The 20 best horror movies on Peacock

The 20 best horror movies on Peacock

When you can't decide on a film to send shivers down your spine, EW is here to help add some fear to your life. Horror movie viewing isn't limited to a specific time; it's a mode for thrills year round, whether you want something to chill you to the bone on a warm afternoon or while you cozy up under your blanket on a cold autumn night. From creature features (Ginger Snaps) to cult classics (Nightbreed), Peacock has a wicked roster of frightening flicks.

Read on for EW's list of the 20 best horror movies on Peacock right now.

"Better Watch Out" (2016)

This Christmas horror comedy makes the nice list every year. In this modern mash-up of Home Alone (1990) and Home Invasion (2016), a horny teen who has the hots for his babysitter must prove his maturity when intruders come to sleigh. Unpredictable and complex, this film has quite a few tricks stuffed in its stockings that will leave you shocked and your bells fully jingled. Part Funny Games spliced with The Strangers, Better Watch Out plays a deadly round of mouse trap, celebrating the horrors of the holidays that don't include forced family gatherings. —Huntley Woods

Where to watch Better Watch Out: Peacock

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Director: Chris Peckover

Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic, Dacre Montgomery, Patrick Warburton, Virginia Madsen

Related content: The best Christmas horror movies

Better Watch Out
Better Watch Out

"Black Christmas" (1974)

Before crafting the 1983 perennial yuletide favorite A Christmas Story, Bob Clark ventured into the realm of holiday horror with Black Christmas, a pioneering slasher that laid the groundwork for John Carpenter's Halloween (1978). Within the film's gorgeously decked sorority house, the merry mood is shattered by prank calls from an eerie, foul-mouthed caller, and the sisters must confront this murderous menace to ensure their festivities go uninterrupted. This cult favorite is far from your run-of-the-mill, ho-ho-homicide Christmas flick; it tightly winds its suspense, deploying unfamiliar angles and handheld POV shots to maintain a sense of unease. Remarkably, beneath the story about female victims dying at the hands of a male killer, there's a subtle feminist undertone — which is heightened in its 2019 remake — that cuts into the terrors of men infringing on women's spaces. —James Mercadante

Where to watch Black Christmas: Peacock

Director: Bob Clark

Cast: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Lynne Griffin, John Saxon

Related content: Black Christmas remake screenwriter defends PG-13 rating: 'Doesn't make it any less vicious!

Olivia Hussey in 'Black Christmas'
Olivia Hussey in 'Black Christmas'

"Braid" (2018)

If you want the feeling of a hyper-saturated hallucinatory trip without the drugs, then settle in or a movie night with Braid. Set in a decaying mansion, two women on the run find refuge in the home of their wealthy and troubled childhood friend, where they play a deadly game of make-believe to get the money they owe. Echoing the disturbingly colorful bad trip vibes of Enter the Void (2009) and weaving a visual chromatic atmosphere that serves as a dollhouse for this cerebral mindf---, this horror movie pushes the envelope and then sets it on fire. —H.W.

Where to watch Braid: Peacock

Director: Mitzi Peirone

Cast: Madeline Brewer, Imogen Waterhouse, Sarah Hay, Scott Cohen


"The Changeling" (1980)

A haunted house classic, The Changeling paved the way for many more genre films to follow. After a horrific family tragedy, a music professor moves into a mysterious Seattle mansion, discovering not just the ghosts from his past but also those lurking in the walls. Although not as mainstream as ghost horror hits like The Shining (1980) or Poltergeist (1982), this suspenseful slow burn set the tone for future scares like Insidious (2010) and is beloved by many film buffs and auteurs. (It's a favorite of Guillermo del Toro and praised by Martin Scorsese as "one of the scariest movies of all time.") —H.W.

Where to watch The Changeling: Peacock

Director: Peter Medak

Cast: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Helen Burns, Madeleine Sherwood

Related content: The 20 best haunted house films of all time, ranked

THE CHANGELING, Trish Van Devere, 1980, © Associated Film Distribution/courtesy Everett Collection
THE CHANGELING, Trish Van Devere, 1980, © Associated Film Distribution/courtesy Everett Collection

"Day of the Dead" (1985)

In the third installment of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead franchise, a motley crew of scientists and military types are holed up in an underground Florida bunker, mulling over their options as the zombie apocalypse sweeps the world. The studio's belt-tightening — squeezing the budget down to $3.5 million due to Romero's unwavering artistic stance — left the director to later lament the divergence from his original ambitions. Still, the '80s horror classic is chock-full of cinematic wonders, including Bub the human-like ghoul, an appearance by The Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero, and Joe Pilato's iconic, off-the-cuff delivery of "Choke on 'em!" —J.M.

Where to watch Day of the Dead: Peacock 

Director: George Romero

Cast: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Richard Liberty

Related content: A beginner's guide to the Day of the Dead franchise


"The Endless" (2017)

What would happen if two brothers returned to a "UFO death cult" they once called home? After receiving a cryptic video message, Justin and Aaron Smith go back to the unsettling, utopian Camp Arcadia to find answers in a place that only conjures more questions. Blending elements of sci-fi and horror, The Endless balances a lower budget with a lofty and well-executed concept that will hold your interest while keeping you on edge. As EW's critic wrote, "Even as the circumstances get increasingly strange and the plot veers into over-the-top territory, the story stays grounded by focusing on the relationship between the two brothers." —H.W.

Where to watch The Endless: Peacock

EW grade: B (read the review)

Directors: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, Lew Temple, James Jordan

Related content: The directors of Spring talk about their UFO death cult horror film, The Endless

THE ENDLESS, from left, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, 2017. ph: William Tanner Sampson.
THE ENDLESS, from left, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, 2017. ph: William Tanner Sampson.

"The Exorcist III" (1990)

While it may not bask in the same revered spotlight as its iconic 1973 predecessor, The Exorcist III shattered the threequel curse, gleefully sidestepping the lazy pitfalls that plagued the second chapter. Adapted by Exorcist author William Peter Blatty, this third installment acts as a continuation of the original film, following a clever police detective who sifts through a chain of gruesome murders that mirror the sadistic signature of the Gemini Killer, who died 15 years prior. Elevated by a powerhouse performance from George C. Scott, spine-tingling soundscapes, and one of the most unforgettable jump scares in cinematic history, The Exorcist III firmly asserts itself as a standalone, campy horror classic. —J.M.

Where to watch Exorcist III: Peacock 

Director: William Peter Blatty

Cast: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Jason Miller, Scott Wilson, Nicol Williamson, Brad Dourif

Related content: The 20 best exorcism-themed movies

George C. Scott in 'The Exorcist III'
George C. Scott in 'The Exorcist III'

"Ginger Snaps" (2000)

When death-obsessed Ginger has her first visit from Aunt Flow, it's the start of her howling transformation into a w(erewolf)oman with quite an unconventional initiation. Following a mysterious attack during her inaugural period, Ginger goes on a blood-soaked rampage, leaving a trail of victims in her wake while indulging in her carnal cravings as her younger sister, Brigitte, tries to find a cure. A low-budget feminist creature feature, Ginger Snaps uses lycanthropy to allegorize the horrors of female rage and puberty — a tactic previously played with in Carrie (1976) and later embraced by Jennifer's Body (2009) et al. As noted by EW's critic, "It deserves a cult following among satire-loving, feminist-minded gore aficionados who appreciate a well-made human tail." —J.M.

Where to watch Ginger Snaps: Peacock

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Director: John Fawcett

Cast: Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Kris Lemche, Jesse Moss, Danielle Hampton, John Bourgeois, Peter Keleghan, Mimi Rogers

Related content: The best horror movies of the 2000s

GINGER SNAPS US/CAN 2000 KATHARINE ISABELLE Date 2000, Photo by: Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection(10359031)
GINGER SNAPS US/CAN 2000 KATHARINE ISABELLE Date 2000, Photo by: Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection(10359031)

"The House of the Devil" (2009)

While some may only recognize his name for helming X and Pearl, director Ti West has long been a standout in the horror genre, recapturing classic aesthetics while injecting his own contemporary spin. In what EW hails as his magnum opus, this slow burn haunted house tale follows college student Sarah, who unwittingly stumbles into a babysitting gig straight from the depths of hell on the night of a lunar eclipse. Shot on gritty 16mm film and adorned with '80s-style opening credits and other nostalgic touches, The House of the Devil pays homage to the thrillers of that era in all of its grainy glory. (Be prepared, your perception of 2023's Barbie director Greta Gerwig might never be the same after you see that scene.) —J.M.

Where to watch The House of the Devil: Peacock

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Director: Ti West

Cast: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, A. J. Bowen, Dee Wallace

Related content: EW's guide to the films of X director Ti West


"The Hunt" (2020)

In Blumhouse's Hunger Games-esque action-horror, a group of 12 working-class people are forced to become prey in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, hunted by elites who view them as "deplorables." However, one of the hunted, Crystal, flips the script on their evil pursuers. An on-the-nose cautionary tale about the American political divide, The Hunt faced backlash before its release, with Donald Trump publicly claiming its creation was "to inflame and cause chaos" on Twitter (now X). Although Universal temporarily shelved the film in response, the movie eventually made its way to theaters a week before the global pandemic forced their closure in 2020, followed by a streaming release. Screenwriter Damon Lindelof defended the film to EW, explaining how horror allows "a way to speak to whatever the interior anxiety we're feeling, both personally and societally" and "to show people the manifestation of their nightmares. And then they get to walk out of the theater and [turn on the news.]" —J.M.

Where to watch The Hunt: Peacock

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Director: Craig Zobel

Cast: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Ike Barinholtz, Sturgill Simpson, Justin Hartley

Related content: The Hunt and 10 other film releases affected by real-life tragedies and controversy

The Hunt
The Hunt

"The Invitation" (2015)

Before The Menu graced the silver screen in 2022, there existed another gripping tale of dining peril. Following the tragic loss of his young son, Will boldly returns to his former abode, drawn into a convivial dinner party orchestrated by his ex-wife, Eden, and her new spouse, David. While Will's enduring sorrow is palpable, Eden veils her own torment beneath a newfound spiritual facade, leading her and David down a dark path that propels the evening into a nightmarish ordeal. Helmed by Jennifer's Body director and Yellowjackets executive producer Karyn Kusama, The Invitation serves up a brilliant exploration of existential horror intertwined with grief and mental health, all set against the backdrop of insidious manipulation via groupthink. —J.M.

Where to watch The Invitation: Peacock

EW grade: A– (read the review)

Director: Karyn Kusama

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge, Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle, Jay Larson, John Carroll Lynch

Related content: Jennifer's Body director Karyn Kusama fights back with new thriller The Invitation

'The Invitation'
'The Invitation'

"The Love Witch" (2016)

Elaine is a femme fatale-type siren with an insatiable desire for love. Inside her Gothic Victorian sanctuary, she brews mystical potions and ensnares her paramours in her seductive tricks, leaving them lovelorn (or worse). But when she finally finds her dream partner, she goes to extreme lengths for his affection, proving that a woman's intrinsic prowess can be a man's most dreaded nightmare. Directed by Anna Biller, The Love Witch playfully tips its hat to the Technicolor allure of 1960s horror, all while adding a dash of contemporary spice. Per EW's critic, this feminist horror-comedy is "gorgeous to look at," as "Biller fills every frame with Pucci bursts of color, kitschy Stepford Wives-era artifacts, and tame Frederick's of Hollywood kink." — J.M.

Where to watch The Love Witch: Peacock

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Anna Biller

Cast: Samantha Robinson, Gian Keys, Laura Waddell, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Jared Sanford, Robert Seeley, Jennifer Ingrum

Related content: The 10 best witch movies

The Love Witch, 2016
The Love Witch, 2016

"Magic" (1978)

From Chucky in Child's Play (1988) to the titular robot in M3GAN (2023), the concept of toys springing to life has remained a staple in the horror canon, and Magic certainly pulls some disquieting strings within that tradition. Long before he savored flesh as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Anthony Hopkins starred as Charles "Corky" Withers, a struggling magician who strikes gold as a ventriloquist alongside his puppet sidekick, Fats. As fame beckons, Corky tries to rekindle an old flame with his now-married high school crush, Peggy Sue, but Fats has a sinister agenda of his own, leading to a vicious battle for control. In a masterful character study led by Hopkins — who performs real ventriloquy to voice Fats — Magic probes into the disconcerting depths of a man wrestling with his inner demons and an unquenchable thirst for validation. —J.M.

Where to watch Magic: Peacock

Director: Richard Attenborough

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter, David Ogden Stiers, E.J. André

Related content: The best Anthony Hopkins roles

MAGIC, Anthony Hopkins, 1978
MAGIC, Anthony Hopkins, 1978

"Nightbreed" (1990)

From the brilliantly twisted mind that gave us Hellraiser and Candyman comes an ultra-campy fantasy horror that tragically stumbled upon release (thanks to the studio slicing a chunk of its 150-minute runtime, ultimately distorting Clive Barker's artistic reverie). In Nightbreed, troubled Aaron Boone feels inexplicably drawn to the underground city of Midian, where monsters and mutants have built a sanctuary from the judgemental eyes of humankind, adhering to the motto "What is below stays below." Little does Aaron know that his arrival inadvertently leads a serial killer there, igniting a showdown between humanity and the otherworldly. Barker's bold exploration of otherness and intolerance renders Nightbreed more than just a monster movie; it's considered by some as a queer horror classic. As EW's critic wrote, "​Barker piles on more subversive subtext than his story can bear...but his daft, Grand Guignol vision has real power. The quality that freaked out the studio, Barker's ambition, is precisely what makes Nightbreed so impressive." —J.M.

Where to watch Nightbreed: Peacock 

EW grade: B

Director: Clive Barker

Cast: Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie, Bradley Lavelle, Hugh Ross, Doug Bradley

Related content: Director's cut of Clive Barker's Nightbreed gets a Halloween release

Clive Barker Adaptations Clive Barker's Nightbreed
Clive Barker Adaptations Clive Barker's Nightbreed

"Phantasm" (1979)

Haunted by the loss of his parents, Mike cannot leave his older brother Jody's side, which leads him to a funeral where he sees the Tall Man, a mortician who miniaturizes the dead and brings them back as macabre minions. With their family friend Reggie in tow, the trio faces off against the man whose always-raised eyebrows speak louder than words. Don Coscarelli directed, wrote, edited, produced, and shot this film himself — pushing the boundaries of a limited budget to craft this surreal and mind-bending dreamscape that meditates on grief and loss. Just when you think Phantasm can't get any more confusing, its out-of-left-field antics hit you harder than a deadly silver sphere. —J.M.

Where to watch Phantasm: Peacock

Director: Don Coscarelli

Cast: Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester, Angus Scrimm

Related content: Trailers From Hell has a ball with horror classic Phantasm

PHANTASM, from left: Bill Thornbury, Angus Scrimm, 1979. © Well Go USA /Courtesy Everett Collection
PHANTASM, from left: Bill Thornbury, Angus Scrimm, 1979. © Well Go USA /Courtesy Everett Collection

"Prom Night" (1980)

Having faced off against the relentless Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise and battled sorority-slashing killers on Scream Queens, Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis has proved herself to be the scream queen. Here, Curtis steps into the glittering shoes of Kim, a soon-to-be-crowned prom queen haunted by her younger sister's tragic death. As the fateful night approaches, an unmasked killer avenges Kim's sister and targets those connected to her demise. Surprisingly, for those with queasy stomachs, Prom Night doesn't drench you in gratuitous gore. And though the film initially received critical disdain, it has since carved out a place of honor among EW's top 20 slasher films of all time. —J.M.

Where to watch Prom Night: Peacock

Director: Paul Lynch

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Casey Stevens, Eddie Benton, Mary Beth Rubens, Michael Tough

Related content: Halloween Kills star Jamie Lee Curtis reveals her greatest fears

Prom Night
Prom Night

"Sleepaway Camp" (1983)

It's hard to imagine the horror genre without the summer camp setting. While Friday the 13th's Jason may be the sharpest tool in the shed, there's still room for Sleepaway Camp's killer to make the cut. Both movies have inspired numerous sequels, but this series brings not only the gore and body count but also the moody camp mise-en-scène, bizarre characters, innovative killings, and a sneakily queer underpinning. Well known for its plot twist finale, this movie will make you one happy camper. —H.W.

Where to watch Sleepaway Camp: Peacock

Director: Robert Hiltzik

Cast: Mike Kellin, Katherine Kamhi, Paul DeAngelo, Jonathan Tiersten, Felissa Rose, Christopher Collet, Karen Fields

Sleepaway Camp 1983
Sleepaway Camp 1983

"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974)

Securing the second spot on EW's list for the scariest movies of all time, Tobe Hooper's cult classic horror flick didn't just elicit fear, it revved up the terror with a revolutionary slasher genre weapon: the chainsaw. Leatherface — a sadistic Ed Gein-esque killer armed with the titular power tool and donning a mask made of human skin — and his murderous cannibal family find their new victims in free-spirited friends cruising through rural Texas. Despite an absence of blood and gore, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre's unbridled violence triggered bans in multiple countries and ignited controversy for brutalizing women. Yet, this grainy, low-budget nightmare carved its mark on horror history, earning a place in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent film collection in 1981 and birthing an entire franchise consisting of eight sequels, multiple comic books, two video games, and a 2004 novel. —J.M.

Where to watch The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: Peacock

Director: Tobe Hooper

Cast: Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen

Related content: Where The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was filmed

Gunnar Hansen in 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'
Gunnar Hansen in 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'

"The Wailing" (2016)

Don't let the 156-minute runtime scare you off, The Wailing is worth sitting through. This South Korean film follows a cop trying to root out a mysterious infection causing villagers to become murderous. The investigation spirals deeper into ghosts, demons, possessions, and rituals, leaving a bloody trail of terror along the way. Though it may sound like a lot of ingredients thrown together for slow cooking, The Wailing imports a level of cinema not often found in domestic scary movies, proving that horror is a universal language. —H.W.

Where to watch The Wailing: Peacock

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Director: Na Hong-jin

Cast: Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee, Jun Kunimura

Related content: The Wailing trailer: Korean thriller promises a terrifying mystery

THE WAILING, (aka GOKSUNG), CHUN, Woo-hee, 2016
THE WAILING, (aka GOKSUNG), CHUN, Woo-hee, 2016

"You Won't Be Alone" (2022)

Set in a grim farming community in 19th-century Macedonia, this period piece combines poetic prose with a dark and twisted tale. A shapeshifting witch known as the "Wolf-Eatress" plagues the land and a young girl's life, with Noomi Rapace as one of the cursed hosts. While there aren't any jump scares here, You Won't Be Alone sets a different tone and slower pace for the horror genre. As EW's critic said, "It's either the loveliest movie about witches you've ever seen or the goriest one Terrence Malick never made, but either way, You Won't Be Alone, as unclassifiable as it is, will take up haunted residence in your head." —H.W.

Where to watch You Won't Be Alone: Peacock

EW grade: A– (read the review)

Director: Goran Stolevski

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Sara Klimoska, Anamaria Marinca, Alice Englert, Félix Maritaud, Carloto Cotta

Noomi Rapace appears in you Won't Be Alone
Noomi Rapace appears in you Won't Be Alone