This year has undoubtedly been a high watermark for horror fans. We’ve been spoiled for choice with fantastic films like A Quiet Place, The First Purge, Annihilation, and Hereditary. It’s not over yet with three reimaginings of classic horrors to come with The Predator, Halloween, and Suspiria on the way. To get you through the last days of summer and into the chilly evenings of autumn, we’ve put together a list of the best horror movies about possession that are currently streaming. So turn down the lights, pull out your ouija board, and get ready to get in touch with some very angry spirits.
The Exorcist (1973)
William Friedkin’s controversial classic is the first film that comes to mind when you think about possession horror. This 1973 horror film has been terrifying horror fans for decades and its story about a demonic entity and the man who’s sent in to save the possessed’s mortal soul still holds up. Streaming on Filmstruck.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Sam Raimi changed the game with his low budget zombie flick which saw a group of teens, including a young Bruce Campbell, head to a cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash serious malevolence. After discovering the book of the dead, the kids end up getting possessed and becoming flesh hungry ghouls. The Evil Dead remains a cult classic DIY chiller. Streaming on Shudder.
The Conjuring (2013)
James Wan established himself as horror royalty with this blockbuster horror that launched an entire shared universe of scares over at New Line. Based on the “real life” case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, Wan’s first entry weaves a creepy story of a bitter spirit that possesses mothers and makes them kill their children. The film also introduces one of the most popular parts of the Conjuring universe with Annabelle, a very spooky possessed doll. Streaming on Netflix.
Prince of Darkness (1987)
John Carpenter is one of the best horror directors to have ever lived and this underrated flick is one of his most fun. Whether it’s the stellar cast that includes Victor Wong, Donald Pleasence, and Alice Cooper or the B-movietastic plot about a possessed vat of green goo which contains Satan himself or all of the teenage zombies, Prince of Darkness has something for everyone! Plus you know it’s got that good good John Carpenter score. Streaming via Starz.
Burnt Offerings (1976)
Dan Curtis’s British chiller boasts a cast including Bette Davis, Oliver Reed, and Burgess Meredith. When Marian and Ben Rolf buy a Victorian summer home for cheap, they can’t believe their luck until strange things begin to happen and they realize they made the wrong investment. Streaming on Hulu.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Joe Berlinger’s much maligned sequel to The Blair Witch project gets a lot of flack, but it’s actually a pretty great entry into the ’00s horror canon that suffers from being linked to one of the most famous and popular films of the 20th century. After the success of the original movie, this meta sequel sees some supernatural shenanigans ensue as a tour group heads into the woods, and one of the group gets possessed by the Blair Witch. A silly, scary film, we’re firmly in the camp that this one is much better than you’ve been told. Streaming on Shudder
Mirror Mirror (1990)
Marina Sargenti’s 1990 oddity stars certified Winona Ryder impersonator Rainbow Harvest and tells the tale of a young woman who moves to a new town, joins a new school, and finds a mysterious mirror in her bedroom which may or may not be haunted. *SPOILER ALERT* the mirror is haunted and our protagonist finds herself slowly gaining dark powers from the haunted household object. Mirror Mirror is a low budget cult classic for all the wrong/right reasons. Streaming on Shudder.
The Possessed (1975)
Amando de Ossorio is best known for The Blind Dead series, but this 1975 shocker is an under appreciated entry in the history of European horror. Though the film is a blatant Exorcist cash-in, it changes enough to make it an interesting distraction, and de Ossorio has a lot of fun with the mischievous young possessed girl at the center of his terrifying tale. Streaming on Amazon.
Images: Wizard Video, New City Releasing, New Line Cinema, Artisan Entertainment, Warner Bros., United Artists, Universal