We’re always looking for that which scares us here at the ol’ Nerdist, but it’s tough to know what to watch. With all the lovely streaming services out there, there’s plenty to send shivers down your spine or quench your thirst for blood and guts, but how do you know what’s worth a look first? We’ve scoured Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Shudder for the best horror films to stream throughout May.
Scream – 23 years old now (yikes), Wes Craven’s Scream feels like a relic, but one that still packs a wallop. One of his bloodier films, it’s a brilliantly fun post-modern take on ’80s slasher excess. You know all the tropes by now, but Scream didn’t know that at the time. It was also the beginning of that early 2000s horror resurgence that meant a lot of teen heart throbs getting killed to NuMetal.
Deliverance – a slow-burn adventure film that takes a haaaaaard left turn for the scary. Even if you haven’t seen the 1974 classic—starring Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, and (gulp) Ned Beatty—you no doubt know the tune “Dueling Banjos,” which seems like a nice Appalachian jam, but is actually the harbinger for awful depravities for our poor thrill seekers.
The Hateful Eight Extended – On its face, this is Quentin Tarantino’s third homage to Spaghetti Westerns, but beneath that is a very bleak horror film about fractured trust and betrayal in the deeply racist post-Civil War United States. Not for the faint of heart, nor the faint of bladder.
The Void – A movie I’ll sing the praises of forever and ever. A quiet night at a small town hospital becomes anything but when a sheriff’s deputy brings in a victim for treatment. Soon, cultists amass outside, violent insanity erupts inside, and horrifying, transdimensional beasts appear in the basement. Reason alone not to move to Canada.
Fatal Attraction – One of the better examples of the erotic thriller, this infamous movie from the late-’80s plays more like a cautionary tale for guys looking to screw around outside of marriage. Glenn Close is absolutely enticing and terrifying as a woman wronged by married man Michael Douglas. Don’t watch if you like rabbits.
The Shining – Stanley Kubrick’s very loose adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is nevertheless one of the scariest movies ever made, with a cast almost totally losing their minds due to stress and a lodge that famously makes no sense. Oh and it also might be evidence Kubrick faked the moon landing? Whatever, people.
A Quiet Place – Who needs to watch The Silence when you can watch the better version? If you didn’t catch it in cinemas last year, try to make your house as quiet as possible and turn your speakers up as loud as you can without angering the neighbors. You’ll be happier that way.
Monster Party – A Shudder exclusive. Three young burglars break into a fancy mansion during a dinner party. Unfortunately, that dinner party is attended by a group of recovering serial killers. Robin Tunney, Lance Reddick, Julian McMahon, and Bill Engvall star.
Doomsday – Hellboy and Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall followed up his claustrophobic monster movie The Descent with a big, gory action flick. If you like Escape from New York, Mad Max, and movies about King Arthur, then you’ll love this super fun and bloody flick. Rhona Mitra basically plays Snake Plissken and it’s brilliant.
Don’t Torture a Duckling – Lucio Fulci is known better these days for his gory zombie films like Zombie, The Beyond, and City of the Living Dead, but perhaps his best movie is this gritty, terrifying crime drama about an unknown assailant butchering children in a quiet, rural town. It’s quite something.
Pusher series – No one can make crime movies as terrifying as Nicolas Winding Refn. His trilogy of gritty films about drug dealers–including a very young, very bald Mads Mikkelsen, is now available to stream.
Suspiria – Luca Guadagnino’s radical reimagining of the Dario Argento classic changes everything. But also keeps everything the same. It’s super weird. But also really good. Dakota Johnson plays a determined modern dancer who ends up at a prestigious studio in Berlin in the ’80s. The school is right up against the Berlin Wall, but it’s also run by witches. So, easy come easy go.
7 movies from the Friday the 13th saga (May 31) – Not sure why it’s only seven of the first eight Friday the 13th movies, but if you want to watch the entire ’80s saga except for Part IV (which is the best one), then have at it! Fun times.
Annihilation – Sci-fi horror is hard to pull off effectively, but Alex Garland’s supremely underrated 2018 film makes it look easy. What is inside the mysterious Area X and why has no one returned? The answers are more troubling than the questions and the lines between plant and animal, human and not-human, life and death are constantly, kaleidoscopically blurred. And the bear. GOD, the bear.
Hereditary – You’ve no doubt heard a lot about this 2018 darling, but if you’ve only just heard, it’s probably time to give it a watch. It’s got family grief and misunderstanding to spare, but there are much worse things lurking in every shadow, around every corner, in everyone.
The Girl with All the Gifts – A different take on a zombie film, here we have a society ravaged by a cannibal-creating fungal outbreak. But when a group of children become flesh-crazed but remain lucid, a journey for the survival of the human race begins.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space – This is just one of the weirdest and most delightful horror films you’re likely to see. Alien clowns that are truly grotesque come to town and begin killing people in blackly funny ways. Featuring gloriously grotty puppet and effects work, this is for anyone with a very dark sense of humor and a love of calliope music.
Have any other favorite horror movies streaming now? Let us know in the comments below!
Images: Paramount, Warner Bros, Netflix, Shudder, Dimension, TWC
Kyle Anderson is the Editor at Large for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!=”http://www.twitter.com/functionalnerd” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Follow him on Twitter!