Want to get your pulse racing and your spine tingling? Maybe you need something spooky as an excuse to cuddle up closer to your crush? Or perhaps you want to test your mettle with some supremely creepy cinema? Whatever your reasons, Paramount+ has a thrilling library of movies perfect for a scary night in.
Below, we’ve collected the highlights across a wide field of horror films. Whether you’re on the hunt for vicious zombies, sinister slashers, creepy critters, merciless monsters, modern hits, or chilling classics with stars like Vincent Price and Béla Lugosi, we’ve got what you want.
Here are the 10 best scary movies now available on Paramount+.
Credit: Paramount Pictures
John Krasinski went from actor to celebrated horror director with this spine-tingling 2018 hit. Starring opposite his real-life wife Emily Blunt, The Office star plays a farmer, dedicated to protecting his family from killer creatures that hunt by sound. This clever premise means the movie’s characters can’t scream, because such a sound would definitely be their last. That means your own sounds of terror are weaponized while watching, crashing into the silent soundscape that’s suffocating in tension.
Ruthlessly paced and keenly realized, A Quiet Place is a superbly scary thrill ride. But what makes it top-tier are the poignant performances by Krasinski, Blunt, and their onscreen children, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. Together, they make a family-frightening feature that’s perfect for a quiet night at home. And if you dare to double-feature, the spooky sequel, A Quiet Place: Part II, is also available.
How to watch: A Quiet Place is streaming on Paramount+
2. Night of the Living Dead
The George A. Romero classic defined the zombie genre for generations.
Credit: Image Ten/Kobal/Shutterstock
There’s a horde of zombie movies to be found on Paramount+, from Bela Lugosi’s classic White Zombie, to the gleefully schlocky Overlord, to the studio-made epic World War Z. But the best of the bunch is George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.
This 1968 independent film defined the zombie horror genre for generations. Its slow, shuffling undead with a ravenous hunger for human flesh were chillingly brought to “life” through eerie performances and grisly practical effects make-up that would become a revolting requirement. The frightening film follows a band of strangers, who huddle together in a remote farm house in a clumsy attempt to escape the clutches of cannibalistic reanimated corpses.
Shot in stark black-and-white and featuring heightened performances, it feels of its time. Yet the scares within are timeless.
How to watch: Night of the Living Dead is streaming on Paramount+
In 2020, writer/helmer Rose Glass made a jaw-dropping directorial debut with this riveting psychological horror film. In a squalid seaside town, Maud (Morfydd Clark) is a pious young nurse who is fanatically dedicated to God. Hired as a private hospice caretaker for dying artist Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), Maud develops a dark fascination for her patient’s lust for life, booze, and Sapphic sex.
Their volatile bond is electric with temptation and conflict, which ignites as Maud steps up her quest to save Amanda’s soul. A battle of wills bends into the surreal as visual effects and a sound design reflect the world from Maud’s perspective. Punctuated with goosebump-pumping violence, swaddled in a sophisticated color palette of warmth and rot, and threaded by inky sexual tension, Saint maud is uniquely intoxicating and unnerving experience that’ll leave you in horrified awe.
How to watch: Saint Maud is streaming on Paramount+
4. Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?
As the glamor starlets of Hollywood’s Golden Age began to grow old, horror saw the rise of the psycho biddy subgenre. Stars like Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Shelley Winters leaned into their age and their boldness to play tragically flawed anti-heroines, whose lives were streaked with terror.
In this freaky yet festive example from director Curtis Harrington, Winters stars as a wealthy and eccentric widow, who invites the local orphans to spend Christmas in her home. Things take a grisly Hansel & Gretel turn, when two troublesome siblings suspect beloved Auntie Roo isn’t what she seems. Whether you’re craving creepy kids, fractured fairy tales, holiday horror, or a psycho biddy, Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? presents it all with a technicolor flare.
How to watch: Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? is streaming on Paramount+
5. A Bucket of Blood
Two prolific horror icons collide in this quirky classic. Roger Corman was a pioneer of American independent cinema, churning out scads of low-budget but wildly entertaining horror movies. Dick Miller was a character actor, who’d pop up in such popular pics as Gremlins, Piranha, The Howling, Chopping Mall, and The ‘Burbs. In this 1959 collaboration; however, Miller was the star, playing a simple-minded busboy who dreamed of being part of the hip beatnik scene.
Alas, none of the artists, poets, or free-loving dames at the coffee shop where he works will give him the time of day. That is until an accidental murder of a cat (think Polonius in Hamlet) leads to a macabre sculpture that blows the snooty lot away. Though stippled with grisly elements, A Bucket of Blood is at its core a satire of the ‘50s art scene. As such, it’s glossed in a smirking sense of humor that’s devilish fun.
How to watch: A Bucket of Blood is streaming on Paramount+
Want a creature feature that’ll make your skin crawl? Then check out Frank Marshall’s 1990 hit, which centers on an exotic spider making a sprawling web across a cozy American community. Jeff Daniels stars as the new doctor in town, who suspects an eight-legged assassin might be to blame for a spade of grisly deaths. He gets push back from an array of quirky characters, including an arrogant exterminator (memorably played by John Goodman). But when spiders start scurrying into showers, bowls of popcorn, and out of a dead man’s nose, there’s no denying infestation!
Along with squicky scares, Arachnophobia boasts a sly sense of humor that had critics celebrating it as a cheeky ode to the B-movies of the atomic age. But who needs giant radioactive insects, when swarms of fanged spiders are plenty scary?
How to watch: Arachnophobia is streaming on Paramount+
7. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Since Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal Psycho, the slasher subgenre has had deep, dark ties to true-crime. This 1976 cult classic, which features a hooded serial killer, was inspired by the infamous and unsolved Texarkana Moonlight Murders. In 1946, the Phantom Killer stalked the teens of this Arkansas town, torturing, maiming, and murdering. Director Charles B. Pierce and writer Earl E. Smith played fast and loose with the facts of the crimes, delivering re-enactments rife with horrific hyperbole.
However, some chilling choices bring an air of eerie authenticity to the film. It was shot on location in Texarkana, featured real-life locals in small roles, and offered an ominous narrator (Vern Stierman) to usher audiences through the carnage as if this were a documentary. Imagine Unsolved Mysteries with a vicious bloodlust and a weaponized trombone, and you’ll have some idea what’s to come when the sun goes down.
How to watch: The Town That Dreaded Sundown is streaming on Paramount+
This 2019 version of Stephen King’s classic is more reimagining than remake, but what a wild ride it is.
Stephen King has long been heralded the king of horror novels. His Pet Sematary was a book so scary that it’s been adapted to the big screen twice. The first came in 1989, yet this 2019 version is less a remake and more a reimagining. Instead of retreading the gruesome path of the original, directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer make surprising turns to keep the thrills fresh and frightening — but still deliciously ghoulish!
Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz star as parents happy to move their young children away from the bustling of a big city to a quaint Maine town. The locals are odd but friendly. (Shout out to a perfectly morose John Lithgow.) Their house is lovely, but its location proves full of dangers and deadly temptations. Then, this dreamy family’s waking nightmare begins when a dead cat is resurrected. From there, things grow more monstrous and moldering.
How to watch: Pet Sematary is streaming on Paramount+
9. Cry of the Banshee
If you treasure the deranged delights of movies like Midsummer, The Wicker Man, and The Witch, then you appreciate the perturbing pleasures found in folk horror. Thrillingly, Paramount+ boasts two of the foundational films in this subgenre, 1971’s The Blood On Satan’s Claw and 1970’s Cry of the Banshee. Both are British productions that deliver spooky tales of superstition and the supernatural, but only the latter also boasts horror icon Vincent Price.
Here, the mesmerizing star with a penetrating stare and a sinisterly syrupy voice plays a ruthless witch hunter whose brutality sparks a devilish comeuppance upon his entire family. Dark magic, violence, nudity, madness, and theatrical declarations (and damnations) come into play in this Elizabethan-era set tale, splashed with bright red blood.
How to watch: Cry of the Banshee is streaming on Paramount+
10. Invisible Ghost
Béla Lugosi was one of the first legends of horror films, starring in such classics as Dracula, The Black Cat, and The Raven. Lesser-known but nonetheless exciting is this twisted tale of marital strife and murder.
Joseph H. Lewis’s 1941 classic begins with a bizarre dinner, during which the eccentric Dr. Charles Kessler (Lugosi) toasts an invisible guest, his wife who went missing years before. Sometimes she still appears to the haunted doctor, driving him to act out in heinous violence. While his worried daughter, her mysterious fiancé, and a spooked house staff play detective (or die trying), Kessler horrifies the audience not only with his slaughter, but also through Lugosi’s disturbing gaze and bone-rattling intensity.
With a gothic flare and a fiendish finale, Invisible Ghost is an old-fashioned but spooky bit of fun.
How to watch: Invisible Ghost is streaming on Paramount+