The scariest horror movies on Shudder to keep you up at night


Horror movies come in all shapes and sizes.

You’ve got your comedy horrors, your psychological horrors, your tense thriller-y horrors — and, of course, your genuinely scary horrors.

I’m not just talking about your run-of-the-mill, yikes-that’s-a-bit-creepy kind of films, here, either. I’m talking about the truly terror-inducing — the type of movies you wake in the dead of night thinking about, and which stay with you for a long, long time after the credits have rolled. The horribly twitchy, sleep-with-the-lights-on-and-avoid-all-mirrors kind of movies.

Streaming platform Shudder has a lot to offer in this regard.


You can only stream the best movies from Shudder
If you’re not able to handle jump-scares, these aren’t for you.

Get your cushions ready…The UnheardCredit: ShudderWhat’s it about?After undergoing an experimental procedure to restore her hearing, a woman staying in her childhood home experiences auditory hallucinations that may have something to do with the disappearance of her mother.

Why should I watch it

If you’re unable to deal with jump-scares, these are not for you.

Cushions to hide behind at the ready…

The Unheard

Credit: Shudder

What’s it about?

After undertaking an experimental procedure to restore her hearing, a woman staying in her childhood home experiences auditory hallucinations that may have something to do with her mother’s disappearance.[director Jeffrey A.]Why should you watch it?“As you might have guessed from that description, Brown’s movie is a bit of a genre mish-mash,” I wrote in my review for Mashable. “The setup sounds like a Black Mirror episode, the hallucinations and isolation are straight-up horror, and the disappearances blend it all together with a kind of mystery/crime/thriller element. The combination of hallucinations, isolation, and disappearances could have easily tripped over itself. But it manages to keep a confident, steady footing. The Unheard

is streaming now on Shudder. “ How to watch:The Unheard

is streaming now on Shudder.

A blurry TV screen is visible in a dark room.


Credit: IFC Films/Shudder

What’s it about?

Given how experimental Kyle Edward Ball’s movie is, this one’s sort of hard to summarise. It’s about two siblings trapped in a house with a whispering voice and no way to find their father. “

Skinamarink wants us to become children trapped in our beds again. It wants to make the concept of darkness foreign, full of questions, strangeness and fear. The film takes us back to a time when we knew nothing beyond what was in front of us. What lay beyond the hallway, or worse, the front door, could as well have been the edge of the earth falling into nothingness. “*How to watch:

Skinamarink is streaming now on Shudder.The Power

Credit: Shudder

A woman in an old nurse's uniform stands in the dark holding a lantern.

What’s it about?

In 1974, Val (Rose Williams) starts a new job as a nurse in a London hospital. It’s a great way to create a sense of dread, and Faith is able to do this very well. I said in my review on Mashable. There are many jump scares but they never feel gratuitous. Like all great scary movies,

The power

uses its horror to bring out the main themes of the film, not just for shock value. Rose Williams, who plays the main character, is a master of her craft. “

How to watch:[…]The Power[writer/director Corinna] is streaming now on Shudder.Satan’s SlavesWhat’s it about?

After the strange death of their mother, a family begins to suspect that her presence may not have entirely left the house.

Why’s it so scary? Indonesian director Joko Anwar knows how to make a creepy film. The horror is evident in the first scenes of Satan’s Slaves

when Rini (Tara Basro), a daughter, makes a horrifying discovery in her mother’s bedroom. The movie has a solid mixture of slow build, bumps-in-the-night style tension, and outright jump-scares, putting you on edge early and offering little by way of reprieve.

For fans of


(which features further down on this list), there’s even a very creepy well…

How to watch:Satan’s Slaves is streaming now on Shudder.


Women-centric horror films and feminist movies

Stay away from those unmarked video tapes. Credit: Omega/Kadokawa/Kobal/ShutterstockWhat’s it about?

A reporter tries to find out the truth about a cursed tape that supposedly kills its viewer after a week.Why is it so frightening?

Hideo Nkata’s 1998 classic horror film not only launched a worldwide franchise but also showed you didn’t need to use high-tech effects or intense music to create fear. The Dark and the Wicked

Two people look serious while staring at a television.

What is it about?
A sister and brother return to their parents farmhouse to care for their dying dad. The jumps in this film are unexpected and genuinely frightening, with a story that is unremittingly bleak. The jumps in this one are unexpected and genuinely terrifying, and the story is unremittingly bleak.

How to watch:

The Dark and the Wicked

is streaming now on Shudder.

HostWhat’s it about?Unable to meet in person due to the coronavirus lockdown, a group of friends decide to try out a seance over Zoom.

Why’s it so scary?One word: realism. The natural dialogue, the Zoom setting and the premise all combine to make Host seem horribly real. It’s like you’re watching the recording of an actual Zoom call between friends, and that makes it all the more unnerving when things begin to go really, really wrong.

Oh, and if you’re worried that the movie’s set-up might be limiting in terms of scares, don’t be: the jumps in this one are frequent, and — thanks to the creativity of director Rob Savage — always inventive.

How to watch:


is streaming now on Shudder.


Rob Savage, the director of ‘Host,’ went from viral tweets to a 3-movie deal
What’s it about?A group of paranormal investigators examines some disturbing goings-on in a neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Why’s it so scary?

Rather than just having one scary monster or theme, Demian Rugna’s


has a whole bunch of them — from

IT-style voices gurgling away in the drain to the unmoving corpse of a dead child, returned home from the grave to sit stiffly at the dinner table.Basically, the film is a trick box full of scares, and if one thing doesn’t get to you, chances are something else certainly will.

How to watch:

Terrified is now streaming on Shudder.Featured Video For You

‘Nightmare Alley’ director Guillermo del Toro explains what makes carnival noir so terrifyingHell House LLC

What’s it about?

After the opening of a haunted house tourist attraction results in death, a fictional documentary crew tries to uncover what really happened.

Why’s it so scary?

Like all the best found-footage horror movies, Stephen Cognetti’s Hell House LLC uses realism to amp up its fear factor, splicing shaky camera shots with moving mannequins and half-glimpsed figures in the night. The tourist attraction setting could easily have come across as cheesy in this one, but luckily the movie’s prop department sourced some genuinely creepy-looking clowns for the occasion (one of which provides more than a few nasty jumps).How to watch:Hell House LLC

is streaming now on Shudder.

Z What’s it about?A mother grows increasingly worried about her eight-year-old son after he gets a new imaginary friend called “Z. “

The Babadook


Hide & Seek

taught us anything it’s that having imaginary friends in a horror film can be a bad thing. Brandon Christensen’s

Z takes this concept and gives it a fresh twist, putting us in the shoes of Beth (Keegan Connor Tracy) as she grows increasingly disturbed by her son’s behaviour.The thing that makes

Z so unnerving isn’t so much the creepy child aspect as it is the unknowable monster — the lingering idea of “Z,” this unseen creature that dominates every scene with its absence. The fear of seeing something

is often more disturbing than the thing itself, and this is an idea that the movie understands perfectly well — and uses to nail-biting effect.

How to watch:


is streaming now on Shudder.

*This blurb appeared on a previous Mashable list.