Best Scary Shows & Horror Movies on Hulu to Stream Right Now

‘Edward Scissorhands’ | 20th Century Fox

‘Edward Scissorhands’ | 20th Century Fox

When the air gets crisp and the leaves start to change, it can only mean one thing: Halloween time has arrived. It doesn’t matter that Halloween falls at the end of October; there’s always ways to extend it into a month-long spooky season celebration. One of the absolute best ways to do so is to fill your nights with ample scary movies and shows. Like Netflix, Hulu has an extensive collection of series to stream and movies to marathon—having something for all of the goblins and ghouls, with titles ranging from just a little creepy to freaky enough to make you hide under the covers. To help plan out your month of supernatural and thrilling programming, we’ve rounded up all of the essential viewing on Hulu.

ALSO READ: The best horror movies on Hulu and the best TV shows on Hulu

twisty the clown in american horror story
20th Television/Disney Platform Distribution

American Horror Story (2011– )

Haunted houses where residents go to die, asylums far from up to code, freak shows, and seedy motels—they’re all fodder for horror story tropes, and make for ample material in Ryan Murphy’s long-lived anthology series. Like these themes and others, the king of camp showrunner subverts them to tell a nuanced and often deranged story featuring the likes of his recurring cast members: Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett, and others. Each season takes on its own tone, but you’ll find yourself getting spooked in some more than others. (Asylum is particularly disgusting and Murder House is full of things that go bump in the night, whereas Coven is sheer witchy fun). You also don’t necessarily have to watch each season in order (although it makes it easier to notice interesting connections throughout the AHS universe).

Elle Lorraine in bad hair
Tobin Yellan/Hulu

Bad Hair (2020)

A satire from Dear White People filmmaker Justin Simien, Bad Hair is all about how sometimes reality is actually what’s scariest. On the surface, it’s a horror-comedy about a young woman whose own weave is terrorizing her, but in actuality it’s a commentary on how nasty it is that Black women are frequently boxed into unfair social and beauty standards. Elle Lorraine plays a woman in 1989 who is set on making it in music television and gets a weave when she’s told she doesn’t have the right look to appear on camera. Instead of curing her professional shortcomings, it only brings her disaster, and this movie (which features an exciting supporting cast of Vanessa Williams, Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox, and others) ends up being perfectly coded in its capture of horrors Black women know to be all too true.

sarah michelle gellar in buffy the vampire slayer
20th Television

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)

A sacred text of geek culture debuted on March 10, 1997. If you were clued in to this wickedly subversive WB (and later, UPN) action-drama from the start, you knew the revolution of modern television was already under way long before The Sopranos aired. Anchored by Sarah Michelle Gellar’s star turn, the show got deeper and darker as it went, turning a comedic riff on horror-movie tropes into a soulful meditation on the nature of bravery. Plus, it’s got werewolves and stuff.

Bill Skarsgard in castle rock
Patrick Harbron/Hulu

Castle Rock (2018–2019)

This Hulu original is one for the Stephen King devotees. Inspired by the seminal (and fictional) Maine town of Castle Rock where much of the writer’s work takes place, this series brings his classic characters together for a new set of horror stories. The first chapter in the anthology focuses on lawyer Henry Deaver (Andre Holland), who reluctantly returns to his hometown when a strange man called “The Kid” (played creepily by Bill Skarsgård) is discovered in a cage in Shawshank State Penitentiary and asks to see him. What feels like a psychological thriller quickly proves to be otherwise, as these two inadvertently reveal secrets to their hometown and the darkness that’s long given it a bad reputation. Season 2 takes another intriguing turn to examine the backstory of Misery nurse from Hell, Annie Wilkes (played by a stand-out Lizzy Caplan). Castle Rock is always eerie—but don’t hide under the covers too long or you could miss one of its many clever Kingian Easter eggs, which is half of the show’s spooky fun.

john franklin in children of the corn
New World Pictures

Children of the Corn (1984)

This adaptation of Stephen King’s horror short story is campy and light on production value, but hell, those kids. From the opening massacre at a local diner to the several deaths at the hands of “He Who Walks Behind the Rows,” this rural shlock pairs perfectly with a bucket of your own (popped) corn.

johnny depp in edward scissorhands
20th Century Fox

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

About a blade-wielding monster-hunk (Johnny Depp) arriving in suburbia and becoming a local sensation, Edward Scissorhands is part earnest fairytale, part horror story, and part wicked satire. Long before American Beauty had you blathering on about floating plastic bags, Tim Burton found poetry in shrubberies, blocks of ice, and perfectly manicured lawns. It’s one of the filmmaker’s most elegant bedtime stories, and remains one of Depp’s most realized performances.

the exorcist tv show cast
20th Television

The Exorcist (2016–2018)

FOX’s spiritually fucked-up reboot takes the 1973 movie’s soul-saving concept and turns it into something like a more serious Ghostbusters TV show. In Season 1, two badass priests—one in better standing with the church than the other—try to prevent one family from descending into total hellish chaos. It’s a riveting and surprisingly touching roller-coaster ride. It’s also extremely, and lovably, gross. In Episode 2, one of the protagonists barfs up what looks like two bottles of Green Machine and then yanks a near-never-ending centipede out of her mouth—almost like the Santa Clarita Diet pilot minus the comic relief. The rest of the show takes after its big-screen predecessor, with the added benefit of contemporary makeup and effects, to show that head-spinning demonic possession can do the body a lot of bad.

mads mikkelsen in hannibal
Sony Pictures Television

Hannibal (2013–2015)

Arguably the cream of the recent horror TV crop, this fascinating, gruesome, and wonderfully shot series somehow managed to turn even the most ardent Manhunter/Silence of the Lambs fans into loyal viewers. Bottom line: When showrunner Bryan Fuller’s (Pushing Daisies) name is in the credits and Mads Mikkelsen is your lead madman, you give that damn show a shot. To say that Hannibal pushed the boundaries of “network TV horror” would be a massive understatement; even more impressive is how darkly entertaining this series turned out to be.

Go Ah-sung in the host
Showbox Entertainment

The Host (2006)

This monster movie from Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, Parasite) was a huge hit in South Korea, and it’s easy to see why: Thrilling action scenes, incredible effects, and slapstick humor make it the perfect antidote to Hollywood’s self-serious blockbusters. Switching tones, moods, and even genres between scenes, it’s a movie that defies easy categorization, and flits adeptly between the sentimental, the political, and the horrific. You’ll never believe that a movie about a mutated killer fish can make you feel so many complicated emotions.

Lina Leandersson in let the right one in
Sandrew Metronome

Let the Right One In (2008)

The One Major Vampire Rule you must remember is this: Vampires cannot enter your home unless you invite them inside. And Oskar, the 12-year-old protagonist of this grimly brilliant Swedish adaptation of John Lindqvist’s celebrated novel, does exactly that with Eli, his new neighbor and vampire stuck in an 11-year-old girl’s body. There’s no home invasion here, but it does bring the monster inside. Instead of Eli terrorizing the bullied Oskar, she takes out his enemies with disturbingly creative methods. As Eli and Oskar build trust between each other, one moment your heart will soften to their relationship and the next it’ll be ripped out of your chest and doused in hydrochloric acid.

riley keough in the lodge
New World Pictures

The Lodge (2020)

Two unhappy kids are forced to spend some time at an isolated lodge with their new—and highly unwelcome—stepmother (Riley Keough), only to discover all sorts of horrible secrets. Beautifully shot and consistently creepy, this new spin on old fairy tales tropes is loaded with great performances, fun jolts, and unexpected surprises of the nastiest kind.

asher miles fallica in nos4a2
AMC

NOS4A2 (2019–2020)

Don’t let the annoying spelling (Get it? Like Nosferatu?) scare you away before you give this AMC series a try. This series, adapted from the Joe Hill novel of the same name (yes, using the same spelling), is a deliciously creepy, modern tale about an undead character struggling to stay undead. Zachary Quinto plays Charlie Manx, an immortal with a bloodlust for children’s souls, whose immortality has managed to remain unthreatened until now, when a woman (Ashleigh Cummings) with psychic abilities comes to town. With its biting, dark humor and campy elements, it’s a bit of a horror outlier, but that just makes it even more worthy of sinking your teeth into.

over the garden wall pumpkin people
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Over the Garden Wall (2014)

A modern Halloween classic, Patrick McHale’s Over the Garden Wall follows two half-brothers, Greg (Collin Dean) and Wirt (Elijah Wood), who must find their way home through a supernatural forest after taking a tumble… over a garden wall. Along the way, they meet adventure buddies (like Beatrice, a talking bluebird) and do their best to avoid The Beast, a mysterious creature who stalks the forest, collecting lost souls. The ten-episode miniseries, which originally aired on Cartoon Network, balances frightening themes and otherworldly animated imagery with genuinely goofy and charming moments. Its final episodes, in particular, pack a terrifying, emotional punch that reveal the deeper metaphorical level the series was operating on the whole time, which turns a great cartoon into a masterpiece.

dominic cooper in preacher
Sony Pictures Television

Preacher (2016–2019)

Longtime collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad) teamed up for the irreverent, satanic horror romp that is Preacher, and the result is bloody fun. Adapted from the DC comics, the series pits troubled Texas priest Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) against dark, mysterious forces that threaten to upend and possibly destroy the bizarre small town he calls home. He’s joined by an Irish vampire (Joe Gilgun) and his tough-as-hell, helicopter-wrecking ex-girlfriend (Ruth Negga), who both occasionally help him out of the violent scraps and theological conundrums he gets in. Preacher is a strange beast of prestige TV, but you’ll be happy to binge this kind of gospel.

morfydd clark in saint maud
A24

Saint Maud (2021)

Haunted by a horrific incident in her past, Maud, a young woman who works as a palliative care nurse for the elderly and infirm, has converted to Roman Catholicism and believes that she hears the voice of God coursing through her whenever she’s done something she feels He’s pleased with. Her new patient, Amanda, a former dancer suffering from stage four lymphoma, is more concerned with dolling herself up for fancy evenings with friends than with saving her soul while she still has time—at least in Maud’s eyes. Her “visions” of God, often in the form of a cockroach, lead her to believe that saving her new charge’s lost soul is her life’s mission—at any cost. Rose Glass’s sneakily funny and distressingly spooky directorial debut will charm and terrify you in equal measure. It’s a haunting religious experience.

the red devil in scream queens
20th Television

Scream Queens (2015–2016)

With American Horror Story in his wheelhouse, it’s clear showrunner Ryan Murphy can do horror and camp like no other. It’s what he brings—to the extreme—in his homage to some of the most iconic, ear piercingly loud, scared survivors in horror: the scream queen. Set on a college campus terrorized by a serial killer who hides behind the school’s menacing Red Devil mascot, it calls back to co-ed slasher classics and is ripe with pitch-black comedy. The cast is wild, featuring Murphy typicals like Emma Roberts as sorority mean girl Chanel Oberlin (who is terrifying in her own right), Billie Lourd, and Lea Michele, plus stars like Ariana Grande, Keke Palmer, and OG Halloween scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, among others. If you can stomach the gore (and absurdity), you’re in for hell of a mystery.

kate lyn sheil in she dies tomorrow
NEON

She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

Read anything about She Dies Tomorrow and you’ll find some mention of how it’s eerily perfect for the current moment. It’s a movie ostensibly about mortality, but more accurately about fear and how it’s its own sort of virus. The plot is relatively simple: Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), for reasons she never fully explains, is convinced she’s going to die. She calls her friend Jane (Jane Adams) and describes her premonition. Jane attributes Amy’s paranoia to an alcoholic relapse, and writes it off, but then, alone in her basement, huddled over a microscope, Jane starts to experience the same fear. It’s contagious. The world director Amy Seimetz creates is one that turns progressively more surreal. It’s an echo of our own that slowly grows more foreign. It’s also often absurdly funny, like a Tim & Eric sketch with an operatic bent.

mel gibson in signs
Buena Vistas Pictures Distribution

Signs (2002)

Unless farmers are doing a long con on the rest of us, crop circles are a piece of folklore that have yet to be explained—so for now, alien activity seems plausible. M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs puts crop circles and the feeling of dread over their baffling existence on the big screen as former Episcopalian priest (Mel Gibson) and his family discovers extra-terrestrials are likely invading their rural home. It’s a slow-burn sci-fi thriller, but if you’ve never considered how you might react if a 7-foot gray alien from outer space invaded your home, Shyamalan’s the director to take your mind to this daunting place.

30 days of night vampire
Sony Pictures Releasing

30 Days of Night (2007)

Based on a terrifying series by Steve Niles, 30 Days of Night is the rare comic book movie that matches horror and action, a mix flash-frozen in wintery Alaska. During a stretch of winter in which there’s month-long darkness, a coven of vampires descend upon a town and feast like it’s half-off night at the all-you-can-eat buffet. A man (Josh Hartnett) and his estranged wife (Melissa George) try to survive, a task harder than any ghost infestation or zombie apocalypse.

eye of the beholder twilight zone episode
CBS Television Distribution

The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)

Every lauded sci-fi movie or television show owes Rod Serling residuals. Over 156 episodes, Serling speculated and dreamed, refracting his present day through the trippiest scenarios to ever beam through mild-mannered American homes. The Twilight Zone’s visual prose took us to jungles, to space, to 20,000ft, and to the sunny block from every person’s childhood, where the worst existential revelations tended to lurk. The Twilight Zone still speaks volumes. Buckle up and fly into a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.

kyle maclachlan in twin peaks
CBS Television Distribution

Twin Peaks (1990–1991)

David Lynch and Mark Frost’s detective series is often credited with instilling television with artful potential. Without Twin Peaks, there’d likely be no Mad Men or Breaking Bad. And yet, the show’s dreamy, saturated look is really a cherry on top. Twin Peaks is a steady stream of oddball characters and fantastical twists, encountered by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) as he hunts for the murder of a small town teenager. Your weird friends love this show, and for good reason, as it takes some supernatural turns you’ll find yourself just as enamored with. It’s finally time to understand those Log Lady Halloween costumes.

bryce dallas howard in the village
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

The Village (2004)

In a village somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, an entire community lives in fear of what lurks in the woods just beyond their borders. What they refer to as “Those We Don’t Speak Of” are some sort of inhuman creatures that have isolated the village’s residents from not only other towns, but driven them to psychological terror. The horror flick comes from genre director M. Night Shyamalan and, of course, features a Shyamalan-esque surprise ending that will definitely throw you for a loop, but for what it’s worth, the stacked cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver, and Adrien Brody, plus a very creepy score, will convince you something might attack any moment.

natasha demetriou and matt berry in what we do in the shadows
20th Television/Disney Media Distribution

What We Do in the Shadows (2019– )

In 2014, New Zealanders Jemaine Clement, one half of Flight of the Conchords, and funny man director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit) created a mockumentary about a flat of centuries-old vampire roommates, and just a few years later, America got the bite to make a stateside adaptation of the very funny cult comedy. While the original stars don’t appear, Clement and Waititi produced this FX series, found a hysterical lead cast in Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, and Nastasia Demetriou, and gave it an update, settling the blood-suckers in a house in modern day Staten Island. They may be undead, but this vampire gimmick is full of life and laugh-out-loud absurd. There are a fair share of spooky stuff in this comedy, but that’s what’s great about it: There’s something deeply sinister motivating practically every joke.

david ducovny and gillian anderson in the x files
20th Television

The X-Files (1993–2002)

The original 201-episode run of Fox’s paranormal investigation drama is available for your bingeing pleasure. Get ready to catch up on Mulder’s paranoia, Scully’s sleuthing, and the burning chemistry that launched a thousand GeoCities fansites. If nine and a half seasons is too much to sit though, cherry-pick the classics: We made it easy by ranking the entire freakin’ series.

wendy glenn in you're next
Lionsgate

You’re Next (2011)

The home invasion genre gets a pleasingly nasty, darkly funny update in this Adam Wingard-directed thriller, which follows an Australian woman (Sharni Vinson) trekking to the Missouri childhood home of her academic boyfriend (AJ Bowen) for his parent’s 35th wedding anniversary. The vaguely caustic mumblecore trappings—filmmakers Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, and Ti West all have supporting roles—quickly give way to a genuinely exciting suspense set-up, one where gruesome death is doled out with cleverness and wit.

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