Best Horror Movies On HBO Max Till Now

Nothing gets you screamin’ like the best horror movie to start off the weekend! Set the mood by dimming the lights, snuggling up with your favorite blanket, and bringing out the candy corn for a spooky night. You might be looking to add a new best horror movie to your collection. You can search for the best horror movies on HBO Max. 

We’ve compiled a list of terrifying thrills, including creepy clowns, masked killers, and more. To name a few, there are psychological best horror movies like The Shining, all-time classics like Conjuring, King of the Monsters, and flesh-eating plants in Little Shop of Horrors. Simply prepare to jump at any creaking noise or shadow in the house, as you’ll most likely be spooked for the rest of the night.

However, horror movies are not for everyone, so if you want a peaceful night’s sleep or if your children want to join you on the weekend, these best horror movies capture the spirit of weekend entertainment without making you jump out of your seat. 

There are plenty of best horror movies to be had whether you’re rewatching old favorites, seeing new ones for the first time, or binge-watching this entire movie list on HBO Max. If you’re looking for more best horror movies on HBO Max to watch, look no further but a list below.

Related: Best Sci-Fi Movies on HBO Max


1. The Shining

Year: 1980

Director Name: Stanley Kubrick

Writer Name: Stephen King, Diane Johnson, Stanley Kubrick

Cast: Shelley Duvall, Jack Nicholson, Danny Lloyd

Rating: 8.4

Run TIme: 2h 26m

“In order to break his writer’s block, Jack Torrance takes a job as a winter caretaker at Colorado’s remote Overlook Hotel. He and his wife, Wendy, as well as his psychically precognitive son, Danny, settle in.”

This is widely regarded as one of the best films of all time, and I agree. The acting is superb, and the film focuses on more terrifying elements rather than “jump scares.” I strongly urge you to watch it if you haven’t already. I’ve spent the last three years watching horror films that I didn’t think I’d like, and I’ve loved every minute of it.


2. Carnival of Souls

Year: 1962

Director Name: Herk Harvey

Writer Name: Herk Harvey, John Clifford

Cast: Frances Feist, Candace Hilligoss, Sidney Berger

Rating: 7.1

Run TIme: 1h 28m

“After a fatal car accident, a church organist fights delusions and demons.”

One of my favorites of all time. “An oldie but a goodie,” as the phrase goes. A strange story with some disturbing moments and an even stranger conclusion.


3. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Year: 2021

Director Name: Michael Chaves

Writer Name: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan, Chad Hayes

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor

Rating: 6.3

Run TIme: 1h 52m

“Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators, investigate a horrifying case of killing and wicked possession.”

In the Conjuring trilogy, an underappreciated sequel that really went for something different. I enjoy taking risks, and this film was no exception… I just wish there were a few more jumps scares.


4. The Conjuring

Year: 2013

Director Name: James Wan

Writer Name: Carey W. Hayes, Chad Hayes

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston

Rating: 7.5

Run TIme: 1h 52m

“When Lorraine and Ed Warren try to help parents and children who are being terrorized in their secluded farmhouse, they come face to face with a powerful demonic entity.”

This is the one who started it all. Because it has expanded into its own little universe, this film has become underappreciated over time, but man is it spooky.


5. Severance

Year: 2022

Creator: Dan Erickson

Cast: Zach Cherry, Adam Scott, Britt Lower

Rating: 8.1

Run TIme: 55m

Horror and comedy work surprisingly well together, though finding films that succeed in both genres is more difficult than it appears. Severance expertly navigates the space between screams and laughter, combining a familiar slasher setting with a largely humorous cast of characters.

When a group of employees ends up at a deserted building that isn’t all that deserted, a team-building retreat goes horribly wrong. In this fast-paced cinematic romp, the “heroes” bumble their way through an array of deadly encounters, completely out of their element.


6. Equinox

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“A demon attacks four friends on a picnic because they possess a tome of mystic information.”

It’s a bit of a fever dream of a movie, but it’s still entertaining. It screams 1970s horror, and you can tell it influenced a lot of other horror films that came after it. You should add this as a classic and a must-see.


7. The Conjuring 2

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“In 1977, Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to north London to assist a single mother with four children and her possessed daughter.”

This is a fantastic film that is beautifully filmed and terrifying. A haunting ghost story and an underrated Christmas horror film.


8. Troll Hunter

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“In this clever mockumentary, student filmmakers meet a poacher who kills trolls for the Norwegian government.”

This film was both ridiculous and fantastic. Although the troll designs are amusing, many people on the Internet find them terrifying. A film that appears to be a joke but has a compelling story.


9. The Haunting in Connecticut

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“A family moves into an old house to be closer to their son’s cancer treatments, only to discover the house is haunted by evil spirits.”

This is a difficult film to watch simply because it is so depressing. For its time, it was a very unique film with some interesting visual effects that really stood out.


10. The Nun

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“The Vatican has dispatched a priest and a novitiate to Romania to investigate the suicide of a young nun. When they come face to face with a demonic force in the form of a nun, they quickly find themselves in a fight for their lives.”

There are a few moments that are truly “goose-bump” worthy. It’s not perfect, but if you like the Conjuring movies, it’s worth a watch.


11. The Curse of La Llorona

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“While investigating the disappearance of two children, a social worker discovers that her own family may be in danger.”

The weeping woman legend is one of the most well-known urban legends all over the world. The film is a little underwhelming, but the legend alone is worth watching.


12. It Chapter Two

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“Six childhood friends reunite in their small Maine hometown to face an evil entity they thought they had extinguished 30 years ago.”

Splitting the book in half is a bold move, and while I didn’t love it, it’s worth watching if you’ve seen the first one. In this film, both Bills (Hader and Skarsgrd) are fantastic.


13. Mama

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“In this old-school ghost story, two orphan girls are discovered after five years in the woods, followed by an ominous presence.”

Mama is a full-length story based on an amazing short film that will make you jump out of your seat. The casting of Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as parents was a unique combination.


14. The Purge

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“In a crime-plagued future America, the government has designated one night per year as a night when all criminal activity, including murder, is legal.”

I’ve never been a big fan of the Purge series, but you should give it a try. For example, I used to avoid Halloween because I thought it was “not my jam,” but now it is one of my all-time favorites.


15. Cloverfield

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“In this harrowing found-footage thriller, a group of young people goes racing to survive an enormous monster’s invasion of New York City.”

This one is very popular if you can handle shaky-cam movies. It’s uncommon to see big-budget found-footage films, but this one is exceptional.


16. Lady in White

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“A young boy who enjoys telling ghost stories has an encounter with a real ghost, marking him as the next victim of a child killer.”

It’s at the top of my watchlist, so I thought I’d mention it. This film has a very atmospheric look to it, and it feels very…well, ghostly!


17. Annabelle Comes Home

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“Lorraine Warren and Demonologists Ed bring the owned doll to their locked antique room in their home, placing her safely behind religious glass and enrolling a priest’s holy blessing to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc.”

Although I didn’t enjoy it, they did take the time to introduce some new potential haunted objects for their Conjuring universe. The haunted coins were my favorite part.


18. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

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“In this campy horror film, blood-sucking extraterrestrial clowns attack a small town to prepare the cotton-candy food pods out of unfortunate human beings.”

Surprisingly, a large number of people are terrified by this ridiculous film. The designs are amazing, and they’ve scared a lot of people over the years. It’s the perfect late-night horror movie, with plenty of gags, laughs, and popcorn.


19. Freaky

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“In this entertaining, genre-bending horror-comedy, a teen magically switches bodies with a serial killer.”

It’s Freaky Friday, but this time there’s a serial killer involved. It’s been added to my watchlist, so it may rise even higher.


20. Onibaba

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Onibaba, based on a Japanese folk tale, is disturbing on a primal level. The film, directed by Kaneto Shindo, follows a mother and daughter who resort to murder to survive during Japan’s civil war in the 14th century. Eventually, a man appears who causes both women to have a physical reaction, as well as paranoia and jealousy.

Onibaba builds to a terrifying conclusion, concluding with a scene that will stay with most viewers for a long time.


21. From Dusk Till Dawn

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From Dusk to Dawn is unlike any other horror film, owing to the fact that it does not reveal its identity until the final act. Two brothers kidnap a family and end up in a bar in Mexico, where they are treated strangely from the start. Eventually, it is discovered that this establishment is a popular haunt for vampires.

From Dusk till Dawn should not work as well as it does, going from a darkly comic crime drama to a gore-filled horror film, but Robert Rodriguez’s assured direction and a capable cast help sell the story’s tonal whiplash. Finally, the film is just a lot of fun, which is sometimes all you need from a Quentin Tarantino-directed action crime horror drama.


22. Gremlins

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Gremlins is a Halloween and Christmas film, but make no mistake: it’s a horror film directed by Joe Dante. Gremlins blends comedy and parody with vicious frights, with the titular monsters coming across as dangerous menaces rather than quirky misfits, unlike its sillier but still charming sequel.

Gremlins is a great choice for families looking for a lighthearted horror film that isn’t afraid of cynicism or violence, even if it isn’t suitable for young children. The film is also entertaining and enjoyable.


23. Kwaidan

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Kwaidan is a visual masterpiece that consists of four ghost stories. Each of the four shorts is defined by mesmerizing colors that are both aesthetically and narratively pleasing; Kwaidan lends a sense of mysticism to its chosen Japanese folk tales through cinematography and direction.

Kwaidan isn’t a particularly frightening horror film, but its haunting imagery ensures that all of its tales stay with you long after the credits have rolled. Kwaidan exemplifies the breadth of HBO Max’s horror lineup.


24. Ouija: Origin Of Evil

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Unlike the toothless Ouija from 2014, Origin of Evil has something to say that isn’t just a rehash of horror movie tropes and jump scares. Mike Flanagan’s prequel features likable characters, an intriguing premise based on tragedy and a hint of unpredictability, and a focus on atmosphere rather than quick but forgettable scares.

Because Ouija: Origin of Evil is a prequel, fans can skip the 2014 film and jump right into the 2016 sequel. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience.


25. The Exorcist

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The Exorcist, one of the most well-known horror films of all time, shocked audiences when it was first released, and decades of imitators have done little to diminish its appeal. The Exorcist is about two priests attempting to expel a demon from the body of a young girl, as the title suggests; this battle takes up the majority of the story, and it is both thrilling and terrifying to watch unfold.

Despite its abundance of over-the-top moments, The Exorcist’s acting is naturalistic, and it is complemented by a clean but gritty aesthetic. Linda Blair also gives one of the best horror performances of all time.


26. 28 Days Later

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Even in a crowded sub-genre like zombie movies, 28 Days Later stands out for its sheer intensity. The plot doesn’t break any new ground, as it revolves once again around society’s response to a zombie outbreak; however, 28 Days Later’s decision to let its zombies run revitalized the overused monster in a big way.

28 Days Later is a thrilling horror film, a biting political allegory, and a character study all rolled into one. With the exception of Shaun of the Dead and Train to Busan, 28 Days Later is the best zombie film of the twenty-first century.


27. Carnival Of Souls

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Since its initial release, Carnival of Souls has grown in popularity as more people discover this trip down madness lane. After surviving a car accident, a church organist relocates to Salt Lake City, where she struggles to fit in. She is drawn to a creepy and abandoned carnival once she arrives.

Carnival of Souls creates a dream-like atmosphere that grows as the film approaches its climax, despite some corny moments. The acting is excellent throughout the film, and the scares are well-earned.


28. Night Of The Living Dead

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Regardless of personal preference, Night of the Living Dead is without a doubt the most effective zombie movie ever made. Many of the standards that would come to define the subgenre were established by George A. Romero’s classic; impressively, age and overexposure have done little to dilute the film’s appeal or impact.

The stripped-back aesthetic of Night of the Living Dead, which was shot on a small budget, adds to the film’s fear factor. In this case, it works in the film’s favor because the human characters take center stage over the zombies.


29. The Blob

Year: 1958

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There’s not much to the story of a giant glob of goo that lands in a small town and starts devouring everyone, but the monster itself is so fascinating that this oldie still demands your attention. It’s still difficult to look away because it’s so gloriously gross.


30. The Brood

Year: 1979

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The Brood, directed by David Cronenberg, is a distorted film about the monstrous aspects of motherhood. It cozies up to a dad (Art Hindle) in pain as his wife (Eggar Samantha) who was mentally ill strives to get treatment from a contentious psychotherapist (Oliver Reed) who allegedly transforms his patients with his mind-and-body-altering practice known as “psychoplasmic.” 


31. The Invisible Man

Year: 2020

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The classic H.G. Wells story is given a modern remake that manages to avoid all of the issues that have plagued previous adaptations. 

Elisabeth Moss gives an outstanding performance as a woman determined to flee her abusive boyfriend, only to discover that he is still following her. Invisibly. One of the best “studio” horror films in recent years, this is incredibly intense, consistently clever, and full of characters worth caring about.


32. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

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The film that first introduced you to Freddy Krueger is proof that monstrous designs don’t have to be corny. The original version of the character, played by Robert Englund, is a sadistic serial killer who plunges his knifed hands into his victims and occasionally blows them up into blood geysers. On an all-too-quiet night, confront this horror story.


33. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

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After you’ve seen A Nightmare on Elm Street, watch Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which isn’t just a prelude to the director’s late-career comeback. He finds a surprisingly thoughtful, poignant way back into a franchise that was almost swallowed by camp after years of catchy sequels by casting the heroes from his 1984 original Nightmare on Elm Street as themselves. New Nightmare is a work of keen self-criticism from a genuine master of horror. It’s funny, subtle, and genuinely terrifying.


34. Splinter

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Polly Watt (Jill W.) and her boyfriend Seth Belzer (Paulo C.) determine to check into a motel when their plans for a nature trip go awry. Low-rent crooks Lacey Belisle (Rachel Krebs) and Dennis Farell (Shea Whigham) carjack and kidnap the victims and their SUV as they drive to a nearby gas station. They come across an ever-increasing horde of parasites along the way, and if any of them are to survive, they’ll have to outsmart the dangerous organisms.


35. The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse

Year: 1933

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The sequel to Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse the Gambler is best known for its chillingly accurate depiction of Germany’s development in the 1930s. Putting aside its historical significance, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a thoughtful examination of the nature of evil and the impact fear can have on society. While not “horror” in the traditional sense, this film is filled with a palpable sense of despondency.

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a standout release by one of the film industry’s most revered directors, despite not reaching the heights of 1927’s Metropolis or 1931’s M.


36. Warm Bodies

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The world’s population has been split between zombies and humans due to a terrible plague. R (Nicholas Hoult) is an unusual zombie who looks at his walking-dead comrades striking a living lady named Julie (Teresa Palmer) and saving her. Julie notices that R is distinct from the other zombies, and the two forms an unusual bond. As their bond deepens and R becomes more human, a chain of events unfolds that has the potential to transform the lifeless world.


37. 28 Weeks Later

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The rage virus has nearly wiped out the population of the British Isles six months after the original outbreak. Despite this, the United States Army declares the threat to be over, and American troops arrive to restore order and begin reconstruction. Refugees return to the United Kingdom, but one of them has a deadly secret: the virus is still alive and well, and it is even more dangerous than before.


38. Poltergeist II: The Other Side

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The Freelings have fled their haunted home, which was investigated by paranormal experts, including shaman Taylor (Will Sam). When Taylor discovers that the Beast, posing as Rev. Kane (Beck Julian), knows where young Carol Freeling (O’Rourke Heather ) now resides, he then goes to warn the family that their daughter is once again in danger. Carol’s father, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), and the rest of the family must devise a strategy to stop the Beast.


39. Sisters

Year: 1972

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The first thriller from Brian De Palma (Scarface, Carrie) may be a low-budget slasher, but there’s a lot more to this psychological horror show than meets the eye. The movie follows a killing and cover-up committed by a female young model (and possibly her twin sister) played by Kidder Margot, as well as the investigation by a journalist (Jennifer Salt) who witnesses the event from her window across the street. Sisters take a few twists and turns, but it’s a trip worth taking thanks to De Palma’s stylish split-screen shots and experimental methods for penetrating his subjects’ minds. This nightmare of a horror film is disturbing in every way.


40. The Hitcher

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The Hitcher is a road thriller film directed by Robert Harmon and written by Eric Red that was released in 1986. Rutger Hauer plays the title character, a murderous hitchhiker who follows a young motorist (C. Thomas Howell) across West Texas highways. In supporting roles, Jeffrey DeMunn and Jennifer Jason Leigh appear.


41. Scanners

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Scanners are people born with extraordinary telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Many people make good use of their special abilities in a responsible and prudent manner. However, a group of renegade scanners has devised a plan to create a world-ruling race.