A collage featuring some of the scariest horror movies on Amazon Prime Video right now (clockwise from top left): 'Candyman,' 'We Need To Talk About Kevin,' 'Nope,' and 'Dark Water'

The Scariest Movies on Prime Video Right Now

Many horror fans have plunged headfirst into the bone-chilling abyss of Amazon Prime Video’s expertly curated horror collection countless times. After years of indulging in cinematic marathons (and sacrificing countless hours of my life), I’m proud to say the streaming platform’s horror films are far from a haphazard jumble of cheap thrills.

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Here’s a list of the 10 best scary movies on Amazon Prime Video for you to feast upon, including a delectable spread of spine-tingling scares, mind-bending psychological horrors to leave you questioning your own sanity, and supernatural spectacles that might convince you to keep the lights on.

Come to Daddy (2019)

Shirtless Elijah Wood and Stephen McHattie in Come to Daddy
(Saban Capital Group)

Come to Daddy is not your typical heartfelt family reunion tale. This quirky, genre-bending film directed by Ant Timpson takes the phrase “daddy issues” to a bizarre new level. Starring Elijah Wood (yes, our beloved Frodo, trading the Shire for a secluded beach house), the movie starts as an awkward father-son reunion and spirals into a dark, comical horror that makes any therapy session seem like a picnic. 

Timpson’s expertise in navigating the twists and turns of this unconventional narrative showcases his ability to make audiences laugh, cringe, and drop their popcorn in shock—sometimes all within the same scene. While Come to Daddy might not inspire a warm and fuzzy Father’s Day card, it will leave a lasting impression. So, next time Dad sends a mysterious letter, maybe just stick to a Skype call? 

Candyman (2021)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II starring in Candyman (2021)
(Universal Pictures)

Directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele, this film isn’t merely a rehash of the ’90s bee-loving boogeyman. It’s a masterfully constructed reflection on the social trauma embedded in urban legends. With her directorial finesse, DaCosta crafts a narrative that doesn’t just scare but stings with relevant societal critiques. With Jordan Peele’s expertise in socially conscious horror (remember Get Out?), their combined vision ensures that Candyman holds a mirror to modern-day issues while maintaining a haunting atmosphere. 

For those seeking legitimacy in their horror, this film seamlessly interweaves the terrors of the supernatural with the very real horrors of racial injustice. By the end, you’ll be hesitant to say Candyman five times in front of a mirror—not just for fear of bees but also of the deeper, unsettling truths lurking beneath the surface. 

Train to Busan (2016)

two people covered in blood on a train in 'Train to Busan'
(Next Entertainment World)

Director Yeon Sang-ho takes us on a thrilling ride aboard Train to Busan, an intense roller coaster of a Korean zombie film. Train to Busan does a fantastic job of contrasting the peaceful scenery outside the train with the mayhem happening on board. But here’s the ticket: it’s not just a gore fest. 

Yeon skillfully weaves a story about humanity, sacrifice, and, yes, zombies that can outrun the fastest sprinter. Thanks to the director’s mastery, the film transcends genre expectations, becoming an insightful commentary on human nature rather than just another zombie movie. 

Eve’s Bayou (1997)

Jurnee Smollett and Meagan Good in Eve's Bayou
(Trimark Pictures)

Nestled in the swamps of Louisiana, this film isn’t about the gators or bayou beasts but the murky waters of human emotions and memories. In her directorial debut, Kasi Lemmons crafts a mesmerizing Southern Gothic tale that’s as rich and atmospheric as a steamy summer night in the Deep South. 

With a stellar cast led by the indomitable Samuel L. Jackson, Eve’s Bayou weaves a stormy picture of a family dealing with betrayal, love, and the ever-elusive nature of truth. This bayou has layers worth peeling back for viewers seeking an amalgam of drama, mysticism, and a dash of voodoo.

Dark Water (2005)

Jennifer Connelly inside a flooded apartment in Dark Water
(Touchstone Pictures)

Problems with plumbing are the least of our protagonists’ concerns in Dark Water. Directed with finesse by Walter Salles, this is Hollywood’s take on the classic Japanese horror film. Set in a perpetually damp and dreary apartment building, Dark Water delves into the turbulent waters of a mother’s love and eerie mysteries that drip, quite literally, from the ceiling. 

Because of Jennifer Connelly’s captivating performance, you won’t be anxious only about the impending mold issue. Moreover, Salles uses his skills in atmospheric storytelling to create a film that focuses as much on family ties as it does on the otherworldly. Trust me, the next time you spot a leak in your ceiling, you might just consider moving out. Also, if you’re ever in the market for real estate, remember: ambiance is critical, but dry ceilings? They’re non-negotiable.  

Tales From the Hood (1995)

Mr. Simms being extra in Tales From the Hood
(Savoy Pictures)

Tales From the Hood, expertly knitted together by filmmaker Rusty Cundieff, offers an array of social satire laced with supernatural flare and a touch of dark comedy. Don’t be put off by the grim undertones: the brilliance of Cundieff’s work resides in analyzing weighty social themes while still keeping you entertained and frightened. 

The success of this anthology comes from its ability to merge real-world horrors with the supernatural in stories that explore a range of issues, including police brutality and domestic violence. Tales From the Hood is like that one college class you never knew you needed, compressed into 98 minutes. So, if you’re looking for horror with a heart (and a brain), this is your ticket. 

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
(Orion Pictures)

The Return of the Living Dead is a cult classic. Not just another addition to the zombie film lineage, it’s an infectious cocktail of dark comedy and horror that’ll make you question whether to laugh or scream—or both. Directed by Dan O’Bannon, who had his inky fingers in the creation of the seminal Alien, this film deviates from George Romero’s grim zombie style and revels in the absurdity of the undead—think zombies screaming for “BRAAAAINS.” 

While many critics and viewers initially scratched their heads at its zany approach, The Return of the Living Dead has become a beloved staple in the genre over time. A genuinely delightful reimagining of the zombie trope, it showcases O’Bannon’s authority on genre-twisting cinema. 

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

A horde of zombies shambling through a field in the black-and-white horror classic 'Night of the Living Dead'
(Continental Distributing)

Where would we be without George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead? Probably in a world without zombies craving our brains. This cinematic gem is not just any old horror flick; it’s the granddaddy of all the zombie films that followed. With its grainy black-and-white visuals and a palpable tension, Romero didn’t just serve us scares; he offered biting social commentary on the times. 

In a master stroke of expertise, Romero turned the undead into a mirror for societal fears and racial tensions. If you’re looking to trace the origins of our modern obsession with zombies, mark this spot. Night of the Living Dead is a masterclass in horror filmmaking and a testament to how cinema can transcend its form to spark deeper conversations. 

Nope (2022)

Daniel Kaluuya in Nope
(Universal Pictures)

Nope is a mind-bending cinematic experience that kept me glued to my seat. This sci-fi horror film directed by Jordan Peele takes fans on a dark, twisted trip through a seemingly idyllic town. Nope stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as horse-wrangling siblings in Agua Dulce, California, hoping to gather evidence of an unidentified flying object. 

Peele’s authority shines through as he boldly confronts societal concerns and defies norms, bringing social commentary into the story. Nope deftly examines the depths of human nature in each scene, leaving viewers questioning their perceptions of reality. 

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2012)

'We Need to Talk About Kevin' Tilda Swinton and young boy sitting down and looking eerie
(Artificial Eye)

We Need To Talk About Kevin is a title that feels like a severe understatement by the film’s end. Despite being categorized as a psychological thriller and drama, We Need To Talk About Kevin earns its spot on this list. With impeccable directorial skill, Lynne Ramsay unravels a parent’s worst nightmare—not just dirty diapers and sleepless nights, but the deep-seated fear of raising a … well, let’s call it a “problem child.”

The phenomenal Tilda Swinton takes us on an agonizing journey of motherhood, making us ponder the classic conundrum of nature vs. nurture in a chilling exploration of the intricate ties binding parent and child. We Need To Talk About Kevin will leave you contemplative rather than chatty. And for potential parents, it might just be the most intense form of birth control out there.

(featured image: Universal Pictures / Oscilloscope / Touchstone Pictures)


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Author
Faith Katunga
Faith is a freelance journalist with an insatiable curiosity for all aspects of current events, from the global economy and fashion to pop culture and travel. She watches an absurd number of cat videos on Instagram when not reading or writing about what is going on in the world. Faith has written for several publications, including We Got This Covered, Italy Magazine, TheTravel, etc., and holds a master's degree in Fashion Culture and Management.