacred by a professor.

If you’re already familiar with some of these Urban Legends, this horror movie can instil some real body horror, fear and terror into walking home at night.

9. Friday The 13th (2009)

Friday The 13th from 2009 is a remake of the classic slasher horror films, and it’s an excellent tribute to the slasher genre, especially if you enjoyed the original horror movies.

It was distributed by Warner Bros and stars Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti and Aaron Yoo, among others.

It is Friday the 13th and a group of teenagers go to work at Lake Crystal Camping that is about to reopen. Some years before the camping was closed because a young boy drowned due to the negligence of two supervisors who were found murdered shortly thereafter.

The horror begins when the teenagers are killed by a mysterious killer who takes advantage of the fact that a storm forces some of the teenagers to find refuge in separate cabins.

10. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Nightmare on Elm Street is an absolute classic of the horror genre. If you haven’t seen this horror movie, then it’s a perfect one to keep you scared at night while watching HBO Max in bed.

It is the first of the series of films starring Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. It also stars an excellent Johnny Depp with director Wes Craven for New Line Cinema productions.

A group of teenagers are haunted by a disfigured killer wearing a glove with long, sharp blades as fingers, in their dreams. What occurs in the dreams translates to the real world though. So staying awake is the best option, until, of course, it isn’t!

11. IT (2017)

IT

It is a remake of the original ultimate horror movie; if you ever wondered why people are scared of clowns, then watch IT and find out. You’ll be able to introduce a new fear to your life thanks to HBO Max.

The film is based on the eponymous novel by Stephen King, and like the original film, it is divided into two parts. This is the first one.

Six-year-old Georgie is killed by a clown he sees in a sewer and dragged away. A year after, Georgie’s brother, Bill, together with other pre-teen friends, each with their own personal family dramas, find themselves investigating Georgie’s disappearance.

While running away from a group of bullies they, who call themselves The Loser’s Club, end up in a marshy area of town at the entrance of the sewers.

Soon they will discover the reason for the child- disappearances in their town and will have to confront an entity that feeds on their worst fears.

IT chapter 2 was released in 2019. And continues the story after a time-lapse of twenty-seven years, when The Loser’s Club reunites because of a solemn oath they made to each other as kids.

12. Gremlins

Gremlins

Gremlins is a campy and fun horror comedy that is more enjoyable with a little horror added in, so if you’re looking to test the waters of horror movies, then Gremlins will be a great first option to try on HBO Max.

Billy is gifted a cute furry animal called a Mogwai by his father, a struggling inventor. There are three things you must never do with a Mogwai: 1) expose him to light, 2) wet him and 3) feed him after midnight. Of course, by a series of accidents all three rules are broken and disaster begins to reign all over town.

A great Joe Dante film, starring Zach Galligan and Phoebe Kates among others.

13. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

28 Weeks Later

A follow-up to 28 Days Later shows the world 28 weeks after a zombie apocalypse has swept the world. It provides an interesting story with enough zombie horror to keep you interested.

Nato military forces are trying to create some safe zones in London, while two siblings break protocol to look for their infected mother, thus causing the virus to spread into the safe area.

It stars Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner and Idris Elba among others.

14. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

From Dusk Till Dawn is a fantastic horror movie directed by Robert Rodriguez on a Quentin Tarantino screenplay.

The story is about a band of travellers trapped in a vampire’s lair that has been pretending to be a Mexican bar. The film stars Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek and Quentin Tarantino himself.

It’s a real gore and horror movie fest for people that don’t need a lot of story but love to be afraid and see a lot of action in their horror movies.

15. The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring

The Conjuring was created by the same man who built the Saw and Insidious franchises, so you know it will be a gory horror movie that will leave you thinking and on the edge of your seat.

A couple moves to a country house in Rhode Island with their five daughters. They are all very excited by the move and their house is very nice and welcoming until a series of very strange events start taking place because of a pure evil spirit.

A thrill factor is added to the movie because it changes the when and where of expected horror and fright moments in the scenes.

16. The Faculty (1998)

The Faculty

The Faculty combines a horror movie and a sci-fi thriller with a high school drama to give you a great mixture of fun and horror. You get to see some of today’s biggest stars, like Elija Wood, Josh Hartnett and Salma Hayek in a lower-budget horror b-movie, directed by Robert Rodriguez.

The principal and teachers of a high school have always seemed strange. But all of a sudden they become outright insane. They are controlled by alien parasites and try to infect the students, who must find a way to fight against the invasion.

17. The Evil Dead (1983)

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead is the ultimate low-budget classic horror zombie film directed by Sam Raimi. Amazingly, HBO Max keeps such classics available for people to experience or reintroduce themselves to real horror without the big-budget special effects that can make horror movies a little unrealistic today.

A group of friends go hiking in the woods and find a cabin to rest for the night. There they discover an ancient tome. It’s the Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead. Accidentally, they will unleash an evil spirit demon who possesses them and tries to kill them all.

18. Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield starts out as a thriller but quickly becomes a horror movie with a devastating monster to instil fear into your evening of watching HBO Max. It spawned a range of sequels, but none ever left the viewers quite as afraid as the original Cloverfield.

It was filmed as footage from a personal camcorder, about a group of friends at a going-away party who will shortly have to face a terrifying night because a huge monster appears in the city of New York, destroying everything it finds in its path. The friends film their escapades to save their lives.

Conclusion

The 18 best horror movies on HBO Max listed above are only a sampling of the horror movies available.

You can work your way through the 18 best horror movies listed or log onto HBO Max and search for your favourite horror movies from your various decades, like Amityville Horror, or Freaky Friday.

You’ll find horror movies from the 1920s, classic horror movies from the 80s and 90s, and of course, the latest horror movies coming out today to match whatever you love about horror cinema, HBO max has your covered and gives you access to a range of other TV shows and movies outside the horror genre.


Mike

Mike

Tech enthusiast

I’d like to call myself a fellow ‘Watcher’. I might not know everything, but I can almost always figure it out. Worst-case scenario all I need is a little time and my good buddy, Google.

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