22 Best Horror Movies on Paramount+ to Watch Right Now

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As we already know, Paramount+ houses some of the most successful and best movies you can watch now. The obvious draw for the newly emerged streaming service is its ability to present films that viewers can’t seem to find on other streaming networks, thanks to the rich archives of Paramount Pictures dating back a century. For fellow horror fanatics, the fact that Paramount+ tends to stream a wide variety of projects, going back to the ’50s and earlier, is an apparent pro in paying for the monthly subscription.

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It’s not just the fact that Paramount+ has earlier released films, but it’s also the mixture of both new and exclusive releases (including original TV shows on Paramount), along with the incorporation of cult classics, that makes the membership worthwhile. With a recent announcement that all Paramount-distributed movies would specifically stream on the Paramount+ app by the start of 2024, it’s evident that the company is intentionally trying to diversify its range of content to cater to a wider array of audience members. For horror fans, this is a ‘plus.’ Some entries will only be available through AppleTV+’s own Paramount+ channel.

Updated on Jan. 10th, 2024, by Ben Hathaway: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.

22 Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

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One of A24’s better films thus far (which is no small compliment), Bodies Bodies Bodies has a couple of things working strongly in its favor, not least its casting. The narrative gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives of a group of very different 20-somethings as they play a party game in a mansion on a dark, rainy night. But the game was never supposed to take a life, and now it has.

Perfect Casting Choices Elevate this Horror-Comedy

The film helped bolster Maria Bakalova’s clout in the states after Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm got the ball rolling, greatly expanded Rachel Sennott’s profile, and gave Lee Pace an against-type character to play. Not to mention, as far as twists go, Bodies Bodies Bodies‘ is pretty darn good. In other words, its list of accomplishments is extensive.

21 X (2022)

X
X (2022)

Release Date
March 18, 2022

Rating
R

Read Our Review

Ti West was already announced as a potential horror master to watch before the release of X. But, with X, and its surprise prequel in the same year, Pearl, he confirmed everyone’s suspicions that, yes, he was the new Carpenter, or Craven, or Hooper. The plot follows a group of 20-somethings as they rent out an elderly couple’s back house to film an adult movie…without informing the owners of the property. But, even if they had, the owners would have still ended up bloodthirsty murderers…because that’s who they are.

The Best Cast and Crew Horror Has to Offer

Practically a cousin of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, X is an atmospheric film that isn’t easily forgotten. It’s also far deeper than one could ever guess by reading the synopsis or watching the trailer. Furthermore, X solidified Jenna Ortega as not only one of the best scream queens working today (after the same year’s Scream, with its phenomenal opening) but quite possibly the best of all time, even over Jamie Lee Curtis. But she’s not the only effective member of the cast list, as no one falls short, either in front of or behind the camera.

20 Scream VI (2023)

Scream 6
Scream 6

Release Date
March 10, 2023

Rating
R

Read Our Review

Speaking of Jenna Ortega… From the Ghostface reveal in the opening to the close, Scream VI announces itself as another step away from Wes Craven’s four installments. But, the spirit is as present as it was in 2022’s legitimately superb reboot, with or without Neve Campbell (surprisingly enough). The plot follows the 2022 film’s Carpenter sisters (Melissa Barrera and Ortega), who have moved to the Big Apple only to have another murderer put on the Ghostface mask.

A Worthy Continuation of the Scream Franchise

Both Scream and Scream VI are so good that there’s a legitimate reason to worry about the conclusion of this second trilogy, now that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are out of their shared directors’ chair. One just hopes history doesn’t repeat itself in the form of Scream 3 Version 2.0. Even still, at least there are two modern Scream films that understand what makes the IP click.

19 Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby is a religion-infused horror film with a lot on its mind. The plot follows a young woman whose life is seemingly going as she always hoped. A new massive apartment, an actor husband, and a baby on the way. Unfortunately, when it comes to the child, her husband has made a deal with some cultists and a horned third party.

A Timeless Horror Classic

Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer’s performances as two Satanists make the film outright terrifying, along with the music and what Farrow can do with her eyes and face in one particular third-act scene. But, the film’s ace in the hole is its casting. Mia Farrow is an absolute dynamo as the title character, with a range that few other performers would have been able to pull off.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

18 Pumpkinhead (1988)

Pumpkinhead
Pumpkinhead

Release Date
January 13, 1989
Cast
Lance Henriksen , Jeff East , John D’Aquino , Kimberly Ross , Joel Hoffman

Rating
R

There’s only been one quasi-mainstream film to give genre legend Lance Henriksen the lead role. That film is the curse-riddled Pumpkinhead, and it’s absolutely one of those horror movies that only gets better with subsequent viewings. The film follows a farmer whose son is accidentally run down by a group of teens and subsequently seeks the help of a witch and her reincarnated towering beast pal. But, the farmer will soon learn that vengeance doesn’t feel so sweet.

For Fans of Atmospheric Horror

It nails the ominous, foggy atmospherics that the narrative requires and even manages to throw in a few legitimately jarring scares. It’s not the best horror film, but makeup maestro Stan Winston’s directorial debut was an impressive one. It’s a shame Pumpkinhead didn’t kick off a longer directorial career for the late Hollywood legend.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

Related: 10 Best Westerns on Paramount+ to Watch Right Now

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16 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Steve Miner, director of Friday the 13th Part 2 and Friday the 13th Part III, returned to mainstream slasher territory with Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and thank goodness he did. After the mixed reaction to Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, 2018’s Halloween has started to look a bit inferior to H20. But, that’s not quite fair to either film, nor is it fair to either one of Jamie Lee Curtis’ takes on Laurie Strode. H20‘s version has her running a private school, where her son is an attendee and Michael Myers is a new arrival.

One of the Halloween Saga’s Best Installments

Halloween is a saga of parallel realities and, were it not for Halloween: Resurrection, the line of Halloween, Halloween II, and Halloween H20 would make for the franchise’s must-watch trilogy of sorts. Either way, no fan of the IP wants to remember Resurrection, which should be ashamed to have the same director as 1981’s first sequel. This is especially true considering H20 has the absolute best final scene for Michael outside the original. Though, the blinded, scalpal-waving Michael of Halloween II ain’t so shabby himself.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

15 Cursed (2005)

cursed
cursed

Release Date
February 25, 2005

Rating
PG-13

The theatrical cut of Cursed hit theaters in a form never intended, and while it is very flawed, it’s pretty darn over-hated. Perhaps expectations were too high with the reteaming of director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. Though, make no mistake, the werewolf-themed Cursed is no Scream.

Worthwhile for Judy Greer’s Stellar Performance

However, what is there is entertaining, and as sibling characters Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg have pretty great chemistry. Not to mention, Cursed gave the great Judy Greer a major role…not even Scream or Scream 2 can attest to the same (what a missed opportunity). All that said, the unrated cut is a tad superior and worth checking out outside of Paramount+.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

14 Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation
Annihilation

Release Date
February 22, 2018

Rating
R

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

A great mix of sci-fi and psychological horror, Annihilation saw Natalie Portman play cellular biology professor Lena, also a former soldier. When a mysterious alien presence crashes on Earth and terraforms a large area, the place becomes known as a quarantined zone called “the Shimmer.” Expeditions into the Shimmer have never returned. When Lena’s fellow soldier husband returns but collapses and is taken into the ICU, she joins an all-female team of scientists and soldiers who enter the Shimmer to investigate it. Once inside, it’s soon apparent that it’s been transformed into a beautiful but deadly hellscape of alien mutation.

Some of Alex Garland’s Best Work

The visuals in Annihilation are worthy of streaming alone, but thankfully, it’s a film filled with far more. This includes everything from an undead bear beast to a heady finale. While it’s woefully underrated, this one will leave your nerves rattled with its monstrous creatures and unknown possibilities that lurk around every corner.

13 Pet Sematary (2019)

pet sematary
Pet Sematary

Release Date
April 4, 2019

Director
Kevin Kolsch , Dennis Widmyer

Rating
R

The second adaptation of Stephen King’s famous book, Pet Sematary re-imagines the classic film from 1989. It follows the four-member Creed family and their pet cat, Church. When Church is killed by a truck, their neighbor, Judd, shows patriarch Louis, the patriarch, the ancient burial ground and tells him to bury Church there. Louis is shocked when Church later returns. In a tragic event, his daughter, Ellie, is later also killed when she’s hit by a tanker. Despite Judd’s warnings, Louis resurrects her and soon learns that those who return from the burial ground aren’t themselves anymore.

Stephen King Fans Will Not Be Disappointed

The revised cinematic take on Pet Sematary is an impressively atmospheric remake that unfortunately didn’t do particularly well at the box office. This is odd considering It‘s massive success just two years prior, but at least it was popular enough to get a Paramount+ exclusive prequel. As a whole, it’s a solid remake, with Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, and young Jeté Laurence all giving terrific performances.

Related: 15 Best Original TV Shows on Paramount+ to Watch Right Now

12 The Grudge (2004)

A remake of a Japanese horror film, The Grudge was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also made the film it was based on. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays an exchange nurse named Karen. After moving to Tokyo, she unwittingly gets wrapped up in an ancient curse and is haunted by a vengeful spirit. She learns that the grudge is a curse that forms when a person dies under circumstances of extreme rage or sorrow. Anyone who encounters it will die, and the curse continues to be reborn from victim to victim.

Creative Scares and an Intriguing Plot

Co-produced by the iconic Sam Raimi, the movie certainly is capable of effective scares that aren’t just of the jump variety. Furthermore, casting Gellar in the lead at a time when the Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress was at the peak of her fame and popularity was a good get. A haunting movie with some memorably scary moments, it was a commercial success that spawned three sequels.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

11 The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black

Release Date
February 3, 2012

Director
James Watkins
Cast
Emma Shorey , Molly Harmon , Sophie Stuckey , Daniel Radcliffe , Misha Handley , Jessica Raine

Rating
PG-13

Taking place in 1906 England, The Woman in Black has Daniel Radcliffe playing Arthur, a young lawyer who’s sent to wrap up the affairs of a woman named Alice Drablow. He soon encounters the strange and haunting figure of a woman dressed in black. As he tries to do his work at the estate, Arthur is haunted by visions and strange occurrences that lend the film a decidedly creepy and gothic edge.

A Distinct Role for Radcliffe

The Woman in Black came at a time when Radcliffe was still fresh off his global fame for playing the boy who lived. Seeking to break away from his boyish reputation as Harry Potter, this one saw him in a much darker role. A commercial success, The Woman in Black has an impressively haunting atmosphere that is eerie without being outright horrifying, making it perfect for those with a low tolerance for gruesome gore.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

10 Orphan: First Kill (2022)

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The prequel tale Orphan: First Kill fills in the audience on the early days of Esther, the main antagonist of the first film, seen here as a 31-year-old Estonian woman living in a psychiatric facility. Originally known as Leena, she suffered from a rare disorder called hypopituitarism, which gave her the appearance of a 9-year-old girl despite being a grown woman. Using her adult mind in despicable ways, Leena seduces and stabs her way to stealing the life she’s always wanted.

A Surprisingly Solid Followup

Tracing the backstory of the infamous Esther was an interesting idea after over a decade. But, outside some obvious and to-be-expected aging on Fuhrman that not even 2020s CGI can undo, it’s a solid addition to the first film’s mythos. Not to mention, Fuhrman yet again dominates every scene.

9 Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin (2022)

Still from Paranormal Activity Next of Kin
Paramount+

Paramount+ successfully resurrected the Paranormal Activity franchise with Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin. The narrative follows Margot, who travels to an Amish community along with a documentary film crew as she searches for answers about her mother. Abandoned by her mother as a newborn, Margot hopes to meet any of her existing relatives, but she’s actually in for a rude awakening (a.k.a. demonic spirits).

A Thoroughly Petrifying Franchise

The Paranormal Activity franchise in itself is completely terrifying due to the realism of the filming techniques, the presence of supernatural entities, and the family backstory interconnected to the series of films. You can find the complete franchise of Paranormal Activity films on Paramount+, including Paranormal Activity‘s 1 through 4, The Marked Ones, and The Ghost Dimension. It would be a worthy, nightmare-inducing binge for newcomers.

8 The Ring (2002)

The Ring
The Ring

Release Date
October 18, 2002

Rating
PG-13

The Ring is a classic horror film that defined scary movies of the mid-00s. Directed by Gore Verbinski, this film was one of the first to modernize psychological horror and bring fear to the masses. The story follows Rachel, a journalist who is asked to investigate the death of a teen girl who was killed one week after watching a strange videotape. Now that Rachel has seen the tape for herself, she has a ticking clock to find answers.

A Must-See Piece of Horror History

The image of a soaked girl in a hospital gown, long dark hair covering her face, is now deeply embedded in the psyche of horror fans. These days there’s one in just about every haunted house you visit. If you haven’t seen The Ring, it’s a staple of horror culture. It will have you saying “Seven Days,” to all your friends right when you jump scare them.

Related: 10 Best Comedy Movies on Paramount+ to Watch Right Now

7 A Quiet Place Part II (2021)

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Following the success of the first film, A Quiet Place: Part II picks up with the Abbott family as they come face to face with the unknowns of the outside world. After the horrific events that took place at their family farmhouse, the group must fight for survival in complete silence as they travel along a sand path. The family quickly realizes there are creatures nearby who pursue their prey by sound.

Creative Use of Sound Makes a Unique Atmosphere

Directed by John Krasinski, the sequel doesn’t have the emotional and allegorical resonance of the first film. But, it more than makes up for that by upping the horror ante in some very impressive ways. Even more impressively, it does so with almost no dialogue. The movie was, for many, their first experience back in the theaters following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, though it makes for just as scary of a watch at home.

6 The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project

You’ve probably heard of The Blair Witch Project by now and thus, may have already had the ending spoiled for you. If you haven’t, we encourage you to judge the movie for yourself. The relatively simple narrative tells the story of three film students who venture out into the woods to try and document the titular local murderous “urban legend” that may be quite real after all.

The Blair Witch Project became famous for the realism of its cinematography. It’s filmed with a hand-held appearance, as if it were a few teenagers in the woods looking for some frightening truth. This was one of the first horror movies to be done in that found footage style of filming, thus adding to the terror the audience experiences. A precursor to Paranormal Activity, this movie changed the game for horror films and opened up an era in which cinematographers made a huge effort to sell you on the film’s realism. The Blair Witch Project is well worth a watch.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

5 Super 8 (2011)

super 8
Super 8

Release Date
June 8, 2011

Rating
PG-13

This underrated sci-fi film brings the fantastic style of legendary filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and combines it with the thriller sensibilities of J.J. Abrams. Super 8 follows a group of kids from the ’70s and puts them in a terrifying situation. Specifically, a massive monster has come to town. Sort of like E.T. if the kids in that movie experienced terrifying consequences for their actions.

Abrams’s Most Underrated Work

Abrams takes us on a thrilling ride that’s worth the attention of any Spielberg or horror fans. In fact, it is a tale that’s meant to reflect the director’s own childhood when he used to run around filming things with a Super 8 camera. That closeness to his heart is readily apparent in the touching emotional arc of the movie.

4 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane is a sort of parallel sequel in the Cloverfield franchise. When Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is the sudden victim of a car crash, she is suspiciously rescued by a man named Howard (John Goodman) and wakes up in his underground bunker with no memory of what happened. Howard explains to her that a terrible, but undetermined event occurred that affected the world on an apocalyptic scale. But the meager proof he provides isn’t enough to convince Michelle that she must remain locked in this bunker for the foreseeable future.

A Claustrophobic Two-Hander

An incredible cast lines up to make this a more than worthy sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield. Winstead again shows that she’s a great choice to lead a genre film, while John Goodman manages to be outright terrifying even though he’s such a well-known and, typically, likable presence. It’s also a fairly brisk watch and nothing that makes it too off-limits for youngsters.

Available via Paramount Plus Apple TV

3 Smile (2022)

Smile
Smile

Release Date
September 30, 2022

Director
Parker Finn

Rating
R

Read Our Review

Smile tells the story of Dr. Rose Cotter, whose newest patient, a grad school student, claims to be in a cat-and-mouse game with an unseen entity. One that possesses people with a smile. That is, it gives them a smile and a quickly ticking clock.

A Simple Premise Done Well

The film was the surprise breakout scarer of 2022. Originally intended to be a Paramount+ exclusive, it was given a theatrical release after some strong test screenings. With a budget of only $17 million, the film grossed $217.4 million worldwide, making it as much a financial success as it was a critical one. One might have skipped it in theaters for being too scary, but now is the perfect time to check out Smile.

Related: 10 Best Action Movies on Paramount+ to Watch Right Now

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