Whether you’re in the mood for a tale of the supernatural or a home-invasion slasher, some of the best horror movies are streaming for free. All of the horror movies listed below received high praise from both critics and audiences alike, and they’re worth revisiting or for newer audiences to discover. The three films are currently streaming for free on Vudu.
You’re Next is one of the all-time best home-invasion horror movies. This is not only because it is a well-produced film, but it provides a clever twist to the subgenre that sees way too many generic entries. Written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard, the film stars Sharni Vinson, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Nicholas Tucci, AJ Bowen, and Margaret Laney.
This tells the story of Erin (Vinson), who accompanies her boyfriend, Crispian (Bowen), for his family reunion. A mysterious group of ax-wielding killers invade the gathering, but one member of the reunion proves to be just as an effective killer as the perpetrators.
There are countless cookie-cutter horror movies with a similar premise, and while this film’s title may sound like another generic entry, it’s anything but. So, whether you embrace this subgenre or avoid it, You’re Next is most definitely worth the watch. The cast all deliver solid performances, and Vinson shines as Erin. There is also plenty of dark humor that makes this thrill-ride very entertaining.
Stir of Echoes
On August 6, 1999, one of the most popular horror movies of all time was released, The Sixth Sense. Just a little over a month later, unfortunately, Stir of Echoes made its debut. This was unfortunate timing because people assumed Stir of Echoes was a similar film since it featured a young boy who has the supernatural ability to see and talk with the dead. Stir of Echoes became an underground hit, but for years the horror flick remained in the shadows of M. Night Shyamalan’s masterpiece. While there may be some small similarities between the two horror movies, Stir of Echoes is a very different story, and one that’s a must-watch for genre fans.
Written and directed by David Koepp, based on the novel by Richard Matheson, A Stir of Echoes, the film tells a gripping story and one that’s, at times, scary as hell. With “fresh” scores from both critics and audiences alike, Rotten Tomatoes describes one of the best horror movies from the late ’90s and early 2000s.
“Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) is a fairly typical working-class guy living in Chicago with his wife Maggie (Kathryn Erbe) and his son Jake (Zachary David Cope). One night at a party, Tom gets into a lively discussion with his sister-in-law, Lisa (Illeana Douglas), who believes in psychic communication and the power of hypnosis. He challenges Lisa to hypnotize him, and she plants in him a post-hypnotic suggestion to be more open-minded. But the results aren’t quite what Lisa or Tom expected; Tom now senses an air of terrible dread throughout his house and is convinced that evil lurks just around the corner. He also sees the spirit of a girl from the neighborhood who disappeared months ago — and Jake sees the spirit as well.”
Many horror movies have been made in a similar vein since Echoes was released, but none tell the story like the original. It doesn’t take long for the suspense to kick in, and when it does, it doesn’t let go. The entire cast shines in this one, and the score and soundtrack should also get a round of applause. If you thought the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” was a creepy song before, just try listening to it after watching this supernatural horror treat.
If you enjoy horror movies centered on demons, then Pumpkinhead should be on the top of your watch list. Directed by the late Stan Winston, the film stars Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D’Aquino, and Kimberly Ross.
Henriksen portrays Ed Harley, a farmer who loses his young son because of an accident caused by a group of reckless bikers. Mourning, distraught, and seeking revenge, Ed visits a witch to conjure the demon Pumpkinhead to unleash hell and vengeance on the bikers. However, Ed soon regrets his decision to conjure the evil spirit. The farmer attempts to stop the powerful creature, but he already may be too late.
The character depth that Henriksen and Winston provide Ed Harley is stunning, and it is character development that is rarely seen in modern horror movies. The creepiness of the film is only paralleled by the tragedy and drama, and viewers are likely to have no problem sympathizing with the farmer and rooting for him when he attempts to do battle with the demon.
Even though this 1988 film is 30-years-old, for the most part, the special effects stand the test of time, especially when it comes to Pumpkinhead. If the evil demon looks familiar and like the Xenomorphs found in the Alien movies, that’s because director Stan Winston designed the evil creature, and he also created the Xenomorph Queen.
With titles like You’re Next, Stir of Echoes, and Pumpkinhead, some of the best horror movies are streaming for free, and they can currently all be found on Vudu.