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The Absolute Best Horror Movies on HBO Max

Want more horror after watching The Menu? Here's what you should try.

Need a new horror movie to watch? If you're an HBO Max subscriber, you have access to an incredible selection of creepy, spooky, grisly and grimy movies you can watch whenever. The best scary movies on the streaming service range from certified classics like The Exorcist to more recent entries like The Menu and Barbarian.

Here are the tales you should make time for on HBO Max. All these films received generally favorable reviews or better, according to Metacritic.

Lionsgate

American Psycho (2000)

In case you haven't yet been introduced to well-groomed investment banker Patrick Bateman, it's time to pull out your business card and get acquainted. Elements of dark comedy, thriller and horror are on display in this film, a satire of late '80s excess that stars Christian Bale as a wealthy young professional with murderous hobbies. Tune in for blood-splattered scenes and a committed performance from Bale.

Screenshot by CNET

The Witch (2015)

This historical horror movie pretty much guarantees nightmares. The disturbing flick centers on a family in 1630s New England and marks Anya Taylor-Joy's film debut. Over the 90-minute flick, strange and shocking things happen to a farmer, his wife and their five children who've relocated to a remote area on the edge of a forest. 

Eric Zachanowich/Searchlight Pictures

The Menu (2022)

Anya Taylor-Joy shines in this horror satire about an elaborate dinner with a dark twist. It presents an assortment of guests gathering at Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant on an island. Renowned chef Julian Slowik, played by a magnetic Ralph Fiennes, has planned every detail of the evening except for the inclusion of Taylor-Joy's Margot. Dishing out thrills and social commentary, The Menu will have you pleading for seconds. 

A24

Hereditary (2018)

This is one you shouldn't watch alone. Ari Aster's feature directorial debut about what a family uncovers after the death of its matriarch may be the scariest entry on this list. If you're up for a disturbing flick with great performances, venture cautiously into Hereditary. 

Barbarian (2022)

A young woman travels to Detroit for a job interview and discovers her Airbnb has been double-booked. That may be how this engrossing horror film starts, but it soon descends into complete chaos. With twists in the story and superb acting all around, Barbarian is freaky, five-star horror fare. 

Libra Films

Eraserhead (1977)

David Lynch's first feature-length film will make you feel like you're in a bizarre nightmare. The 90-minute black-and-white horror flick is packed with odd sounds and imagery, and the result is incredibly eerie. Don't even get me started on the main character's freakish, otherworldly-looking "baby" (that is oddly still kind of cute?). There are messages about men and parenthood here, but setting aside the bigger picture, Eraserhead's surreal world is absolutely worth a visit. 

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

The Exorcist (1973)

Now that Universal is working on not one, but three brand new Exorcist movies, it's time to jog your memory about the terrifying events of the original. Ellen Burstyn stars as a mother to a possessed 12-year-old daughter who enlists the help of a priest. The thoroughly scary flick also won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Video screenshot by Meara Isenberg/CNET

The Night House (2020)

Love psychological horror movies? Wait till this flick comes knocking. The Night House homes in on a woman (Rebecca Hall) who's grieving after the death of her husband. As she uncovers a dark mystery, she begins to question what she thought she knew about her marriage. This haunting movie is a standout in HBO Max's horror portfolio.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George Romero's first horror film is an easy recommendation. A group of survivors take refuge in a house while members of the undead swarm outside. The influential flick is often regarded as the first modern zombie movie, and while it may not offer Freddy Krueger-level frights, you'll be drawn in by the characters at the center of its story. You're going to want to leave the door open for this one (but in the case of an actual apocalypse, keep it very, very shut).