Their selection isn’t as vast as movie channels like Starz or services like Netflix, but HBO GO still provides some of the best horror movies. Whether you are in the mood for a horror-comedy or a pure horror flick, HBO GO has a handful of movies that are a must-watch for genre fans.
The late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper decided to leave the WWF (now WWE) in the late ’80s to pursue a career in movies, and fans of this cult classic are happy about that decision. Directed by genre icon John Carpenter (Halloween), They Live is a sci-fi horror story about a drifter (Piper) who stumbles upon a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see aliens (who disguise themselves as humans).
This film works as social commentary for greed and consumerism. But (not so) underlying messages aside, this film is an absolute blast. Over the last few decades, Piper made well over a dozen movies, but They Live is considered to be the best of his films. Variety describes one of the best HBO GO movies.
“They Live is a fantastically subversive film, a nifty little confection pitting us vs. them, the haves vs. the have-nots.”
28 Days Later
Although technically an infection film, this movie is considered another addition to the “zombie” subgenre of horror. It is often credited as having the first sprinter-zombies featured in a film, but Night of the Comet and Return of the Living Dead featured those decades before. Regardless of how you want to categorize this movie, one thing is for sure: It’s absolutely terrifying and remains one of the most popular movies on HBO GO.
This anthology film tells a trio of stories that all center on a cat as the catalyst. And it is written by the master of horror himself, Stephen King. Two of the stories are based on previous writings by King, but the third (“General”) was written specifically for this film. Although all three stories were popular among both critics and fans alike, most agree that “General” (starring Drew Barrymore) stole the show.
With sly humor and clever thrills, the stories featured in this anthology film are the essence of classic King and the reason why so many fell in love with his style of storytelling.
In one of the most intense movies on HBO GO comes a title from M. Night Shyamalan. Two young siblings take a trip together to meet their maternal grandparents for the first time. While staying with them at their remote farm, they witness some strange behavior from their grandparents. They initially excuse this as normal elderly behavior, but soon the children realize there is nothing normal about what they are seeing.
If after bearing witness to the widely panned films of The Village, The Happening, and After Earth you need a reminder that Shyamalan is actually brilliant, then The Visit should do the trick. This was the director’s stab at the found-footage subgenre of horror, and he certainly stabbed deep.
The problem with many found-footage movies is that they are either unoriginal or the dialogue between the action is boring; this film is neither of those. It only takes about 15 minutes for the creepiness to start, and it brilliantly builds throughout the film.
The edge-of-the-seat moments thicken as the film rolls on, and so does the plot. Per his usual, Shyamalan delivers a twist-ending that most won’t see coming; the ending definitely pays off. There are also images and scenes in the film that viewers are likely to remember for a very long time.
Although the entire cast does a great job, Olivia De Jonge delivers a standout performance. It’s dazzling the way the young actress portrays the complexity of emotions, and she also delivers the transformation of emotion very well; when she is scared, most likely the viewers will be as well.
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Before the Ash vs. Evil Dead series there was the original trilogy (the third installment is Army of Darkness). Legendary director Sam Raimi (Spider Man, Drag Me to Hell) directed this cult classic starring Bruce Campbell, and it remains a favorite among avid genre fans and HBO GO subscribers.
The first addition to the franchise offered a lot of horror with a touch of dark comedy, and then the comedy progresses greatly though the next two installments. Where The Evil Dead was slightly humorous, Evil Dead 2 is laugh-out-loud funny. But it still provides genuine suspense and scares among the outright hilarious moments.
Because of the scary-fun this title provides, this movie is perfect to watch with a group of friends. Evil Dead 2 has a stunning score of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the site describes one of the best horror movies on HBO GO as follows.
“This sequel is better, funnier, scarier and superior to the first indie gore-fest. Never before has there been such an originally funny and unique horror film that never for a moment takes itself seriously. Lots of fun!”
This film provided inspiration for many horror flicks to come, including the title and initial plot for Cabin in the Woods (often regarded as one of the best horror movies of the decade). With impressive special effects and solid performances, Evil Dead 2 is a timeless horror masterpiece.
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[Featured Image by Rosebud Releasing]