Spring is in the air, and what better way to ride out the terror of allergy season than by hiding inside with a good horror movie? Whether you're craving the housebound horror of The Vigil, The Lodge, and Run, or seeking unconventional love stories with cannibals or cars, the titles on this list are sure to shock. Here are the best frightening films currently streaming on Hulu.
One of EW's best horror films of 2021, Titane, by writer-director Julia Ducournau (Raw), follows Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), a serial killer and car show model whose fetish for motor vehicles leads to her pregnancy by a Cadillac sedan (yes, you read that right). After a particularly gruesome killing spree, the soon-to-be mother goes into hiding and assumes a new identity, willing to do anything to survive.
Sex with a car, motor oil lactation, and murder by hairpin are just a few things the first 30 minutes has in store. This Palme D'Or winner could have easily been a less-aware exercise in camp, but instead develops into a suspenseful meditation on gender, empathy, and grief. The neon-soaked body horror of Titane is a wild, unpredictable ride that will leave your mouth hanging open throughout its hour and 48 minutes of mayhem. To quote EW's Leah Greenblatt, "You may love it, you may hate it; you may need to seriously reconsider your relationship to your steering wheel."
Alternate viewing: If you loved Titane, you might also enjoy Under the Skin (2013), streaming on Showtime.
A nuanced directorial debut about the horrors of modern dating, first-time feature-length director Mimi Cave's Fresh follows the meet-cute turned meat-cute between budding lovers Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Steve (Sebastian Stan). When Steve turns out to be more Hannibal Lecter than Prince Charming, their relationship quickly takes an unappetizing turn.
A dash of American Psycho, a sprinkling of Blood Diner, with a pinch of When Harry Met Sally for flavor, this horror comedy is held together by the killer chemistry between its two leads. Edgar-Jones imbues Noa with a final girl's quiet strength and sharp intellect, making you hope she'll survive the main course. On the flip side, Stan brings Steve's psychopathy just the right amount of disarming goofiness to keep him from being a one-note villain (as seen in his audition video where he dances with a kitchen knife). One suggestion: you may want to eat before you hit play.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Fresh, you might also enjoy It Follows (2014), streaming on Netflix.
<i>Little Monsters</i> (2019)
Apocalypse movies are breeding grounds for unlikely posses, and this Australian zom-com from writer-director Abe Forsythe is no exception. It all starts when man-child Dave (Alexander England) wants to impress his nephew's teacher Miss Caroline (Us' Lupita Nyong'o), and volunteers to chaperone a kindergarten class trip. But when a zombie escapes a nearby military base, Dave, Miss Caroline, and a popular children's television host (Josh Gad) must band together to protect the young and fight off the walking dead.
A sunnier take on the zombie genre, fans of Warm Bodies and Shaun of the Dead will love sinking their teeth into this offbeat horror comedy. Gad is (once again) a standout as the hilariously amoral Teddy McGiggle. But according to EW critic Leah Greenblatt's review, the real star of the show is the guitar-wielding Nyong'o "who makes Monsters worth spending 90 breezy, bloody minutes on... She's both a warrior queen and a fallible, believable human woman — and never not a movie star in every scene."
Alternate viewing: If you loved Little Monsters, you might also enjoy Warm Bodies (2013), streaming on HBO Max.
From Searching director Aneesh Chaganty, Run follows doting mother Diane Sherman (Sarah Paulson), who has maintained meticulous control over the life of her disabled daughter Chloe (newcomer Kiera Allen) for 17 years. Once the time comes for Chloe to leave for college, she soon becomes a prisoner in her own home as dark secrets are uncovered.
Run is a taut thriller that feels like an elevated Lifetime movie in all the right ways. Chaganty sets the action primarily in the Sherman house, creating an environment that feels both intimate and suffocating. In preparation for the role, Paulson told EW that she channeled Piper Laurie's eerie matriarch in Carrie saying, "There's an element of control, there's obviously an extreme codependent situation at work there, where you have a young person who is slowly coming into their own and what that causes the parent to feel." Take it from us, the things Diane feels are terrifying.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Run, you might also enjoy Hush (2016), streaming on Netflix.
<i>Black Swan</i> (2010)
Natalie Portman (star of the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder) gives an Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan as Nina Sayers, a ballerina who slowly descends into madness after landing the lead role in Swan Lake. The mounting pressure brings on tormented visions of a sinister doppelgänger — and she may or may not be who she seems. Director Darren Aronofsky crafts this tragic fairy tale with a stellar supporting cast, featuring Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey, and Vincent Cassel.
Nina's dark transformation is triggered by the rampant abuse she endures throughout the film's disturbing 108 minutes. The dancer fights off understudies, an overbearing mother, a sleazy director, and her own demons in pursuit of perfection on and off the stage. Meanwhile, her mental spiral is overlaid with a contorted score, twisting Tchaikovsky's iconic compositions from the original ballet. The result is an aesthetic tension that builds all the way up to the mind-bending final moments — complete with body horror, self-harm, and (possibly) murder.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Black Swan, you might also enjoy Saint Maud (2019), streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+.
<i>Fright Night</i> (2011)
In this remake directed by Craig Gillespie, teenager Charley Brewster (the late Anton Yelchin) starts to suspect that his handsome new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) may be a vampire. With the help of Las Vegas showman and "vampire killer" Peter Vincent (David Tennant), Charley sets out to save his mom (Toni Collette), girlfriend (Imogen Poots), and friends from this blood-sucking creature of the night.
A sexy, gory retelling of the '80s cult classic, 2011's Fright Night is one of the rare updates that holds its own against the original. But that's no surprise given that the screenplay came from Buffy the Vampire Slayer scribe Marti Noxon. Anchored by Farrell's magnetic performance, this new iteration keeps the spirit of the 1985 film while injecting it with fresh blood. Former EW writer Keith Staskiewicz said it best: "If the Twilight melodramas have tamed bloodsuckers by turning them into gelded (and gilded) objects of affection, Farrell makes his vampire terrifying precisely by returning his sexual agency and ramping up his dangerousness."
Alternate viewing: If you loved Fright Night, you might also enjoy Jennifer's Body (2009), streaming for free on Tubi.
<i>Let the Right One In</i> (2008)
In a suburb of Stockholm in 1982, 12-year-old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) dreams of revenge against the bullies who torture him at school. But everything changes when a strange young girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves in next door. As Oskar learns the sinister truth about his new confidant, a trail of blood soon follows in this story of friendship and fallout.
Even if moody vampire dramas are your thing, you should still brace yourself for the heartbreak of Let the Right One In. The film is a perennial favorite on "best of" lists, and while EW called it "the best vampire movie" of 2008, the superlative could easily apply to the genre as a whole. Though its 2010 American remake Let Me In is a fine film on its own, there's no beating the cold-blooded melancholy of the Swedish original. Directed by Tomas Alfredson, and based on the book by John Ajvide Lindquist, Let the Right One In is a gorgeous, atmospheric, and surprisingly moving take on the age-old vampire tale.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Let the Right One In, you might also enjoy The Devil's Backbone (2001), available for rent on Apple TV+.
<i>The Lodge</i> (2019)
During one fateful Christmas, Grace Marshall (Riley Keough) is left in a remote lodge with her soon-to-be stepchildren (IT's Jaeden Martell and Eternals' Lia McHugh) after her fiancée (Richard Armitage) is abruptly called into work. When a blizzard traps them inside, the tension between the trio escalates as a chain of mysterious events trigger scars from Grace's violent past.
The Lodge is a deeply unnerving slow burn with a stark, snowy setting reminiscent of cabin-fever gold standard, The Shining. Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy) keep the audience as disoriented as Grace throughout the film — unsure of what is real and what might be a trick of the imagination — until it barrels toward its disturbing climax. As Eternals star McHugh told EW upon the film's release, "The Lodge story line is so crazy, and you never know what's gonna happen... You're second-guessing yourself the whole time."
Alternate viewing: If you loved The Lodge, you might also enjoy Goodnight Mommy (2014), streaming on Shudder and for free on Tubi.
<i>The Vigil</i> (2019)
Desperate for money after leaving his Hasidic community, Yakov Ronen (Dave Davis) agrees to work overnight as a paid shomer, keeping vigil over the body of a recently deceased Holocaust survivor. During his watch, he is terrorized by a malevolent force searching for its next victim. But Yakov will have to make peace with his personal demons if he hopes to defeat the one after his soul.
A religious horror in the vein of The Exorcist, this low-budget, supernatural thriller uses its tiny rowhouse setting to maximum effect. Its roots in Jewish folklore offer fresh imagery, while the strong performances from Davis (Lucifer, The Walking Dead) and the late Lynn Cohen (Sex and the City, Munich) keep the film emotionally grounded. Praising the leading lady, writer-director Keith Thomas told EW, "Lynn really threw herself into the role... it was very personal, she was pulling on her own past and her own family history. But she also relished being the creepy old lady in the house." Yep, this is one to watch with the lights off.
Alternate viewing: If you loved The Vigil, you might also enjoy The Golem (2018), streaming for free on Tubi.
<i>Lake Placid</i> (1999)
Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Platt, and the late great Betty White star in this over-the-top creature feature from director Steve Miner (Halloween H20) and screenwriter David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies). When a gigantic crocodile devours an unfortunate scuba diver in Maine, it's up to a paleontologist, a game warden, the town sheriff, and a mythology professor to hunt it down before it claims its next victim.
A campy, silly romp with a hilariously foul-mouthed performance by White, Lake Placid is the best movie on this list to watch with a group of friends. Feel free to turn off your brain and yell at the screen! It's the antithesis to Jaws' genuine terror, with an overtly mechanical crocodile that's laughable in the best way possible. While certainly not a "good" movie in the classic sense, this entry from the late '90s post-Scream horror renaissance is definitely a good time — and it almost didn't get made.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Lake Placid, you might also enjoy Anaconda (1997), streaming on Netflix.