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, or madcap mayhem, we’ve got what you want.
Here are the best scary movies now available on Paramount+.
1. A Quiet Place
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. —Kristy Puchko, Film Editor
How to watch: A Quiet Place is streaming on Paramount+.
2. Pet Sematary
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. —K.P.
How to watch: Pet Sematary is streaming on Paramount+.
3. Train to Busan
There are zombie films and there are zombie films, and South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho’s 2016 thriller Train to Busan is one of a kind. Almost entirely set on a train, the film follows a man (Gong Yoo) and his daughter who find themselves passengers right in the middle of a zombie outbreak.
As fast-paced as its hordes of undead (yes, they run, Dawn of the Dead remake-style), the film sinks those suddenly chomping teeth in and doesn't let go until the final sequence. The sheer scale of the zombie population is realised in some impressive extra work, and there are more than a few sequences that'll have you shifting uncomfortably in your seat. Genuinely moving, very bloody, and above all, an example of who the true monsters inevitably turn out to be during a disaster: It us.* —Shannon Connellan, UK Editor
How to watch: Train to Busan is streaming on Paramount+.
4. Jacob’s Ladder
Adrian Lyne’s 1990 mindbender Jacob’s Ladder is a cult film that deserves a bigger cult. Tim Robbins plays Jacob Singer, a Vietnam veteran living in a dilapidated '70s New York with his girlfriend Jezzie (the late Elizabeth Peña) while experiencing horrifying hallucinations that may be the result of an experimental drug used on his platoon. Or is he being pursued by demons and the ghost of his dead son (an uncredited Macaulay Culkin)? Or is Jacob himself already dead and unaware of it? A surprisingly profound take on death and loss that happens to have one of the scariest hospitals ever seen on film. —Rufus Hickok, Contributing Writer
How to watch: Jacob’s Ladder is streaming on Paramount+.
5. The Midnight Meat Train
Riding the late night subway in New York can be scary enough without a hulking, well-dressed chap (Vinnie Jones) with a large, shiny meat hook and very big hammer as your fellow passenger. Alas, on the hunt for exciting imagery to photograph, Leon (Bradley Cooper) has found himself faced with this exact nightmare. Midnight Meat Train, Ryuhei Kitamura’s wild adaptation of a short story by Clive Barker, is unhinged and unafraid to turn its characters into very rare cuts of bloody meat. Fun fact: Those paintings in the art gallery scene are Barker's. —R.H.
How to watch: The Midnight Meat Train is streaming on Paramount+.
As follow-up to his eerie apocalyptic offering Annihilation, writer/director Alex Garland gave us Men. Jessie Buckley stars as Harper, a recent widow who rents a secluded rural cottage in order to heal her shattered psyche. But she finds herself in British folk-horror country. All the men in this village are condescending or hostile toward her — one naked man even stalks her. And each shares the same face, as all are played by Rory Kinnear. Gorgeous photography and strikingly surreal images fuel Garland’s indelible twist on the folk-horror genre, where a rational metropolitan faces off against the threats of rural superstition and the madness of misogyny. The finale explodes in jaw-dropping body horror as toxic masculinity literally gives birth to itself over and over. —R.H.
How to watch: Men is streaming on Paramount+.
7. The Woods
Teachers are hell for Heather (Agnes Bruckner) in Lucky McKee’s The Woods. Sent by her uptight parents to an all-girls boarding school after a wee bit of arson, she’s soon getting the evil eye from creepy teachers, being picked on by a mean girl (Rachel Nichols), and bonding with an awkward classmate (Lauren Birkell) who goes missing. Plus, she's hearing creepy voices in the woods (McKee regular Angela Bettis). Could it be a movie boarding school without mysterious disappearances, witches, and evil spirits? Despite a few cliches, The Woods doesn’t shy away from its queer subtext, and the sight of a campus overrun by hundreds of living vines and roots is high-octane nightmare fuel. —R.H.
How to watch: The Woods is streaming on Paramount+.
Phantasm scared me silly at age 8 when our local TV “Creature Feature” broadcast it as a Halloween Special. All these years later, nothing has changed. After an older friend’s mysterious death, 13-year-old Michael (A. Michael Baldwin) explores a very strange funeral home, complete with hooded dwarf-like creatures, portals to another world, and flying silver spheres that drill out your brains. Then there's that very ghoulish mortician, the Tall Man (played with iconic aplomb by Angus Scrimm). A '70s classic, Phantasm has been called “sci-fi horror,” “surrealism,” and “horror fantasy,” but it feels exactly like a very bad dream from which you can’t quite wake up. —R.H.
How to watch: Phantasm is streaming on Paramount+.
Joker was not the only recent movie shot in a retro style with a lonely, alienated, unstable protagonist who dreams of fame and fortune, and lashes out violently when those dreams are thwarted. But Ti West and Mia Goth’s Pearl is better than the two-time Oscar-winner. A prequel to West’s X and a throwback to technicolor melodramas, this campy horror film stars Goth as a 1918 farm gal with a very humdrum existence who fantasizes that being in the pictures will fix her deeper psychological issues. Vividly imaginative and richly emotional while not skimping on the bloodshed, Pearl is also a return to those classic Hollywood movie monsters who’d break your heart while chilling your blood. —R.H.
How to watch: Pearl is streaming on Paramount+.
10. Suspiria (1977)
The ultimate example of horror-movie-as-sensory-overload, Dario Argento’s Suspiria is a film every horror fan should watch at least once — if they dare. Jessica Harper plays Susie Banyon, an American who has arrived to study dance at a German dance academy where dancers are occasionally brutally murdered — and the staff may or may not be witches plotting to sacrifice Susie. (OK, they are.) The gore is excessive, but then everything from the vibrant technicolor film to the pounding score by the prog rock band Goblin is loud and psychedelic and nerve-rattlingly over the top. —R.H.
How to watch: Suspiria is streaming on Paramount+.
11. It Follows
It’s been said the “message” of the typical '80s slasher film was “Have sex and die.” This rule gets weird and visceral in David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows. When teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) hooks up with sketchy Hugh (Jake Weary), he gives her something no sex-ed class mentioned: a shape-shifting zombielike apparition, invisible to others, that will follow her slowly but relentlessly. If it catches her, it will kill her, unless she passes it on to a new sexual partner. Mitchell has cited Halloween as an inspiration, and It Follows has the same structure: one long chase scene. But its brilliance lies in its unexplained mysteries. The film really only makes sense by a sort of nightmare logic, which makes every background figure potentially terrifying. —R.H.
How to watch: It Follows is streaming on Paramount+.
12. The Faculty
It’s a crime more people don’t know about this Breakfast Club vs. the Body Snatchers monster mashup. Not only does it boast the throwback fun of '50s alien invasion horror, but also, The Faculty scratches the itch for '90s teen horror. When the extraterrestrial-conquered teachers at an Ohio high school start acting very strange, a group of angsty teens have to stop them from taking over the town at the big football game. It’s an old story, but with Scream scribe Kevin Williamson bringing the meta-commentary, a cast featuring Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Salma Hayek, Jon Stewart, and Piper Laurie, a '90s alt-rock soundtrack, fantastic creature design (by Bernie Wrightson), and Sin City director Robert Rodriguez keeping things moving quickly, it’s all too much fun. —R.H.
How to watch: The Faculty is streaming on Paramount+.
13. The Blair Witch Project
There were plenty of found footage horror films before Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s The Blair Witch Project. But this wicked indie is very much the line in the sand. For me, it’s not even about the widely celebrated extra-textual elements, like the website and word-of-mouth about onscreen filmmakers Heather, Josh, and Mike really being missing people.
The scares are right there onscreen, starting with the willowy whispers about horse hair fingers from interviewee slash legendary weirdo Mary Brown; the screams echoing in the forest in the middle of the night; the children’s handprints up and down the hallways of that fateful shack in the woods. These are images that have haunted viewers for decades now, and they still unsettle when they suddenly start popping up on social media timelines come Halloween-time.
Mileage obviously varies on this film. Lots of naysayers see nothing scary about snot and little piles of twigs. But for those who are disciples of found footage, this is where lots of us learned how to worship the ways of the shaky cam. Bow down to that feisty Blair Witch! (Or else!)* —Jason Adams, Contributing Writer
How to watch: The Blair Witch Project is streaming on Paramount+ and Freevee.
UPDATE: Oct. 11, 2023, 3:40 p.m. EDT This article has been updated to reflect Paramount+'s current catalog.