Now Scream This: The Best Horror Movies Streaming Right Now

(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: For this first edition of "Now Scream This," I thought it important for Chris and myself to give y'all a sense of who we are as horror fans. One a child of refined genre elegance, and the other – me – the guy who's about to demand you watch Detention. These films are tethered to our streaming catalogs for rewatches on rainy, dull or any flippin' day because everyone has their favorites. A gift to you from our most malevolent heart of hearts, curated with love and our deepest desire to entertain, torture and scare each one of you silly. How better to introduce ourselves as your harbingers of cinematic damnation?

Chris: I'm very excited about this column, because based on this inaugural entry, you're in for a wide-variety of great horror, reader. In a sense, this also proves how malleable the horror genre is. It doesn't fit neatly into one specific package, but changed, and evolves, and bends its shape to whatever the story needs it to be. Horror, like comedy, is subjective – what's scary to one person might be laugh-inducing to another. Yet with this column, we hope to provide you with a wide-ranging list of great horror, ready to stream at a moment's notice.

Deathgasm

Now Streaming on Netflix/Shudder/Amazon Prime

Matt: Jason Lei Howden's Deathgasm checks every single "party horror" requirement on my list. Gratuitous practical demon pulverization that literally runs streams of blood? Check. Heavy metal influences from the Norse gods of corpse-painted growlers and riff-heavy distortion trailblazers? Double check. A satanic story about garage bands, an antichrist reborn, recluse rockstars and so much more gruesome hilarity? Triple, quadruple, infinity check. Ever since SXSW 2015, this has been my go-to cinematic rager by way of Raimi meets Dio meets a PETA-protested slaughterhouse – DEATH TO FALSE METAL!

Chris: Horror-comedy is a tricky genre to get right. Far too often, a filmmaker will lean either too hard into the comedy or too hard into the horror, and unbalance the whole damn thing. Deathgasm is one of the rare exceptions, finding the sweet-spot to sell its gloriously goofy premise.

[REC]

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Found footage is such a damning stigma in most horror circles, but [REC] will always be an untouchable exemplification of how the subgenre can be used for good. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza take us inside a quarantined apartment complex and after thoroughly shocking, tormenting and shaping their own "zombie" mythos, lead us out with knees buckled. Still, to this day, [REC] holds one of my all-time favorite jump scares almost a decade later, but it's far more than "diseased" victims sprinting towards screens. Such a rare found footage masterpiece that can build tension, depth and intrigue without relying on cheap tricks that now define handheld brands of horror.

Chris: Back before found-footage became oversaturated, [REC] proved how effective the medium could be. The final few frames of this film are nightmare-inducing to the point where you'll probably feel like as if you're losing your mind when you watch them.

Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon

Now Streaming on Shudder/Amazon Prime

Matt: Scott Glosserman's Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon is one of the 00s' most prolific cult-worshipped horror movies. In the mockumentary, we meet a slasher villain by the name of Leslie Vernon who guides us through the ins-and-outs of living as a horror legend. Vernon (Nathan Baesel's crowning performance) reveals how Jason Voorhees can walk so fast, allows us to trail his preparation, sets up an all-important killing spree – then a tonal switch is flipped and behind-the-scenes perspectives morph into an actual, third-act slasher bloodbath. It's remarkably fresh despite satirizing years of post-Scream and Saw subgenre saturation, featuring cameos by veteran icons such as Robert Englund, Zelda Rubinstein, and Kane Hodder. A must for horror lovers of the modern age (probably something you've heard twenty-times over by now).

Chris: Behind the Mask hinges on a clever premise: what do slashers do in their downtime? What easily could've been a one-note joke turns into an increasingly original love letter to the slasher subgenre.

Detention

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Stop. Sleeping. On. Detention. I'm sick of Twitter threads where I'm the only one defending Joseph Kahn's time-travel slasher amalgamation of mindreaks, pop-culture massacring and unconstitutional wackiness. Yes, Cinderhella's intentionally slapstick reign bounces all over the place, but it's with Kahn's signature punk-pop-laced energy of Hoobastank backhands and charismatically uncool Josh Hutcherson/Shanley Caswell. Uncompromising, bleak, but still John Hughes sweet in the most meta-happy way. Truthfully a harder pill to swallow than what I've covered so far, but I'm forever addicted to this temporal classroom comedy covered in cafeteria food, severed limbs and quick-cut upbeats.

Chris: My blind-spots are showing. I'm well-aware of Detention, and yet I've never actually seen it. Fine, Matt, you convinced me. I'll finally watch Detention. I hope you're happy now.

Maniac

Now Streaming on Shudder/Showtime On Demand

Matt: Whenever challenged to name "one horror remake that's actually good," an easily refutable question in its own right, my no-thought answer is Franck Khalfoun's Maniac. A completely revamped beast from the killer's point of view – perversely and perfectly played by Elijah Wood – yet still representative of William Lustig's sewer-sludge-dirty exploitation grime. Atop the creepy mannequin imagery and sharp "how to make a murderer" storytelling, Khalfoun and Wood force audiences into the suffocating skin of serial murderer "Frank." A psychological transplantation that exudes unease like a snuff film, undeniable in its masterclass of trauma and heavy-breathing genre theatrics. No frills, no bullshit, pure under-your-skin skeeves for 90 straight minutes.

Chris: So. Much. Neon. Maniac is stylish to the extreme, and it's framing device – seeing the entire film through the point of view of the killer – should get tedious after a while. But it doesn't. This is one of the most fascinating horror films in recent memory, and it deserves much more attention.

The Witch

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Chris: There's evil lurking in nearly every frame of Robert Eggers' slow-burn puritan horror flick The Witch. Bathed in shadows and underlined with Mark Korven's mournful, jarring score, The Witch paints a portrait of a family in crisis. Banished from their community for being too pious, William (Ralph Ineson), his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), their oldest daughter Thomisan (Anya Taylor-Joy), their son (Harvey Scrimshaw) set up a new home on the edge of the deep, dark woods. There's a newborn baby to care for – but not for long. One day, the baby vanishes seemingly into thin air, and things only get worse from there. Tension in the family begins to mount, and there's whispers of a witch lurking somewhere in the woods. Or maybe the threat is coming from inside the family itself. Oh, and there's also a goat who steals the whole damn film. Eggers blends superstition with the supernatural, crafting one of the most gorgeous, and most troubling, horror movies I've ever seen. When I first saw The Witch, it felt like a religious experience. Here was the horror film I'd been waiting nearly my entire life to see.

Matt: Praise be to Black Phillip, and praise be to Robert Eggers's devotion to period aesthetics (wild religious beliefs in Salem witch myths versus an actual broom-zoomer preying on children). It's not mainstream scary like jump-scare-a-minute audiences might expect, but The Witch is effortlessly dreadful and artfully exquisite.

Exorcist III

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: The third entry in a horror franchise is rarely worth a damn. But Exorcist III is the exception to the rule. Original Exorcist author William Peter Blatty helms this dead-inducing sequel which builds upon William Friedkin's classic (and blissfully ignores the nonsense of Exorcist II: The Heretic). George C. Scott is William Kinderman, the gruff homicide detective played by Lee J. Cobb in the original film. Kinderman is still haunted by the mysterious death of Father Karras – but maybe Karras isn't as dead as previously believed. There's a man locked up in an insane asylum who sure looks a hell of a lot like Karras – but who also claims to be a notorious serial killer known as the Gemini Killer. Blatty's film is much different than Friedkin's, and exorcism plays a very small part in the proceedings. A third Exorcist movie may not have seemed like a good idea at the time, but Blatty crafts a surprising, dread-inducing horror film that increases the tension at every turn, almost never letting up. Jason Miller returns as Karras, but the true star of the show is Child's Play actor Brad Dourif, who plays the Gemini Killer inhabiting Karras' body. Dourif explodes with rage and madness every time he pops up, and the effect is chilling. Bonus: Exorcist III happens to feature the greatest jumpscare in the history of horror. No other horror film has ever come close to topping it.

Matt: *Finishes watching the nurse station jump scare on loop for 20 minutes* Yeah, there's a lot of fun to be had with this sequel between ceiling crawlers, jumps and Brad Dourif. I'll bite.

The Fog

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Halloween may be the better film, but there's something about John Carpenter's The Fog that has always called to me. Perhaps it's the way the film makes use of the sea – all those lapping waves and ominous shots of lighthouses. Or perhaps I just love that The Fog is an old-fashioned ghost story – the type of ghost story you read by a crackling fire on a chilly, rainy night. Or perhaps it's the fact that The Fog treats Tom Atkins and his mustache like a hot stud that women just can't help falling in love with. Whatever it is, Carpenter's The Fog is a chilly, low-key horror film that stands the test of time. As an eerie, unearthly fog rolls in, a group of pirate ghosts return to Antonio Bay on the anniversary of their death, looking for revenge. Not a whole lot here makes sense – just how does this mysterious fog work, and why does it cause one of the people killed by the pirate ghosts to get up off a slab in the morgue? It doesn't matter. What matters is the way Carpenter creates dread and atmosphere, and the way cinematographer Dean Cundey bounces light off of all that damn fog.

Matt: I am here at all times for John Carpenter love, The Fog very well included. If you don't get excited about ghost pirates then go ahead and "unfollow me" as the youths say.

Lovely Molly

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: If there's a theme to my list of films, it's dread. The horror movies I seem to regard the most are the ones that ratchet up an unbearable sense of unease; the overwhelming feeling that something is going to go very wrong, very soon. Lovely Molly is one of the most dread-inducing films I've ever seen. The Blair Witch Project co-director Eduardo Sánchez helms this blend of found-footage and traditional narrative, telling the tragic tale of former drug addict Molly. Recently married, Molly and her new husband move into the house Molly and her sister grew up in. It's a house with a dark, foreboding past, thanks to Molly's dead, abusive father. As Lovely Molly unfolds, Molly slowly begins to lose her grip on sanity. Is she relapsing into her addiction, or is there something supernatural lurking in the dark corners of her family home? Star Gretchen Lodge gives one of the most astonishing performances I've ever seen – a fierce, committed, fearless performance that hypnotizes the viewer from the get-go.

Matt: You know when people actually had Netflix streaming queues that they'd willfully ignore in favor of whatever newest release popped up first? Lovely Molly was on top of mine for the longest time until it disappeared forever – time for Shudder redemption!

The Blair Witch Project

Now Streaming on Max GO

Chris: If you thought you were going to get through this list without a Blair Witch Project entry, think again! Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick (and some clever marketing) broke the mold with this 1999 found-footage horror flick that reveals just how damn scary a pile of rocks can be. Yes, I'm aware of the backlash that followed The Blair Witch Project's release. And I don't care. The film is a masterclass in doing so much with so little. Best of all, unlike the glut of found-footage films that followed it, The Blair Witch Project feels real. No one here seems like they're acting, and the legend of the Blair Witch sounds just plausible enough to feel like the real deal. Three film students venture into the Maryland woods, and become hopelessly lost. Lurking in those woods is the Blair Witch herself – a vengeful, manipulative force that doesn't take kindly to outsiders. The true brilliance of The Blair Witch Project is the fact that we know the three leads are doomed before they even set foot in the woods, and we spend the entire film just waiting for the shit to hit the fan.

Matt: [REC], Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project will forever be my unholy triumvirate of found footage untouchables. Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick created a movie so well-received that it (re)kickstarted an entire subgenre that still pumps out endless content to this day..