Every day can be Halloween if you put in a little effort! And by effort, all we mean is “switch on Peacock” with your remote control and enjoy. This subscription streamer has heaps of terrific horror movies just laying in wait. Classic ghost tales, feminist werewolf revampings, slashers old and new. With so much to choose from you might well be overwhelmed.
So, let us narrow it down for you a smidge — here are 15 of the best horror movies now streaming on Peacock.
Let the Right One In
Credit: Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
Redefining all that B.F.F. can mean, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy director Tomas Alfredson’s timeless 2008 adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel gives us the tender tween love story of a bullied boy named Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and the eternal nightmare monster from hell, Eli (Lina Leandersson), who just happens to look like a sweet sullen young girl. Meeting up in the dead of night on the snowy playground outside their forbidding brutalist apartment building, the two young people sweetly bond, all while Eli’s blood-harvesting sidekick goes through a series of tribulations nobody would wish on their worst enemy. But a twist of fate could change both of their lives forever.
You only really realize after the fact how horrifying this love story truly is. Alfredson plays it all like a YA novel, and that’s ultimately the deepest horror of all. And, yes, Matt Reeves’s 2010 American remake Let Me In (starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Grace Moretz as the young couple) is far better than it has any right being, but still — Team Original, if you ask me.
How to watch: Let the Right One In is now streaming on Peacock.
This deeply bizarre 1979 flick is courtesy of director David Schmoeller, who also gifted the world Klaus Kinski’s wildly unhinged turn in 1986’s Crawlspace, not to mention the first Puppet Master. Tourist Trap finds a group of horned-up twentysomethings getting lost on their way through the California desert and stumbling upon some sort of haunted mannequin museum, with dire consequences. Not that there are really any other kind of consequences when one stumbles upon a haunted mannequin museum. You’ve never heard anybody say they stumbled upon a haunted mannequin museum and had a good time, that much we can guarantee.
Anyway, it’s the usual stuff — pretty young things picked off one by one by a masked killer. But it’s all so freaking weird, with the mannequins and everything, that you won’t soon forget it.
How to watch: Tourist Trap is now streaming on Peacock.
Black Christmas (1974)
It doesn’t even have to be the holiday season to watch this slasher classic. Four years before Michael Myers stabbed his way onto the scene, there was director Bob Clark of A Christmas Story fame unleashing a perverted killer on a sorority house full of extremely likable girls — including Olivia Hussey, Andrea Martin, and Margot Kidder (pre-Lois Lane).
As a group of sorority sisters on winter break endure a series of increasingly obscene phone calls, their enormous house begins feeling smaller and smaller. Black Christmas masterfully isolates the girls one by one with no idea they’re being stalked, much less that half their friends have already been murdered. Not until it’s inevitably too late. 2001 star Keir Dullea co-stars as a rageaholic pianist slash main suspect, but nothing in this deeply unsettling flick is ever as clear as it seems. Except maybe that crystal unicorn figurine that one of the girls gets stabbed with.
How to watch: Black Christmas is now streaming on Peacock.
Some say the 1983 Canadian slasher Curtains is only worth watching for one scene. But that’s unfair as there are many delights to be had… as long as Canadian slashers from the ’80s are the sorts of things you find delight in.
Directed by Richard Ciupka, the film’s got an unusual plot as far as slasher movies go. A prestigious slimeball movie director invites a gaggle of young, thirsty-for-fame actresses to an isolated mansion to audition for the lead role in his new movie. Showing up out of the blue to complicate matters is the director’s former muse (Samantha Eggar of The Brood fame), who has “aged out,” as far as the director is concerned. She’s prepared to fight for the role tooth-and-nail anyway. Suffice it to say that tensions are running high even before a masked killer shows up and starts offing the actresses one by one.
All of the expected cat-fighting and the humor at the expense of overly serious actors in Curtains remains totally on point, especially when it’s Eggars on-screen, as nobody in 1983 was doing big-eyed unhinged better than she. But that aforementioned one killer scene does get hollered about for good reason. You take one iced-over pond and a maniac wearing a hag mask while wielding a sickle, and that’s cinema, baby.
How to watch: Curtains is now streaming on Peacock.
Teen sisters Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) are as close as they come, bonded by their experiences in a shitty world where they’ve been forced to take care of one another. The introvert Brigitte gets bullied a lot, and Ginger’s always there to save her. Then, one night while out in the woods, Ginger gets her first period, and, uhh, things change. Namely, a werewolf drawn by her menstrual blood bites her, and she becomes a werewolf, much to Brigitte’s chagrin.
An immediately classic spin on the werewolf mythos that folds monster tropes into the horrors of puberty, Ginger Snaps has two sequels and a pack of diehard lycan-fans. But the original stands on its own two sturdy hind legs just fine, telling a standalone story of a familial bond being tested and of useless boys being chewed up and spat to the side. Make sure to watch it with your sister on a full moon, especially if your cycles are in sync!
How to watch: Ginger Snaps is now streaming on Peacock.
The House of the Devil
Credit: Photo by Graham Reznick, courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
Even before he was resurrecting the grindhouse aesthetic with X and indulging in an Oz-esque technicolor period phantasmagoria with Pearl, writer-director Ti West has shown an affinity for the past. One great example of this is 2009’s The House of the Devil, a babysitter-in-peril horror flick that feels like a forgotten artifact dug up out of the early 1980s.
Jocelin Donahue stars as Samantha, a college student so desperate to rack up some cash that she ignores her intuition around a mysterious “baby-sitting” gig at a weird old mansion in the middle of nowhere. The House of the Devil is deeply infatuated with not just the aesthetics of its setting but also all the creepy trappings of the Satanic Panic stories of that era. It’s a spooky vibe that anybody who was alive then will still feel in their bones. Quick cue the blood moon, weird knocking noises upstairs, and a banger of a scene involving a Walkman, not to mention an all-too-brief appearance by Greta Gerwig as Samantha’s bestie. By the time the legend Mary Woronov shows up, we’ll all be praying for daylight.
How to watch: The House of the Devil is now streaming on Peacock.
The lust for fame has perhaps never been shown to be so brutal as it is in Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s 2014 horror movie. Alexandra Essoe gives one hell of a performance as a gifted but flailing young actress in Hollywood whose career is going nowhere and whose friends all suck. We spend just enough time with her in her miserable situation to understand why she’d be willing to make some sacrifices to move upward in The Biz.
Unfortunately for her (and for those shitty friends), those “sacrifices” start getting out of hand quickly. A casting director with a pentagram pendant is just the start of this deeply cynical A Star Is Born narrative’s undoing, which literalizes the Faustian pact in blood and flesh and tears and pretty dresses for movie premieres. But as straightforward a narrative as Starry Eyes ends up telling, it’s turned riveting by Essoe’s fierce commitment and by a killer synth score that sets it all spinning. Some stylish devilry, indeed.
How to watch: Starry Eyes is now streaming on Peacock.
Though director Tobe Hooper rightly made his name with his 1974 masterpiece The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (see further down this list), we nevertheless have a deep fondness for his 1976 alligator attack movie Eaten Alive. It is just so much weirder than this sort of thing has any right to be, and ends up all the more transfixing for it.
Filmed on a swampy soundstage that always feels like you’re sitting in the audience for a regional theatrical production of a lesser-known Tennessee Williams play, the sweaty rednecks that Hooper specialized in find themselves converging on a run-down Bates-esque hotel. Only instead of a mother-loving boy in a wig there’s a crocodile. And Real Housewives star Kyle Richards. And, yes, wigs too. Eaten Alive has a little of everything, and utter chaos ensues as it all comes smashing together. If this movie makes you feel like you’ve lost a little bit of your sanity while watching it, one suspects that’s precisely what Hooper was aiming for.
How to watch: Eaten Alive is now streaming on Peacock.
Credit: Courtesy of Lionsgate.
Adapting Bret Easton Ellis’s profoundly disturbing serial-killer satire of 1980s excess for the screen must have seemed foolhardy, to put it mildly, to anyone who’d just read the 1991 book.
The story of the finance bro Patrick Bateman, who spends his days comparing business cards and his nights flaying sex workers, was one of erratically vacillating tones, including a queasy numbness that makes genital mutilation sound like an album review and vice versa. Ellis’s self-indulgence with regards to violence and misogyny fast starts to feel like a circle jerk for one.
But once you see what director Mary Harron, screenwriter Guinevere Turner, and actor Christian Bale managed to stir up in this now-classic film, which flips the whole thing on its head into a deranged downtown dark comedy, it makes a lot more sense. This is After Hours with a nail gun. Their Bateman is magazine-page thick, a glossy advertisement taped over a howling nothingness — sweaty and craven and deeply pathetic. And he’s undone by real estate. We leave Harron’s American Psycho deeply aware that the Patrick Batemans of the world are a joke. The horror becomes, then, that they’re everywhere but not at all self-aware.
How to watch: American Psycho is now streaming on Peacock.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Famously shot during a brutally hot Texas summer, you can immediately feel the sweat soaking through director Tobe Hooper’s 1974 grindhouse masterpiece The Texas Chain Saw Massacre even before its characters are given any reason to work up one. We first meet our group of wayward twentysomethings (led by horror icon Marilyn Burns playing our final girl Sally) riding in one of those stereotypical hippie vans of the moment with the windows rolled down. But all the same, you can hardly breathe. The air itself looks thick and dirty. Squalid. And that sensation will only grow worse with every passing minute.
There’s been a rash of grave-robbing in central Texas, as described in a nice little introductory monologue by John Laroquette (who received some of Texas’s finest marijuana from Hooper as payment). Sally and her friends are headed to visit their grandfather’s grave to make sure it’s intact. Along the way, they pick up a seriously creepy hitchhiker, jaw about slaughterhouses, and end up at the home of a family of miscreants whose appetites for red meat has truly gotten the best of them. Texans and their barbeque, man! Still, as admirably disgusting as all that sounds, Hooper accomplishes his horror almost entirely through implication — but what disturbing implications they are. Just coming to understand how Leatherface gets his name is enough to turn you vegan. One of, if not the, greatest horror films ever made.
How to watch: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is now streaming on Peacock.
The Black Phone
Credit: Universal Pictures
Director Scott Derrickson reunited with his Sinister star Ethan Hawke for this 2022 horror flick that transports us back to the late 1970s, where a group of young teenagers are being prowled on by a serial killer nicknamed The Grabber. In The Black Phone, Hawke plays said Grabber, a creeptastic magician-type with a series of terrifying masks and a mattress in his basement, and he plays the hell out of it, giving us one of the scariest new horror villains. So much so that we’ll be getting a sequel shortly!
But the real heart of the movie is the teenagers. Derrickson does a great job in casting a likable bunch, especially with our hero Finney (Mason Thames) and his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw), whose visions help solve the case. (They’re also the link to Derrickson’s segment in V/H/S85, “Dreamkill.”) Their abusive father (Jeremy Davies) is already making their lives miserable before any Grabber shows up, and we care deeply for these kids the whole way through this nightmare ordeal. And so there are real stakes, and the film captures that period vibe of stranger danger with a palpable unease.
How to watch: The Black Phone is now streaming on Peacock.
1980’s The Changeling stars George C. Scott as a composer named John Russell who, after his wife and daughter are killed in a car accident in front of him, retreats to an isolated mansion outside of Seattle. Of course, the house is isolated for a reason. Slowly but surely, it begins spilling its secrets to him – there’s knocking on the walls, a broken window, and an infernal red ball that keeps bouncing down the stairs.
Already in a fragile mental state due to his grief, John finds himself easily swept up in the unraveling of the mysteries, and the spirits in the house take full advantage. Brimming with iconic imagery, this is about as classic a ghost story as they come.
How to watch: The Changeling is now streaming on Peacock.
Horror films are a genre that are normally served best when brief. Too long a runtime, and it’s hard to sustain the mood or the tension. The audience will inevitably begin poking holes in the plot. And yet Na Hong-jin’s 2016 South Korean film The Wailing manages to sustain itself for nearly three hours – it’s an anomaly!
How he does it is by making The Wailing several movies in one. It’s a comic police procedural and a zombie outbreak movie and a terrifying demonic possession movie. It switches tones frequently, lurching from comedy to terror with wild abandon. In fact, there’s so much going on it’s difficult to summarize and capture anything near the scope of it. But the gist is there’s this police officer (Kwak Do-won) whose daughter has gone missing, and all of the strange things happening in a rural village seem to be connected to that. And, ooh, are they ever.
How to watch: The Wailing is now streaming on Peacock.
Dead & Buried
“Seaside town with a secret” movies are one of the greatest of horror subgenres, from Messiah of Evil to The Fog. Dead & Buried belongs right there among the classics.
Directed by Gary Sherman (Poltergeist III), it takes us to Potters Bluff, where every tourist who comes into town meets the grisliest of ends at the hands of the locals. The sheriff (James Farentino) starts digging into the murders with the assistance of the local mortician (Jack Albertson, aka Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka!). But things only get weirder and weirder as they go along. There are too many surprises here to ruin — just trust, you will not guess where this one is going.
How to watch: Dead & Buried is now streaming on Peacock.
If you’ve never seen a Lucio Fulci movie, there’s no good place to dive right in. It’s all chaos, all the time. And even after you’ve seen most of his movies, you’re still likely to have no idea what the hell is going on in half of them.
1981’s The Beyond is the middle chapter in his so-called “Gates of Hell” trilogy of films, sandwiched between City of the Living Dead and The House by the Cemetery. But there’s not really a coherent order to what occurs; just expect a gateway to hell to be opened and all sorts of truly vicious horrors to come spilling out. Fulci films are all about the languorous nightmare vibes — everyone behaves totally irrationally, but they somehow still work if you can subscribe to their dream logic.
The Beyond stars (as do all three of the films in the trilogy) the great Catriona MacColl. She plays a different person in each movie, and here she’s Liza, a New Yorker who’s moved to New Orleans to take over a crumbling hotel she’s recently inherited. Immediately, strange things start happening, mostly involving reanimated corpses and exceedingly slow scenes of grotesquery, and Liza does her damndest to figure out what’s driving it before Hell takes over Earth. And let’s just say that Fulci’s not known for happy endings.
How to watch: The Beyond is now streaming on Peacock.