We’ll be right up front: if you’re a horror purist, you’ll find that Hulu is severely lacking in great horror flicks. While there are plenty of scary and thrilling movies on offer from the popular streaming service, the pure horror genre is in meager supply. Luckily, we can still make a great list of the best scary movies on Hulu, assuming you won’t go into a rage over how many of our selections are not traditional horror films.
If you don’t yet have a Hulu subscription, it really is a terrific value. On top of the movies listed below, there are also some great comedies, documentaries, and of course TV shows to binge. If you’re a horror fan looking to get the most bang for your buck, though, we highly recommend checking out Shudder, which is a streaming service made just for you.
If all you’re looking for right now is a good movie that will also inject a little bit of terror into your evening, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our list of the best scary movies on Hulu below!
The ten best scary movies on Hulu:
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best scary movies on Hulu regularly as the service rotates its movie library.
1. 28 Days Later
Let’s be perfectly clear: not only is 28 Days Later one of the best scary movies on Hulu, but it’s also one of the best movies on Hulu. Period.
We know what you’re thinking: once you’ve seen one zombie movie, you’ve seen ’em all. Well, this movie isn’t technically a zombie movie. The “undead” are actually alive but infected with a virus that causes them to act very similarly to zombies. The major difference though is that the zombies in this film are fast. Prior to 28 Days Later, zombies were always depicted as slow and brainless, but this film upended the entire genre.
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Even if you ignore that, the movie is a brilliant turn from director Danny Boyle. The opening shots alone of Cillian Murphy’s character wandering through an empty London are both chilling as well as a marvel of ingenuitive filmmaking. Later on, in the movie’s second and third acts, 28 Days Later becomes a parable about mankind’s own nihilistic tendencies as well as a treatise on the dangers of military power.
If you see only one movie on this list, make it this one. It is truly a gem.
Including Annihilation on this list is actually kind of funny. When the movie came out, it was expected to be a new horror/sci-fi masterpiece. However, it ended up being not at all a horror film and so metaphysical that it also didn’t feel like a sci-fi film, either. Audiences, unfortunately, were disappointed.
Regardless, Annihilation is a terrific film if you go into it not expecting it to stick to any one genre. Plus, there are plenty of very tense moments as well as some seriously scary events that will shock you. The film also has a lot to say about relationships, life in general, and the finding of one’s true self.
This is definitely one of the best scary movies on Hulu but try not to watch it on your phone. The cinematography and effects in Annihilation deserve to be seen on a big screen.
3. The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods, in many ways, is a quintessential horror film. The only reason it’s not a “pure” horror film is that it’s so damn funny.
Written by Joss Whedon — the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — The Cabin in the Woods is like a horror version of The Wizard of Oz. The curtain is pulled back and we see that the old tropes of scantily clad teenagers getting lost in the woods and making stupid decisions that get them killed is actually by design.
We don’t want to give away too much of the plot as going into the movie not knowing what to expect is half the fun. Just be prepared to laugh as well as scream with this one, as it works equally on both levels. Either way, it’s one of the best scary movies on Hulu!
4. The Descent
Let’s be real: caves are scary. They are dark, wet, cold, and difficult to navigate. So when you make a movie about six women traveling deeper and deeper into a cave system, you better believe it’s going to be creepy. You’ll also end up with the 2005 film The Descent, which is one of the best scary movies on Hulu.
We don’t want to spoil things too much for you, but as the women traverse into the system of caves, they come across creatures who aren’t too welcoming. Some serious scares and gore come about from this meeting of two different species of humanoids.
The sequel to this film, The Descent: Part 2, is also streaming on Hulu at the moment. However, it’s not nearly as good as the original, but it might be a fun watch if you have a good time with this one. One thing’s for certain, though: you’ll think twice before going on that spelunking trip.
5. Hellbound: Hellraiser 2
Unfortunately, the original Hellraiser is not currently one of the scary movies on Hulu that you’re able to watch. That film is a bonafide horror classic, and it’s essential you watch it before attempting to watch Hellbound: Hellraiser 2.
If you’ve seen Hellraiser before or are able to watch it via another streaming service, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is worth checking out. While it’s definitively not as good as the original, it’s absolutely the best of the sequels (of which there are too many, and most of them are awful).
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is also one of the most well-made films in the series. Since the original film was such a success, the filmmaking team had more money when making this one, and you can see it in every frame.
We’ll give you a heads up though: if you are squeamish about blood, gore, or explicit sexual situations, this is not the film for you. Some of its elements might seem tame by today’s standards, but this film still earns its “R” rating.
Prior to the release of Overlord, rumors suggested that it would be a new installment in the very loose Cloverfield series. However, the final cut of the film has no connection with the Cloverfield universe although, after watching it, you can see how it could easily fit with just one expository scene inserted.
Overlord centers on a group of American soldiers in World War II who are dropped behind enemy lines shortly before the D-Day invasion is set to begin. The soldiers enter deeper and deeper into Nazi territory and discover that the Third Reich has been experimenting with chemicals in order to create a breed of super soldiers. Naturally, the American team — aided by oppressed German villagers — must put a stop to this evil scheme.
This film has some scary and gory moments but is overall a war/action film. Still, the plot and several intense scenes definitely make it worthy of being on this list of the best scary movies on Hulu.
A lot of the films on this list of the best scary movies on Hulu are fairly straightforward. Proxy, however, is not that. If you like your scares coupled with some thought-provoking filmmaking and don’t mind experiencing some non-traditional storytelling, Proxy is right up your alley.
If you’re looking for the simplicity of something like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though, Proxy won’t be your bag.
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The film focuses on a pregnant woman who loses her unborn baby after she is viciously attacked. After her physical recovery, she joins a support group for women dealing with the loss of a child. There, she meets another woman who doesn’t end up being who she says she is.
The first 20 minutes of this film alone earns it a spot on this list, as the assault scene is absolutely terrifying. The rest of the film has some super creepy scenes and a few more scares, but ultimately this is more of a psychological examination of a woman going through one of the toughest things a woman could ever go through. Proxy definitely isn’t for everyone, but it deserves a look if you’re prepared for it!
8. A Quiet Place
As with 28 Days Later, this movie isn’t just one of the best scary movies on Hulu but one of the best movies on the entire service. The plot of A Quiet Place is deceptively simple, but the characters and direction elevate it to a serious form of art.
Set some time in the future, A Quiet Place centers on a family living through a hellish existence after a race of aliens obliterate most of mankind. The monstrous aliens have incredible hearing abilities but are also mostly blind, making it essential that every living member of humanity stays as quiet as possible.
With the plot as it is, there is very little spoken dialog in A Quiet Place. Most of the communication between the family members is through sign language or simple looks and glances. This creates an immediate tension that plays out for some serious scares in the second and third acts.
A sequel to this film was slated to land in 2020, but the release was delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Hopefully, it will see a launch soon!
9. Super 8
Five years before the premiere of the Netflix TV show Stranger Things, we saw a film with a very similar plot called Super 8. Developed by J.J. Abrams, the film is essentially a mix of all your favorite 80s films involving kids, including The Goonies, Stand By Me, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. It’s also one of the best scary movies on Hulu at the moment.
Steven Spielberg was involved in two out of those three films, so it should come as no surprise that Super 8 is essentially an homage to the legendary filmmaker. The film centers on a group of young friends who are making a movie using Super 8 film. During filming, they come across a trainwreck that unleashes a very dangerous problem for them and possibly the world.
Once you watch Super 8, you clearly see where Stranger Things got a lot of its influence. Despite the film being mostly forgotten now, it still holds up as one of the best things J.J. Abrams has ever done. The only thing we wish was different is the ending — it’s a little bit of a disappointment. You be the judge, though!
As with the previously mentioned Proxy, this film Thelma doesn’t tell a simple story with some jump scares scattered throughout. Instead, it’s much artsier and abstract and might even take a second watch for you to fully understand what’s going on.
The plot of Thelma centers on the titular character, a young woman heading to college. Although she seems like a fish-out-of-water at the large school, she eventually befriends another young woman to whom she is instantly attracted. However, Thelma is harboring a dark power that she doesn’t even know about — but it could destroy everything she holds dear.
As a heads up, Thelma is the only film on this list of the best scary movies on Hulu that is not in English. There is no dubbed version available, so you’ll need to deal with subtitles. If you’re not into that, you’ll need to pass on this one. But we highly suggest not doing that because it is pretty spectacular!
That’s all we’ve got for the best scary movies on Hulu! Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as we will update it with new titles as they become available.