Best horror movies and shows to watch on Hulu

Classic and contemporary horror features in Hulu’s streaming catalog. Titles date from the past few months back to the 1950s, pleasing both modern and retro TV fans. The entire genre is covered, too, from gory slasher flicks to supernatural scares and psychological thrillers. And it’s not just feature-length movies. Plenty of terrifying shows produced by your favorite networks are in Hulu’s library, along with a few original names that you can’t watch anywhere else.

Raring to see which frightening film or series the platform has on offer? Read on for our pick of the very best horror productions. And don’t forget to check out our full Hulu review.

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How we evaluated Hulu’s best horror movies and shows

Choosing the best horror movies and shows can be tricky. After all, what makes a successful horror movie or show is often subjective. Some people prefer blood-spattered plots, while others like their scares to be a little more subtle. To determine which Hulu horror titles were really worth your while, we examined a few things.

We looked into what the average viewer thought about the flick on Hulu. We also checked professional critics’ opinions via IMDb and the Tomatometer to see what the experts thought. Award wins were considered, too — although horror is a category that is often overlooked by traditional awards ceremonies. 

Best horror movies on Hulu

Most of the finest Hulu horror movies come from the past decade. There’s The Cabin in the Woods: a highly original flick that stars a younger Chris Hemsworth. Then you’ve got two animal-inspired titles: the alligator-infested Crawl and Stephen King’s Pet Sematary remake. Read on for more of the best frightening features. And take a look at our full list of recommended Hulu movies for more great features to watch.

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 74%
  • Length: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison 

Five friends take a trip to a cabin deep in the forest. Ghoulish happenings await, but this is much more than a paranormal movie. Instead, two scientists appear to be behind the grisly events. The one motto of this film: there’s always more going on than meets the eye.

Crawl (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 75%
  • Length: 87 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark

The premise of Crawl sounds ridiculous, but the result is truly heart-pounding. When a young woman tries to find her father during a catastrophic hurricane, she becomes trapped in the crawl space underneath his home. As the house begins to flood, the alligators  arrive. Can the pair (and their adorable pooch) survive? Or are they doomed to a watery grave?

Mom and Dad (2017)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 39%
  • Length: 86 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair

Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this dark and bloody hit that sees parents hit by a bout of murderous hysteria that convinces them to kill their kids. Prepared to rid the world of their offspring by any means necessary, young people everywhere are forced to protect themselves from their carers.

Pet Sematary (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 33%
  • Length: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow

This Stephen King remake will turn you off of cats for life. When a doctor and his family move to rural Maine, they come face-to-face with the forces of a nearby pet cemetery. Clearly, this animal-focused burial ground isn’t what it seems. But will the family realize before it’s too late? Or will they succumb to the darkness in the woods?

The Lodge (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 51%
  • Length: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh

Another cabin-based horror, The Lodge sees a woman left with her fiancé’s children in the middle of nowhere. Trapped inside by a blizzard, they begin to bond. But little do they know that odd and terrifying events are about to take over their lives.

Best horror shows on Hulu

If you want a marathon viewing session that will leave you unable to turn the lights off, look to Hulu’s top horror shows. Start off with the retro scares of The Twilight Zone and progress to the weird and wacky worlds of American Horror Story. You’ll have both your heart and mind pumping with the psychological tricks and jump scares of these petrifying series. Head here for more great Hulu shows.

American Horror Story (2011)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 71%
  • Number of seasons: 9
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Jessica Lange

Ryan Murphy’s renowned horror show keeps viewers gripped for one simple reason. The setting and storyline changes with every season, but the cast largely remains the same. Expect everything from asylums and witch covens to cults and creepy farmhouses with plenty of appearances from A-list stars.

Castle Rock (2018)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 80%
  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Bill Skarsgård, André Holland, Lizzy Caplan

Head to Stephen King’s town of Castle Rock, Maine, for a mysterious story that focuses on a silent man found underneath the local Shawshank Prison. An attorney returns to his hometown to figure out why the man was kept in a cage so far from the rest of humanity. The answer will psychologically terrify you.

The Exorcist (2016)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 93%
  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Featured actors: Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Kurt Egyiawan

A sequel to the original ’70s movie, Fox’s The Exorcist follows three priests as they attempt to remove a demonic presence from a  family home. More powerful together than they could ever be apart, only time will tell if their combined forces are enough to defeat evil.

The Twilight Zone (1959)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94% 
  • Number of seasons: 5
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Featured actors: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Yes, there was a reboot, but you can catch the original late ’50s and early ’60s version in all its spooky glory. Another successful horror anthology, this series sees normal people caught up in disturbing supernatural events. It may not be as terrifying as today’s jump scares, but it’s a bonafide hit for classic horror fans.

The Terror (2018)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 77%
  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Featured actors: Jared Harris, Derek Mio, Tobias Menzies

If you like the idea of a different story each season, switch on The Terror. Inspired by real-life events, the first season hones in on a historical Arctic expedition gone wrong when most of the crew are massacred by a horrifying creature. The second season, meanwhile, sees a number of strange deaths in a Japanese-American community during World War II. Naturally, an evil entity has something to do with it.

How to watch horror movies and shows on Hulu

Thanks to Hulu’s simple categorization, finding and viewing horror titles on the streaming service takes a matter of seconds. Head to the home screen, and you’ll find horror in the list of genres to scroll through. There, both movies and shows will be listed. However, you can filter these by format if you prefer a full-length feature or chilling episode after chilling episode. 

To see all of the above titles and more, you’ll need to become a Hulu subscriber. If you only want to watch on-demand content, you can do so for free for 30 days before paying the monthly fee. And if you’re interested in combining the on-demand catalog with Hulu’s live TV schedule, you can embark on a seven-day free trial.

Got your account set up? Next, ensure you have a compatible device by checking the following list. From phones and tablets to smart TVs and game consoles, Hulu is accessible on plenty of devices:

  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Amazon Fire TV devices
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TVs (select models)
  • Apple TV (4th generation or later)
  • Chromecast
  • Echo Show
  • iOS phones and tablets
  • LG TVs (select models)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku devices (select models)
  • Samsung TVs (select models)
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Web browsers (both on Mac and PC)
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Our hot take

It can be hard to find a decent horror film or show that makes you hide under a blanket. But Hulu has sought to provide plenty of popular titles from recent years and decades gone by. Plus, you don’t need to be a fan of Paranormal Activity-type movies to find something you’ll like. As well as classic poltergeist plots, there are creepy Stephen King adaptations and gory creature creations. In other words, every facet of the horror industry is explored via Hulu.

*Current as of October 2020

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Lauren Sharkey