Four Scary-As-Hell Horror Movies And Where To Stream Them, Including The Petrifying ‘Devil’s Backbone’

Guillermo del Toro was inspired to make ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ by a ghost that he encountered when he was 11-years-old.  

Ouija: Origin of Evil, one of the scary horror movies on HBO.
Universal Pictures

Guillermo del Toro was inspired to make ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ by a ghost that he encountered when he was 11-years-old.  

When looking for scary horror movies, it can be hard to find a title that you haven’t seen. The horror movies listed below are often overlooked, and for those who have already seen them, they are certainly worth revisiting if it’s been awhile.

Ouija: Origin of Evil

If you saw the first Ouija, then you most likely skipped this title. Where the first film completely failed to entice fear or the audience’s attention, the second installment is a must-watch for fans of supernatural horror. Currently streaming on HBO GO, Ouija: Origin of Evil is directed and co-written by Mike Flanagan, and it is co-produced by Michael Bay and horror whiz Jason Blum. The film stars Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Parker Mack, and Henry Thomas.

Set in the late ’60s, Alice Zander (Reaser), a widow, supports her family with her phony seance business. The Zanders incorporate a Ouija board into their charade, and Alice achieves something that’s unusual in her line of work, she contacts a real spirit named Marcus. Unfortunately, despite its friendly name, the spirit is evil and possesses one of Alice’s daughters, Doris (Wilson).

This prequel is an exorcism flick and a haunted house story all in one terrifying feature. The scary happenings in this one come from genuine suspense and atmospheric tension, as well as some effective jump-scare moments. Origin of Evil breaks the rules of the genre, and it will be hard for viewers to guess who will survive. Unlike its predecessor, this horror flick is well crafted, and the entire cast delivers solid performances. The film builds to a climax that won’t soon be forgotten, and there’s also a clever post-credits scene.

This scary film is currently streaming on HBO GO, and it’s one of the best horror movies of 2016.

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe

Directed by Andre Ovredal, with “Fresh” scores from both critics and viewers alike, Rotten Tomatoes provides the plot for one of the scariest horror movies on Showtime Now.

“It’s just another night at the morgue for a father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) team of coroners, until an unidentified, highly unusual corpse comes in. Discovered buried in the basement of the home of a brutally murdered family, the young Jane Doe-eerily well preserved and with no visible signs of trauma-is shrouded in mystery. As they work into the night to piece together the cause of her death, the two men begin to uncover the disturbing secrets of her life. Soon, a series of terrifying events make it clear: this Jane Doe may not be dead.”

Poster of one of the scary horror movies, The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
  IFC Midnight

This scary feature brings about fear from its chilling atmosphere. After all, it’s hard to find a creepier setting than a morgue. The script is decent enough, but the tone that Ovredal creates, paired with great performances from Cox and Hirsh, makes this film a must-watch. The blank stare of Jane Doe is enough to get under anyone’s skin, and the chilling imagery will stick to you. There are a few gory and jump-scare moments, but the tension that crescendos throughout the film is unparalleled.

The Devil’s Backbone

Carlos, a 12-year-old whose dad died in the Spanish Civil War, arrives at a creepy orphanage and discovers the school is haunted, and it has many dark secrets that he must uncover. Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, and Fernando Tielve star.

This international horror movie was filmed in Madrid, and it is a co-production between Spain and Mexico. Directed and co-written by horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, this was his third feature-length film, and it’s as stylish as it is creepy. This scary tale is a nice balance between drama and horror, and when the frights hit, they certainly pack a terrifying punch.

Criterion.com tells the story of del Toro’s inspiration for one of his best horror movies.

“The inspiration for Santi’s ghostly presence was drawn from his own real-life experience. As a child, del Toro says, he made a pact with the monsters in his bedroom, overcoming his night terrors by befriending the apparitions that haunted his waking dreams. So when, at the age of eleven, he heard the sound of his deceased uncle sighing in the room where he had once lived, rather than being terrified by the experience, he stored the memory away, keeping it, nurturing it, until one day it could be used to creative ends.”

Poster of one of the scary horror movies, The Devil's Backbone.
  Sony Pictures Classics

This horror movie is just as creepy as Guillermo’s childhood story that it was influenced by. There is a decent mystery to be solved here, and the scary film does a great job of toggling between emotions. A white-knuckled scene is often followed by a heartbreaking one, and the climax gives viewers a well-deserved payoff.

The Devil’s Backbone is one of the most underrated horror movies of 2001, and it’s currently streaming on most major VOD platforms, including Amazon, Google Play Movies, and Vudu.

In the Mouth of Madness

Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow), a bestselling horror novelist, disappears and all Hell breaks loose, literally. An insurance agent, John Trent (Sam Neill), believes that the answer to Cane’s disappearance lies within the author’s writings, and his investigation leads him all the way to Hobb’s End, the fictional New England town featured in Sutter’s novels.

This John Carpenter gem is one of his best horror movies from the ’90s. Sutter Can is a mishmash of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft, and this Lovecraftian film pays homage to both authors and the horror genre, while poking fun at them all at the same time. There is some dark humor and wit to be found here, but the chilling imagery and sheer suspense is the focus in this horror flick.

While this scary John Carpenter selection is available on most VOD outlets, it just hit Shudder for those that subscribe to the streaming service. For those that have never subscribed to Shudder, a streaming platform centered only on horror movies, there is a free trial. If you have Amazon Prime, the Shudder add-on feature also comes with a free trial.