25 Classic Horror Movies On Amazon Prime That’ll Scare You Silly (2023)

Ah, Halloween! The month when the leaves start to fall, when the temperature starts to die down—and when everybody suddenly has an excuse to watch as many horror movies as they possibly can.

While there are hundreds of new horror movies to choose from, there are still plenty of classics many of us have never seen—or would love to revisit. And if you happen to subscribe to Amazon Prime, then you’re in luck, because Amazon’s streaming service hosts an absolute cavalcade of great and classic horror movies.

But which ones are the true horror classics? And how do you choose which one to watch? Hopefully, this list can help. Here are 25 classic horror movies you can find on Amazon Prime (with trailers to boot).

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Without a doubt, Night of the Living Dead is one of the most important horror movies ever made. Creating the blueprint for the modern zombie movie, George A Romero’s gory, low-budget affair was preserved in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The story is simple: a group of strangers is trapped in an old farmhouse as a group of ravenous zombies slowly try to claw its way inside and eat everybody alive.

Don’t Look Now (1973)


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Nicolas Roeg has made some real head-scratchers over the years. From The Man Who Fell to Earth to Walkabout to Bad Timing, Roeg has proven himself to be one of the more “artsy” directors to come from the horror wave of the 1960s and 1970s—and Don’t Look Now was his one true bona fide classic. The movie centers on a family still grieving over the loss of its daughter. When the family travel to Venice, they become convinced they can make contact with her.

The Stepford Wives (1975)

The Stepford Wives would, of course, be remade nearly 30 years after the original with Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick and Glenn Close. But, to this day, the first version of The Stepford Wives is heralded as one of the great satirical horror films of the 1970s—a storied era for the genre. The movie follows Joanna, who moves with her husband to Stepford—a quiet little town where all of the other wives behave very, very strangely.

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The Tenant (1976)

There are American horror movies—and then there are French horror movies. Where American horror is often stylistic but inextricably bound to genre tropes, French horror is often strange, surreal and completely outside the norm. And that is certainly the case with The Tenant, which follows a man who slowly goes insane after learning that the woman who used to live in his apartment committed suicide.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

In 1956, Don Siegel shot and directed Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a film noir template in mind. But 22 years later, Philip Kaufman would create what is now considered one of the greatest horror remakes of all time. This classic story centers on a man who believes trouble is afoot after discovering a series of strange events amongst his friends and family. He soon realizes there’s an invisible enemy wreaking havoc on his city—and he’s determined to stop them.

The Exorcist (1973)

You’ve probably seen lots of movies spoof or poke fun at The Exorcist. But have you ever actually seen the original 1973 film? Back in those days, The Exorcist frightened audiences to death and raked in $232.9 million at the domestic box office—which adds up to an insane $1.036 billion in 2020 after inflation. William Friedkin’s satanic affair still holds up to this day as a terrifying and unpredictable depiction of exorcisms.

Diabolique (1955)

Henri-Georges Clouzot may not be a name you know very well. But for years, the French director create cinematic gems such as The Wages of Fear, Quai des Orfèvres, The Raven—oh, and Diabolique, of course. Alfred Hitchcock desperately wanted to obtain the screenplay rights to this classic horror film, but Clouzot won out in the end. And, indeed, the movie owns a very Hitchcockian plot: two women decide to murder a man. But soon after their deed is done, his body disappears—and they begin to believe the man is roaming their house.

Peeping Tom (1960)

Michael Powell’s filmography is absolutely laden with classics. Movies like The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death are adored by cinephiles and film historians alike. But perhaps his most influential film was Peeping Tom, which many consider to be the original slasher movie. This voyeuristic tale focuses on a photographer who takes racy photos of women for a living. And when one of his neighbors discovers a copy of a documentary he is making, she discovers he is actually murdering these women and taping the kills.

The Last House on the Left (1972)

The Last House on the Left is one of those classic horror movies that was inevitably going to become a cash-in Hollywood remake. But no recreation could ever truly mimic the 1972 version of the film, which was made on a shoestring budget of about $90,000. Wes Craven’s debut feature follows a group of teenaged girls who are murdered by a gang of escaped convicts. But soon the parents of the girls discover the convicts’ true identity—and decide to plot their revenge.

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Keeping with the theme of low-budget-horror-flicks-that-went-on-to-be-hugely-influential, Carnival of Souls had one of the lowest production budgets of any movie on this list: $30,000. Which might blow you away when you watch it. This classic horror movie centers on Mary, who is the lone survivor of a deadly car accident. After experiencing a strange series of events post-crash, she travels to an eerie carnival site that may hold the secret to her calamitous past.

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Labyrinth (1986)

Labyrinth is stuffed to the brim with people we’ve grown to love: David Bowie, Jim Henson, Jennifer Connelly. And while many people adore this classic fantasy/musical, there are many more who have never discovered the beauty of Henson’s 1986 take on the horror genre. The movie follows a girl named Sarah who travels through a giant maze in order to save her brother from a goblin king.

Fright Night (1985)

Over the course of his career, Tom Holland has wrote and/or directed some very-goofy-yet-very-fun horror movies. Child’s Play, Thinner, Psycho II—all of those movies are entertaining as hell. But, undoubtedly, his most important addition to the horror canon was Fright Night. The movie’s story focuses on teenaged Charley, who loves horror movies. So, naturally, his fascination with the genre leads him to believe his new next-door neighbor is a vampire.

Phantasm (1979)

Don Coscarelli has had plenty of success as of late, directing cult hits such as Bubba Ho-Tep and John Dies at the End. But decades before Coscarelli reinvigorated his career, he had attained legendary status with Phantasm. The film centers on a small town where residents have been dying of strange circumstances. Soon, a trio of men discover that the town’s mortician (who is now famously known as the “Tall Man”) is behind the killings—and they plot to stop him.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

To be honest, I was a tad hesitant about putting a silent movie on this list. But trust me: the The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari goes down just as easily as any modern horror feature (in fact, it might go down much easier). This 1920 German film centers on two men, Francis and Alan, who happen upon the crazed Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist Cesare—who correctly predicts that Alan will die the next morning. After Alan’s death, Francis becomes the main suspect in the murder case and tries to figure out what happened.

Bad Taste (1987)

In total, all three The Lord of the Rings films amassed a budget of $281 million. An insane (and justified) price tag, that sum laughably dwarfed director Peter Jackson’s original film’s budget of somewhere between $11,000 and $25,000. Still, to this day, Bad Taste is heralded by many as Jackson’s greatest film—and an important component of 1980s horror. The movie details the story of a group of aliens that invade a small town and begin to harvest humans for their intergalactic food franchise.

Children of the Corn (1984)

Obviously, several of Stephen King’s books have been made into horror movies over the years. But perhaps none of them scared me more as a child than Children of the Corn—a 1984 film that centers on a small town populated by murderous children. The story focuses on a married couple that wanders into the town after discovering the body of a young boy. Little do they know, however, about the team of kids that awaits them.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Maybe you’ve seen the title “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” before. And perhaps you scoffed at the very idea of the movie. But this classic horror film has attained its deserved cult status because it knows you’re going to scoff at it—which is why it fully commits and leans into its ridiculous, campy aura anyway. The movie centers on teenagers Mike and Debbie, who investigate a comet that crashed in their hometown. They then discover a group of bloodthirsty circus clowns that nobody else believes are real.

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The Haunting (1999)

Liam Neeson? Catherine Zeta-Jones? Owen Wilson? Lil Taylor? Virginia Madsen? All starring in the same horror movie? Yup. And that movie was The Haunting. Made on a steep budget of $80 million in 1999, this box office hit focuses on a group of people participating in a study on insomnia. But secretly, the doctor in charge of the study is investigating fear—of which he’s about to get a big dose himself after discovering his manor is haunted.

April Fool’s Day (1986)

American slashers are often gritty, gory and hard to watch. That’s what set April Fool’s Day apart, however, as much of its violence was subdued and toned down. The fact that Fred Walton’s film could do pull that off in the midst of the slasher-obsessed 1980s and still win people over made April Fool’s Day an instant classic. The movie’s plot is simple: a group of college students are being killed one by one during a getaway weekend at a secluded island estate.

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

It’s always interesting to look back on the good ole days of Hollywood and see where many famous actors got their starts. And, along with Taxi Driver that very same year, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane was one of the first big breaks for Jodie Foster. Also starring Martin Sheen, this classic horror tale from 1976 centers on a young girl named Rynn who’s holding a deep, dark secret. After her landlords begin to snoop around, she enlists the help of one of her neighbors to help her keep that secret.

Species (1995)

A young Michelle Williams makes a brief early appearance in this 1990s horror movie before giving way to a more evolved, more adult version of her character Sil—a beautiful alien-human hybrid who wreaks havoc on the world as she searches for a suitable male companion. This beloved sci-fi/horror amalgam went on to inspire a four-movie franchise.

Society (1989)

There are horror movies—and then there are body horror movies. This sub-genre goes out of its way to showcase intensely graphic and psychologically abusive treatment of the human body. And very few films have had more fun with that aesthetic than Society. The movie follows a teenager from Beverly Hills who discovers that his parents are members of a cult of upper class citizens.

Wishmaster (1997)

Wes Craven must have seen something special in the screenplay for Robert Kurtzman’s 1997 film Wishmaster, as Craven produced this beloved fantasy slasher series (there are four movies in the Wishmaster franchise). As per the movie’s title, the story focuses on an evil genie who grants wishes. And after he is freed from a jewel where he’s been trapped for years, he begins to play deadly tricks on the woman who set him loose.

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

It wouldn’t be a horror movie list without Vincent Price! This heralded actor appeared in many old-school horror films throughout his career, from The Abominable Dr. Phibes to House of Wax to The Last Man on Earth. But none of those movies have quite stood the test of time like House on Haunted Hill has been able to. Price plays a rich man named Frederick Loren, who is offering $10,000 to anyone who can survive a night in his haunted mansion. The movie then follows five guests who attempt to do just that.

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The Stuff (1985)

The 1980s were a glorious decade when hilariously absurd premises were greenlit for feature-length motion pictures. And one of the most adored movies to fall into that campy camp was The Stuff. The movie follows a private detective who is investigating a strange new phenomenon: a tasty treat on the market that has strange (and lethal) side effects on anyone who eats it.


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