You don’t need to subscribe to a subscription service to stream great horror movies. There are numerous free streaming spots with a variety of horror options. Here are the top 10 horror movies to stream for free.
Update, 10/11/22: We’ve gone through our guide and we’re confident that these are still the best horror movies you can watch online for free right now.
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The dark and the wicked
A pair of adult brothers return to their rural home to help care for their ailing father in this deeply disturbing film of generational horror. Both brother and sister resent having to give up their lives to fulfill family obligations, and this fuels their uneasiness about her mother’s strange behavior towards her father. Is he sick or is he somehow possessed by a demon? Writer-director Bryan Bertino creates an atmosphere of creeping horror as the family situation becomes increasingly unhinged, leading to a dark and desperate ending.
The dark and the wicked is streamed for free through local libraries on Hoopla.
John Carpenter kicked off the rise of slasher movies with this gritty, minimalist story about a burly, mute brute who stalks babysitters in a seemingly idyllic suburb. Michael Myers escapes from a sanitarium and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where as a child he murdered his teenage sister. Wearing dark overalls and a blank white mask, Michael addresses teenage Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. Carpenter consistently builds tension through masterful camera work and a brilliant score, and Curtis makes one of the most surprising screen debuts in horror history.
Hallowe’en is streaming free with ads on Redbox.
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Clive Barker made his directorial debut by adapting his own novel the hellish heart, a twisted tale of sadism, sex, and cenobites, the pleasure-seeking demons conjured by solving a mysterious puzzle box. The cenobite known as Pinhead (played by Doug Bradley) makes his first appearance, but hellraiser it’s more about the insane dynamic between two lovers, one of whom is a resurrected corpse. Barker brings his perverted story to life, exploring the blurred line between pain and pleasure and creating some indelible horror images in the process.
hellraiser it airs for free with ads on Tubi and Pluto TV and for free through local libraries on Hoopla.
let the right one in
The cold of the Swedish winter seeps into every moment of this haunting vampire story. A clumsy and shy 12-year-old boy makes a new friend at his apartment complex when he meets a strange young woman who only comes out at night. She lives with a roommate older than him and appears sickly, but the boy soon discovers that she is much more dangerous than fragile. It is a tender but disturbing story of friendship between outsiders, in which the meek and bullied boy takes particularly bloody revenge on his tormentors.
let the right one in is streamed free of charge through local libraries in Hoopla and Kanopy.
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Virtually every vampire movie made in the last century owes its existence to this 1922 silent classic from director FW Murnau. A landmark of German expressionism, Murnau’s film is an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s dracula, following the general outline of the plot but changing the central vampire for the grotesque Count Orlok (Max Schreck). Shots of Orlok’s looming shadow as he stalks an innocent victim or the vampire emerging from his coffin have become some of the most iconic images in all of horror cinema.
Nosferatu airs for free with ads on Dark Matter TV, Plex, Pluto TV, Redbox, The Roku Channel, and Tubi, and for free through local libraries on Hoopla and Kanopy.
Taking cues from Alien and John Carpenter The thing, this claustrophobic sci-fi horror film finds a fishing crew and a scientific researcher stranded at sea as they are slowly attacked by a deadly creature. The ancient underwater menace disables your boat and sends tiny spores into the water supply, turning every member of the crew into a potential host. Hermione Corfield gives a powerful performance as the meek scientist who steps forward to lead the crew’s response to the monster. She joins a tradition of unlikely heroines facing horrific and unfathomable threats.
sea fever is streamed free of charge through local libraries in Hoopla and Kanopy.
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David Cronenberg launched a career as a master of body horror with this sleazy 1975 low-budget film about an insidious parasite that spreads through a luxury apartment building. The parasite sends those infected into sexual and violent frenzies, which complement each other as a way of finding new hosts. Cronenberg combines visceral disgust with sharp social commentary, portraying the wealthy as decadent, depraved hedonists embodied by veritable mind-altering parasites. It’s a potent combination of sexual perversity and gore.
Shaking chills airs for free with ads on The Roku Channel and Tubi.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
No matter how many sequels and reboots have been made, nothing comes close to Tobe Hooper’s terrifying 1974 original. The low-budget, dirty movie is steeped in the terror of the Vietnam War and civil unrest, as a group of young men find themselves stranded deep in rural Texas, kidnapped and brutalized by a family of cannibals. Chainsaw-wielding Leatherface became an iconic horror movie villain, but he’s just one of the terrifying elements of this nasty, unforgiving journey into darkness.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre airs for free with ads on Freevee and Tubi.
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Train to Busan
A commuter train from Seoul to Busan literally turns into a death trap in this propulsive Korean zombie flick. An outbreak of the undead takes over the country while a businessman travels with his daughter to visit his mother. The train’s passengers have nowhere to run as the plague spreads among them, thanks to an infected woman coming aboard at the last minute. The film blends the thrills and suspense of a one-location thriller with the gory gore of a zombie story, adding just the right amount of emotional bond between father and daughter.
Train to Busan airs for free with ads on Dark Matter TV, Peacock, Pluto TV, Redbox, The Roku Channel, and Tubi, and for free through local libraries on Hoopla and Kanopy.
V / H / S / 2
There is a long tradition of horror anthology films, and the V / H / S The series is the modern standard bearer. The second film in the found footage series is the most consistently effective, featuring segments from genre luminaries like Adam Wingard, Gareth Evans, and Eduardo Sánchez. Evans and Timo Tjahjanto deliver the strongest segment, about a film crew that gets more than they bargained for while making a documentary about a secret cult. But there are reliable scares throughout the movie, from the creepy frame-up sequence to the final story.
V / H / S / 2 it streams for free with ads on Plex and Pluto TV and for free through local libraries on Hoopla.