You know what has a lot of horror movies on it? Amazon Prime. Seriously. The Bad Ben series alone must make up most of Amazon’s database. Add on the countless forgettable independent movies and the rare gems and you have an unending library of horror.
The question is: do you want to waste your time watching most of those movies? Well, Bad Ben you do, but there’s also a selection of some truly fantastic horror movies waiting for you on Amazon’s video service.
Many of them you’ve seen before, others you may have simply forgotten about. From classic frights to new-aged scares, all of them have earned their place on this list of the best horror movies on Amazon Prime.
15. Saw (2004)
Director: James Wan
James Wan’s feature directorial debut proved to be an important film in the horror genre, even giving birth to a new subgenre later known as “torture porn.” The thing, though, is that Saw was far from the gorefests many of its sequels turned out to be. Saw, released in 2004, was a smart horror thriller that let its characters and the mystery behind the Jigsaw Killer drive the film.
Not only was Saw Wan’s premier full-length feature film, it introduced viewers to the writing talents of Leigh Whannell, who also starred as one of Jigsaw’s hapless victims. If you went into the movie unaware of its shocking twist, you were in for quite a surprise. I can still remember the gasp of moviegoers as… well, I’m not going to give it away.
A spoiler is a spoiler, no matter how old the movie is.
14. It Follows (2014)
Director: David Robert Mitchell
You may instinctively shake your fist at what appears to be It Follows’ blatant “anti-sex” message. Instead of turning to outrage, put your arm down and simply enjoy this well-crafted supernatural horror story.
Sure, the stalking spirit is passed along like an STD, but let’s look at the bigger picture. In life, we are comforted by being close to those we love and trust. Many times, that closeness, of course, leads to sex. It Follows absolutely ruins the notion that we can push away the horrors of life, if even for a short spell, by being in the arms of those we love.
It Follows is an effective, minimalist horror movie that doesn’t feel like it needs to throw jump scare after jump scare at you. Those long, drawn out scenes of the ghost walking up on a character are enough to send shivers down your spine. It sounds like an unusual and maybe bland concept, but I promise you won’t regret sitting down with this critically acclaimed film.
13. Insidious (2010)
Director: James Wan
Six years after launching the Saw series, James Wan was back behind the camera creating another expansive horror universe. Saw alumni Leigh Whannell also returned to bring The Further to life and once again stepped in front of the camera.
Insidious breathed life into the largely forgotten haunted house genre with a movie that broke many rules and created a slew of its own. The ghosts are scary, the characters likable, and the movie is a fantastic break from the typical haunted house formula.
Though Lin Shaye had been active since the 70s and appeared in movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters, and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, it was Insidious that helped her become recognized as a Scream Queen.
12. The Descent (2005)
Director: Neil Marshall
If you’re claustrophobic, even just a little bit, I can’t stress this enough – you absolutely must watch The Descent. It’s going to make you more anxious than any movie ever could. Consider it a form of exposure therapy.
As Sarah and her friends embark on a spelunking adventure, their exit collapses, trapping them within a tight cave system when their exit collapses. Unfortunately for them, that’s the least of their troubles.
The Descent makes you think you’re watching a perilous movie of friends trying to survive an impossible scenario. Then the blind, albino cave monsters emerge and give you something else to scream about. Just as you start struggling to breathe alongside the characters on screen, those creepy little critters come along and steal your last breaths.
11. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Director: Drew Goddard
Where do the very monstrosities from our favorite horror movies come from? Cabin in the Woods explores that question in the most unique fashion, with a concept that may be scarier than the creatures that fuel our nightmares.
Originally slated for a 2010 release, Cabin in the Woods was shelved for two years – and was eventually met with a somewhat underwhelming response when it did finally hit theaters. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s script eventually rose to cult status as horror fans started to appreciate the satire on modern horror trends.
A likable cast that fought the bored trends of horror and a healthy dose of Easter eggs helped make Cabin in the Woods a film worth returning to. The more you watch it, the more you’ll start to pick up on the parodies and callbacks to classic horror cinema.