Make it a great movie night and with these nine killer films on Hulu, including several women-driven films and dazzling directorial debuts.
The weekend is once again upon us. And whether you plan to stay in or hit the town, be productive or kill as much time as possible playing video games — maybe even trying your hand at a Red Stag casino bonus, we hope you’ll make time to watch a little horror. Before you hit the theaters next weekend to watch the highly anticipated next chapter in the Scream franchise, Scream VI, consider catching a great flick from the comfort of home.
While there is no shortage of great streaming options, Hulu has risen to the top of our list and is one of the first places we look when we’re in the mood for some fine genre fare.
Following is a list of some of the best horror films you can watch on Hulu. So whether you’d like to revisit a favorite or discover something new, these are all stellar options.
1. Evil Dead (2013)
Sam Raimi’s influential cult classic from 1981 is hard to beat. And when it was remade in 2013 by a then-unknown filmmaker Fede Álvarez (in his feature directorial debut) and billed as a reimagining of The Evil Dead, horror fans were understandably skeptical. How could a remake possibly live up to its predecessor’s legacy? And why did anyone think it was even necessary?
Fortunately, the modern retelling did a phenomenal job of capturing the original film’s essence while bringing something fresh to the table.
The slapstick humor present in the sequels of the 1981 film had been replaced with a violent, brutal, and terrifying tale of a demon-possessed cabin in the woods. This new version delivered the goods with shocking moments, graphic violence, and a kickass final girl — introducing genre fans to the exceptional Jane Levy, who would follow this film up in another Alvarez film and horror hit, Don’t Breathe.
The film premiered at the prestigious SXSW film festival on March 8, 2013. Interestingly, a new Evil Dead film, Evil Dead Rise, will be premiering at this year’s SXSW on March 15, 2023, before being released wide on April 21, 2023.
2. Let the Right One In (2008)
You may have seen or heard the buzz about a recent Showtime show, Let the Right One In, inspired by the novel of the same name by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist. Though the show, focusing on a father who cares for his daughter after she becomes a vampire, generally received positive reviews from critics, many felt it was inferior to the original 2008 film adaptation.
The 2008 film by a Swedish writer and director (Tomas Alfredson directed the film from a screenplay written by the source novel’s author, Lindqvist) helped flip the vampire subgenre on its head.
Telling the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a strange child in the early 1980s, Let the Right One In helped reclaim the idea of truly frightening and compelling vampires at a time when they had become an overused and tired trope, second only to zombies.
The plot revolves around the tangled friendship and the almost sexual relationship involving Oskar, a lonely 12-year-old outsider, and Eli, a nearly a century vampire imprisoned in the form of an androgynous child who appears the same age as him. Throughout the film, Oskar gradually becomes more involved in her life, emulating the human “familiar” of a traditional vampire.
This raises issues about the basis of their link and whether or not they would ever be able to share true love with one another. It’s spectacular and well worth your time.
3. Get Out (2017)
The Oscars are right around the corner, and one of the biggest snubs is Jordan Peele’s fantastic treatise on capitalism and spectacle (among other things), Nope. Of course, the Academy has a long and sordid history of freezing out genre films from the nomination process and rarely does a genre film receive both a nomination and a win.
One of the most notable exceptions to that general rule came from Mr. Peele himself, whose jaw-dropping directorial debut Get Out generated plenty of great and meaningful conversation and heralded the arrival of a potential new master of horror.
When visiting his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents for the weekend, Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) is convinced by Rose’s mom, Missy (Katherine Keener), to use hypnosis to kick his smoking habit. The results are uncomfortable and terrifying. To make matters worse, Rose’s extremely white family has an obsessive preoccupation with their Black staff workers, and Chris eventually finds himself in a dreadful abyss dubbed “The Sunken Place.”
The film received critical acclaim for its screenplay, direction, acting, and social critiques. It was also a major commercial success and went on to garner an Oscar win for Peel for Best Original Screenplay. Since then, it has continued to top many critics’ “best of” lists and is widely believed to be one of the best films of the 21st century.
4. Fresh (2022)
With the wildly popular Netflix hit You creating a buzz after the first part of its Season Four drop (February 9, 2023; the second part arrives March 9, 2023), you may be in the mood for some more sexy serial killer action.
In the wickedly fun Fresh, Daisy Edgar Jones shines in the role of Noa, a single woman who has experienced little success with dating apps. In a supermarket, she meets an eligible bachelor (the always charming Sebastian Stan) who appears too good to be true. But she amazes herself by consenting to date the dreamy doctor.
Unfortunately, she discovers unsettling truths about her new beau when he takes her away for a weekend. This dashing doc is not “the one” because he’s got a nasty side hustle involving the fresh flesh of his romantic partners.
Fresh is a female-driven horror film — directed by Mimi Cave in her directorial debut and written by Lauryn Kahn. So, it’s also a great film to watch for Women’s History/Women in Horror Month this March.
5. Honeymoon (2014)
Here we are with another exceptional woman-directed film that also happens to be one of the most underrated horror gems in recent years. Honeymoon was helmed by Leigh Janiak in her directorial debut. You may recognize that name because Leigh went on to direct the Fear Street Trilogy.
The film stars Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) as Bea, a young, recently married woman who experiences a transformation after a night out in the woods during her honeymoon. Even as her husband’s (Harry Treadaway, Penny Dreadful) suspicions increase and the warning signs continue to mount, Janiak effectively keeps us invested in the unsettling events and the gradual amplification of tension.
The acting is stellar and helps elevate a very simple story. And despite a limited budget, it’s a beautifully executed and compelling film hailed as smart, stylish, and tense. And the ending really packs a punch.
6. Mama (2013)
Another impressive directorial debut makes our list. This time it’s from Andy Muschietti, who would go on to wow audiences with his work on the 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King’s It and its 2019 sequel.
His debut, 2013’s Mama, may not have gotten the love it deserved upon its release, but Muschietti’s story and directorial talents caught the eye of none other than Guillermo del Toro, who agreed to executive produce the feature film after seeing Muschietti’s three-minute short film of the same name (which he co-wrote with his sister Barbara Muschietti).
This eerie reflection on parenting stars Jessica Chastain and Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a couple who take in a couple of young girls found abandoned in a cabin deep in the woods. The girls claim to have been fostered by an unknown entity they fondly call “Mama” (Javier Botet). Mama eventually follows them to their new suburban home to reclaim what belongs to her.
Despite getting mixed reviews, there’s a lot to love about this one. And Chastain delivers an extraordinary performance that is captivating and complex.
7. What Lies Beneath (2000)
If you haven’t seen the haunting ghost tale, What Lies Beneath, you are missing out.
First, this is a film with some serious credentials. Legendary filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump) directed it. And it stars the powerhouse duo of Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. They play a married couple living in a haunted house.
But it’s much more than your traditional spook show. Pfeiffer is exquisite as a former cellist Claire Spencer. She lives a quiet life in Vermont with her husband, Norman (Ford), an accomplished scientist and professor. They seem to have it all, but the couple’s marriage appears a bit strained, especially after their daughter leaves for college.
Claire begins to think something is amiss with her neighbors after the wife mysteriously vanishes following a volatile argument. Soon, things worsen as Claire begins to experience hauntings from the spirit of a young woman resembling her neighbor.
Of course, there’s much more to the story and plenty of satisfying twists. Ignore the critics on this one; What Lies Beneath is a sophisticated, Hitchcockian thriller that’s well worth a watch.
8. Hellraiser (2022)
Earlier in this list, we talked about the surprise success of the Evil Dead remake. But perhaps no reboot of a franchise is more surprising than last year’s horror hit Hellraiser. Given the series’ troubled legacy, especially its lackluster later installments following the brilliant original and its stellar sequel, expectations were low for this modern reimagining of the 1987 masterpiece.
But Hellraiser fanboy David Bruckner proved the iconic franchise was in more than capable hands, wowing fans and delivering one of the franchise’s strongest installments.
In a savvy casting movie, Jamie Clayton takes on the revered role of Pinhead, made famous by beloved genre actor Doug Bradley. Clayton manages to fill some pretty big shoes and make an absolutely iconic character her own. The movie explores the sinister side of dependency in a manner reminiscent of the original Hellraiser, which is guaranteed to give you the willies for the right reasons. In addition to Clayton’s standout performance, Odessa A’zion shines as the story’s central protagonist.
Of course, what you really want is some killer effects, gnarly kills, and those twistedly beautiful cenobites. Don’t worry… Hellraiser has you more than covered there, too. You won’t be disappointed.
9. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Sam Raimi’s contributions to the genre are legendary. Remember, he’s the wonderfully sick mind behind the original The Evil Dead.
Of course, he’s also a titan outside of the genre, having been responsible for the 2002-2007 Spider-Man trilogy. But his heart belongs to horror, and he took some time to write (with his brother) one of the most unforgettable and WTF modern horror films, Drag Me to Hell, before hanging out with Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker.
Alison Lohman stars as a very unfortunate and deeply sympathetic protagonist. She makes one bad decision to save her job, causing her to cross the wrong woman and end up facing eternal damnation. This nasty, mean-spirited gore fest also stars genre favorite Justin Long (who has certainly seen his share of onscreen bad luck as the star of numerous horror films, including the 2022 surprise sensation Barbarian).
The film features one of the most memorable climaxes in modern horror, and you’ll never look at an elderly person the same way again. Prepare to be glued to the edge of your seat and be left reeling after experiencing this funny and effed-up horror gem.