The cover of the 1982 horror film, 'Poltergeist', with Heather O'Rourke placing her hands on a telev...
HBO Max Has A Ton Of Scary Movies To Keep You Screaming Through Halloween

Happy screaming — I mean, streaming.

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As you're unpacking your fall sweaters and looking up the nearest pumpkin patches, odds are, your movie preferences are changing right along with the weather. If you're ready to trade your steamy summer flicks for movies that are darker, scarier, and perfect for making you want to curl up in the fetal position, you're in luck. It turns out, there are a ton of Halloween movies on HBO Max just waiting to make you afraid to fall asleep with the lights off this spooky season.

While lots of other streaming services have scary movies to fill your fall nights with suspense, HBO Max has a great mix of both new gems and cinema classics that might as well be considered required viewing in October. Naturally, scary movies can range from dark comedies to downright terrifying thrillers, and luckily, the streamer has a great combination whether you're looking for something that will make you jump in your seat or keep you wide awake for a week.

From The Shining to the entire Final Destination series, A Nightmare on Elm Street to Freaky, here are the best scary movies on HBO Max that are sure to keep you on your toes all season long:

If you’re wondering why Friday the 13th is such an evil day, the cult classic horror movies definitely have something to do with the lore. While it’s best to start with the original 1980 film (which you can watch on Amazon), the 2009 Friday the 13th remake on HBO Max will give you an idea why ski masks still send shivers up horror film fans’ spines.

What happens if you narrowly avoid death? It turns out, death still comes for you in mysterious, gory, and cinematic ways… at least, that’s how it works in Final Destination. The entire film series is on HBO Max, so if you have a thing for destiny or gruesome deaths, you’ll be set with this franchise. Warning: Don’t watch before getting on an airplane.

When psychiatrist Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) almost hits a girl with her car and later wakes up in a mental hospital accused of murder, things get real confusing, real messy, and real scary. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers and films that keep you guessing, Gothika will scratch that mystery-solving itch.


The general public’s fear of clowns can probably be directly traced to Stephen King’s 1986 novel, It, which follows a group of children who are terrorized by an evil, shapeshifting entity. Watch the original 1990 film and the 2017 remake on HBO max, then head over to Amazon to watch the sequel, It Chapter 2.

Poltergeist is another one of those classic horror films you have to watch in order to call yourself a scary movie aficionado. In fact, it’s this 1982 film, which is about a family whose young daughter gets abducted by evil spirits, that made television static a horror staple. If you love the first movie, the entire three-film franchise is on HBO Max for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure, depending on your scare tolerance).

Before there was Chris Pratt and his velociraptor, Blue, there was Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Richard Attenborough in the original 1993 film that started it all. If you’ve never seen the first Jurassic Park, it’s officially part of your required October viewing. Extra bonus: The second and third films are also on HBO Max, so you can — and should — have a dino movie marathon that’ll help you better understand why Goldblum is the ultimate zaddy.

A classic film you can watch anytime between Halloween and Christmas, Gremlins has an iconic theme song and the little monsters will remind you suspiciously of Furbys (if you were ever so unlucky as to own one). Just make sure if you watch this movie, you don't eat anything after midnight.

The body switch is a classic film trope, but what makes this 2020 horror-comedy stand out is that instead of a mother/daughter or bestie switch, a normal teenage girl gets switched with a serial killer. With Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn starring, Freaky is definitely a movie to watch when you want a few giggles with your jump-scares.

If you’ve seen all of the original Alien movies, or just want something a little more modern, the 2007 installment, AVPR: Alien vs. Predator Requiem, will help you get your extraterrestrial fill when two deadly intergalactic species epically battle it out on Earth, much to the dismay of the humans still living there.

While this 2005 slasher film has an interesting story (a group of hot friends get stranded in a ghost town and end up at a haunted wax museum), it's the fact that Paris Hilton is in the cast that makes it a true classic. House Of Wax might not be the best horror film around, but you'll have a scary good time watching Hilton and Chad Michael Murray in all of their early 2000s glory.

“Freddy’s coming for you” in the original ~don’t fall asleep~ scary movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street. The original 1984 flick stars Johnny Depp, while the 2010 remake has Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, and Connie Britton, and even brings Depp back close to 30 years later.

If you found yourself enthralled by A Nightmare on Elm Street, you'll be immediately sucked in by the 1994 installment, Wes Craven's New Nightmare. In this film, Freddy Kruger goes after the fictional cast and crew of the film franchise in a fantasy-meets-reality mockumentary-style horror film. It’s like The Office, but less Jim and more murder.

Only true horror fans can handle The Shining, but if you haven’t seen the iconic reimagining of Stephen King’s 1977 novel, you don’t know what you’re missing. Starring Jack Nicholson in one of his creepiest roles ever, this 1980 film will make you think twice before wandering into a hedge maze or marrying a novelist...

Right this way, sci-fi monster fans. Loosely based on the video game of the same name, Rampage follows primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) who has to team up with a giant silverback gorilla named George to save the world from other deadly, mutated beasts.

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a few ghost stories, and the 2001 film Thirteen Ghosts definitely has a few of them. When a family inherits an old house from a creepy uncle, they come to discover their new digs are full of evil entities who aren’t exactly welcoming.

Sure, this 1996 Will Smith classic is a summer must-watch, but since Independence Day is about extraterrestrials who want to destroy the Earth, it can definitely double as an autumn watch as well. Also, Jeff Goldblum is in it, so pick up your damn remote already.

The Conjuring is easily one of the creepiest film franchises around, so if you’re faint-hearted, you’ll absolutely want to skip this one. Inspired by real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren, the first film introduced viewers to the spirit fighting duo... and one very creepy doll named Annabelle.

If you haven’t been tormented enough after the first film in the Conjuring universe, you’re in luck, because HBO Max has the sequel as well. The Conjuring 2 follows demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate the real-life Enfield Haunting. While the third film isn’t on HBO, you can head to Amazon to queue up Annabelle Comes Home for more Conjuring-related scares.

If you're a fan of zombies and haven't yet seen the 1968 horror classic, Night Of The Living Dead, you're in for a scary treat. The film follows a group trying to survive an attack of undead corpses. The film received praise not just for its horror elements, but for portraying a Black man in a role that wasn't centered around his race, which was pretty groundbreaking for the time.

If you're ready for a movie night — and are a fan of superhero stories — the Blade trilogy on HBO Max is a must for movie night. The films are based on the Marvel comics are about a human with the strengths of vampires (but not their weaknesses) fighting advanced vampires who are, in turn, trying to kill him. The first, second, and third films are all on HBO Max, so get comfy and let the twists unfold.

By now, you should know moving into a home where a mass murder took place is never a good idea — at least not in the movies — but that didn’t stop a young family from doing just that in the 1979 blockbuster, The Amityville Horror. If haunted houses are your idea of a good time, be sure to watch the 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds and Chloë Grace Moretz.

If a movie about an infectious virus that tears the world apart hits a little too close to home, you might want to skip 28 Days Later. That said, few things are scarier than horror that mirrors reality, and when this illness causes people to turn into zombie-like victims, you’ll def feel a little happier that the COVID vaccine exists.

If 28 Days Later sounded scary, the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, will truly terrify you. The second installment takes place six months after the first film, just when the U.S. Army declares the danger of the epidemic over. Unfortunately, one person knows the illness isn’t gone, but rather is actually deadlier than ever before, and it’s up to them to try to save humankind. Again.

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