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Best Streaming Services for Horror Fans in 2023

Check out these platforms if you like mainstream scream fests or under-the-radar gems.

Kourtnee Jackson Senior Editor
Kourtnee covers TV streaming services and home entertainment news and reviews at CNET. She previously worked as an entertainment reporter at Showbiz Cheat Sheet where she wrote about film, television, music, celebrities, and streaming platforms.
Expertise Kourtnee is a longtime cord-cutter who's subscribed to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Crunchyroll, Sling, Spotify and more. As a real-life user of these services, she tracks the latest developments in streaming, the newest re Credentials
  • Though Kourtnee hasn't won any journalism awards yet, she's been a Netflix streaming subscriber since 2012 and knows the magic of its hidden codes.
Kourtnee Jackson
5 min read

There's really no wrong time of the year to binge scary movies, especially when streaming services let you watch spooky content whenever you want. Some even offer original TV series. Put your favorite creepy releases from A24, John Carpenter and more in a rotation that's filled with new and vintage titles. 

Rather than spending a pretty penny at the theater for every new release, you can watch them from the comfort of your couch -- plus, you can keep the lights on. Here are some of the best places to stream everything from zombie thrillers to ghostly encounters to monster attacks and iconic classics.

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Paramount Plus may not be the first streamer to come to mind for horror, but it's home to several popular franchises, including Scream, A Quiet Place and Paranormal Activity. You can stream every movie from each series. 

But the service also has a few nostalgic classics in the vault like Pet Sematary and The Ring. Viewers will find no shortage of scary movies on Paramount Plus, with many of them being recent releases, like Smile. Paramount Plus is $6 for the ad-supported version, but if you upgrade to the $12-a-month plan that includes Showtime, you'll have access to even more horror content.

Shudder

If it's an all-you-can-eat horror buffet you're seeking, then Shudder is a great place to have your fill -- and all of it is ad-free. Owned by AMC Networks, the niche streaming platform has more than 300 horror flicks in its library, as well as TV series. Shudder offers a quality lineup of originals, classics, international gems and modern frights, including The Seed, The Babadook, Children of the Corn and Train to Busan. Choose from aliens, slashers, vampires, hauntings, horror comedies and more.

You can sign up for Shudder as a stand-alone subscription for $6 a month, and it comes with a free seven-day trial. It's also included as part of the AMC Plus five-channel package, which runs $7, and Shudder is a Prime Video add-on channel that costs $6 a month. If you already have the AMC Plus streaming app ($9), full access to Shudder is included.

A handful of titles are available on the Roku Channel for free, but you'll need to pay to access the majority of Shudder's library. We recommend downloading the Shudder app directly on your phone, tablet, FireTV device or smart TV.

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A free streaming service, Tubi offers way more than B-movie horror selections. With a dedicated category that houses over 450 terrifying titles including originals, famous franchises and retro favorites, you can scare yourself all day and night. You can find 1980s and '90s cult hits including Puppet Master and Hellraiser alongside Blade, The Terrifier and all sorts of Ouija movies.

Though Tubi is an ad-supported service, you can watch it on virtually any device. Register an account to access its entire catalog.

James Martin/CNET

WarnerMedia's streaming service grants you access to the Warner Bros. catalog and content from DC and HBO. On top of that, the app is sleek and easy to use on any device. If you love scary movies, there's plenty to watch on Max.

Max's selection ranges from older classics to newer horror releases, including Cujo, Evil Dead Rise, Hereditary, The Meg, The Fly, Insidious and more. There's also more light-hearted fare such as Gremlins and the original Godzilla movies, plus horror mysteries like Last Night in Soho. Max also has an easy-to-find horror collection where you can access groups of film franchises with one click.

Just open the app and navigate to the horror section to start your binge-watching session. Max costs $10 monthly (with ads), $16 for the ad-free experience and $20 for ad-free Ultimate plan with 4K.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

Admittedly, Crackle is sort of a B-movie paradise where you can stack your watchlist with films like Shapeshifter, The Amityville Haunting, Return of the Scarecrow and Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. But the streaming service is free and also carries more mainstream titles like An American Werewolf in Paris. And if you're a fan of mutant monsters who wreak havoc, you'll find Sharktopus movies, giant spiders and piranhas. Crackle has films from the 1950s (like The Blob) up to 2021, and you can click through horror subgenres like comedy, action, mysteries or monsters for easier navigation.

James Martin/CNET

Prime Video has an abundance of movie titles, and its horror offerings include exclusive, original releases from Blumhouse, the production company known for projects like Paranormal Activity, Get Out, Happy Death Day and Ma. In addition to streaming Amazon Originals like Evil Eye and Suspiria, you can watch free movies on Freevee or other flicks like Freaky or Rosemary's Baby that are included with your Prime membership. 

You also have the option to buy or rent the latest titles available on Prime Video. Catch 2023 films such as Megan or rent releases from years past like A Quiet Place II. Browse Prime Video's rotating selection by clicking on the horror category, or check out our recommendations for the best scary flicks on the platform.

Other services we tested

Of course Netflix has its share of engaging horror movies too, but we wanted to focus on services that are either free or have deep investments in the genre -- like Shudder. We also looked at Peacock, which is appealing because of its Universal Pictures and SyFy catalog, but its library is smaller than most. 

We also checked out Starz. Though the service provides a solid roster of new and old frights, the price isn't necessarily worth it when you can stream many of its titles on other services. However, Max and Paramount Plus made the cut due to owning their own substantial franchise collections. Max is also notable for its inclusion of animated and family-friendly scary movies.

Horror movie streaming service FAQs

Do suspense thrillers count in this horror streaming lineup?

No. Though horror includes subgenres like comedy (Shaun of the Dead), the paranormal, psychopathic killers and alien invasions, we didn't count thrillers such as Black Swan and Joker for this category. Instead, this listing focuses on platforms with a variety of straightforward horror titles.

Which service has the most classic horror movies?

If you want to watch some films from past eras for free, your best bet is Tubi, but if you don't mind paying for old-school creepiness, you should roll with Shudder.

Which service is best for blockbuster horror titles?

You're bound to run into some big-name movies on virtually any streaming service, but when it comes to the most up-to-date blockbusters, expect to pay a premium. Services like Prime Video, Max and Paramount Plus will typically offer the films during or after their theatrical runs for rent or with your paid subscription plan.

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