Best Horror Movies on Max: Must-Watch Chillers

May 24, 2024
Justin Lumiere

Max, the rebranded streaming service combining HBO Max and Discovery+, offers an impressive collection of horror films that cater to all tastes. From psychological terrors to classic gorefests, there's something to satiate every horror aficionado's craving.

The Brood (1979)

Directed by David Cronenberg, The Brood stars Samantha Eggar as Nola, who undergoes experimental psychotherapy with horrifying consequences. This body horror flick delves into themes of mental illness and therapy, offering a chilling commentary on societal issues, especially poignant given its release alongside Kramer vs. Kramer.

Top Ten Horror Movies!
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Carnival of Souls (1962)

Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls tells the story of a young church organist haunted by visions of the undead following a car accident. Known for its eerie, Twilight Zone-style mystery and amateurish charm, this film stands as an influential piece in independent horror cinema.

Cronos (1993)

In Guillermo del Toro’s debut feature, an elderly man discovers a mystical amulet that promises immortality but with sinister repercussions. Cronos masterfully blends horror elements with highbrow cinema, exploring themes of addiction and familial bonds.

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Eraserhead (1977)

David Lynch's surreal horror extravaganza, Eraserhead, follows a young man grappling with the anxieties of fatherhood in a nightmarish, industrial landscape. Its textural nightmare quality has earned it a dedicated cult following.

Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Evil Dead Rise, directed by Lee Cronin, continues the storied franchise with a fresh take. The plot follows Beth visiting her sister Ellie, where they face demonic Deadites. Keeping with the franchise’s tradition, it delves into themes of motherhood and family with a gory twist.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Sean S. Cunningham’s iconic slasher film, Friday the 13th, sees camp counselors being terrorized by a mysterious killer. Pioneering the teen slasher genre, this film laid the groundwork for countless horror classics.

Häxan (1922)

Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan is a hybrid of documentary and dramatization exploring the history of witchcraft. Critiquing modern mental health practices and historical injustices, it’s both a haunting and enlightening experience.

TitleYearDirectorDescription
The Brood1979David CronenbergDirected by David Cronenberg, The Brood stars Samantha Eggar as Nola, who undergoes experimental psychotherapy with horrifying consequences.
Carnival of Souls1962Herk HarveyHerk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls tells the story of a young church organist haunted by visions of the undead following a car accident.
Cronos1993Guillermo del ToroIn Guillermo del Toro’s debut feature, an elderly man discovers a mystical amulet that promises immortality but with sinister repercussions.
Eraserhead1977David LynchDavid Lynch's surreal horror extravaganza, Eraserhead, follows a young man grappling with the anxieties of fatherhood in a nightmarish, industrial landscape.
Evil Dead Rise2023Lee CroninEvil Dead Rise, directed by Lee Cronin, continues the storied franchise with a fresh take. The plot follows Beth visiting her sister Ellie, where they face demonic Deadites.
Friday the 13th1980Sean S. CunninghamSean S. Cunningham’s iconic slasher film, Friday the 13th, sees camp counselors being terrorized by a mysterious killer.
Häxan1922Benjamin ChristensenBenjamin Christensen’s Häxan is a hybrid of documentary and dramatization exploring the history of witchcraft.
House (Hausu)1977Nobuhiko ObayashiNobuhiko Obayashi’s House is a surreal horror-comedy where schoolgirls confront the horrors of a demonic house.
Kwaidan1964Masaki KobayashiMasaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan is a three-hour anthology of four ghost stories, celebrated for its imaginative backdrops and hypnotic, stylized production.
Malignant2021James WanJames Wan’s Malignant centers on a woman investigating mysterious killings, culminating in a shocking third-act twist.
Scanners1981David CronenbergDavid Cronenberg’s Scanners revolves around individuals with psychic powers embroiled in a deadly conflict.
Vampyr1932Carl Theodor DreyerCarl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr follows an occultist’s attempt to free a village from a vampiric curse.

House (Hausu) (1977)

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House is a surreal horror-comedy where schoolgirls confront the horrors of a demonic house. Its bizarre, dreamlike quality and over-the-top style make it a unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Kwaidan (1964)

Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan is a three-hour anthology of four ghost stories, celebrated for its imaginative backdrops and hypnotic, stylized production. A masterclass in atmospheric horror, it remains a staple in the genre.

Malignant (2021)

James Wan’s Malignant centers on a woman investigating mysterious killings, culminating in a shocking third-act twist. After helming billion-dollar blockbusters, Wan returns to his horror roots with this inventive thriller.

Scanners (1981)

David Cronenberg’s Scanners revolves around individuals with psychic powers embroiled in a deadly conflict. Renowned for its practical effects, especially the iconic head explosion scene, it’s a landmark in body horror.

Vampyr (1932)

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr follows an occultist’s attempt to free a village from a vampiric curse. Utilizing a blend of sound and silent film techniques, it crafts a haunting and ethereal atmosphere.

With such a diverse array of horror films available on Max, spanning from classic silent movies to contemporary psychological thrillers, horror fans have a treasure trove to explore. Whether you're in the mood for introspective cerebral scares or classic gore, Max's collection ensures a summer filled with spine-chilling entertainment.

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